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Old 04-08-2006, 06:18 PM posted to rec.food.chocolate
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Default Cocoa (dietary) and UV photoprotection


Found on sci.med among the trash.

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Subject: UV photoprotection / chocolate
Date: 3 Jul 2006 09:27:15 -0700
Organization: http://groups.google.com
Message-ID: .com

Flavanol-rich chocolate could improve skin from within

By Stephen Daniells


16/05/2006 - Cocoa beverages and food rich in flavanols could
thicken skin and reduce reddening by 25 per cent, say German
scientists - research sure to be welcomed by Europe's burgeoning
oral beauty products sector.

Growing awareness of the link between diet and health, and by
extension physical appearance, means that many consumers are
receptive to the concept of 'beauty from within'.

The new research from Germany that links skin health to cocoa
flavanols could well be readily accepted by the female-dominated
consumer base. The same Datamonitor report said that 63.7 per cent
of women over the age of 50 are prepared to spend more on cos
meceuticals.

"This study demonstrates that the regular consumption of a beverage
rich in flavanols can confer substantial photoprotection as well as
help maintain skin health by improving skin structure and
function," wrote the researchers in the new issue of the Jour nal
of Nutrition (Vol 136, pp 1565-1569).

Led by Wilhelm Stahl from the Heinrich-Heine University in
Dusseldorf, the researchers supplemented the regular diet of 24
female volunteers with healthy, normal skin with either a high
flavanol (326 milligrams per day) or low flavanol (27 milligrams
per day) cocoa powder drink (dissolved in water). Both flavanol
powders were provided by Mars.

Women were advised to continue their normal dietary habits,
while other dietary supplements were not to be taken during the
12-week intervention trial. Sunbathing and use of tanning beds was
also forbidden.

On three separate occasions (weeks 0, 6, and 12), the skin of
volunteers was exposed to 1.25 times the UV irradiation dose
required to redden the skin (erythema) on the back and shoulder
region.

The researchers found that the group receiving the high flavanol
cocoa beverage had a reduction in skin response to the UV radiation
of 15 per cent after week 6, and 25 per cent after week 12,
compared to baseline. The low flavanol receiving group did not
affect UV sensitivity.

"We showed here for the first time, to our knowledge, that
dietary intervention with a cocoa beverage rich in flavanols
decreased the sensitivity of human skin toward UV light, which was
determined by the degree of erythema," wrote the researchers.

In addition to the reduction in sensitivity, the researchers also
observed an increase in subcutaneous blood flow for the high
flavanol group, as well as improving skin texture by increasing
skin density (16 per cent), skin thickness (12 per cent), and sk in
hydration (28 per cent), compared to baseline. No significant
changes were observed in the low flavanol group.

Polyphenols, such as the catechins found in cocoa, are reported to
absorb UV light, which may contribute to the reduction in UV
sensitivity. The compounds are also capable of scavenging reactive
oxygen species (ROS) that are formed during photo-oxidation.

The main flavanols found in the high flavanol beverage were
epicatechin (61 milligrams per day) and catechins (20 mg/d), while
the low flavanol drink contained about one tenth these
concentrations.

"These amounts [in the high flavanol beverage] are similar to
those found in 100 grams of dark chocolate," explained the
researchers.

The mechanisms by which the cocoa flavanols improve skin
texture are not known, but Prof Stahl and his colleagues suggest
that the flavanol-mediated rise in skin blood flow is likely to
improve the appearance of the skin.

This research is in-line with previous animal studies that reported
tea flavanols could inhibit UV-induced skin reddening, but
Co-author Prof Helmut Sies, also from the Heinrich-Heine
University, stressed to NutraIngredients.com that this is the first
suc h study to show a benefit in a human trial, and said that
research in this area was continuing.

Who loves ya.
Tom

[Some vegetarian references snipped]

** End copied material from Usenet **

later
bliss -- C O C O A Powered... (at california dot com)

--
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco

"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cocoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.


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