Sunday 6 July 2014


Yet another important natural compound that has roles to play in the skin in the body, but that is highly unlikely to have significant benefits when taken as a supplement.

It sometimes seems there's a new wonder chemical, touted by an American MD via his or website every 10 minutes that is claimed to have anti-aging or skin restoring properties. Look up phytoceramides online and you will find plenty of capsules containing this wonder material which, it is claimed, will 'fake a facelift'.

Ceramides play an important role in the skin, along with other long molecules like cholesterol, helping retain moisture and keep the skin firm. But as we have found so often, simply eating a substance does not mean that it will be magically transported to the appropriate parts of the body to support the naturally occurring versions. As far as your digestive system is concerned, ceramides are just another kind of fat to be broken down.

Applied to the skin, ceramides can help retain moisture - but no better than vaseline or any cheap and cheerful moisturiser. And taken as a supplement, there are no scientific trials demonstrating any benefit.

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