While some claims have some rationale and are based on adequate research, it must be accepted that some of these claims are quite spurious with lack of adequate and extensive evidence from research before them being recommended to be used (Weiss et al., 1988). In this assignment one such claim published in a reputed newspaper will be critically examined whether local dermal application of vitamin A could be recommended to delay or reverse aging of the skin, whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic aging.
The report that will be examined here was published in Science Daily, May 22, 2007, issue with the heading "Vitamin A Helps Reduce Wrinkles Associated With Natural Skin Aging" which states essentially that there has been research which supports a claim that local application of vitamin A to the skin apparently improves the wrinkled appearance of the skin associated with natural aging. This claim has been correlated to the findings from research that locally applied vitamin A may promote repair of these age wrinkles through production of "skin building compounds". The claims can be quoted here. The main claim was "Topical retinol improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging" and to support this, in this report there are two other claims which point to the scientific basis of the claim, which are "Significant induction of glycosaminglycan, which is known to retain substantial water, and increased collagen production are most likely responsible for wrinkle effacement" and "With greater skin matrix synthesis [production of compounds that form skin], retinol-treated aged skin is more likely to withstand skin injury and ulcer formation along with improved appearance" (JAMA and Archives Journals, 2007, May 22). Identical reports supporting these claims also appeared in the Internet version of Cosmetics Design (Pitman, 2007).
Scientific Evidence for the Claim
The authors of this media report bases on a scientific journal article published in the Archive of Dermatology from the American Medical Association. For the purpose of better critical analysis of the rationale behind such claims, this writer has accessed that article by Kafi et al. (2007). The findings from that critical review will be presented in a subsequent section of this assignment. However, it appears from this report that the reporter in this media report utilizes quotation from that article to provide the lay reader a grasp of scientific rationale behind such claim. In the beginning of the report, the two different forms of aging of skin have been discussed. It is well known that age-associated wrinkles and brown spots appear prominently in the exposed skin, and although sun exposure has been related to aging through a less dramatic identical process, the intrinsic aging process in the skin that occurs naturally causes the skin to lose its appearance due to changes in its texture. The natural aging renders the skin "thinner, laxer and more finely wrinkled", more prominent in specific areas such as upper inner arm (JAMA and Archives Journals, 2007, May 22). Histologically, this can be correlated to a reduced synthesis of collagens and elastic tissues in the