KAISERAUGST, Switzerland, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- If "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", a carrot a day might help to keep the sun burn away. That is the conclusion of a recently published analysis by Professors Wolfgang Köpcke and Jean Krutmann, of Münster University Hospital and the Institut für Umweltmedizinische Forschung in Düsseldorf, Germany, respectively.
In a paper published in Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2008, 84, Köpcke and Krutmann analyzed seven reports on clinical trials exploring the relationship between the consumption of Beta-Carotene and skin resistance to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation present in the sun's rays. Beta-Carotene is an orange natural pigment important for photosynthesis in plants. It is also responsible for the characteristic red-to-orange colors of carrots, tomatoes, and many other green leafy vegetables and fruits.
"We found that a diet rich in Beta-Carotene significantly protects the skin against sunburn if it is consumed for a long period of time," explains Professor Köpcke. "It does not offer the same powerful and almost immediate protection against UV radiation offered by modern sunscreens, but it can provide a basis of protection which should be 'topped up' with sunscreen when intensive exposure to the sun is planned." "This form of 'nutritional' protection against UV has two important advantages," continues Professor Krutmann. "It is permanently present in people who have enjoyed a diet rich in Beta-Carotene for many years, and it also benefits every part of the skin."
While Beta-Carotene occurs naturally, it can also be synthesized. Nature-identical synthetic Beta-Carotene has an important role to play in many fortified foods and beverages as well as in dietary supplements. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Head of R&D at DSM Nutritional Products, a leading producer of Beta-Carotene, comments: "These findings show the importance of a nutritionally rich and balanced diet. We are quite literally what we eat, and a healthy portion of Beta-Carotene should certainly be on our daily menu."
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Contact: DSM Nutritional Products, Charlotte Frederiksen, Tel.: +41-61-815-75-03, Fax: +41-61-815-88-90, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org