Israeli Tomato Extract Saving People's Skin
5 Adar Bet 5768, 12 March 08 05:00
by Gil Ronen
(IsraelNN.com) A tomato-based diet supplement produced by Israeli firm LycoRed which protects the skin against harmful UV radiation will soon be available in the U.S..
LycoRed's cosmetic pharmaceutical, Lyc-O-Mato, is already protecting European skin from the sun according to Israel21c. Marketed in Europe by Inneov, a joint venture of L'Oreal and Nestle, and by the French company Oenobiol, it is only a matter of time before the Lyc-O-Mato dietary supplement is on store shelves in the US, the company says. The best estimate is that it will take a year.
Currently, tomato oleoresin, the raw material for the supplement, is being manufactured on a dedicated production line in cooperation with Gan Shmuel Foods in Beersheva.
The company's extract works its magic on the skin to defeat anti-oxidants. It belongs to the carotenoid family, and is extracted from LycoRed's special breed of tomatoes. LycoRed has found through various studies that taken over time its extract can shield the skin from sunburn and the unstable molecules known as "free radicals" that lead to premature aging.
There is a growing amount of scientific evidence that points to the power of antioxidants found in tomatoes. In addition to sun protection, tomatoes may improve the immune system in general, and work to protect us from degenerative diseases such as cancer.
Working in harmony
The carotenoid that LycoRed has extracted is made up of several elements: lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene and tocopherols (vitamin E). These natural substances from the tomato work in harmony to protect the skin from damaging UV radiation, said Zohar Nir, LycoRed's VP of Scientific Affairs and VP of new product development.
While Lyc-O-Mato is not intended to be a sunscreen replacement, it can be a part of a person's daily regimen to help maintain their skin beauty and elasticity, he said.
Using the plant breeding wisdom of the late Prof. Raphael Frankel, a leading plant geneticist at the Volcani Center in Israel, LycoRed found it could create 200mg of a tomato's red coloring (lycopene) from a special Israeli breed of tomato, as opposed to the industry standard of that time: 80-90mg.
"It was like a world record in jumping - going from the highest known record today and jumping two meters higher," says Nir. "It wasn't easy." Today the company is still offering the richer red variety and has its IP registered.
Beauty and cosmetics companies in Europe use the LycoRed preparation in a capsule, but it could also come as a fortified food supplement or in a beverage. In Israel, LycoRed's special fortification as a nutritional supplement, already appears in dairy products - the You drink by Tara.
As an internal sunscreen, Lyc-O-Mato has been tested in a number of settings, including clinical studies done in Germany, reports Nir. The researchers used a biomarker for the reddening of the skin in response to sunlight.
After 12 weeks of oral nourishments with 10mg of lycopene they found that skin reddening - the process leading to sunburn - could be reduced by as much as 50 percent.
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