August is the hottest month of the year. So it's vital you protect your skin from the damage the sun can dish out. But it's also important to get outside and spend some time in the sun. So what can you do?
A few weeks ago, I told you about fern extract's ability to protect your skin. But a new study says there's more you can do.
In this study, a research team from the University of Manchester in the UK showed how omega-3 fish oil can protect your skin. This was the first clinical trial that examined how fish oils impacted the skin immunity of humans. Not only did the fish oil boost the skin's ability to fight off sun damage from regular exposure, but it also protected against skin cancer.
The researchers in this study looked at the effect of fish oil on 79 healthy participants. They gave each of the participants four grams of fish oil each day. This, by many standards, is a large dose. Then they exposed the participants to sunlight for 8, 15, or 30 minutes of summer midday sun (they used a special light machine to standardize the dose).
The researchers then compared the supplemented group to a second group taking a placebo. The researchers found that the fish oil eliminated the sun's ability to suppress the skin's immune system (immunosuppression). When we spend too much time in the sun, it lowers our immune system and reduces our ability to fight skin cancer and infection. The researchers found that immunosuppression was 50% lower in those taking the supplement.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Lesley Rhodes said, "This study adds to the evidence that omega-3 is a potential nutrient to protect against skin cancer.... They suggest that a continuous low level of chemoprevention from taking omega-3 could reduce the risk of skin cancer over an individual's lifetime."
In light of the growing problem of skin cancer, this is definitely good news. The usual recommended dose of fish oil is around 2,000 mg (2 grams), which is what you'll find in a daily dose of Daily Omega. It won't protect you from sun damage if you spend all day in the sun. But it looks like it will allow you spend up to 30 minutes in the sun (depending on your skin type) without lowering your skin's ability to fight disease.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
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