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A youthful complexion is the outer reflection of inner health. Regardless of age, soft, clear, skin mirrors inner vitality while dull, scaly skin can be a red flag signaling any number of deadly diseases. Skin cells are replenished every few days, which is why outward signs of inner problems show up quickly. Skin reflects the body's efforts to manage life's daily effects, including free radicals, inflammation and impaired circulation. While lotions may soothe the skin's surface temporarily, these common treatments are inevitably too superficial as a long-term plan. Rather than slathering expensive cosmetics on the outside of the skin, science supports an intrinsically beautiful strategy: feeding the skin from the inside out with antioxidant enzymes, such as rutin.

Free radical damage caused by mental, physical and environmental stress can accelerate the skin's wrinkling and sagging. Free radicals are everywhere in polluted air, tobacco smoke, certain foods, and as a result of too much sun. A normal part of living, even the stress of exercise produces free radicals. Now thought to be responsible for as much as 90 percent of all the human diseases, free radical damage often shows dramatically on the faces of people suffering unknowingly from the so-called 'silent killers' (such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, and strokes). This may be because nutrients and oxygen, delivered throughout the body in the bloodstream, reach the skin, hair and nails last, while free radicals target the skin first, breaking down the communication network in the basement membrane.

Stress itself may be unavoidable, however, you can neutralize its effects by strengthening your skin's communication system. Your skin's communication system depends on the basement membrane, a thin membrane between skin layers. It monitors your skin's strengths and weaknesses, including what it needs for optimum health. A diet that includes antioxidant nutrients, such as rutin (a flavonoid found naturally in medicinal plants) along with quercetin and diosmin, can lighten the free radical load on the skin and internal organs. Flavonoids are pigments of plants that possess several biological activities, and many of these are associated with prevention of chronic diseases.

By reducing free radical damage to the basement membrane, rutin and its partners promote good communication between skin layers. They also lessen the devastating effects of free radicals on the skin's collagen. Collagen - the 'cement' that protects the skin from premature aging and wrinkling -- supports the skin's structure underneath the outer layer. Free radical damage weakens collagen by forming cross-links in its strands, accelerating skin aging. Rutin aids proper absorption and function of vitamin C, one of the vitamins critical to maintaining collagen in a health state. A diet deficient in rutin, and its molecular cousins (especially quercetin), may result in varicose veins, a tendency toward easy bruising and/or the appearance of purplish spots on the skin.

Because the main function of the blood is to deliver nutrients and oxygen to different tissues, including the skin, overall health depends on how efficiently the blood circulates throughout the body. The body's inflammatory response can damage blood vessels, causing them to function less efficiently.

Once that happens, the nutrients from the blood begin to leak through the vessel wall. An obvious sign of this is localized swelling that may cause blotchy skin. Inflammation has now been shown to underlie many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Rutin, and its partners, can fortify blood vessels against the inflammatory response, which can prevent the skin from getting its fair share of nutrients. These nutrients foster ageless beauty on the outside as a reflection of a real and lasting beauty - the beauty of inner health.


1. Iris Erlund; Georg Alfthan; Jukka Marniemi; Antti Aro. 'Tea and Coronary Heart Disease: the Flavonoid Quercetin Is More Bioavailable From Rutin in Women Than in Men.' Arch Intern Med. 2001;161:1919-1920.
2. AHA Science Advisory: Phytochemicals and Cardiovascular Disease, #71-0115 Circulation. 1997;95:2591-2593
3. Yumiko Nakamura, Susumu Ishimitsu, and Yasuhide Tonogai. 'Effects of Quercetin and Rutin on Serum and Hepatic Lipid Concentrations, Fecal Steroid Excretion and Serum Antioxidant Properties.' Journal of Health Science, 46(4) 229-240 (2000)

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