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Lycopene-Rich Tomato Paste Shown To Reduce Skin Inflammation From UV Exposure

September 21, 2010: 11:17 AM EST

A daily 16 mg. dose of lycopene in tomato paste can lessen skin inflammation caused by UV exposure, according to a British study. The study also found that tomato paste lessens damage to mitochondrial DNA, a reliable biomarker of UV-ray exposure. Twenty women with skin types identified as phototype I/II received either 55 g of tomato paste in olive oil, or just olive oil, every day for 12 weeks. Skin samples taken before and after the 12-week study indicated that the dose of UV rays needed to cause reddening increased from 26.4 mJ/cm2 to 36.6 mJ/cm2 after lycopene consumption, showing improved skin resistance to reddening. No changes were detected in the control. “Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer term aspects of photodamage,” researchers concluded.

M. Rizwan, I. Rodriguez-Blanco, A. Harbottle, M.A. Birch-Machin, R.E.B. Watson. L.E. Rhodes, "Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo", British Journal of Dermatology, September 21, 2010, © British Association of Dermatologists
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