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Drink Wine, Prevent Sunburn?

August 15th, 2011 No comments

According to a recent study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona, a compound found in grapes (and grape products) may actually help protect skin cells from harmful UV rays.  Researchers “evaluated the in vitro capacity of several antioxidant polyphenolic fractions from grape, which differ in their degree of polymerization and percentage of galloylation, to protect HaCaT human keratinocytes against UV-induced oxidative damage.”

The result?  Flavonoids in the grapes helped stop the harmful reaction that destroys skin cells triggered by exposure to sunlight.  When exposed to UV rays, the skin activates “reactive oxygen species”  which then oxidize larger molecules.  Like a chain reaction, this eventually activates enzymes that destroy skin cells.  The flavoniods in the grapes, however, reduce the amount of reactive oxygen species in skin cells exposed to the sun’s harmful rays, thus preserving the skin.  “These encouraging in vitro results support further research and should be taken into consideration into the clinical pharmacology of plant-derived polyphenolic extracts as novel agents for skin photoprotection.”  Here is yet another miraculous property of our beloved grapes!  The study can be found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

drinking wine on the sunny beach

Image courtesy of discover-eleuthera-bahamas.com