Are we ever too young to take care of our skin?

Aging is one of the hottest topics today among men and women, young and old. As we forever chase the fountain of youth, it’s not surprising that we all want to know how to prepare ourselves for the battle ahead. One of … Continue reading

Glutathione: The Experts Weigh In

In a recent post, we learned that Schisandrin B stimulates the production of glutathione (GSH), the body’s most potent natural antioxidant. Using anti-aging skincare products that contain Schisandrin B will effectively and drastically reduce the unsightly physical manifestations of skin aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, droopy eyelids, and sagging neck skin.

Like no man is an island, no organ of the body functions entirely independently of the others. Our cells work in harmony to create and sustain life. Though we have discussed the importance of glutathione in skin health, it is important to consider the wider-ranging implications of glutathione for our overall well-being.

Expert opinions

Here’s what some of the experts are saying about the role of glutathione in health:

“No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body. Low levels are associated with early aging and even death.”

– Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe and Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D., The Immune System Cure

“Raised glutathione levels fight the oxidation of circulating fats in the bloodstream, including cholesterol, retarding the process of plaque formation in the arteries – the underlying cause for most heart disease and stroke.”

– Nutrition Reviews 54: 1-30, 1996

“It is well known that aging is accompanied by a precipitous fall in GSH levels. Lower GSH levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging, including cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, atherosclerosis and others.”

– Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-26, 1994

The future of healthy aging

Scientists around the world have been pursuing progressively more advanced research on glutathione and Schisandrin B. We may not be able to stop the clock, but what we already know about these compounds demonstrates their significance in the campaign for healthy aging, starting with the body’s largest organ: our skin.

References

Quirin, Dr. K. W. et al. Supercritical Schisandra Extracts – a New Concept for Personal Care Cosmetics. Cosmetic Science Technology, 2008.

Gutman, Dr. Jimmy. GSH Your Body’s Most Powerful Protector GLUTATHIONE. Montreal: Kudo.ca Communications, 2002. Print.

Somersall, Dr. Allan C. and Dr. Gustavo Bounous. Breakthrough in Cell-Defense. USA: GOLDENeight Publishing, 1999. Print.

Vanderhaeghe, Lorna R. and Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D. The Immune System Cure. New York: Kensington, 2002. Print.

Glissandrin™: The Ultimate Anti-Aging Skincare Ingredient

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on the quest by scientists to find effective ways to fight skin aging. In our previous article, entitled “What have scientists found to fight the leading cause of skin aging – mitochondrial decay?”, we discussed how Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B have been proven to be successful in that regard, dramatically improving the appearance of aging skin.

A study related to this was recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the official publication of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology. “Mitochondria: a new focus as an anti-aging target in skin care” confirms the important role of mitochondrial function in aging and advocates targeting mitochondria in the development of new products.

Here, we continue to explore the use of Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B in the revolutionary new ingredient, Glissandrin™, which promises to change the way we approach skin care.

As discussed in previous articles, mitochondrial decay plays a fundamental role in the process of aging. Over time, cells lose the ability to function normally, falling victim to free radicals and the ensuing oxidative stress. The consequences of this appear as the visible signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, loss of suppleness, and a marked deterioration in skin tone.

Glissandrin™

Glissandrin™ is a suite of natural compounds isolated from the Schisandra berry. Consisting mainly of Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B, Glissandrin™ also comprises (±)γ-Schisandrin, Schisandrin A, and Schisandrin C. Extensive research on Glissandrin™ has confirmed its anti-aging properties on skin cells, most notably on its ability to target the fundamental cause of aging: mitochondrial decay.

Research Findings

A. Mitochondrial decay in skin cells can be reversed by topical application of Glissandrin™

A 3-day application of Glissandrin™ cream (2% and 5%) to skin cells caused a dose-dependent increase in reduced glutathione (GSH) and α-tocopherol (α-Toc) levels in skin mitochondria. Glissandrin™ cream is able to enhance the antioxidant capacity of mitochondria and to reverse mitochondrial decay in aging skin cells.

Figure 1: Glissandrin™ enhances mitochondrial antioxidant capacity in the skin

Cream containing 2% or 5% Glissandrin™ was applied to skin cells on a daily basis for 3 days. The control group was treated with cream containing no Glissandrin™. Skin tissues were isolated and mitochondrial fractions were prepared. Mitochondrial reduced glutathione and α-tocopherol levels were measured. P < 0.05 when compared to the control, using Student’s t-test.

B. Mitochondrial functional capabilities in skin cells can be enhanced by topical application of Glissandrin™

Glissandrin™ also dose-dependently increased mitochondrial ATP (cellular energy) production in human skin cells, indicative of enhancement in mitochondrial functional ability.

Figure 2: Glissandrin™ enhances the mitochondrial functional ability in human skin cells

Cultured human skin cells were incubated with Glissandrin™ at the indicated concentration for 24 or 48 hours. ATP generation capacity was measured in situ and data were expressed as the percentage of control. P < 0.05 when compared to the control, using Student’s t-test.

C. In-vivo and in-vitro studies have confirmed other properties of Glissandrin™ that are beneficial to the skin :

  • Emolliating proliferative skin conditions
  • Enhancing the natural antioxidative capabilities in skin cells
  • Increasing the expression of cellular heat shock proteins, thereby alerting the skin to adverse external environmental factors
  • Suppressing inflammation
  • Inhibiting the production of collagenase, an enzyme that destroys collagen
  • Protecting skin cells from solar radiation – particularly UV – and repairing skin cells with UV damage
  • Reducing the destruction of elastin, a protein in the skin matrix responsible for skin elasticity
  • Inhibiting ATR protein kinase activity (cancer prevention)

Glissandrin™ has been clinically tested to be safe for even the most sensitive skin, especially for users who experience adverse reactions to most skincare products.

The desired level of biological availability and the purity of chemical compositions of Glissandrin™ are standardized through a proprietary process developed specifically for its manufacturing. Furthermore, the concentrations of the constituent compounds have been formulated for easy absorption, optimal efficacy, and a luxurious feel when applied to the skin.

The International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology has spoken, and its message is clear: targeting mitochondrial decay is now the goal of the anti-aging industry. Without understanding and addressing mitochondrial decay, the leading cause of skin aging, most skincare products are ill-equipped to provide the real, sustainable results they promise. Fortunately, Glissandrin™ is available today as the ultimate anti-aging skincare solution.

For More Information

More information on Schisandrin B, (−)Schisandrin B, and mitochondrial decay can be found on these independent websites:

National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov/)

PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/)

Natural Standard (http://www.naturalstandard.com/)

About Glissandra™ Skincare Inc.

Glissandra™ Skincare Inc. is a network marketing company (also known as multi-level marketing, MLM, or direct sales) dedicated to providing effective anti-aging skincare through its holistic approach to skin health. Glissandra’s comprehensive skincare system is the result of over 20 years of research and development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, led by Dr. Robert Ko. Over 100 research papers have been published on its key proprietary ingredient, Glissandrin™, a suite of natural compounds extracted from the Schisandra berry. In-vivo and in-vitro studies have proven the ability of Glissandrin™ to address mitochondrial decay, the leading cause of aging, and to enhance the cell’s natural ability to fight oxidative damage. (http://glissandra.com).

Contact Us

http://www.glissandra.com/

info [at] glissandra [dot] com

1-877-313-7242

References

“Mitochondria: a new focus as an anti-aging target in skin care”; Menon et al, Global R&D, ISP Corporation, New Jersey, USA; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2010, Wiley Periodicals Inc.

“Composition and Biological Activity of Different Extract from Schisandra sphenanthera and Schisandra chinensis”; Huyke, et al., Department of Dermatology, University Medical Centre, Freiburg, Germany; Planta Medica 2007.

“Schisandrin B-induced increase in cellular glutathione level and protection against oxidant injury are mediated by the enhancement of glutathione synthesis and regeneration in AML12 and H9c2 cells”, Ko et al., Biofactors 2006; 26: 221-230.

“Hepatoprotective mechanism of Schisandrin B: Role of mitochondrial glutathione antioxidant status and heat shock proteins”, Ko et al., Free Radic. Biol. Med. 2003; 35: 368-380.

“Composition and Biological Activity of Different Extracts from Schisandra sphenanthera and Schisandra chinensis”, Huyke et al., Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center, Freiberg, Germany, Planta Med 2007 73: 1116-1126.

“Schisandrin B protects against solar irradiation-induced oxidative injury in BJ human fibroblasts”; Ko et al.; Department of Biochemistry, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Fitoterapia 82 (2011) 682-691.

“Inhibition of ATR protein kinase activity by Schisandrin B in DNA damage response”, H. Nishida et al., Department of Applied Life Science, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences; Nucleic Acids Research 2009, Vol. 37, No. 17.

Schisandrin B: Ushering in a New Era in UV Protective Skincare

Introduction

Schisandrin B, a key component of Glissandrin, can protect against solar irradiation-induced oxidative injury in skin tissue and skin cells, according to recent research findings from the laboratory of Dr. Robert Ko at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

As the largest organ in the human body, the skin serves as an effective barrier for protecting against various external threats. This includes exposure to harmful solar irradiation – particularly UV and infrared rays – which research has shown to be a major cause of skin aging. Solar irradiation-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is responsible for photo-aging, the signs of which include wrinkles, coarse skin texture, and reduced skin resilience. Although human skin tissue possesses non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidant defense systems to cope with the increased oxidative stress caused by solar light radiation, long-term exposure or over-exposure to solar light can overwhelm the antioxidant system.

But what if there was a way to enhance the skin’s natural antioxidant defenses to prevent photo-aging entirely? Schisandrin B (Sch B) is able to do just that, ushering in a new era in UV protective skincare.

Schisandrin B is derived from the Schisandra fruit, an herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This naturally occurring herbal ingredient has been found to produce tissue non-specific protection against oxidative injury by enhancing cellular and mitochondrial glutathione antioxidant status in the heart, liver, kidney, and brain.

Figure 1: Schisandra berry

Recent studies led by Dr. Robert Ko at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have shown the promise of Schisandrin B:

• Schisandrin B stimulated both reduced-glutathione and vitamin E levels. These two non-enzymatic antioxidants can remove excess ROS during oxidative stress in a synergistic manner.
• Schisandrin B elevated various enzymes involved in the enzymatic antioxidant defense system, demonstrating that non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidant components work together to protect against solar irradiation-induced oxidative injury in skin tissue.

Figure 2: Effects of Sch B pretreatment on solar irradiation-induced cell injury in BJ human fibroblasts

• Schisandrin B suppressed the solar irradiation-induced increases in elastases-type protease activity and matrix-metalloproteinases-1 (MMP-1) expression in skin cells. The degradation of the extracellular matrix (EM) in skin tissue as a result of solar irradiation is of prime concern in skincare. This is one of the major biological events that leads to photo-aging and is mediated by protein-degrading enzymes like elastases-type protease and MMP-1.

Figure 3: Effects of Sch B pretreatment on cellular elastases-type protease activity in solar-irradiated BJ human fibroblasts

Figure 4: Effects of Sch B pretreatment on cellular MMP-1 level in solar-irradiated BJ human fibroblasts

Schisandrin B is a key component of Glissandrin™, a potent anti-aging skincare ingredient that has been the subject of over 100 research papers. In-vivo and in-vitro studies have proven the ability of Glissandrin to reverse mitochondrial decay , the leading cause of aging, and to simultaneously enhance the cell’s natural ability to fight oxidative damage.

Other studies have shown the ability of Schisandrin B to suppress collagenase, an enzyme responsible for the depletion of collagen in skin cells. Research has also been conducted on the compound’s anti-cancer properties, particularly in the skin.

Figure 5: Mitochondria

Conclusion

Given that both spectra of solar light – UV and infrared radiation – are major causes of skin aging, Schisandrin B’s ability to enhance the skin’s antioxidant defenses against harmful solar irradiation, thereby offering the prospect of preventing skin photo-aging, is instigating a new era in skincare.

For more information

More information on Schisandrin B, mitochondrial decay, and theories of aging can be found at these independent websites:

• National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov/)
• PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/)
• Natural Standard (http://www.naturalstandard.com/)

Background and References

Schisandrin B is a key component of Glissandrin™, the proprietary ingredient in Glissandra™ products.

Dr. Robert Ko holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is currently a Professor in the Division of Life Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Chief Technology Officer of Glissandra Skincare Inc.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is ranked 41st among research universities worldwide by Times Higher Education 2010 (London, UK).

Lam PY, Leong PK, Chen N, Ko KM: Schisandrin B enhances the glutathione redox cycling and protects against oxidant injury in different types of cultured cells. Biofactors (in press).

Chiu, P.Y., and Ko, K.M. (2006). Schisandrin B-induced increase in cellular glutathione level and protection against oxidant injury are mediated by the enhancement of glutathione synthesis and regeneration in AML12 and H9c2 cells. Biofactors 26: 221-230.

Chiu, P.Y., Leung, H.Y., and Ko, K.M. (2008). Schisandrin B enhances renal mitochondrial antioxidant status, functional and structural integrity, and protects against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 31: 602-605.

Chen, N., Chiu, P.Y., and Ko, K.M. (2008). Schisandrin B enhances cerebral mitochondrial antioxidant status and structural integrity, and protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 31: 1387-1391.

Lam PY, Yan CW, Chiu PY, Leung HY, Ko KM. Schisandrin B protects against solar irradiation-induced oxidative stress in rat skin tissue. Fitoterapia 2011; 82: 393-400.

Chiu PY, PY Lam, Yan CW, Ko KM. Schisandrin B protects against solar irradiation-induced oxidative injury in BJ human fibroblasts. Fitoterapia 2011; 82: 682-691.

Nisida H, Tatewaki N, Magara T, Nakajima Y, Ko KM, Hamamori Y, Konishi T: Inhibition of ATR kinase activity by schisandrin B in DNA damage response. Nucleic Acid Res. 2009; 37: 5678-5689.

What have scientists found to fight the leading cause of skin aging – mitochondrial decay?

Introduction

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on the quest by scientists to find effective ways to fight skin aging. In our previous article, entitled “What causes skin aging: Making sense of the latest research findings”, we discussed how oxidative damage is regarded in the scientific community as the primary cause of aging, and how mitochondria play a significant role in this by being a major source of free radicals.

Now, scientists have made a breakthrough in fighting the leading cause of skin aging: Schisandrins have been proven to effectively reverse mitochondrial decay.

A recap of our previous discussion

Mitochondrial decay in aging refers to a progressive disruption to mitochondrial structural integrity and functional ability over time. Consequently, cells experience impaired energy production, a decline in normal function, and accelerated free radical generation. This is the phenomenon of cellular aging, which makes the cell more prone to apoptosis, or programmed cell death – much like cell suicide.

Figure 1: Structure of a mitochondrion

Skin aging – the signs of which are commonly manifested in wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, loss of suppleness, and deterioration of skin tone – has been proven to involve mitochondrial dysfunction.

The mitochondria–free radical connection

Research has shown that mitochondria are a major source of free radicals. Deteriorating mitochondria instigate a vicious cycle of exacerbated oxidative stress. Consistent with these findings is the concept that “manipulating the signaling pathways that regulate cellular antioxidant defense” and “controlling the intracellular levels of free radicals” is preferred over “altering individual antioxidant components by extrinsic supplementation”.

In simpler terms, this means that it may be more effective to combat aging by treating the source of free radical production rather than by “cleaning up” free radicals after they are generated. This theory is supported by recent studies that have found that scavenging free radicals through the supplementation of certain antioxidants could be ineffective or even harmful in the long run.[i] [ii]

The role of Schisandrin B in skin-related mitochondrial decay

There has been a substantial amount of research on remedies to combat mitochondrial decay as an effective means of mitigating the aging process. Particularly noteworthy is the research conducted by Dr. Bruce Ames (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Tory Hagen (Oregon State University), who investigated the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid on improving the functional capability of mitochondria.

Over the past few decades, the pharmacological activities of Schisandrin B, an active ingredient isolated from Fructus Schisandrae (commonly known as the Schisandra berry), have been studied extensively. Research conducted at RK-Lab at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have demonstrated the protective effect of Schisandrin B on free radical-induced damage in various vital organs, including the heart, liver, kidney, and brain.

Figure 2: Fresh Schisandra berries

Research has shown that Schisandrin B is able to simultaneously:

  1. enhance mitochondrial functional ability, and
  2. increase natural mitochondrial antioxidant capacity.

These are clear indications that this natural compound is effective in mitigating further mitochondrial decay, successfully defeating this leading cause of skin aging.

In addition, Schisandrin B has been proven to be able to induce the expression of heat shock proteins, endogenous protein molecules essential in cellular protection against various stressful stimuli. The expression of heat shock proteins is believed by many in the scientific community to be another crucial biochemical mechanism for fighting aging.

The latest research

Recent research has found a stereoisomer of Schisandrin B, (−)Schisandrin B, to be even more potent in enhancing mitochondrial functional ability and in boosting the innate antioxidant capacity of mitochondria.

Figure 3: Comparison of a cell treated with (−)Schisandrin B vs. a cell with no treatment

(−)Schisandrin B protects cells against oxidative stress, thereby preventing disease and enabling a healthier and longer lifespan.  Without (−)Schisandrin B, cells are vulnerable to oxidative stress. This results in the loss of structural and functional integrity and cyto c release, and ultimately leads to cell death.

Implications for anti-aging skincare

The pharmacological properties of Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B have significant implications for anti-aging skincare, since skin is the largest organ of the human body, and oxidative damage has been recognized as one of the major factors that contribute to skin aging. Wrinkles, fine line, age spots, sagginess, loss of radiance, and many other signs of skin aging are all attributed to oxidative damage.

Studies at RK-Lab at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology[iii] have validated the beneficial effects of Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B on skin cells and skin tissues. Furthermore, topical formulations using Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B have been clinically tested on human subjects with remarkable anti-aging results.

Schisandrin B and (−)Schisandrin B are the key compounds in Glissandrin™, an active ingredient in anti-aging skincare consisting of natural compounds extracted from the Schisandra berry. This active ingredient has been incorporated into the most advanced anti-aging skincare products, now available from Glissandra™ Skincare Inc.

As the first active ingredient to holistically:

  1. address mitochondrial decay,
  2. increase natural cellular antioxidant capability, and
  3. target other causes of aging,

Glissandrin™ is a breakthrough in the anti-aging skincare industry.

To be continued…

In the next article, the powerful anti-aging properties of Glissandrin™ will be explored in further detail.

For more information

More information on Schisandrin B, (−)Schisandrin B, mitochondrial decay, and theories of aging can be found at these independent websites:


[i] Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention – Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Bjelakovic et al; Journal of the American Medical Association 2007; 297(8):842-857 (doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.842).

[ii] Vitamins in Aging, Health, and Longevity, David R Thomas; The Division of Geriatric Medicine, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

[iii] The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was ranked 35th among research universities worldwide by Times Higher Education in 2009.