By studying human skin cells, researchers from the United Kingdom discovered secrets of the aging process that will pave the way to create more effective anti-aging beauty products and beneficial cancer-fighting medications. Newcastle University scientists believe that the key lies in an enzyme used in the cellular organelles known as mitochondria. Here’s what geriatricians and live-in caregivers in The Grand Strand should know.
The study involved evaluating skin samples provided by more than two dozen volunteers ranging in age from six to 72. The skin cells were carefully obtained from regions of the body protected from sun damage and other environmental factors. Researchers then implemented complex laboratory processes in order to analyze and measure the activity of mitochondrial enzymes that are responsible for energy production, cell function, growth and reproduction.
By comparing skin samples and enzymes, the group learned that an enzyme named mitochondrial complex II is largely responsible for keeping skin smooth and youthful by inhibiting the effects of free radicals. However, as one ages, this enzyme becomes less plentiful and less effective. Free radicals invade cells, which leads to damage and eventual total destruction. But amazingly enough, the only skin cells demonstrating the degenerative aging process were the cells in the dermis or lower layers of cells. In addition to slowed complex II activity, the cells also stopped reproducing.
Scientists also learned that this unusual enzyme activity occurs in animals as was proven by examining the skin cells obtained from laboratory mice at different stages of their lifespan. By extracting active mitochondrial complex II from younger skin cells and injecting the compound into maturing cells, cosmetic surgeons may be able to slow, halt or reverse the aging process.
On the other hand, by having a greater understanding of the processes that lead to cell destruction, pharmaceutical researchers can develop medications that accelerate these conditions to effectively kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The Grand Strand senior care providers and oncologists would appreciate this information, as it could one day prove beneficial for the seniors in their care.
Aging is a natural part of life, but this anti-aging breakthrough could bring about some important findings in terms of cancer treatment. While researchers continue to study these findings, seniors and their caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance of The Grand Strand for help through the aging process. We provide comprehensive services to help seniors age in place, including dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care in The Grand Strand. With these premier services, we promote senior health, longevity, and self-esteem. Learn how we can help your loved one through the golden years by calling (843) 353-3105 today and scheduling a free consultation.