The thinning of the ozone layer leads to the increase of deadly skin cancer melanoma. To prevent this and other damage of the skin by UV radiation, modern suntan products often contain antioxidants, because antioxidants could help to increase the effectiveness of sunscreens.
That´s because the antioxidants can help prevent free radicals in the body. These free radicals, molecules which have a single unpaired electron in an outer shell, are highly reactive, which means that they can damage biological structures in the body. Antioxidants are agents which limit these damages to biological structures by passivating free radicals.
The novel peptides, which have been identified by Max Planck researchers, contain Tyrosine- and/or tryptophane and are very effective antioxidants. Besides the skin cancer protection, the petides could be used for therapy and prevention of more diseases which involve oxidative processes in the extracellular space. Such diseases are eg. artheriosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis as well as the aging of skin and joints.