Daily consumption of almonds can help reduce the severity of facial wrinkles and skin pigmentation in postmenopausal women with a skin condition, a study states.
The research, published in the journal Nutrients, confirms and extends a 2019 study that found that a daily almond snack instead of other nut-free snacks improved measurements of wrinkle width and severity in postmenopausal women.
The new study involved 49 healthy postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2, which is characterized by an increased tendency to burn with sun exposure.
Researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis in the USA randomly assigned participants to one of two groups.
In the intervention group, women ate almonds as a snack, which accounted for 20 percent of their total daily caloric intake, or 340 calories per day on average (about 60 grams).
The control group had a calorie snack that also accounted for 20 percent of calories: a fig bar, a granola bar, or pretzels.
In addition to snacks, the study participants ate their regular diets and did not eat nuts or products containing them.
Skin evaluations were performed at the beginning of the study and again at 8, 16, and 24 weeks.
At each of these visits, facial wrinkles and facial pigment intensity were assessed using high-resolution facial images and validated three-dimensional (3D) facial models and measurements.
Skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and excretion of sebum, an oily and waxy substance produced by the body’s sebaceous glands, were also evaluated.
TEWL is the amount of water that passively evaporates through the skin to the external environment due to the pressure gradient of the water vapor on both sides of the skin barrier.
The researchers saw a statistically significant reduction in the severity of wrinkles in the group that consumed almonds, finding that at 16 weeks, there was a 15 percent reduction and at 24 weeks, a 16 percent reduction.
There was also a statistically significant decrease in overall facial pigment intensity or uneven skin tone in the almond group, a 20 percent reduction at week 16 that remained that way at week 24, they said.
The researchers noted that body weight remained constant for both the almond group and the control group from baseline to 24 weeks.
“Daily consumption of almonds may be an effective means of improving the appearance of facial wrinkles and skin tone among postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II. Consumers may describe this reduced pigmentation effect as a more even skin tone, “said Raja Sivamani. , a dermatologist and principal investigator of the study.
“Our findings emphasize the need to view almonds as a whole food with multiple nutrient components including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and good unsaturated fats, rather than oversimplifying the potential benefits due to a single nutrient.”
According to Sivamani, almonds are high in alpha-tocopherol, which has antioxidant functions and may be partially responsible for the effects we see on both wrinkles and skin tone in postmenopausal women.
The researchers noted that the study’s limitations include its 24-week duration, and as such, the results provide no information on the potential effects of longer-term almond intake.
In addition, the study participants were postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II, characterized by a greater tendency to burn with sun exposure.
The team noted that more research is needed to investigate the impact of almond consumption on other populations.