SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new study published in the scientific journal Antioxidants shows that the consumption of grapes can protect your skin against ultraviolet (UV) damage to the skin.

A professor and dean of the Western New England University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences led this study. Dr. John Pezzuto says this study reinforces previous research in this area.

Dr. John Pezzuto, lead author of the paper and Professor and Dean of the Western New England University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Courtesy of Western New England University.

In the study, 29 participants heightened their resistance to sunburn after indulging in 2 1/4 cups of grapes every day for two weeks. There was also a correlation between the gut and skin for those that showed UV resistance.

The impact of consuming whole grape powder, equal to 2.25 cups of grapes per day was examined for 14 days against photodamage from UV light. Participants’ skin reactions to the UV light were analyzed by finding out the gateway dose of UV radiation that induced visible reddening after 24 hours. Other samples like gut microbiome, blood, and urinary were also looked at.

The results showed that 1/3 of the subjects demonstrated UV resistance, but there appeared to be differences in the gut microbiome and metabolome in comparison to non-responders. A UV -resistant group consisted of three urinary metabolites. The study finds deoxyribose, one of the metabolites to be a strong indicator of reduced photodamage.

Three of the UV-resistant participants remained protected after going back to no grape consumption for over 4 weeks. This experiment has proven that sunburn can be resisted after digesting grapes. There also appeared to be a similarity between the gut-skin axis and UV resistance.

According to a news release, exposure to UV radiation from the sun is the cause of more than three million Americans being affected by skin cancer each year. Most cases are 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 86% of melanomas. While about 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun.

“The phrase ‘Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ dates back to the time of Hippocrates,” notes John Pezzuto of Western New England University. “Now,” he adds, “after 2500 years, and as exemplified by this human study conducted with dietary grapes, we are still learning the reality of this statement.”