According to a new study, eating grapes can protect the skin against sunburn and ultraviolet (UV) skin damage. Natural components called polyphenols that are found in grapes are responsible for these beneficial effects.
The results published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that study participants displayed increased resistance to sunburn and a reduction in markers of UV damage at the cellular level.
Polyphenols present in grapes are said to provide benefits to the skin against the UV rays. Polyphenols are micronutrients that are obtained from certain plant-based foods. These micronutrients are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It's thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
Lead researcher Craig Elmets from the University of Alabama, Birmingham in the US said, "Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products.”
The study examined the impact of consuming whole grape powder equivalent to 2.25 cups of grapes per day for 14 days against photodamage from UV light. The skin response of the participants to UV radiations was estimated before and after consuming grapes for two weeks by determining the inception dose of UV radiation that induced visible reddening after 24 hours -- the Minimal Erythema Dose (MED). The results showed that eating grapes protected the skin, as to cause damage more UV exposure was needed, with MED increasing on average by 74.8 per cent.
Skin biopsies analysis showed that the grape intake was linked to reduced DNA damage, fewer deaths of skin cells, and a reduction in inflammatory markers that if left unchecked. All these ailments together can lead to skin functioning damage and potentially lead to skin cancer.
"We saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption and we were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs -- through the repair of DNA damage and downregulation of proinflammatory pathways," said Elmets.
Skin cancer cases. Most of them are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the Sun about 90 per cent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 86 per cent of melanomas, respectively. Additionally, an estimated 90 per cent of skin ageing is caused by the sun.