Doctor's Note

Isn’t that wild? Antioxidant dynamics in the body change minute to minute; so, make sure to top yourself up:

What else can tomatoes do? Check out Inhibiting Platelet Activation with Tomato Seeds.

Other videos on skin health include:

Alcohol doesn’t just raise the risk of skin cancer. See Breast Cancer and Alcohol: How Much is Safe? But like the OJ in the screwdriver, grape skin components may help mediate the adverse effects. See: Breast Cancer Risk: Red Wine vs. White Wine.

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  • Adrien

    I’m about to take my plane. Organic Apple, dried Apple Peel and How Not To Die in my bag ! Thank you Michael. Seychelles I’m comming !!!!

    • Guest

      Give my regards to Lucy Luc at the Baie Lazare-based Atelye Pour Aprann Nouvo Artizana
      from NZ Wayne

      • Adrien

        Sorry but we did not stayed on Mahé very long, we are at La Digue for now and we move to bird island on Sunday.

  • Darryl

    Dr. Liu’s cellular antioxidant activity assay measures how compounds and food extracts inhibit reactions initiated by oxidant AAPH in a liver cancer cell line. However this may not be so relevant for UV damage to the skin, where the initial and main culprit isn’t a nucleophile, but UV generated singlet oxygen. Physical quenchers of singlet oxygen, like β-carotene, and lycopene from tomatoes (both readily bioavailable to skin), are vastly more potent against singlet oxygen than the chemical quenchers that do well on the cellular antioxidant activity assay. Lycopene, for example, quenches singlet oxygen ~1900 times better than quercetin, the top scorer in the CAA.

    • Rhombopterix

      (can kale ditch trump?)

      • Joe Caner

        Q Oh, Kale is there anything you cannot do?
        A Just one thing. I cannot ditch Trump. Your are going to go to the polling booth & ditch him yourself.

        • Rhombopterix

          Done! ;)

          • Joe Caner

            It’s a start, although, he’s not ditched yet.
            Not to mention that it is amusing to see wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth as pundits discuss the consternation that he is causing within his party…

    • Joe Caner

      Botanically speaking, tomatoes and watermelons are both berries while strawberries are not, go figure…

    • Darryl, you’re the best. What’s your take on flavonols and their anti-cancer alchemy–acting as anti-oxidants in normal cells but triggering cancer cells to commit suicide?

    • Deborah

      What if the sun damage has already been done? The dermatologist is pushing me to use a topical chemo cream to remove actinic keratoses, which may or may not become malignancies. Do I need to do this, or should I just continue the plant-based diet I’ve been eating for 9+ years? I do not smoke or drink. I cannot find an answer to this anywhere!

  • newtothis

    This seems to present more the case that alcohol is deleterious to antioxidant levels than its tie-in to the issue of skin vulnerability.

  • Richard

    Alcohol increases iron uptake dramatically, which is good for people who don’t get enough. Iron may be the cause of major ROS damage in the skin from UV damage. Phlebotomy in one study reduce heart attack rate by 88% and in another cancer death by 61%. So iron may be a battery for ROS, RNS and free radicals througout the body. Post menopausal women start getting chronic illness as much as men as a result of increased iron retention. The connection with UV damage and iron is quite high according to various studies. So much of this might be mediated by iron. Our standard diet seems to cause much more uptake of iron. The unusual thing is that there’s a lot of iron deficient obese people.

  • Doug

    thank you for providing this info. I’m a vampire due to 3 generations of melanoma. I rarely go out in the sun for extended time. I see a dermatologist 2x a year.

    • Annetha

      Might be helpful to optimize intake of pro- and pre-biotics: some
      patients with melanoma, lung and head and neck cancers respond strongly
      to a new class of immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, but
      other patients don’t respond at all. Why? Apparently, microbes in the Bifidobacterium family, B. fragilis and B. thetaiotamicron,
      stimulated the immune anti-cancer response, at least in mice.

      M Vétizou et al. 2015. Anticancer immunotherapy by CTLA-4 blockade relies on the gut microbiota. Vol 350, Issue 6264. 27 November 2015.

  • Rebecca Cody

    I’m impressed that anybody can drink three shots of vodka and still be standing. Maybe they fell down on the beach.

    • ShaneJax

      If you actually believe that you have led a sheltered life.

      • Rebecca Cody

        Oh, in some ways you’re so right! In other ways, not so much…

    • Wade Patton

      Our bodies are very dynamic in how handles various toxic and non-toxic substances. Tolerance is the usual word to describe such. A “seasoned drinker” might need two shots to get out of bed on a bad day. Someone with zero prior experience may indeed fall down after 3 full shots. Then there are a lot of folks in the between. There are no absolutes except for laws that apply absolutes such as “legally defined impairment”. We all vary somewhat and some substantially.

      I’m going to eat more berries at the beach and do more night fishing…because we ARE having a drink or seven while we’re there. Plus sunscreen and wide hats and sleeves…

      • Rebecca Cody

        My low tolerance for alcohol likely results from a genetic SNP – homozygous for MTHFR, which slows methylation, which slows detoxification through the liver. The thing is, many people , possibly even the majority of them, have this same thing and don’t know it.

        • Wade Patton

          Super. That’s not my case. Nope. Sure ain’t. And I know a lot of others with the “high-tolerance” condition. Enough that I doubt that slow detox is an issue with a majority. But then I’m no scientist or doctor.

          It’s so much easier to let them do the work (research and presentation) and sit back and armchair analyze their results. 8^p

  • Blaice

    I hate to admit it, but I have a yearly trip with some friends (13 or so) all the way back to Elementary school and/or middle/high school. Binge drinking for a day or two does unfortunately happen most of the time, and I am glad to hear this in case it is a beach or lake trip we take. The rest of the year I keep it to no drinks to a drink a night max.

  • Margaret

    I know this to be true from my own experience. I noticed when I started juicing vegetables (12 oz juice with 1 apple, few carrots, and a sundry other veges), I went from sunburning within about 30 minutes to sunburning in a few hours. I never use/need sunscreen now, unless I’ll be out for many hours in intense sun. Much better than applying chemical protection in my book.

    • Thea

      So cool to hear from someone who has experienced this first hand.

  • A theory I once heard during a seminar by Dr Robert Young (he of alkaline lifestyle/diet fame), and related to Friday’s video “Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function”, is that the more acidic a person is (not their blood of course, which almost never changes, but their extracellular fluid) due to an acidic lifestyle (mostly dietary based on consuming animal products) the more acidic their perspiration is, and so the quicker they burn in the presence of UV radiation (UVB being the main sunburn culprit).

    I don’t think there is any research on this, but given that urine pH is more acidic the more the individual consumes acidic foods and drinks (esp alcohol that has a very acidifying effect once metabolised by the body and esp at the time of drinking) one could certainly see how one’s perspiration would also be more acidic, as the body rids itself (via urination, perspiration, defecation and expiration) of the acidifying substances (rather than let them enter the blood stream and cause potentially catastrophic events should the blood pH decrease or indeed increase from ~7.2).

    It’s clear from this video and research that antioxidant levels play an important role and maybe just maybe the pH of the perspiration does to. I mean, sitting outside in the summer sun and drinking alcoholic beverages is clearly not a good idea for ones skin… despite it being an often enjoyable experience if done responsibly.

    Of course, you could always knock back a tsp of amla berry powder before/during drinking ;-)

  • vegank

    what a novel idea !
    The specific information about Berries being the best was also very helpful.
    I am assuming that my Celtic mother who has very pale skin would still need to be very careful even-though she cannot drink either(it runs in her side of the family including myself). She would still get blistered under harsh sun within 30 mins without covering up wouldn’t she?
    All the information I’ve read about UV ray & sunburn seem to suggest that the lighter one’s skin color the more at risk one is.
    How does this fit in with the consumption of antioxidant rich plant based food?
    I’m not too worried for myself though , as I have olive skin.

  • Joe Caner

    Inside out, yeah
    Berries turn me
    Bottoms up
    Not another round
    Inside out
    UV protection
    Bottom up
    Vodka brings me down

    • Rhombopterix

      ^ I’ll have what he’s having ^

  • What about red wine, which contains resveratrol?

    • Wade Patton

      This has been discussed here before. IIRC resveratrol has been “oversold” just like any other “good thing” that relates to a “bad habit”. As Pam Popper often says, “People LOVE to hear good things about their bad habits.”

      Here are five videos that discus resveratrol at some level:

  • Fleur

    Again a great vid! I have noticed this too since going vegan.
    I was wondering if there is any data on lipoma. Hope this is the right place for this question.

    My brother (who is not vegan) is suffering from this and I really want to help him. You would think this condition is similar to other tumors or to other types of cancer, is this true? And are there any video’s on this topic (I cannot find any when using the search function)?

  • Sergiu

    Is there any study regarding high vitamin C doses or other supplements which claim antioxidant effect? In my last 4 week beach holiday I did a small experiment. I took each day 6g of vitamin C and 600mg of Megahydrate. First days I got a little red but the redness always disappeared until next day and in the second half of the holiday, the skin tolerated hours during peak sun activity without any redness or “skinning” of layers. Previous holidays I always had light to more severe sunburns.

    • Sugarless

      When I stopped eating sugar in all its many forms, I noticed that my skin showed less redness, and felt less painful, after sun exposure. No doubt a low-sugar diet means less inflammation in general.

  • Larry T

    Ok so here’s the question of the day. If three shots of vodka dramatically reduces the antioxidant levels in me within 8 minutes, how long does it take to rejuvenate the antioxidant levels? If I drink the vodka in the evening then don’t go in the sun until the next day and be sure to eat a bowl full of berries for breakfast am I reasonably protected?
    My alcohol consumption has gone from daily down to once or twice a week since I started using the daily dozen app, but it’s still fun to have two or three on a Saturday night ;)

    Herbal tea has mostly replaced my Cabernet and IPA thanks to you Dr. G

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Legendado em Português / subtitled in Portuguese:

  • Yassine Ben Rejeb

    Great video, and fantastic site, thank you!

  • hngustafson

    I’ve searched and have been unable to find a good antioxidant tracker. I enjoy tracking my food intake, and tracking servings of fruits and veggies isn’t hard, but I think it would be so interesting to see how many antioxidants, in a close approximation, I’m consuming. Does anyone know of a tracking program/site that does this? Thanks!

    • Thea

      hngustafson: While I haven’t used it myself, many people on this site have used the free “chronometer” to track nutrients. I don’t know how detailed it gets into antioxidants, but you could check it out.

  • Linda N

    Too bad I cannot get near a berry!

  • Yvan Pearson

    Is there any natural remedies for rosacea ?

  • Linda Shively

    Vitiligo, the white spots on skin, apparently, is from melonin dying, but the MD does not know why. It seems like this has got to be something to do with diet. When I google stuff, I come up with all these confusing home remedies, or to use steroids. Any ideas?I’ve now gone completely vegan, and whenever I need encouragement, I just pull out another video. thanks so much!!

  • Tom

    Dr. Greger, We’ve seen examples of say eating Turmeric for colon cancer or the topical application of it for skin cancer. In relation to this video, what about the topical application of antioxidants (e.g. some mashed up fruits, berries, …) to prevent sunburn? Is there any good research data on this?