Antioxidants are popular anti-aging ingredients in skin creams, and now scientists are reporting a new source of these healthful substances -- leaf buds of poplar trees. Their study appears in the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Xavier Vitrac and colleagues note that there's a long history of using poplar buds to treat various health problems, such as colds, sinusitis, sunburn and arthritis. A substance found in beehives that is made from poplar buds (called propolis) also appears to have similar disease-fighting benefits. Propolis' effects seem to be due to poplar bud compounds, but very little is known about these substances. To see whether poplar buds are a good source of antioxidants for skin creams, the researchers decided to test an extract from the buds.
The group found that poplar bud extract had moderate antioxidant activity, and it demonstrated anti-aging effects on cells in the laboratory. "The collective antioxidant properties and transcriptional effect of this extract suggest potential anti-aging properties which could be utilized in cosmetic and nutraceutical formulations," the scientists say.
The authors acknowledge support from Conseil Regional d'Aquitaine and the Association Nationale de la Recherche Technique.