Prebiotic Fibre Could Help Iron Out Some Wrinkles
Firstly, it’s important to state that getting older is a privilege. A part of getting older is developing older skin which, over times, causes wrinkles. There are millions of skin products on the market claiming to help reduce the signs of wrinkles but what you may not have considered is your diet and its effect on your skin health.
Including foods with healthy fats, protein and vitamins like omega-3 fat, vitamin E and collagen are quite well known. What is less well known is the potential role that prebiotic fibre could play in reducing the appearance of wrinkles that occurs with aging skin.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate which your body cannot digest, and prebiotic fibre is a specific type of fibre which feeds the health promoting microbes in your gut. The health of your gut microbiome on your skin health is so strong researchers have defined a gut-skin axis. Seventy percent of your immune system is found in your gut, hence if there is a gut dysbiosis the skin is impacted.
A study investigated the effects of prebiotic fibre on thirty healthy women between the ages of 40-60 years of age. They found that by including 4.5 grams of dietary fibre daily for 8 weeks duration there was a reduced average wrinkle length and depth compared to the placebo group with no prebiotic fibre. Specifically, crow’s feet wrinkles were found to be significantly improved in the prebiotic group. Note that this amount of dietary fibre is well below the daily recommended dietary fibre intake. For an adult this is 25-38 grams.
Chronic inflammation is linked to many ill health outcomes and enhances effects of aging. When your gut microbiome is healthy, this level of chronic inflammation is reduced. As a result, this could be one reason for the positive effects of including prebiotic fibre in your diet. When you are feeding the health promoting microbes, they are promoting a healthy, low inflammatory state on your skin.
Prebiotic fibre can be found in plant-based foods. This includes whole grains & whole grain containing foods like whole grain crackers and crispbreads like Corn Thins slices, bread, pasta, rice, and couscous. Also, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. By structuring your diet around whole foods and including plant-based foods in each meal and snack, you should be able to achieve your daily recommended dietary fibre requirements for health.
Take home message: Getting older is a privilege and should be celebrated. How much your skin shows the signs of aging can be influenced by your lifestyle choices which include your diet. If you are keen to show off your most healthy-looking skin remember to look after the health of your gut which heavily impacts the appearance and health of your skin.
- Claudio Franceschi, Judith Campisi, Chronic Inflammation (Inflammaging) and Its Potential Contribution to Age-Associated Diseases, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 69, Issue Suppl_1, June 2014, Pages S4–S9, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glu057
- De Pessemier B, Grine L, Debaere M, Maes A, Paetzold B, Callewaert C. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms. 2021 Feb 11;9(2):353. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9020353. PMID: 33670115; PMCID: PMC791684
- Hawrelak, J.A. (2013). Probiotics.Textbook of Natural Medicine. J. Pizzorno and M. Murray. St Louis, Elsevier: 979-994.