Washington: Lower levels of an important skin antioxidant may be the reason behind males being more vulnerable to skin cancer than women, a new study has suggested.Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that male mice had lower levels of an important skin antioxidant than female mice and higher levels of certain cancer-linked inflammatory cells. The antioxidant, a protein called catalase, inhibits skin cancer by mopping up hydrogen peroxide and other DNA-damaging reactive-oxygen compounds that form during exposure to ultraviolet B light (UVB), a common source of sunburn and cancer-causing skin damage.“The findings suggest that women may have more natural antioxidant protection in the skin than men,” said study co-leaders Gregory Lesinski and Tatiana Oberyszyn. “As a result, men may be more susceptible to oxidative stress in the skin, which may raise the risk of skin cancer in men compared to women,” said Lesinski. Lesinski, Oberyszyn, Sullivan and their colleagues conducted the study using a strain of hairless mice that develops squamous cell carcinoma of the skin – the second most common skin cancer in humans – when exposed to UVB.
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