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Pacific Whiting Fish Stops Skin Photoaging

Pacific whiting fish is making a name for itself as a youth-boosting food. According to a study published in Marine Drugs, a gelatin found in the fish’s skin offers multiple beauty and skin health benefits for humans, including reducing the appearance of wrinkles and counteracting the negative effects of UV light.

Chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light promotes the breakdown of collagen in the skin and disrupts the extracellular matrix (ECM) structure, leading to skin wrinkling. Pacific whiting (Merluccius productus) is a fish abundant on the Pacific coast. Researchers investigated the anti-wrinkle effect of hydrolysate from Pacific whiting skin gelatin (PWG) in UVB-irradiated human dermal fibroblasts and the molecular mechanisms involved. 

Study Outcome

PWG effectively restored type 1 procollagen synthesis reduced by UVB-irradiation. Also, PWG was shown to help inhibit collagen degradation by deterring MMP1 expression, the skin’s matrix metalloproteinases. PWG was also shown to help decrease cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β associated with inflammatory responses and increased antioxidant enzymes, HO-1, SOD, GPx, CAT, and GSH content, a defense system against oxidative stress. 

“Our study has shown that PWG not only restores imbalances in collagen synthesis and degradation but also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Taken together, our finding suggests PWG as a promising material for preventing skin photoaging. Analysis of the detailed chemical composition of PWG is currently underway to identify the compounds responsible for elicited bioactivity of PWG,” say the study authors.


Our data show that PWG inhibits skin photoaging by recovering type I procollagen and decreasing MMP1. PWG activated collagen synthesis (TGF-β/Smad pathway) and inhibited collagen degradation (MAPK/AP-1 pathway), recovering the imbalance of collagen caused by UVB-irradiation. In addition, PWG suppressed the inflammatory response (NF-κB pathway) caused by UVB-irradiation and reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokines gene expression. Lastly, PWG increased antioxidant enzyme activity (Nrf-2/HO-1 pathway) and protected the skin from oxidative stress. Taken together, the current study indicates PWG may be used as a potential ingredient for anti-photoaging effects. 



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