Cellulite has annoyed women and puzzled scientists for years with researchers still not knowing exactly what causes it or how to treat it. Fortunately there are some methods proven to help and some exciting breakthroughs in the world of nutricosmetics. Here we round up the most commonly prescribed solutions offered by science as well as the new research from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in America that could give hope to the 87% of women in the UK affected.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is basically a term used to describe the dimpled and uneven appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin. Although scientists don't know exactly what causes it, it's believed to be related to a body's inability to get rid of toxins, fat and fluid which becomes trapped under the skin and causes fibrous tissue to become hard which is responsible for producing the dreaded dimpling effect.
Why are Woman more prone to Cellulite?
Whilst it’s not uncommon for men to suffer from cellulite too, it is a cosmetic condition that mainly affects women. This is because the structure of collagen, the main protein of connective tissue, in women has been a likened by scientists to the appearance of a picket fence. Conversely in men it appears more like a cross-linked fence. Essentially the structural difference in men means the collagen holds fat in far better which prevents the fat deposits building up and therefore the unwanted dimpling effect.
Another reason women are more prone to developing cellulite compared to men relates to the difference in hormones. Put simply women have higher levels of oestrogen which means they are genetically predisposed to accumulate fat. Men, however, naturally produce less oestrogen and have more testosterone which means they are much more capable of burning body fat than storing it. So what’s the best way to combat it?
Roll it away & stretch
Firstly let’s consider the means and methods you have immediately available to you. Strength and Conditioning Coaches recommend moving on a foam roller and stretching more often to loosen your muscle fascia. Muscle fascia is the tight, interwoven fibres of the muscles and when they are stretched and loosened it allows nutrient-rich blood to circulate through those fibers which not only helps rid the body of toxins but also increases the resting metabolic rate and breaks up fatty tissues.
Increase your heart rate
Secondly, one of the simplest ways to combat cellulite is to stimulate the lymphatic system. This is because the lymphatic system serves as a drainage system to rid the body of toxins and if running efficiently prevents the fibrous tissue under the skin from hardening and therefore causing the dreaded dimpled cellulite effect. So how do you stimulate your lymphatic system? Get exercising and breathing heavier. It really is that simple since studies show exercise can increase lymph activity by 10 to 30 times its activity at rest.
New Nutricosmetic Research
Next, what other solutions does science have to offer? Well it seems some very promising ones according research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Scientists state, “in the last 10 years, pharmacists, chemists, nutritionists, and physicians have been working together to develop new nutritional applications to satisfy people’s needs and demands. As a recent result of convergence phenomenon between cosmetics and food industries, nutricosmetics is characterized by oral supplementation of nutrients.”
More specifically regarding cellulite treatment, a study conducted at the Medicinal Plants Research, in Belgrade, Serbia found dietary supplementation with polyphenol-rich juice improves skin morphology in cellulite. To test their theory scientists took 29 women aged between 25 and 48 who were suffering from cellulite grade 2 according to the Nurnberger–Muller scale. Subjects were then given a polyphenol-rich drink for 90 days and the skins structure was analyzed by ultrasonography. What they found was a, “marked reduction in the subcutaneous tissue thickness was observed in all subjects and the length of subcutaneous tissue fascicles (cellulite) was reduced in 97% (28 out of 29) of subjects.” They concluded polyphenol-rich drinks, “could have beneficial effects on the cellulite condition.” This is just one reason polyphenol-richgreens formulas have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years and perhaps none more so than Super Greens from THE PROTEIN WORKS which equates to 5 portions of fruit and veg, contains 23 nutrient dense super foods and is praised for having one of the highest polyphenol contents of any known greens drink.
Eat some fat?
Next (and strangely) science shows eating fat could help with cellulite. But not just any fat though, a special kind of fatty acid known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that's found in beef. Most notably in a study conducted in Beverly Hills, California (and published in the Advances in Therapy Journal by Dr Lawrence Birnbaum) 60 females were given CLA for 60 days and 'in as many as 75% of the women, the appearance of the skin improved significantly, and thigh circumference was reduced by an average of 0.88 inch. Unfortunately CLA is only found in small amounts in beef, not to mention red meat is high in saturated fat and so eating a lot of this to get CLA in your diet could be counterproductive. That's why experts are recommending a pure CLA supplement such as CLA from THE PROTEIN WORKS since you get all the benefits and none of the saturated fat content.
Drink away cellulite
Although green tea has not yet been specifically tested as a treatment for cellulite it has received a lot of recognition as being a possible treatment for obesity and whilst losing fat won't completely solve cellulite, it's been shown to help according to research conducted at the LaboratoiresArkopharma in France (P. Chantre and D. Lairon, 2002). And for those who don't like the taste of green tea or perhaps just want something purer there are capsule alternatives like Green Tea Ultra from THE PROTEIN WORKS.