A quick glance through Pubmed unearthed some very interesting studies on how NRF2 activation benefits skin properties.

Consider how much time you spend out in the sun. With the weather warming in the Northern Hemisphere at the time of this blog post, the dangers of UV radiation, sunburn are well known. Weather channels highlight the UV index on the nighly news. Some occupations are higher risk than others such as farming, construction, professional sports or lifeguards and more prone to the damaging effects of the sun. Children too are in danger during their summer break considering how much time is spent outdoors. Incidences of Skin Cancer are increasing worldwide, and so these studies offer new light on the protecting influence of Nrf2.

From the first article, “Nrf2mediated protection against UVA radiation in human skin keratinocytes” a reverse approach to the question revelealed that a decrease in NRF2 activation provided the skin less protection against Ultraviolet A radiation which is an oxidizing agent “that causes significant damage to cellular components and that leads to photoaging and cancer”. Their study finds that that decreased Nrf2 activation significantly increased UVA irradiation-induced cell damage in skin keratinocytes. Nrf2 may play a role in protecting human skin keratinocytes from UVA radiation-induced damage.

In a separate study published on Pubmed, “Nrf2 links epidermal barrier function with antioxidant defense”, the study reveals that “Nrf2 establishes a glutathione-mediated gradient of UVB cytoprotection in the epidermis”. This study shows that not only does NRF2 activation protect the skin from harmful UV rays, it also detoxifies the skin too. As everyone knows the skin is the largest organ in the body. It provides the first line of defense to the body of damage from environmental factors. The study further shows that when the skin is damaged by means of a wound, Nrf2 activation is up regulated in the area of the wound. This helps the skin and body protect itself and aid recovery.

Full article links referenced in this article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21422597

http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/24/10/1045.full

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