Carotenoids and flavonoids contribute to nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight

Mol Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;37(1):26-30. doi: 10.1007/s12033-007-0051-z.


The concept of photoprotection by dietary means is gaining momentum. Plant constituents such as carotenoids and flavonoids are involved in protection against excess light in plants and contribute to the prevention of UV damage in humans. As micronutrients, they are ingested with the diet and are distributed into light-exposed tissues, such as skin or the eye where they provide systemic photoprotection. beta-Carotene and lycopene prevent UV-induced erythema formation. Likewise, dietary flavanols exhibit photoprotection. After about 10-12 weeks of dietary intervention, a decrease in the sensitivity toward UV-induced erythema was observed in volunteers. Dietary micronutrients may contribute to life-long protection against harmful UV radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Diet
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Erythema / prevention & control
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Sunlight / adverse effects
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Flavonoids
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Carotenoids