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Nutr Rev. 2010 Feb;68(2):75-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00264.x.

Nutritional approach to sun protection: a suggested complement to external strategies.

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Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


The increasing incidence of skin cancer despite the use of externally applied sun protection strategies, alongside research showing that nutrients reduce photo-oxidative damage, suggest nutritional approaches could play a beneficial role in skin cancer prevention. Penetrating photo-oxidative ultraviolet A radiation reduces skin and blood antioxidants and damages cell components, including DNA. Dietary antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in addition to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, n-9 monounsaturated fatty acids, and low pro-inflammatory n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, have demonstrated protective properties. The presence of these elements in the traditional Greek-style Mediterranean diet may have contributed to the low rates of melanoma in the Mediterranean region despite high levels of solar radiation. This suggests a potentially relevant model for studying dietary/nutritional supplementation for lifelong internal support of sun-protection mechanisms, which could complement external strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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