Whole Fruit Phytochemicals Combating Skin Damage and Carcinogenesis

Transl Oncol. 2020 Feb;13(2):146-156. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2019.10.014. Epub 2019 Dec 19.


Skin is arguably the largest organ of the body and is continuously subjected to intrinsic, extrinsic, and environmental stresses. Therefore, skin developed elaborate mechanisms to maintain homeostasis, including antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and DNA damage repair capabilities. However, repeated and excessive stresses can overwhelm these systems, causing serious cutaneous damages, including skin carcinogenesis. Phytonutrients present in the diet possess a myriad of health-promoting effects by protecting skin from damaging free radicals as well as by other mechanisms. Although many chemoprotective phytonutrients have been shown to be efficacious individually, a combination of multiple agents could have synergistic response in curtailing or preventing cutaneous damages. Here, we discuss the benefits of natural amalgamation of phytonutrients in select fruits against skin damage including carcinogenesis. However, a majority of these studies have been done in preclinical models. Therefore, clinical studies are needed to determine the human relevance of the available preclinical data, especially in the human population who are at higher risk for skin cancers (e.g., organ transplant patients). In addition, detailed well-structured preclinical animal studies in the models of high-risk skin carcinogenesis could also be useful toward informing the design for human trials.

Publication types

  • Review