Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,
My officemate takes vitamin C pills every day at lunch and claims that it helps her skin. She does have nice skin, but then she is only 32 years old. I am older than her and am beginning to get some fine lines on my forehead, eyes, and mouth. Do you think Vitamin C is helpful for wrinkles?
Skin supplement needed
Dear Skin supplement needed,
Vitamin C supplements in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle may help wrinkles.
A 2007 study by Cosgrove & Franco, et. al. examined the nutrition and skin aging of 4,025 women and found higher intakes of vitamin C were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance ("Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 4, 1225-1231, October 2007).
There are several vitamins and minerals that may help in the anti-aging process. Vitamins A, B, C, E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are antioxidants that protect cells from damage and can help improve the immune system and cardiovascular health.
For example, CoQ10 supplementation in rat diets increased life span (Quiles & Ochoa, et. al., "Coenzyme Q supplementation protects from age-related DNA double-strand breaks and increases lifespan in rats fed on a PUFA-rich diet,"
Experimental Gerontology Volume 39, Issue 2, 189-194, February 2004).
Low selenium concentrations in older adults were associated with poor muscle strength (Lauretani & Semba, et. al., "Association of low plasma selenium concentrations with poor muscle strength in older community-dwelling adults: the InCHIANTI Study," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 2, 347-352, August 2007).
Eating healthy well-balanced meals would incorporate most of these vitamins and minerals into your diet. But, supplementing your diet with these vitamins and minerals could help improve skin texture, diminish wrinkles and slow genetic aging.
Some multivitamins contain most of these anti-aging vitamins and minerals. Costco sells Kirkland Premium Performance Multivitamin that has vitamins A, B, C, E, and selenium. CoQ10 would need to be taken separately.
Discuss vitamin supplements with your doctor to avoid toxicity and interaction with any medications that you may be taking.
For more ways to reduce the signs of aging see "12 Ways to Help Prevent Wrinkles."