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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2001 May 1;389(1):1-6.

UV light, beta-carotene and human skin--beneficial and potentially harmful effects.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. biesal@uni-hohenheim.de

Abstract

Solar radiation is one of the most important environmental stress agents for human skin, causing sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Beta-carotene is discussed to protect against photooxidative stress and thus prevent skin damage. Though beta-carotene has been successfully used against photosensitivity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria, its beneficial potential in normal skin is still uncertain. A number of experimental studies indicate protective effects of beta-carotene against acute and chronic manifestations of skin photodamage. However, most clinical studies have failed to convincingly demonstrate its beneficial effects so far. Nevertheless, intake of oral beta-carotene supplements before sun exposure has been recommended on a population-wide basis. Recent studies on skin cells in culture have revealed that beta-carotene acts not only as an antioxidant but also has unexpected prooxidant properties. At present, there is an ongoing debate on the protective or potentially harmful role of beta-carotene in human skin.

PMID:
11370660
DOI:
10.1006/abbi.2001.2313
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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