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Can A Pill Protect You From Sunburn?

Sunscreens are the LAST thing you want to put on your body to "protect" your body from the sun, as they are toxic chemicals that can cause problems in your system and increase your risk of disease. Nevertheless, a new study about an extract from a fern plant in Central America that protects the skin from UV damage leading to skin cancer intrigues me.

Scientists studied the use of the fern extract, polypodium leucotomos, known for its antioxidative properties and anti-tumor activity. Nine patients were exposed to varying doses of UV radiation from a lamp on their backs, doubling or tripling the time needed to produce minimal reddening. Small skin biopsies were taken before and after patients took a polypodium leucotomos pill.

After the pill was taken, reseachers discovered exposed patches of skin showed significantly less reddening and fewer sunburn cells and signs of fewer UV-induced compounds associated with skin cancer development.

Yahoo News January 10, 2005

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology December 2004 Volume 51, Number 6

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