A vitamin-rich nutrition is associated with a decreased number of spots and wrinkles in Japanese and Caucasian women, a new study suggests.
In the JAGE study (Extrinsic skin aging in Japanese and German women) the researchers investigated in determinants for skin aging in women from both ethnic groups (1). In fasting blood samples of 39 German and 62 Japanese women with ages between 30 to 70 years, the level of carotenoids and vitamins was measured. Other environmental factors influencing extrinsic skin aging like nutrition and smoking habits were assessed by questionnaire.
The study results showed that nutrition rich in antioxidant micronutrients, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin E was associated with a decreased number of spots and of wrinkles whereas smoking increased the symptoms of skin aging. The researchers suggested a higher level of carotenoids and vitamins in Japanese women which might be an explanation for differences in wrinkle formation but no explanation for spots. Whether genetic differences are responsible for this effect remain to be evaluated.
Japanese and Caucasians differ in the clinical manifestation of environmentally induced (‘extrinsic’) skin aging. Caucasians develop wrinkles first whereas Japanese develop pigment spots at an earlier age (2). The reasons for this are not known to date and may involve genetic and environmental factors.