THE WHAT? New research by Unilever, IBM Research and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) show that vitamin B3 can help boost the skin’s natural defences against skin conditions.
THE DETAILS The research is published in the Biophysical Journal, with scientists at each organization working to find a way to increase the skin’s natural defences.
According to Unilever, “Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, can boost both the numbers and effectiveness of the skin’s natural AMPs. This discovery was first made by Unilever scientists in India, but the team were keen to find out more.”
Using high-performance computing technology at the Hartree Centre and the data from the studies by Unilever scientists, IBM and STFC created computational models of bacterial and human cell membranes, as well as vitamin B3 and AMPs, according to a press release.
Unilever stated, “Simulations were then run using these models to see how the vitamin molecules interacted with the AMPs and the bacterial membrane; and why vitamin B3 boosted their activity.”
THE WHY? The simulations were said to have provided a wealth of detailed insights that could become the foundation for “developing new skin hygiene products and cosmetics using niacinamide – and possibly other peptide-boosting materials, while complying with applicable regulations.”
Dr Michael Hoptroff from Unilever Research and Development, “We wanted to understand if the cooperative effect between vitamin B3 and natural antimicrobial peptides could help us to develop products that would complement the skin’s natural defences against harmful bacteria.
“Our experiments, combined with the STFC and IBM computational simulation work, have shown that this is indeed a possibility.”