Research results show that ectoine can protect (protect) epithelial cells, stabilize cell membranes and reduce inflammation. This is an innovative relationship with great therapeutic potential. Ektoine has found application in biotechnology, cosmetology and medicine, including in allergology, ENT, ophthalmology and dermatology. Many authors emphasize its participation in reducing allergic symptoms such as itching, tearing, sneezing and rhinitis and alleviating ailments in the course of atopic dermatitis.
Ectoine (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylic acid) is a compound produced naturally by some microorganisms - in particular extremophiles, i.e. bacteria living in very difficult environmental conditions. Its action includes stabilizing and protecting proteins, nucleic acids and biomembranes (biological membranes) against harmful effects, among others:
Ectoine is used in many fields of medicine, found, among others use in dermatology, otolaryngology and ophthalmology, while showing a good safety profile (no adverse effects were observed and no toxic effects were demonstrated at human-appropriate concentrations).
Currently, ectoine is used as a substance that protects cells and stabilizes the structure of proteins and cells in human organisms. It is used in the therapy of allergic diseases to reduce inflammation of the nasal mucosa and conjunctivitis. Ectoine reduces (alleviates) allergic complaints in the course of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. Preparations with ectoine provide, among others long-lasting moisturizing effect and support the regeneration of irritated mucous membranes.
Ectoine, by creating a protective "film" on the surface of cells, protects the mucous membranes from contact with allergens. It reduces the symptoms of dry eye syndrome (stabilizes the structure of the lipid layer of the tear film) and can be helpful in its therapy. There are also great hopes for the use of ectoine in the treatment of acute pharyngitis and laryngitis (ectoine has been shown to reduce swelling of the cervical lymph nodes and relieve cough).
Ectoine and hydroxyectoine (its derivative) can be used in the therapy of lung cancer, as well as a radiation protection factor (a protective agent in radiation therapy), primarily due to its strong antioxidant (antioxidant) properties.
Ectoine mobilizes the immune (immune) system, including mechanisms of local immunity, e.g. of the skin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunostimulating properties (increasing the immune response). It protects keratinocytes (epidermal cells), Merkel cells (touch receptors) and Langerhans cells that initiate an immune response.
Ectoin is widely used in dermatology and cosmetology, including as an active ingredient in many sunscreen products and skin care creams.
As a strong antioxidant, it prevents damage to skin cells at the molecular level. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it protects against the harmful effects of UV rays (ectoine prevents burns and slows down the aging process of the skin). It also supports repair processes after damage as a result of exposure to UVA and UVB radiation.
Ectoine in skin care cosmetics provides a greater degree of skin hydration and prevents excessive transepidermal water loss. Strengthens the (protective) skin barrier and prevents the reduction of the number of Langerhans cells in the epidermis.
According to the current guidelines of the Polish Society of Allergology and the Polish Dermatological Society on the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), ectoine is one of the most important active compounds contained in cosmeceutics (preparations with medicinal properties or significantly supporting epidermis care processes).