Broccoli Extract Protects Sun-Damaged Skin

Induces protective enzymes and reduces erythema

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Treating skin damaged by ultraviolet radiation with broccoli sprout extract induces protective enzymes and reduces erythema, inflammation and edema, according to study findings published online Oct. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Paul Talalay, M.D., and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, examined the effect of treating ultraviolet radiation skin damage in humans and mice with broccoli sprout extracts rich in isothiocyanate sulforaphane.

The researchers found that the broccoli extract induced cytoprotective proteins and reduced ultraviolet radiation-associated erythema, inflammation and edema in the skin of the mice. In six human volunteers treated with various doses of ultraviolet radiation, the extract reduced the mean erythema by 37.7 percent.

Treatment with broccoli extract "provides evidence that up-regulation of the intrinsic cytoprotective mechanisms of the skin protects against damage of a carcinogen that is ubiquitous in our environment and represents the principal etiological factor for the development of human skin cancers," Talalay and colleagues conclude.

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