What's the hallmark of healthy, beautiful skin? Is it maintaining skin moisture throughout the layers of the dermis? Many different types of creams, oil, and ointments have been created to help improve the moisture content of the skin. Since hydration remains one of the top concerns of the cosmeceutical industry, improving the moisture content from the inside seems like the next logical step. Conjugated linoleic acid may have qualities that help to improve the water content of skin, and therefore, it may be the solution.
When absorbed from the diet, CLA is the result of biosynthesis from linoleic acid precursors in the digestive tract. in the publication, Metabolism of Linoleic Acid by Human Gut Bacteria: Different Routes for Biosynthesis of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, evidence suggests increasing the precursors of linoleic acid would help to catalyze the biosynthesis of hydrophobic, or “water hating”, molecules.
You may have heard of hydrophobic molecules in our previous discussions on the cell membrane. The cell membrane is an organized phospholipid layer of hydrophobic and hydrophilic cells. The bilayer of the cell membrane organizers the hydrophilic ends of cells towards the outside and the inside of the cell. The hydrophobic end is organized towards the inside of the cell membrane. When this bilayer has plenty of material for the cell membrane, damaged portions can more rapidly be replaced. However, the origination of the materials for the bilayer are dependent on the biosynthesis of fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, the digested result of conjugated linoleic acid.
The epidermis is comparable to the cell membrane of body cells. The hydrophobic end of skin cells is oriented towards the outside, and the hydrophilic end is oriented towards the inside. Unfortunately, damage to the skin, such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation, may result in poor replication of cellular tissue in the epidermis and dermis. When sufficient levels of linoleic acid can be obtained from the digestive track, the skin is able to repair itself more efficiently and maintain moisture.
This concept has been further studied for the potential impact on childhood atopic dermatitis. Childhood atopic dermatitis is characterized by excessively dry skin in youth. In the study, Ceramide-Dominant Barrier Repair Lipids Alleviate Childhood Atopic Dermatitis: Changes in Barrier Function Provide a Sensitive Indicator of Disease Activity, researchers found the presence of repair emollients, such as CLA, may be able to reduce fluctuations in atopic dermatitis. This occurs as CLA seems to increase ceramide-dominance--a hydrophilic substance--and subsequently increase water content in skin tissue, while decreasing the progression of inflammation in skin cells. As a result, an individual may draw a connection between consuming CLA and maintaining moisture in the skin.
What is the best way to treat dry skin? Do you trust dozens of creams, or would you prefer to increase the moisture content from the inside? A dietary supplement of CLA may be able to increase the water content of your skin cells by possibly increasing the availability of linoleic acid in the digestive system, which is where all of the body cells obtain nutrients.