The study found that supplementation with the tomato extract protected skin from UV radiation damage by decreasing sunburn, as well as reducing the depletion of Langerhans cells following exposure to UVA/UVB.
“Sunburn cell formation is indicative of photo damage to the skin, and second, depletion of Langerhans cells negatively effects the important immune protectant function of the skin,” explained Zohar Nir PhD, VP of new product development for LycoRed.
“The fact that oral supplementation with an antioxidant-rich, natural tomato extract can help protect the health and immune integrity of the skin, has significant ramifications for the way we look at skin care,” added Dr Nir.
The Israeli firm has been taking steps in the niche market of cosmeceuticals as consumers seek products which help boost their appearance.
One of the newest trends in nutritional foods is the emergence of the "beauty from within" segment, which is predicted to become a strong niche over the next few years.
Now LycoRed has filed for international patent protection. Dr Nir told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the company has applied for a Patent Cooperation Treaty, which enables it to file globally within 18 months.
The ingredient is a carotenoid composition of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, and optionally vitamin E, that protects the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation.
According to LycoRed, subjects were supplemented by either Lyc-O-Mato capsules (10mg lycopene per day), or a placebo, for ten weeks. Following exposure to UV radiation at the end of the study, it was found that subjects in the tomato extract group had a sunburn cell count six times lower than in the placebo group. There was also evidence of reduced depletion of Langerhans cells, said the company.
"The study just has been completed and it is continued with other promising combinations which are covered by the same patent," Dr Nir told this website.
NutraIngredients-USA.com has not seen the full data.
David Djerassi, a coordinator of the study and president of Intrachem Technologies, a New York based consulting company, said: “Today, we are seeing a new trend toward full body protection and beauty that encourages daily supplementation that will support beautiful skin from within as well. A daily dietary supplementation regimen that provides year-round protection and beauty to the skin, our largest organ, is the way of the future.”