New study from European research scientists have shown a link between chemical compounds in strawberries and protection from dangerous UV rays in daylight, the same sort of light spectrum linked to sunburns and skin cancer.
The researchers speculated that the protective powers may lie in strawberries' anthocyanins (previously linked with adecreased diabetes risk), which are what make strawberries red.
"These compounds have important anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumour properties and are capable of modulating enzymatic processes," study researcher Sara Tulipani of the University of Barcelona, said in a statement. However, "we have not yet found a direct relationship between their presence and photoprotective properties."
"At the moment the results act as the basis for future studies evaluating the 'bioavailability' and 'bioactivity' of anthocyanins in the dermis and epidermis layers of the human skin, whether by adding them to formulations for external use or by ingesting the fruit itself," Tulipani added.
In the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry study, researchers added strawberry extract in different doses -- 0.05 milligrams per milliliter, 0.25 milligrams per milliliter and 0.5 milligrams per milliliter -- to skin cell cultures. They also had a control extract added to the skin cell cultures.
Then, the researchers exposed those skin cell cultures to ultraviolet light that is equivalent to 90 minutes of mid-day sun in the summertime.