The internet is full of scare mongering articles…the latest one I have come across is the Vitamin A Debate….and does it increase your risk of cancer. Now the study that they reference is applying Retinyl Palmitate on albino mice…..more on that in a minute.
Okay what are the FACTS?
Retinol and retinyl palmitate break down rapidly when exposed to UV radiation in the 290–400 nm range.
The study they reference is this one “Photomutagenicity of Retinyl Palmitate by Ultraviolet A Irradiation in Mouse Lymphoma Cells ” which is published in the Journal Toxicological Sciences in 2005.
“To assess the carcinogenic potential of retinyl palmitate, the FDA’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a large study using SKH-1 hairless mice. In this study, SKH-1 hairless mice received two different concentrations of retinyl palmitate (0.1% and 0.5%), with controls receiving a vehicle control pH 7 cream.
The animals were then irradiated with UV doses of 6.75 and 13.7 mJ/cm2 and subsequently assessed for photocarcinogenesis. In the groups irradiated with low-dose (6.75 mJ/cm2) UV radiation, retinyl palmitate induced higher incidences of malignant lesions at concentrations of both 0.1% and 0.5%, when compared with the vehicle control pH 7 cream. However, only the group exposed to retinyl palmitate at a concentration of 0.5% showed a statistically significant increase.
In the groups exposed to high-dose (13.5 mJ/cm2) UV radiaton, no statistically significant difference in the incidence of malignant lesions was observed between the vehicle control group and the group exposed to either 0.1% or 0.5% retinyl palmitate. Therefore, the study failed to demonstrate conclusively that the combination of retinyl palmitate and UV is photocarcinogenic.”……this is a direct quote from the study.
Additionally, these mice are known to have a higher propensity to develop skin cancer. Also the thinner epidermis of the mice used in these studies allows for increased penetrance of UV radiation. These intrinsic qualities suggest that data generated from these animal studies should be examined in context and caution should be exercised in extrapolating the relevance of these findings to humans.
While published data on the photocarcinogenic potential of retinyl palmitate in humans are lacking, evidence from 40 years of use in clinical medicine provides a powerful basis from which to question the notion that retinyl palmitate in sunscreen is photocarcinogenic.
Now here’s what they FAIL TO TELL YOU!
Cosmetic companies and chemists are not mad scientists plotting to kill us. THEY KNOW THIS already.
Given this knowledge they combine Vitamin A with ingredients that stabilise it when exposed to UV light so that the Vitamin A does not degrade. One such compound is the photostabilising compound – ethylhexyl methoxycrylene. Retinoids are shown to be protected against photodegradation, thus preserving their concentrations both during the manufacturing process and following application to the skin.
The formula also makes a difference as to whether Vitamin A degrades…..
It was found that the actual entrapment of these retinol and retinyl palmitate in liposomes enhances the photo stability. Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) dispersed in O/W emulsions as carriers for Retinyl Palmitate and found that the SLNs themselves show physical UV-blocking action. Solid lipid nanoparticle emulsions protect RP from photodegradation induced by UVA and UVB radiation.
So the truth is that there is not ONE STUDY on humans that has shown that Vitamin A causes cancer. All studies have been done on animals. The fact that this ingredient has been used for over 40 years and human studies have failed to show any risk is pretty reassuring evidence.
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