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Wine May Prevent Sunburn, Study Shows

by Guy McCardle

August 2, 2011

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Donate Today there is one more reason you should be sure to get your daily merlot. Researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council have discovered that a chemical found in grapes can limit cellular damage done by the sun. Details of the study can be found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Previous research has shown that consuming wine can aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer, as well as help to increase levels of HDL cholesterol. It has even proven to be beneficial to your teeth by helping to prevent cavities. The newest study is just the latest in a growing number of reasons to imbibe in the vino for health reasons.

Previous studies have shown that human skin can be protected against UV radiation by using plant-derived antioxidants, but this is the first study to analyze the effects of wine consumption on human skin. No need to miss out on these beneficial effects if you are a tea-totaler. The researchers found that both grapes and grape derivatives contain a compound known as a flavonoid that helps helps to protect human skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Here is a (very) brief overview of the protective process: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are activated as UV rays hit human skin. The ROS oxidize lipids, DNA and other large molecules, which leads to the activation of other enzymes that kill skin cells. However, ROS formation is deterred in skins cells exposed to UV rays by the flavonoids contained in grapes.

Alla tua salute! - To your health! As my Italian friends might toast. My fellow wine drinkers and I have cause to rejoice. I'm off in search of that perfect bottle of a deep, dark red.

by Guy McCardle

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