Aging and wrinkling of the skin are the result of ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from the sun. UVB light generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which contribute to skin damage. The formation of new blood vessels in the skin (angiogenesis) increases photodamage and wrinkling.
Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid found in edible brown seaweed has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties. The authors studied fucoxanthin for an ability to protect the skin of hairless mice from photoaging caused by UVB light.
The skin of hairless mice was treated with a gel of an extract of brown algae, and the mice were exposed to UVB lamps five times weekly for 10 weeks. The skin was treated for 2 hours with the fucoxanthin gel prior to UVB exposure. Then, the animals were sacrificed, and samples of the skin were taken for microscopic study. The number of wrinkles were counted per square micrometer, and thickness of the skin was measured in 10 places for each mouse. RNA testing was done of the skin samples.
The study revealed significant wrinkle formation with UVB exposure, but treatment with fucoxanthin tended to suppress the number of wrinkles formed due to UVB. There was no difference between the fucoxanthin-treated group and the group not exposed to UVB light. The increased thickness of the skin with UVB exposure was prevented by prior fucoxanthin treatment. (Fucoxanthin is a strong antioxidant for the skin and has strong anti-angiogenic properties, reducing wrinkle formation.) It may also be useful in the cosmetic industry.
CONCLUSION: Treatment with topical fucoxanthin prevents aging of the skin in hairless mice treated with UVB irradiation. This is due to antioxidant effects and anti-angiogenesis.
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