Do vitamins help prevent aging?

Do vitamins help prevent aging?

Good question. The answer is probably. But we can only speak to the supplements that have under gone clinical trials.

What does ‘undergone clinical trials’ mean?

Randomized clinical trials means that an investigator collected a group of people. All participants were told that they we getting a supplement. Some got the supplement while others did not (they got sugar pills). Then, blinded observers (this means that the observer did not know if the person was taking the supplement or the sugar pill) graded the person on parameters such as skin wrinkles, skin laxity, and dyspigmentation (brown spots). So randomized clinical trials are the only way to see if something actually works.

What supplements help?

Randomized control trials have shown that beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and collagen peptides help prevent sunburns, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity. Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble derivative of vitamin A. It has been used to decrease the effect of UV light (sun-light) on skin.

One study compared taking low dose beta-carotene (30mg) to high dose (90mg) daily. Participants were given 30mg or 90mg of beta-carotene once daily for 3 months. Those who took the low dose 30mg showed improvement in facial wrinkles and elasticity, increased type I procollagen messenger RNA levels, and decreased UV-induced thymine dimer staining (DNA damage after sun exposure).

Another study compared 25mg beta-carotene to 25mg beta-carotene and vitamin E (355mg or 500IU) supplementation. Using a blue-light they exposed the participants back skin to light after taking wither supplements for 8weeks. They found that the combination group (beta-carotene and vitamin E) had a lower level of sunburn (skin redness) after being exposed to the blue light. Thus, the investigators concluded that the combination of beta-carotene and vitamin E supplementation can reduce the risk of sunburn.

A collagen peptide study showed that women over 50 who took oral collagen hydrolysate (either 2.5 grams daily or 5 grams daily) had increased skin elasticity after 8weeks; however it did not improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen peptides did not lead to improvement of skin hydration or trans epidermal water loss. This is likely why collagen peptides did not improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

So, in summary, randomized control studies have shown potentially positive effects of beta-carotene, vitamin E, and collagen peptides in improving the signs of photoaging.

Author
Dr. Alexis Dougherty, MD Board Certified Dermatologist Mother Wife Beach volley ball player Runner From Texas Owner & Director of Kind Dermatology & Medical Spa

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