Vivawoman writes…[Donkey skin] is reported to have great anti-aging effects, namely increasing elasticity of the skin, improving skin tone, preventing wrinkles and even eradicating pigmented spots.
The Left Brain responds:
Sarah Bellum found this story about eating donkey skin on Vivawoman’s blog. Can this possibly be true?
The product that Vivawoman is referring to is “Donkey Skin Gelatin” and is described as consisting of donkey skin, black sesame, walnut, dried longans and rice wine. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the product really does contain gelatin (which is made of collagen that comes from the animal hides and hooves). Does eating gelatin provide any benefits for your skin?
According to a fairly recent study (Tanaka M, Koyama Y, Nomura Y. Effects of collagen peptide ingestion on UV-B-induced skin damage. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Apr 23;73(4):930-2), eating gelatin may actually help prevent some of the signs of aging. In this study, researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology fed gelatin to mice and measured the effect of ultraviolet light on their skin. One group of mice were fed what would be the human equivalent of one large tablespoon of gelatin everyday. They found that after 6 weeks the gelatin-ingesting mice showed a 17% increase in collagen content of their skin compared to the control group (who did not receive gelatin) who had a 53% decrease in collagen content.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
This is a single study on mice but if corroborated by further research and the appropriate clinical trials, it could indicate that eating gelatin can help your skin. Whether or not you choose to get your gelatin from slabs of Donkey Skin or a nice bowl of Strawberry Jell-O is up to you.
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