tomatoes-sunburn.jpg According to new research conducted at Manchester and Newcastle universities, the consumption of 5 tomatoes daily may prevent sunburn and premature aging. According to research reports, the protection offered by tomatoes was as good as the application of factor 1.3 sunscreen. The results of the study have been presented to the British Society for Investigative Dermatology in Oxford.

Highlights of the research
a. This research was conducted on 20 people over a period of 12 weeks.
b. 10 volunteers were given 5 tablespoons (55g) of standard tomato paste, which is equivalent to 5 or 6 cooked tomatoes, with 10g of olive oil.
c. The other 10 received only olive oil and no tomatoes.
d. All 20 people were exposed to ultraviolet light at the beginning and the end of the trial.
e. It was seen that those who had eaten the paste had 33 per cent more protection against sunburn.
f. Researchers concluded that this was due to the presence of the antioxidant called lycopene in tomatoes.
g. Lycopene has the ability to neutralize harmful molecules produced in skin exposed to the sun's ultra-violet rays.
h. It was found that the increased levels of lycopene reduced damage to mitochondrial DNA in the skin, which is linked to ageing skin.
i. It was also that tomatoes boosted the skin's procollagen levels, a molecule which gives skin its structure.