Researchers at the Hallym University in the Republic of Korea recently reported a positive connection between the antioxidant ellagic acid and collagen preservation.
The studies conducted near the end of April 2009 indicate that several fruits and vegetables that contain high concentrations of ellagic acid can reduce the risk of sun damage and destruction to the skin cells, thereby offsetting wrinkles.
According to an article by ScienceDaily.com, ellagic acid works by protecting the skin against UV damage, and reducing the effects of inflammation and destruction of the collagen molecules and enzymes under the skin’s surface. Topical application, not consumption of ellagic acid, may effectively help reduce wrinkle formation and help the skin become thicker and more resilient. (Source: ScienceDaily.com)
Ellagic acid has also been linked to a reduction in the inflammatory response on aging skin, which means that the rate of photo-aging could be slowed down significantly with regular topical application of the acid. The compound is readily available in raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates, and even some nuts and vegetables.
The tests were conducted on hairless mice, a breed that is often used for dermatology and anti-aging studies. The mice were first exposed to UV rays three times a week so they developed a mild sunburn. This damaged skin was then tested with applications of the ellagic acid, and researchers say the acid was especially effective for increasing the thickness of the skin, and preventing collagen breakdown. Researchers confirmed that wrinkle formation was reduced significantly because of the ellagic acid, and that ellagic acid may be effective at reducing the risk of collagen destruction and inflammation after sun damage.
Cosmetic companies and anti-aging specialists may soon be able to take advantage of the properties in natural ingredients such as strawberries and pomegranate to combat the signs of aging.