Citrus consumption linked to skin cancer

Oranges and grapefruits may increase risk of melanoma, doctors say

Citrus Consumption Linked to Melanoma
Citrus foods are good for us, we are told. They are a rich in vitamin C and a glass (150ml) of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, which in turn can protect against a range of chronic diseases.

But now research has said that drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a fresh grapefruit for breakfast may increase the risk of skin cancer.

Doctors found a link between certain forms of citrus fruits and melanoma, the most deadly form of the disease, reports the Daily Mail.

Researchers at Brown University in the US followed the dietary habits of more than 100,000 people and found that consuming a glass of orange juice at least once a day increased the risk by 25 per cent.

And those who ate whole grapefruit at least three times a week had a 41 per cent higher melanoma risk, versus those who never ate it.

On the other hand, there was no connection between melanoma risk and either whole oranges or grapefruit juice.

Not a direct cause of skin cancer

The researchers were quick to stress they did not prove citrus fruits cause skin cancer, they simply observed a link.

But it is possible that certain compounds in citrus foods could cause melanoma, said the researchers. Citrus fruits contain psoralens and furocoumarins – 'photoactive' chemicals that make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

But don't stop drinking your OJ just yet, just be careful with your sun exposure, say doctors.

The NHS said: "By taking a number of commonsense sun-safe precautions, you can have the best of both worlds - enjoying citrus fruit while not significantly raising your skin cancer risk.

"These findings should be taken with caution as they are unable to prove citrus consumption is the cause of melanoma. Fruit intake is known to have beneficial effects on the prevention of chronic diseases. Further investigation is required to confirm this risk."