Arguably one of the best things to come out of Florida is its thirst-quenching orange juice. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning with a scratchy throat and gulping down a cold glass of OJ packed with vitamin C to get your day going.
But a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that orange juice may increase your risk of skin cancer. Raw grapefruit also ups a person’s chance of developing deadly melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Surprisingly, oranges in non-juice form and grapefruit in juice form weren’t found to raise skin cancer risk.
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Although the research is terribly frightening for those of us who drink orange juice on a daily basis, researchers are telling the public that it’s too soon to say if these results are actually conclusive or not. Because of this, they don’t recommend cutting down on the fruits just yet.
That still leaves a good question unanswered: How exactly does this citrus raise our skin cancer risks? Researchers believe orange juice and grapefruits contain “furocoumarins, which make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, and psoralen. Both interact with ultraviolet light to cause melanoma cells to multiply.”
To solve this issue one researcher suggests having a varied diet—not too much, or too little, of any one food or drink.
And Shaowei Wu, a researcher at Brown University said that, “At this time, we don’t advise that people cut back on citrus, but those who consume a lot of grapefruit and/or orange juice should be particularly careful to avoid prolonged sun exposure.”
That means being vigilant with your sunscreen at ALL times. But hey, at least we don’t have to give up our precious OJ.