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Uncovering Antioxidant That Could Reduce Aging In Human Skin

First Posted: Jun 01, 2017 05:50 AM EDT

A new study indicates that this common antioxidant known as methylene blue could slow aging in human skin. Scientists suggest that methylene blue could be added to cosmetic products to fight skin aging.

The findings of the discovery were printed in the journal Scientific Reports. The study was led by Zheng-Mei Xiong, an assistant research professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, and other colleagues. The scientists said that based on their observations, the methylene blue could effectively protect the skin from oxidative stress and delay skin aging, according to Medical News Today.

Methylene blue also referred to as methylthioninium chloride is used as medication and dye. It could treat a condition called methemoglobinemia, which is a disorder in which the blood could not effectively carry oxygen. It has also been used for urinary tract infections and cyanide poisoning, yet this is not recommended anymore.

In the study, the scientists examined methylene blue and other three antioxidants namely the MitoQ, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine and MitoTEMPO on skin fibroblasts from healthy middle-aged and older adults. These also include people with progeria, which is a condition with accelerated aging.

The researchers treated the fibroblasts with methylene blue for four weeks. The results indicated that there was a decrease in reactive oxygen species that causes the skin cell damage. They also found the reduction in markers of cellular senescence, which is a compound that heightened the cell division and lessened cell death.

Xiong stated that he was encouraged and excited to see skin fibroblasts obtained from people over 80 years old grow much better in methylene blue. He further said that methylene blue demonstrates a great potential to delay skin aging for all ages.

The team also found that methylene blue was much better in slowing the signs of aging in skin fibroblasts that the other named three antioxidants that were examined. Meanwhile, senior researcher Kan Chao said that their study indicates methylene blue could be a strong antioxidant for use in skin care products. He further said that the effects they are seeing are not temporary and methylene blue seems to make fundamental and long-term changes to skin cells, as noted by Science Alert.

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