Analysis

NASA's wrinkle-erasing 'space drink'

With exotic ingredients like cupuacu and yumberry, a new antioxidant-rich beverage helps reverse the withering effects of Father Time

A drink formulated by NASA scientists to protect astronauts from the sun's radiation could become a hot-selling, age-defying beauty product. New research suggests that AS10, or "space drink," can noticeably reduce facial wrinkles and obvious signs of aging in as little as four months. Here's what you need to know about the bottled up fountain of youth:

What's in the 'space drink'?It's made from a blend of exotic fruits and other plant derivatives, including Brazil's cupuacu fruit, acai, prickly pear, yumberry, acerola, grape, green tea, and pomegranate. In addition to a rich cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants, the juice blend supplies a high dose of phytochemicals, which, according to researchers, helps shield cells from the harmful effects of radiation.

What happened to those who drank it?A team of researchers from the University of Utah had nearly 200 participants, mostly women, drink two ounces of the stuff a day. After four months, dermatologists examined visa photographs — which use different light exposures to reveal the condition of the skin below the surface — taken before and after the experiment. They were wowed by the drink's "dramatic effects" on the face, including a 30 percent reduction of UV spots (dark blemishes), and a 17 percent reduction in the amount of wrinkles. 

Why is the drink so effective?Radiation is thought to create toxic molecules in the body — or free radicals — which damage skin cells through a process called oxidative stress. "Think of them as little Pac-men taking bites out of molecules that are essential for cells to function," says study leader Dr. Aaron Barson. AS10's antioxidants, as the name suggests, help to fight off oxidative stress, which frees the skin to focus on healing quickly and naturally.

How do I get it?The out-of-this-world formula is available at various outlets online. A 25-ounce bottle (good for about 12 days) costs about $50.  

Sources: Global Post, India Today, New York Daily News, Top News

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