LycoRed courts US cosmeceuticals market with lycopene
benefits, as it seeks to draw more attention to the ingredient
amongst US makers of supplements for 'beauty from within'.
Although the Israeli company has referred to skin health benefits of the antioxidant lycopene in the past, rather more attention has been given to evidence that it may reduce the risk of certain cancers and boost heart health. That is slowly evolving, and Dr. Zohar Nir, LycoRed's vice president of new product design and scientific affairs told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the company is now targeting the US cosmeceutical market to further the applications of its lycopene ingredient. A recent study by Kline & Company valued the global market for what it terms 'nutricosmetics' (that is, supplements aimed at outward appearance) at $1bn, a figure the company says is set to double over the next five years. To date, the trend has been more marked in Europe and Japan, with the North American market not catching on at the same pace. "The US market for cosmeceuticals is a virgin market, which requires a lot of educational efforts. Despite a huge success in Europe (spreading from France toward other parts of Europe) the US market has not adopted the category yet," said Dr. Nir. Dr. Yossi Levy from Ben Gurion University will today be talking up LycoRed's lycopene antioxidant ability to promote younger, more radiant skin at the Cosmeceutical Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Levy will present findings from two studies that report the oral consumption of carotenoids (lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene) from tomato may boost skin health by protecting it against UV induced damage. The first study examined the photo-protective effects of both natural Lyc-O-Mato and synthetic lycopene against skin reddening from UV induced damage. The results, published in 2005 in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, showed that ingested synthetic lycopene (10.2 mg per day) showed only a 25 per cent reduction in redness, whereas the Lyc-O-Mato (9.8 mg/day lycopene, 1.0 mg phytoene, 0.8 mg phytofluene, 0.4 mg beta-carotene) reduced reddening by 38 per cent. The second study, published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology last year, investigated the effect on skin structure of different lycopene concentrations (3 or 6 mg/day) in supplements containing beta-carotene, alpha tocopherol and selenium. In the low dose lycopene supplement lutein was also added. After 12 weeks of supplementation, the researchers report that skin density and thickness improved significantly in both supplement groups, compared to placebo. "Several studies, including the present one, show that dietary antioxidants provide photoprotective effects an improve skin structure when administered as food supplements," concluded the researchers of the study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. Emphasizing studies such as these may help to educate both industry and consumers of the potential of cosmeceuticals. Dr. Nir told this publication that the company is approaching cosmetic companies for two main reasons – firstly, because cosmetic companies are able to invest in consumer education, and, secondly, because a precedent has already been set for successful products in this area, like Inneov which was produced by a joint venture between Nestlé and L'Oreal. "LycoRed is spending money on the research of new compositions of cosmeceuticals (mainly in the most friendly dose form of a soft gels) and has established a screening laboratory (in vitro) aimed toward the later stage of clinical studies to verify the efficacy on human skin," said Dr. Nir. LycoRed is not the first company to push the skin health benefits of its antioxidant ingredients. Cyanotech's BioAstin natural astaxanthin is another antioxidant supplement marketed in part for its ability to protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. According to the company, research has shown that natural astaxanthin, produced from microalgae, has as much as 550 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E and 10 times that of beta-carotene. GliSODin, Isocell Nutra's patented oral Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has also been studied for its efficacy in the prevention of the consequences of oxidative stress resulting from exposure to the sun. Source: Cosmeceutical Summit, Fort Lauderdale, Florida February 22, 2007 "Tomato carotenoids supplementation – Photo-protection & skin anti-aging attributes" J. Levy, Ben Gurion University References: Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2006, Volume 19, Pages 224-231 "Antioxidant supplements improve parameters related to skin structure in humans" Authors: U. Heinrich, H. Tronnier, W. Stahl, M. Bejot, J.-M. Maurette International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 2005, Volume 1, doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.74.1 "Supplementation with Tomato-Based Products Increases Lycopene, Phytofluene, and Phytoene Levels in Human Serum and Protects Against UV-light-induced Erythema" Authors: O. Aust, W. Stahl, H. Sies, H. Tronnier, U. Heinrich