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Sun Protection in a Pill

Aug 16, 2008
It is now well established that skin cancers are associated with excess exposure to the sun. While there are more than likely other factors it still makes sense to observe sensible precautions when exposed to the sun. Simply put a sun burn is a sure sign of sun damage and is best avoided.

Research related to Vitamin D demonstrates that avoiding the sun at all costs may not be beneficial. A recent study at John Hopkins University comparing low levels of Vitamin D to normal levels showed a 26% increase in likelihood of death. Moderate exposure to the sun helps promote healthy levels of Vitamin D.

An extract from the fern plant, Polypodium leucotomos has the ability to help us manage beneficial time in the sun with reduced risk of sun damage.

Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) contains a potent antioxidant that protects against sun damage. Now available as the dietary supplement, Heliocare, PLE has been extensively studied and proven to protect against cellular damage from over exposure to the sun.

The Polypodium leucotomos plant has been used traditionally in Central and South America as a folk remedy for skin conditions, respiratory problems and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's.

More recently interest in Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) grew out of a desire to find substances that limited the damage caused by ultraviolet light on skin. Sun induced damage to cellular DNA is responsible for accelerating the ageing process and contributing to various skin cancers.

Studies reveal that the antioxidants in PLE work against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation to decrease sunburn response.

Due to PLE having an important antioxidant effect the body has an increased tolerance to sun exposure. Immunity cells within the skin are also protected and there is a reduction in skin changes after chronic exposure to the sun.

PLE also helps maintain the elasticity of the skin which prevents the sagging effect of ageing. Epidermal cells are also protected and skin cell DNA changes are greatly reduced. This sort of protection is particularly important for those that are photosensitive or with fair skin.

As a result PLE offers significant antioxidant properties to care for the skin; such as tolerance to the sun, cell protection in the epidermis, skin cell DNA protection and also helps to maintain the skin's elasticity.

After more than 20 years of use of Heliocare in Europe there have been no reported side effects. Insufficient studies have been conducted to establish a safety profile during pregnancy. Heliocare is therefore not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Currently new research into PLE is being undertaken with special regard to psoriasis, eczema, multiple sclerosis and vitiligo. Although the benefits of Heliocare are well established with regard to sun exposure it is hoped that new advantages will be revealed with further study.

It is now well established that ultraviolet light alters cellular DNA and causes damage associated with ageing such as loss of elasticity and wrinkling. PLE is not a sunscreen and should not be confused as such.

Using a PLE product is not a substitute for common sense and it is recommended that sensible precautions be taken while exposed to the sun. In other words continue to wear a sunhat and a sunscreen outdoors. A combination of sunscreens and Heliocare is a wise approach to help prevent the ageing process caused by sun exposure.
About the Author
Bruce Wilson is a qualified New Zealand pharmacist and owner of Strand Arcade Pharmacy.

Bruce invites you to read more about Heliocare and other health and beauty products from New Zealand at www.StrandArcadePharmacy.co.nz
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