Improving your skin is easy;
incorporate these foods and beverages into your diet to reap the benefits:
• Low-fat Dairy. These foods contain bountiful amounts of vitamin A, which promotes the health of skin cells. Low-fat yogurt is especially high in vitamin A and acidophilus, the live bacteria that promote intestinal health. Plus, good digestion is correlated with healthy-looking skin.
• Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums. These fruits contain high levels of antioxidants. After sun exposure, the membranes of the cells can become damaged. However, the antioxidants in these fruits can protect cells so there is less damage suffered by the skin. Another plus: Antioxidants guard against premature aging.
• Salmon, Walnuts, Canola Oil and Flaxseed. These foods are rich in essential fatty acids, which provide benefits to cell membranes responsible for protecting the cells in your body.
• Healthy Oils. Cold-pressed, expeller-pressed or extra virgin oils keep the skin lubricated and looking healthier.
• Whole-wheat Bread, Muffins and Cereals; Turkey, Tuna and Brazil Nuts. These foods contain selenium, which is proven to prevent further sun damage in already-damaged skin.
• Green Tea. This powerful beverage has anti-inflammatory benefits and serves to protect cell membranes, and may even prevent or reduce the risk of skin cancer.
• Water. In addition to keeping your cells hydrated, this beverage helps to move nutrients through the body and pushes toxins out. This will leave your skin looking healthy and radiant. Also, when the body is properly hydrated, you sweat more efficiently, which keeps the skin clear and young-looking.
Role of Nutrition in Skin Health
It is accepted that nutritional status with respect to both macronutrients and micronutrients is important for skin health and appearance. Evidence of this is provided by the many vitamin deficiency diseases that result in significant disorders of the skin. Dermatological signs of B vitamin deficiency. for example, include a patchy red rash, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and fungal skin and nail infections. The vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy is characterized by skin fragility, bleeding gums, and corkscrew hairs. as well as impaired wound healing. Nutritional status is vital for maintaining the normal functioning of the skin during collagen synthesis and keratinocyte differentiation.
Additionally, many of the components of our antioxidant defenses such as vitamins C and E and selenium are obtained from the diet. these are likely to be important for protection against UV-induced damage. Nutrition Issues Specific to the Skin The epidermis is a challenging environment for nutrient delivery. as it lacks the blood vessels that normally deliver nutrients to cells.
Delivery of nutrients is dependent on diffusion from the vascularized dermis, and this may be particularly limited for the outermost layers of the epidermis. Delivery is further compounded by the chemical nature of these outer epidermal layers in which there is little movement of extracellular fluid between cells due to the complex lipid/protein crosslink structure forming the skin barrier. All of this makes it likely that dietary nutrients are not easily able to reach the cells in the outermost layers of the epidermis, and these cells receive little nutrient support.
The skin can be targeted for nutrient delivery through the topical application.
However, in this case, the delivery vehicle is influential, as the stratum corneum functions as an effective aqueous barrier and prevents the passage of many substances. Although some uncharged and lipid soluble molecules can pass through the surface layer, it is unlikely that nutrients delivered via topical application would easily penetrate into the lower layers of the dermis. The dermal layer functions are therefore best supported by nutrients delivered through the bloodstream.
Vitamin C Content of Skin
Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, with levels comparable to other body tissues and well above plasma concentrations, suggesting active accumulation from the circulation. Most of the vitamin C in the skin appears to be in intracellular compartments, with concentrations likely to be in the millimolar range. It is transported into cells from the blood vessels present in the dermal layer. Skin vitamin C levels have not often been reported and there is considerable variation in the published levels, with a 10-fold range across a number of independent studies. Levels are similar to that found in numerous other body organs. The variation in reported levels most likely reflects the difficulty in handling skin tissue, which is very resilient to degradation and solubilization but may also be due to the location of the skin sample and the age of the donor.
Several reports have indicated that vitamin C levels are lower in aged or photodamaged skin.
Whether this association reflects cause or effect is unknown, but it has also been reported that excessive exposure to oxidant stress via pollutants or UV irradiation is associated with depleted vitamin C levels in the epidermal layer. Indeed, more vitamin C is found in the epidermal layer than in the dermis, with differences of 2–5-fold between the two layers being consistently reported.
Levels of vitamin C in the skin are similar to the levels of other water-soluble antioxidants such as glutathione. There is a suggestion that vitamin C in the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis exists in a concentration gradient. The lowest vitamin C concentration was present at the outer surface of the epidermis of the SKH-1 hairless mouse, a model of human skin, with a sharp increase in concentration in the deeper layers of the stratum corneum, possibly reflecting depletion in the outer cells due to chronic exposure to the environment.
The Sodium-Dependent Vitamin C Transporters
Vitamin C uptake from the plasma and transport across the skin layers is mediated by specific sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters (SVCTs). That is present throughout the body and are also responsible for transport into other tissues. Interestingly, cells in the epidermis express both types of vitamin C transporter, SVCT1, and SVCT2. This contrasts with most other tissues, which express SVCT2 only.
SVCT1 expression in the body is largely confined to the epithelial cells in the small intestine. Also and the kidney and is associated with active inter-cellular transport of the vitamin. The specific localization of SVCT1 in the epidermis is of interest due to the lack of vasculature. As in this tissue and suggests that the combined expression of both transporters 1 and 2 ensures effective uptake and intracellular accumulation of the vitamin.
Together with the high levels of vitamin C measured in the epidermal layer, the dual expression of the SVCTs suggests a high dependency on vitamin C in this tissue.
Both transporters are hydrophobic membrane proteins that cotransport sodium, driving the uptake of vitamin C into cells.
Replacement of sodium with other positively charged ions completely abolishes transport. SVCT1 and SVCT2 have quite a different uptake kinetics reflecting their different physiological functions. SVCT1 transports vitamin C with a low affinity. But with a high capacity (Km of 65–237 µmol/L) mediating uptake of vitamin C from the diet and re-uptake.
also in the tubule cells in the kidney. SVCT2, which is present in almost every cell in the body. Is thought to be a high-affinity, low capacity transporter, with a Km of ~20 µM. Meaning it can function at low concentrations of vitamin C. As well as transporter affinity, vitamin C transport is regulated. Also, the availability of the SVCT proteins on the plasma membrane.