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Phosphatidylserine – Another new wrinkle in treating skin aging

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Topical applications of a naturally occurring fat molecule have the potential to slow down skin aging, whether through natural causes or damage, researchers report.

Through both the normal aging process and external factors like UV damage, smooth, young skin inevitably becomes coarse and wrinkled. The basis of this wrinkling is that time and damage both lower the production of new collagen while increasing the levels of enzymes called MMPs that chew up existing collagen.

Covering up, slowing down, or even stopping the wrinkling process has become a big business, and as part of this research endeavor, Jin Ho Chung and colleagues* tested seven naturally occurring lipids (greasy molecules that play many important biological roles) in their ability to reduce skin aging.

In samples of skin cells:


  • Three of the lipids could prevent UV-radiation from both reducing collagen expression and increasing the levels of MMPs;
  • They even increased collagen in undamaged skin cells.
  • Of these three, the molecule phosphatidylserine (PS) seemed the most promising, so the researchers tested it on human skin.

They applied a 2% phosphatidylserine solution to small areas of the buttock in both young and old volunteers; the young skin was subsequently given a dose of UV-radiation to simulate sun damage.

In both natural and UV-induced aging, phosphatidylserine treatment prevented collagen reduction and an increase in MMPs when compared to no treatment.

While larger and longer trials are needed to confirm any therapeutic benefits, these initial findings suggest topical phosphatidylserine application might be a simple and natural way to slow down the biological elements underlying wrinkling.

* Source: “Phosphatidylserine prevents UV-induced decrease of type I procollagen and increase of MMP-1 in dermal fibroblasts and human skin in vivo,” Journal of Lipid Research, June 2008; 49(6):1235-45. PMID: 18337615, by Chung JH, et al., Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea. [E-mail: jhchung@snu.ac.kr]

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To learn more about phosphatidylserine, a basic component of all cell membranes made naturally by the body, see “Why It’s Important to Remember Phosphatidyl Serine.”

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not meant to prevent, diagnose treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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