Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, was discovered 70 years ago to treat scurvy, a disease that causes fatigue, anemia and gum disease. A Science Daily article reports that research by the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology suggests that vitamin C may enhance skin regeneration. The Internal Medicine News reports that kojic acid may help to treat skin conditions such as pigment disorders, melasma and wrinkes.
Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is essential because your body does not produce or store it and you must get this nutrient in your diet. Vitamin C supports growth and repair processes in tissues throughout your body. Your body uses vitamin C to maintain healthy skin, connective tissues and blood vessels.
Kojic acid is an organic acid produced naturally during aerobic fermentation in fungi such as penicillium. Aerobic fermentation is a set of metabolic processes that requires oxygen, which occurs in plants and fungi. Substances that derive from kojic acid include kojic dipalmitate and kojic esters. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, kojic acid has industrial applications in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
Vitamin C and kojic acid are antioxidants. The environment and natural processes in your body produce unstable substances known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells throughout your body. This activity may contribute to cancer, heart disease and age-related degenerative conditions. Antioxidants are substances that can help to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals.
Your body uses vitamin C to make collagen, which is protein your body uses to make skin cells. Your skin may become dry and scaly if your diet does not have enough vitamin-C. Wounds may also heal slower if you have a vitamin C deficiency. Cosmetic and topical skin products may contain vitamin C or kojic acid. A study in “Experimental Dermatology” reports that a skin lotion with vitamin C can help to improve sun-damaged skin. Kojic acid can provide the basic material for skin whitening and skin protection products like creams, soap and lotions. Kojic acid may block the production of pigment in your skin cells and reduce the appearance of dark spots or freckles on your skin.
Vitamin C and kojic acid have applications in the food industry. Flavor enhancers such as miso and soy sauce require kojic acid. Kojic acid helps to prevent the formation of brown spots on raw noodles during storage and processing. Strawberry producers may use kojic acid to promote reddening of unripe strawberries. All fruit and vegetables contain vitamin C. Higher concentrations of vitamin C may occur in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Fruits that contain a lot of vitamin C include strawberries, oranges and papaya. Turnip greens, spinach and potatoes are vitamin C rich vegetables.