What if natural compounds in fruit could help protect our skin against sun damage?
Researchers in Spain have been studying that question and looking at the potential of grapes.
Some compounds found in grapes help to protect skin cells from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, according to a study by researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council. The study supports the use of grapes or grape derivatives in sun protection products.
Effects of Ultraviolet Rays on Skin
Ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun are the leading environmental cause of skin complaints, causing skin cancer, sunburn and solar erythema, as well as premature ageing of the dermis and epidermis. Now, a Spanish study suggests that some substances in grapes can reduce the amount of cell damage caused in skin exposed to this radiation.
UV rays act on the skin by activating ‘reactive oxygen species’ (ROS). These compounds in turn oxidize macromolecules such as lipids and DNA, stimulating certain reactions and enzymes which cause cell death.
Grape-Based Sun Protection
The scientists from Spain have shown that some polyphenolic substances extracted from grapes (flavonoids) can reduce the formation of ROSs in human epidermis cells that have been exposed to long-wave (UVA) and medium-wave (UVB) ultraviolet radiation. The study, carried out in vitro in the laboratory, has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The researchers found that the higher the degree of the flavonoids’ polymerisation and formation of compounds containing gallic acid, the greater their photoprotective capacity.
Grape Compounds in Skin Products
The study suggests that these encouraging results should be taken into consideration in clinical pharmacology using plant-based polyphenolic extracts to develop new photoprotection skin products.
Discover Grape Seed Extract
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Reference: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Published Online March 15, 2011.
“Protective Effect of Structurally Diverse Grape Procyanidin Fractions against UV-Induced Cell Damage and Death,” Cecilia Matito, Neus Agell, Susana Sanchez-Tena, Josep L. Torres, and Marta Cascante
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry