By Sara Bonadies SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – When we think of sun protection, sunscreen often comes to mind; however, a new study suggests that we may want to start thinking tomatoes. A study conducted by Ohio State University and released by Scientific Reports, is linking tomato consumption with skin cancer prevention.
The study found that when given daily doses of tomato powder, male mice developed 50 percent less skin cancer tumors when exposed to ultra-violet radiation. Jessica Cooperstone, the co-author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University, says the compounds that make up the fruit’s color may protect against ultraviolet radiation when consumed.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with excessive sun exposure listed as one of the top risk factors. For those who spend the majority of their time outdoors, their risk for skin cancer is higher.
Construction workers like Syracuse’s Zach Bulak, are continuously exposed to the sun. Bulak is adamant about wearing sunscreen to protect his skin from the damaging rays and hopes that advancements in the study will find similar preventive results in humans – but not all of his co-workers share the same thoughts when it comes to sun protection.
“I don’t do anything, no sunblock, no nothing,” said Syracuse construction worker Dana Wood when asked about how he protects his skin from the sun.
Wood isn’t concerned with sun exposure, as skin cancer doesn’t run in his family; however, not everyone is as lucky. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime.
The findings are the latest in a series of studies that link nutrition with cancer prevention.