I’ve heard about how human stem cells are being hailed as the next great medical breakthrough in anti-aging. Basically it’s about growing new cells to replace old, worn out ones. This makes sense in a science fiction sort of way so I was quite intrigued to learn that there are apple stem cell products that rejuvenate the skin. How would they work given that they have nothing to do with human cells? I decided to learn a little more about apple stem cell products.
Swiss apples and your skin
Don’t go covering your face with your common or garden Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples…although eating them is still pretty good for you. You see, it’s a special kind of apple that scientists believe is good for you and your skin. All be it, these scientists happen to work for a cosmetic company, we’ll suspend our judgment just yet.
The apple in question is a Swiss apple…a very rare apple in fact…almost as rare as the apple that William Tell shot off his son’s head ! It is derived from the Uttwiler Spatlauber species of apple tree.
This tree has been noted to be particularly hardy and the apples seemed to last for a long time. After research, scientists concluded that the apples must have long living tissue stem cells. These stem cells were given the name PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica.
The next hypothesis was to see if the PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica stem cells could be utilized to help human skin cells, specifically skin cells.
Laboratory tests cultivated these apple stem cells and created a solution that was added to human stem cells. The solution apparently boosted the production of human stem cells by 80%.
A mix of “ordinary” human stem cells and “apple stem cell improved” human stem cells were then exposed to UV radiation. The ordinary stem cells died whereas the apple improved variety were unscathed.
Cream was created using the apple stem cells and tested on 20 women. They mostly reported that their skin felt smoother. Crows feet and wrinkles around the eyes were reduced by 8-15%.
This prompted many cosmetic companies to produce their own products using PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica as the active ingredient. Most of these products are expensive and consequently not many people can use them regularly apart from the great and good – celebrities, the wealthy and what not.
Critics of apple stem cell products
Many critics of the research and the consequent products don’t understand how fruit stem cells can help human stem cells, especially when they are only applied topically. This is something that I don’t quite understand either. Fruit and human skin cells must be radically different and I don’t see how they could work together. Given that the research and the products came out in 2009, maybe they haven’t been the breakthrough product that the cosmetic companies hoped for.