When you’re packing for the pool or beach this summer, don’t forget your towel, your sunscreen — and your grapes.
Why grapes? According to a recent study, eating grapes can protect you against ultraviolet skin damage.
More than 3 million Americans are affected by skin cancer each year, the study’s authors wrote, largely as a result of sunlight exposure.
For their study, the researchers gave the 29 volunteers daily doses of whole grape powder equivalent to 2¼ cups of the fruit. This continued for two weeks. During this time period, the study participants’ skin was exposed to UV light. Scientists also analyzed the volunteers’ gut microbiome, blood and urine.
Nearly a third of the 29 participants (nine people) showed UV resistance after eating grapes. The same three urinary metabolites — one that is a “strong indicator of reduced photodamage,” SciTechDaily wrote — were depressed in each person with UV resistance.
Three of those nine people maintained their UV resistance a month after they stopped eating the grape powder.
“We conclude that a segment of the population is capable of demonstrating greater resistance to a dermal response elicited by UV irradiation as a result of grape consumption,” the researchers wrote. “It is uncertain if modulation of the gut-skin axis leads to enhanced UV resistance, but there is correlation.”