Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Antioxidants in Berries Prevent UV Skin Damage, Wrinkles

A study done by researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea shows that the topical application of the antioxidant ellagic acid markedly prevents collagen destruction and inflammatory response—major causes of wrinkles—in human skin cells following the exposure to UV-B. UV-B is the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet radioactive rays that accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging.

Ellagic acid is an antioxidant found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and an assortment of other fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The study showed that ellagic acid worked to protect against
UV damage by blocking the production of MMP (matrix metalloproteinase), an enzyme that breaks down collagen in damaged skin cells and causes coarseness. Ellagic acid also reduces the expression of ICAM, a molecule involved in inflammation.

This study is consistent with the view that topical application of materials containing a variety of berries can be helpful for the skin. This is the basis of the CoffeeBerry product in Stifel’s Revale skin care line since 2006.
CoffeeBerry itself is rich in antioxidants and is often recommended over green tea for anti-aging purposes.

Because of ellagic acid’s ability to inhibit skin tumors at various stages their typical life cycle, it may be valuable in cancer therapy or possible prevention in the future. Even if you are feeding your skin a good dose of berries, I wouldn’t skip out on the
sunscreen just yet.

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