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Broccoli Saves Our Skins?

Broccoli Saves Our Skins?

By Hayley Birch

Summer's over in the northern hemisphere.  We're beginning to turn pasty again as the days draw in; many of us in the UK remained pasty all summer.  But if you've been lucky enough to visit warmer climes, you may have got yourself a healthy looking glow.

Now being the health conscious people we are at the Null (jaffa cakes aside), we'd like to remind you that there's nothing particularly healthy about a sun tan.  It is in fact, what some might term as 'anti-healthy', or just plain unhealthy if you want to be serious about it.

And you shouldn't need us to tell you why.  Yes, it's those evil, stinking UV rays everyone keeps banging on about, infiltrating our skin's defences and penetrating deep into our cells where they wreak havoc with our DNA.

But scientists at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore think they may have stumbled upon something that will banish the after-effects of sunbathing and decrease the risk of skin cancer.  And it may be sitting in your fridge.  Yes, it's broccoli.

The team claim that applying broccoli extract directly to the skin in advance of sunbathing can reduce cell damage (measured as skin 'redness') by more than a third.  They have, however, warned sun worshippers not to replace their Nivea with handfuls of the green stuff.

Another scam to try to get us to eat our greens or is there any truth in the matter?  Given that only six
people have so far volunteered to have broccoli rubbed into their backs, it's hardly a scientific proof.  But if you've got any odd food fetishes, you might want to sign up to the trials and disprove the non-believers.

More from Hayley.

More veggie science:

- Morbid - Top ten deadly veg
- Interesting - Garlic: good for the heart, bad for the breath
- Nuts? - Vegans to save the planet
- Silly - Inorganic is inacceptable!

Image: Jean Scheijen

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12 Dec 2008
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