The impact of oral Polypodium leucotomos extract on ultraviolet B response: A human clinical study

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Jul;77(1):33-41.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.01.044. Epub 2017 Mar 22.


Background: There is a rationale for adding systemic photoprotective agents to the current photoprotection regimen.

Objective: This study was designed to objectively evaluate the molecular and photobiologic effects of oral administration of Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE).

Methods: In all, 22 subjects with Fitzpatrick skin phototype I to III were enrolled. On day 1, subjects were irradiated with visible light, ultraviolet (UV) A1, and UVB (using 308-nm excimer laser). Evaluation was done immediately and 24 hours after irradiation. On days 3 and 4, irradiation and evaluation process was repeated after ingestion of PLE.

Results: Clinical assessments and colorimetry data showed a decrease in UVB-induced changes in 17 of 22 subjects post-PLE administration; histology findings demonstrated such a decrease in all 22 subjects.

Limitations: Only 2 doses of PLE were given. Furthermore, subjects with skin phototypes I to III only were studied.

Conclusion: The results suggest that PLE can potentially be used as an adjunctive agent to lessen the negative photobiologic effects of UVB.

Keywords: Polypodium leucotomos extract; colorimetry; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers; excimer laser; minimal erythema dose; sunburn cells; ultraviolet.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polypodium*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Plant Extracts