Does beta carotene help against sunburn?

24 May 2009

Question

What about beta carotene? Can that help to stop sunburn and sun damage to the skin?

Answer

Nina - Beta carotene probably has some beneficial effect by preventing damage to collagen as opposed to protecting as a sunscreen, per se. Because beta carotene, the precursor of beta carotene (retinoic acid) does influence collagen production in the skin. Taking beta carotene could, in fact, have some beneficial effect on stimulating collagen formation. Really, you don't want to get out in the sun and get that much ultraviolet radiation so that this reaction has kicked in, in the first place. You should protect yourself from the sun except for short or moderate lengths of exposure. Don't bask in the sun.

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