Avocado: The Skin Superfood for Enhanced Elasticity and Firmness

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The secret to more youthful-looking skin may be sitting right there in your produce basket. A new study suggests that adding a daily avocado to your diet could help improve skin elasticity and firmness, combating common signs of aging

Avocados have long been touted as a superfood, thanks to their impressive nutritional profile. Now, a new pilot study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggests that daily avocado consumption may also offer significant benefits for skin health, particularly in the realm of anti-aging.1

The single-blind, randomized, controlled trial included 39 healthy overweight women between the ages of 27 and 73. For 8 weeks, participants in the intervention group consumed one fresh Hass avocado per day, while the control group maintained their habitual diets. Researchers measured facial skin elasticity, firmness, pigmentation, sebum production, and hydration at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks using a cutometer.1

At the end of the study period, the avocado group exhibited significant improvements in several parameters related to skin aging. Forehead skin elasticity increased, as did firmness, while signs of skin fatigue decreased after repeat suction by the cutometer device.1 The control group did not experience the same positive changes, suggesting the results were attributable to avocado intake.

Interestingly, the study did not find improvements in other tested parameters like skin hydration, sebum production, pigmentation, or resistance to UVB radiation.1 The authors noted that the age and BMI of the participants may have influenced these results and called for additional studies with narrower population criteria.

So how exactly might avocados support skin health? The researchers point to the fruit's unique nutritional composition as a likely factor. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, as well as skin-supporting carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.2 They also contain significant amounts of vitamins E, C, and folate.3

Previous studies have shown that fat intake, especially from monounsaturated sources, is associated with improved skin elasticity, while nutrients like carotenoids, tocopherols, and vitamin C are known to provide photoprotection, support collagen synthesis, and promote a youthful complexion.4,5,6 The bioavailability of carotenoids from avocado is also notably higher compared to other plant foods.7

While the sample size of this pilot trial was small and further studies are needed, the results hold promise for the use of avocado as a natural tool to combat skin aging. For overweight women in particular, adding this nutrient-dense fruit to the daily diet may help counteract the loss of skin elasticity and firmness associated with excess body fat.8

If you're looking for a delicious way to support more vibrant, youthful skin, reaching for an avocado may be a smart choice. With its good fats, free-radical fighting antioxidants, and knack for improving carotenoid absorption, this creamy green fruit could be a simple yet powerful ally for healthier skin at any age.

Beyond its potential for promoting skin health, avocado has been studied for its therapeutic value in a wide range of health conditions. According to the GreenMedInfo.com database, which collates research on natural medicines, avocado has been shown to have potential benefits in over 60 different diseases and ailments.9 These include cardiovascular disorders, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cognitive decline, and various forms of cancer. The fruit's unique blend of nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds like phytosterols and carotenoids, are believed to contribute to its multifaceted health effects.9 While more human studies are needed to confirm these findings, the available evidence suggests that incorporating avocado into the diet may offer far-reaching benefits for overall health and wellness.

For more information on natural ways to mitigate or reverse skin aging, visit our database on the subject here.


References:

1. Henning SM, Guzman JB, Thames G, et al. "Avocado Consumption Increased Skin Elasticity and Firmness in Women--A Pilot Study." Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 21, no. 10, Oct. 2022, pp. 4028-34. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.14717.

2. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. "Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects." Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 53, no. 7, 2013, pp. 738-50. Taylor and Francis+NEJM, https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.556759.

3. "Avocado, Raw." FoodData Centralhttps://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients. Accessed 11 May 2023.

4. Nagata C, Nakamura K, Wada K, Oba S, Hayashi M, Takeda N, Yasuda K. "Association of Dietary Fat, Vegetables and Antioxidant Micronutrients with Skin Ageing in Japanese Women." British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 103, no. 10, May 2010, pp. 1493-98. Cambridge University Press, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114509993461.

5. Schagen SK, Zampeli VA, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. "Discovering the Link between Nutrition and Skin Aging." Dermato-Endocrinology, vol. 4, no. 3, July 2012, pp. 298-307. Taylor & Francis, https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22876.

6. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. "The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health." Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 8, 12 2017, p. E866. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080866.

7. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. "Carotenoid Absorption from Salad and Salsa by Humans Is Enhanced by the Addition of Avocado or Avocado Oil." The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 135, no. 3, Mar. 2005, pp. 431-36. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/135.3.431.

8. Ezure T, Amano S. "Negative Regulation of Dermal Fibroblasts by Enlarged Adipocytes through Release of Free Fatty Acids." The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 131, no. 10, Oct. 2011, pp. 2004-09. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2011.145.

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