It has been a staple of many a mythology, the heart of rumors heard far and wide for which explorers across time have risked life and limb in order to reach, but it turns out that the search for the Fountain of Youth may have been off by a long shot. Researchers have found that a potent drink formulated by NASA for astronauts has an added effect of helping fight and protect against signs of aging.
The elixir, given the less than interesting name of AS10, is primarily made up of a variety of fruits known for their high levels of antioxidants and other nutritional benefits like acai (pictured), prickly pear, yumberry, acerola, and cupuacu—a fruit found in the Brazilian rainforest and related to the cacao plant. Additional ingredients include green tea, grape, pomegranate and vegetables. When put together, this combination creates a powerful mixture of useful vitamins and phytochemicals. Watch your back Snapple, it seems like AS10 may truly be made from the best stuff on Earth.
Developed in order to protect astronauts from the extremely high levels of radiation outside of Earth’s protective atmosphere, AS10 was later picked up by researchers at Utah University who wanted to test the drink on wrinkles and other blemishes caused by aging. For the study, the researchers asked a group of 180 individuals to take about a shot’s worth twice a day for a period of four months.
Before the trial, each person was also photographed using Visia Photography—a method which when viewed would expose the skin’s condition just below the topmost layer. Once the four months were over, they were photographed in the same way and the results were compared. According to the results, UV spots had overall diminished by 30% and subjects were left with 17% fewer wrinkles.
But the way AS10 works is less magic and more about great upkeep. To understand how it works, it is important to note the role of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are created when harmful radiation released from the sun (among other things) enters and changes the makeup of oxygen molecules in the body. These radicals then move about through the body, causing oxidative stress as it travels; in this way, cancer and Alzheimer’s can develop and aging may occur. “Think of them as little Pac-men taking bites out of molecules that are essential for cells to function,” explained Aaron Barson, a nutritional scientist at the University of Utah.
With its exceptionally high level of antioxidants, AS10 is primed and ready to fight this oxidative stress—leaving skin able to repair itself naturally. “The skin is the first body tissues to be exposed to UV rays and we know it is sensitive to oxidative stress,” Barson explained. “Our study shows it greatly benefits from a reduction in this stress. The effects of oxidative stress on the skin can be quickly modified and the skin can heal itself by drinking AS10.”
However, with a price tag of almost 50 dollars for a 25 ounce bottle (or £30 for 750ml) chances are high that AS10 won’t be flying off the shelves any time soon. With or without AS10, a healthy diet is extremely valuable in improving both the inside and the surface of the body.
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