Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wearing Broccoli May Help Fight Skin Cancer

As a well-known superfood, broccoli has a lot of nutritional benefits. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and contains calcium, iron, protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Like most cruciferous veggies—like cabbage, cauliflower and kale—broccoli also contains a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. This particularly potent compound helps boost the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. Sulforaphane has been known to help fight breast, bladder, liver, lung, prostate, stomach, and skin cancers.

While these benefits come from eating broccoli, a recent study has found that wearing broccoli may actually help boost your skin’s protective enzymes even more.

In a study conducted by Paul Taladay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers discovered that applying broccoli extract to the skin helped reduce UV-induced redness and inflammation.

The study involved six healthy participants, who were exposed to UV radiation on two small circles on their backs. The participants were divided into two groups: one group was treated with broccoli extract and the other was not treated. The results showed that treatment with broccoli extract lead to a reduction in redness and inflammation by an average of 37 percent and as much as 78 percent.

Researchers hope that the compound in broccoli can be used to help boost immune systems that help fight damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.

Although eating and wearing broccoli has been shown to help reduce your risk of skin cancer, it should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen. Broccoli extract does not help to absorb UV rays, and individuals should not rely solely on broccoli extract to help protect their skin.

To ensure you are keeping your skin safe in the sun, be sure to use SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen. This type of sunscreen will help block both UVA and UVB rays, and subsequently reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

At Greenville Dermatology, we offer a wide selection of sunscreen and skincare products that contain UV protection. Stop by today to browse our skin care line, or call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to schedule a comprehensive skin cancer screening.

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