IE New Service—When you think of red in summer, images of juicy strawberries, sweet raspberries and painful sunburn are probably what come to mind. There’s now evidence that those berries and other foods actually may help with the prevention of skin damage that results from that burn.
That’s because both berries, along with pecans, walnuts and cranberries, contain ellagic acid, a natural antioxidant. A study conducted by researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea and presented at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting in New Orleans found that a topical application of ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammation in human skin cells as well as in the skin of hairless mice that had been exposed to UV-B rays. Apparently, the ellagic acid protected against UV damage by blocking production of the enzymes that break down collagen in damaged skin cells. It also inhibited another molecule that’s involved in swelling. Since inflammation of the skin and lack of collagen are two major contributors to wrinkles, the study offered hope that ellagic acid could smooth the way for sun worshippers everywhere. So next time you hit the pool, pack some sweet snacks along with your suntan lotion; your skin will thank you for it.