New beauty food ingredient inhibits elastase

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metabolism

FutureCeuticals has launched a beauty-from-within formulation that it claims is the first ingredient to benefit skin health by inhibiting elastase activity in the blood.

The branded Dermaval product – a blend of fruit and vegetable powders – is being positioned as a scientifically-backed alternative to antioxidants.

Elastase is an enzyme responsible for the break-down of elastin, which in turn is a protein that is part of elastic fibres in the skin. The process of skin ageing is said to accelerate when elastin starts to break down.

According to FutureCeuticals, elastase inhibition provides “more comprehensive, measurable science support” ​for beauty-from-within products, compared to antioxidants.

The company conducted an in-house, randomized pilot trial on the ingredient, which was found to inhibit elaste in humans by up to 10 percent within two hours after ingestion. Because it was a “discovery”​ study, FutureCeuticals said it has no plans to publish it, but said that “based upon the encouraging preliminary results confirmed by our ex vivo and in clinico testing, we see justification to consider running additional, larger-cohort studies.”

Biological effects

FutureCeuticals used its TargeTest biotesting platform to screen individual ingredients, as well as combinations of ingredients, for ability to inhibit elastase activity, explained the firm’s general manager, John Hunter.

It then selected the most active individual ingredients, which when combined delivered a strong synergistic effect – but Hunter said the mechanism of action remains proprietary.

The Dermaval formulation contains: VitaGranate BioActive Pomegranate Extract, Green Garden Asparagus officinalis Concentrate, Abelmoschus esculentua Concentrate,VitaBerry Tropical, Coffea Arabica Concentrate, Brazilian Acerola Cherry, Amazon Camu Camu, Sophora japonica Concentrate, Brazilian Acai Berry and Thai Mangosteen Concentrate.

FutureCeuticals said Dermaval can be used in supplements, foods and beverages. It is manufactured with only GRAS (generally recognized as safe) ingredients, so does not require a new stand-alone GRAS application, said Hunter.

The firm’s study on the ingredient used a single dose of 500mg that caused an average elastase inhibition of 10 percent. We would recommend dosages of 250 – 500mg twice per day for maintenance of healthy elastase levels.”

Beyond antioxidants

According to the company, the new formulation could have certain benefits over antioxidants as a beauty-from-within ingredient.

“FutureCeuticals has been involved at the forefront of antioxidant nutrition since the beginning of ORAC. We were a leader in the commercialization of the ORAC message,”​ Hunter told “As time passed, however, we became increasingly interested in being able to generate hard science that could establish a clear connection between the ingestion of antioxidants and quantifiable changes in well-recognized markers and targets in people.”

“This search engendered the creation of our TargeTest diagnostic platform that provided us with a powerful tool to measure effects in blood, and in people, of ingested antioxidant materials. We look at markers such as PON1, CETP, oxLDL, Isoprostanes, Advanced Oxidation Protein Products, CRP, Elastase, and many others, as well as genetic expression, genetic cascades, oxygen metabolism, mitochondrial metabolic processes, to name a few.”

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