Add sunscreen to the list of broccoli's health benefits. A new
study suggests the potent vegetable may help protect the skin from
sun damage. (photo: foodamate.net)
Researchers found the compound sulforaphane, which is derived
from broccoli sprouts, reduces the skin redness and inflammation
caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Repeated sunburn is linked to a higher risk of skin cancer and
researchers say controlling the redness, known in medical terms as
erythema, may be another way to fight skin cancer and sun-related
In the study, researcher Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins
University in the United States and his colleagues examined the
effects of sulforaphane on UV-induced erythema in six adults.
A solution containing sulforaphane derived from three-day old
broccoli sprouts was applied to their skin before exposure to UV
radiation using sun lamps.
The results showed the broccoli extract reduced redness by an
average of 37 percent compared with untreated skin following UV
Researchers say the broccoli extract did not physically absorb
the UV rays, but it appeared to work at the cellular level to
prevent erythema. They say sulforaphane induces the formation of
protective proteins in the skin and protects the skin from sun
damage for several days.
(Shenzhen Daily October 25, 2007)