The Korean Way to Whiter Skin

The Chinese herb, referred to as Radix Astragali ('root of Astragalus') in western herbal medicine, manufactures many types of natural products. Among these the main active substances are its antioxidant flavonoids and several sterol derivatives called astragalosides. Right now one of the very fruitful aspects of research on Radix Astragali entails the potential that astragalosides show for reducing aging.

One of many astragalosides, astragaloside IV, yields a substance called cycloastragenol. This molecule provides a defensive effect for chromosomes during cellular reproduction. Such an effect is currently in the middle of one of the hottest topics in anti-aging research. Indeed, drug companies are hurrying to discover synthetic analogues to cycloastragenol that may be patented as anti-aging drugs.

Three recent studies on cycloastragenol already point out its potential health korean mask sheet benefits. One study, at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, showed how cycloastragenol can suppress the formation of new fat cells. This activity might be of benefit for treating obesity. This role supports the usage of Radix Astragali being an oral supplement.

The other two studies concentrate on metabolism in skin cells. Research from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, unearthed that cycloastragenol can stimulate a key anti-aging enzyme known from human keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are the most abundant cells in our skin, creating about 90% of its outermost layer. Stimulating keratinocyte metabolism provides a basis for healthy, radiant skin.

Finally, scientists at the College of Oriental Medicine at Kyung Hee University in South Korea demonstrate the potential for extracts of Radix Astragali for protecting the skin against damage by UV light. The concern with such damaging radiation is so it accelerates aging and can even lead to DNA damage and subsequent skin cancer.

In the South Korean study, extracts of Radix Astragali stopped the loss of pre-collagen in fibroblasts that have been exposed to damaging UV light. Extracts were found to inhibit an enzyme called collagenase, which reduces or stops the synthesis of collagen.

Collagen is essential for healthy skin since it is the key structural protein that holds skin cells together. UV light causes its destruction, and Astragalus root extracts prevent that destruction.

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