Less wrinkles, spots and photo-aging thanks to pomegranate! Whether in the form of extracts or juice, pomegranate has in fact been shown to act by protecting the skin from the damage of aging caused by the sun's rays, as emerges from a recent scientific research published in the journal Scientific Reports of the Nature group by a team of David Geffen School of Medicin at UCLA, Los Angeles (Henning et al, Scientific Reports, 2019).
Avocado, almonds and pomegranate to protect the skin
Cosmetics are not only applied to the skin but can also be taken… by mouth! We have already observed that foods such as avocados and almonds are able to protect the skin from aging. Today we learn about a new cosmetic-food, the pomegranate! Previous studies performed in the laboratory had already shown that the pomegranate is able to protect skin tissues from photoaging, reduces the formation of wrinkles and spots and preserves skin hydration and elasticity. However, no study had ever investigated the protective action of the pomegranate on humans.
How pomegranate juice fights photoaging
To fill this gap, Californian researchers have drawn up a study. 74 women between the ages of 30 and 45 were recruited. The volunteers were divided into three groups. The first group was asked to take 1 g of pomegranate extract every day for 3 months, the second group was asked to take 250 ml of pomegranate juice and the third group a placebo. At the end of the three months it emerged that both the extracts and the pomegranate juice taken orally had made the skin more resistant to UV damage. In fact, exposure to UV rays can cause inflammation, erythema and, in the long run, even dark spots and cellular degeneration. Well, those who had taken the pomegranate had to expose themselves longer and to greater quantities of UV rays to develop erythema and inflammation than those who had taken only the placebo. By studying the composition of the blood and skin microbiota, it emerged that the protective action of the pomegranate is essentially based on two mechanisms. The first is that the ellagic acid contained in the pomegranate during digestion is transformed into urolithin A, which, once it enters the blood, is able to perform an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, useful for protecting the skin from damage from UV rays. Then, the skin microbiota in the three groups was changed. In particular, some particular bacteria of the Methylobacteriaceae family decreased in the group that took the placebo. These bacteria contain pigments designed to absorb UV rays, thus carrying out a protective action against photoaging. The amount of these bacteria in the groups that had taken the pomegranate was higher than in the placebo group.
A glass of pomegranate juice is not only thirst-quenching and tasty, it is also a good choice to protect the body from inflammation, free radical damage and photo-aging damage. A varied and balanced diet that also includes pomegranate juice is therefore a true diet of youth, for body and skin!