South Korea-based scientists claim to have found a fat molecule with strong anti-aging potential from tests on the ability of lipids to fight skin aging.

Their recent study looked into the impact of 7 naturally occurring fat molecules on skin aging.

From the Journal of Lipid Research:

"In an effort to find topical agents that prevent or retard cutaneous aging, 7 functional lipids were screened for their procollagen-upregulating and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1-downregulating activities in human dermal fibroblasts by Western blotting.

"The preventive effect on ultraviolet (UV)-induced decrease of procollagen was demonstrated in phosphatidylserine (PS), lysophosphatidylserine (LPS), lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), N-acetyl phytosphingosine (NAPS), and tetraacetyl phytosphingosine (TAPS). Furthermore, PS, LPS, and LPA upregulated procollagen expression in unirradiated basal conditions.

"The inhibitory effect on UV-induced MMP-1 expression was seen in NAPS, TAPS, LPA, PS, lysophosphatidylglycerol, and LPS.

"PS was chosen as the most suitable candidate anti-aging chemical for the subsequent in vivo studies.

"[The researchers] investigated the effects of PS on acute UV response and chronologic skin aging by topically applying it to young skin before UV irradiation, and to aged human skin, respectively.

"Real-time PCR and Western blot revealed that in the young skin, PS treatment prevented UV-induced reduction in procollagen expression and inhibited UV-induced MMP-1 expression.

"PS also blocked UV-induced IL-6 and COX-2 gene expression in cultured fibroblasts dose-dependently.

"In the aged skin, PS caused increased procollagen transcription and procollagen immunostaining in the upper dermis, and a significant decrease in MMP-1 expression at both mRNA and protein levels.

"These results indicate that topical PS has anti-skin-aging properties and point to the potential use of PS as a therapeutic agent in the prevention and treatment of cutaneous aging.