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Polyphenols can protect the skin from damage

The fact that people in Mediterranean countries are exposed to more UV radiation, but nevertheless suffer a lower incidence of melanoma than those in Northern areas prompted scientists at Tübigen University’s Department of Dermatology to investigate this phenomenon in greater detail. As the German medical magazine “Deutsche Ärztezeitung” reported, aside from the darker complexions and different lifestyles of the Mediterranean population, their consumption of red wine could also be a significant factor in explaining this difference.

The researchers hold the polyphenols found in the red wine responsible for this effect, but no benefit will be observed if the wine in question does not contain a sufficient level of these compounds. In his paper published in the “Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft” (Journal of the German Society of Dermatology), Professor Matthias Möhrle explained that evidence already existed showing that green and black tea, as well as grapes, all of which are rich in these antioxidants, inhibit the development of skin cancer and the formation of secondary melanomas. This study proved that certain types of wine really did have a statistically significant effect.

However, the findings seem to have little practical use, since the effect was only observed from specific wines with a high polyphenol content and, besides that, the test subjects consumed half a litre of wine in under 20 minutes. So the positive effects of the antioxidants would most probably be nullified by the negative impact of the increased alcohol consumption. In all likelihood it would be safer to restrict the duration and intensity of your sunbathing and then to enjoy your red wine afterwards purely as a treat.

Source:, Friederike Eversheim