Tomato Phytonutrients Support Skin’s UV Resilience

While tomatoes are known to be an excellent source of both vitamin C and potassium, new research shows tomato nutrients can help with ultraviolet (UV) skin protection.

Researchers at Lycored, a company that specializes in the R&D of carotenoid-based products, found the supplementation of a carotenoid-rich tomato nutrient complex, allows for the proper nourishment of the body and skin and also balances skin’s response to UV rays.

Research in the paper, which is published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (Mar. 2019, V01.32, No. 2) shows that with oral supplementation of Lycoderm, which blends standardized levels of tomato phytonutrients and carnosic acid (rosemary extract) found in the Mediterranean diet, skin cells are better able to cope with environmental challenges by appearing visibly less red and increasing skin’s resilience against UV. The research is significant as UV damage is identified as the primary preventable cause of skin aging, which is responsible for up to 90% of premature damage.

The 149-person study showed with 12 weeks of supplementation, UV-exposed skin appeared calmer on both molecular and physiological levels.

Internally, participants experienced reduced secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators and externally, that balance was reflected in reduced skin redness.

The idea was tested in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicentre study, where a synergistic carotenoid-rich tomato nutrient complex was analyzed to show whether it could protect from UV-induced erythema formation. Subjects were assessed as an increase in the intensity of erythema formation (redness of the irradiated spot), and the upregulation of molecular markers associated with inflammation, and whether this correlates with carotenoid blood levels.

The 149 participants were randomized and placed two treatment groups, where they were subjected to a five-week wash-out phase, followed by a 12-week supplementation phase.

The subjects were exposed to controlled local UV radiation both at baseline and at the end of supplementation. Chromametry analysis to evaluate erythema intensity as well as biopsy collection to evaluate cytokine mRNA levels were performed following the UV exposure.

Results showed the carotenoid-rich tomato nutrient complex helps boost skins resilience to UV-induced erythema formation, and plays a role in reducing the local inflammatory process in the skin by weakening mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

“This study supports the notion that true beauty starts from within,” Karin Hermoni, PhD, Head of Science & Nutrition at Lycored said in a press release. “All people should strive for a healthier relationship with the sun and be mindful of their exposure to UV. Complementing traditional topical skin care and sun care with proper nourishment of body and skin can help balance our skin’s response to environmental challenges and build a better foundation for beautiful skin and long term skin wellness.”

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