Finding a cure for aging skin is a topic that many people are interested in. The fact is that everyone’s skin ages, whether it is wished for or not. The amount of money that is spent annually on plastic surgery and anti-aging cream attests to the fact that a cure or solution is highly anticipated. There is a chance that scientists have found a very promising solution in apple stem cells.
Stem Cells Located in the Skin
Stem cells are what make up our bodies and organs. With the skin being the largest organ, their role is to help control how our skin looks and feels. There are two types of stem cells in the skin’s innermost layer of the epidermis, the basal. The first type of stem cells, the epidermal stem cells, divide slowly and make up about 2%-7% of the total amount of stem cells located in the basal. The second type is the offspring of these epidermal cells which divide rapidly and replace the cells that are lost or dying.
How Stem Cells Age the Skin
Throughout a stem cell’s life, it can only divide a certain number of times. Once it runs out of “lives”, the cell dies. As old cells die, however, new ones are replacing them. In relation to the skin’s stem cells: because the epidermal stem cells divide slowly, and therefore, regenerate slowly, they cannot be replaced fast enough over time. Once the amount of lost or dying cells begins to outnumber the amount of healthy stem cells, the skin begins to show the effects of aging.
An Apple’s Stem Cells
Because apples have a long shelf life, they have always been a desired fruit to grow. However, before refrigeration, they did not last as long as the modern apple. In the middle of the 18th century, a special apple was designed and engineered. These new apples, called Uttwiler Spätlauber, last longer than other apple species. A few of these special trees still exist in Switzerland, and scientists collected extracts from these trees in order to test their compatibility with skin’s stem cells and their hopeful properties in fighting the aging of skin. Which leads to how apple stem cells can help fight the effect of aging.
Apple Stem Cells & Skin Stem Cells
After extracting cells from these specially engineered apples, scientists began to test their use in helping to fight aging skin. They began by testing the apple stem cells and human skin stem cells in order to find out if the apple stem cells helped to create a younger looking skin. After many experiments and conclusions, a cream with 2% Uttwiler Spätlauber extract and lecithin liposomes was created and tested on patients with crow’s feet. The 20 participants were measured over a 4-week period. After two weeks, there was a 8% reduction in wrinkle depth; 15% after 4 weeks.
The advancement in stem cell research is leading to many discoveries; one of which is that they can be used help repair damaged tissues and organs. In the case of apple stem cells, the skin is being healed.