Algae & DNA Repair

Can plankton enzymes hold the key to repairing DNA from excessive sun damage?  Yes according to research conducted at Heinrich Heine University in Germany.  More importantly, Spa Technologies is harnessing these enzymes into its anti-aging skin care.

For a long time now, scientists have studied how primitive marine algae have flourished in harsh environments.  From microscopic plankton to the giant kelp off the coast, these marine plants are experts in defending their DNA from conditions ranging from ultra violet exposure to extremes of heat and cold.

How these primitive marine plants repair your skin’s DNA is fascinating.

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage DNA.  The stress causes a depolarization of the bonds linking DNA molecules to each other.  In simple terms, some molecules split off from the main chain to form a ‘tail.’  (See diagram ).  This somewhat resembles a comet which has a ball followed by a tail of DNA fragments.

Harnessing the Sun to heal the damage caused by the Sun

Comet Assay Test



The DNA on left is like a comet having a ball and a “tail” with strands of DNA that are damaged.  The view below shows normal healthy DNA that has been repaired by plankton enzymes

Jean Krutman is a research scientist studying at Heinrich Heine University in Germany.  He discovered that certain plankton contain enzymes that when isolated, can repair damage to DNA.  The secret:  these enzymes ‘donate’ an electron to repolarize the loose fragments of DNA to bond again with the main body of the DNA molecule (see diagram B).

Their studies conclusively demonstrated that topical application of a cream loaded with these enzymes will repair 50% of DNA damage within 2-4 hours of topical application.  Other studies conducted in France added that plankton also contain ‘heat shock proteins’ that reduce redness and inflammation at the same time.

But there is a twist.  In order for these plankton enzymes to work, they need a catalyst.  And that catalyst is the sun!  Just a few minutes exposure to sunlight will activate the enzymes to donate electrons to restore normal polarity to DNA molecules that were damaged by the sun in the first place!!!!!

The laboratory at Spa Technologies infuses plankton enzymes into many of our skin care products including Marine Repair Cream, Antioxidant Recovery Cream, After Sun Cooling Mist and more.  These enzymes work synergistically with the numerous antioxidants found in seaweed to restore youth and vigor to skin by defending and repairing its DNA.