Originally published November 6 2007
Broccoli Better Than Sunscreen at Protecting Skin
by Aria Milan
(NaturalNews) Woe to those who dislike the taste of broccoli. When health experts compare different beneficial vegetables side by side, this cruciferous vegetable wins hands done. If you would like to prevent colon cancer, broccoli is essential to include in your diet. Eating it regularly can cut your risk of developing cataracts or becoming a stroke victim. Packed with a phytonutrient called isothiocyanates, broccoli can even help the body destroy breast cancer cells (http://archives.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/04/13/broccoli.benefits.wmd). And now you can add another health benefit to this list: a new study has found that Broccoli extract is effective in preventing damage to the skin from sun exposure.
The recent study conducted by Paul Talaly M.D., professor of pharmacology, and his team of researchers from The John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore tested the extract from broccoli sprouts on 6 healthy adult volunteers. What the team found was that when the extract was applied topically to the skin of these individuals, it reduced the degree of redness caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure by an average of 37 percent. This redness, called erythema, is used to measure the damage and inflammation caused by UV radiation exposure from the sun. The range of protection varied across the test subjects from 8 percent to 78 percent. According to Talalay, this may be due to the genetic differences of the individuals or variations in their dietary habits.
Unlike sunscreen, which absorbs UV radiation and doesn't allow it to penetrate the skin, the broccoli extract gets absorbed directly into the cells of the skin. It then helps these cells, from the inside, produce a matrix of protective enzymes that defend against damage from UV exposure. The chemical substance responsible for this protection is called sulforaphane. Talalay and his team first discovered it more than 15 years ago during studies involving laboratory animals injected with chemical carcinogens. The studies showed that sulforaphane prevented the formation of tumors in these animals.
Another benefit to this broccoli extract over conventional sunscreens is that it is just as effective a few days after being applied. In the study, it was shown to work 3 days after the test subjects were lathered with the extract, even after residue from the extract no longer remained on or in the skin. It is interesting to note that conventional sunscreens were ineffective in these experiments.
So, for those who dislike the taste of broccoli, you can still benefit from broccoli's cancer fighting power by applying this vegetable topically. At the very least, it can be added to your arsenal of protective shields for your skin when spending a day at the beach.
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About the authorNatural Beauty Expert and Fashionista, Aria Milan is a passionate researcher in all things that will bring out the natural beauty in people. She practices what she preaches and is always striving to look and feel her best and her goal is to help others do the same. Her philosophy is 'True Beauty comes from Health that radiates from within'.
Aria is currently the editor of an alternative news website called Apollo News Daily, which can be viewed at www.apollonewsdaily.com .
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