The California Table Grape Commission Reports Grape Consumption May Protect Skin Against UV Damage
FRESNO, CA - We all know that fresh produce is synonymous with health, and we continue to find new attributes in fruit and vegetables that promote physical and mental well-being. The Calfornia Table Grape Commission reported that, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology, researchers have found that consuming grapes could protect against ultraviolet (UV) skin damage.
“We saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption and we were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs, through repair of DNA damage and downregulation of proinflammatory pathways,” said Dr. Craig Elmets, who led the study. “Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products.”
The study was conducted at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Subjects who participated in the study 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.
The study investigated the impact of consuming whole grape powder, which is 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).
Ultimately, more UV exposure was required to cause sunburn following grape consumption, with MED increasing on average by 74.8 percent. 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.
According to a press release from the California Table Grape Commission, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Most skin cancer cases are reportedly associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun: about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 86 percent of melanomas, respectively. Additionally, an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
As we continue to uncover the diverse health benefits surrounding the consumption of fresh produce, keep reading the latest reports from ANUK.