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In The News: Drink Wine for Fewer Sunburns

8/2/2011 3:16:05 PM

Tags: In The News, Sunburns, Study Research, Skin, Skin Health, Sunburns, Tips, Reactive Oxygen Species

J.PattonI’m no wine connoisseur, but I have been known to indulge in a glass or two of Madria Sangria. That’s why when I came across this news today, I got a little excited: Researchers have found yet another health benefit associated with wine.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that a compound found in grapes or grape derivatives, both ingredients often found in wine, may help shield skin cells from ultraviolet radiation.

Here’s how: When those damaging UV rays hit your skin, they start a damaging process within. The rays activate “reactive oxygen species” (ROS), which oxidize molecules such as DNA and lipids. This stimulates enzymes that kill skin cells, thus causing sunburn.

Grapes contain flavonoids that reduce the amount of ROS in skin cells exposed to UV rays. With a smaller amount of ROS, the skin is less likely to burn.

Drinking a glass of wine may save your skin while you're lazing at the pool this summer.
Photo by jhenryrose/Courtesy

In addition to its sunscreen-like properties, wine also contains many other health benefits that wine fanatics can feel good about.

Researchers have thought red wine to be heart healthy for decades. The antioxidants in a glass of red wine may aid in heart disease prevention by protecting the arteries from damage and increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol.

Drinking wine can also make you live longer. A study published in the Journals of Gerontology in 2007 found that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than their peers who indulge in beer or spirits.

It turns out that carrots aren’t the only foods that can help your eyes. Those who sip on wine rather than beer are 43 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Interestingly, those who drink any type of alcohol in moderation are 32 percent less likely to get cataracts than nondrinkers.

So, next time you feel like popping the cork off of a bottle of wine, go ahead—pour a glass and indulge in all of the health benefits it has to offer.


Also read 50 Ways to Pair Wine with Herbs.

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