lycopene and lutein protect your skin from the sun

People who enjoy being out in the sun live longer than people who avoid it. Here’s a new way to do it naturally and safely.

There were three groups in this double-blinds study. One got a placebo; one got 20mg of a lycopene rich tomato nutrient rich complex; one got 20 mg of lutein. Lycopene and lutein are both important carotenes. They took the supplements for twelve weeks.

Both the lycopene and the lutein significantly protected from UV radiation damage. This study suggests that taking lycopene or lutein could protect you from free radical damage caused by exposure to the sun.

This is not the first time carotenes have been found to offer skin protection from the sun. Natural betacarotene has been shown to help (J Invest Dermatol 1972; Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 2000;223:170-4). Nor is it the first time lycopene and lutein have been shown to help. Betacarotene combined with lutein and lycopene have been shown to protect against UV rays (J Nutr 2001;131:1449-51), and lycopene combined with other carotenes has been shown to decrease reddening from exposure to UV light (Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2005). An antioxidant combo of betacarotene, lycopene, vitamin E and selenium has also been shown to significantly improve defence against ultraviolet damage (Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2003;19:182-9).

These antioxidant nutrients take time to build up, and summer is coming. So, you might want to start preparing for the sun now!


Br J Dermatol 2017;176(5):1231-1240


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