A recent study from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council concludes that a compound found in grapes or grape derivatives may actually protect skin cells from skin-damaging ultraviolet radiation.
Wine has previously been found to ward off prostate cancer, prevent cavities, and fight Alzheimer's, but protecting skin cells is new.
The report, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, finds that the flavonoids found in grapes work to stop the chemical reaction that kills skin cells and causes sun damage.
The scientists explained that 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.
Flavonoids, found in grapes undermine the formation of the ROS in skin cells that are exposed to UVB and UVA rays.
- When UV rays find your skin, they activate "reactive oxygen species," or ROS
- These then oxidize big molecules like lipids and DNA.
- This activates particular enzymes that kill skin cells.
- The grapes' flavonoids work to decrease the formation of the ROS's in the skin cells that are exposed to UVA and UVB rays.
Led by Marta Cascante, a biochemist at the University of Barcelona, the team found that, in essence, drinking more wine may actually protect your skin from harmful rays.
Cascante hopes that the find will lead to better sun-shielding drugs as well. "This study supports the idea of using these products to protect the skin from cell damage and death caused by solar radiation, as well as increasing our understanding of the mechanism by which they act," she told the Telegraph.