Antioxidants + Anti-inflammatories = Anti-aging
It is extremely important to understand the mechanisms of chronic, pervasive, subclinical (invisible to the naked eye) inflammation and its role in aging skin. This inflammation can be triggered by sun exposure, harsh environmental exposure (such as extreme cold or heat), psychic/mental stress, environmental pollutants, chemicals, soaps and detergents, and even exposure to computer screens. Perhaps most disheartening is the fact that a recent article suggests that gravity itself exerts a pulling effect on the skin, creating inflammation.
Whether it is exposure to the noonday sun on a summer day or extreme mental stress, the end result is the same. Free radicals generate pro-inflammatory chemicals, leading to a cascade of events that result in low-grade inflammation. The body has an endogenous (produced inside an organism or cell) antioxidant system consisting of enzymes and vitamins C and E that will scoop up these free radicals and help prevent further damage. However, in a few short minutes, the endogenous antioxidant system is quickly overwhelmed and the free radicals start their destruction. They begin by attacking the cell plasma membrane with the production of arachidonic acid, which then flows into the cell, creating inflammation, further free radicals, and eventual cellular breakdown. Like environmental stressors such as UV exposure, a pro-inflammatory diet will also result in free radical production because it creates a rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The anti-inflammatory diet will prevent the production and activation of inflammatory chemicals, preventing skin wrinkling, as well as the loss of muscle and convexities in both the face and body.