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Enjoying Your Day in the Sun: Defending Skin from the Inside Out

By: Kimberly Decker
Posted: May 4, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 6

* LycoRed Ltd.’s Lyc-O-Mato, a tomato lycopene complex containing all the phytonutrients found naturally in tomatoes, was used.

Supplementation with “lycopene complexes” can also improve the physical structure of the skin, as researchers at the Institute of Experimental Dermatology of Witten/Herdecke, Germany, found.

Measuring skin structure parameters after 12 weeks of supplementation with an antioxidant mix of lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, alpha tocopherol and the antioxidant mineral selenium, they found increases in skin density of 7% and increases in skin thickness of 14%. Meanwhile, those in the placebo group only saw a 0.3% increase in skin density and actually lost skin thickness at a rate of 1.4%. Analysis of scaling and roughness in the supplement group showed decreases of 60% and 33%, respectively, while decreases in the control were only a respective 30% and 16%.

Evidence also indicates that these ingredient complexes can protect DNA against UV-initiated damage. Scientists at the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Milan, found that a 26-day course of beverage supplementation with Lyc-O-Mato 6% elevated concentrations of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, and beta-carotene in the plasma and lymphocytes of study subjects improved resistance to DNA damage from UV exposure by more than 40%.

“Complements” of the House

One theme consistent among all the aforementioned studies is that they don’t owe their encouraging results to isolated lycopene alone; each supports the superior efficacy and biological activity of the full complement of carotenoid pigments found in the tomato lycopene complex—reflecting the “natural complex of antioxidants found naturally within the whole tomato,” according to Alroy, who also notes, “The extracts are standardized to contain representative proportions of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, vitamin E tocopherols and beta-carotene.”