Eating grapes can protect the skin from UV radiation

Eating grapes can protect the skin from UV radiation

Eating grapes can protect the skin from UV radiation

Eating grapes can protect the skin from UV radiation

UV damage to the skin is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sources such as tanning beds. UV radiation can cause a variety of skin problems, including sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.

A recent study highlights the potential of grapes in providing photoprotection.

A recent study published in the journal Antioxidants showed that consumption of grapes can protect the skin from UV damage. Study participants who consumed 2¼ cups of grapes per day for two weeks showed increased resistance to sunburn. The study also revealed a potential correlation between the gut and the skin, as participants who were resistant to UV radiation also had unique microbiome and metabolomic profiles. The study suggests that natural compounds called polyphenols found in grapes may be responsible for these protective effects.

This new study reinforces previous research in this area. In this study with 29 volunteers, researchers examined the effect of consuming whole grape powder – the equivalent of 2 ¼ cups of grapes per day – for 14 days on photodamage caused by UV light. The reaction of the subjects’ skin to UV light was measured before and after consuming grapes for two weeks by determining the threshold dose of UV radiation that caused visible redness after 24 hours – the minimum erythema dose (MED). In addition, a metabolomic analysis of the intestinal microbiome, blood and urine samples was performed.

Ultimately, one-third of subjects showed resistance to UV radiation after consuming grapes, and these same subjects showed significant differences in the microbiome and metabolome compared to non-responders. It is significant that the same three urinary metabolites were reduced in the group resistant to UV radiation. In particular, one metabolite (2′-deoxyribose) is a strong indicator of reduced photodamage and points to unique genetic profiles relevant to personalized medicine.

Furthermore, three UV-resistant subjects showed a long-lasting response, with UV protection remaining after returning to non-grape consumption for another four weeks. This work suggests that a segment of the population is able to resist burns after consuming grapes and that there is a correlation between gut and skin and resistance to UV radiation.

Over 3 million Americans develop skin cancer each year, mostly as a result of exposure to sunlight. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Most cases of skin cancer are related to exposure to UV radiation from the sun: about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86 percent of melanomas. In addition, it is estimated that 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.

John Pezzuto – lead author of the paper and professor and dean at Western New England University in Springfield, MA – notes, “’Let thy food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food’ dates back to the time of Hippocrates. Now, 2,500 years later, as this human study with dietary grapes shows, we are still learning the reality of this statement.”

Reference: “Short-term consumption of grapes reduces UV-induced skin erythema” John M. Pezzuto, Asim Dave, Eun-Jung Park, Diren Beyoğlu, and Jeffrey R. Idle, 30 Nov 2022, Antioxidants.
DOI: 10.3390/antiox11122372

The study was funded by the California Table Grape Commission. The financier did not participate in the preparation of the work; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in report writing; or in the decision to submit the work for publication.


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