Despite the name, liver spots, also known as age spots, are not caused by liver disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Instead, they are typically caused by excess sun exposure or the natural process of aging. Age spots are flat patches of brown or black skin that appear on the arms, neck, chest and back. Although there is no known cure for age spots, some nutritionists believe that certain foods may help prevent and fade age spots.
Nutritional therapy is not a substitute for medical care. Check with your doctor before altering your diet to treat age spots.
According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, Americans consume more tuna than any other type of fish. This food is a rich source of several nutrients, including niacin, pyridoxine, magnesium, potassium and essential fatty acids. A 4-oz. serving of tuna also provides three-fourths of the recommended daily intake of selenium. Selenium may prevent and repair dark spots and skin damage caused by the sun, according to Dr. Karen Burke, contributor to "Prevention's Healing with Vitamins."
According to Dr. James F. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," age spots may be partially caused by wastes produced when free radical molecules attack the cells of the skin. Oranges, which are rich sources of vitamin C, contain powerful antioxidants that may prevent free radicals from damaging cells. These fruits may help prevent the appearance and worsening of age spots. Vitamin C is also considered necessary for the repair of skin tissue.
Dr. Balch recommends adopting a diet comprised of at least 50 percent raw foods, including vegetables. Vegetables contain a wealth of nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins, which are considered necessary for skin health. A diet of raw vegetables and other raw foods may also help cleanse the body of toxins that may contribute to the formation and appearance of age spots.
- World's Healthist Foods: Tuna
- "Prevention's Healing with Vitamins"; Alice Feinstein; 1996
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 1997