Researchers believe they may have discovered the ultimate sunblock - an extract of broccoli sprouts.
The key is a chemical in the broccoli called sulforaphane, which helps boost protective enzymes in the skin that defend against UV (ultraviolet) radiation. As such, it doesn't act as a sunblock as the rays still enter the skin's cells, but it protects against the sun's damaging effects.
Leading the research is Paul Talalay at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, who has tested the cream on six volunteers. They all reported a nearly 40 per cent reduction in erythema, the reddening of the skin that is one of the early tell-tale sign of damage after we've been out in the sun. It also reduced inflammation even several days after the participants stopped applying the lotion.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2007; 298: 2731).