Many gardeners use sunscreen while outdoors to shield their skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. According to new research, eating tomatoes may also have a sun-protecting effect.
Researchers at the Universities of Newcastle and Manchester in England gave one-half of their study group 5 tablespoons of standard tomato paste with 10 grams of olive oil every day. The control group received just the olive oil. They exposed the groups to UV light at the beginning and end of the trial. After three months the researchers found the tomato paste group had 33 percent more protection against sunburn and significant improvements in their skin's ability to protect itself against UV light when compared to the control group. The tomato paste boosted the procollagen levels in the group. Procollagen is a known antiaging factor in skin. Also, the lycopene (a known antioxidant) in tomatoes helped protect the cell's mitochondria that, in turn, positively affected skin health.
For more information on this new research, go to: Newcastle University.
Article published on June 16, 2008.