Sun protection provided in a pill

In an attempt to find a new form of sun protection, researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, investigated the photoprotective properties of extracts from the tropical fern Polypodium leucotomos

The researchers carried out a literature review to analyse photoprotection by supplementation with Polypodium leucotomos (PL), including antioxidant, immunoregulatory, anti-inflammatory and antitumorigenic effects in the context of sunburn, photodermatoses, chronic skin damage, photoageing and skin cancer.
The review indicated that PL supplementation acts at a molecular and cellular level to enhance endogenous antioxidant systems and inhibit generation of reactive oxygen species, which reduces UV-mediated oxidative DNA mutations.
It was also shown to speed up the removal of UV-induced photoproducts.
PL demonstrated some protective effects against photoageing and PUVA-induced phototoxicity by reducing UV-induced inflammatory responses and inhibiting extracellular matrix remodelling. The authors concluded that PL extracts could potentially be administered systemically as a sun-protective agent and could have benefits over the use of suncream in the prevention of skin cancer.
El-Haj N, Goldstein N. Int J Dermatol 2015; 54(3): 362-6

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