Grapes are edible sunscreen and can protect skin from UV damage: Study

We all know just how wonderful grapes are for heart health. Turns out, protection against sun’s UV rays is also one of the health benefits of grapes.
For the sake of your skin, make the most of grapes while the season lasts. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
ANI Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 15:49 pm IST
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Most of us hardly think of grapes outside of the delicious wines this fruit produces. But did you know that grapes are bursting with health benefits? A powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins C and K, grapes are great for heart health, can ward off cancer, and even keep diabetes at bay.

And if this recent study is to be believed then grapes can also protect your skin against UV damage. Yes, you read that right!

A human study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that consuming grapes protects against ultraviolet (UV) skin damage caused by the sun.

Grapes might just be the natural antidote to sun damage

Study subjects showed increased resistance to sunburn and a reduction in markers of UV damage at the cellular level. Natural components found in grapes known as polyphenols are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects.

benefits of grapes
Sweet or sour, grapes are what your body needs this season. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The study, conducted at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and led by principal investigator Craig Elmets, M.D., investigated the impact of consuming whole grape powder—equivalent to 2.25 cups of grapes per day—for 14 days against photodamage from UV light.

Subjects’ skin response to UV light was measured before and after consuming grapes for two weeks by determining the threshold dose of UV radiation that induced visible reddening after 24 hours – the Minimal Erythema Dose (MED).

Grape consumption was protective, it was found. More UV exposure was required to cause sunburn following grape consumption, with MED increasing on average by 74.8%.

Grape consumption also resulted in reduced DNA damage

Analysis of skin biopsies showed that the grape diet was associated with decreased DNA damage, fewer deaths of skin cells, and a reduction in inflammatory markers that if left unchecked, together can impair skin function and can potentially lead to skin cancer.

Benefits of grapes
Glow more with grapes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“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 Dr Elmets.

“Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products,” added Dr Elmets.

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