Dr Oz

Dr. Oz teamed up with age-fighting dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio on his “Whole-Body Anti-aging Guide for 2014” show to pitch three oral supplements (along with bearberry and vitamin B3 niacinamide) that are supposed help you turn back the hands of time. They are Lipowheat, oral collagen and  polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE). "After four weeks, you are going to see results," said Dr. Mauricio. Is that really true and how effective are these anti-aging supplements and can we really pill-pop our way to younger skin.

1. Lipowheat

Dr. Oz said Lipowheat (liquid capsules) will smooth wrinkles out and give your skin a radiant glow from the inside out.

The truth about Lipowheat

Lipowheat capsules contain rice bran oil and wheat and are billed as phytoceramides. Phytoceramides are the plant-derived equivalent of ceramides, a lipid that keeps your skin hydrated and plump. Supplements with phytocermides are mostly obtained from wheat. Ceramides are abundant in lots of foods, so you don’t really need a supplement. But in any case, are phytoceramides (which Dr Oz has recommended on his show several times now) proven anti-agers that will improve the skin?

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I have not been able to find any independent research on phytoceramide supplements like Lipowheat or ceramide capsules that demonstrates that they can improve the skin as part of an anti-aging skincare regimen. The only studies I have seen were conducted by capsule makers.

Ceramide in topical skincare, on the other hand, does have a good scientific pedigree and has been shown to improve moisture, skin barrier repair and resistance to aging.

2. Oral collagen

Dr. Oz recommends the pill form of collagen to prevent wrinkles and said that oral collagen keeps hair and nails youthful, and bones and joints healthy.

The truth about oral collagen

Although collagen supplements and even pricey collagen drinks have long been popular in Japan, the evidence to support most claims of their benefits is sparse.

Collagen supplements are indeed prescribed to reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. There are trials that back this up. However, the results are not earth shattering, but merely suggest that oral collagen may help a small minority.

What about collagen supplements and skin? Well, there are some studies on oral collagen and its effects on the skin, but they are a mixed bag. One study seems to have been conducted on behalf of Collagen BoosterTM by Reserveage Organics and the results (positive, of course) are based on the perceived improvement of the skin by the trial participants. A recent German study had mixed results. The good news is that “elderly” women in trial had improved skin elasticity, but there the research “failed to reach a level of statistical significance’ for improved skin hydration. I did find a Japanese study on mice that showed that collagen peptide supplements protected the skin from UV damage.

Hydrolized collagen occasionally turns up in topical skincare cosmetics, such as E’shee Bota Therapy ($189)

3. Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE)

Dr Oz calls PLE “sunscreen in a bottle” as it protects the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.

The truth about polypodium leucotomos

Polypodium leucotomos is an antioxidant extract called calaguala leaf. I first came across this American fern in 2009 and in a post on sunscreen ingredients derived from plants noted that it looked promising.

I know of only one clinical trial, conducted in 2004 and it was small – 9 people. But it suggests that polypodium leucotomos can significantly reduce sunburn severity and may help prevent skin aging.

Polypodium leucotomos in supplement form is manufactured under the name of Helicare and, as it happens, I tested this last summer. After my 60-day trial, my subjective conclusion was that the Helicare pills may have helped give me additional sun protection. This may have been wishful thinking as I am no fan of sunscreen in cream or lotion form. Still, as I said in my review of Helicare, I’d be prepared to try these pills again this coming summer.

See also:

Ceramides: The New Skincare Breakthrough?

Five Best skin care creams and serums with ceramides

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