In line with previous research, Lycored, a producer of natural carotenoids, has released a study showing that a combination of topical sunscreens with dietary carotenoids may create a synergistic effect to protect the skin against UV damage. Dietary carotenoids have previously been implicated for improving skin's UV protection.
Researchers treated ex vivo human skin tissues with SPF 15 sunscreen and the company's Lycomato supplement based on Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit lipids blended with rosemary extract. The incidence of UV-induced reactive oxidant species was decreased most effectively with the sunscreen and supplement combined treatment.
The researchers concluded this work shows how the company's supplement may complement traditional sun and skin care products by neutralizing free radicals. They add that the inclusion of carotenoids in topical formulations may provide other benefits for skin health and appearance, including increased skin density and elasticity. Furthermore, the antioxidant activity of carotenoids may add to the shelf-life of sunscreen.
Jean Krutmann, M.D., chair of environmental medicine at the medical faculty of Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf; director of the Leibniz Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Dusseldorf, Germany; and chief investigator for Lycored's skin health program, described these findings as "the first time we have shown that the oral intake of a nutritional supplement that contains lutein and lycopene is very effective at protecting human skin against damage caused by solar ultraviolet-A radiation."
Lycored highlighted the benefits of lycopene at the recent Vitafoods Europe show. Based on Lycopedia, the company’s educational website, its interactive exhibit included a game that demonstrates how lycopene helps to protect the skin against UV damage.
Zev Ziegler, head of global brand and marketing for health at Lycored said, “As this study shows, we’re constantly learning more about the many benefits of lycopene. The idea of a synergy between carotenoids and topical UV protection is tremendously exciting. We’re passionate about sharing these possibilities both with consumers and industry partners..."