Apple Stem Cells against Aging Skin: What Does Research Say?
In humans, aging causes a reduction of the number of epidermal stem cells required to regenerate healthy new skin and the remaining stem cells function less efficiently. When epidermal stem cells are reduced, lost or dying skin cells outnumber the production of new stem cells, the skin’s health and appearance suffer.
In recent years, scientists have conducted extensive research onembryonic stem cells, which have shown potential to repair damaged tissues and organs. Because of this potential, researchers have looked into using stem cells in skincare care products to help repair wrinkles and restore and maintain firmness and elasticity.
However, it is not possible to use live human embryonic stem cells in skincare products, so skincare companies have turned to plant stem cells. Like humans, plants also have stem cells. In theory, plant stem cells can protect the human epidermal stem cells from damage and deterioration, and they can stimulate them to renew the skin.
The most promising stem cell so far has come from an apple. A rare type of apple tree, cultivated in Switzerland over 300 years ago, was known for a remarkably long shelf life. A few of these trees were found on a Swiss mountainside. The apples from this tree, known as Uttwiler Spätlauber, contain extremely active stem cells. Scientists have extracted stem cells from this type of apple and have used this extraction.
In a paper published in the Journal of Applied Sciences, the cosmetics industry journal, Swiss scientists observed that these apples formed a protective film made of stem cells on the surface when they cut the apples into pieces. They then grew these “film” cells in a liquid culture and tested them. A solution containing 1% apple stem cells appeared to enhance human stem cell production by 80 percent.
In further studies, human cells were irradiated with ultraviolet light, killing 50 percent of those grown in a normal liquid culture, but only a few of the cells protected by the apple stem cells were harmed. In addition, hair follicles placed in a solution of apple stem cells continued to grow for 4 days more than those stored in a control solution.
Finally, in a human trial to determine the effectiveness of a new anti-wrinkle cream, scientists tested a cream containing a 2% Uttwiler Spätlauber extract (patented as PhytoCell-Tec Malus Domestica) and lecithin liposomes. Twenty participants applied this cream twice daily to the areas of their face with crow’s feet for four weeks. It was found that wrinkle depth was reduced by an average of 15% after four weeks (SOFW Journal. 2008;134(5):30-5.) With these results, skincare companies flocked to obtain this new extract for their products.
Numerous products containing apple stem cells were released onto the market, demanding premium prices for this new plant stem cell technology. These products claim to protect longevity of skin cells and combat skin aging. However, plant biologists are sceptical of these claims. Renowned plant biologist, Professor Liam Dolan of Oxford University has been quoted as saying he does not see how plant stem cells could react with human cells.
The research director of Mibelle Biochemistry, Dr Daniel Schmid, the Swiss lab that developed PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica, maintains that his research has shown that the apple stem cell extracts have improved the abilities of epidermal stem cells to maintain their rejuvenation capabilities and longevity. Dr. Schmid did admit, however, that the anti-aging effects were not proven by clinical trials.
Dr. Gary Goldfaden, a board-certified clinical dermatologist, and founder of Academy Dermatology in Hollywood, FL, and COSMESIS Skin Care wrote an article in 2009 for Life Extension Magazine, reporting the amazing benefits of PhytoCell-Tec Malus Domestica and relating the results of Dr. Schmid’s research.
However, Dr. Goldfaden did state that other ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, red seaweed extract, and an antioxidant tea blend are blended with the apple stem cell extract. Hyaluronic acid has been researched extensively and used as an anti-aging agent on skin for years.
Stem Cell Technology and the Skin
A look at the current research on plant-derived stem cell extracts and their potential role in cosmeceutical and skin care products.
The ability to replace, instead of simply repairing, damaged skin cells is becoming more of a possibility with the advancements in plant stem cell technology. Scientific research supports the use of certain plant stem cell extracts, but further research may be needed to support the efficacy of others.
At this time, much of the research focuses on the photo-protective properties of dietary botanicals, citing the potential of topical products that use plant extracts with the same characteristics. Keeping abreast of plant-derived stem cell research as it evolves is essential for making optimal treatment choices as plant stem cell technology is incorporated into anti-aging skin care.
Skin Stem Cells
Before considering the addition of stem cells into cosmeceuticals, it is critical to understand the role of stem cells in the skin. The majority of skin stem cells reside in the basal layer of the epidermis. Their primary function is to replenish the skin as it undergoes normal homeostasis and wound repair. Like all stem cells, those in the epidermis are undifferentiated and capable of dividing themselves for extended periods of time and differentiating into multiple data suggests that the loss of a stem cell in lineages based on their tissue origin.
When a stem cell divides, the daughter cells have the potential to either remain a stem cell, like the parent cell, or they can differentiate into cells with a more specialized function known as progenitor cells. After these progenies experience several rapid divisions in the basal layer, they cease dividing and travel through the supra-basal layers to the tissue surface. Once there, they progressively differentiate, switching from expression of one set of keratins to another. Eventually their nuclei degenerate, producing an outer layer of dead keratinized cells that are shed. Stem cells continuously renew the epidermis, with a turnover time of approximately 1 month. Epidermal stem cells also are stored in a microenvironment called the bulge, which is located at the base of the hair follicle. They remain dormant there until recruited by neighbouring cells to help repair the skin.
The stem cell’s characteristics are determined by the epigenetic signal it receives. The existence of several distinct, highly compartmentalized stem cell populations have been reported in the literature. The data suggests that the loss of a stem cell in one structural unit is quickly replaced by stem cells in the adjacent unit, which demonstrates the multi-potential nature and developmental flexibility of skin cells.
Skin Cell Damage
Although the skin constantly renews itself throughout an adult’s lifetime, these long-term self-renewing stem cells begin to regenerate more slowly as part of the aging process. It is believed that the impaired wound healing rate in aging skin may be due either to impaired stem cell mobilization or a reduced number of stem cells able to respond to proliferative signals.
Lost or dying cells begin to outnumber their regenerated counterparts, which likely leads to common signs of aging, such as rhytids and laxity. It is for this reason that stem cells make intriguing additions to anti-aging products. Additionally, ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes damage to the skin, including photo-aging, inflammation, erythema, sunburn and cancers. Photo-aging is characterized by wrinkles, altered pigmentation and loss of skin tone.
Specifically, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation have been proven to produce DNA damage directly and indirectly through oxidative stress. Solar radiation induces the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which interact with proteins, lipids and DNA, altering cellular functions. Although the epidermis is composed primarily of keratinocytes that are rich in ROS detoxifying enzymes, an increased generation of ROS can overwhelm the skin’s natural defenses.
Furthermore, ROS have been shown to mediate the phosphorylatin of protein kinases through a series of cascades, such as mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), and activate transcription factors, such as nuclear factor-KB (NF-KB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1).These activities may con- tribute to cell proliferation, apoptotic cell death, inflammation and cancer. The up-regulation of gene expression through intracellular signal transduction pathways likely contributes to the development of skin cancer at the tumour promotion stage.Since this stage is reversible, it is a prime target for preventing, reversing or slowing the process. Stem cells have been proven to be protective against UV-induced radiation and ROS through a variety of mechanisms. It is this protective quality that also makes them useful for daily use in skin care.
Plant Stem Cells Benefit Human Skin
In recent years, researchers have identified naturally occurring botanicals with substantial antioxidant activity proven to protect skin stem cells from UV-induced oxidative stress, inhibit inflammation, neutralize free radicals and reverse the effects of photo-aging. Consequently, cosmeceutical products containing extracts derived from plant stem cells have the ability to promote healthy cell proliferation and protect against UV-induced cellular damage in humans. In contrast to epidermal stem cells, plant stem cells are toti-potent, meaning they are capable of regenerating an entirely new, whole plant.
Through innovative plant stem cell technology, scientists are able to extract tissue from botanicals. Thus, the plant’s ability to regenerate stem cells can be harnessed for use in humans. The use of stem cells derived from botanicals, rather than human stem cells, avoids the controversy surrounding the source or methods of extraction of human stem cells while still harnessing the potential of these intriguing cells.
Research Supports Plant Stem Cell Extracts
There are several plant-derived stem cell extracts available for cosmeceutical use; however, research has predominately focused on three with various levels of scientific rigor. Components found in grape, lilac and Swiss apple have been shown to be rich sources of phytostem cells. Probably the most widely and longest studied botanical is the vitis vinifera, otherwise known as the grape seed.
Studies dating back more than a decade suggest that grape seeds are known to contain anti-inflammatory properties, prevent skin aging, scavenge oxygen free radicals and inhibit UV radiation-induced activity. More recently published in vitro and in vivo studies have identified proanthocyanidins — a group of polyphenolic bioflavonoids — in grape seeds and their stem cells as being responsible for its high anti-tumour-promoting activity because of their strong antioxidant effect.
The mechanism of action is not entirely understood, but it appears that the photo- protective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) are mediated, at least, through protection of the endogenous antioxidant defense system and prevention of photo-damage of macromolecules, lipids, proteins and DNA, which leads to inhibition of activation of the MAPK and NF- kB pathways. Some studies have demonstrated that GSPs exert a significantly stronger oxygen free radical scavenging effect than vitamins C and E. When topically applied, GSPs have demonstrated substantial photo-protective effects.
As an example, when a gel formation containing Jacquez grapes was topically applied to healthy human volunteers, it afforded significant in vivo protection against UVB light-induced skin erythema. Like grape seed, verbascoside extracted from various plants, including the syringa vulgaris or common lilac, is known to have antioxidant properties. When studied in vitro and in vivo, verbascoside was found to possess significantly accelerated wound healing and remarkable anti-inflammatory action. These effects were attributed to its ability to inhibit the ROS release by recruiting pro-inflammatory cells to the damaged skin. In fact, the verbascoside-containing extracts were found to be more effective than both hydrocortisone and triamcinolone in inhibiting inflammation.
Although verbascoside is known to rapidly repair DNA oxidative damage, its mechanism of action is not clearly understood. In one study, verbascoside dramatically impaired NF-kB and AP-1 binding activity, suggesting that it has distinct mechanisms in the suppression of oxidative stress induced in keratinocytes by different stimuli. The verbascoside may offer protection of the skin from both inflammatory and environmental insults. However, other studies attribute verbascoside’s ability to quickly repair DNA damage to its non-enzymatic fast repair mechanisms and not to its scavenging activity for ROS. Its fast repair reaction has the added benefit of preventing the ROS from causing further damage. While other plant stem cell extracts are currently being used in topical products, further research should be done to prove the efficacy.
An ingredient manufacturer’s study showed that a 0.1% concentration of stem cells extracted from Swiss apple stimulated the proliferation of human stem cells by 80%.28 In a trial with 20 patients, a cream containing the apple extract was found to reduce wrinkle depth by 8% after 2 weeks and 15% after 4 weeks.Similarly, a cream and serum containing stem cells extracted from the edelweiss plant, which has been investigated for its anti-inflammatory properties, is reported to reduce wrinkle depth. Additional research is needed to verify the validity of these studies.
Extracts Can Enhance Topical Products
Currently, much of the scientific research focuses on the use of dietary botanicals. However, many researchers acknowledge the potential benefits of their use in sunscreens, skin care topicals and moisturizing creams. The key to developing effective cosmeceutical products is recognizing that the various plants have different properties as well as different mechanisms of action.
Thus, products should be formulated to target the specific botanical’s effects. As an example, both grape seed and verbascoside have been proven to protect skin from UV oxidative stress. Although sunscreens are incredibly valuable, their inability to completely prevent UV-induced skin cancer — due to inadequate patient use and incomplete spectral protection — demonstrates the need for additional chemo-preventive methods.
Using sunscreens in conjunction with phyto stem cell-rich ingredients harnesses the photo-protective properties of these plants, which may be useful in providing additional prevention against UV-induced skin damage and other skin disorders caused by UV radiation. For example, components of grape stem cell extract have been shown to absorb radiation from the entire UVB spectrum and part of the UVA spectrum, and when applied topically they can provide additional protection against radiation penetration.
Additionally, these stem cell-rich botanicals are known to inhibit inflammation and combat destructive free radical injury that leads to photo-aging. Combining stem cell extracts from grape and lilac leaf with other anti-aging ingredients, such as neuropeptides, L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and alpha-hydroxy acids, can yield an ideal combination that can work synergistically to treat and protect the skin.
As the scientific support for plant-derived stem cell research continues to grow, it is important to understand what these botanicals offer and how they work. In doing so, plant stem cell extracts scientifically proven to work can be incorporated into cosmeceutical products that hold the promise of not only stimulating the proliferation of human skin stem cells, but also protecting the skin from UV-induced oxidative damage.
Chemical peels have been in the market for a while now as a popular, relatively inexpensive, and generally safe method of treatment to refresh and rejuvenate skin with the goal of stimulating new skin growth and improving surface texture and appearance. This talk focuses on one of the most advanced peels in the market, with a new nanotechnology which is called a Stem Cell Peel which is derived from the Malus Domestica (Swiss Green Apple) stem cells.
Stem Cell Peel is a biphasic peel i.e., it consists of two phases, a liquid phase and a solid phase. All peels available in the market just remove layers of the epidermis, leaving it to heal by its self. The Stem Cell however; being a biphasic peel acts by:
Liquid phase: When applied to the skin, it lyses the upper layers of the epidermis with the help of epidermal lysing factors.
The second phase of the Stem Cell Peel is the solid phase: where in a cream that contains growth factors that are derived from the Malus Domestica (Swiss Green Apple) stem cells is applied. The solid phase apart from helping to neutralize the solution from the liquid phase, also promotes growth of new epidermal cells. The new epidermal cells are rich in epidermal growth factors (EGFs) which stimulate endothelial chemotaxis and promote angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) which enhance angiogenesis and transforming growth factor beta (TGF- B) which stimulates matrix synthesis.
Stem Cell Peels contain kojic acid 1%, lactic acid 25%, mandelic acid 3%, gylocic acid 0.37% and citric acid 7.29% acting both as a superficial as well as medium-depth peel penetrating up to the epidermo-dermal junction. Repeated Stem Cell Peels cause slight thickening in the dermis thus leading to the reduction in fine lines and fine wrinkles. Since the peel rejuvenates the dermis and stimulates collagen synthesis, it is an effective anti-aging peel. It can also be used on Scars. Especially atrophic and pigmented scars have been seen to respond well with this peel.
In-vivo and in-vitro tests carried out by Biotex showed that Stem Cell Peel can treat atrophic scars. Sixteen volunteers with atrophic scars all over the body were chosen and were treated with Stem Cell Peel. They all showed a marked improvement with two or three consecutive peels fifteen days apart.
For one to get an optimum effect, 6-7 peels are recommended, 15-20 days apart. Stem Cell Peel is relatively inexpensive and generally safe method for treatment of vast skin disorders and to refresh and rejuvenate skin effectively with great results.
Stem cells in skin care…What does it really mean?
Stem cells have recently become a huge buzzword in the skincare world. But what does this really mean? Skincare specialists are not using embryonic stem cells; it is impossible to incorporate live materials into a skincare product. Instead, companies are creating products with specialized peptides and enzymes or plant stem cells which, when applied topically on the surface, help protect the human skin stem cells from damage and deterioration or stimulate the skin’s own stem cells. National Stem Cell was one of the few companies who actually incorporated into their skin care an enzyme secreted from human embryonic stem cells, but they are in the process of switching over to use non-embryonic stem cells from which to take the beneficial enzyme.
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. When a stem cell divides, it can remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a skin cell. There are two types of stem cells, embryonic and adult.Embryonic stem cells are exogenous in that they are harvested from outside sources, namely, fertilized human eggs. Once harvested, these pluri-potent stem cells are grown in cell cultures and manipulated to generate specific cell types so they can be used to treat injury or disease.
Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult or multi-potent stem cells are endogenous. They are present within our bodies and serve to maintain and repair the tissues in which they are found. Adult stem cells are found in many organs and tissues, including the skin. In fact, human skin is the largest repository of adult stem cells in the body. Skin stem cells reside in the basal layer of the epidermis where they remain dormant until they are activated by tissue injury or disease.
There is controversy surrounding the use of stem cells, as some experts say that any product that claims to affect the growth of stem cells or the replication process is potentially dangerous, as it may lead to out-of-control replication or mutation. Others object to using embryonic stem cells from an ethical point of view. Some researchers believe that the use of stem cell technology for a topical, anti-aging cosmetic trivializes other, more important medical research in this field.
The skin stem cells are found near hair follicles and sweat glands and lie dormant until they “receive” signals from the body to begin the repair mode. In skincare, the use of topical products stimulates the stem cell to split into two types of cells: a new, similar stem cell and a “daughter” cell, which is able to create almost every kind of new cell in a specialized system. This means that the stem cell can receive the message to create proteins, carbohydrates and lipids to help repair fine lines, wrinkles and restore and maintain firmness and elasticity.
First to the market in Britain in April 2007 and the U.S. was ReVive’s Peau Magnifique, priced at a staggering £1,050. Manufacturers claim it uses an enzyme called telomerase to “convert resting adult stem cells to newly-minted skin cells” and “effectively resets your skin’s “ageing clock” by a minimum of five years”. The product claims long-term use ‘will result in a generation of new skin cells, firmer skin with a 45 per cent reduction in wrinkles and increased long-term skin clarity’. Peau Magnifique is the latest in a line of products developed by Dr Gregory Bays Brown, a former plastic surgeon.
In the course of his research into healing burns victims, Dr Brown discovered a substance called Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) that is released in the body when there is an injury, and, when applied to burns or wounds, dramatically accelerates the healing process. He believed the same molecule could be used to regenerate ageing skin and went on to develop ReVive, a skincare range based around it.
Hot on the heels of Peau Magnifique was Amatokin by Voss Laboratories. Amatokin was marketed by the same people behind the StriVectin craze and launched exclusively at Bloomingdale’s. Amatokin works by stimulating the adult stem cell reservoirs in our skin to help rejuvenate it. From the day we are born, our skin experiences the incremental and cumulative effects of intrinsic and extrinsic aging. When we are young, stem cell utilization for skin rejuvenation functions efficiently. As we age, it reduces significantly. Given the proper environment, these inherent stem cell reservoirs can be stimulated to renew the skin.
Studies show that aging and damage from UV rays and pollution cause a decrease in stem-cell production. Pincelli and LVMH laboratories in 2008 identified key ingredients with the ability to protect the stem cells from external factors and produced Dior’s Capture R60/80 XP. In lab tests, skin samples collected from cosmetic-surgery patients showed more stem cells in the areas where cream had been applied because it protects existing stem cells from damage, not because it increased the number of stem cells. Says Dr. Pincelli “That power is absolutely vital for epidermal regeneration and for maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance”.
According to Petrikovsky, foetal skin heals in a completely different way to adult skin. “Adult skin heals via an inflammatory response, involving macrophages and type 1 collagen. On the other hand, foetal skin, when it is healing, relies heavily on the skin’s stem cells and fibroblasts”. One of the most important differences between adult and foetal skin is the fact that foetal skin heals without scarring. A wrinkle is a small wound. For this reason, Petrikovsky has been looking at ways we can activate the adult stem cells in the skin to perform in similar ways to those in foetal skin. One substance he has found that can up-regulate the stem cell activity of adult skin is Peptide 199, an amino acid chain derived from the Wharton Jelly, a gelatinous substance found in the umbilical cord. This up-regulation ensures the fibroblast dominance over the inflammatory process during skin repair, mimicking the process that occurs in foetal skin, healing without a scar or wrinkle.
Emerge Labs new Swiss Apple Stem Cell Serum allows plant stem cells to preserve and protect skin stem cells. PhytoCellTech® – a novel plant cell culture technology has been invented to cultivate dedifferentiated callus cells from a rare Swiss apple. These apple stem cells are rich in epigenetic factors and metabolites, assuring the longevity of skin cells. The Skin Stem Cell Serum protects longevity and combats chronological aging while delaying senescence of skin cells, preserving the youthful look and vitality of one’s skin.
The Institute for Biotechnological Research (IRB) has released an anti-aging ingredient based on edelweiss stem cells. “As 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,” IRB’s Francesca Melandri says. The edelweiss active harnesses the protective substances the plant uses to defend itself against harsh climatic and environmental conditions and uses them to protect the skin. According to the Italian company. the ingredient, Leontopodium alpinum stems, has high concentrations of leontopodic acids A and B which have strong antioxidant properties. IRB also claims the product has strong anti-collagenase and hyaluronidase actvity, therefore helping to limit the degradation of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin.
The company uses what it refers to as its HTN technology to produce the ingredients in industrial quantities. A small amount of plant biomass is chopped into tiny pieces and placed in a culture medium. Damaging the plant in this way causes the cells that surround the damage to de-differentiate (to turn back into stem cells) and form a wound healing tissue called “the callus”.
The callus is then harvested and grown in a cell culture medium and from this IRB obtains the plant stem cells and consequently the secondary metabolites they need for their products.Although the technology is well known, the challenge lies in successfully scaling up the production of the stem cells to industrial quantities – a problem IRB claims to have solved with its HTN technology.
XTEMcell Stem Cell SkinCare has come out with its Cell Renewal Night Cream, Reset Serum, Cell Rebuilding Daytime Cream, and Repair Eye Contour Cream.According to the company, XtemCell’s Patented Stem Cell Technology uses active plant cells from rare, 100% organic, nutrient-rich plants to create new cells of the highest in purity and nutrients. These new cells are able to deliver high concentrations of lipids, proteins, amino-acids and phytoalexins. They are easily absorbed into the outermost cells of the epidermis, allowing for almost immediate skin cell renewal, nutrient absorption, and an increase in the skin’s level of filaggrin proteins. According to the company, “conventional plant cell extraction is only able to obtain these nutrients in smaller and far less potent quantities. Traditional plant cell cloning uses harsh chemicals or pollutants to reproduce active cells.
XTEMcell products are made from cloned stem cells from the date palm, chosen for cloning because of its unparalleled ability to live and thrive in the desert in the driest, most arid areas and be able to remain hydrated and conserve water. Xtemcell cloned these desirable properties and created a series of age-maintenance skincare products that contain 100% organic stem cells that promote a superior moisturization of the skin.
National Stem Cell is pursuing a different route to younger looking skin. It’s subsidiary Decouverte Cosmetique is producing anti-aging products that incorporate tropelastin secreted from human embryonic stem cells. National Stem Cell changed its name to Proteonomix a month after launching a stem cell based cosmeceutical line in Aug 2008. The company claims the ingredient enhances the natural formation of collagen and binds with existing protein chains in the skin to make it appear smoother and firmer.
Tropelastin already affects skin appearance naturally in pregnant women. The inspiration for the products came from the natural glow of women post-conception, caused by the release of the chemical from embryonic stem cells. The company says that the products escape the health risk warning flags out because they do not affect the growth of stem cells. However, the products formulated by Decouverte Cosmetique may be particularly controversial from an ethical or moral point of view because the active ingredient is sourced from human embryonic stem cells. However, National Stem Cell says that all the stem cells used were harvested before 2001 and none were destroyed or created in the development of the products. The company is also in the final stages of discovering how to source the key material from non-embryonic stem cells thereby weakening the ethical barrier to commercialization.
Thus we can see that there are already many choices in skin care products with specialized peptides and enzymes or plant stem cells which, when applied topically stimulate the skin’s own stem cells. Expect many more good choices to be developed in the years to come!
Life Extension Magazine November 2008 Report
Apple Stem Cells Offer Hope For Aging and Damaged Skin By Gary Goldfaden, MD
As we age, the reduced turnover of our cells means we can lose control over how our skin ages. Epidermal stem cells needed to create healthy new skin are significantly reduced and function less efficiently. A discovery based on promising plant stem cell research may allow you to regain control.
Scientists have found that a novel extract derived from the stem cells of a rare apple tree cultivated for its extraordinary longevity shows tremendous ability to rejuvenate aging skin. By stimulating aging skin stem cells, this plant extract has been shown to lessen the appearance of unsightly wrinkles. Clinical trials show that this unique formulation increases the longevity of skin cells, resulting in skin that has a more youthful and radiant appearance.
Cells in our bodies are programmed for specific functions. A skin cell, a brain cell, and a liver cell all contain the same DNA, or set of genes. However, each cell’s fate is determined by a set of epigenetic (able to change gene expression patterns) signals that come from inside it and from the surrounding cells as well. These signals are like command tags attached to the DNA that switch certain genes on or off.
This selective coding creates all of the different kinds of cells in our bodies, which are collectively known as differentiated (specialized) cells.
Although differentiated cells vary widely in purpose and appearance, they all have one thing in common: they all come with a built-in operational limit. After so many divisions, they lose their ability to divide and must be replaced. This is where stem cells come in.
Your body also produces other cells that contain no specific programming. These stem cells are “blank,” so your body can essentially “format” them any way it pleases. Two universal aspects shared by this type of cell are: (1) the ability to replenish itself through a process of self-renewal and (2) the capacity to produce a differentiated cell.
In animals and humans, two basic kinds of stem cells exist: embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have the power to change into any differentiated cell type found anywhere in your body. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are generally more limited. They can only evolve into the specific type of cell found in the tissue where they are located. The primary function of these adult stem cells is maintenance and repair.
But certain adult stem cells found in nature retain the unlimited developmental potential that embryonic stem cells possess. These cells have become the main focus for an exciting new wave of regenerative medicine (repairing damaged or diseased tissues and organs using advanced techniques like stem cell therapy and tissue engineering).
The Role of Stem Cells in the Skin
The basal (innermost) layer of the skin’s epidermis comprises two basic types of cells: (1) the slowly dividing epidermal stem cells (that represent about 2-7% of the basal cell population) and (2) their rapidly dividing offspring that supply new cells to replace those that are lost or dying.1-3
The slow self-renewal process of epidermal stem cells, however, creates a problem. Because each epidermal stem cell only lasts for a certain number of divisions, and because each division runs the risk of lethal DNA mutation, the epidermal stem cell population can become depleted. When this happens, lost or dying skin cells begin to outnumber their replacements and the skin’s health and appearance start to decline.
So what can be done? Scientists turned to plants for the answer.
Planting a Seed of Hope
Plants also have stem cells. Like humans, plant stem cells depend on epigenetic control and signals from surrounding cells for their development. Unlike humans, however, each plant-derived adult stem cell possesses the ability to generate a whole new plant.4 Scientists have found a way to harness the power of plant stem cells by growing plant tissues in culture.
With this technology, it is theoretically possible to propagate any plant cell in a liquid culture, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities. This fact started scientists thinking—what would happen if an extract of genetically long-lived plant stem cell tissue was applied to human skin?The technique is a relatively simple one. First, viable tissue is obtained from a source plant. This material is called an explant. Next, a small cut is made in the explant. New cells form on the surface of this cut in an attempt to heal the wound. This colorless mass of cells is called a callus. The slowly dividing cells of a callus are undifferentiated cells that lack the characteristics of normal plant cells. They are essentially unprogrammed and full of potential.
Comparing Apples to Apples
Today, apples are cultivated primarily to enhance their appearance and flavour. But before the rise of refrigeration, an apple’s ability to stay fresh for a long time was its most sought-after characteristic.
For this reason, a special variety of apple was cultivated in the middle of the 18th century that could be stored for a greatly extended period of time. In essence, it was the genetically modified, longer-living stem cells of this tannin-rich variety of apple, called the Uttwiler Spätlauber apple, which were responsible for its unique storage longevity.
In a certain isolated area of rural Switzerland, a few of these hardy apple trees still survive today. Scientists obtained explants from the leaf of one of these trees to produce a special anti-aging stem cell extract.
The Amazing Results
In order to test the theory that this unique plant extract would produce anti-aging effects, scientists at Mibelle Biochemistry first obtained human stem cells from the blood of an umbilical cord. Their first in-house study on cell viability showed that, at a concentration of only 0.1%, an extract of Uttwiler Spätlauber stem cells stimulated the proliferation of human stem cells by an astounding 80%!
In a second experiment, these scientists irradiated the umbilical cord blood stem cells with UV light. Nearly 50% of the stem cells cultured in growth medium alone died, but the cells grown in the culture containing the special apple extract showed only a small decrease in the number of living cells.
Another in vitro experiment conducted by the scientists involved fibroblast cells. These are the most common of all cells in the connective tissue of the skin. They manufacture the collagen, glycosaminoglycans, reticular and elastic fibres, and glycoproteins that make up the extracellular matrix (connective tissues providing support to cells). Fibroblasts not only help provide a structural framework for the skin, they also play a critical role in wound healing.
In their experiment, the scientists treated fibroblast cells with hydrogen peroxide for two hours until the cells began to show classic signs of aging. In scientific terms, this means that several genes essential for cell proliferation and growth were significantly down-regulated. However, after incubating these cells for 144 hours in a 2% Uttwiler Spätlauber apple extract, this down-regulation of genes was effectively neutralized, and in some cases, it was actually reversed! In addition, the scientists noted that the expression of an important antioxidant enzyme called heme oxigenase 1 was also stimulated.
Finally, the scientists conducted a human study to determine the anti-wrinkle effectiveness of a special cream containing a 2% Uttwiler Spätlauber extract along with lecithin liposomes. This patent-pending cream (called PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica) was applied twice daily to the crow’s feet area of 20 participants. Wrinkle depth was reduced by an average of 8% after just two weeks, and by 15% after four weeks—thus reducing the signs of aging!
Revitalize your Skin
A potent concentration of this PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica is now available to help preserve and protect your vital skin stem cells. This special apple extract complements other ingredients provided in a new topical formula.Revitalize Your Skin Combined, these ingredients comprise an innovative topical formulation that protects and preserves the youthful look and vitality of your skin in ways never before possible. Just a tiny bit applied to your face, neck, and décolleté area twice daily can help revitalize the tone, texture, and appearance of aging skin.One is a special extract of Chondrus crispus, a red seaweed found only in the cold waters off the Atlantic coast. With its abundance of mineral salts, trace elements, proteins, and vitamins, this extract is an excellent emollient with soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.6 Other anti-aging ingredients are hyaluronic acid (noted for its outstanding moisturizing ability)7 and a concentrated antioxidant tea blend, which helps fight the free radicals that contribute to skin aging.
WHAT ARE APPLE STEM CELLS Uttwiler Spatlauber
Apple stem cells are derived from a rare 18th century varieties of apple – Uttwiler Spatlauber Apple. Since the varieties of apples are very sour in taste, so not many people are farming. At present, there are only three (3) species of remaining Uttliwer Spatlauber apple trees in Switzerland.
Scientists found Uttwiler Spatlauber apples keep fresh even four (4) months after harvesting. Uttliwer Spatlauber Apple contains a wealth of nutrients, protein and amazing vitality of the plants in operation to help the health regeneration of damaged cells.
Until several years ago, the tart, unappealing breed of the Swiss-grown Uttwiler Spätlauber apples, did not seem to offer anything of value. That was until Swiss scientists discovered the unusual longevity of the stem cells that kept these apples fresh and live months after other apples shrivel and fell off their trees.
In the rural northern region of Canton, Thurgau, in northern Switzerland, home of these magical apples, it was discovered that when the unpicked apples or tree bark was punctured, Swiss Apple trees have the ability to heal themselves and last longer than other varieties. What was the secret to these apples prolonged lives.
These scientists got to work to find out. What they revealed was that apple stem cells work just like human stem cells, they work to maintain and repair skin tissue. The main difference is that unlike apple stem cells, skin stem cells do not have a long lifespan, and once they begin depleting, the signs of aging start kicking in (in the forms of loose skin, fine lines, wrinkles, etc.). Time to harness these apple stem cells into anti-aging skin care! Not so fast.
As mentioned, Uttwiler Spätlauber apples are now very rare to the point that the extract can no longer be made in a traditional fashion. The great news is that scientists developed a plant cell culture technology, which involves breeding the apple stem cells in the laboratory.
1. Stem cells:
The precious cells in our body found naturally in limited quantities in our body. • Able to self-renew. • Able to transform into tissue-specific cells. • Able to repair and rejuvenate cells.
The number of cells reduces gradually with time, allowing aging to take affects on our body, for example our skin.
2. Unique and Powerful Ingredients in Double Stem Cell:
Apple Stem Cell Extract: PhytoCellTecTM Malus Domestica
The Miracle Anti-Aging Apple – Uttwiler Spätlauber, a rare, endangered apple tree species planted in Switzerland. It has excellent ability to remain fresh without shrinking for months, attributed to high acid and tannin concentrations which give longevity to the apple cells.
PhytoCellTecTM is a modern cell culture technology in which a small quantity of the plant cells, obtained from tissue of wounded tree (callus), is reverted back to stem state and allowed to multiply.
The extract of Uttwiler Spätlauber stem cells were incorporated into lecithin liposomes to form PhytoCellTecTM Malus Domestica
Protects longevity of skin stem cells
Delays senescence of essential cells.
Combats chronological aging.
Grape Stem Cell: PhytoCell™ Solar Vitis
It is based on stem cells from the GamayTeinturierFréaux grape – a species of grape from Burgundy, which is characterised by an extremely high content of polyphenols for UV protection.
Extensive studies have shown that PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis reliably protects epidermal stem cells from UV stress and thus from skin aging caused by light. PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis increases the vitality and efficiency of all essential skin cells and improves the skin’s resistance.
3. How does Double Stem Cell work for our skin cell?
Having similar epigenetic factors which regulate gene functions as human stem cells, apple stem cells offer the skin cells protection from environmental stress, retaining their ability to renew and subsequently repair damaged skin.
The active ingredients (metabolites) in Double Stem cell provide essential nutrients that extend the lifespan of skin stem cells and promote their vitality, thus ensuring a longer-lasting rejuvenation.
4.Six Clinical Researches by Swiss scientists, Dr. Fred Zulli et.al:
5. Apple Stem Cells vs. Animal Placenta Extract:
100% natural, quality assured Swiss product.
PhytoCellTecTM Malus Domestica – Awarded Innovation Prize 2008 “Best Active Ingredient” in European.
100% plant derived (suitable for Muslim friends) – Halal certified.
Effectiveness proven by clinical studies.
Free of pesticides and environmental pollution.
Free from growth factors and diseases.
Dosage: Take 1-2 sachets daily.
Storage: Keep in a dry place protected from light and moisture below 30ºC.
Apple Stem Cell & Scientific Research
Scientific Research – Experiment on Stem Cell Regeneration 1
In another experiment, scientist studied and researched the effect of Swiss apple stem cells on fibroblast cells. Fibroblasts contribute to collagen production, muco-polysaccharides, and elastic fibres. Fibroblasts not only helps the skin to provide a structural framework but they also play a key role in wound healing.In the experiment, the scientists treated fibre cells with hydrogen peroxide for two hours, until the fibroblast cells began aging, which means that the quality of genes decreased, decreased cell proliferation and growth.
SKIN & ITS LAYERS
Scientific Research – Experiment on Stem Cell Regeneration 2
However, these degraded fibroblasts later treated in Uttwiler Spatlauber apple stem cells extract for 144 hours, were found to have the quality of genes restore , cell proliferation and growth to resume normal operation, and in some cases, the genes were better than before with enhanced cell proliferation and growth! In addition, the scientists said, Uttwiler Spatlauber Apple stem cells stimulate an important antioxidant enzyme called heme oxygenase.
Heme oxygenase is the process of heme catabolism rate-limiting enzyme, biliverdin and its product (red) pigment and carbon monoxide has anti-oxidative injury respectively, and blood vessel regulation.
Scientific Research – Experiment on Ultra-Violet (UV) Protection
Scientists conducted an experiment on cord blood stem cells to ultraviolet radiation (UV). Experimental results showed that under the strong ultraviolet radiation, 43% of cell death occurs. However with the Swiss Apple Stem Cells extract repeating the test solution, showed only a slight 6% of cell death.
Once again proving that the Swiss Apple Stem Cells extract are effective in preventing UV damage to the skin as high as 37%.Daily UV radiation can pass through skin dermis and stimulate the skin to create hydrogen peroxide and free radicals which damages collagen and elastic fibres and accelerates the formation of melanin thereby the skin becomes dull, rough with loss of elasticity.Apple Stem Cells act as the skin “protective layer” to resist UV damage and the destruction of collagen, maintaining skin elasticity, prevents sun pigmentation, wrinkles and premature aging.
Apple Stem Cells through 24 hours of continuous protection, improves the skin ability to combat against external damage and strengthens self-healing features.
Scientific Research – Experiment on Wrinkles Reduction 1
A wrinkle is a fold, ridge or crease in the skin, caused by habitual facial expressions, aging, sun damage, smoking, poor hydration, and various other factors.Scientists conducted research on twenty (20) volunteers aged between 37 to 64 years, consuming Swiss Apple Stem Cells for 28 days. The results showed that 100% of the study volunteers had significant improvement of fine lines and wrinkles.wrinkles reduce 28% after drinking apple stem cell for 4 weeks.
Scientific Research – Experiment on Wrinkles Reduction 2
Swiss Apple Stem Cells promote collagen protein synthesis, and enhance their ability to support the skin. After four (4) weeks of consuming Apple Stem Cells, the skin will become smooth and radiant, wrinkles and fine lines reduce significantly. Apple Stem Cells also function to inhibit the effect of melanin, achieving fabulous results in skin lightening & brightening.
APPLE STEM CELLS PROTECT HUMAN SKIN CELLS
Human stem cells on the skin’s epidermis are crucial to replenish the skin cells that are lost due to continual shedding. When epidermal stem cells are depleted, the number of lost or dying skin cells outpaces the production of new cells, threatening the skin’s health and appearance.
Like humans, plants also have stem cells. Enter the stem cells of the Uttwiler Spätlauber apple tree, whose fruit demonstrates an exceptionally long shelf-life. How can these promising stem cells help our skin?
Studies show that apple stem cells boosts production of human stem cells, protect the cell from stress, and decreases wrinkles. How does it work? The internal fluid of these plant cells contains components that help to protect and maintain human stem cells. Apple stem cells contain metabolites to ensure longevity as the tree is known for the fact that its fruits keep well over long periods of time.
When tested in vitro, the apple stem cell extract was applied to human stem cells from umbilical cords and was found to increase the number of the stem cells in culture. Furthermore, the addition of the ingredient to umbilical cord stem cells appeared to protect the cells from environmental stress such as UV light.
Apple stem cells do not have to be fed through the umbilical cord to benefit our skin! The extract derived from the plant cell culture technology is being harnessed as an active ingredient in anti aging skincare products. When delivered into the skin nanotechnology, the apple stem cells provide more dramatic results in decreasing lines, wrinkles, and environmental damage.
Currently referred to as ‘The Fountain of Youth’, intense research has proved that with just a concentration level of 0.1 % of the PhytoCellTec (Apple Stem Cell extract) could regenerate a wealth of human stem cells by an astounding 80%! These wonder cells work super efficiently and are completely safe. Of the numerous benefits of apple stems cells, the most predominant include:
Increase in the skin stem cell vitality and longevity.
Repairs damaged tissues and organs.
Activates the skin stem cell regeneration.
Protects human stem cells against UV light-induced damage and death.
Combats chronological and genetic aging and deep wrinkles formation.
Topical application reduces the depth of crow’s feet wrinkles after only two weeks.
Targets premature aging and fine lines.
Reverses environmental damage.
60-Day results guaranteed
What is PhytoCellTec™?
Mibelle Biochemistry’s motto – “inspired by nature – realized by science” – is the guiding principle behind its new approach to combining nature and science through a technique to extract raw materials from plants.
The origins of PhytoCellTec™
Every plant has stem cells. But unlike in humans, every plant cell has the potential to dedifferentiate to a stem cell and to grow into an entirely new, full plant. PhytoCellTec™ is the name of a new biotechnology that researchers from Mibelle Biochemistry, Switzerland have used successfully to generate and cultivate plant stem cells.
With this technology, the growth of callus cells (wound tissue) in selected plant tissue is induced under special conditions. These callus cells are undifferentiated plant cells, in other words, stem cells. The second step involves further cultivating these stem cells in specially developed bioreactors to obtain sufficient plant stem cells.
Mibelle Biochemistry has a patent pending on the application of plant stem cells to skin stem cells.
Often, rare and nearly-extinct plants, classified as endangered species, contain especially valuable ingredients but may not be harvested for use in cosmetics. Thanks to the innovative PhytoCellTec™ technology, it is now possible to use even these components for cosmetics. Only a very small amount of plant material is needed to produce large quantities of high-quality active ingredients, thus PhytoCellTec™ is a highly sustainable technology.
How plant stem cells are produced
Petri dishes with selected sterilized plant parts
Plant is wounded -> fully-formed callus (wound tissue)
Close-up of callus tissue
Liquid culture of plant stem cells in a specially developed container
Cluster of plant stem cells in liquid culture under a microscope
Stem cell properties
Stem cells are one of the most fascinating fields in modern biology. They have important properties and serve as our body’s repair kits.
What are stem cells?
Renewal and repair are ongoing processes in the human body. Adult stem cells supply the necessary cells for this replacement. They have been identified in over 20 organs or tissues.
Two key features set them apart from ordinary cells: They can differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cells of the same tissue and they have the remarkable ability to renew and regenerate themselves through cell division throughout a person’s life. This makes stem cells especially valuable and important in regenerative skin care research.
Epidermal stem cells are located in the basal layer of the epidermis. The stem cells divide to form new cells, which also divide and are slowly pushed up to the top of the epidermis. They are then shed from the surface of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis.
Stem cells in the skin – epidermal stem cells
Adult stem cells are also present in the outer layer of human skin, the epidermis. These cells are called epidermal stem cells and are found in the innermost layer of the epidermis (basal layer). Every second to seventh cell in this layer is a stem cell.
Although their appearance does not differ from that of the other cells in the basal layer, stem cells have a unique function: They constantly renew and rejuvenate the epidermis by forming new keratinocytes and regenerate damaged tissue as only these cells have the ability to divide indefinitely
In young skin, the epidermis fully renews itself approximately every 4 weeks. This process continuously slows as we age. The number of skin stem cells decreases and their vitality diminishes. Excessive UV exposure of the skin and an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol) aggravate these effects considerably, resulting in thinner, more deeply wrinkled skin. The hydrolipid film is reduced, which leaves the skin dryer and less well protected. As no new epidermal stem cells can develop during a person’s life, it is all the more important to maintain the vitality of these valuable cells and their ability to divide as long as possible.
Plant stem cells protect skin stem cells. How does this work?
Every stem cell contains specific epigenetic factors whose task is to preserve the stem cells’ multi-potency and its ability to self-renew.
Mibelle Biochemistry researchers have discovered that plant stem cells contain epigenetic factors similar to those of adult human stem cells. Applied in the right way, they have a positive impact on the vitality of skin stem cells and their proper functioning.
How can the vitality of epidermal stem cells be measured?
Is it even possible to improve the vitality of stem cells, keeping the skin youthful longer? Proving this is particularly difficult since epidermal stem cells look exactly the same as the other cells in the basal layer.
Only the development of a new test method, the so-called “progenitor cell targeting”, made it possible to isolate stem cells from the human epidermis for test purposes. These epidermal stem cells can be grown in Petri dishes using specific culture media. Using this cell culture test, one of the unique properties of stem cells, the colony-forming efficiency (CFE), can be assessed in the lab.
First, very dilute dispersions of epidermal stem cells are plated on Petri dishes. Each vital, healthy stem cell divides, forming a colony of cells, which is visible to the naked eye and can then be counted. Stem cells that have aged and are weakened do not die, but they no longer form such colonies. Researchers were thus able to show that using plant stem cells (all PhytoCellTec™ products) is proven to increase the longevity and colony-forming efficiency – essentially, the vitality – of epidermal stem cells.
PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica
PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica is a liposomal active ingredient based on stem cells from the Uttwiler Spätlauber (Swiss) apple.
The Uttwiler Spätlauber is an old Swiss green apple variety, which is very rare today. It was known for its exceptional capacity to keep for long periods but gradually lost its popularity to sweet apples because of its bitter taste. As the apple could be stored for a long time without becoming shrivelled or losing flavour, it clearly had special ingredients and especially long-lived stem cells. And precisely these longevity factors were of particular interest to the researchers at Mibelle Biochemistry.
Plant stem cells for skin stem cells
The development of the innovative PhytoCellTec™ technology made possible to grow plant stem cells on a large scale. It also became possible to effectively cultivate rare and endangered plants like the Uttwiler Spätlauber apple. PhytoCellTec™ made plant stem cells available for cosmetics for the first time.
Mibelle Biochemistry was able to show in comprehensive studies that PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica, the active ingredient based on apple stem cells, promotes the vitality and longevity of skin stem cells, protects them from damage due to environmental stress and thus delays the skin aging processes.
PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica has opened up entirely new possibilities in the field of cosmetics. Using plant stem cells can slow skin aging by protecting essential skin stem cells, keeping the skin looking youthful longer, and giving it a better and more vital appearance.
Improves the vitality of stem cells
Cultures of epidermal stem cells were treated with different concentrations of PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica and their colony-forming efficiency was determined. The investigations showed that PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica had a clear, positive effect on stem cell characteristics.
Preserves the ability to form new epidermal tissue
Young, vital epidermal stem cells can form a complete, multi-layer epidermis in laboratory conditions. When this experiment is conducted on older stem cells, these no longer multiply and no epidermis is formed. These stem cells are depleted and have reached the end of their lifecycle. If, however, Malus Domestica stem cell extract is added to cultivate the stem cells, even “old” stem cells can still generate a stratified epidermis. Under the influence of Malus Domestica stem cell extract, the epidermal stem cells retain their vitality longer and are capable of forming new tissue and renewing the skin.
This anti-wrinkle effect of PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica was studied in a clinical trial with 20 subjects (aged 37 to 64). An emulsion with 2% PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica was applied to the crow’s feet area over 28 days. The results showed a significant, visible reduction in wrinkles in 100% of the subjects.
Improves the vitality of stem cells
PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica improves the colony-forming efficiency of stem cells.
Preserves the ability to form new epidermal tissue
Stem cells are able to generate new tissue and renew the skin longer. The vitality of stem cells is maintained longer with PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica.
Anti-wrinkle effect after 28 days
PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis/Vitis Vinifera
PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis is based on stem cells from the Gamay Teinturier Fréaux grape – a grape from Burgundy, which is characterised by an extremely high content of polyphenols for UV protection.
Extensive studies have shown that PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis reliably protects epidermal stem cells from UV stress and thus from skin aging caused by light. PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis increases the vitality and efficiency of all essential skin cells and improves the skin’s resistance.
The use of plant stem cells protects the most important skin cells, namely its stem cells, thus delaying skin aging. PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis protects the skin from chronological and light-induced aging, extending skin cells’ vitality and keeping the skin’s appearance young and beautiful longer.
Improves the vitality of stem cells
Cultures of epidermal stem cells were treated with different concentrations of PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis and their colony-forming efficiency was measured. The research demonstrated that PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis clearly has a positive effect on stem cell characteristics. (see chart)
PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis improves the colony-forming efficiency of stem cells. Protects epidermal stem cells from UV stress
Cultures of epidermal stem cells were treated with PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis, while others were left untreated. The cultures were exposed to UVA and UVB rays, and the colony-forming efficiency (CFE) of the stem cells was then measured.
The results showed that UV radiation strongly reduced cells’ colony-forming efficiency (-58%). Treatment with PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis improved the colony-forming ability of the stem cells, and the cells’ vitality was not impaired even after exposure to UV radiation. (see chart) PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis preserves stem cells’ vitality even under UV radiation.
PhytoCellTec™ Argan is based on stem cells of the Argan tree, one of the oldest tree species in the world.
PhytoCellTec™ Argan was developed to improve the regenerative capacity of dermal stem cells thereby achieving deep-seated rejuvenation of the skin. This active ingredient is based on stem cells of the Argan tree, one of the oldest tree species in the world. The Argan tree is indigenous to the arid southwest of Morocco and has adapted perfectly to intense drought and extremely high temperatures, which are typical in this region. Unfortunately, the Argan tree population has shrunk dramatically due to extensive cultivation of the land, so that nowadays the remaining Argan forests are under the protection of UNESCO.
Adult skin stem cells – Dermal stem cells
The main function of the dermis is to provide mechanical support and elasticity to the skin. In order to maintain these important functions, healthy skin undergoes constant cell turnover, which renews and repairs the dermal connective tissue. New cells are produced to replace damaged or dead ones. Responsible for this regenerative process are adult dermal stem cells, which reside in the dermal papilla of the hair follicle. These cells differentiate into dermal cell types like fibroblasts, which are responsible for the continuous production of the extracellular matrix proteins elastin and collagen. However, dermal stem cells do age, they become less in number and exhibit reduced activity. As a consequence the production of collagen and elastin drops and the skin loses its firmness – wrinkles appear.
Therefore it is important to protect the dermal stem cells and to maintain their activity.
Plant stem cells to protect human dermal stem cells
The activity of stem cells is regulated by specific compounds, epigenetic factors among others. Plant stem cells also have such epigenetic factors. In-vitro studies demonstrate that an extract made of Argan stem cells has a positive influence on the activity of human dermal stem cells.
A new assay to measure dermal stem cell activity
In order to evaluate the activity of PhytoCellTec™ Argan on dermal stem cells, a stable human dermal stem cell line was used as a new test system: stem cell activity is assessed based on the expression of the stem cell marker Sox2 (a key regulator of pluri-potency in dermal stem cells) and on the property of dermal stem cells to grow in three-dimensional spherical colonies. These two characteristics are only expressed by vital dermal stem cells.
Dermal stem cells, which are cultivated in the presence of the Argan stemcell extract show enhanced Sox2 expression compared to the untreated control culture.
Thus, PhytoCellTec™ Argan helps the dermal stem cells to maintain their “stemness” even after long-term cultivation.
Improvement of the extracellular matrix structure – reduction of wrinkle depth
The dermal tissue structure of forearms from volunteers was visualized by ultrasonography before and after treatment with PhytoCellTec™ Argan
In the ultrasonographic images the dermis appears in bright colours, whereas the so-called subepidermal low echogenic band (SLEB) produces dark patches. This SLEB is the result of a disrupted architecture of the dermis and commonly found in aged and photo-damaged skin. Results clearly show, that a 56 days treatment with PhytoCellTec™ Argan reduces the SLEB and significantly improves the dermal tissue density.
ultrasonographic images made from a women’s thigh, where the dermis is depicted in bright colours and the hypodermis shows up in black. The irregular dermis-hypodermis junction is caused by adipose tissue protruding into the lower dermis (figure 3, red arrows). This is a typical image for cellulite. A 56 days treatment with PhytoCellTec™ Argan shows a tightening of the dermal tissue, leading to a much smoother dermis-hypodermis junction.
Fuelling the beauty industry without harming the environment
Mibelle Biochemistry’s inputs at Rio+20 UN Conference on sustainable development
Over nine days (13 to 22 June 2012), thousands of events were held during Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Rio+20 was the biggest UN conference ever held, with broad participation of leaders from government, business and civil society, as well as UN officials and academics. Furthermore it brought together industry professionals to look ahead and to further contribute to sustainable development in the various industries.
From the cosmetic industry Dr. Fred Zeülli, Managing Director of Mibelle Biochemistry, Switzerland was invited to talk and discuss about sustainable sourcing of raw material for the beauty industry. In particular the PhytoCellTec™ technology has been detected as an eco-breakthrough in natural cosmetics ingredients as it allows cultivation of plant stem cells. On one side these plant stem cells contain the most active molecules which have shown excellent benefits on skin. And, on the other side they can be used in cosmetics without harming the environment. In particular because of following facts:
Only very little of plant material (e.g. 1 fruit or 1 leaf) is used to establish the plant stem cells culture. Therefore, this biotechnology protects and helps to preserve rare and endangered plants.
No agricultural land is required to produce biomass
Significant reduction of water consumption compared to conventional biomass production
No need for fertilizer, pesticides and other chemicals
Interview: Fueling the beauty industry without harming the environment
Dr. Fred Zülli talks to Pavilion TV about the research on plant stem cells for the use in cosmetics without impacting the environment.
Bringing industry into the green economy
Research: Plants Cure Cancer, Not Chemicals
In this post-Genomic era, factors above (epi-) the control of the genes – epigenetic factors – are taking centre stage; these include environmental exposures, stress, nutritional factors, and various lifestyle-based variables that are within the ambit of our control and volition, and which are often reversible.
Indeed, in a new study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology titled, “The use of plant-derived bioactive compounds to target cancer stem cells and modulate tumour microenvironment,” the authors note the powerful implications of this new epigenetic view of cancer:
“A fundamental aspect to be taken into account is that epigenetic changes can possibly be reversed by modifying epigenetic factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Nowadays, identification of these factors is crucial to develop epigenetically-based preventions and more effective anti-cancer intervention strategies.”
Moreover, they note that natural interventions are once again (after countless millennia of worldwide use), at the cutting edge of medical intervention:
“Virtually, all dietary compounds have the ability to act at the epigenetic level in cancer cells thus influencing the epigenome in a positive or negative way. Particularly, plant derived compounds, such as polyphenols, have the capacity to reverse adverse epigenetic mutations in cancer cells, to inhibit tumorigenesis progression, to prevent the metastatic process or to sensitize cancer cells to chemo and radiotherapy (Vanden Berghe, 2012).”
The new study highlighted the following points, the implications for the future of cancer treatment are truly revolutionary:
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are chemo-radiotherapy resistant, causing tumor relapse.
CSCs are known to reside within specific hypoxic and acidic tumor niches.
Phytocompounds affect CSC self-renewal, metabolism and microenvironment.
Phytocompounds might be exploited for cancer prevention and treatment.>