A co-factor is a chemical compound which is required for a biological reaction. TOTALLY DERMA Skin Drink co-factors are ‘synergistic ingredients’ that play an important role in healthy collagen synthesis and repair.
Although Arthred® enzymatically hydrolysed collagen and hyaluronic acid are key nutrients for stimulation of collagen synthesis and skin hydration, these other nutrients also play a role in maximizing their effects.
Ascorbic Acid (known as Vitamin C) has been shown to increase collagen synthesis in cultured skin fibroblasts by approximately 8-fold. Studies suggest that collagen polypeptide synthesis and the activity of hydroxylases are independently regulated by ascorbic acid. (12)
Ascorbic acid is an essential cofactor for lysyl hydroxlase and prolyl hydroxylase, the enzymes needed for collagen biosynthesis. If a patient is Vitamin C deficient then these enzymes cannot function and hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine will not be produced. Ascorbic acid is also shown to stimulate collagen-specific mRNA for collagen synthesis. (13)
In cell culture models, vitamin C supplementation has many beneficial effects in combating photo damage. Specifically, vitamin C has been shown to stabilize collagen mRNA, thus increasing collagen protein synthesis for repair of the damaged skin (14).
Oral supplementation with vitamin C effectively increases vitamin C levels in the skin (15 & 16)
Copper is also essential for healthy collagen and elastin production. Studies clearly show that the synthesis of mature elastin and collagen take place and are controlled by the availability of copper.
A lack of copper can induce defective crosslinking of collagen and elastin. This can cause problems such as premature ageing and wrinkling of the skin. Oral supplementation of copper increases lysyl oxidase activity. (17)
Copper is an important cofactor for the activation of lysyl oxidase and regulates lysyl oxidase synthesis, this is the only enzyme involved in collagen crosslinking.(18) Supplementation of oral copper increases lysyl oxidase within 4-6 hours, this continues to increase activity even after 20 hours after copper administration. (19)
Manganese is required for the activation of prolidase, an enzyme that functions to provide the amino acid, proline, for collagen formation in human skin cells. Orally ingested Manganese is therefore essential in the synthesis of skin collagen and is also beneficial for optimal wound repair. (20)
Manganese is also an essential cofactor for the glycosylation of hydroxylysine. The glycosylation step strengthens the characteristics of the newly formed collagen molecule and also influences its fibril size. This is a vital step for optimal healthy production of collagen. Glycosylation enzymes are found with the highest activity in the young and decrease as we age. (21 & 22)
Zinc is vital to the functioning of more than 300 hormones and enzymes in the body.
Zinc’s involvement in collagen synthesis is mainly through two different enzymes, procollagen N-proteinase, and procollagen C-proteinase. These two enzymes are required for processing the soluble precursor (procollagen) to collagen and they cannot function without zinc.
Various animal studies show zinc deficiency results in a significant reduction in collagen synthesis and turnover. (23 & 24)
Oral Zinc supplementation, due to its involvement in collagen synthesis, is shown to benefit post surgery trauma and wound healing (25)
Zinc is also useful in combating oxidative stress within the body and skin. It is an essential cofactor for superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant enzyme associated with longevity and protection against oxidative stress. (26)
Skin is a major target of oxidative stress due to various damaging elements in the outer environment (such as UV damage & pollutants) and various processes within skin itself (such as aging & exercise). The most major contributor to skin ageing and wrinkling is oxidative stress. Therefore, Zinc can be a useful component in skin anti-ageing. (27)
Oral zinc supplementation is shown to scavenge free radicals and increase the activity of SOD and Glutathione Peroxidase within the body (28)
GRAPE SEED EXTRACT
Grape Seed Extract is known as a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from premature ageing, disease, and decay. Grape seeds contain mainly phenols such as proanthocyanidins. Research suggests that grape seed extract is beneficial in many areas of healthy skin because of its antioxidant effect to bond with collagen, promoting youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility. Studies have also shown that oral Grape Seed Extract helps to protect tissue from free radicals, sun damage and inflammation. (29)
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Studies show that Green Tea Catechins (Catechins are the active polyphenol in green tea) are able to improve skin characteristics, including elasticity, roughness, scaling, density, and water content. Additionally, less UV radiation damage is also noted with green tea catechins. Studies also show that oral green tea extract boosts oxygen flow to the skin, this peaks 30 minutes after ingestion. When skin circulation is improved, skin health is also improved. In summary, green tea polyphenols delivered in a beverage have been shown to protect skin against harmful UV radiation and help to improve overall skin quality. (30)
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant that is capable of regenerating other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. It therefore exerts numerous anti-aging effects in the body and skin which assists in repair and maintenance. (31)
Alpha lipoic acid research done on human dermal fibroblasts in vitro (test tube) in cell-culture systems show that, when taken orally, Alpha Lipoic Acid helps to prevent cellular damage via its antioxidant properties. By protecting fibroblasts (the cells which produce collagen in the skin) this helps to slow down the ageing process in the skin and stimulate repair. (32)