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CSIRO Discovery Fights Cell Ageing

CSIRO scientists have discovered a natural substance which rejuvenates ageing human skin cells.

Dr Robin Holliday and his colleagues have shown that Beta Alistine' (b alanyl histidine) a substance naturally present in human and animal tissues, has remarkable properties when it comes to fighting the ageing process.

His discovery, the result of many years' laboratory research, has led to today's launch by the Sydney-based Beta Peptide Foundation PL of three revolutionary skin-care products which contain Beta Alistine' as the main active ingredient.

Normally human cells can divide only a limited number of times, but Dr Holliday and his colleague Gail McFarland showed that Beta Alistine' is capable of extending the number of divisions. These studies relate directly to skin ageing, because cells from elderly individuals divide fewer times.

Their second discovery is that ageing human cells are rejuvenated when treated with Beta Alistine'. The cells rapidly recover their youthful appearance -- but if the treatment ceases they immediately become senescent.

The CSIRO team also found that Beta Alistine' helps to prevent cross-linking of collagen and other proteins in skin. Over the years, and especially with exposure to the sun, cross-links form between adjacent collagen fibres causing the characteristic wrinkling and loss of elasticity.

Sydney University's Dr Vivienne Reeve has also shown that Beta Alistine' maintains the skin's immune defences which are suppressed by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Scientists in the UK, working with the Australian company Peptech PL, have shown that Beta Alistine' can protect cell proteins from naturally-occurring damage.

Beta Alistine' has other important properties as well. It can quench harmful oxygen free radicals and scavenge toxic heavy metals.

Beta Alistine' is the primary active ingredient in three new Australian products ­ a face creme, a hand crem
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Contact: Mr Doug Gale
doug.gale@mel.dbe.csiro.au
61-3-9662-7332
CSIRO Australia
30-Jul-1997


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