soy linked to improved appearance of human skin, hair and nails
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Soy linked to improved appearance of human skin, hair and nails

Add “beauty from the inside out” to the growing list of benefits attached to soy protein. Already recommended by doctors for health advantages – including weight management, menopause relief, heart disease reduction and bone health support – research now shows that the consumption of soy protein, which is rich in soy antioxidants, can improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails.

Many elements can adversely affect the appearance of skin complexion, induce wrinkles and cause thinning hair and brittle nails, from aging and hormonal changes to lifestyle factors like sun exposure, smoking, poor diet and stress.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine reports that individuals over the age of 50 spend approximately $44 billion annually to augment their looks and avoid these physical signs of ageing. Now, in addition to smart protective steps like using sunscreen and avoiding smoking, consuming protein- and antioxidant-rich foods such as soy can positively impact the health of skin, hair and nails.

This first study to examine the link in humans between soy consumption and beauty was conducted by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos, MD and confirms that soy can fight the signs of aging. Previous laboratory and topical studies have shown that soy can stimulate collagen production while preventing collagen breakdown. All of the 40 participants, ages 50 to 65, had mild to moderate photoaging and were not regular soy consumers. For the duration of six months, the women in the study either consumed one Soy shake or were part of the control group and received no dietary intervention. The study results were based both on subjective self-analysis by the women and on thorough objective dermatologic exams.

The results of the study were as follows: 93% of women showed improvements in skin. Skin flaking and discoloration were reduced after 3 months, while reductions in skin wrinkling were seen after 6 months of daily soy consumption. Significant improvements in hair roughness, dullness, manageability and overall assessment were seen after 6 months of daily soy consumption. There were also significant improvements in nail roughness, ridging, flaking, splitting and overall appearance were seen after 6 months of daily soy consumption.

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