More almonds, fewer wrinkles
Four months after women started eating two hands of almonds every day, the wrinkles in their face were reduced by around 10 percent after 4 months. This appears from a small exploratory study that American dermatologists will soon publish in Phytotherapy Research.
The researchers gave 16 postmenopausal women with fair skin 60 grams of almonds every day. The almonds delivered 340 kcals per day, and the researchers removed those 340 kcals from the subjects' diet elsewhere. The test subjects therefore continued to consume the same amount of energy.
The researchers did something similar with a control group of 15 women. They didn't get almonds, but a canola bar or pretzels.
The experiment lasted 16 weeks. Just before the trial began, after 8 weeks and after 16 weeks, the researchers studied the women's skin.
The skin of women in the experimental group had not started producing more or less sebum, nor had it become more or less dry. However, the severity and the width of wrinkles in the face of the women were reduced by around 10 percent.
Click on the figure for a larger version.
The researchers did not investigate how almonds fight wrinkles, but suspect that the vitamin E in the almonds might help. 50 grams of almonds contain 12.5 milligrams of vitamin E, and in a previously published Swiss in vitro study, vitamin E reduces the activity of collagen-degrading enzymes in human skin cells. [Free Radic Biol Med. 1999 Oct;27(7-8):729-37.]
Another possibility is that the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid in almonds causes the effect, the researchers write. According to a large French study, people with a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids have younger skin than people with a low intake. [J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Dec;72(3):233-9.]
We ourselves have a different theory, which we honestly find more plausible. The subjects in the almond group had started to consume less carbohydrates and more oleic acid.
"Our results suggest that daily consumption of almonds may be an effective option to prevent progression of normal aging including wrinkles in postmenopausal females", the researchers summarize. "Our results warrant future studies with expanded population groups and additional evaluations for signs of skin aging."
The researchers received part of their money from the Almond Board of California, [almonds.com] an organization of and for almond growers.
Phytother Res. 2019 Oct 1. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6495. [Epub ahead of print].
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