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UVA Damage May Be Prevented by Astaxanthin

Posted: November 3, 2008

Astaxanthin is more efficient than other carotenoids in protecting the skin from UV damage, according to recent in vitro study findings.

The research, published in a recent edition of Experimental Dermatology, compares the protection provided by astaxanthin (AX) to that of canthaxanthin (CX) and beta carotene. Out of the three, it was astaxanthin that provided the most effective protection when human dermal fibroblasts underwent UV radiation, concluded the scientists led by Emanuela Camera from San Gallicano Dermatology Institute in Rome.

UVA damages antioxidant defense system

UVA radiation is known to both trigger the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and deplete the antioxidant defense system of the fibroblasts by affecting antioxidant enzymes such as catalase and superoxide dismutase. For this reason, supplementing the system with antioxidants can help protect against UV damage, explained the authors.

The researchers treated human dermal fibroblasts with AX, CX or beta carotene, 24 hours prior to exposing the cells to UVA radiation. They found that AX prevented the UVA-induced inhibition of catalase, whereas beta carotene only showed a slight protective effect and CX had no discernable effect. Similarly the UVA-induced inhibition of superoxide dismutase was also counteracted by AX and beta carotene, but not by CX.