Ingredients in your anti-aging lotions and potions might actually be good for something other than giving you a more youthful appearance. A new study says that a common ingredient found in skincare products might have life-lengthening benefits.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have identified a few compounds that mimic the longevity benefits of a calorie-restriction diet. Calorie restriction, in some studies, has been shown to slow the aging process in some animals and reduce the risk for age-related disease.
The researchers tested five compounds on nematode worms -- and four of them were shown to increase the life span of the worms by around 20 percent. Among these compounds was allantoin, a moisturizing ingredient that comes from the comfrey plant, and helps new skin cells grow. Allantoin is commonly found in skincare products, used to help moisturize and prevent dry skin.
And besides showing life-lengthening benefits, the compounds seemed to keep the worms healthier for longer.
“Calorie restriction has been shown to have health benefits in humans and, while more work is necessary, our findings could potentially result in human therapies for age-related diseases," lead researcher João Pedro de Magalhães said in a statement.
Researchers say the findings provide hope for future research and for the discovery of treating age-related health problems.
It's important to note that not all researchers are proponents of using calorie restriction as a means of increasing longevity. A 2012 study found that calorie restriction can help stave off certain diseases in animals, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a longer life.
Therefore, simply applying the allantoin-containing face creams may not boost your lifespan, but researchers do say further research is needed to pinpoint exactly how the compounds could be used in humans.
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