Aging and wrinkles: They are as intertwined as two strands of DNA.
Wrinkles happen as we age — they’re part of life. Nonetheless, it’s possible to slow down the formation of wrinkles, or to make them less noticeable.
What are some of the best supplements to reduce wrinkles?
Many supplements claim to improve wrinkles, but only a few deliver.
Here we will discuss the skin health supplements that have the best science behind them. Some are well-known, such as hyaluronic acid, while others are less common, such as alpha-ketoglutarate.
1. Hyaluronic acid, taken orally
Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the skin: it surrounds our skin cells, embedding them in a gel made up of hyaluronic acid and other sticky, jelly components that glue skin cells together and offer structural support.
Hyaluronic acid can hold huge amounts of water, so that the skin looks plump and moisturized.
When we get older, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our body diminishes. In fact, a 75-year-old has about 75 percent less hyaluronic acid in the skin than a 19-year-old (R).
Hyaluronic acid is often added to skin creams. Unfortunately, topical hyaluronic acid cannot permeate the skin, so the best it can do is form a tiny layer on the outside of your skin that holds moisture, so our skin looks slightly more healthy.
What few people realize, but science has demonstrated, is that it’s more effective to take hyaluronic acid by mouth.
Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid taken orally can improve skin health (R).
Parts of the hyaluronic acid are broken down in the gut and can be absorbed into the bloodstream, then transported to your skin.
Some scientists even think that the hyaluronic acid does not even have to reach the skin: when parts of hyaluronic acid are circulating in the bloodstream they activate certain mechanisms that lead to the skin making more collagen.
Taking hyaluronic acid orally has been shown to reduce the size of wrinkles, improve skin suppleness, improve the moisturization of the skin and increase skin radiance (R,R,R).
Interestingly, components of hyaluronic acid can also extend lifespan, according to scientific studies (R).
Learn more about the anti-aging effects of hyaluronic acid here.
2. Glucosamine sulfate
Glucosamine is mostly known as a supplement to improve joint health, given it’s a component of cartilage. However, our skin also contains a lot of glucosamine. Studies show that glucosamine can improve skin appearance, wound healing, skin hydration and can reduce skin wrinkles (R,R). Glucosamine can also slow down the formation of aging-related dark skin spots (R).
Glucosamine improves skin health in various ways, besides being an important building block of the skin.
One way that glucosamine improves skin health is by reducing inflammation (R,R). When we get older, our body becomes increasingly inflamed. This low-grade, aging-related inflammation is called “inflammaging”. This inflammation also occurs in the skin and deteriorates skin quality. Glucosamine can mitigate this kind of damage.
Glucosamine also improves mitochondrial health (R,R). The mitochondria are the powerplants of our cells, including skin cells.
Interestingly, glucosamine can also extend lifespan in various animals (R,R), and has been associated with reduced mortality (R,R) and cardiovascular disease in humans (R).
Learn more about the anti-aging effects of glucosamine here.
3. Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG)
Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is a natural substance that the power plants in our cells, the mitochondria, use to produce the energy that keeps our cells — and us — alive. The older we get, the less AKG is present in the body.
Alpha-ketoglutarate can improve stem cell health, including the stem cells in the skin that generate new skin cells and melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that color your hair (a decline in melanocytes is one of the reasons why our hair begins to grey as we age).
This explains why in longevity studies in mice, those that received alpha-ketoglutarate had significantly less hair greying (R). Also, the mice lived longer, demonstrating the lifespan effects of alpha-ketoglutarate, while old mice suffered from less aging-related diseases and symptoms, showing that AKG not only increases lifespan, but also health span.
AKG is also involved in collagen synthesis (R,R,R). Collagen is a critical component of the skin. Without it, our skin begins to sag and form wrinkles. After age 20, the skin produces 1 percent less collagen each year. So by the age of 60, the skin produces about 40 percent less collagen. Taking AKG can not only impact aging, but by impacting collagen synthesis, it can also reduce the signs of aging.
Learn more about the anti aging effects of alpha-ketoglutarate here.
Glycine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and has various health effects, including improving cardiovascular and metabolic health. Unfortunately, as we get older, levels of glycine decrease.
Glycine is an important, essential component of collagen. Without adequate glycine, your body may have trouble generating collagen as it’s needed.
Glycine also can impact the aging process of the skin by other means.
For example, glycine can improve the skin’s mitochondrial functioning – the mitochondria are the power plants that give cells, including skin cells, energy to function properly.
Glycine can also protect skin cells better against protein accumulation. This piling up of proteins inside and outside of cells is one of the reasons why we get older.
Learn more about the anti-aging effects of glycine here.
Improve your skin from the inside, out
When we were formulating NOVOS Core, we poured through thousands of scientific studies related to longevity, aging, health span and skin health.
We considered many ingredients that you may find in skin health supplements, but none of them packed the punch of these four. Hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, alpha-ketoglutarate, and glycine are among the best and most science-based ingredients to improve skin appearance and to reduce wrinkles.
That’s why we have added all of these ingredients to our longevity nutraceutical, NOVOS Core.
NOVOS Core not only contains the best and most science-based ingredients to slow down aging, but also works to make your skin look younger in the process: wrinkle reduction, improved radiance and increased moisturization.
In fact, in a small pilot study, all participants who took NOVOS Core for 6 months showed significant improvements in skin firmness. Learn more here.