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J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Dec;72(3):233-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2013.07.006. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Association between dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and severity of skin photoaging in a middle-aged Caucasian population.

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CE.R.I.E.S. (Research Centre on Human Skin of CHANEL), Neuilly sur Seine, France; UMR U557, INSERM/U1125 INRA/CNAM, University Paris 13/Centre of Research on Human Nutrition Ile de France, Paris/Bobigny, France. Electronic address:



Intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) supplementation has been reported to be associated with reduced UVB-erythemal sensitivity, but their relationship to photoaging has not been studied to date.


To investigate associations between daily n-3 PUFA intake and the severity of skin photoaging.


A cross-sectional study was conducted on 2919 subjects aged 45-60 years from the SU.VI.MAX cohort. At baseline, trained investigators graded the severity of facial skin photoaging using a validated 6-grade scale during a clinical examination. Intake of α-linolenic (ALA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosapentaenoic (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) were evaluated by dietary source using ten 24-h dietary record questionnaires during the first 2.5 years of the follow-up period.


After adjustment for possible confounders, severe photoaging was found to be inversely associated with higher intake of ALA in men and with higher intake of EPA in women. When considering the different food sources of ALA for men, an inverse association appeared between severe photoaging and ALA from vegetable oils, as well as with ALA from fruit and vegetables, whereas no association was observed for ALA from dairy products. In women, ALA from vegetable oils also tended to be inversely linked to photoaging.


These findings suggest a possible benefit effect of n-3 PUFAs on skin aging. Nonetheless, further epidemiological studies are necessary to confirm our results and to gain additional insights into underlying mechanisms.


ALA; AOR; CI; DHA; DPA; Dietary intake; Docosahexaenoic acid; Docosapentaenoic acid; EPA; Eicosapentaenoic acid; OR; PUFA; ROS; Skin photoaging; TEI; UVB; adjusted odds ratio; confidence interval; docosahexaenoic acid; docosapentaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; odds ratio; polyunsaturated fatty acid; reactive oxygen species; total energy intake; ultraviolet B; α-Linolenic acid; α-linolenic acid

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