Skin health and flavanols
How flavanols affect your skin’s health
There is a growing awareness worldwide that skin appearance is as dependent on a healthy diet as it is on products applied externally. The “beauty from within” philosophy is gaining the following it deserves. There is a burgeoning industry built around dietary supplements which target skin health and by definition, appearance. The logic is good. The extent to which skin products applied externally can penetrate the skin is limited. It’s a little like putting an aspirin on top of your head when you have a headache…..
Skin health, like the health of every other organ in the body is dependent on healthy blood flow. Increase in sub cutaneous blood flow improves skin texture by increasing skin density and thickness. Skin hydration is also improved. Cocoa flavanols increase your subcutaneous blood flow.
Flavanols and UV
A test at the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf revealed that female participants taking a flavanol supplement at moderate levels (326mg per day) over 12 weeks showed a 25% reduction in skin response to the effects of UV light as compared to a control group taking a lower level of flavanols.
Cocoa flavanols are reported to absorb UV light which may have contributed to this reduction in sensitivity. Their capacity to scavenge reactive oxygen species might also play a part. These free radicals are formed in response to UV light exposure.
During the same test the participants taking the higher dosage of flavanols showed a marked increase in subcutaneous blood flow with the attendant benefits mentioned earlier.
“This study demonstrates that the regular consumption of a beverage rich in flavanols can confer substantial photoprotection as well as help maintain skin health by improving skin structure and function.” wrote the researchers in the Journal of Nutrition. (326mg per day) over 12 weeks showed a 25% reduction in skin response to the effects of UV light as compared to a control group taking a lower level of flavanols.
Skin health in Summary…..
Flavanols can protect skin against UV induced damage at the molecular and cellular level and may well improve overall skin quality. Regular intake can help maintain skin health by improving skin structure and function. The photoprotective effects are moderate, but contribute to permanent, overall protection.
Sub cutaneous blood flow can be increased significantly by up to 1.8 times base level by consumption of cocoa flavanols at moderate dosages. The maintenance of skin integrity requires an optimal supply of nutrients and improved blood flow will provide this.