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Issue 2, 2006
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Lycopene-rich products and dietary photoprotection

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Plant constituents such as carotenoids and flavonoids are involved in the light-protecting system in plants and contribute to the prevention of UV damage in humans. As micronutrients they are ingested with the diet and are distributed into light-exposed tissues where they provide systemic photoprotection. β-Carotene is an endogenous photoprotector, and its efficacy to prevent UV-induced erythema formation has been demonstrated in intervention studies. Lycopene is the major carotenoid of the tomato and is a very efficient singlet oxygen quencher in the group of carotenoids. Following ingestion of lycopene or tomato-derived products rich in lycopene, photoprotective effects have been demonstrated. After 10–12 weeks of intervention a decrease in the sensitivity towards UV-induced erythema was observed in volunteers. Dietary carotenoids may contribute to life-long protection against harmful UV radiation.

Graphical abstract: Lycopene-rich products and dietary photoprotection

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Article information

19 Apr 2005
12 Jul 2005
First published
12 Aug 2005

Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006,5, 238-242
Article type

Lycopene-rich products and dietary photoprotection

W. Stahl, U. Heinrich, O. Aust, H. Tronnier and H. Sies, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006, 5, 238
DOI: 10.1039/B505312A

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