Dermatology Diet Skin Cancers

Foods that Decrease Skin Cancer Risk

Your diet tremendously impacts your skin. Let’s look specifically at some of the foods that can reduce skin cancer risk:

  1. Cartenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin): these are antioxidants that help prevent DNA damage. Found in leafy green such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, broccoli, romaine lettuce. Summer squash and corn, and spices such as paprika and cayenne pepper are also good sources.
  2. Nicotinamide: aka vitamin B3. This vitamin supports DNA repair in skin cells. This may be taken as a supplement, and for patients with a history of squamous cell carcinoma, 500 mg twice a day has been shown to cause a significant decrease in skin cancer incidence. For the general population, foods such as tuna, salmon, peas, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms are good sources of nicotinamide.
  3. Green Tea Polyphenols: found in green tea! These compounds stimulate DNA repair.
  4. Folic Acid: this is also a B vitamin. Folic acid provides building blocks for DNA repair and helps stabilize DNA. It is found in spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, lentils, beans, okra, liver, and edamame.

Utilize a healthy diet to help you achieve your healthiest skin!

Source: Stoddard M, Lyons AB, Moy RL. Skin Cancer Prevention: A Review of Current Oral Options Complementary to Suncreens. J Drugs Dermatol vol 17 Issue 12 Dec 2018 pp 1266-67.

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