High Carotenoids Linked to Natural Skin Tanning

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26 May 2016 --- A new study has revealed that high consumption of dietary carotenoids increases skin yellowness (similar to skin tanning effect) and fasting plasma carotenoid concentrations.

Carotenoids are antioxidants that give vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes their bright color. After being digested these carotenoids appear in the skin and can give it a healthier glow.


"There have been some studies done in Scotland on this but particularly in young women they have a poor fruit and vegetable consumption," lead author Dr Kris B Pezdirc said.


For this study, 30 women aged 18-30 years were recruited by dietetic professionals in Australia and randomized to receive 7 daily servings of either high-carotenoid-containing or low-carotenoid containing fruits or vegetables for 4 weeks, followed by 2-week washout period.


Skin color was measured by spectrophotometer, blood samples were collected for plasma carotenoid analysis, self-reported fruits and vegetables intake, quality of life, height and weight measurements were obtained at the beginning and at the end of the intervention.


The findings from Pezdirc and University of Newcastle colleagues are published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Compared to the low-carotenoid group, the high-carotenoid group demonstrated significantly higher plasma carotenoids (i.e.: alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein), as well as a significant increase in skin yellowness in both sun-exposed and unexposed skin areas with no changes in skin lightness or redness. Additionally, plasma alpha carotene and beta carotene were also correlated with skin yellowness.


“According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Rather than risking oneself under direct sunlight for skin tanning, high consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables could tan one’s skin naturally, as shown in this study (i.e.: increase in skin yellowness). In fact, carotenoids are potent antioxidants, long term intake of carotenoid-rich fruits not only help to promote healthier and attractive skin, but also ameliorating age-related diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), supports healthy blood glucose level, increases telomere length and bone density as shown in recent cohort studies,” said CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist at ExcelVite. 


“EVTene is a natural mixed carotenoid complex concentrated from oil palm fruit. It contains high concentration of α-carotene and β-carotene, which helps in skin tanning and a small amount of other carotenoids (such as γ-carotene, lycopene). EVTene is also the only true natural mixed carotenoid complex with the highest level of alpha-carotene in the market. As summer is coming, formulators or manufacturers can formulate EVTene into a skin beauty inside out formula – as a natural skin tanning product, which could also help to protect the skin from UV damages and sun-burn,” added Lau.


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