Strawberry extracts could protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet (UV) damage, a recent study has suggested.
Italian researchers from the Universita Politecnica delle Marche added strawberry extracts to human skill cells and exposed them to UV light (the equivalent to 90 minutes of midday summer sun in the French Riviera).
UV and UVB are two types of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun that cause DNA damage to skin cells, causing premature ageing, sunburn and in more serious cases, skin cancer.
Researchers found that the strawberry extract, especially at a concentration of 0.5mg/ml, displayed photoprotective properties in skin cells exposed to UV radiation, according to a statement.
Strawberry extracts also increased cell survival and viability, by decreasing the DNA damage to skin cells when compared with control cells.
“These aspects are of great importance as they provide protection for cell lines subject to conditions that can provoke cancer and other skin-related inflammatory and degenerative illnesses,” researcher Maurizio Battino said in a statement.
Researchers also claim their findings could be a first step in determining the beneficial effects of strawberries across the board, including in our diets and cosmetics.
But what molecules give strawberries their photoprotective properties? Scientists suspect that it could be the anthocyanins, which are pigments that give leaves, flowers and fruits their red colour.
The results were published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.
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