Ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun are the leading environmental cause of skin complaints, premature ageing, sun burn and even skin cancer. But, Spanish scientists have discovered that flavonoids in the grapes and red wine protect cells from the damage as they studied chemical reactions in the skin when hit by UV rays from the sun. They found that flavonoids can stop the chemical reaction that causes cells to die and therefore cause skin damage.
The study, carried out in vitro in the laboratory, has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Marta Cascante, a biochemist at the University of Barcelona and director of the research project, said it proves grapes could help protect the skin from sun burn and even skin cancer. She said the research could help to develop skin creams and other products to protect skin from sun damage. Already cosmetic companies are registering interest in the hope of making sun creams or pills that copy the process.
Previous research has put the low cancer rates and good health down to tomatoes, olives and even red wine, according to Telegraph.
But oblivious of the study and otherwise known benefits of wine for the heart etc when drunk in moderation, 61 % of British adults indicated in a recent survey funded by the industry-funded charity Drinkaware that drinking was their top choice as a stress buster in the evening when the sun does not play a role. In contrast 28 % prefer spending time with their children to relax and 26 % liked talking with their partner.
More women (73 %) said stress was the main reason they had a drink at home at the end of the day. More than two-thirds of women said they drink wine to relax. About 61% have two or more large glasses of wine on a typical night, more than double the recommended dose. A quarter of the 825 adults surveyed said they drank too much at least twice a week.
Women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week (no more than 3 units a day while men should have no more than 21 (not more than 4 units a day). One unit is 10mL or 8gms by weight of pure alcohol. At 12% alcohol, there are one and a half units of alcohol in a small glass of 125 mL. If the strength is more, the quantity to drink safely comes down. For instance if the wine has 15% alcohol, i.e., 25% more alcohol, that much less alcohol should be consumed.
Recently there has been a move to increase the recommended daily level in the UK as well as adding another glass per week. This will be debated extensively before the limit is approved as a recommendation .