Can Squalene Supplements Increase Your Skin Elasticity
By Tyler Woodward
Squalene is a type of chemical compound known as triterpene that was isolated from shark liver oil. Squalene is believed by many to be one of the compounds responsible for the extremely low incidence of cancer in sharks and may also be responsible for maintaining youthful skin. Let’s take a look at this potent compound…
Potential Benefits Of Squalene:
- May Improve Skin Health - Although not very known squalene humans naturally produce squalene and its found throughout the body, particularly in our skin. Squalene is believed to be responsible for maintaining our skin’s ability to retain moisture. Our natural production of squalene is believed to decline significantly after the age of 30 which may result in the decrease in skin elasticity and hydration seen with aging. Squalene is also believed to act as a free radical scavenger, helping to protect our skin from oxidative stress and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. For these reasons squalane, a hydrogenated version of squalene, is used in many cosmetics, particularly in moisturizers for its ability to hydrate the skin and potentially protect against the aging of skin.
- Squalene May Protect Against Cancer - Squalene’s rise to fame came as a result of its purported anti-cancer properties. For many years it was believed that sharks were not able to develop cancer and the high prevalence of squalene in sharks was believed to be the cause. In recent years its been discovered that sharks can in fact develop cancer, but squalene is still believed to be an anti-cancer agent. Squalene may be able to decrease farnesyl pyrophosphate levels in the cell which if in excess can “turn on” a cancer-causing gene. This may protect the body from certain types of cancer including breast, pancreatic, colon among other types of oncogenic tumors.
- Squalene May Protect Against Oxidative Stress - Squalene is known to act as a free radical scavenger in the body, helping to “stop” free radical reactions. This helps to prevent additional oxidative stress from occurring and may also help to prevent lipid peroxidation in the cell. Squalene also may increase the effectiveness of other cancer treatments, having a synergistic effect.
- May Improve Cholesterol Levels - Although the jury is still out on this benefit, a few studies have found that squalene is able to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as the “good cholesterol”. This is contradictory as other studies on squalene have that it had no long-term effect on cholesterol levels or raised LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol".
How To Supplement With Squalene:
If you’re looking to supplement with squalene the current recommended daily intake is estimated to be about 300mg daily. That being said you can also reap many of the benefits of supplementing with squalene by consuming it naturally in your diet. Squalene is found in small amounts in olives, olive oil, shark, wheat germ and rice bran.
How Does Squalene Compare:
Depending on what your goal is behind supplementing with squalene you might be better off investing in a collagen supplement. Collagen is a type of protein that is naturally produced in our body and is found in our hair, skin, nails, and connective tissue. Similar to squalene, collagen is also believed to play an integral role in maintaining the health of our skin and joints and also declines with age. Additionally, one of the three main amino acids in collagen, glycine, is a precursor to glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant enzyme and it is believed that glycine can be the rate limiting factor in the synthesis of glutathione. Meaning that a lack of dietary glycine may limit your body’s ability to produce glutathione.
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