Background: Almonds have long been studied as a rich source of fatty acids, phytochemical polyphenols and antioxidants such as vitamin E. A recent study compared almond supplementations to a calorie-matched intervention for 16 weeks, yielding statistically significant improvement in wrinkle severity in postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II that received almonds. This study furthers that assessment with a larger population and duration of 24 weeks to assess the influence of almond consumption on wrinkle severity, skin pigmentation and other skin biophysical profiles. Objective: To investigate the effects of almond consumption on photoaging such as wrinkles and pigment intensity as well as facial biophysical parameters such as sebum production, skin hydration and water loss. Design and interventions: A prospective, randomized controlled study assessed postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I or II who consumed 20% of their daily energy consumption in either almonds or a calorie-matched snack for 24 weeks. A facial photograph and image analysis system was used to obtain standardized high-resolution photographs and information on wrinkle width and severity at 0, 8, 16 and 24 weeks. Measurements of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin pigmentation, skin hydration and sebum production were also completed at each visit. Results: The average wrinkle severity was significantly decreased in the almond intervention group at week 16 and week 24 compared to baseline by 15% and 16%, respectively. Facial pigment intensity was decreased 20% in the almond group at week 16 and this was maintained by week 24. There were no significant differences in skin hydration or TEWL in the almond group compared to the control, although sebum excretion was increased in the control group. Conclusion: The daily consumption of almonds may improve several aspects of photoaging such as facial wrinkles and pigment intensity in postmenopausal women. In conclusion, the daily consumption of almonds may contribute to the improvement of facial wrinkles and reduction of skin pigmentation among postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types I and II.
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