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Mixed Carotenoids Offer Healthy Alternative for Skin Tanning

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by Rachel Adams -

High consumption of dietary carotenoids increases skin yellowness (similar to skin tanning effect) and fasting plasma carotenoid concentrations, according to a new study published in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In this study conducted by dietetic professionals in Australia, 30 women were recruited and randomized to receive seven daily servings of either high-carotenoid-containing or low-carotenoid-containing fruits or vegetables for 4 weeks, followed by a two-week washout period. Skin color was measured by spectrophotometer, blood samples were collected for plasma carotenoid analysis, self-reported fruits and vegetables intake, quality of life, height and weight measurements were obtained at the beginning and the end of the intervention.

Compare to low-carotenoid group, the high-carotenoid group demonstrated significant higher plasma carotenoids (i.e., alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein) and significant increase in skin yellowness in both sun-exposed and unexposed skin areas with no changes in skin lightness or redness. Additionally, plasma alpha carotene and beta carotene are also correlated with skin yellowness.

“According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Rather than risking oneself under direct sunlight for skin tanning, high consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables could tan one’s skin naturally, as shown in this study [i.e., increase in skin yellowness]," CheeYen Lau, nutritionist at ExcelVite, said. “In fact, carotenoids are potent antioxidants, long-term intake of carotenoid-rich fruits not only help to promote healthier and attractive skin, but also ameliorating age-related diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), supports healthy blood glucose level, increases telomere length and bone density as shown in recent cohort studies." 

Lau continued, “EVTene™ is a natural mixed carotenoid complex concentrated from oil palm fruit. It contains high concentration of α-carotene and β-carotene, which helps in skin tanning and a small amount of other carotenoids [such as γ-carotene, lycopene]."

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