Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

You are what you eat: Within-subject increases in fruit and vegetable consumption confer beneficial skin-color changes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Abstract

Background: Fruit and vegetable consumption and ingestion of carotenoids have been found to be associated with human skin-color (yellowness) in a recent cross-sectional study. This carotenoid-based coloration contributes beneficially to the appearance of health in humans and is held to be a sexually selected cue of condition in other species.
Methodology and Principal Findings: Here we investigate the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on skin-color longitudinally to determine the magnitude and duration of diet change required to change skin-color perceptibly. Diet and skin-color were recorded at baseline and after three and six weeks, in a group of 35 individuals who were without makeup, self-tanning agents and/or recent intensive UV exposure. Six-week changes in fruit and vegetable consumption were significantly correlated with changes in skin redness and yellowness over this period, and diet-linked skin reflectance changes were significantly associated with the spectral absorption of carotenoids and not melanin. We also used psychophysical methods to investigate the minimum color change required to confer perceptibly healthier and more attractive skin-coloration. Modest dietary changes are required to enhance apparent health (2.91 portions per day) and attractiveness (3.30 portions).
Conclusions: Increased fruit and vegetable consumption confers measurable and perceptibly beneficial effects on Caucasian skin appearance within six weeks. This effect could potentially be used as a motivational tool in dietary intervention.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32988
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2012
Scopus citations44

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Face colour, health, lifestyle and attractiveness

    Perrett, D. I., Re, D., Whitehead, R., Stephen, I. D., Coetzee, V., Lefevre, C. E., Moore, F. R., Xiao, D. & Ozakinci, G. 2011 p. 23

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  2. Perceptions of carotenoid and melanin colouration in faces among young Australian adults

    Pezdirc, K., Rollo, M. E., Whitehead, R., Hutchesson, M. J., Ozakinci, G., Perrett, D. & Collins, C. E. 19 May 2017 In : Australian Journal of Psychology. Early View, 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Skin Colour Cues to Health and Fitness

    Perrett, D., Henderson, A., Whitehead, R., Hjemdahl, R., Bender, A., Waters, A., Talamas, S., Cairns, P. & Ozakinci, G. Aug 2016 In : Perception. 45, 2, p. 218-218 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract

  4. Fruit, vegetable and dietary carotenoid intakes explain variation in skin-color in young caucasian women: a cross-sectional study

    Pezdirc, K., Hutchesson, M. J., Whitehead, R., Ozakinci, G., Perrett, D. & Collins, C. E. 15 Jul 2015 In : Nutrients. 7, 7, p. 5800-5815 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Can dietary intake influence perception of and measured appearance? A systematic review: dietary intake and appearance

    Pezdirc, K., Hutchesson, M., Whitehead, R. D., Ozakinci, G., Perrett, D. I. & Collins, C. Mar 2015 In : Nutrition Research. 35, 3, p. 175-197 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. Contextual imitation of intransitive body actions in a Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas): a “do as other does” study

    Abramson, J. Z., Hernández-Lloreda, M. V., Esteban, J-A., Colmenares, F., Aboitiz, F. & Call, J. 21 Jun 2017 In : PLoS One. 12, 6, 13 p., e0178906

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Variation in hunting behaviour in neighbouring chimpanzee communities in the Budongo forest, Uganda

    Hobaiter, C., Samuni, L., Mullins, C., Akankwasa, W. J. & Zuberbühler, K. 21 Jun 2017 In : PLoS One. 12, 6, 17 p., e0178065

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Sparse EEG/MEG source estimation via a group lasso

    Lim, M., Ales, J. M., Cottereau, B. R., Hastie, T. & Norcia, A. M. 12 Jun 2017 In : PLoS One. 12, 6, 29 p., e0176835

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Recurrent tuberculosis and associated factors: a five-year countrywide study in Uzbekistan

    Gadoev, J., Asadov, D., Harries, A. D., Parpieva, N., Tayler-Smith, K., Isaakidis, P., Ali, E., Hinderaker, S. G., Ogtay, G., Ramsay, A., Jalolov, A. & Dara, M. 4 May 2017 In : PLoS One. 12, 5, 12 p., e0176473

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Defining disease phenotypes in primary care Electronic Health Records by a machine learning approach: a case study in identifying rheumatoid arthritis

    Zhou, S-M., Fernandez-Gutierrez, F., Kennedy, J., Cooksey, R., Atkinson, M., Denaxas, S., Siebert, S., Dixon, W. G., O'Neill, T. W., Choy, E., Sudlow, C., UK Biobank Follow-up and Outcomes Group, Brophy, S. & Sullivan, F. 2 May 2017 In : PLoS One. 11, 5, 14 p., e0154515

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. PLoS One (Journal)

    Hughes, D. J. (Reviewer)
    2014 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. PLoS One (Journal)

    Ozakinci, G. (Editor)
    2013

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. PLoS One (Journal)

    Williams, D. J. (Reviewer)
    2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. PLoS One (Journal)

    Jones, J. (Member of editorial board)
    2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  5. PLoS One (Journal)

    Paracchini, S. (Reviewer)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 16837906