How We Grow

2020 Jan/Feb How We Grow

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A L M O N D O R C H A R D 2 0 2 5 G O A L S ZERO WASTE 13 Research Studies Almonds' Impact on Wrinkles Among Postmenopausal Women The market for anti-wrinkle creams and serums is growing on a global scale. According to Reuters, the global anti-aging market was worth $42.51 billion USD in 2018 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5.30%, set to reach $55.03 billion USD by 2023. 1 With consumer demand driving this expanding market, the price of said creams and serums can come in at high numbers, with some anti-aging products costing more than $230 for less than three ounces. While research on topical serums and creams is abundant, less is known about optimal nutrition to support skin health as humans age. As such, the Almond Board of California (ABC) decided to expand learnings from over twenty years of nutrition research to study the effects of almond consumption on skin health. A new pilot study funded by the Almond Board and conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, suggests that a possible solution to wrinkles may be found in the pantry, not the makeup aisle: Researchers found that postmenopausal women who consumed two servings of almonds per day compared with those consuming two servings of nut-free snacks experienced a reduction in wrinkle depth and severity. "Food as a means of promoting skin health – the 'health from the inside out' idea – is of growing interest to those looking for options for healthy aging," says Dr. Raja Sivamani, the lead researcher. "And, as seen in this study, almonds may hold promise as a food to include as part of a healthy aging diet, especially for postmenopausal women." Popular snacks go head to head with almonds The clinical study 2 , titled "Prospective Randomized Controlled Pilot Study on the Effects of Almond Consumption on Skin Lipids and Wrinkles," is the first cosmetic evaluation of its kind to investigate how daily consumption of a whole food – almonds – could impact skin factors, such as wrinkle depth and severity. The participants involved in this 16-week randomized controlled study were 28 postmenopausal women with skin types I and II, according to the Fitzpatrick scale, which ranks skin types I through VI based on darkness and reaction to sun exposure (see Figure 1). The researchers randomly selected the participants to be split into two intervention groups: an Almond Group and a Control Group. Those in the Almond Group received two servings of almonds as their daily snack, while those in the Control Group received a nut-free, calorie-matched snack, such as a granola bar or pretzels. Researchers then used high-resolution facial imaging and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement to assess facial wrinkles. "High-resolution cameras allow for 3-D reconstruction of any wrinkles so that they can be mapped for their key characteristics of width and severity. The severity score is a calculation of the depth and length of a wrinkle," explained Sivamani. Also assessed was skin barrier function, which examines the strength of the skin barrier and how well it protects skin from moisture loss and harmful irritants in the environment. Almonds take the 'W' over wrinkles While there were no significant changes in skin barrier function between the two groups at the end of the 16-week study, researchers did see significant improvements for participants in the Almond Group compared to the Control Group in regard to a reduction in wrinkle width and severity. According to the study, participants experienced a significant decrease in wrinkle width and severity by 9% and 10%, respectively, in the Almond Group compared to the Control Group, which experienced no reduction in wrinkle measurements at the end of 16 weeks. Though this was a short-term pilot study and findings are limited to postmenopausal women, not the general population, the results of this study are very encouraging. "The results from this pilot study are truly groundbreaking as they highlight significant benefits of almond consumption in the sphere of wellness and health," said Dr. George Goshgarian, chair of the Almond Board's Nutrition Research Committee. Taking skin health to the next level Since 1995, the Almond Board has invested over $27 million in nutrition research topics such as heart health, RESEARCH UPDATE 1 2 Foolad N, Vaughn AR, Rybak I, Burney WA, Chodur GM, Newman JW, Steinberg FM, Sivamani RK. Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy Research. 2019;1–6. Figure 1 The Fitzpatrick Scale was developed by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975 as a method to measure how ultraviolet (UV) light impacts different types of skin.

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