A potential link between citrus fruits and melanoma?
It is very important to know that a single observational study can or may not reflect the whole of the United States, thus it should be interpreted with caution, wise words said by senior author Dr. Abrar Qureshi of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.
Two studies ran simultaneously from the 1980’s to 2010, The ‘Nurses Health Study’ consisting of more than 63,000 women and the ‘Health Professions Follow-Up Study’ with 41,000 men participating. Researchers collected data from them every two to four years and the men and women reported health events like melanoma diagnosis.
The participants of they study were asked question about their total citrus consumption including, grapefruit, oranges, grapefruit juice or orange juice. Their answers established their overall citrus consumption.
After 20 years of gathering data 1,840 cases of melanoma of the skin were found and it was concluded that he people who consumed citrus 2 o 3 times week had a 10% higher chance of getting diagnosed with melanoma than those ate citrus less than twice a week.
The relationship was found between citrus and melanoma, as the risk increased to 36% for those who consumed it more than 1and half times in a single day.
The most favorite for dieters and health addicts, the grapefruit, seemed to have the strongest link with melanoma.
Taking all factors into consideration, such as percentage of sun exposure and geographical locations of the participants, the link between citrus fruits and skin cancer was found to be still high.
Furocoumarins is a photoactive compound which make the skin more sensitive to the sun and it is found in fresh citrus fruits, this is the element that once consumed can mean that sun exposure will damage the skin cells.
However after establishing this relationship between citrus and skin cancer, Dr. Qureshi said that he is not urging people to change their fruit habits as they have many benefits also, but heasked people who consume a lot of citrus to limit their sun exposure and take extra precautions when outside.
Symptoms of skin cancer include any changes of the skin (especially size or color of mole or a new growth), bleeding in any area of the skin, a sore that is not healing, spreading of pigmentation or any itchiness or pain.
Immediately seek consultation with your doctor or health care provider if any of these signs are noticed.
It is important to use prevention measures against skin cancers such as sunscreen, cover up with clothing, wear a hat, sunglasses, seek shade and even protect skin on cloudy days.