Dietary constituents including polyphenols and carotenoids contribute to endogenous photoprotection and modulate skin characteristics related to structure and function of the tissue. Animal and in-vitro studies indicate that green tea polyphenols affect skin properties. In a 12-wk, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 60 female volunteers were randomized to an intervention or control group. Participants consumed either a beverage with green tea polyphenols providing 1402 mg total catechins/d or a control beverage. Skin photoprotection, structure, and function were measured at baseline (wk 0), wk 6, and wk 12. Following exposure of the skin areas to 1.25 minimal erythemal dose of radiation from a solar simulator, UV-induced erythema decreased significantly in the intervention group by 16 and 25% after 6 and 12 wk, respectively. Skin structural characteristics that were positively affected included elasticity, roughness, scaling, density, and water homeostasis. Intake of the green tea polyphenol beverage for 12 wk increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin. Likewise, in a separate, randomized, double-blind, single-dose (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 g) study of green tea polyphenols, blood flow was maximized at 30 min after ingestion. In summary, green tea polyphenols delivered in a beverage were shown to protect skin against harmful UV radiation and helped to improve overall skin quality of women.
Ulrike Heinrich, Carolyn E. Moore, Silke De Spirt, Hagen Tronnier, and Wilhelm Stahl Green Tea Polyphenols Provide Photoprotection, Increase Microcirculation, and Modulate Skin Properties of Women Journal of Nutrition 2011 June ion and Food Sciences, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX.