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UV skin damage, aging is from DNA and immune damage; antioxidants may help

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UV skin damage, aging, cancer is from DNA and immune damage; antioxidants may help protect against them.

According to a study from Japan, "Solar radiation induces acute and chronic reactions in human and animal skin. Chronic repeated exposures are the primary cause of benign and malignant skin tumors, including malignant melanoma. Among types of solar radiation, ultraviolet B (290-320 nm) radiation is highly mutagenic and carcinogenic in animal experiments, as compared to ultraviolet A (320-400 nm) radiation.

"Epidemiological studies suggest that solar UV radiation is responsible for skin tumor development via gene mutations and immunosuppression, and possibly for photoaging. In this review, recent understanding of DNA damage caused by direct UV radiation and by indirect stress via reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA repair mechanisms, particularly nucleotide excision repair of human cells, are discussed. In addition, mutations induced by solar UV radiation in p53, ras, and patched genes of non-melanoma skin cancer cells, and the role of ROS as both a promoter in UV-carcinogenesis and an inducer of UV-apoptosis, are described; based primarily on the findings reported during the last decade. Furthermore, the effect of UV on immunological reaction in the skin is discussed," wrote M. Ichihashi and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: "Finally, possible prevention of UV-induced skin cancer by feeding or topical use of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, vitamin C, and vitamin E, is discussed."

Ichihashi and coauthors published their study in Toxicology (UV-induced skin damage. Toxicology, 2003;189(1-2):21-39).

For more information, contact M. Ichihashi, Kobe University, Faculty Med, Dept Clinical Molecular Med Translat Med, Div Dermatology, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chuo Ku, 7-5-1 Kusunki Cho, Kobe, Hyogo 6500017, Japan.

Publisher contact information for the journal Toxicology is: Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd., Customer Relations Manager, Bay 15, Shannon Industrial Estate CO, Clare, Ireland.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Dermatology, Oncology, Immunology, Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports.

© Copyright 2003, Biotech Week (via Life Extension).

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