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Promoting Beauty With Food and Drink
By: Jonathan Selzer, PhD
Posted: June 29, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
page 5 of 9
Your cells need energy to function. The skin constantly regenerates cells, which is a very energy-dependent procedure—no energy, no regeneration. The result is tired and aged-looking skin. Mitochondria are small organelles in all cells that generate energy. Coenzyme Q10 is a substance that your cells produce to help the mitochondria perform. As you have probably surmised, the ability for the mitochondria to turn fuel into energy wanes with age, as does the amount of coenzyme Q10 available. Studies show that you can boost your coenzyme Q10 content by taking dietary supplements.11, 12 Always take a liquid form with a source of oil or fat to improve absorption into the bloodstream.
Another crucial anti-aging concept is the importance of relaxation. Stress causes the release of steroid hormones, such as cortisol, into the bloodstream. This has many age-promoting effects, including increased blood sugar, inflammation and cravings. It also slows metabolism and pumps fats into the liver.
The result is a self-perpetuating cycle of stress, weight gain, inflammation and more stress, which means accelerated aging. There are many products on the market to help reduce stress and support relaxation. One recent study from Japan, for example, demonstrated that green tea consumption has a significant soothing effect on stress.13 Other stress-relieving ingredients to look for include the following:
- Chamomile tea is widely known for its relaxing properties.
- Passion flower tea has relaxing and anti-addictive properties, and is used extensively in Europe to help patients recover from addictions.14
- L-theanine is an amino acid from green tea and has been clinically proven to provide an alert sense of relaxation without drowsiness.15, 16, 17
- Green tea has been shown to instill a sense of well-being and ease mental distress.15, 16, 17
The earlier, the better
Aging does not have to result in becoming unattractive; in fact, many people become more beautiful as they age. The trick is to maintain the most youthful skin and appearance possible so that beauty with age can take place. This can be helped by consuming food and beverages that promote internal health. Using the skin’s own intrinsic ability to heal and regenerate assisted by the ingestion of antioxidant-rich products, much can be accomplished to slow the clock. Miracles cannot be expected, but the earlier you begin an antioxidant program, the better the results will be.
1. Gregersen, et al, Effect of moderate intakes of different tea catechins and caffeine on acute measures of energy metabolism under sedentary conditions, Brit J Nutr, 102 1187–1194 (2009)