An Anti-Wrinkle Diet: Nutritional Strategies to Combat Oxidation, Inflammation and Glycation

Rajani Katta, MD; Ariadna Perez Sanchez, MD; Evelyne Tantry


Skin Therapy Letter. 2020;25(2):3-7. 

In This Article


Many research studies have delineated the role of diet in modifying the inflammatory process. For example, some phytochemicals may specifically interrupt the inflammatory pathway that activates nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-KB), including turmeric, cloves, ginger, garlic, and others.[32] This pathway impacts MMPs and collagen remodeling, and in fact researchers were able to demonstrate that compounds from garlic in a mouse model inhibited UVB-induced wrinkle formation. This was accomplished via the modulation of NF-KB, with a resulting decrease of MMPs and collagen fiber destruction.[33]

Multiple studies have described the impact of dietary patterns, foods, nutrients, and compounds on inflammatory biomarkers. One review article[34] specifically examined research on dietary patterns affecting high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a marker of inflammation with demonstrated predictive value for coronary heart disease.[35] Multiple dietary patterns had some evidence of impact, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and similar diets.[34]

The effects of specific foods and nutrients were described in one summary analysis in which researchers looked at over 1900 studies. These evaluated the effects of foods and nutrients on six major biomarkers of inflammation. If a nutrient increased levels of IL-1B, IL-6, TNF-alpha, or CRP, or decreased levels of IL-4 or IL-10, it was considered pro-inflammatory.[36] Using these results, researchers developed a dietary inflammatory index that highlights anti-inflammatory foods. Some of the strongest effects were seen with foods including turmeric, green/black tea, ginger, garlic, and onion, as well as with macronutrients and micronutrients including fiber, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.[36] Highly anti-inflammatory phytonutrients included flavones, isoflavones, beta-carotene, and flavonols.