Does skin improvement cause overall effects?

This 2019 human skin study found:

“We demonstrated in aged mice that epidermal dysfunction largely accounted for age-associated elevations in circulating cytokine levels, and that improving epidermal function reduced circulating cytokine levels. We performed a pilot study to determine whether improving epidermal function reduces circulating proinflammatory cytokine levels in aged humans.

Both aged human and mouse skin display sustained abnormalities in epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis, stratum corneum (SC) hydration, and elevations in SC pH 4-6, each of which has been shown to independently provoke cutaneous inflammation. Disruption of the epidermal permeability barrier provoked an increase in:

  1. Cutaneous cytokine production; and
  2. Serum cytokine levels, independent of hepatic or T cell involvement.

We assessed whether improving epidermal function with an emollient, containing a mixture of lipids that mimics components of normal SC, lowered circulating levels of these same pro-inflammatory cytokines in aged humans.

skin treatment

After 30 days of twice-daily topical treatments, circulating levels of IL-1β and IL-6 decreased significantly in the treated aged cohort vs. untreated aged controls. Topical treatments reduced circulating levels of IL-1β and IL-6 to levels comparable to young controls. Though levels of TNF-α declined by over 40% in comparison to untreated aged humans, the difference did not attain statistical significance.

Results of this preliminary study suggest that a larger clinical trial should be performed to confirm whether improving epidermal function also can reduce circulating proinflammatory cytokine levels in aged humans, while also possibly attenuating downstream development of chronic inflammatory disorders.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jdv.15540 “Topical applications of an emollient reduce circulating pro‐inflammatory cytokine levels in chronically aged humans: a pilot clinical study” (not freely available)


I discussed enrolling in a trial whose objective would be to test this study’s findings. No big deal, just have to take IL-6 and TNF-α measurements in an upcoming annual physical. Then apply that trial’s skin treatment for 30 days per this study’s twice-daily protocol.

Day 70 results from Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts provided some of last year’s measurements. IL-6 was already at a negligible 1.0 pg / ml, one-fifth of the above Baseline Young group’s 5.1 ± 0.9.

IL-6 2020

Probably won’t want my data, since their treatment wouldn’t be expected to lower an already very low inflammation marker.

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