Objective: To determine the effect of beet extract on skin elasticity in female volunteers with dry skin and in human dermal fibroblasts. Method: To assess the effects of oral administration of glucosyl ceramide contained in beet extract (beet ceramide), we conducted an 8-week double-blind comparison study with 35 females (mean age: 40.9±4.2 years) with mild subjective symptoms of dry skin and declining keratin moisture levels. The compound was administered as glucosyl ceramide at 0, 0.6, or 1.8 mg/day to 3 groups (n=11, 12, 12, respectively). Results: Scores improved significantly for the following subjective skin symptoms: “concerned about dull skin,” “concerned about spots or freckles,” “sticky, oily skin,” “coarse and desiccated skin,” “not elastic, not glossy,” “concerned about rough skin,” “bags under eyes.” In addition, perspiration levels improved. The skin elasticity test (Cutometer) indicated that the elasticity index (R2 and R7) improved in a dose-dependent manner. However, we were unable to confirm the effects of ceramide on increasing skin moisture as reported in previous studies. In experiments involving human dermal fibroblasts, addition of beet ceramide promoted fibronectin synthesis and mRNA expression but had no effect on fibroblast proliferation or collagen synthesis. Conclusion: Results from clinical trials and experiments suggested that oral ingestion of beet ceramide may stimulate intracellular signals and exert favorable effects on the extracellular matrix, including the induction of fibronectin synthesis. In addition, we confirmed the safety of administering beet ceramide to humans.
Objective: We conducted an anti-aging medical checkup and health promotion program, including facial mimetic muscle training, in residents of a geriatric medical care facility. Here, we evaluate the physical and mental effects of these activities. Methods: Three male and 16 female residents (83.7±6.8 years, BMI 22.2±3.0) underwent occupational therapy, with the addition of facial mimetic muscle training with a medical device, “M Patakara”, for 3.0 — 4.5 minutes four times per day for 24 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated by anti-aging medical checkup before and after the study. Results: The Anti-Aging QOL Common Questionnaire (AAQol) showed a significant improvement in the symptom scores of “anorexia”, “early satiety”, “epigastralgia”, “constipation”, “headache”, “dizziness”, and “arthralgia” (p‹0.05). Laboratory results showed significant changes in LDL cholesterol (111.6±24.8 mg/dl → 120.2±27.5mg/dl, p=0.022) and IGF-I (123.2±50.9ng/ml → 109.6±55.5ng/ml, p=0.005) at 24 weeks. Serum cortisol (11.7±3.8μg/dl → 15.6±5.3μg/dl, p=0.001) significantly increased while DHEA-s/cortisol ratio did not change. The Wisconsin card sorting test showed a significant reduction in total errors (32.6±4.6 → 27.8 ±7.5, p=0.022) and unique errors (5.2±5.1 → 1.9 ±2.7, p=0.026). Body composition analysis (Physion MD) revealed a decrease in muscle mass in the upper arms (0.50±0.14kg → 0.45±0.12kg, p=0.005) and lower limbs (4.4±1.2kg → 4.1±1.0kg, p=0.006). There was no significant change in vascular age by fingertip acceleration plethysmogram (SDP-100) or in osteo-sono-assessment index of the calcaneus by ultrasonography (AOS-100NW). Saliva secretion increased significantly, from 8.0±5.0 mm/min to 12.6±2.3 mm/min (p‹0.001) by the coffee filter method. Labial closure strength and electromyographic activity of the facial mimetic muscles increased significantly. No serious adverse event occurred during or after the study. Conclusion: This health promotion program with facial mimetic muscle training improved saliva secretion and subjective symptoms, indicating that it improved QOL in these aged facility patients. On anti-aging medical checkup, however, it was ineffective in preventing sufficiently the muscle weakening.