During the 2023 South Beach Symposium (SBS), cosmetic dermatologist Glynis R. Ablon, MD, led the Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine Track, alongside other experts including Patricia K. Farris, MD, Doris J. Day, MD, Hilary E. Baldwin, MD, Terrence C. Keaney, MD, Michael H. Gold, MD, and Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA.
The Role of Nutrition & Diet in Skin Health: Does It Really Matter?
Dr. Farris began the session with a discussion of the role of nutrition and diet in skin health. She spoke about the “Blue Zones”, which include places like Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia in Italy. According to Dr. Farris, studies have shown that individuals from these blue zones live longer and have less disease.
As a result, certain recommendations, known as the “Blue Zone Diet Recommendations” have been made to provide guidelines for a healthier diet. Some of these suggestions include eating whole grain and sourdough bread only, only using plant-based oils, and snacking on nuts.
She also referred to several studies examining the link between nutrition and anti-aging, including the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES1). This looked at 4025 women aged 40-74 years, in which nutrients were assessed by a 24-hour recall. Dermatologists evaluated the women for wrinkling, dryness, and skin atrophy and found the following:
- Those with higher vitamin C intake showed a lower incidence of wrinkling and dryness
- Those with a higher intake of linoleic acid showed less dryness and atrophy
- Those with a higher intake of fat and carbohydrates showed more wrinkling and skin atrophy
The Gut-Skin-Brain Axis – The Secret Life Of Skin
Dr. Day then took the stage to discuss the gut-skin-brain axis. She took participants through the gut-skin connection, examining the symbiotic or dysbiotic relationship that exists between the two.
Speaking of the gut-brain axis, Dr. Day looked at hormone release and its effect on the gut microbiome, pointing out that managing stress is important as is choosing the right food. Dr. Day also spoke about how all these elements work together, linking things like depression to how each aspect plays a role within the entire body.
Nutraceuticals: Skin, Hair, Nails- OH MY!
Session director, Dr. Ablon, returned to the stage for a talk on nutraceuticals for skin and hair growth. She shared her top six things that she likes her patients to eat in order to improve their hair health. These include fatty fish, eggs, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fruits. She went on to speak about supplements and the importance of these as an adjunct to healthy nutrition.
The Truth About Probiotics: Recalibrating the Skin Microbiome
Dr. Baldwin, shared the Truth About Probiotics, which looked at the mutualistic relationship between the skin and bacteria. Stating that a healthy microbiome is not specifically definable.
Dr. Baldwin discussed the various microbiome options available, which include probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics. She spoke of the benefits of topical probiotics and their use in such things as cosmetic skincare.
In deciding which organism to use, Dr. Baldwin states typically a combination is the best way as we don’t know what normal is and things vary by age, time, location, and more.
USA Regulatory Scrutiny of Regenerative Medicine and PRP: Medicolegal Implications
Dr. Keaney then led an interesting discussion on the Regulatory Scrutiny of Regenerative Medicine Products. He spoke about exosomes and stem cell products, covering various U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
He mentions that there are currently no FDA-approved exosome products and the only stem cell products that are FDA-approved consist of blood-forming stem cells. Dr. Keaney also discussed regulations surrounding Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), which he states is not affected by the new guidance.
Exosomes: The Next Big Thing?
SBS co-chair, Dr. Gold, then led a discussion on a very hot topic, exosomes. He shared that exosomes are gaining increasing attention within investigational dermatology and reviewed several recent publications.
He reiterated previous statements about exosomes being regulated by the FDA, adding that under no circumstances should these be injected into the body. Dr. Gold also reviewed some of the companies conducting research into exosomes and skin rejuvenation.
Anti-Aging & The Dermatologist
Program Director of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine at The George Washington University and Integrative medicine expert, Dr. Heyman, concluded this fascinating session with a look at longevity medicine, discussing in-depth how environmental factors can affect the skin.
He concluded the day by pulling together the importance in diet and all of the factors previously covered by his anti aging faculty colleagues, and spoke specifically about patients affected by water-damaged buildings; discussing the various factors that may later play a role in their health. He mentions that treatment involves a structured process that includes treating any associated ensuing conditions.