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Add this edible sunscreen to your diet: Protect your skin from cellular damage, keep it looking young

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.

Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products. Read on to know more.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Updated : February 6, 2021 4:40 PM IST

Exposure to sun can have a devastating effect on your skin. The UV rays of the sun can break down the protective layers of the skin, cause early wrinkles and cellular damage. This is why skin specialists always advice the use of sunscreen before you step out in the sun. This is true even for a weak winter sun. But now new research says that there may be a easier, and more delicious, way of protecting your skin. You just need to know what exactly you must add to your diet to do so.

According to a new study, eating grapes can help protect against sunburn and ultraviolet (UV) skin damage and natural components found in the fruits, known as polyphenols, are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published this study. Participants in the study exhibited increased resistance to sunburn and a reduction in markers of UV damage at the cellular level.

A fruity delight for additional protection

According to researchers from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, in the US, grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products. The study investigated the impact of consuming whole grape powder -- equivalent to 2.25 cups of grapes per day -- for 14 days against photodamage from UV light. The participants' 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).

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It prevents DNA damage, causes fewer skin cell deaths

The results showed that grape consumption was protective as more UV exposure was required to cause sunburn following grape consumption, with MED increasing on average by 74.8 per cent. 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. Researchers say that they saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption, and they were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs - through repair of DNA damage and downregulation of pro-inflammatory pathways.

Skin damage common after sun exposure

Most skin cancer cases are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun -- about 90 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86 per cent of melanomas, respectively. Additionally, an estimated 90 per cent of skin ageing is caused by the sun. Of course, some amount of sunlight is not only good but also essential for your health. But you need to take appropriate protection from overexposure. Too much UV exposure can cause sunburn. It can penetrate the outer layers of the skin and damage skin cells. Some easy ways by which you can protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun include wearing a sunblock, limiting exposure time, leaving no part of your body exposed to the sun and avoiding the sun during peak hours, that is, between 10 am and 2 pm.

(With inputs from IANS)

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