​Can Orange Juice, Grapefruit Raise Your Melanoma Risk?

​Can Orange Juice, Grapefruit Raise Your Melanoma Risk?

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  1. Is there really a link between drinking orange juice or some fresh grapefruit and melanoma risk? Well, here are some chilling findings from a study of more than 100,000 U.S. adults followed for about 25 years, which ran from the mid-1980s to 2010:


    ·         According to experts, fruits contain compounds that make skin more sensitive to the sun

    ·         Based on the study, people who ate fruits more than 1.5 times per  day on average had a 36% risk of developing melanoma, the least common but deadliest form of skin cancer

    ·         Some citrus fruits were linked to melanoma,  but grapefruit seemed to have the strongest association with this type of skin cancer

    ·         A glass of orange juice at least once a day increases the risk by 25%

    ·         Consuming either whole oranges or grape fruit juice had no connection to melanoma risk

    ·         Doctors stressed they did not prove a cause and effect, but found a link


    These findings were reported online on the 29th of June in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. However, although that study has shown that people who regularly drink orange juice or whole grape fruit had higher risk of developing melanoma as compared to people who avoid those fruits, experts were quick to point out that the findings do not prove that people who consume citrus foods, in general, had a higher risk of developing skin cancer.


    To alleviate the confusion, Dr. Abrar Qureshi, senior researcher, chair of dermatology at Brown University and a dermatologist at Rhode Island Hospital, explained that it is possible that some compounds in citrus explain this link. Citrus foods contain “photoactive” chemicals, such as psoralens and furocoumarins. These compounds are known to make the skin more sensitive to the sun if topically applied, hence making skin more susceptible to sunburn. “The citrus can’t hurt you without the excessive sun exposure.” The Qureshi explained.


    The Message Remains: Avoid Sun Exposure


    Skin cancer researcher and professor of dermatology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Marianne Berwick, wrote an editorial published along with the study. She reckons that making any diet changes based on this study is not advisable as having a wide variety of fruits and vegetable in your diet is important. She also believes that the findings should be replicated in other study groups to really prove that the citrus-melanoma link is real and reliable.


    This editorial was echoed in Dr. Gary Schwartz’s statement. According to Dr. Schwartz, a spokesperson for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), “While the findings are intriguing, it’s far too soon to recommend any broad changes to grapefruit or orange consumption.” He also suggested that until conclusive data are available, people should continuously be cautious about protecting their skin against the harmful effects of excessive exposure to the sun.



     As Dr. Qureshi agreed that the findings remain a speculation until they can be confirmed with other studies, he pointed out that people should not avoid fruits altogether, especially those that are good for their health which help to brighten dull skin. “Just be aware that there’s an association with melanoma, and perhaps be extra careful about sun protection on days you’re eating citrus fruits,” he advised. 



    Author Bio

    Kelly Everson (@kellyeverson12) is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders, female health and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest from 2011. Examiner from 2013, Epochtimes & Healthline from 2014




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