Grapes can protect against UV radiation, study finds

According to a new study, flavonoids extracted from grapes can reduce amount of cell damage caused in skin exposed to sun radiation.

August 17, 2011 16:42
1 minute read.

Grapes 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Grapes can help to protect skin cells from the sun's ultraviolet radiation, according to a new study by researchers in Spain. The study proved that some substances in grapes can reduce the amount of cell damage caused in skin exposed to sun radiation.

Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun are the leading environmental cause of skin complaints, causing skin cancer, sunburn, and other problems like premature skin aging.

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UV rays activate "reactive oxygen species" in the skin, which in turn oxidise lipids and DNA. This stimulates reactions and enzymes which cause cell death.

Scientists have shown that flavonoids extracted from grapes can reduce the formation of "reactive oxygen species" in human epidermis cells that have been exposed to UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that the higher degree of the grape flavonoid’s polymerisation and formation of compounds containing gallic aicd, the greater their photoprotective capacity.

The study suggested that the results should be taken into consideration in clinic pharmacology using plant-based polyphenolic extracts to develop skin protection products.

"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", said Marta Cascante, a biochemist at the University of Barcelona and director of the research project.

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