If you’re over 50, you may be seeing more skin aging than you want to. You look into expensive creams and treatments that, although they may help, don’t really offer a lasting effect. But take heart. In about 2 years, a brand product to fight skin aging could be available commercially. Let me tell you about it…
Scientists Find a New Method To Block Skin Aging
Many of the most important health discoveries were stumbled on by accident. Researchers were actually looking for something else when they found something amazing. And that’s exactly the case with a new “aging” enzyme that scientists out of the University of British Columbia came across.
While researchers were looking into a certain enzyme’s role in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart attacks, they realized one of its completely unique properties. Lab animals who had less of Granzyme B (named for the researcher David Granville who found it), were found to be more resistant to atherosclerosis.
These animals also had another very interesting characteristic. They had much more youthful-looking skin compared to those who had more Granzyme B. So, the researchers did a little further testing. They divided the animals into 2 groups. Those with more Granzyme B and those with less.
Both groups were exposed to UV rays, just enough to cause redness but not burn. After 20 weeks of testing, the group with less Granzyme B had much less skin aging than the group with more. Additionally, the collagen of the less enzyme group was more intact than the group with more.
The researchers concluded that blocking Granzyme B would result in blocking aging effects on several levels important to human health:
- Preserve body structure strength that breaks down with aging and leads to serious disease. It would preserve the collagen of blood vessels that keeps them resistant to hardening, thereby reducing the incidence of heart attack, aneurysms, and stroke. Collagen also gives strength to lung tissues. Preserving it would help fight pulmonary diseases associated with aging, like COPD, etc.
- It would fight against skin aging and skin “scaffolding” by preserving collagen structures. Doing so not only offers a way to preserve a youthful appearance, but it also fights serious conditions of the skin. It would help prevent the disfiguring lesions associated with lupus and help repair burn (fire, chemical, sun) related skin damage.
As a result of finding Granzyme B’s collagen preserving qualities, researchers at UBC are working to create a product to block the enzyme. The product would be first tested on those with lupus to see how it helps prevent/treat its damaging skin effects.
If it proves effective, as it’s expected to be, the plan is to create a cosmetic offshoot with the blocking agent in it to fight normal skin aging. It could not only prevent future wrinkles from occurring but help skin actually fill-in existing wrinkles by helping build more collagen.
In addition, the blocking agent would also be available to prevent aneurysms from bursting, or strengthening arteries of those with atherosclerosis, help heal lung tissues in COPD, and help treat other conditions where collagen-breakdown causes dysfunction.
What Can You Do in The Meantime?
Until a Granzyme B blocking cosmetic is available, there are a few key things you can do to prevent wrinkles and further skin aging from developing. It boils down to helping your body continue to build collagen and prevent its breakdown.
- Build collagen. Whether your skin becomes wrinkled depends a lot on how intact your skin’s “scaffolding” is. As you get older, this scaffolding, the structure that your skin rests on, can start to break down. That’s because your body’s ability to build collagen slows down as you age.
The first line of defense in maintaining collagen is your diet. Your body builds collagen with foods like high quality proteins (fish and chicken), and nutrients like Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and DMAE. Chicken and fish contains high levels of hyaluronic acid and are excellent foods for collagen building. DMAE is also found in good amounts in several types of fish: salmon, sardines, or anchovies.
You can also take hyaluronic acid, DMAE, and chicken-based or fish-based collagen supplements. Vitamin C is also a necessary building block nutrient for collagen and is found in many citrus fruits and vegetables. I suggest upping your Vitamin C with a supplement of about 1,000 mg a day. It not only helps prevent wrinkles but also helps wounds heal must faster.
- Protect Collagen. The biggest skin collagen killer is the sun. Even though you need a little bit of sun to make beneficial Vitamin D, too much works against your skin. Wear a face-shielding visor cap, or SPF-20 or more sun block on your face if you’re going to be out in the sun longer than a few minutes.
Phytessence Wakame is a powerful antioxidant contained in Japanese seaweed that blocks the enzyme hyaluronidase from developing. This enzyme causes hyaluronic acid to break down. This seaweed can be taken in dried supplement form or eaten fresh.
When washing your skin, stay away from detergent bar soaps and hot water. Use lukewarm to cool water and a mild cleanser like olive oil or castile soap. After washing your face, give it and your neck, several cold water rinses. This helps stimulate your skin’s natural tightening mechanism.
Cut out refined sugar from your diet. It produces a destructive product in your body called Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE) which destroys your collagen and elastin throughout your body. Limit alcohol as it also breaks down into sugar and AGE’s.