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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2001 February;136(1):85-90


language: Italian

Polysaccharides from sea fish cartilage in the treatment of ageing caused by sunlight

Rona C., Zuang V., Berardesca E.

Università degli Studi - Pavia Clinica Dermatologica


Background. Skin ageing caused by sunlight is a degenerative process affecting the connective tissue caused by chronic exposure to UV rays. Prevention is still based on the use of high protection sun filters, topical treatment benefits from products containing retinoid and/or alphahydroxyacid derivatives. From a systemic point of view few therapeutic aids have been found to be effective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of polysaccharides from fish cartilage taken orally in the treatment of facial ageing caused by sunlight.
Methods. Thirty females (mean age 50) took part in the study. None were affected by skin and/or systemic pathologies. Fifteen were treated with 500 mg/die of fish cartilage for 60 days, whereas the remainder acted as a control group and were administered a placebo for the same period. Skin ageing was evaluated by measuring the following biophysical parameters: cutaneous thickness using ultrasound, biomechanical functions (elasticity, stretchability, viscoelasticity), microcirculation (Doppler laser velocimeter) and evaluation of wrinkle depth using a skin replication technique and image analysis.
Results. The results did not show any significant changes in the group receiving placebo treatment. On the contrary, a significant increase (p<0.01) in microcirculation values, skin thickness and biomechanical functions in terms of elasticity and viscoelasticity was noted in the group treated with the active ingredient. Moreover, the image analysis of skin replicas showed a diminution (p<0.05) in wrinkle depth.
Conclusions. These findings suggest that the use of polysaccharides contained in fish cartilage leads to an improvement in the skin biophysical properties probably caused by an increased presence of collagen and mucopolysaccharides in the dermal matrix.

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