Ingredient | Lucuma Seed Extract

LucumaWe first heard about “LSE” (Lucuma Seed Extract) and its potential as an anti-aging and skin repair ingredient at HBA Global 2011 and it piqued our curiosity. We reached out to researcher Leonel Rojo, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University and his team to tell us a bit more about LSE.

It comes from the Pouteria Lucuma, the Incan Golden Fruit.  Lucuma is commonly found in Peru and Chile and often used as a food or confectionary flavoring in South America.

1. How was Lucuma’s anti-aging benefits discovered? How long ago did research begin?
The lucuma research project began several years ago as part of a research under the Global Institute for BioExploration led by Rutgers University. The anti-aging & skin-repairing ingredient “LSE” (Lucuma Seed Extract), presented at HBA Global 2011, is the result of a project that’s still under development and involves Rutgers University and other institutions. Therefore the product LSE is not yet commercially available.

2. What are its benefits?
– Inducing the expression of elastin.
Elastin is a protein, a structural component of the dermis and provides the skin its elasticity. As a result of the natural aging process or insult mediated damage the elastin levels decrease and the skin starts to wrinkle. Thus, natural bioactives capable of protecting or inducing elastin production are valuable. This is the case of Lucuma Seed Extract (LSE)

– Increasing (elastin) mRNA levels.
Elastin is a protein produced by fibroblasts. We observed that the mRNA levels of the elastin gene were increased in human dermal fibroblasts after treatment with LSE.

– Protecting human dermal fibroblasts against H2O2-induced senescence.
Senescence is a biological process that normally occurs as cells divide during cell life. Senescent dermal fibroblasts acquire certain negative characteristics, such as DNA damage, aberrant nuclear morphology, increased expression of degradative enzymes, and inflammatory cytokines. Thus, relatively few senescent cells in the skin might compromise skin function and integrity. We observed that LSE protected dermal fibroblasts from H2O2-induced senescence.

– Promoting fibroblast migration.
Migration of dermal fibroblasts is one of the most important mechanisms of skin repairing and wound healing. This mechanism was found to be increased by LSE.

– Increasing vascular recovery.
LSE increased vessel sprouting, thus improving skin perfusion and dermal recovery. The recovery of blood vessels is an important process of skin repair. It is worth mentioning that LSE would not increase redness of the skin as this later process is not related to vessels sprouting, but rather to inflammatory responses and LSE was found to be anti-inflammatory.

– LSE has not yet been tested in clinical trials. However, LSE was shown to produce similar effects to retinoic acid in inducing elastin and elastic fibers in cultured human dermal fibroblasts.

3. Are there any plans for it to be used in future cosmetic products?
LSE is not yet available in the market and has not been used yet in any cosmetic product. Rutgers University is currently working along with its partners in advanced stages of development of this product.

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