Worried about aging skin? Drinking non-alcoholic muscadine wine may help

Non-alcoholic muscadine wine improves skin elasticity and reduces transepidermal water loss. It may not reverse aging, but it might prevent your skin cells from aging quickly.
Rupendra Brahambhatt
hands holding a bundle of black grapes
Grapes for making wine

Maja Petric/Unsplash  

A team of researchers at the University of Florida (UF) recently published a study showing that drinking non-alcoholic muscadine wine can prevent fast aging of the skin in middle-aged and elderly women. 

It must be noted that many companies selling muscadine wine also claim their beverages have anti-aging properties. However, most commercially available muscadine wines contain alcohol, and they may not deliver the same results as the researchers observed in the non-alcoholic drink. 

“Alcohol would add another variable to the study that may cause the effects to be different. We used dealcoholized muscadine wine because we were interested in the effect of the bioactive compounds in wine, specifically the polyphenols, on skin health,” said Lindsey Christman, one of the study authors and a graduate research assistant at UF.  

Polyphenols are natural compounds that are found in many fruits and vegetables. They work as powerful antioxidants in the human body and are also known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. 

Numerous past studies suggest that polyphenols found in muscadine grapes, such as quercetin, ellagic acid, and anthocyanins, effectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. “Muscadine grapes have been found to have a unique polyphenolic profile in comparison to other red wine varieties,” Lindsey added. 

Testing muscadine wine against aging skin

In order to check how muscadine wine consumption affects human skin, the researchers performed an interesting experiment. They studied the changes in skin elasticity and TEWL (transepidermal water loss) of 17 female participants (ages between 40 to 67 years).

Skin elasticity is the ability of our skin to regain its original form after it is pulled or stretched. With aging, the skin loses elasticity as its tissues degenerate, causing it to sag and form wrinkles. Therefore, skin elasticity serves as an important parameter to check skin aging. 

TEWL suggests our skin’s water retention capacity. A skin having high TEWL suffers from dryness, itchiness and is more prone to acne and other skin conditions.

During their study, the researchers asked the participants to drink two glasses (about 10 ounces) of dealcoholized muscadine wine every day for six weeks. Then the participants practiced a three-week break during which they didn’t consume any wine.

Once the break period was over, they were again asked to consume the same amount of a placebo drink daily for six weeks. The placebo tasted like muscadine wine, but it lacked polyphenols. At the end of both six-week drinking phases, the researchers examined the skin of their participants and noted the level of inflammation and oxidative stress in them.

When they compared the results from both the drinking phases, they noticed that “Six weeks of dealcoholized muscadine wine consumption resulted in improvement of certain skin parameters associated with aging, such as elasticity on the forearm and barrier function of the skin on the face, when compared to baseline and placebo. This is likely due to decreases in inflammation and oxidative stress.” 

Participants reported smoother skin after consuming muscadine wine. However, there were no noticeable changes in the amount of wrinkles they had on their skin. 

So although the research work successfully demonstrates that non-alcoholic muscadine wine can improve age-related skin conditions in women, it doesn’t suggest that the beverage has reverse-aging properties as many wine sellers claim.

The researchers also highlight that their study involved only a small group of participants; therefore, more experiments involving many participants are required to further confirm their findings.

The study is being presented at Nutrition 2023 in Boston.

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