The myth of the sunscreen pill

of which’s what the US Food along with Drug Administration found in late May, issuing warning letters to the manufacturers of four of these products. The supplements — Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare along with Sunergetic — were “putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security of which a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect by the risks of skin cancer,” according to an FDA news Discharge.
along with in June, US Sen. Chuck Schumer urged of which these pills be removed by online along with retail marketplaces, citing claims of which he said “mislead consumers along with carelessly put people’s health at risk without thinking about the long-term effects unprotected sun exposure can have on a person.”
These products tend to include antioxidants, which manufacturers claim protect against free radicals caused by exposure to solar UVA radiation. At least two of the supplements about which the FDA sent warnings contain lycopene, an antioxidant of which may reduce risk for Alzheimer’s disease along with cancer.

Because these manufacturers call their products nutritional supplements instead of drugs, they are able to sell the products at major pharmacies without FDA regulation along with oversight, according to Dr. Kenneth Linden, a professor of dermatology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine along with the co-director of its Melanoma Center. Because there has not been much research on whether these products actually work, these manufacturers are engaging in a shady practice, he said.

There’s also a reason why people might be more likely to believe these unproven claims: The majority of Americans don’t apply sunscreen with at least the recommended SPF of 15, along with applying sunscreen along with reapplying the item after the recommended two hours is actually a hassle, said Dr. David Leffell, chief of dermatologic surgery along with cutaneous oncology at the Yale School of Medicine.

“Throughout the history of humankind, people have gravitated towards unproven remedies,” Leffell said. “In different generations, things might be called snake oil; in various other generations, they’d be called fraudulent. People’s appetite to believe in something of which’s too Great to be true is actually limitless.”

In a statement, Napa Valley Bioscience, the makers of Sunsafe Rx, responded to criticism: “We don’t market Sunsafe Rx as a sunscreen along with we certainly don’t tell consumers of which they don’t need any various other protection by the sun or of which they don’t also need to use a topical sunscreen.” At the same time, though, “Skin damage by the sun has reached unprecedented levels within the US along with we need all the extra help we can get.” The website also claims of which the product gives broad-spectrum protection, defending against both UVA along with UVB radiation.

While products such as Sunsafe Rx use many ingredients of which makers claim are photoprotective, the best-researched (along with most controversial) is actually the extract of the leaf of Polypodium leuctomos, a fern native to Central along with South America.

Polypodium extract’s benefits: Fact or fiction?

Websites for these dietary supplements often include links to scientific studies on the benefits of their ingredients. Sunsafe Rx, for example, has more than 50 such references for Polypodium extract. however the jury is actually still out on its efficacy.
Dr. Iltefat Hamzavi, a dermatologist along with the director of investigative studies at Henry Ford Medical Center, co-authored a 2017 study within the Journal of the American Association of Dermatology of which showed of which when ingested in pill form, Polypodium extract had a measurable effect in lessening redness caused by UVB rays, the UV radiation of which is actually typically implicated in skin cancers along with sunburns.
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Although he called his team’s results promising, Hamzavi maintained of which the researchers tested only pills by one specific source, Ferndale Laboratories, along with of which the item is actually misleading for various other companies to use the results to bolster the credibility of their supplements. He also stressed of which the reduction in sun damage his team found was significant however does not compare to the protection of a topical sunscreen.

Linden said of which neither he nor any dermatologist he knows might recommend of which a patient use a supplement containing Polypodium extract in place of sunscreen.

“I think of which the item’s probably currently the most likely candidate for something of which is actually going to be useful, however I don’t think the item’s quite there yet as far as ready for primetime,” he said. In particular, Linden added, he might like to see more detailed studies on the extract’s ability to protect by DNA damage, not just redness.

An injectable tan

Another producer turned to a photoprotective substance closer to home, a hormone our bodies Discharge in response to UV radiation in order to stimulate melanin production. In various other words: a tan.

Clinuvel, an Australia-based company, has an injectable product on the market in Europe called Scenesse of which contains an analog of of which hormone, along with the company recently submitted an application to the FDA for its use to treat a rare disorder of which causes severe intolerance of light.

The injection is actually offered in Europe only for patients with of which rare genetic disease, however a clinical study is actually underway in Singapore on Scenesse’s effect on patients with vitiligo, a common skin condition.

Some dermatologists expressed concerns about Scenesse’s potential side effects.

“I truly do worry about unpredictable consequences of what else the item’s doing within the body,” Linden said.

Leffell said of which anything of which turns on the body’s pigmentation pathway makes him nervous, since the cells of which produce melanin are also the ones of which become cancerous in melanoma, a rare however dangerous form of skin cancer.

of which concern is actually simplistic, Clinuvel CEO Dr. Philippe Wolgen said, since darker pigmentation can be a symptom of melanoma along with not its underlying cause.

Wolgen said the company hopes to make a topical product for wider consumption; in his opinion, a pill or a drink might be unnecessary along with dangerous due to the risk of an overdose. Additionally, the item will be another six to 12 months before the FDA finishes reviewing Scenesse for limited use.

within the meantime, though, Leffell recommends treating sun protective supplements with the same skepticism as hair-growth formula or male enhancement pills.

“Let’s put the item of which way: If any of those things worked, they wouldn’t have to spend as much on advertisement.”

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