Silk Amino Acids - NutraPedia

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Silk Amino Acids: Research and Health Implications

1) Conditions Studied

Silk amino acids have been investigated for a variety of potential health-related applications. Notably, they have been studied for their effects on:

  • Skin hydration and elasticity
  • Wound healing
  • Exercise performance and muscle recovery
  • Hair growth and strength

2) Efficacy in Treating Conditions

The effectiveness of silk amino acids in treating these conditions varies:

  • There is some evidence suggesting that they may help improve skin hydration and elasticity.
  • Studies on wound healing indicate potential benefits, but more research is needed.
  • Their role in enhancing exercise performance and muscle recovery is not yet conclusive.
  • As for hair care, silk amino acids are believed to provide some benefits in strengthening hair, but again, research is not definitive.

3) Health Benefits

Silk amino acids are known for their potential health benefits, including:

  • Moisturizing and improving skin texture
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Possibly supporting muscle maintenance and recovery
  • Providing a smooth and soft texture to hair products

4) Potential Downsides

While silk amino acids are generally considered safe for use in cosmetics and dietary supplements, some potential downsides include:

  • Allergic reactions or skin irritation in some individuals
  • Lack of extensive research to fully understand long-term effects
  • Potential environmental concerns associated with the production of silk

5) Genetic Variations and Silk Amino Acids

Currently, there is limited research on the interaction between genetic variations and the effects of silk amino acids. It is not well-established whether certain genetic profiles would experience more benefits or adverse effects from silk amino acid supplementation. More personalized and genomic-based studies would be required to determine these relationships.

Please note that the information provided here is based on the current scientific research available as of the knowledge cutoff date and may change as more studies are conducted.

Effects of Silk Amino Acids on Skin Hydration and Atopic Dermatitis

A study on NC/Nga mice with atopic dermatitis (AD) demonstrated that a diet supplemented with 1% sericin significantly improved skin hydration, increased filaggrin levels, and elevated free amino acids, which are crucial for skin moisture. These benefits are attributed to the upregulation of proteins involved in filaggrin's expression and degradation, leading to better skin barrier function.

Comparison of Sericin and Fibroin Diets

Comparatively, a diet with 1% fibroin raised filaggrin and minor amino acid levels but did not enhance skin hydration as effectively as sericin. These findings suggest that sericin is more potent in promoting skin hydration through the generation of natural moisturizing factors.

Sericin as a Moisturizing Agent in Human Skin

Human studies with sericin gels revealed that sericin decreased skin impedance and transepidermal water loss while increasing hydroxyproline content, which indicates enhanced skin moisturization. Sericin thus shows promise as a component in skincare products due to its moisturizing properties.

Sericin's Cryoprotective Properties

The serine-rich peptide from sericin displayed cryoprotective effects, preventing denaturation of enzymes during freeze-thaw cycles. This characteristic positions sericin as a potential biomaterial for industrial applications requiring cryoprotection.

Non-Sericin Components of Silkworm Cocoons

Research on non-sericin components of silkworm cocoons uncovered significant antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory activities, suggesting potential for use in functional foods, biotechnology, and medicine.

Impact of Sericin on Intestinal Health and Metabolism

Sericin intake in rats on a high-fat diet improved fecal immunoglobulin A and mucins levels, enhanced beneficial cecal organic acids, and positively affected blood lipid profiles, indicating benefits for intestinal health and metabolism.

Anti-Tumor and Cell Proliferation Effects of Sericin

Studies on the effects of sericin on colon cancer and cell proliferation found that dietary sericin reduced tumor precursors in rats and enhanced growth in various mammalian cell lines, making it a potential alternative to animal-derived products in cell culture.

Sericin in Adenoviral Vector Production

Sericin supplementation in HEK-293 cell cultures was found to be a viable option for producing adenoviral vectors, offering a safer alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS).

Sericin's Role in Improving Serum-Free Mammalian Cell Cultures

Smaller sericin molecules, referred to as sericin-S, were shown to significantly enhance cell proliferation in serum-free mammalian cell cultures, indicating its potential as a cell culture supplement.

Antioxidant Properties of Sericin

Sericin exhibits antioxidant properties, suppressing lipid peroxidation in vitro and inhibiting tyrosinase activity, suggesting its utility in food and cosmetics.

Advocating for Serum-Free Cell Culture Methods

Due to ethical, scientific, and safety concerns associated with FBS, the research community is encouraged to transition to serum-free cell culture methods.

Enhancement of Physical Stamina and Male Reproductive Function by Silk Amino Acids

Silk amino acids (SAA) were found to improve physical stamina and male reproductive function in mice subjected to regular exercise, showcasing the multifaceted benefits of SAA supplementation.


  1. Dietary silk protein, sericin, improves epidermal hydration with increased levels of filaggrins and free amino acids in NC/Nga mice
  2. Neonate silkworm (Bombyx mori) larvae are attracted to mulberry (Morus alba) leaves with conspecific feeding damage
  3. Silk sericin as a moisturizer: an in vivo study
  4. Cryoprotective effect of the serine-rich repetitive sequence in silk protein sericin
  5. Isolation and bioactivities of a non-sericin component from cocoon shell silk sericin of the silkworm Bombyx mori
  6. Mitogenic effect of sericin on mammalian cells
  7. Consumption of a resistant protein, sericin, elevates fecal immunoglobulin A, mucins, and cecal organic acids in rats fed a high-fat diet
  8. Characterization of the polyphenolic fraction of Morus alba leaves extracts by HPLC coupled to a hybrid IT-TOF MS system
  9. Sericin, a protein derived from silkworms, accelerates the proliferation of several mammalian cell lines including a hybridoma
  10. Consumption of sericin reduces serum lipids, ameliorates glucose tolerance and elevates serum adiponectin in rats fed a high-fat diet
  11. Applications of natural silk protein sericin in biomaterials
  12. Consumption of sericin suppresses colon oxidative stress and aberrant crypt foci in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-treated rats by colon undigested sericin
  13. Effect of the silk protein sericin on the production of adenovirus-based gene-therapy vectors
  14. Preparation of silk protein sericin as mitogenic factor for better mammalian cell culture
  15. Silk protein, sericin, inhibits lipid peroxidation and tyrosinase activity
  16. Serum-free hybridoma culture: ethical, scientific and safety considerations
  17. Silk amino acids improve physical stamina and male reproductive function of mice

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