L-Ascorbic Acid and Skin Care

L-ascorbic acid, is a cofactor for collagen synthesis and is naturally found in vegetables, fruits,  and tea. Topical vitamin C must be in the form of L-ascorbic acid to be beneficial to the skin. Topical application of vitamin C performs 3 main function in skin metabolism. 1) Vitamin C plays an substantial role in the formation of collagen, which is the main structural protein in the skin. 2) Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. As an antioxidant, vitamin C suppresses the improvement of skin cancer caused by UV exposure. 3) As a melanin inhibitor, helps to lighten the skin. Melanin determines skin color. The production of melanin is stimulated by your exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) rays in especially. Vitamin C is a tyrosinase inhibitor, it decreases melanin production and encourages cellular renewal through exfoliation.

L-Ascorbic Acid and Skin Care

SkinL-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) is an antioxidant found in skin care products that helps increase the production of collagen. Some researches demonstrate that, when applied to the skin, L-ascorbic acid stimulates collagen synthesis, provides sun protection and protects the skin by reducing free radicals. Also, L-ascorbic acid is known to be the primary replenisher of vitamin E, the of most important inhibitor of lipid peroxidation in cell membranes. A study reported by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery showed that L-ascorbic acid, which is accurate vitamin C, is the chemical derivative of ascorbic acid that is chemically reactive and bioavailable. In this study, researchers, showed that free L-ascorbic acid is the only molecular structure proven to penetrate into the skin and neutralize  free radicals.

In 1992, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell reported the results of a study that showed the vitamin-C form of L-ascorbic acid decreased sun damage. L-ascorbic acid, develops the appearance of skin by lessens fine lines and wrinkles and reduces the effects of sunburns. Once it is in the skin, L-ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C’s active form; stimulates collagen synthesis, provides photoprotection, stays in the skin or up to 72 hours, and  avoids ultraviolet (UV) rays immunosuppression. Researchers in a study improved a stable aqueous solution of 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% vitamin E. The combination of 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% vitamin E provided significant prevention against erythema and sunburn cell formation; either L-ascorbic acid or 1% vitamin E alone was protective but the combination was better. In a clinical study, participants were treated with 10% solution of L-ascorbic acid or vehicle controls before UV-B irradiation. Regions treated with topical L-ascorbic acid demonstrated a noteworthy decrease of the minimal erythema dose.

Typical concentrations of topical products range from 5% to 25%. Most products on contain L-Ascorbic acid in aqueous solution and they have inefficient stability. Spite of the positive effects of L-ascorbic acid; when exposed to air, it oxidizes and becomes inactive and produces free radicals. L-ascorbic acid, aqueous formula is prone to oxidation. Therefore, for the treatment of photoaged skin, a new formula that contains 23.8% L-ascorbic acid and a chemical penetration enhancer was improved.

Vitamin C Benefits for Skin

Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is a important component of collagen and elastin synthesis in bodies. Elastin and collagen are proteins that make up skin, muscles and other connective tissue. Ascorbic acid brightens skin, encourages collagen production, and develops elasticity. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. Antioxidant properties of vitamin C have been demonstrated in many experiments in vitro. Applied topically, vitamin c has been shown to develop skin texture and tone, decrease brown spots, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and help avoid their formation.

Vitamin C Benefits for Skin

Vitamin C Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen. Collagen is a protein that connects all fiber network, suchlike as tendons, skin, cartilage and other tissues in the body. Almost 33% of the protein in the body is collagen. without collagen, the body  would literally fall apart. Vitamin C plays an substantial role in the formation of collagen, which is the main structural protein in the skin. A study performed in 1981 by Linus Pauling, shows that exposure of skin cells to Vitamin C had an 8 times increase in collagen production.

Free radicals are reactive molecules that cause tissue damage and are present in sun rays and cigarette smoke. These molecules initiate the deterioration of the skin’s structural support and reduce the elasticity, and resilience of skin. Vitamin C can stop or decrease these chemical reactions acting against oxidative process, neutralizing its deleterious effects.

The use of vitamin C (3-10%) in topical applications for at least twelve weeks has been shown to reduce wrinkling, decrease protein fiber damage, reduce apparent roughness of skin, and enhance production of collagen. Three-month study period in 19 participant with moderately photodamaged facial skin found a important development in fine wrinkling, skin tone, and sallowness on the side treated with vitamin C compared with the placebo group. Photographic evaluation revealed a 57% development in the ascorbic acid treated individuals compared with the placebo group. In 2002, researchers applied 10 percent ascorbic acid to the cheek of participants and compared it with the opposite untreated cheek. At twelve weeks, biopsy specimens revealed an enhance in the Grenz zone collagen and increased gene expression of type I collagen in the skin.  In 2004, scientists examined the epidermal-dermal junction and depth of dermal papilla in participants of all ages and found that as people age, the papillae and its nutritive capillary reduce in density. They then applied topical 3 percent ascorbic acid on the forearm of participants and saw that there was an increase in the dermal papillae with new vessel formation after one month of therapy, compared with the opposite forearm where placebo was applied.

Topical and dietary Vitamin C have positive effects on skin cells, and some researches have shown that ascorbic acid may help avoid and UV induced photodamage. In addition, vitamin E such as ascorbic acid, is also an antioxidant that can help preserve body from free radicals. In 2005 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology;  found that taking 500 IU of vitamin E and 1.000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for three months significantly decreased the sunburn reaction to UVB radiation. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study (against sunburn to investigate the protective effect of vitamins C and E),  each of 10 participant took daily either 2 gm of vitamin C combined with 1000 IU of  vitamin E or placebo. Research findings, combined vitamins C and E decrease the sunburn reaction, which might indicate a consequent decreased risk for later sequelae of UV-induced skin damage.

Melanin is produced by cells named melanocytes. Melanin determines skin color. Individuals with high amounts of melanin tend to have darker skin. The production of melanin is stimulated by your exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) rays in especially. Vit C can reduce the skin hyper-pigmentation. Vitamin C is a tyrosinase inhibitor, it decreases melanin production and encourages cellular renewal through exfoliation. If this enzyme is deactivated, the production of melanin is stopped at its initial phases.

Some researches shows that AA2P, a derivative of vitamin C, not just neutralizes free radicals, but also reverse DNA damage. A study recently; showed that a form of ascorbic acid helped to encourage wound healing and helped preserve the DNA damage of skin cells. (Free Radical Biology and Medicine).  In this study, investigated the activity of continuous exposure to a ascorbic acid derivative, AA2P (ascorbic acid 2-phosphate), in human dermal fibroblasts. The research findings showed that ascorbic acid may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area.

Stevia Dangers and Benefits

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is native to Paraguay, South America. Also known as sugarleaf or sweet leaf. Was discovered in 1887 by the Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni. Added to the botanical archives in 1899.  Stevia is used for health problems, and natives of Paraguay believe that it can help to treat diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, dental cavities, infections, heartburn and fatigue.

SteviosideAt first, the leaves of stevia were consumed fresh or dried but eventually scientists isolated the glycosides named rebaudioside and stevioside from its leaves that give stevia its sweet taste. Stevioside, is a natural sweetener extracted from leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.  Stevioside (a white crystalline compound) found in the Stevia rebaudiana of the plant is a natural plant sweetener with no calories and is 100-300 times sweeter than table sugar. Isosteviol and steviol are metabolic components of stevioside.

The first commercial stevia sweetening product in Japan was produced by the Japanese  Morita Kagaku Kogyo Co. Ltd. in 1971. Stevioside, a natural glycoside isolated from the herb Stevia rebaudiana, has been commercialized as a non-caloric sweetener in Japan for a long time. Stevia sweetener products represent more than 40 % of the low-calorie sweetener market in Japan. The US banned stevia in the early 1990s unless labeled as a dietary supplement. however in 2008 it approved rebaudioside A extract as a food additive. In 2011, stevia was approved for use in the  EU. Stevia is available as a sweetener in Europe, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Paraguay, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Stevia Benefits

Stevioside is a natural glycoside isolated from the Stevia rebaudiana, which has showed blood pressure lowering activities. Several researches have suggested that stevioside acts as a typical systemic vasodilator. Some studies shown that taking 750-1500 mg per day of stevioside, decrease systolic blood pressure by 10-14 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure  by 6-14 mmHg within 1 week of starting therapy. A study reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in Sept 2000 looked at stevia’s use as an antihypertensive in 106 participant with hypertension. The study demonstrated that oral stevioside, was well-tolerated and effective in lowering blood pressure.

Stevia plant have been shown to inhibit hepatic gluconeogenesis and enhance insulin sensitivity in animal-based studies. A preliminary study suggests that 1000 mg daily of stevioside, might decrease blood sugar levels after meals by 18 percent in patients with type 2 diabetes. According to a study reported in The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research in 1986, stevia was found to reduce glucose levels. 1000 mg of stevioside has been taken with meals to reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Water extracts of 5 g of leaves have been used at 6-hour intervals for 3 days to enhance glucose tolerance.

Stevia Plant Side Effects

Some individuals who take stevioside can experience nausea, bloating, dizziness or muscle pain. This plant might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the daisy family (Asteraceae compositae). Any drug containing lithium has the probability to interact with stevia. If you are taking psychiatric drug lithium, talk with your healthcare provider before using stevia products. Also, talk with your doctor before using stevia if you are taking diabetes drugs and antihypertensive drugs.

Stevia Dangers

Stevia is safe to use. In the US, a purified component form of the plant is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA and may be used as an artificial sweetener in foods and beverages. It has been designated a safe product by the Food and Drug Administration, based on the findings of using 1500 mg per day for 2 years. The World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, in 2008, concluded that you can use between 0 mg and 4 mg per kg of body weight safely per day. The Food Standards Australia New Zealand performed a exhaustive risk evaluation prior to approving the addition of  Stevia to the Australian food supply in 2008. Particularly examined  any possible negative risk to diabetics and children and concluded “there are no public health and safety concerns for steviol glycosides when used as a food additive at the maximum levels proposed”.

Steviol and stevioside have been subjected to extensive genetic testing. The majority of the results show no evidence of genotoxic activity. Stevia plant has been used in Japan since 1970 and there have been no finding of toxicity or other adverse effects. One research during 2006 conducted by the WHO, demonstrated that the rebaudioside A derived from the stevia has no adverse effect on health, including an increase in the risk of cancers. A study reported in Food and Chemical Toxicology 2008; concluded that the use of stevia does not pose a risk of genetic damage or increased risk of cancer. According to a research reported in 2009 edition of Food and Chemical Toxicology, Dr. Lonnie Williams demonstrated rebaudioside A, did not have any genotoxic effects.

The Effect of Stevia on Infertility

In a study reported in 1985, researchers reported the potential of negative effects with stevia use on the male reproductive system. But, in 1999, researchers at “University of Chulalongkorn” gave large doses of stevia to both female and male hamsters to see if their fertility would be affected. As a result, there was no evidence of decreased fertility. A study in a 2006 edition of  Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health showed that stevia has not negative effect on the fertility of female rats. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), there is no proof that stevia plant interferes with female or male reproductive system development and function.

Xylitol Danger and Effects

Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous fruit, and vegetables as well as in corn cobs and various hardwood trees like birch; and is additionally produced naturally in the human body. The body, produces up to 15 g of xylitol each day through normal food digestion processes. This substance was first found in 1891 by a German chemist, Emil Fischer. Xylitol is found in the fibers of many vegetables and fruits, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and as well as fibrous material such as corn husks and and birch. (Usually is produced in the Finland, United States, and China).  In Finland, Japan and many other countries, xylitol is widely used in candy, gum and oral care products.


XylitolXylitol is considered a “sugar-free” sweetener. It includes 40% less calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates than refined sugar. Xylitol has been shown in several studies to be very slowly metabolized.  Sugar has a 100 Glycaemic Index and xylitol has just 7. In 1983, a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization the approved that xylitol is a safe sweetener for foods. Also, Food and Drug Administration approved this substance in 1986.

According to Xylitol.org;  sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, causing them to multiply rapidly. This metabolic process produces acids that cause cavities to begin to form. When you use xylitol gum, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Because the bacteria in the mouth causing caries are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, their growth is reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90 percent. Bacteria are unable to produce acid in the presence of xylitol and as a sequel the plaque pH does not decrease. In a 1980’s double blind trial 1,277 children chewed gum several times a day. Some were given normal gum sweetened with sucrose; others were given gum with xylitol or sorbitol. After 40 months of gum chewing the xylitol group experience 73 percent less caries, sorbitol group a decrease of 26 percent, and an enhance of 120 percent of caries in the sucrose group.

Researches have shown xylitol chewing gum can help avoid acute otitis media the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, while the presence of xylitol avoids the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes which connect the nose and ear. According to the findings of 2 double-blind trials, the occurrence of acute otitis media was decreased by 40 percent in children given xylitol chewing gum. A 5 percent concentration of xylitol inhibited the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In an in vitro experiment using a 5% solution of xylitol, scientists showed that the mucosal attachment of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae was decreased by factors of 68% and 50%. Xylitol gum was shown to decrease the incidence of ear infections in children, in a study reported in a 1996 edition of the “British Medical Journal“.

Xylitol Danger

Typical recommended dose of xylitol varies between 6 g and 20 g daily. When consumed in highly dose, cause general discomfort in the abdomen. The significant side effects reported from oral xylitol use at a dosage exceeding 40 to 50 g/day included nausea, bloating, colic, and diarrhea. It should be noted also; some xylitol products include substances, fillers or various sweeteners that are not natural. These are not recommended for those seeking the effects of an all-natural product like xylitol. Xylitol is occasionally applied in intravenous infusions for patients in the in surgical patients. But, xylitol intravenous infusions have led to noteworthy increases in uric acid, bilirubin, lactic acid, and alkaline phosphatase levels. According to a report published in 2001 in the Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, use of xylitol in IV administered drip may have caused renal oxalosis.

There is serious xylitol risk for pets. Particularly, xylitol toxicity in dogs can be acute. In dogs, xylitol is a powerful promoter of insulin release, and can cause serious hypoglycemia, with ataxia, and seizures.  Within 30 minutes of consuming a little amount of a product sweetened with xylitol, dogs experience rapidly plummeting blood sugar, vomiting, and can experience difficulty in standing. A dog suffered hypoglycemia, vomiting and fulminant liver failure after ingesting half of bread containing xylitol. In another incident, 8 dog were examined for treatment of vomiting, hyperglycemia, lethargy, ecchymotic, thrombocytopenia and hyperbirubinemia.

Mustard Benefits and Health

MustardMustard is a member of the Brassica family of plants. There are 3 main types used to make mustard seeds; white mustard (Brassica alba), brown mustard (Brassica juncea) and black mustard (Brassica nigra). Allyl isothiocyanate belongs to a family of naturally occurring isothiocyanates and is a promising cancer protective compound. Mustard seed powder is a well-known rich resource of allyl isothiocyanate with centuries-old history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese traditional medicine. In animal-based studies intake of isothiocyanates has been shown to inhibit growth of existing cancer cells and to be preventive against the formation of such cells.

Mustard Benefits

Mustard seeds are rich in nutrients such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are biologically active hydrolysis products of glucosinolates. Isothiocyanates have been found to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in a number of cancer cell lines. Naturally occurring isothiocyanates and their metabolites have been found to inhibit the occurrence of chemically-induced cancers of the liver, lung, stomach, esophagus, colon, and small intestine in a variety of animal models.

Scientists at the “Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine” in Baltimore explored the metabolism of isothiocyanates and showed that isothiocyanates were approximately 6 times more bioavailable than glucosinolates. According to a research reported in Carcinogenesis in May 2003, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is influential against prostate cancer cells. Allyl isothiocyanate is a promising agent for bladder cancer protection and therapy. A recent study shows that a plant compound -allyl isothiocyanate (AITC)- in mustard and horseradish may be effective in fighting bladder cancer. According to” Environmental Health News“, a study performed on rats that were given mustard seed powder found the plant compound  ‘stopped the growth of bladder cancer by one-third and completely prevented metastasis — the cancer invasion of surrounding muscle tissue.’