Skin ages less quickly with olive oil


Smoking and too much sunlight make your skin age more quickly, we read recently in a Danish study. Today we’ve dug up a French epidemiological study that was published in PLoS One in 2012. According to that study, you can delay the speed at which your skin ages by using olive oil daily.

The researchers assessed the extent of facial skin aging in photos of 1264 women and 1655 men aged 46-60. They looked at wrinkle formation, patches of pigment and loss of elasticity: photodamage is the word for these signs of aging.

The researchers also looked at the subjects’ diet, in particular the amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that the subjects consumed each day. On the basis of this they divided the participants into four equal-sized groups. These groups are called quartiles.

After cancelling out factors such as age, level of education, smoking, exercise, BMI and exposure to sunlight, the researchers observed that the men showed less signs of skin aging the more energy they derived from mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

Skin ages less quickly with olive oil

Skin ages less quickly with olive oil

The results for the women were fairly similar, but not statistically significant.

Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are found in dairy products, meat and meat products, groundnut oil and sunflower oil – and in olive oil. However, it was only the mono-unsaturated fatty acids in olive oil that offered significant protection against facial aging. The more mono-unsaturated fatty acids from olive oil that the participants consumed, the fewer signs of skin aging the researchers found.

Skin ages less quickly with olive oil

Skin ages less quickly with olive oil

“Our findings provide support for a beneficial role of olive oil in preventing severe facial photoaging”, the researchers wrote. “This result should be supported by further mechanistic studies taking into account the relationship between a diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, subcutaneous fat and the overall aging process, of which skin photodamage may be a readily observable surrogate marker.”

Source: “Finally, our findings provide a useful insight into the beneficial effect of olive oil, as the main source of dietary fat, as promoted in a diversified diet, although the only way to demonstrate that olive oil can prevent photodamage is to perform an interventional study.”

PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44490.




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