Omega-3 Fish Oil and Skin Health
Published On March 9, 2011
The physiological health and appearance of our skin is highly influenced by our omega-3 status. Specifically, low levels of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA can adversely affect skin barrier function, skin inflammation, UV-induced skin damage, and collagen production which are major contributors to premature aging of the skin. Clinical studies have demonstrated that omega-3 supplementation, especially EPA, is an effective natural solution to protect and rejuvenate the appearance of the skin as well as provide relief to conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
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Omega-3 and cosmetic appearance:
Omega-3 reduces signs of skin aging including fine lines, hydration, and signs UV-induced damage.
- UVA and UVB rays damage the skin, promotes skin aging, including increases in laxity and wrinkles1.
- EPA protects the skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV radiation2.
- EPA increases collagen and elastin formation by up regulating the expression of matrix proteins such as procollagen, tropoelastin and fibrillin 13.
- EPA reduces the breakdown of collagen and cell matrix by down regulating the expression of MMP’s which are involved in connective tissue damage and wrinkle formation 3, 4.
Omega-3 and skin conditions:
Omega-3 reduces skin inflammation and dermatological conditions.
- Omega-3 EPA and DHA exert anti-inflammatory effects in the body 5.
- Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids have a lower prevalence of acne 6.
- Omega-3 EPA and DHA reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory leukotriene B4 and PGE2 which have been linked to the pathogenesis of acne and psoriasis 7, 8.
- Long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been shown to be lower in adults with atopic eczema 9.
- A recent study demonstrated that supplementation with DHA alone can significantly improve atopic eczema and reduce major pro-inflammatory mediators 10.
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