The Fruit That May Help Protect Skin From UV-Induced Damage

Male mice consuming diet with red tomato powder showed significantly lower tumor number
Male mice consuming diet with red tomato powder showed significantly lower tumor number

HealthDay News — Male mice consuming a red tomato diet have significantly lower tumor number after exposure to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) light, according to a study published online July 11 in Scientific Reports.

Jessica L. Cooperstone, PhD, from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues fed AIN-93G or AIN-93G + 10% tangerine or red tomato powder to 180 SKH-1 hairless and immunocompetent mice for 35 weeks. One hundred twenty mice were exposed to 2,240 J/m² UV-B light 3 times per week from weeks 11 to 20; tumors were tracked weekly. Control mice were fed the same diets without UV exposure. 

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Compared to controls, the researchers found that male mice consuming red tomato diets or pooled tomato diets had significantly lower tumor number (1.73 ± 0.50 and 2.03 ± 0.45, respectively, versus 4.04 ± 0.65). Total lycopene was higher in the skin of animals fed tangerine tomato powder, despite a lower dose. Compounds derived from tomato glycoalkaloids had significantly different metabolites in skin following tomato exposure.

"These data suggest the need for further studies investigating the role that tomatoes and tomato phytochemicals play in the mediation of keratinocyte carcinomas," the authors write.

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