Tomatoes Protect against Sunburn

by Malc on May 24, 2009

Tomato2-w200-h200 A small pilot study appears to show that lycopene – an antioxidant found in tomatoes – was protective against sunburn.

The subjects who received the lycopene supplement experienced a sunburn cell count six times lower than that of the placebo group. This is a significant benefit as sunburn causes DNA damage in cells.  Cancer often involves DNA damage.

The study was carried out by a company producing a lycopene supplement. However, confidence in the results was strengthened by the comments of David McDaniel, M.D., director of the Institute of Anti-Aging Research in Virginia Beach, USA, who said these  results “…are  impressive.” 

McDaniel added:

"Our research program has seen significant protection from UV damage from other topically applied super-potent antioxidants. We’ve also seen anecdotal evidence that oral lycopene supplementation in the 5mg to 10mg daily dose range may reduce the risk of sunburn in very sensitive, fair-skinned individuals. The apparent protection of Langerhans cells is also potentially significant," he notes, adding: "Oral supplements such as this mixture of lycopene and related carotenoids need further studies like this one to expand our understanding of how oral antioxidants impact our skin – both for health and beauty."

Further information on this study

The Richest Source of Lycopene

Gac_Fruit-2-w200-h200The fruit with the highest content of lycopene is called a gac. It is found in south east Asia, when it can be harvested during December and January. However, it is little know elsewhere. If you do live in Vietnam or nearby it is well worth seeking out gac, as it contains 80 – yes, 80! – times the lycopene found in tomatoes. Other foods have lesser amounts of lycopene, the only significant one being watermelon, which has about 1/4-1/3 of that found in tomato sauce.


  • http://www.morphemeremedies.com/guggul.htm Guggul

    Yeah its true that tomatoes are the best ones to get relief from the sunburn as well as to cure them properly….Their cooling effect gives a fast recovery from it…

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