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Fruit of known invasive weed found to boost collagen production, prevent skin aging

The sight of weeds in a garden may stress out a gardener, but in a recent study, researchers discovered that the fruit of cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium), an invasive weed, can boost collagen synthesis and even prevent early signs of skin aging.

Cocklebur commonly grows in backyards in the United States. According to the study, the weed’s spiky fruit could not only help reduce damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, but it could also help wounds heal faster.

The researchers presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Society For Biochemistry And Molecular Biology in Seattle.

Cocklebur fruit extracts found to boost collagen production

The research team reported that extracts of the fruit boosted the production of collagen, a protein that helps maintain skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles. (Related: Boost your skin health with astaxanthin, a potent natural antioxidant.)

Cocklebur is native to parts of Europe, Asia and North America. It commonly grows in open, often moist places like river banks in agricultural land and other areas.

Cocklebur is widely used in Traditional Chinese and Native American Medicine to treat various health issues, such as a stuffy nose, headaches and more severe conditions like arthritis and tuberculosis. It is also traditionally used to treat rabies, malaria and leprosy.

However, cocklebur fruit seeds contain a chemical called carboxyatractyloside, which can poison and kill livestock when eaten. Humans who accidentally consume cocklebur may experience mild symptoms like an unpleasant taste and nausea. Severe symptoms can include abdominal pain, low blood sugar, vomiting, seizures and severe liver injury.

According to the research team from Myongji University in South Korea, cocklebur fruit extracts can be used as a natural ingredient in topical skin creams and other cosmetics.

Eunsu Song, a doctoral candidate at the university and one of the study authors, said cocklebur fruit has the potential to protect the skin and help boost collagen production.

Cocklebur could also have “a synergistic effect if it is mixed with other effective compounds, such as hyaluronic acid or retinoic acid, against aging,” added Song.

The protective effects of cocklebur

For the study, the researchers investigated the molecular properties of cocklebur fruit extracts. They also isolated particular compounds that could provide some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Additionally, they conducted laboratory experiments in cells and on a 3D tissue model with properties similar to human skin to find out if these compounds affect collagen production, wound healing and damage from UVB radiation which is linked to sunburns, skin aging and skin cancers.

Results showed that cocklebur fruit extracts promoted collagen synthesis, accelerated wound healing and exerted a protective effect against UVB radiation. Cocklebur fruits harvested in South Korea also showed slightly higher antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing activities than cocklebur fruits from China.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in cocklebur fruit make it an appealing cosmetic agent for anti-aging products.

However, despite cocklebur fruit’s skin-protective properties, the researchers emphasized that it should be used with caution since it may also cause adverse effects at higher concentrations.

Superfoods that support healthy aging

As you age, your eating habits can significantly affect your appearance, fitness, quality of life and disease risk.

Your body also needs many different nutrients to support the natural aging process. Some nutrients may help slow signs of aging and boost skin health. Eating more nutritious foods can also help you look and feel your best as you age.

To age well, eat healthy sources of protein and essential fats as well as antioxidant-rich foods. These superfoods can promote skin health and boost collagen production.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that can help fight heart disease, inflammation and many other health issues.

Studies show that omega-3s are linked to a strong skin barrier and may help decrease inflammation that damages the skin.

Fatty fish like salmon offer skin benefits thanks to astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant responsible for the pink color of salmon.

In one study, people with sun-damaged skin were given a combination of astaxanthin and collagen for 12 weeks. Researchers reported that the volunteers experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration.

Salmon and other fatty fish are also full of protein, which your body needs to produce collagen and elastin. These two macromolecules are responsible for the strength, plumpness and elasticity of your skin. Eating foods rich in protein can also promote wound healing.

Fatty fish is rich in selenium, a mineral and antioxidant with a crucial role in DNA synthesis and repair. Selenium may also help protect against skin damage caused by UV light. Having adequate levels of selenium may reduce the severity of skin diseases like psoriasis.


Like most fruits, pomegranates are rich in various nutrients, such as dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin K, which help support heart health.

Pomegranates are also full of beneficial antioxidants like flavonols, tannins, phenolic acids and lignans.

According to human and animal studies, the antioxidants in pomegranates can support healthy skin aging by decreasing UV skin damage and brown spots caused by excessive sun exposure.

The antioxidants in pomegranates can also protect your skin’s existing collagen and help you produce new ones.


Most vegetables are nutritious and low-calorie. Vegetables are full of antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, cataracts and certain types of cancer.

Many vegetables are also rich in carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lycopene. According to some studies, a diet high in carotenoids may protect your skin against UV rays, the main cause of premature skin aging.

Carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes are some of the best sources of beta carotene.

Many vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant vitamin that plays an important role in collagen production. Collagen is a key building block of your skin, but its production starts to decline after you turn 25.

Vegetables with the highest vitamin C content that promote collagen synthesis are bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and leafy greens.

Make sure you eat a variety of vegetables in different colors since each color represents different antioxidants that can offer health benefits for your skin and overall well-being.

Try to include at least two different vegetables in each meal and protect your skin using sunscreen.

Visit Cosmetics.news for more tips on how to have healthy, younger-looking skin.

Watch the video below to know more about how jojoba oil and sandalwood seed oil can help maintain healthy skin.

This video is from the Health Ranger Store channel on Brighteon.com.

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