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Skin Aging Could Be Delayed With A Common Antioxidant

Skin aging could be delayed with a common antioxidant

For many people, declining skin health is one of most loathsome effects of getting older. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, becomes thinner and drier, and its ability to repair dwindles. A new study, however, has uncovered an antioxidant that could delay skin aging.

a woman looking at herself in the mirror
Researchers say that methylene blue could help to slow skin aging.

Researchers reveal how a compound called methylene blue reduced signs of aging in human skin cells, as well as in a 3-D model of human skin.

Lead study author Zheng-Mei Xiong, an assistant research professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, and colleagues say that their findings indicate that methylene blue could be added to cosmetic products to help combat skin aging.

The researchers recently reported their results in the journal Scientific Reports.

Methylene blue is a compound primarily used for the treatment of methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the blood is unable to effectively carry oxygen.

Recent studies, however, have suggested that methylene blue is effective for reducing cellular senescence – that is, the arrest of cell division, which is considered a key player in aging.

“Based on these observations, we speculate that MB [methylene blue] may effectively protect skin from oxidative stress and delay skin aging,” write the authors.

Methylene blue reduced markers of senescence in skin cells

To test their theory, Xiong and colleagues tested methylene blue and three other antioxidants – N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, MitoQ, and MitoTEMPO – on skin fibroblasts. These are cells in the dermal skin layer that produce collagen, the skin’s primary structural protein.

The skin fibroblasts were derived from healthy middle-aged and older adults, as well as from individuals with progeria – a condition characterized by accelerated aging.

After treating the fibroblasts with methylene…

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