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Wrinkles

What can I do about my Wrinkles?

Question

Although I'm a vegetarian, I'm on statin drugs because I had a very high cholesterol level. When I started a year ago, my face was totally unlined. Now my cholesterol level is right down but my cheeks have lost their fullness and wrinkles have set in. Do statins affect collagen? And is there anything you can suggest?

Answer

Fats are essential for our bodies. They provide us with an energy source, form the raw material for hormones, constitute cell membrane, act as insulation against heat loss, give contours, Protect heart, kidneys, intestines and other organs from physical shock and help to 'fix' organs in the chest and abdomen. Fats dissolve fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which are important for keeping the skin firm and for lubricating joints; fats are also essential for eyesight, to fortify bones, regulate hormones and control the blood clotting system. So they're not all bad!

Cholesterol is an important fact it is needed for cell growth and cellular division, and the maintenance of cell membrane. It's involved in the functioning of oestrogen, testosterone, the corticosteroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands, and cortisol, which controls calcium absorption. Cholesterol is also important for the digestive process, as bile salts are derived from it.

Cholesterol is either absorbed from your diet (particularly egg yolks, cream and meat) or synthesised by the liver. Usually genetic factors keep cholesterol within acceptable bounds. So if you have a high cholesterol level, controlling your dietary sources may not be enough to lower it. Because high cholesterol levels lead to an increased risk of heart and/or vascular disease, doctors prescribed statins to reduce them. Statins have many side effects, from tingling in the body to skin sagging problems, as in your case. They don't affect collagenbut I think your problem is due to the drugs. Cholesterol is vital for sealing moisture into the skin and the elasticity of skin depends on it.

The fat layer under the skin makes the surface smooth; the drugs have flushed that out, so wrinkles have appeared.

Vegetarians are often deficient in the fat-soluble vitamins I've listed above. Vitamin E particularly helps skin texture and the lack of it can contribute to wrinkling. Now that your cholesterol level is down, I suggest you ask your doctor if it's possible to reduce your dosage of statins. He or she may agree if you undertake to do everything you can to control your cholesterol level naturally. (Always let your doctor know about other measures that you are taking.)

Here are my suggestions:

    Diet

  • Eat lots of fresh non-citrus fruit and vegetables, oats and garlic: drink fresh Pomegranate juice and make a daily infusion of one teaspoonful of fenugreek seeds in a mug of boiling water, leave to soak for ten minutes or more then strain and drink. Exclude fried food, Peanut butter, nuts and seeds, avocado, crisps, cakes, biscuits, coconut milk and (for non-vegetarians) cream, ice cream, cheese, butter curries.
  • Don't snack on oily, fatty and/or processed foods. Take care to make energising balanced meals. If you can include grilled fish and chicken, it will help you not to snack.
  • If you eat bread, oatcakes, rice cakes or crispbread, top them with a little manuka honey or pure fruit preserves instead of butter or cheese.
  • Exercise

  • You must get out every day for at least 30 to 60 minutes in the fresh air, and do moderate exercise you enioy. Yoga is always helpful: I recommend therapeutic lyengar Yoga.
  • Supplements

  • Take Bioenergy or Ashwagandha : one twice daily, to help keep cholesterol levels balanced, especially if you are trying to come off the statins.
  • For your skin

  • In the morning, massage Saffron Dew youth Cream upwards into the skin. Massage for five minutes each day for a month, then twice a week until the skin texture improves.
  • At bedtime, massage pure almond oil into your face for five minutes. Wipe any excess away using a towel dipped into hot water with a few drops of fresh lime in it.
  • Buy an aloe vera plant and cut off a quarter-inch Piece of the leaf, then squeeze out the sticky juice and apply it to your skin. This is the best treatment you can put on your face, either to tone and moisturise or to treat acne, eczema or any skin rash.
  • Take aloe vera capsules : one twice daily for three months.
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