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Understanding Ceramides and Phytoceramides in skin hydration.

Understanding Phytoceramides: Nature’s secret for skin health and skin hydration, a review by Ben Brown, Technical Director, Viridian Nutrition.

Phytoceramides are unique nutrients from plants that can improve the health and appearance of your skin from the inside out and clinical studies support their remarkable effects.

Ceramides are crucial to maintaining the health, skin hydration and appearance of your skin; in fact they are a major structural component of your skins cellular membrane and make up 50%, the largest portion, of the skin's protective barrier.

Ceramides are actually a type of lipid or fat that maintains the moisture content, structure, and integrity of your skin.  Perhaps not surprisingly then diminished ceramide levels are associated with reduced skin health, dryness, inflammation, poor appearance and conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.  Reduced ceramide synthesis with age is also a feature of skin aging.

Phytoceramides are ceramides that are naturally found in plant foods.  Fascinatingly, phytoceramides can be digested, absorbed and utilized by keratinocytes, the predominant cell type in the outermost layer of the skin, to create new ceramides and improve your skin health.

A clinically studied proprietary source of vegetarian phytoceramides, Lipowheat® has been shown to improve skin health, skin hydration and appearance and is supported by three clinical studies. In one such study three months of daily supplementation with Lipowheat® significantly improved the look and feel of peoples skin (see Image 1).

Image 1: Phytoceramides improve skin appearance.

Phytoceramides improve skin appearance.

The effects of Lipowheat phytoceramides were further supported by an electrochemical analysis showing that 95% of people also had improved skin hydration (see Image 2).

Image 2: Phytoceramides improve skin hydration.

Phytoceramides improve skin appearance. 

Phytoceramides are a unique natural skin nutrient that can improve skin structure and hydration and enhance the skin’s health and appearance. Clinical studies have shown that daily use of between 80mg and 200mg of Lipowheat® results in positive effects within just one month with continued improvement over three months of use. Phytoceramides are a wonderful inside-out nutritive complement to topical skin care.

1. Feingold KR, Elias PM. Role of lipids in the formation and maintenance of the  cutaneous permeability barrier. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1841(3):280-294.
2.  Rabionet M, Gorgas K, Sandhoff R. Ceramide synthesis in the epidermis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1841(3):422-434.
 3.  Novotný J, Hrabálek A, Vávrová K. Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of skin ceramides. Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(21):2301-24.
 4. Jensen JM, Förl M, Winoto-Morbach S, Seite S, Schunck M, Proksch E, Schütze S. Acid and neutral sphingomyelinase, ceramide synthase, and acid ceramidase activities in cutaneous aging. Exp Dermatol. 2005 Aug;14(8):609-18.
5.  Warnecke D, Heinz E. Recently discovered functions of glucosylceramides in plants and fungi. Cell Mol Life Sci 2003;60:919—41.
 6. Takeda S, Mitsutake S, Tsuji K, Igarashi Y. Apoptosis occurs via the ceramide recycling pathway in human HaCaT keratinocytes. J Biochem 2006;139:255—62.
 7. Gredeco 2005 ‐ Pitié‐Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France.

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