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PLoS One. 2016 Nov 10;11(11):e0166175. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166175. eCollection 2016.

The Effects of Dietary Macronutrient Balance on Skin Structure in Aging Male and Female Mice.

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Burns Research and Reconstructive Surgery, ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2139.
Ageing and Alzheimers Institute and ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2139.
Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
EWOS Innovation, Dirdal 4335, Norway.
Faculty of Veterinary Science and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2006.
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Burns Unit, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, Australia.


Nutrition influences skin structure; however, a systematic investigation into how energy and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) affects the skin has yet to be conducted. We evaluated the associations between macronutrients, energy intake and skin structure in mice fed 25 experimental diets and a control diet for 15 months using the Geometric Framework, a novel method of nutritional analysis. Skin structure was associated with the ratio of dietary macronutrients eaten, not energy intake, and the nature of the effect differed between the sexes. In males, skin structure was primarily associated with protein intake, whereas in females carbohydrate intake was the primary correlate. In both sexes, the dermis and subcutaneous fat thicknesses were inversely proportional. Subcutaneous fat thickness varied positively with fat intake, due to enlarged adipocytes rather than increased adipocyte number. We therefore demonstrated clear interactions between skin structure and macronutrient intakes, with the associations being sex-specific and dependent on dietary macronutrient balance.

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