Dermatology and omega-3

Protecting skin, our body’s largest organ

The skin is the most extensive organ in our body. It is the first barrier against environmental factors that can alter how our body functions. Skin problems are the most common sort of problem in humans:

More than 30% of the population have a skin condition (1)

As it is one of the most sensitive zones, the skin requires special attention. If not, alterations to this barrier function can trigger to various skin diseases, such as allergic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis (2).

The natural life process is that our skin ages healthily. However, there are two causes that can influence this process: one intrinsic and the other extrinsic. The first is due to the passing of time and the second is mainly due to the effect of UV rays on the skin (3). Excessive exposure to UV rays is one of the main external factors with severe consequences to health (4). Its main consequences range from skin ageing to skin cancer (5). Skin cancer is a growing problem in our society, and the most prevalent among humans (6) and its detection has increased in recent decades (7). So it is vitally important to be well protected from UV rays.

In addition, another factor that is harmful to the skin is inflammatory disease.

Inflammatory diseases of the skin are highly prevalent among the general population. The most frequent is acne, which suffers an 85% of adolescents aged 12 to 14 (8).


Why choose omega 3?

Studies show that diet supplementation with omega-3 prevents inflammation in acne and can help reduce its signs (9). Omega-3 also improves inflammatory processes in the skin (10).

Scientific studies have shown that fish oil is effective in reducing skin ageing (11), especially EPA, which helps keep the skin young (12).

Furthermore, it can be effective in reducing extrinsic ageing and preventing chronological ageing (13). Omega-3 is also beneficial for psoriasis because it helps reduce its symptoms (14).


1. Valacchi G, et al. Cutaneous responses to environmental stressors. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Oct;1271:75-81. 2. Hudson TJ. Skin barrier function and allergic risk. Nat Genet 2006;38(4):399-400. 3. Kim HH, et al. Photoprotective and anti-skin-aging effects of eicosapentaenoic acid in human skin in vivo. J Lipid Res. 2006 May;47(5):921-30. 4. Lim HW, et al. Adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation from the use of indoor tanning equipment: time to ban the tan. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 May;64(5):893-902. 5. Fartasch M, et al. The relationship between occupational sun exposure and non-melanoma skin cancer: clinical basics, epidemiology, occupational disease evaluation, and prevention. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2012 Oct;109(43):715-20. 6. D’Orazio JA, et al. (2013). Melanoma — Epidemiology, Genetics and Risk Factors, Recent Advances in the Biology, Therapy and Management of Melanoma, Dr. Lester Davids (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0976-1, InTech, DOI: 10.5772/55172. (fecha de acceso 14/01/2014) 7. WHO. How common is skin cancer? (fecha de acceso 14/01/2014) 8. The Patient Education Institute. Acné. (fecha de acceso: 17/1/2014). 9. Logan AC. Dietary fat, fiber, and acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;57:1092-3. 10. Nicolaou A. Eicosanoids in skin inflammation. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jan;88(1):131-8. 11. Kim HH, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits UV-induced MMP-1 expression in human dermal fibroblasts. J Lipid Res. 2005;46:1712-20. 12. Sies H, Stahl W. Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24: 173-200. 13. Kim HH, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits UV-induced MMP-1 expression in human dermal fibroblasts. J Lipid Res. 2005;46:1712-20. 14. Kromann N, Green A. Epidemiological studies in the Upernavik district, Greenland. Incidence of some chronic diseases 1950-1974. Acta Med Scand. 1980;208:401-6.

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