« Study: EU Should Consider Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification »- Ingredients Network

« A study published in the British Medical Journal concludes that EU authorities should take note of work done on the relationship between folic acid consumption and the reduction of neural tube defects and look at compulsory fortification.

Study: EU should consider mandatory folic acid fortification

In 1991 the UK Medical Research Council published the finding that women who took folic acid before conception could reduce their babies’ risk of a neural tube defect by as much as 72 %, notes an editorial in the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

The US Public Health Service met and quickly issued a recommendation that all women of childbearing age capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 µg folic acid daily. Some of us who attended the meeting, the authors continue,had doubts that women would take folic acid as instructed.

Half of pregnancies are unplanned, and these women could be less motivated to take folic acid. In fact, many folate related neural tube defects were not prevented despite this recommendation and voluntary fortification in the United States. This led the United States to institute mandatory fortification of all enriched cereal grains (cereal, bread, rice, pasta) in 1998.

Almost 80 countries have now instituted similar programs, and countries that fortify have experienced dramatic falls in rates of neural tube defects. Given that the recommendation that women take supplements had a modest effect in the United States, it is not surprising that Khoshnood and colleagues have shown that the European Union’s current strategy of recommending supplements, although useful, is failing to prevent many folate related neural tube defects. » (…)

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« Epigenetics and Aging: A New Player in Skin Care »- Cosmetics and Toiletries

 » The cosmetics and skin care industry is constantly developing new products and technologies that aim to slow down the skin aging process. Epigenetic processes play an important role in skin aging. Several new cosmetic products target epigenetic mechanisms and have shown promising results as novel cosmeceuticals.

Epigenetics describes the physiological reprogramming that occurs in the cell without changes in the DNA sequence. The main epigenetic tools used by the cell are:

  • DNA methylation
  • histone modifications
  • histone variants
  • chromatin remodeling nanomachines, and
  • the regulatory activity of microRNAs (miRNAs).

The combinative use of these tools regulates the accessibility of the DNA to outside factors in the nucleus, which affects vital cellular processes including transcription and DNA repair. Although the study of epigenetics in clinical medicine is relatively new, the applications to dermatology are profound—with mechanisms and future therapeutic modalities being examined in melanoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, psoriasis and aging. The cosmetic industry has taken serious interest and begun to develop new anti-aging products that target epigenetic processes. (…) »


These products use a Himalayan red rice active ingredient, which works by decreasing DNA methylation levels on gene promoter regions.

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Article in Cosmetics & Toiletries by Nikifor K. Konstantinov (University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico), Constance J. Ulff-Møller M.D. (Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark), Stefan Dimitrov, Ph.D. (Institut Albert Bonniot, Grenoble Cedex 9, France), Howard I. Maibach, M.D. (University of California, San Francisco, California, USA)

« Study Finds High Levels Of Stress Leads To Skin Complaints »- Cosmetics Design-Europe

« Researchers say that going down the non-drug route to deal with psychological stress and also protect the skin could be the answer having found that heightened stress levels are associated with many skin complaints; although not pimples on the face.


A research team at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) and Temple University made the observation having carried out a questionnaire-based study, published in the international, peer-reviewed journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica.

The aim was to assess the relationship between perceived psychological stress and the prevalence of various skin symptoms in a large, randomly selected sample of undergraduate students. (…) »

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Short Communication
Psychological Stress and Skin Symptoms in College Students: Results of a Cross-sectional Webbased Questionnaire Study
Christina Schut, Nicholas K. Mollanazar, Mansha Sethi, Leigh A. Nattkemper, Rodrigo Valdes-Rodriguez, MacKenzie M. Lovell, Gina L. Calzaferri and Gil Yosipovitch
(Department of Dermatology and Itch Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA; Institute of Medical Psychology, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany; Office of Institutional Research & Assessment at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA).
Acta Derm Venereol 2015; doi: 10.2340/00015555-2291
Accepted Nov 16, 2015; Epub ahead of print Nov 18, 2015


Article d’Andrew Mc Dougall, Cosmetics Design- Europe
Communication: http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/download_preview.php?doi=10.2340/00015555-2291


« FDA- Approved Drugs Boost Hair Regrowth In Mice »- Chemical & Engineering News

« Hair Loss: JAK-STAT inhibitors already being used to treat autoimmune disorders prompt hair follicles to reboot their growth cycles.

Although the idea of going bald typically conjures images of aging men, hair loss affects people of all genders and ages: Hair can fall out prematurely because of genetic predisposition, stress, drug side effects, or autoimmune disorders. A recent test of two FDA-approved drugs—ruxolitinib and tofacitinib—now suggests that a general treatment for all these hair loss conditions might be on the way (Sci. Adv. 2015, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500973).

A team of researchers at Columbia University had observed that these drugs—approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively—promoted hair growth when fed to mice but also impaired the animals’ immune systems. So the scientists were curious whether the compounds might work better when rubbed onto the rodents’ skin rather than when administered orally. (…) »

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« Hairy Situation- When treated topically on the right sides of their shaved backs with ruxolitinib (center) and tofacitinib (right), mice robustly regrew hair compared with a control (left). »

Article published on 26.10.2015, by Judith Lavelle, on Site Chemical & Engineering News

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Publication : http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/9/e1500973

Chocolate Smells Pink and Stripy: Exploring How Synesthetes See Smells

« Being able to identify a smell or flavour appears to be the most important factor in how some synesthetes ‘see’ them, according to a study just published in the journal Cognitive Neuroscience.


The aim of the study was to explore just how much conceptual and perceptual factors contribute to what synesthetes ‘see’ when they smell.

To do this, the trio of Australians who carried out the research presented six olfactory-visual synesthetes – people for whom odours elicit a visual experience – with a range of odourants by nose and by mouth. The participants were then asked to try to identify each smell, note its attributes and illustrate their experience using a computer program or pens and paper. A team of judges then evaluated how similar the participants’ images of the different odours were.

When reviewing the data, the researchers found that images relating to flavours that the participants identified were the most consistently similar. However, even images inconsistently named resulted in images more similar than those relating to completely different odours.  The key to this discovery seems to be that ‘hedonic information’ – how much the participant likes or dislikes the odour  – drives how similar the resulting images are.

The authors explore further why this should be the case: “One possibility is that the odor name alone could evoke these complex visual images, but this does not seem to be the case with our synesthetes. They all reported that the experience occurred on smelling the odorant, not when talking about it. Although all of these synesthetes also have synesthesia related to language, they vary in whether all letters and words, letters alone, or only some words evoke synesthesia.”

They conclude: “Our data suggest that odor identification is important in supporting the generation of a reliable image, which is consistent with access to meaning being a key driver of synesthetic experience.”

This article provides substantial insight into the fascinating phenomenon of synaesthesia, as well as the various ways in which we all – synesthete or not – perceive, identify and process flavours and odours all around us. »


Chocolate smells pink and stripy: Exploring olfactory-visual synesthesia.Alex Russell, Richard J Stevenson & Anina N Rich, Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 6, Issue 2 – 3, 2015 Special Issue: Synaesthesia
DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2015.1035245

Table 1 Stimuli used during the orthonasal test sessions

2Table 2- Stimuli used during the flavor sessions

1Figure 1. Responses to smelling two different odors drawn by the synesthetes to illustrate their synesthetic experiences: Caramel (top row L to R: S1, S2, S3; second row L to R: S4, S5, S6) and for the burnt odor (third row L to R: S1, S2, S3; bottom row L to R: S4, S5, S6)



Cet article n’engage que son auteur/ This article is the sole responsibility of the author

Study Uses Novel Technology to Show Skin Lightness Decreases with Age

« A collaboration between the Clinical Research Centre for Hair and Skin Science at the Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Canfield Scientific from New Jersey, used clinical scoring and the RBX-Brown transformation-based pigmentation indices to demonstrate age-related changes in the facial colour and dyspigmentation of fair-skinned Caucasian females.

Study-uses-novel-technology-to-show-skin-lightness-decreases-with-age_strict_xxlTheir research, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, showed an increase in dyspigmentation was found and hat the validity of hyper- and hypopigmentation indices and overall pigmentation intensity was supported.

The researchers note that RBX transformation-based pigmentation indices, which is a novel technology that can represent skin images in terms of melanin and haemoglobin components, might be applied in future studies to complement or substitute clinical evaluation.


The objective of this study was to investigate age-related changes in facial pigmentation and dyspigmentation in subjects of skin phototypes II–III and to develop and test parameters for quantifying dyspigmentation.

The skin melanin system is affected by ageing, resulting in dyspigmentation with associated clinical and psychosocial consequences. In dark skinned phenotypes, broad evidence is available, whereas little is known about pigmentary changes in fair-skinned Caucasians.

In their test, 24 healthy female subjects were recruited in three distinct age groups (30–40, 50–60, 70–80 years).

Skin colour was measured by Mexameter and Chromameter, and skin dyspigmentation was measured by clinical evaluation and newly developed image-processing parameters on the cheeks and the forehead.

The reliability of the clinical evaluation was investigated by intraclass correlation coefficients between three raters, and the validity of the dyspigmentation parameters was analysed by bivariate correlations with related measures.

The study found that skin lightness decreases as we get older, and clinical dyspigmentation scores showed positive associations with chronological age ranging between 0.452 and 0.606.

The RBX-Brown transformation-based hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation indices also increased with age, whereas the overall pigmentation intensity decreased with age at the cheeks.

The image analysis-based parameters showed strong associations with the clinical scores and related measurements. »

Article by Andrew Mc Dougall

Publication « Quantifying dyspigmentation in facial skin ageing, an explorative study » : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12233/full

Cet article n’engage que son auteur/ This article is the sole responsibility of the author

TSRI Scientists Win $1.5 Million Grant to Investigate Sense of Smell

« The brain can process a seemingly unlimited number of odors, yet most research in animal models has focused on just 10 “sample” odor molecules to track neurological activity from the nose into the brain.

Now the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded more than $1.5 million to Lisa Stowers, associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), to support research using 1,000 odor molecules.

Camera: DCS330C Serial #: K330C-2297 Width: 1504 Height: 2008 Date: 12/18/97 Time: 9:40:35 DCS3xx Image FW Ver: 3.2.3 TIFF Image Look: Product Sharpening Requested: Yes Tagged Counter: [7028] ISO Speed: 125 Aperture: f11 Shutter: 1/125 Max Aperture: f4 Min Aperture: f33.9 Exposure Mode: Manual (M) Compensation: +0.0 Flash Compensation: +0.0 Meter Mode: Matrix Flash: None Drive Mode: Single Focus Mode: AF-S/Wide Self-timer: No Focal Length (mm): 79.4 Lens Type: Gen 1 D-Type AF Nikkor White balance: Preset (Daylight) Time: 09:40:35.848Lisa Stowers is an associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute. (Photo courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.)

“We’ve been limited by the odors commonly used in research,” said Stowers. “Understanding how the brain processes these odors will provide a good model for understanding how the brain accomplishes even more complex tasks, such as cognition.”
The new three-year study is part of a nationwide effort supported by the NSF to better understand how odors influence behavior and how the brain processes many kinds of environmental cues.
Stowers will work closely with lab heads at Duke University; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Utah; Rockefeller University; and Pennsylvania State University.

“The team aspect is going to be critical,” Stowers said. “It’s a really diverse group, where each lab has its unique strengths.”
Stowers’ lab will bring expertise in neurological function and behavioral analysis. Her lab’s past research has revealed how olfactory cues control mouse behaviors, shedding light on the evolution of the mammalian brain.

In 2012, Stowers and her colleagues discovered that a mix of chemicals from mother mice triggers the basic mammalian instinct in their young to nurse or suckle.
And in 2014, her lab showed that pheromones in mouse urine contain complex chemical cues about mouse hierarchy, controlling whether dominant or subordinate male mice mark their territory.

These kinds of studies in mouse models are a window into human behavior as well, Stowers explained. “The olfactory system in mammals is ancient and conserved across species. Humans are using the same general principles.”
The award is NSF grant number 1556085.


Cet article n’engage que son auteur/ This article is the sole responsibility of the author.