Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scientists test Spartan Diet foods as sunscreen

Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio are experiementing with extracts from Spartan Diet foods that, when applied to the skin, may prevent skin cancer.

The researchers have found that combinations that include resveratrol, found in red grapes; ellagic acid, present in berries and walnuts; and calcium D-glucarate, found in a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables have already proved effective in protecting against skin cancer, even in low quantities. Interestingly, these ingredients worked far better in combination than when each was tested by itself.

The ongoing research supports previous experiements that found that right foods (all major Spartan Diet foods) can prevent skin cancer and sun damage to the skin.

It also supports research conducted in Japan that found extra virgin olive oil applied to the skin after sun exposure greatly reduced skin damage and skin cancer.

Interestingly, some 2,600 years ago, the Spartans started the "fad" in Ancient Greece of applying olive oil to their skin after competing in the Olympic Games and other athletic competitions (which always took place in the blazing Greek sunshine). The Spartans were just doing something they did every day -- after training and excercising all day in the sun, the Spartans routinely applied olive oil to their skin.

Scientists are just now starting to understand how a diet like that of the Ancient Spartans, and also how applying antioxidant rich food to to the skin, prevent skin cancer.

It's worth noting that even though Spartan men and women spent enormous time in the sun every day, and altough they mostly lived well into their 80s and older, they didn't seem to get skin cancer.

Food for thought.