Posted on May 18, 2009, 11 a.m.
By gary clark
A recent study conducted by the Israeli-based company, LycoRed Ltd., demonstrated the ability of an oral antioxidant supplement formulated from tomato extract to reduce sunburn cell formation and slow the depletion of Langerhans cells after participants were exposed to a UVB/UVA solar simulator.
LycoRed Ltd. conducted a small pilot study to examine the effect of its oral lycopene formulation, Lyc-O-Mato, to protect the skin from sunburn. The study included 10 adult men and women, half of whom consumed 85mg of Lyc-O-Mato 6 percent capsules twice daily, and the other half, a placebo twice daily. At the end of 10 weeks, the subjects were exposed to two minimal erythemal doses of UV radiation from a solar simulator. Their skin cells were biopsied and assessed 24 hours later.
According to Zohar Nir, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science in Rohovot, Israel, and vice president of new product development for LycoRed, those participants receiving the Lyc-O-Mato supplement experienced a sunburn cell count six times lower than that of the placebo group. There was also evidence of reduced depletion of Langerhans cells in the Lyc-O-Mato group, which, Dr. Nir says is important because "depletion of Langerhans cells negatively affects the important immune function of the skin." The mechanism behind Lyc-O-Mato, which contains 5 mg of pure lycopene, along with a combination of such tomato-derived phytonutrients as phytoene, phytofluene, beta-carotene, tocopherols and phytosterols, is simple, says Dr. Nir. "The interaction of radiation with the skin creates reactive oxygen species (ROS), and lycopene is the most effective quencher of the ROS free radicals responsible for oxidative stress and hence, damage of the skin."
The study sample may be small, but according to David McDaniel, M.D., director of the Institute of Anti-Aging Research in Virginia Beach, its results are still impressive. "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."
News Release: Look for the future of skin protection in a tube or tablet www.modernmedicine.com May 1, 2009