New study supports antioxidant supplements for ageing skin

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Antioxidant

Taking a dietary supplement containing coenzyme Q10 and a selection of antioxidants and minerals can decrease skin roughness and fine wrinkles, according to a recent study.

Sixty female subjects were randomly assigned to either the supplement, manufactured by Australian-based nutritional supplement manufacturer Blackmores, or a placebo.

After 12 weeks of taking the supplement once daily those in the treatment group experienced a significant improvement in skin roughness and fine wrinkles, whereas those in the placebo group did not, according to the researchers based at Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Measurements of skin roughness and fine wrinkles were carried out at the start of the study, then at four week intervals until week 12.

Significant difference after 4 weeks

According to the researchers, the depth of skin roughness and fine wrinkles were not significantly different between placebo and treatment group at the beginning of the study, but by the end of week 4 there was a significant reduction in the treatment group.

By the end of the study, skin roughness and fine wrinkles had reduced by 21.22 per cent, compared to a 1.7 percent improvement in the placebo group.

The satisfaction of the study participants with the treatment was also measured and questionnaires investigated whether a reduction in pore size, skin roughness, wrinkles, and decrease and homogenization of skin colour was experienced.

A reduction in pore size, skin roughness and fine wrinkles, was seen by those in the treatment group at a significantly higher level than those taking the placebo, but there were no perceived changes in pigmentation levels.

The supplement contains antioxidants (coenzyme Q10, beta-carotene, grape seed extract, French maritime pine bark extract, green tea extract and D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate), minerals (zinc and selenium) and glycosaminoglycans.

CoQ10 reduced collagen destruction

The researchers hypothesised that the coenzyme Q10 helped fight oxidative damage and prevent DNA degradation, reducing the synthesis of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that can destroy collagen fibres.

In addition, the vitamin E, in the form D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, also helps to reduce collagen degradation and the minerals zinc and selenium can help support the cell’s own antioxidant enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase).

Furthermore, skin levels of glycosaminoglycans, the main component of which is glucosamine, drop with age, according to the scientists and a growing number of studies support oral administration to improve the appearance of ageing skin.

Some studies have suggested that GAGs can decrease skin hyperpigmentation; a finding which was not replicated here. The researchers suggested this could be due to the choice and dosage of antioxidants present in the supplement.

Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science
​doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00513.x
An oral nutraceutical containing antioxidants, minerals and glycosaminoglycans improves skin roughness and fine wrinkles
​M. Udompataikul, P. Sripiroj and P. Palungwachira

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