Failed tests find possible skin-whitening pigment

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 06, 2019
By: Wu Po-hsuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

The red pigment prodigiosin could have cosmetic benefits, such as reducing dark spots

Tatung University biological engineering department head Will Chen holds up a test tube containing the red pigment prodigiosin in an undated photograph. Photo provided by Tatung University

and lightening a person’s complexion, Tatung University biological engineering professor Will Chen (陳志成) said this week.

About a decade ago, his research team added prodigiosin to fish feed to enhance the red coloring of a tropical species, Chen said.

About three months later, the doctoral candidates in charge of the fish reported that the experiment had failed, because the fish turned bone-white, he said.

The unexpected result triggered a series of new inquires, eventually leading to the discovery that prodogiosin could potentially counter the effect of melanin on skin tissue, which leads to dark spots and tanning, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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