Expert Commentary: Carolyn Jacob M.D. - March 19, 2010

Posted by Admin on March 19, 2010
The recent study at the Hallym University in the Republic of Korea describes how ellagic acid, which is found in many common fruits (raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate), may one day help prevent wrinkles. These and other potentially helpful compounds are produced and accumulated in plants.  Many of these, such as the flavonoid group, have been studied extensively for their health benefits. Most have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. Recently, studies have been performed using phytochemicals topically on the skin to reverse or prevent sun damage. 

This article by Bae et. al, shows that the topical antioxidant, ellagic acid, can inhibit metalloproteinases, which are the enzymes that destroy collagen and elastic tissue.  This means that the treated skin will retain more collagen, and develop fewer wrinkles than untreated skin in the same circumstances. It does not, however, prevent further skin damage if the skin is repeatedly exposed to sun or other oxidants (pollution, smoke, etc.).  Therefore, sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide should be applied daily, and reapplied every 2 hours when outdoors. Antioxidants, such as coffee berry are a new and important addition to our armamentarium of anti-aging products to help preserve the skin. 

As a cosmetic medical dermatologist my practice is two-fold. We are here to help patients maintain healthy, beautiful skin. But as highly-trained medical specialists we are also concerned with the health of your skin. There are many skin conditions, including dangerous skin cancers, that only a doctor is trained to diagnosis and treat.

As we look forward to new skin products, like those based on ellagic acid, coming to market, remember that beautiful skin is also healthy skin. Only a highly trained physician can help you achieve both. .

Carolyn I. Jacob, MD

Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology
Board Certified Dermatologist  

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