A red face and shoulders caused by sunburn damages skin. But researchers have found that the damage may be reduced by the red pigments in strawberries.
A new study shows that strawberries decrease the damage caused to DNA by UVA rays. The researchers attempted to recreate the effects of the midday summer sun on skin cells. They discovered that strawberry extract increased cell survival.
“We have verified the protecting effect of strawberry extract against damage to skins cells caused by UVA rays,” says lead author Maurizio Battino, researcher at the Università Politecnica delle Marche in Italy. “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.”
Compounds in strawberries called anthocyanins, which are pigments that give leaves, flowers and fruits their red color, are believed to convey their protective effect. These compounds “… have important anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumour properties and are capable of modulating enzymatic processes,” explains researcher Sara Tulipani from the University of Barcelona. Although, she adds,”we have not yet found a direct relationship between their presence and photoprotective properties.”