Can an increase in fruit and vegetable intake improve your skin colour and appearance? A University of Newcastle research group is searching for the answer with the hope it could be a powerful motivator to encourage people to eat more healthy.

PhD Candidate and research assistant Kristine Pezdirc said the study needs to recruit 30 females aged 18 to 30 years to volunteer in an 11-week study. Participants will receive with a free weekly fruit and vegetable box for eight weeks to consume and a $25 gift voucher for compensation for their time and travel costs.  

“Current evidence shows that eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to a reduced risk of many chronic diseases including stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some specific cancers,” Ms Pezdirc said.

“Despite the strong evidence most Australians still don’t eat enough to get the full health gain benefits nor meet the recommended targets. Young adults, in particular women, have the worst intakes with only 3 per cent consuming the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, therefore missing out on the health benefits and potentially setting themselves up for poorer health in the future.

“In addition, recent research suggests that coloured pigments found naturally in fruit and vegetables called carotenoids contribute to skin colour with higher levels more visually appealing producing a healthier glow. 

“My study will provide young women with fruit and vegetables that they will consume for 10 weeks.  We will measure their carotenoid intake by their levels in their skin by using a non-invasive hand held spectrophotometer and also assess the amount of circulating carotenoids in their blood. 

“This is the first study ever to do this and if we can demonstrate that eating more fruit and vegetables can improve your skin colour and appearance, gives you a healthier “glow” as well as improves your well-being than it can potentially be used as a novel motivator for young women.” 

The study: Can an increase in fruit and vegetable intake improve your skin colour and appearance?

Who can volunteer?

FEMALES aged 18 to 30 years to volunteer in a 11-week study who:

  • Have a body mass index of >18.5kgm2 
  • Are able to travel to the Callaghan campus of the University of Newcastle on four occasions to have your weight, height, body composition, blood pressure, photographs, blood samples, skin carotenoid and melanin measurements taken
  • Able to collect the weekly fruit and vegetable box each week from the Callaghan Campus

CONTACT: If you are interested or for further information and to find out if you are eligible please contact Kristine Pezdirc on 4921 7374 or email fruitnvegnskincolour@newcastle.edu.au