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Broccoli May Help Fight Skin Cancer

Posted: October 30, 2007

What's good for your diet may also guard against skin cancer. 

Scientists have discovered that an extract of broccoli sprouts protects the skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

 That's not the same as calling the extract a sunscreen, however.

 "This is not a sunscreen, because it does not absorb the ultraviolet rays of the sun," explained Dr. Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "We don't want people covering their bodies with broccoli and going to the beach. They will have no protection whatsoever." 

Exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays is the primary cause of most skin cancers. The incidence of skin cancer in the United States is on the rise as men and women who had too many sunburns earlier in life get older and develop the disease.