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Monday, July 20, 2015

Japanese Scientists Discover What Causes Saggy Skin

Shiseido Co., Ltd., through joint research with Professor Takakura Nobuyuki (surname first) of the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases at Osaka University, says that it is the impaired function of dermal lymphatic vessels that leads to accumulation of subcutaneous fat, which ultimately causes 'sagging' of the skin.

Keep in mind, please, that this article is for people - not sharpei doggies, like the one to the left.

According to the same research, it is the first to discover that something it calls 'pine cone extra' collected from Pinus Sylvestris (which is distributed throughout Europe and Asia) has the effect of strengthening and normalizing the lymphatic vessels.

The development is underway to apply these study findings to skin care cosmetics.

Shiseido’s Research
Shiseido has long focused on research pertaining to capillary and lymphatic vessels, since capillary vessels, which supply nutrients and oxygen, and lymphatic vessels, which are indispensable in collecting water and waste products, play important roles in the maintenance of healthy skin.

Previous studies have found that impaired blood vessel and lymphatic function is a root cause of skin aging. For instance, the structures of capillary and lymphatic vessels become frail due to the effect of ultraviolet rays or aging, and this prevents nutrients from spreading into every corner of skin. In addition, reduced lymphatic function causes prolonged inflammation, which results in wrinkles.

On the other hand, skin sagging had previously been attributed to a decrease in collagen fibers or reduced elasticity, accumulation of subcutaneous fat, enlargement of adipocytes, and so on.

In carrying out a joint research with Professor Takakura, the present study was initiated based on the idea that there might be an association between the state of lymphatic vessels and 'sagging.'

Feeling Swell Leads To Sagging
Impaired lymphatic function causes skin troubles, such as 'swelling.'

Professor Takakura has identified apelin as a novel endogenous factor that enhances the function of lymphatic vessels, and furthermore, he discovered that apelin suppresses the accumulation of subcutaneous fat.

Says Takakura: "Based on these study results, we set out to examine in detail the relationship between lymphatic function and accumulation of subcutaneous fat. The results revealed that 1) fatty acids, which are present abundantly in lymph, cause the destabilization of lymphatic vessels, leaking from the vessels, and 2) leaked fatty acids directly promote the differentiation of adipocytes. Furthermore, it was found that apelin has a function to suppress the leakage of fatty acids from lymphatic vessels.

"Our previous study has shown that in saggy parts, there is an accumulation of subcutaneous fat. The new study results signify a new discovery of the mechanism of how 'swelling' due to impaired lymphatic function causes 'sagging' via association with an increase and accumulation of subcutaneous fat.

WTF Is Pine Cone Extra?
Shiseido, in collaboration with Osaka University, initiated the screening of herbal components with the same function as apelin, which increases lymphatic function and suppresses subcutaneous fat increase and accumulation.

It is known that apelin binds to G protein-coupled receptor APJ, which is expressed in the cell membrane of lymphatic endothelial cells, and stabilizes lymphatic vessels.

Did everyone get that? It actually binds to G protein-coupled receptor APJ. It sure sounds like I know what that means.

But maybe one of you rocket scientists teaching primary school English as  JET in Japan knows what that means.

From among approximately 200 herbal components, pine cone extra was found to have the same high activity as apelin that binds to APJ, having a suppressing effect on fatty acid-induced destabilization of lymphatic vessels.

In addition, when a trial product formulated with pine cone extra was used for two months (morning and night), effects were observed to improve the nasolabial line, the facial line, and sagging of the neck.

In other words, the laboratory animals who tested it look marvelous! 

Actually, I have no idea just how these tests were conducted.

Shiseido will continue to conduct basic research on capillary and lymphatic vessels to develop new skincare cosmetics.

The study results were presented at the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. This society is huge in dermatological science, with this annual meeting attracting around 1,000 participants from 25 countries.

So, worry not—apelin… or pine cone extra may one day help get that skin looking marvelous again.

Andrew Joseph
PS: I am not claiming this ingredient works, or that it is right for you. This was a press release that I have edited to style, and is presented only for FYI purposes only.  

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