More about the study will be revealed by Dr Chin-Kun Wang, president of the International Society for Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (ISNFF), when he presents on the topic ‘Nutricosmetics: Eating for Beauty’ at Vitafoods Asia 2019.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Dr Wang pointed out that previous studies had shown that consuming brewed roselle could provide a variety of benefits, such as regulating the blood pressure and improving sleep quality.
Building on existing research, Dr Wang’s team at the Chung Shan Medical University embarked on a human study to find out the effects of brewed roselle on skin health.
The study, which lasted five months, involved about 60 subjects aged 25 to 85 from hospitals and community settings.
It found that a daily consumption of 200ml of brewed roselle beverage was able to increase the water holding capacity of the skin and reduce wrinkles.
This could be due to the role of a range of phytochemicals available in the roselle flowers.
“In our study, we also found that several phytochemicals in roselle, such as the protocatechuic acid and anthocyanins, play an important role [in skin health]…You will just need to boil the Roselle flowers and drink the water. After boiling, all the useful phytochemicals will be released and can be obtained from the drink,” he said.
A preliminary publication of the study titled ‘Antiaging effect of roselle drink – an aging animal model and a human clinical trial’ has been published, Dr Wong added that the study was also slated for a final publication at a later date.
Besides the skincare benefits of roselle flowers, he will also talk about the beauty benefits of Si Wu Tang – a TCM formula comprising four different medicinal herbs, and provide a deeper insight on the concept of nutrition.
“Most of the people think that nutrition just means vitamins and minerals and also carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, however, we have to know that nutrition also includes a large number of phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and flavonoids.”
Vitafoods Asia will take place in Singapore between September 25 and 26 at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands.
Advancing the science
To push forward the scientific understanding of nutraceuticals and functional foods, ISNFF has published two journals – the Journal of Functional Foods (JFF) in 2008 and the Journal of Food Bioactives (JFB) last year.
“The first journal, JFF, focuses on foods and many studies in the journal have focused on human clinical trials.
"However, because we believe that many materials with health benefits are from the nature, for example, the phytochemicals from plants or some animals, that’s why we started the second journal to push basic research and obtain new findings from the natural surroundings,” Dr Wang said.
He added that besides exchange of scientific knowledge, the JFF also provided a platform for functional foods with proven efficacy to find their way into product commercialisation.