Computational scientists have found that vitamin B3 could be used to boost the skin’s natural defences, according to a recent study.
The research, published in the Biophysical Journal, was carried out by scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Unilever and IBM Research.
The skin is the larghttps://research.ibm.com/est organ in the body and one of the hardest working, as it is constantly exposed to the elements. To help the skin protect itself, there is a fine balance of micro-organisms living in perfect harmony on the skin, known as a microbiome. Additionally, the skin contributes to the body’s immune system by releasing proteins called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) which protect cells against harmful bacteria and viruses.
Together, they form a natural partnership that helps to keep our skin healthy and defend against external threats and germs that can cause infections.
Increase the skin’s natural line of defence
Imbalances in this natural protective layer can cause all sorts of issues, including body odour, dandruff, eczema and atopic dermatitis.
Computational scientists from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department, STFC Hartree Centre and IBM Research are working with scientists at Unilever to find a way to increase the skin’s natural line of defence.
Several years ago, Unilever scientists in India discovered that Niacinamide, an active form of vitamin B3 naturally found in your skin and body, could enhance AMP expression levels in laboratory models. Unilever’s team also observed an unexpected enhancement of AMP antimicrobial activity in cell-free systems and wanted to understand why this enhanced activity was happening — which led to the collaboration between Unilever, IBM, and STFC.