A study has revealed that grape consumption helps protect against skin damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Individuals showed increased sunburn resistance and a decrease in UV damage markers at the cellular level. Natural components within grapes called polyphenols are believed to be responsible for these benefits.
The study looked into the effect of the consumption of whole grape powder, equal to 2.25 cups of grapes daily, for 2 wks against photodamage from UV light. The skin response of individuals to UV exposure was measured before as well as after the consumption of grapes for 2 wks by determining the UV radiation threshold dose that caused reddening of the skin that was visible after 24 hrs known as the Minimal Erythema Dose (MED).
Consumption of grapes was protective; more UV exposure was needed to cause sunburn after consuming grapes, with MED increasing by 74.8% on average.
Skin biopsy analysis showed that the grape diet was linked to a decrease in DNA damage, fewer skin cell deaths, and a decrease in inflammatory markers that if left unchecked can impair the function of the skin and can potentially result in skin cancer.
A significant photoprotective effect was observed with grape consumption and molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs were established, namely through DNA damage repair and the downregulation of pro-inflammatory pathways.
Grapes may behave as an edible sunscreen, which could provide an additional layer of protection together with topical sunscreen products.
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