London: A `space drink` developed by NASA to protect astronauts from radiation can also reduce wrinkles and reverse the telltale signs of ageing in just four months, say researchers, following a human trial.
A team at Utah University has found in its research that the concoction, known as AS10, dramatically reduces wrinkles, blemishes and sun damage after four months.
At the start of their trial, the researchers took visia photographs -- which reveal the condition of the skin below the surface by using different types of light exposure -- of 180 participants.
They again took the photos after four months of drinking two shots of AS10 a day. By the end UV spots were reduced by 30 per cent and wrinkles by 17 per cent, the `Daily Mail` reported.
AS10 was developed as a nutritional supplement for astronauts to protect them from the damaging effects of high levels of radiation outside the Earth`s atmosphere.
The drink contains a blend of fruits including cupuacu (a Brazilian fruit from the cacao plant family), acai, acerola, prickly pear and yumberry, which all provide vitamins and phytochemicals -- compounds known to block the harmful effects of radiation. Other ingredients are grape, green tea, pomegranate and vegetables.
Radiation particles alter oxygen molecules in the body to create reactive oxygen species (ROS) -- "free radicals" which damage cells in a process known as oxidative stress. This process has been linked to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer`s. The toxic molecules are also thought to play a role in the skin ageing process.
"Think of them as little Pac-men taking bites out of molecules that are essential for cells to function," said Dr Aaron Barson, who led the team.
AS10 is thought to improve skin condition because the drink`s large quantities of antioxidants ward off oxidative stress, allowing the skin to heal naturally. Antioxidants attach themselves to ROS and neutralise them before they cause damage.
Dr Barson added: "The skin is the first body tissue to be exposed to UV rays and we know it is sensitive to oxidative stress. Our study shows it greatly benefits from a reduction in this stress. The effects of oxidative stress on the skin can be quickly modified and the skin can heal itself by drinking AS10."