Grapefruit shockingly linked with higher risk of skin cancers, Melanoma

A new research finds a potential link between high citrus levels and malignant melanoma – and this applies to both men and women. Confusingly, earlier studies have connected eating the peel of citrus to a less risk for SCC (Squamous cell carcinoma). It seems our diet has to undergo change with the publication of every new research? And there was a time I used to force feed myself grapefruit every morning because it was said to promote fat metabolism and help you lose weight!

The conclusion was drawn from an observational study that did represent the whole U.S population and hence, according to senior author Dr. Abrar Qureshi of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, it is better to be careful about this study. He worked on the study with the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Skin cancers – invasive melanoma among them – are more alarming for people in Israel, as it has been increasing there according to a data from 2010. That year, 207 Israelis died of various melanomas.

The study published in 2000 found that a chemical found in citrus peel called ‘limonene’ reduced the risk of SCC. Eating the fruit or drinking the juice had no such miraculous affect, however consumption of the peel did show a significant drop in the risk.

However, mind boggling as it may appear to be, there is a chemical reasoning behind the potential increase in melanoma risk. Fresh citrus contains furocoumarins, a family of photoactive compounds that can make an individual more sun-sensitive, and make sun exposure more damaging to skin cells, Qureshi told Reuters Health by email.

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