Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vitamin C Now Proven to Protect Skin Cells

Recently, scientists at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal studied new protective properties of vitamin C in cells from the human skin, which could lead to better skin regeneration.

Some manufacturers have included Vitamin C in skin preparations for years. But it wasn't until recently that science has actually shown a significant benefit for this vitamin when applied topically.

The work found that a form of Vitamin C helped to promote wound healing and also helped protect the DNA damage of skin cells. Their findings have been published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, the same journal that recently featured the news about Rhodiola protecting human cells from ultraviolet radiation (reported on here). This is the latest in a long line of publications from these researchers (University of Leicester) concerning vitamin C.

Tiago Duarte, formerly of the University of Leicester, and now at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal, said: “The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions. Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer . . . Our study analyzed the effect of sustained exposure to a vitamin C derivative (ascorbic acid 2-phosphate) in human dermal fibroblasts. We investigated which genes are activated by vitamin C in these cells, which are responsible for skin regeneration. The results demonstrated that vitamin C may improve wound healing. . . and also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions.”

Dr Marcus S. Cooke from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Department of Genetics, at the University of Leicester, added: “The study indicates a mechanism by which vitamin C could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy skin by promoting wound healing and by protecting cellular DNA against damage caused by oxidation."

The study has the potential to lead to advances in the prevention and treatment of skin lesions specifically, as well as contributing to the fight against cancer.


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