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Fernblock, A Nutriceutical With Photoprotective Properties And Potential Preventive Agent For Skin Photoaging And Photoinduced Skin Cancers

S. González, Y. Gilaberte, N. Philips, Á. Juarranz
Published 2011 · Biology, Medicine

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Many phytochemicals are endowed with photoprotective properties, i.e., the capability to prevent the harmful effects of excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. These effects include photoaging and skin cancer, and immunosuppression. Photoprotection is endowed through two major modes of action: UV absorption or reflection/scattering; and tissue repair post-exposure. We and others have uncovered the photoprotective properties of an extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos (commercial name Fernblock). Fernblock is an all-natural antioxidant extract, administered both topically (on the skin) or orally. It inhibits generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production induced by UV including superoxide anion. It also prevents damage to the DNA, inhibits UV-induced AP1 and NF-κB, and protects endogenous skin natural antioxidant systems, i.e., CAT, GSH, and GSSR. Its photoprotective effects at a cellular level include a marked decrease of UV-mediated cellular apoptosis and necrosis and a profound inhibition of extracellular matrix remodeling. These molecular and cellular effects translate into long-term inhibition of photoaging and carcinogenesis that, together with its lack of toxicity, postulate its use as a novel-generation photoprotective nutriceutical of phytochemical origin.
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