×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 31566

Flower Power

Digging into the Newest Plant Cell Breakthroughs

Science seems like a very artificial and synthetic thing, where compounds are manipulated in sterile spaces by people wearing white coats and latex gloves. But incredibly, the latest breakthrough in beautiful skin comes from the earth and sea itself, and from some of the garden's most deliriously sensual flowers.
Botanicals have been used in cosmetics for centuries. But today, utilizing plant stem cell technology, we are able to extract cells from plants and cultivate them in the laboratory, multiplying their potency by literally 1,000 times or more than that which is present in the naturally occurring molecule.

This bionic concentration, impossible in nature, allows the resulting product to deliver a power-dose of active ingredients to today's demanding consumer, thus bringing together the best of both worlds, botanical and lab-derived. And because the human skin is the largest repository of adult stem cells in the body, plant stem cells are understandably the most significant breakthrough in topical care for decades.

 

DERMASCOPE Featured Article

The Secret (Smart) Life of Plants

One of the more fascinating aspects of this emerging science is that it utilizes what might be called a cellular, strategic intelligence of plants. By this, I mean that every plant possesses defensive physical responses to protect itself and enhance its life-cycle and its chances of reproduction. This Darwinian imperative has enabled every current species on earth to persist, adapt, and thrive for literally billions of years.
Those species which did not possess this genetic resiliency are simply no longer with us. Some species in particular have developed especially advanced survival strategies which express themselves in physical terms. These plants are the best candidates for utilization in stem cell technologies, with truly astonishing implications. The cellular functions which the plant has developed over millennia to enhance its own survival now may be borrowed and adapted to enhance the survival of human cells, namely those found in the human skin. We now know that stem cell therapy stimulates the body's own stem cell reservoirs, coming as close as possible to discovering the mythical "Fountain of Youth" within the basal layer of our own epidermis.
Among the first advanced instances of borrowing "plant intelligence" for cosmetic use, involved an 18th century species of apple in Switzerland. In the days before refrigeration, growers had noted that this specific strain of apple demonstrated a remarkable resistance to spoilage. The self-preserving nature of Malus domesticus, suggesting exceptional cell-longevity, led to research which gave rise to early applications of plant stem cells, including those of Alpine Rose, Butterfly Bush, and Coneflower for cosmetic use. It is now a proven fact that the resiliency and resistance which enable this apple species to resist rot may be applied to human skin in the form of stem cell-based cosmeceuticals.
The most promising developments in plant stem cell research now focus upon three blossoming plants long-prized for their beauty and fragrance – Edelweiss, Lilac, and
Gardenia. Based in the Northern Italian center of Vicenza, Roberto Dal Toso, Scientific Director for The Institute for Biotechnological Research (IRB), sees this new generation of plant stem cell technology as a window into the future.
He comments, "Our current findings in the arena of plant stem cells, specifically with Edelweiss, Lilac, and Gardenia are precedent-setting in many ways. These botanicals represent everything that the consumer marketplace demands today: An extremely purified product which delivers powerful results. And it is also equally important to realize that this technology is eco-friendly and sustainable, much more so than the traditional growing and harvesting of vast fields of whole plants. Because the product is cultured in the lab from an extremely small sample of cells, which then are proliferated using a process that does not kill the mother-plant, we can protect even the rarest species while still deriving the benefits of its actives."
This is especially relevant in light of Dal Toso's invention of an innovative process for growing and extracting cell cultures for specific, new-generation antioxidants. Dal Toso holds the U.S. Patent for this process, and is a leader at the cutting edge of ingredient formulation technology.
In some cases, adaptation to harsh environments may play a major role in shaping the dynamic properties of the plant. For instance, the Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris) originated in mountainous terrain, and its capacity to withstand freezing temperatures now is deeply held in the plant's genetic memory. In fact, Lilac-fanciers will tell you that traditionally these plants require a hard freeze to blossom profusely, and that new hybrids had to be developed for more temperate climates.
I find it fascinating that the Lilac stem-cell contains high levels of a compound called verbascoside, which is a glycoside, or sugar-trapping molecules. Many state-of-the-art skin care products today focus upon the link between the production of sugars in the skin, known as glycation, and the formation of wrinkles.
There currently is no specific research exploring this aspect of the Lilac stem cell. However, the effect of verbascoside elsewhere is well-documented. By breaking the sugar-formation, verbascoside reduces the production of Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs for short. The result is that existing wrinkles may soften, and new creases are slower to form. Is there a relationship between sugar-trapping and the Lilac's capacity to store carbohydrates, including sugars, as an overwintering survival skill? Though unproven, this seems possible.

Make Up concealer

Dal Toso comments, "There are many other properties that can be claimed for verbascoside, such as a very strong photoprotective action safeguarding collagen against UV, as well as other vital antioxidant effects. This compound also enhances tissue repair enhancement, which is crucial to the action of anti-aging formulas, and is effective in sebum regulation, which helps to clear, balance, and control acneic skin."
Like the Lilac, the mountain-dwelling Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum) owes much of its resiliency to its climatic adaptation. According to Francesca Melandri, a colleague of Dal Toso at IRB, "Because Edelweiss grows in harsh climates, it is obliged to produce a number of active substances that help protect against the elements, such as UV rays."
High concentrations of leontopodic acids A and B, protective substances produced by the plant to defend itself against extremes in environment, have demonstrated strong antioxidant properties, as well as strong anti-collagenase and hyaluronidase activity; therefore helping to limit the degradation of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin.
The net result: Dramatic wrinkle reduction. Incidentally, Edelweiss is an example of an endangered plant which cannot and must not be harvested from the wild. The plant also does not respond well to cultivation, but the techniques used in stem cell technology allow science to utilize the plant in a sustainable and non-destructive manner.
The Gardenia, which is tropical in origin, owes its place in today's skin care spotlight to high levels of antioxidant ferulic acid, which stimulates the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. This combined function supports the skin's infrastructure for improved contour and firmness, and enhances the skin's ability to maintain the lipid barrier for greater moisture retention.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the fruit of the Gardenia jasminoides has been used for centuries in what is now known as Traditional Chinese Medicine, or simply Oriental Medicine. These traditional herbal remedies revere the Gardenia fruit as an anti-inflammatory, used to ease edema, headache, hypertension, and other forms of inflammation. Even more intriguingly, the Gardenia now is being researched for its extremely high antioxidant properties as relevant to the treatment of brain chemistry, relating to memory loss, specifically Alzheimer's disease ( Source: MOLECULES AND CELLS, KSMCB, 2007; Choi, Kim, Heo, Hong, Cho, Kim, Kim, Lim, Jun, Kim, Shin/ Korea University, Seoul).
The suggestion in this research is that oxidization and inflammation, just as these factors destroy skin cells, also may be implicated in the damage of neurons which lead to memory loss. This is simply one example of the world of possibilities which is just beginning to unfold as we study botanical science, just like the petals of the flower itself.

The Blossoming of Plant Stem Cell Technology

Stem cells in plants are referred to as meristematic, meaning they are undifferentiated and not yet defined or restricted in their cellular form. In plants, meristematic cells allow for the continuous regeneration of trunk and root.
You might say that the undifferentiated cell is a chameleon. Because it carries the entire DNA gene expression of the host organism, it can "morph" or differentiate into other cell types, making it invaluable in any number of cosmetic applications.Meristematic or plant stem cells are generated by wounding the host plant. In response, the plant forms callus tissue, where normal, differentiated cells revert to de-differentiated cells and become the stem cells which then may be used in plant stem cell technology. In other words, the experience of being wounded "un-scripts" plant cells so that they become neutral in terms of their function. This capacity to return to a neutral, "blank slate" state is known as totipotency. Because plant stem cells contain extremely high concentrations of phenylpropanoids, active substances produced by the plant in response to injury or trauma to protect the newly formed cells, they similarly protect the stem cells and the newly formed cells when applied to the skin. This effect is further enhanced by the interaction of high percentages of polysaccharides, phytosterols, amino acids, and mineral salts; substances which work synergistically to allow dramatic self-repair of the skin when applied topically. This means that the stem cell can create proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids to help repair fine lines and wrinkles and maintain firmness and elasticity; making skin more moist, responsive, and youthful in texture and appearance.

How to Bring This Science to Your Customers

During the past few years, primarily in the context of heavily publicized political campaigns, "stem cell research" has made headlines. It is essential to address this potential misunderstanding when discussing the benefits of plant stem cell technology.
There is absolutely no relationship between the stem cell research involving human embryos, and plant stem cell technology. This distinction is essential for all clients to understand, to avoid any ethical, political, philosophical, or religious objections to this promising and earth-friendly technology.

A Few Points to Remember

Plant stem cells are from plants; not from human tissue of any kind. Plant stem cell research or harvesting is not detrimental to host plants or to the environment at large. In fact, plant stem cell research and product development actually preserves and protects endangered plants, and does less damage to the world ecosystem than traditional botanical cultivation in the following ways:

  1. Only the tiniest amount of tissue is taken from the host plant to initiate the wounding and replication process.
  2. Because this technology generates unlimited cells from one culture, the host plant need not be planted in any large numbers. This means negligible soil occupancy, meaning that available land may be used for food crops, etcetera.
  3. Because there is no mass-planting required for this technology, water use is minimal in the cultivation of host plants.

We love flowers for their beauty, their fragrance, and their metaphorical meaning to our lives: New beginnings, blossoming, fading. But perhaps the world yet to be discovered with a flower's bud is the vast potential for science and knowledge.

Sam Dhatt is a world-renowned, award-winning cosmeceutical chemist who serves as the CEO and President of the product line DermaQuest Skin Therapy and of Allure Labs, a product formulation company, both of Hayward, CA. During his 20-plus year career as a sought-after formulator, Dhatt has developed and manufactured skincare products for over 700 companies, including many of the best-known brands in the industry. Dhatt is a frequent expert-author of articles featured in many trade journals and skin care publications and speaks often on ingredients and formulation with the goal of increasing the knowledge and success of aestheticians.

 

Related items

  • Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010
    By
    Micropigmentation Procedure October 2010

    Micropigmentation Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Self-Esteem & Confidence!

    Cranberr facial mask

    Cranberr facial mask
    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it is estimated that in 2009 there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women, and approximately 1,910 new cases in men. For the many men and women who have been, and will be diagnosed this year, the battle to get through treatment and surgery is only the beginning of the journey to survive. Although the feeling of survival is unsurpassed, the physical scars at times may leave some survivors anxious with their new appearance. Ruth Swissa has taken her passion and artistic expertise in the permanent makeup industry to provide areola pigmentation for breast cancer patients post reconstruction to help renew self-confidence and boost self-esteem.

    "Many of my patients have said that waking up every morning, and looking in the mirror is a constant reminder of their battle, which although comes with a sense of pride, it also at times causes insecurities because they don't feel like themselves," says Swissa.

    Micropigmentation is an alternative method of creating a realistic nipple and areola after a mastectomy, to achieve a more symmetrical shape and even coloring using artistic light and shade effects. Swissa works closely with her patients in order to achieve the desired coloring and size to create a natural looking effect. This procedure takes less than an hour and is usually painless.

    Ruth uses a customized medical tattooing technique for applying permanent makeup for areola pigmentation. This unique method proves to be more exact, very gentle, and less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing. The results look more natural and subtle in appearance.

  • Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010
    By
    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis October 2010


    Five Ways to Find Safe and Natural Relief from Osteoarthritis

    by Deirdre Shevlin Bell

    Cranberr facial mask


    The search for safe and effective relief from osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that occurs when joint cartilage wears down over time, can feel like an uphill battle. Certain natural remedies can bring lasting relief from OA according to the Arthritis Research Council (ARC) study and other experts. That is good news, since the pain, stiffness, and loss of flexibility from arthritis makes it the nation's most common cause of disability.

    One massage, and call me in the morning
    Spa-lovers with osteoarthritis will be pleased to learn that all those massages that leave you feeling loose and limber are doing more than just helping you relax. According to a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swedish massage improves flexibility, decreases pain, and increases range of motion in individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    Low-impact exercise
    "When people start to hurt, they tend to cut back on exercise," notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University Montgomery and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. But that is a mistake, as inactivity can make pain and stiffness even worse. Olson recommends Pilates and swimming or doing aqua-aerobics, but she emphasizes the importance of choosing gentle, weight-bearing exercise. Michael Murray, N.D. suggests that a person should find something they love, and find a way to continue doing it: If walking on concrete sidewalks is too hard on the joints, walk on the golf course.

    Spice rub
    Using a gel containing capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili, is very effective at providing temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. Studies have found that capsaicin can deplete the substance that acts to transmit pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and cause inflammation in the joints.

    Healing herbs
    An ARC study evaluated several herbs and herbal combinations and found that one stood above the rest. Phytodolor, a branded combination of three herbs – aspen (Populus tremula), common ash bark (Franxinus excelsior), and golden rob herb (Solidago vigaurea) effectively manages the pain and inflammation associated with OA. Some studies have shown that aspen contains a substance that when ingested inhibits the production of certain prostaglandins in the nerves, resulting in pain relief. Common ash bark and golden rob herb also have pain-relieving properties, and common ash bark is an antioxidant – meaning it may reduce oxidative damage in the joint. The combination of the three herbs has been shown in animal studies to reduce inflammation. No major adverse effects have been reported, though some people do experience diarrhea, stomach upset, or skin reactions.

    The SAMe Game
    First discovered in 1952 and widely investigated for its usefulness in treating depression, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is now showing promise as a treatment for OA. SAMe is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it contributes to the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Studies suggest that when taken as a supplement, SAMe reduces pain and also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, which are the major components of joint cartilage. Adverse effects are infrequent and mild, but can include nausea, restlessness, headache, dry mouth, and stomach upset. People with depression should consult with a healthcare provider before taking SAMe, as some incidences of anxiety and mania have been reported.

    Copyright© HealthyLifestyles.com

  • The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010
    By
    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships October 2010


    The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships Survey Fact Sheet

    This survey was created in partnership with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

    Within this issue, as well as our November and December 2010 issues, we will be printing important findings revealed from the recent survey, "The Impact of Psoriasis on Personal Relationships." This survey, sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, was distributed to the National Psoriasis Foundation membership database via Survey Monkey. The survey was completed by approx 1,520 people; statistics below represent the percentage of people who answered a specific question (not always all 1,520 respondents). Statistics are rounded to nearest percentage point and percentages may not add up to 100 percent depending on the structure of the question. Not every respondent answered every question.i Below is a list of findings relating to psoriasis and its impact of social relationships.

    Nearly 80 percent (78.7%) of question respondents feel that psoriasis has had a negative impact on their personal relationships.ii

    Social Relationships

    • When having a psoriasis flare-up, 63.3 percent of respondents are less likely to go out socially iii and 53.6 percent have declined social invitations or cancelled plans because of a flare-up.iv Nearly 70 percent (69.6%) feel that psoriasis has impacted their social relationships.v
    • When meeting someone new, 74.3 percent of question respondents worry that the person will notice their psoriasis,vi and 72.1 percent of respondents are concerned that people that notice will think of them less favorably.vii
    • When going out for social occasions, 79.5 percent of respondents usually only wear outfits that cover up
      their psoriasis.viii
  • Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010
    By
    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess October 2010


    Pomegranate the Ancient Red Goddess!

    by Natalie Pergar

    Cranberr facial mask

    Known not only as part of the elite group of super fruits, the all mighty pomegranate, English word comes from the Latin words for apple; "pomum" (apple) and "granatus" (seeded), has been dated as far back as 1,000 BC and was introduced to North America by Spanish settlers in 1769. This red beauty represents global symbolism and history ranging from righteousness, prosperity, and fertility.

    With over 760 varieties of pomegranate it is one of the oldest known medicines to man. Ancient Greek healers would use pomegranate juice to manage health problems similar to arthritis, circulation problems, digestive disorders, and infections. And to add to the wonders of the pomegranate, the fruit was also involved in ancient beauty concoctions. Today with our growing beauty culture and desire to turn back the clock, we find ourselves revisiting what our ancient friends already knew with the help of modern science and research.

    Pomegranates are packed with phytonutrients, vitamin B, and an abundance of vitamin C. They contain red arils, tiny edible seeds that are loaded with juice and provide valuable fiber. They are delicious and fantastic to eat - though I would not recommend eating the white membrane that surrounds the arils as it is quite bitter and the consensus is that it is not recommended. And for those of us that count calories, a 1/2 cup of raw pomegranate has 80 calories and 0 grams of fat!

    According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), pomegranate fruit extract contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors). Its antioxidant activity is higher than that of red wine and green tea and research suggests that pomegranate extract may have significant clinical benefits in decreasing risk for skin cancer.

    By taking pomegranate extract capsules, one could reduce or reverse the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover and creating new, healthy skin. But that is not all! Evidence shows that including it in your skin care regime can provide wonderful results too. Rich in ellagic acid to manage free radicals, pomegranate oil contains punicic acid, an omega 5 conjugated fatty acid effective in aiding cell regeneration and proliferation. Pomegranate also carries beneficial phytoestrogen and a rare plant-based source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), an anti-carcinogen.

    So I salute you, oh red goddess of history. Bring me health and wellness with all your super fruit power!

    Pomegranate, Almond Oil, and Honey Mask


    ½ pomegranate
    2 tsp almond oil
    ½ tbsp organic honey

    Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Peel the pomegranate half, cut the fruit in pieces, and put these in a bowl or food processor. Add the honey and almond oil. Blend it all into a smooth and uniform paste. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax, and leave the mask on for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water and end with a splash of cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally, apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside. (For all skin types). *This fruit mask recipe peels your skin and we do not recommend using it on acne skin.

    Copyright ® 2009-2010 Natural – Homeremedies-For-Life

    Pomegranate Oat Bran Scrub

    2 ounces pomegranate juice
    2 ounces orange juice
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp sea salt
    3 to 4 ounces oat bran

    1. In a container large enough to hold two cups, combine pomegranate and orange juices. To this add the honey and mix together well.
    2. Now add sea salt and oat bran. Mix together and allow the oat bran to soak up the liquids, about 10 to 20 minutes.
    3. Make sure to apply to a clean face. Probably the easiest way is to apply in the shower after you clean your face and allow it to set while you do other things. The steam from the shower helps allow the ingredients to penetrate your skin. Then, gently scrub off as you shower.

    Copyright ® eHow.com

  • Pomegranates May Fight Breast Cancer October 2010
    By
    Pomegranates May Fight Breast Cancer October 2010


    Pomegranates May Fight Breast Cancer

    by Jennifer Warner, reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.

    Eating pomegranates or drinking pomegranate juice may help prevent and slow the growth of some types of breast cancer. A new study shows a group of phytochemicals called ellagitannins found in abundance in pomegranates inhibited the growth of estrogen-responsive breast cancer in laboratory tests.

    "Phytochemicals suppress estrogen production that prevents the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors," researcher Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., director of the Division of Tumor Cell Biology and co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., says in a news release.

    Researchers say the ellagitannins in pomegranates work by inhibiting aromatase, which is a key enzyme used by the body to make estrogen and plays a key role in breast cancer growth.

    "We were surprised by our findings," Chen says. "We previously found other fruits, such as grapes, to be capable of the inhibition of aromatase. But the phytochemicals in pomegranates and in grapes are different."

    Researchers say pomegranates have recently been hailed for their potential anti-cancer and heart healthy benefits thanks to their high antioxidant content. But they say this is the first study to look at their effects on aromatase and breast cancer growth.

    In the study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, researchers examined the impact of 10 ellagitannin-derived compounds from pomegranates on aromatase activity and breast cancer cell growth in laboratory tests.

    The results showed that of those 10 compounds, urolithin B most significantly inhibited breast cancer cell growth. Experts say further studies will be needed to determine whether eating or drinking pomegranate-derived products will have the same effect in humans, but these results are promising.

    Until then, researchers say people may consider eating more pomegranates to protect against cancer in the breast and perhaps other tissues and organs.

    Copyright© WebMD Health News

Login to post comments

More in Wellness

Featured Company

  • Celluma by Biophotas, IncCelluma by Biophotas, IncDescription: No matter the age, we all strive to be healthy, pain free and to look and feel our very best. The Celluma from BioPhotas, Inc. is a specialized light emitting diode (LED) device designed to treat arthritis, muscle spasm, muscle and joint pain, muscle ti ...

Ingredients

Next-Level Learning

  • Southeastern EstheticsSoutheastern EstheticsDescription: Welcome to Southeastern Esthetics Institute, a premier esthetics training institute located in the heart of South Carolina. SEEI is more than just an esthetics training program, we are a one of a kind esthetics school that offers an intimate setting and ...