Nutritional Approach to Sun Protection

by PUB MED, January 31, 2010

Nutritional approach to sun protection: a suggested complement to external strategies.

Author: Shapira N1.


The increasing incidence of skin cancer despite the use of externally applied sun protectionstrategies, alongside research showing that nutrients reduce photo-oxidative damage, suggest nutritional approaches could play a beneficial role in skin cancer prevention. Penetrating photo-oxidative ultraviolet A radiation reduces skin and blood antioxidants and damages cell components, including DNA. Dietary antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in addition to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, n-9 monounsaturated fatty acids, and low pro-inflammatory n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, have demonstrated protective properties. The presence of these elements in the traditional Greek-style Mediterranean diet may have contributed to the low rates of melanoma in the Mediterranean region despite high levels of solar radiation. This suggests a potentially relevant model for studying dietary/nutritionalsupplementation for lifelong internal support of sun-protection mechanisms, which could complement external strategies.

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