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Tomato-rich Diet Can Help Protect Skin

Posted: May 2, 2008

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"The protective effect of eating tomatoes on our mitochondria is important as they are the energy producers in all our body cells including skin," said Professor Mark Birch-Machin. "Therefore being kind to our mitochondria is likely to contribute to improved skin health, which in turn may have an anti-aging effect."

Independent comment
Commenting on the results, Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said, "While the protection offered by lycopene is low, this research suggests that a diet containing high levels of antioxidant rich tomatoes could provide an extra tool in sun protection."

Opportunities for beauty from within
This is not the first time that lycopene has been reported to boost skin health from within. Indeed, Israel's LycoRed has already developed a carotenoid ingredient for supplements which is aimed at protecting the skin from sunburn. The ingredient is a carotenoid composition of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene and optionally vitamin E that protects the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Increasingly, companies already involved in the functional food market have been looking to spread into the cosmeceutical arena. A recent Datamonitor report predicted the overall European cosmeceuticals market to grow to $4.4 billion in 2009, up 5% from today. This includes all cosmetic products containing at least one bio-active ingredient for the skin.

The journal New Nutrition Business' “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2008” report earlier this year adds further weight to the importance of the beauty segment. Author Julian Mellentin said the charge in Europe is being led by the dairy sector.