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Can lycopene help protect skin from sun damage?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
By now you know the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect yourself from sun damage that can lead to skin cancer. But you probably didn’t know that the nutrient found in tomatoes, lycopene, can protect your skin from the inside out. In fact, a British study showed that volunteers who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste with 10 grams of olive oil a day for 12 weeks were 33% less likely to burn from UV exposure than those who only ate olive oil. Researchers believe it was due to the lycopene producing procollagen, a molecule that helps protect the skin.

Unless you’re able to eat a lot of tomato-based meals, you should supplement your lycopene intake during the summer months to protect against sun exposure. Try taking 16 mg per day. And remember that a lycopene supplement is just that -- a supplement -- and not a replacement for sunscreen.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.