Recent news reported that scientists might have found the fountain of youth. It is believed a medical breakthrough could help experts develop anti-ageing treatments based on specific skin types. A team of scientists from Newcastle University discovered the function of a major enzyme in human skin cells loses its potential with age.
They claim mitochondrial complex II is less active in older skin than it is in younger tissue. According to the researchers, the enzyme is the link between two important methods of producing energy in our cells. If it loses its activity it will eventually lead to a decreased bio-energy in ageing skin tissue.
For the study, experts used 27 participants, aged six to 72 years, to study the enzyme mitochondrial complex II. They took samples from a skin area that is sun-protected to see if how skin tissue is altered with increasing age. The results pointed out mitochondrial complex II function declined considerably with age.
This was especially seen in the cells from the lower rather than the upper levels. Such an observation has never been made before for human skin tissue. Dr. Amy Bowman, co-author of the study, explained:
“Our work brings us one step closer to understanding how these vital cell structures may be contributing to human ageing, with the hope of eventually specifically targeting areas of the mitochondria in an attempt to counteract the signs of ageing.”
This means experts can now focus their attention on developing customized anti-ageing products which may prevent the bio-energy decline. Moreover, it is believed the newly found information might apply to other parts of the human body.
Mark Birch-Machin, the lead author of the study, explained the batteries in our skin cells deteriorate as we age. This process increases the harmful free radicals in the skin. Eventually, the effects appear at the skin’s surface as visible fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Further research will now be required to fully comprehend the functional consequences in skin and other tissues.
Also, experts will need to conduct another series of tests to determine new anti-ageing techniques. The fact that scientists might have found the fountain of youth represents a great step in understanding the fundamental cell system in our bodies. The potential anti-ageing treatments will give hope to those whose skin was affected not only by ageing, but also by other medical conditions.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia