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Sunburn: Instead of applying cream - can dietary supplements also protect with beta-carotene?

Sunburn: Instead of applying cream - can dietary supplements also protect with beta-carotene?


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Protection from sunburn - does dietary supplementation with beta-carotene also help?

To protect yourself from sunburn, it is important to apply sufficient sunscreen. But many dietary supplements with beta-carotene also advertise protection against harmful UV rays. Can you use capsules for sun protection instead of creaming?

Protect well against sunburn

It is a pleasure to soak up the sun again and again in the warm months, but if you do this too long, you risk getting a sunburn. This increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Every sunburn is added to your own skin account, dermatologists warn. To protect yourself, it is important to apply sufficient sunscreen. Some people think that instead of applying cream, you can protect yourself from harmful UV rays with beta-carotene capsules. But is that really true?

Avoid skin cancer

According to health experts, too much UV light and hereditary predispositions are the main causes of skin cancer.

Therefore, you should protect yourself from the sun from an early age to reduce the risk of illness.

When it comes to sun protection, it depends on the skin type. The lighter the skin, the more protection is required.

In addition, one should use the UV index as a guide, which can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

Beta carotene, a phytochemical that is converted to vitamin A in the body, is also said to protect against UV rays, according to advertising promises. Consumer advocates explain what's behind these claims.

High levels of beta-carotene can have side effects

Numerous beta carotene supplements advertise protection against harmful UV rays.

"But it has not been scientifically proven that beta-carotene offers effective protection against harmful UV rays," explains Sonja Pannenbecker, consultant for food and nutrition from the Bremen Consumer Center in a statement.

"Capsules can in no way replace creaming with a sunscreen with a suitable sun protection factor," says the expert.

According to the consumer advice center, there was only a small positive effect with a greatly increased intake. However, it should be noted that such large amounts can also have side effects.

"Studies show that smokers experience an increase in the lung cancer rate and increased risks associated with existing cardiovascular problems in connection with the intake of beta-carotene," explains Pannenbecker.

So far, it has not been sufficiently researched whether the increased supply of beta-carotene also poses a risk to non-smokers or other possible risk groups, such as people with asthma.

Additional intake via food supplements is not recommended

Beta carotene is already added to many foods. The secondary plant substance is used as a dye or for enrichment with vitamin A, for example in drinks, confectionery, dairy products and cereals.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) therefore advises against additional intake in the form of food supplements: the recommended intake is considered to be safe for everyone.

The Bremen consumer advice center concludes: The supply of beta-carotene is also well secured through the intake of carrots, spinach or apricots.

But applying sunscreen before going outside doesn't replace these foods. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

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  • Protection from sunburn - capsules instead of creaming?


Video: Skin School with Dr. Barbara Sturm (June 2022).