Drinking a few tablespoons of beetroots, an herb that has antioxidant properties and is often used in cosmetics, can reduce your risk of skin cancer by 20% and melanomas by 60%, according to a new study.
The study, which was published online today in the journal Nature Communications, shows that the consumption of up to 500 grams (about 4 ounces) of beet root extract daily reduced the risk of developing melanoma and cancer by 30% and skin cancer, by 40% and 25%, respectively.
The study, led by Dr. David M. Cohen of the University of Rochester Medical Center, examined the effects of the antioxidant properties of beet juice on the immune system.
The authors note that the antioxidant capacity of beet and related vegetables such as beetroot are very low compared to the compounds found in red wine.
But they found that by adding beetroot extract to a diet rich in vegetables such a spinach salad or a green tea smoothie, they could reduce the amount of antioxidants that were present in the food.
“This suggests that eating a diet with foods rich in antioxidants may have benefits in preventing the development of cancer and skin cancers, as well as in preventing skin irritation,” Dr. Cohen said in a press release.
“It also suggests that a daily intake of 50 grams of beet-derived compounds, which are rich in vitamin C, could provide a modest benefit.”
In addition to providing protection against skin cancer through vitamin C and other antioxidants, the findings suggest that this dietary regimen might also help reduce skin irritation, and help reduce the risk for developing melanomas.
“Our findings show that drinking a moderate amount of beet food could be a great strategy for preventing skin cancer or skin irritation in people who already have skin cancer,” said Dr. J.C. Cohen, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University at Buffalo and the study’s lead author.
“There’s a big gap between the antioxidant activity of beet products and their anti-inflammatory properties, so it would be nice to see if there are other compounds in beet juice that might offer similar benefits,” Dr, Cohen said.
To find out whether other antioxidants in beetroot might have similar anti-cancer and anti-irritation properties, Dr. Benjamin C. Katz, a professor of molecular and cellular medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center and the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University School of Medicine, and his colleagues tested the antioxidant compounds from other vegetables and fruit, such as broccoli, spinach, and cranberries.
Using compounds derived from these plants, they were able to find a number of compounds that are very similar to those found in the human skin, which includes compounds that have antioxidant properties.
“These compounds are a bit more reactive, so they tend to produce more inflammation, which is associated with melanoma,” Dr Katz said.
“The way we did this study was to look at compounds that we thought would be involved in skin damage from melanoma, and we found a number that are really good at fighting melanoma.
These compounds are called antioxidants.””
They do so well that we think they could potentially be helpful in treating some of the more severe forms of skin melanoma.”
Dr. Katz said that this is the first study that has shown a positive relationship between antioxidants in the diet and a reduction in the risk and symptoms of skin cancers.
“It’s exciting to see these antioxidants show some promise,” he said.
“We don’t have a lot of evidence that antioxidants have an impact on melanoma development.
But it’s also important to note that antioxidants are already known to be involved, in a way, in the body’s response to cancer.”
He also noted that the study is not meant to prove that consuming antioxidants will stop skin cancer.
“But if this research shows that they have a protective effect against skin cancers and melanosis, that would be great.”