It is a pigment that is responsible for the variety of our skin tones and undertones, eye color and hair color. Melanin is also responsible for protecting us against the harmful effects of UV rays. People with darker skin tones have more melanin than those with lighter skin tones.
People who have more melanin in their skin are at minimal risk of sunburn and skin cancer. When you tan in the sun, it is a way for your skin to protect itself from damage as it releases melanin. Special skin cells called melanocytes make melanin and everyone has the same amount of melanocytes.
The quantity of melanin your body does depends on your genes. If your parents have very or little pigmented skin, you will probably look like them. Melanin can build up in certain parts and cause darkening of the skin, which doctors call hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when some parts of your skin are darker than others. HHow to reduce melanin in the skin? Well, IIt is also possible to reduce the production of melanin in the skin.
Types of melanin
There are mainly three types of melanin in humans:
Eumelanin: it usually gives dark colors to your hair, eyes and skin. There are generally two types of eumelanin which are brown and black and they usually come from different mixtures of black and brown eumelanin. Blonde hair occurs when there is a small amount of brown eumelanin and no black eumelanin.
Pheomelanin: it is responsible for the lighter or pinkish parts of your body like your lips, cheeks, and nipples. Red-haired people generally have the same number of pheomelanin and eumelanin.
Neuromelanin: it controls the colors of the neurons but it does not interfere with the coloring of the things you see.
benefits of melanin
It protects us from UV
Melanin helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It protects the cells of the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin, from UV rays. It protects you from all types of UV light as well as blue light. It absorbs UV light before it can damage your DNA.
It is vital for the functioning of the brain, nerves and organs
In the brain, melanin-containing tissues include the medulla and pigment-bearing neurons in areas of the brainstem. Melanin is found in almost every organ in the body and is necessary for nerve function.
Destroys free radicals
Free radicals cause damage to human cells. melanin works to destroy free radicals by targeting them.
Promotes younger looking skin
When our skin is exposed to the sun, we tend to get damaged skin and cause premature aging. People with dark tones show fewer signs of aging. It prevents age tasks, deep wrinkles and rough texture. The increase in melanin protects those who have it from short-term sun damage.
It has antioxidant properties
It scavenges reactive oxygen species produced by UV light damage. There are no protective compounds such as antioxidants involved, these ROS contribute to oxidative stress, which causes significant cell damage.
Melanin is also thought to have other actions in the body, such as protecting the liver, intestines, and even your immune system.
Does everyone have the same amount of melanin?
The amount of melanin generally depends on the number of melanocytes. All humans have approximately the same amount of melanocytes. But darker-skinned people have more, larger, and more pigmented melanosomes than those with fair skin.
Can we increase the number of melanin levels?
There are several ways to increase melanin levels on your skin and in your hair.
The easiest and most common way to increase your melanin is by getting a tan, but it can be dangerous and can harm your body.
You can also use supplements and vitamins that can increase your melanin levels. Certain vitamins like vitamins A and E can increase melanin levels.
Certain foods can also be used to produce more melanin and increase the level of our skin and hair.
Carrots and beets
Foods to reduce melanin in the skin
There are a variety of foods that can help reduce melanin in the skin. Too much melanin can lead to darker-than-desired skin.
Some foods that may help reduce melanin levels in the skin include:
A healthy diet that includes these and other nutrient-dense foods can help reduce melanin levels and give skin a more desirable appearance.
Foods to improve hair melanin
There are a few foods that can help improve melanin production in the body, which in turn can help improve the health and appearance of your hair. Some of the best foods for this are:
– Nuts: Nuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for healthy hair.
-Eggs: Eggs are a good source of protein and biotin, two essential nutrients for healthy hair.
– Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for hair growth and health.
– Spinach: Spinach is a good source of iron, an essential nutrient for hair growth.
– Beans: Beans are a good source of protein and zinc, two nutrients that are useful for healthy hair.
What happens due to a lack of melanin?
There are generally two conditions that occur when your body lacks melanin:
Vitiligo: it is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough melanocytes. This causes a lack of melanin and color which can lead to the appearance of white spots on the skin or hair.
Albinism: this is a very common condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough melanin. The number of melanocytes is decreased due to reduced production of melanin from melanosomes.
Melanin is both useful and dangerous for the body. You just need to accept yourself for who you are and avoid using any of the natural methods to increase or decrease melanin levels in your skin, as this could lead to infections and other skin problems.
Frequently asked question
Which fruit is rich in melanin?
Here are some of the best foods that help your naturally occurring melanin shine even brighter than it already does!
- Red peppers.
- Orange fruits and vegetables.
- Green tea.
Does vitamin D increase melanin?
The amount of melanin in the skin impacts vitamin D status because the skin depends on UV rays to synthesize vitamin D, and darker skin can inhibit its production. It takes about 15 minutes in the sun for a lighter-skinned person to produce enough vitamin D for the day, while a darker-skinned person needs about 30 minutes to three hours.
Does melanin decrease with age?
The number of melanin-producing melanocytes per unit area of skin decreases by approximately 10-20% per decade. The development of new melanocytic nevi also decreases, from a peak between 20 and 40 years old to near zero after 70 years old.
1. Neuromelanin in human dopaminergic neurons: comparison with peripheral melanins and their relevance to Parkinson’s disease.
2. Photoprotection and Skin Pigmentation: Molecules related to melanin and some other new agents obtained from natural sources