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Professor Roger Hellens, a scientist at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia), has managed to uncover how plants regulate their vitamin C levels. Vitamin C is required to prevent anemia (a condition born out of iron deficiencies) and issues such as scurvy. It is also known to play the role of an essential antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. Needless to say, vitamin C has been integral to skin care product formulations because of its various skin benefits. Vine Vera came across an exciting study that appeared in the Plant Cell Journal. We believe that this study could actually pave the future of Vitamin C.
Professor Hellens together with Dr. William Laing, a specialist working for Plant and Food Research New Zealand, have managed to discover the exact mechanism used by plants to regulate the vitamin C levels in their cells. Professor Hellens believes that understanding this mechanism might allow humans to improve their plant breeding programs in order to create more suitable plant crops as well as improve overall health because anemia is a major issue across the world. He further mentioned that this discovery could help people understand why certain plants are able to accumulate exceptional levels of vitamin C in their cells.
The problem arises out of the fact that the human body has forgotten how to produce its own vitamin C because it is so abundantly available in nature. This is what makes vitamin C even more important in our diet and skin care regimen.
The study described how plants responded to environmental changes such as drought or extreme light by producing adequate amounts of vitamin C to protect their cells from damage. Each cell was responsible for assessing its vitamin C needs in order to ensure that oxidative damage doesn’t become an issue and external conditions don’t dehydrate the plant.
Professor Hellens described the way plants regulated their cell processes. He mentions that there two ways to go about the issue. The first method comes into play when the DNA gets transformed into RNA, while the second method comes in the form of regulation the transformation of RNA into an enzyme that creates vitamin C.
This study discovered that plants follow the second method, in an extremely unusual manner. The decisions to make more vitamin C in plants is not made by the cell that makes the RNA. The deciding factor in each plant is the level of vitamin C in each cell. The vitamin C itself decides whether the RNA needs to get transformed into a protein that produces more vitamin C!
Vine Vera believes that this study could prove to be integral to the future of skin care as it can potentially allow experts to come up with more potent and advanced formulations that ultimately end up making the products even more effective.