This Common Skin Care Ingredient Could Extend Your Life

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It’s commonly known that a good moisturizer with great ingredients is key to sustaining the health of your skin. But, it turns out one of those ingredients could also help with your health, period.

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A team of British scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that allantoin, a common ingredient found in skin care products, can mimic the “life-extending effects of a starvation diet.” The starvation diet, otherwise known as cutting a lot of calories, has been proven to help slow down the aging process and extend human lifespan. And this skin care ingredient, scientists think, can mimic the upsides of a starvation diet without the downside (actually not eating).

When scientists in the study treated worms with allantoin, which is derived from botanical extracts of the comfrey plant, they lived up to 20 percent longer than worms that were not treated. While the study was conducted on worms, Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães, who led the research says, “Calorie restriction has been shown to have health benefits in humans, and, while more work is necessary, our findings could potentially result in human therapies for age-related diseases.”

Researcher Shaun Calvert added, “We have shown so far that our compounds work in worms, but studies in mammalian models are now necessary. The next step for us is to understand the mechanisms by which allantoin extends lifespan, as this could reveal new longevity pathways.”

However, don’t get your hopes up just yet that your religious use of face cream will help you live longer. Should they continue testing this on mammals, allantoin will first need to be converted to a pill for ingestion. But, between this and the upcoming anti-aging trials on metformin, maybe the fountain of youth isn’t so far-fetched after all. 

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