Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scientists Say Pill Will Fight Effects of Ageing; Experts Make Breakthrough

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scientists Say Pill Will Fight Effects of Ageing; Experts Make Breakthrough

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

APIONEERING pill to help fight the damaging effects of the sun's rays could be developed thanks to research by North East scientists.

For the last two years, professors at Newcastle University have investigated how ultra violet (UV) rays harm the skin and cause wrinkles.

During their research they discovered that antioxidants found in vegetables, fruits, red wine and green tea had strong healing properties that allow the body to repair itself by blocking a chain reaction that leads to damaged cells.

That means key antioxidants could be used to make a pill that would work in conjunction with sun protection creams, giving greater defence against harmful solar rays which can lead to life-threatening skin cancers and ageing.

The pill could also prevent premature wrinkles caused by overexposure to the sun.

Mark Birch-Machin, professor of molecular dermatology at Newcastle University, said a antioxidant super pill may be available in as little as five years and could be taken as a daily supplement.

He said: "The antioxidant pill would be used in addition to the greater protection provided by sun cream and therefore would not be a substitute or replacement to any form of sun screen protection.

"It is about taking care of both the outside and the inside of the body.

"UV rays are known to badly damage the skin and sun screen reflects back or absorbs the sun's rays, whereas the antioxidant pill would protect against sunburn as the antioxidants would enable the body to repair damaged cells and help protect against skin cancer and wrinkles.

"The pill would be about giving people additional protection against harmful solar rays and would not be used as the only form of defence."

Later this year Prof Birch-Machin and his team will publish a table which shows the top 25 antioxidants with the most beneficial effects. …

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