September 17, 2012
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Olive oil in diet associated with preventing severe photoaging

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Olive oil consumption and healthy diet habits were associated with a reduced risk for severe photoaging, according to study results.

Researchers surveyed participants within a larger French trial evaluating the effect of antioxidant supplementation (a mixture of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium) on the incidence of ischemic heart diseases and cancers in men and women. The cross-sectional study included 1,264 women and 1,655 men aged 45 to 60 years, who completed at least 10 records of what they consumed in a 24-hour period during 2.5 years of follow-up. Investigators graded the severity of facial skin photoaging at baseline using a six-photograph grading system.

Nonmenopausal women presented less severe photoaging (P<.0001), and severity also was linked to age for both sexes (P<.0001). Higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) from vegetable oils was associated with a lower risk for severe photoaging. After adjustment for confounders, the highest vs. lowest quartile of MUFA had an odds ratio of 0.76 (95% CI, 0.57-1.00). Greater consumption of MUFA provided by vegetable oils was associated with a lower risk for severe photoaging for women (OR=0.63; 95% CI, 0.44-0.90) and men (OR=0.55; 95% CI, 0.40-0.76).

MUFA intake from dairy products, meats and processed meats showed no associations with reduced risk for severe photoaging. Of the three most frequently consumed oils (sunflower, olive and peanut), only olive oil had a significant association with lowering photoaging risk for women (OR=0.69; 95% CI, 0.50-0.95) and men (OR=0.58; 95% CI, 0.43-0.77).

“Our findings provide support for a beneficial role of olive oil in preventing severe facial photoaging,” the researchers concluded. “This result should be supported by further mechanistic studies taking into account the relationship between a diet rich in MUFA, subcutaneous fat and the overall aging process, of which skin photodamage may be a readily observable surrogate marker.”

Disclosure: Researchers Julie Latreille, Christiane Guinot and Erwin Tschachler are employees of CE.R.I.E.S. (Research Centre on Human Skin funded by Chanel).