Researchers are trying to understand various factors responsible for ageing and how the process could be avoided or can be prolonged. In one of the earlier article we discussed about a research which could reverse the effect of ageing (applicable in mice so far). In another such study done at Newcastle University, researchers has found an antioxidant named Tiron which can provide effective shield against certain kind of sun damages and thus skin remain younger.
Antioxidants are known as compound that has the ability to prolong the cell damages. These can be either man made or naturally occurring. Naturally these antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein and lycopenecan can be included in our diet by eating variety of fruits and vegetable.
The ultraviolet radiations of the sun rays pass though the skin reaching the cells. This causes changes in DNA and causes destruction of the collagen, fibres and elastin of the skin which are the symptoms for the skin ageing process like wrinkles. However the antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize the damages at molecular level.
The researchers tested many antioxidants (man made or natural) to find which one can provide efficient protection against the damages caused by UVA radiation or free radical. Sunburn are caused by UVB radiations, while UVA radiations damages the DNA by producing free radicals which degrades the collagen which give skin its elasticity property.
The skin cells were treated with the antioxidants and were later exposed to UVA radiation similar to level one experiences on a normal sunny day. Further a polymerase chain reaction was employed to transcript the DNA of skin cells and the extend of changes in the DNA material were observed.
The antioxidants works by targeting the mitochondria of the cell from any changes. Therefore for the study, researchers observed antioxidants that were specifically protecting the mitochondria and other not so specific antioxidants such as resveratrol (available in red wine) and curcumin (available in curries) and focuses on the entire cell. The result showed that the most efficacious antioxidant was Tiron, giving 100% mitochondrial protection of the skin cell against UVA radiations and oxidative stress.
As per the researcher and professor of Molecular Dermatology at Newcastle University Mark Birch-Machin:
To discover that Tiron offers complete protection against UVA damage is exciting and promising, however, it is early days as Tiron is not a naturally occurring compound and has not yet been tested for toxicity in humans although there have been a few studies on rats.
The team of researchers now aims to unravel how does the Tiron works, to produce a compound similar to Tiron and to examine the level of toxicity in humans. This discovery in future may help in developing skin products and supplements that could prolong the ageing process. It would be interesting if the compound can be effective enough to prevent skin cancer as-well.
Source: Science World Report