Research conducted at the University of Leicester in England, reported this year in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08915849
), contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms involved in vitamin C's ability to help heal and protect the skin. The vitamin is an essential cofactor for the synthesis of collagen, the predominant protein in skin and other connective tissue.
Tiago Duarte, Marcus S. Cooke and G. Don Jones previously reported the discovery of the upregulation of DNA repair in vitamin C supplement users. The current research examined gene expression and DNA damage and repair in cultured human skin cells known as dermal fibroblasts (which play a major role in wound healing) that were exposed to derivative of vitamin C.
"The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions," noted Dr Duarte, who is presently affiliated with the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal. "Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer, through the formation of free radicals and DNA damage."
In addition to vitamin C's well known ability to scavenge damaging free radicals, Dr Duarte's team uncovered additional mechanisms for the vitamin in repairing the skin and protecting it from further damage. "Our study analyzed the effect of sustained exposure to a vitamin C derivative, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, in human dermal fibroblasts,” he explained. “We investigated which genes are activated by vitamin C in these cells, which are responsible for skin regeneration. The results demonstrated that vitamin C may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area. Vitamin C could also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions." Continue Reading http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2009/0922_How-Vitamin-C-Protects-the-Skin.htm?source=eNewsLetter2009Wk39-1&key=Article&l=0#article