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Flaxseed and Borage Oil Supplements Shown to Aid Skin Health

Posted: October 9, 2008

Supplements containing flaxseed or borage oil may protect skin against reddening and improve skin health from within, suggests new research from Germany and France.

The omega-3 and omega-6-rich oils from flax and borage respectively also led to a decrease in skin roughness and so-called skin scaling, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Growing awareness of the link between diet and health, and by extension physical appearance, means that many consumers are receptive to the concept of 'beauty from within'. There is a growing body of science focusing on the potential benefits of nutrients to boost skin health from within, with lutein, lycopene and superoxide dismutase (SOD) having been reported to improve skin health. The same researchers behind the new study previously reported that flavanol-rich chocolate may protect against skin reddening (Journal of Nutrition, Vol 136, pp 1565-1569).

The researchers, led by Wilhelm Stahl from the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, recruited 45 non-smoking, healthy women between the ages of 18 and 65 and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. Two groups received daily supplements of flaxseed oil or borage oil (2.2 grams of total fatty acids), while a third received medium-chain fatty acids as the placebo.

Skin irritation was achieved using nicotinate applied to the skin. This would induce inflammation and reddening of the skin, said the researchers.