Oral Lutein and Lycopene may protect skin against UV rays!

As the use of oral supplements grow, researchers are continuing to find more health benefits from nutrients found in foods.  In September the British Journal of Dermatology published a report suggesting that oral supplements with lutein and lycopene offer protection from UV radiation at the molecular level. In other words oral lutein and lycopene may protect skin against UV rays.

In non-scientific terms, that means tomatoes may provide a new defense against burns and wrinkles caused by too much sun. Two pigments in the fruit available in nutritional supplements can help shield the skin against the effects of ultra violet radiation. Lycopene and lutein are both claimed to have anti-cancer properties. Lutein, also found in kale and spinach, is known as the “eye vitamin” because it is reputed to protect against eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Matthew Gass, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said, “Eating tomatoes and kale isn’t a substitute for sunscreen or other forms of sun protection such as protective clothing and shade. However, this study shows that these lycopene and lutein supplements could be an extra tool to protect against sun damage.”

According to, the placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized crossover study assessed whether two actives containing either lycopene-rich tomato nutrient complex (TNC) or lutein were able to decrease the expression of UVA1 radiation-inducible genes. The study, conducted in two phases, found that TNC completely inhibited UVA1- and UVA/B-induced upregulation of HO-1, ICAM-1 and MMP1 mRNA regardless of sequence. In contrast, lutein provided complete protection if it was taken in the first period, but showed significantly smaller effects in the second sequence compared to TNC. The researchers concluded that, “Assuming the role of these genes as indicators of oxidative stress, photo-dermatoses and photoaging, these results might indicate that TNC and lutein could protect against solar radiation-induced health damage.”

At White Pearl, we are continuously researching new technologies, scientific studies and new products in order to offer our clients only the safest, latest and best information to keep you on track to a more beautiful, healthy, and happy you. Please call us if you have questions.

Dr. Lizette Altieri

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