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Anti-aging Medicine: an anti-aging Approach to Skin Cancer Prevention.

The overall incidence of skin cancer has been on the rise--increasing nearly eightfold during a 39-year period, among middle-aged men and women. Jerry Brewer and colleagues from Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, US) completed a population-based study using records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, selecting participants aged 40 to 60 years old with a first lifetime diagnosis of melanoma between January 1, 1970, and December 31, 2009. The researchers found that among white, non-Hispanic adults, the incidence of skin cancer increased 4.5-fold among men and 24-fold among women. In particular, women under age 50 showed a marked increase in melanoma. While the overall chances of surviving melanoma increased by 7% each year of the study, the researchers found that the steepest increase in melanoma occurred in the last decade covered by the study, 2000 to 2009. The uptick, researchers speculate, may be connected to the popularization of tanning beds in the 1980s and 1990s. The study authors conclude: "The incidence of cutaneous melanoma among middle-aged adults increased over the past 4 decades, especially in

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Following on from animal studies which suggest that omega-3 fatty acids exert a protective effect against photoimmunosuppression and skin cancer, Lesley Rhodes and colleagues from the University of Manchester (UK) enrolled 79 men and women, aged 22 to 60 years, to consume either a supplement containing 5 g of omega-3 fatty acids (70% eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and 10% docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]), or a control pill, daily for 3 months. The subjects were then exposed to the equivalent of 8, 1 5, or 30 minutes of summer midday sun using a light machine that emitted solar-simulated radiation. The team observed that immunosuppression was 50% lower in subjects who took the omega-3 supplement and were exposed to 8 or 15 minutes of simulated sunlight, as compared with people who did not take the supplement. The study authors conclude: "Oral [omega-3 fatty acids] appear to abrogate photoimmunosuppression in human skin, providing additional support for their chemopreventive role."

Green Tea

Green tea contains between 30010 and 40% of water-extractable polyphenols and is particularly abundant in catechins, most notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), for which some studies suggest a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health and weight management. Lesley E. Rhodes and colleagues from the University of Manchester (UK) enrolled 14 healthy men and women, average age 42.5 years, with fair skin, and gave them low-dose green tea catechin supplements at a daily dose of 540 mg in combination with a vitamin C dose of 50 mg, for 12 weeks. The effects of the supplements were quantified by exposures to UV light before and after supplementation. Results showed that levels of metabolites of green tea catechins increase in skin fluid after supplementation, and erythema (skin redness) levels were reduced after the 12-week supplementation period. The team also observed that whereas UV exposure increased key markers of inflammation, green tea supplementation reduced that effect. The study authors submit that the data suggests that green tea exerts: "protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage."

Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, is known to have anticancer properties; however, scientists had thought that it was metabolized so quickly by the body that it would be ineffective in clinical trials. Nevertheless, researchers at the University of Leicester's Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

Sunscreen

Perhaps the single most basic intervention for skin cancer is to wear sunscreen. It confers two important benefits:

1. Sunscreen not only protects against the damage that can lead to skin cancer, but it shields p53, a gene that works to prevent cancer. While it is generally accepted that sunscreen helps to minimize burning, whether it helps prevent skin cancers has been the subject of some debate. Elke Hacker and colleagues from the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) have elucidated the molecular mechanism of sunscreen. The team confirmed previous findings that sunscreen protects against all three forms of skin cancer.

2. The daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen slows, and may even prevent, sags and wrinkles--the hallmarks of aging skin. Maria Celia B. Hughes from the University of Queensland (Australia) and colleagues asked 903 Australian men and women, aged 55 years and younger, to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, and/ or to consume a dietary supplement of beta-carotene (30 mg) daily. Subjects were followed for a 4-year period, with dermatological assessments conducted to analyze changes in skin appearance. The researchers found that the daily sunscreen group exhibited no detectable increases the aging at the end of the study term. Further, the subjects who used sunscreen daily showed 24% less skin aging, as compared with those who used sunscreen periodically. No effect was seen for beta-carotene supplementation.

To stay updated on the latest breakthroughs in natural approaches to protect yourself and your loved ones against skin cancer, visit the World Health Network (www. worldhealth.net), the official educational website of the A4M and your one-stop resource for authoritative anti-aging information. Be sure to sign up for the free Longevity Magazine e-journal, your weekly health newsletter featuring wellness, prevention, and biotech advancements in longevity. *

Lowe GC, Saavedra A, Reed KB, et al. Increasing incidence of melanoma among middle-aged adults: an epidemiologic study in Olmsted county, Minnesota. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Jan;89(1):52-59.

What is skin cancer? [Web page]. US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. www.cdc.govicancer/skin/basic_info/what-is-skin-cancer.htm. Accessed 6 May 2014.

Pilkington SM, Massey KA, Bennett SP, et al. Randomized controlled trial of oral omega-3 PUFA in solar-simulated radiation-induced suppression of human cutaneous Immune responses. Am Clin Nutr. March 2013;97:646652.

Rhodes LE, Darby G, Massey KA, et al. Oral green tea catechin metabolites are incorporated into human skin and protect against UV radiation-induced cutaneous inflammation in association with reduced production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. Br I Nutr. 28 January 2013.

Narayanapillai S, Agarwal C, Tilley C, Agarwal R. Silibinin is a potent sensitizer of UVA radiation-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. Photochem Photobiol. September/October 2012;88(5): I 1 35-1 1 40.

Hacker E, Boyce Z, Kimlin MG, et al. The effect of MC1R variants and sunscreen on the response of human melanocytes in vivo to ultraviolet radiation and implications for melanoma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2013 Aug 21.

Hughes MCB, Williams GM, Baker P, Green AC. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. June 4, 2013;58(1 1).

by Ronald Klatz, MD, DO, and Robert Goldman, MD, PhD, DO, FAASP

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Publication:Townsend Letter
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Date:Aug 1, 2014
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