Another Reason We Love Berries: They May Reduce Wrinkles and Repair Sun Damage
Want to eliminate wrinkles and repair your skin form sun damage? You may be able to do so with berries. According to new research, a compound found in berries can help reduce the signs of aging on the skin such as wrinkles, as well as repair sun damage that you experience over a lifetime of sun exposure. Keep reading for more information about this exciting new discovery!
You likely already know that berries are good for you. They are high in antioxidants and can help support your immune system. New research, however, shows that the compounds found in certain berries can do more than just that. These compounds can actually go to work repairing wrinkles and reducing the damage the sun has on your skin.
The study was performed by researchers at the Hallym University in South Korea. The results indicated that ellagic acid, a component that acts as an antioxidant in raspberries, cranberries, strawberries and pomegranate, can help protect skin cells exposed to very strong ultraviolet rays. The study was not performed on human specimens, but on mice. The research indicated that the components found in these berries were helpful when it came to reducing the destruction of collagen. Collagen is a key component in keeping the skin supple and smooth as well as in renewing cells so that they can avoid sun damage.
The study took place over the course of eight weeks and was performed on hairless mice. Twelve mice were given exposure to an increasing amount of ultraviolet light during this time. The amount of light they endured was stronger than average and enough to cause skin damage in human beings.
Half of the mice were given a topical application of the ellagic acid that is found in berries. They received this dosage even on the days they were not exposed to the UV rays. The other half of the mice in the study did not receive the supplement.
The research was clear. The mice that did not receive the supplement of ellagic acid showed significant sun damage on their skin, including wrinkles and rougher skin. The mice who did receive the ellagic acid had much less sun damage.
The results of the study were presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in New Orleans in the Spring of 2009. The study indicated that the same effect would be true for humans as ellagic acid not only protects against UV rays from the sun (which can cause all sorts of sun damage in humans), but also produces enzymes that reduce the breakdown of collagen (which can cause wrinkles due to reduced elasticity).
In addition, the study also revealed that the mice that were given the supplement of ellagic acid were found to have less inflammation of the skin.
Millions of dollars a year are spent in anti-wrinkle creams and Botox injections. Although the research is in its early stages and has not yet been performed on humans, there may be hope in the future for berries (and berry extract) being able to alleviate some of the wrinkles and restore smoother skin to your body. In the meantime, eat them for all their other health benefits!