WHY MELANIN FUNCTIONALITY
This article was compiled by Jodi Phillips May 2014, for the Institute of Black Academics
concerning Black Under achievement.
PUBLISHED 09 MAY 2014 04:26
Both collagen and melanin play a protective role in healthy skin. Melanin absorbs harmful ultraviolet light and protects the skin from photo damage. Skin collagen molecules connect to each other and form a matrix, which includes other molecules, thus creating the skin organ. It provides protection against disease and injury. The thicker the skin and the more melanin, the better the protective barrier against the effects of aging.
Melanin is a class of biological pigments important as photo-protectors of skin. Pigment cells named melanocytes produce melanins in the outer skin layer. All melanocytes produce melanin, but cells in darker-skinned people produce more per cell. The two melanins produced by human skin include black-brown, eumelanin, and yellow-red, pheomelanin. Each melanin has separate biological properties. Also, women produce 3 to 4 percent less melanin in their skin than men.
Before global migration, most humans with the darkest skin lived closest to the equator. Melanin absorbs ultraviolet light, thus protecting humans from harmful UV radiation. UV radiation damages skin cells and promotes melanoma, cancer of the skin. European Americans have a 10 times higher risk of melanoma than African Americans. Even though melanin is protective, complete shielding would be harmful, because shortwave UV radiation needs to penetrate the skin to produce vitamin D. Approximately 90 percent of vitamin D is synthesized in the skin.
[Source : http://www.livestrong.com/article/163749-the-role-of-collagen-melanin-in-skin/]