A new study presented at the Annual Congress for Dermatological Research in Brest has indicated that GliSODin a superoxide dismutase supplement marketed by Paris-based IsoCell Nutra, significantly increased the levels of exposure to UV rays required to burn skin.
Researchers claim that SOD has a different mode of action to vitamins. Also known as 'the enzyme of life' when first discovered in 1968, it is the first antioxidant mobilized by the cell for defence. It is thought to be more powerful than antioxidant vitamins as it activates the body's productions of its own antioxidants, including catalase and glutathione peroxidase.
In a randomized, double-blind study at Center Hospital University in Besanšon, France, researchers induced UV skin burn on the inner-forearms of 50 healthy subjects once a week over a four-week period. The participants were also asked to consume a supplement containing either GliSODin or a placebo each day, starting just two or three days prior to the first irradiation.
Results showed that those in the supplement group were found to have a significant increase in the minimum exposure to UV rays necessary to produce skin burn and it was also seen that fair-skinned subjects (phototypes II) required eight times more exposure to produce burns than the placebo group. Another important finding observed was that once burning had occurred, the redness was seen to decrease more quickly in the GliSODin group.
Some of the other common supplements marketed for skin protection include Cyanotech's BioAstin natural astaxanthin as well as vitamin E, the most common antioxidant in sun care formulations.However a study done in 2000 has found that although oral vitamin E supplementation made a small difference to the sunburn received by 22-fair skinned men and women over a 12-week period, the results were not significant enough for them to advocate replacing topical barriers with supplements.
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