Ultraviolet Radiation Treatment seems to be the worst medical term among ordinary individuals as it presupposes the use of Radiation―a cancer-causing agent. Contrary to popular belief, the Ultraviolet Radiation Treatment has been used in the health care field for several years and has yielded positive results to thousands of individuals suffering from cancers, atomic dermatitis and other skin conditions. One of the components of the components of modern Ultraviolet Radiation Treatment is the furocoumarin drug Psoralen. Although the drug is used in very high doses for purposes of killing cancer cells among patients in need of radiation therapy, relatively low doses of Psoralen are shown to improve overall quality of life through its wide range of health benefits.
What is Psoralen?
Psoralen, a furocoumarin, is among the most common compounds isolated from different plant groups. The compound is a popular parent molecule to which several subcomponents are derived and formulated. Although different from coumarins, some experts say that furocoumarins like Psoralen provide similar health benefits as that of the former with the exception that Psoralen works through ultraviolet patterns. After establishing safe doses of Psoralen among normal adults, health supplement companies have included the compound in their formulations along with several other elements with the aim to help prevent cancer progression.
Health benefits associated with Psoralen use
In a study conducted to determine Psoralen efficiency, it was found that the compound may be effective against several conditions but it losses it efficiency following exposure to sunlight. This is the reason why health supplements containing Psoralen must be kept away from the sun.
Some of the proven health effects of using Psoralen include the following:
- It may induce cell apoptosis
Cell apoptosis inducement is the primary mechanism on how Psoralen controls cancer cell growth. Since cancer is characterized by abnormal growth of mature or immature cells, it can mostly be treated by simply inducing cell death or apoptosis. Experts say that Psoralen induces apoptosis by interfering with the cancer cells’ DNA and causing formation of covalent interstrand cross-links or ICL’s which chokes strands and cause cell death. For purposes of health supplement formulations, however, this benefit may not be readily observable as Psoralen is usually included in low doses.
- It may enhance skin health
Through patterns not fully understood, Psoralen is believed to enhance skin health by improving moisture levels, enhancing new skin cell resurfacing and preventing breakage. Most health supplements manufacturers include Psoralen for this very purpose as it is already proven by several studies.
- It may treat alopecia
Alopecia or physiologic baldness is commonly treated with Psoralen in the health care fields. Supplementing Psoralen through food sources and health supplements may help prevent hair loss and even increase hair volume especially among patients genetically at risk for developing alopecia or hair fall.
Psoralen is a simple supplement with massive health effects. It must be used with caution, however, among individuals who are pregnant or lactating.