Washington: Researchers at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal have found that vitamin C can help protect DNA damage of skin cells and lead to better skin regeneration.
Previous research has shown that DNA repair is upregulated in people consuming vitamin C supplements.
In the new study, the researchers have provided some mechanistic evidence.
The researchers used affymetrix microarray, for looking at gene expression, and the `Comet` assay to study DNA damage
"The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions. Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer, through the formation of free radicals and DNA damage,” said lead researcher Tiago Duarte, formerly of the University of Leicester, and now at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal.
"Our study analysed the effect of sustained exposure to a vitamin C derivative, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (AA2P), in human dermal fibroblasts.
“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," Duarte added.
The researchers hope that the results will be of great relevance to the cosmetics industry.
"The study indicates a mechanism by which vitamin C could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy skin by promoting wound healing and by protecting cellular DNA against damage caused by oxidation,” said Dr Marcus S. Cooke from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Department of Genetics, at the University of Leicester.
"These findings are particular importance to our photobiology interests, and we will certainly be looking into this further," Cooke added.
The findings have been published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.