(Natural News) It’s well-known that antioxidants can provide a myriad of health benefits — including protection against sunburn and the damage it causes. But according to the FDA, only drugs and creams that have been made by their industry masters can offer health benefits. Is toxic sunscreen really the only option consumers have when it comes to protecting themselves against sun damage — or is the FDA really just that ridiculous?
Recently, the FDA cracked down on a number of manufacturers who were producing “sunscreen supplements,” antioxidant mixes featuring compounds like lycopene, lutein and zeaxthanin. Multiple studies have pointed to the benefits of these phytonutrients — including their ability to ward off sun damage.
But evidently, the FDA views sun damage as a “disease,” and that means making claims of sun protection are “disease claims.”
In a press release, the FDA revealed that they had sent warning letters to the makers of sun protection supplements. The agency accused the supplement companies of “putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security that a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect from the risks of skin cancer.”
“There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” the agency continued.
Is that really true? Or is this claim just more industry-funded, anti-science racket from an agency that has continuously shown that it’s unable (or unwilling?) to actually protect consumers from corporate interests?
Natural “sunscreens” do exist, according to science
Despite the FDA’s assurances that nutrients can’t help protect you against sun damage, the fact of the matter is that multiple studies have shown that antioxidants can, and do, fight off the damaging effects of too much sun.
While corporations may not want you to know this, the science is out there. There are alternatives to piling on sunscreen day-in and day-out, and those alternatives can be found right in your kitchen (or backyard, if you have your own garden).
One of the top foods for keeping skin healthy and protected from the sun is the humble tomato. Reports of the tomato’s skin-protecting benefits have been around for a long time. Back in 2012, research showed that simply eating tomato paste could provide better protection against the sun’s rays than your typical sunscreen. Lycopene, the compound that gives tomatoes their illustrious red hue, is also responsible for the crop’s preventive and protective benefits.
In 2016, these results were seen again in a German-led study, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology. The study found that two caretenoids (lycopene and lutein) could effectively protect the skin against sun damage. The team stated in their discussion, “To the best of our knowledge we show here, for the first time, that (i) TNC [tomato nutrient complex] and lutein do not only protect healthy human skin against UVB/A, but also against longwave UVA1 radiation; and (ii) that oral photoprotection of healthy human skin can be demonstrated at the level of HO1, ICAM1 and MMP1 gene expression.”
Where conventional sunscreen fails
While the evidence in support of plant nutrients as a means of sun protection continues to grow, the evidence against conventional sunscreens also continues to pile up.
As the Environmental Working Group explains, many “conventional” sunscreens are made with chemicals that can actually be hazardous to your health. As the watchdog group explains:
Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones, and physicians report sunscreen-related skin allergies, which raises important questions about unintended human health consequences from frequent sunscreen application.
More importantly, however, the EWG states that the FDA has not even evaluated many of these chemicals for their potential health risks — instead, they were grandfathered into the system back in the 1970s. Where does the FDA get off accusing plant nutrients for “unfounded health claims,” while actively promoting topically applied chemicals that are now known hormone disruptors?
Learn more about what heals and what harms at Health.news.
Sources for this article include: