Apple stem cells: Nature’s most potent anti-wrinkle substance?
In a remote part of Switzerland hangs a dull, sour, tannin-rich variety of apple. It has never received much attention. Then in 2009, Swiss scientists discovered that the stem cells of this particularly rare apple could reverse skin aging, increase the lifespan of human cells, and could even possibly grow back lost hair.
Human stem cells can turn into any part of the human body, but the law bans the use of embryonic stem cells in cosmetics, so instead researchers turned their attention towards plants. This particular apple is called Uttwiler Spatlauber and contains high concentrations of stem cells known as PytoCellTec Malus Domestica – the star of the stem cell world – so scientists decided to put the apple to the test.
First they cut pieces of the apple, which responded by forming a protective layer of stem cells on the surface, which they then extracted and grew in a liquid culture. They combined the solution containing one percent apple stem cells with human stem cells, which boosted the production of the human stem cells by a staggering 80 percent.
Researchers then tested the stress ability of these new cells by irradiating them with UV light. The UV light killed 50 percent of those grown in normal liquid culture, but hardly any of those protected by the apple stem cells were affected. Further, hair follicles kept in a solution of apple stem cells continued to grow for 18 days, while those kept in a normal solution died after 14 days. In tests on 20 women who applied a cream enriched with apple stem cells twice a day, crows feet were reduced by eight percent after a fortnight and 15 percent after four weeks.
Therefore, such apple stem cells are indeed effective and have been clinically proven to preserve and protect skin stem cells. Thus, they can play a vital role in the prevention of visible signs of aging when used in adequate concentrations in skincare products.