This study (br Purba et al., 2001) was set up to see if there was a correlation between the intake of various foods and nutrients and the wrinkling of skin in places with significant amounts of sunlight.
The study included four groups:
Group 1: 177 people born in Greece but now living in Melbourne, Australia
Group 2: 69 people born in Greece and living in rural Greece
Group 3: 48 Anglo-Celtic Australians living in Melbourne
Group 4: 159 people born in and still living in Sweden.
They were participating in the International Union of Nutritional Sciences ‘Food habits in later life’ study and had their dietary intakes measured and their skin assessed.
The results showed that Group 4 had the least skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site, followed by groups 1, 2 and 3. Analysis of the data and identifying correlation with food groups suggested that there may be less skin damage amongst people with a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, fish and legumes, and lower intakes of butter and margarine, milk products and sugar products.
High intakes of vegetables, legumes and olive oil seemed to offer protection against wrinkling whereas a high intake of meat, dairy and butter appeared to have the opposite effect.
This study illustrates that skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site in older people of various ethnic backgrounds may be influenced by the types of foods consumed.