High OPC Pine Bark Supports Healthy Skin Cells
In addition to the profound health effects of high OPC pine bark extract as a food or dietary supplement, there are several functional applications for topical use in personal care formulations.
These applications are based on skin cell culture studies demonstrating that high OPC pine bark extract:
- Penetrates the skin
- Boosts the skin cells’ natural internal free radical defense
- Stimulates skin cell growth
- Protects the skin cells from external free radical damage
- Protects skin cells from damaging UV radiation
- Binds and protects collagen
Research: Penetration Across Skin
This research was carried out by Dr. Paul Davies of the Bioactivities Investigation Group, Otago School of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand.
Research has shown that the proanthocyanidin (PA) compounds in our high OPC pine bark extract penetrate through the skin.
In this study a 1% high OPC pine bark solution (in 10% glycerin) was applied to the outside of a sample of rat skin; while the inside of the skin was in contact with a buffer solution. Liquid samples were taken periodically from the inside buffer and were assayed by HPLC for the presence of catechin and polymeric PAs that had penetrated across the skin.
Research: Skin Cell Growth Stimulation
Research has demonstrated that high OPC pine bark can stimulate skin cell growth. In this study conducted by , human skin fibroblasts were incubated with high OPC pine bark extract added to the growth medium at 1 μg/ml. In comparison to untreated cells high OPC pine bark extract stimulated cell growth by up to 10%.
Research: Skin Cell Protection from Free Radicals
Research on internal oxidative stress has shown that high OPC pine bark can protect skin cells from the free radicals that are produced internally through normal skin metabolism. In this study conducted by , human skin fibroblasts were incubated without or with increasing concentrations of high OPC pine bark extract and the intracellular load of hydrogen peroxide produced by the cells was determined. Research on external oxidative stress has also shown that high OPC pine bark extract can protect skin cells from the harmful effects of free radicals present in the environment. In this study high OPC pine bark extract was compared to Vitamin C for its ability to protect human skin fibroblast growth in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. (H2O2 leads to cell death and growth depression.) Compared to the H2O2-treated control cells [set to 100%] the cultures with high OPC pine bark extract showed growth of up to 132%, whereas Vitamin C failed to protect the cells.
Research: Skin Cell Protection from UV
Research shows that high OPC pine bark extract can protect skin cells from the harmful effects of UV-radiation. Here human skin fibroblasts were treated with UV-radiation. UV led to growth depression of 28-52% in the controls, whereas the high OPC pine bark extract protected cells showed much lower growth depression of 8-29%.