Consuming dealcoholized wine daily improved skin suppleness in middle-aged women.
Is muscadine wine the new secret to perking up sagging skin? A recent study suggests that it could be. Women who consumed two glasses of non-alcoholic muscadine wine daily showed considerable improvements in skin elasticity and hydration, compared to those who took a placebo.
This study, the first of its kind, examined the impact of non-alcoholic wine consumption on skin health in a controlled, randomized clinical trial. The researchers believe that the positive effects stem from naturally occurring chemical compounds in many plants, known as polyphenols.
“Muscadine grapes have been found to have a unique polyphenolic profile in comparison to other red wine varieties,” said Lindsey Christman, Ph.D., who conducted the research with Liwei Gu, Ph.D., professor of food chemistry and functional food at the University of Florida. “Our study suggests that muscadine wine polyphenols have the potential to improve skin conditions, specifically elasticity and transepidermal water loss, in middle-aged and older women.”
Christman will present the findings at NUTRITION 2023, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held July 22–25 in Boston.
Muscadine grapes are native to the Southeastern United States and are commonly used to make wine. Previous clinical trials have suggested that polyphenols found in muscadine wine including anthocyanins, quercetin, and ellagic acid can help to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress.
For the study, researchers recruited 17 women aged 40-67 and randomly assigned them to drink either dealcoholized wine or a placebo beverage that looked and tasted similar but did not contain polyphenols. Participants consumed 300 milliliters or about 10 ounces (the equivalent of two glasses of wine) of their assigned beverage daily for six weeks, then took a three-week break before switching to the opposite beverage for six weeks.
Researchers measured participants’ skin conditions and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress at the start of the study and at the end of each six-week period. They found that drinking muscadine wine significantly improved skin elasticity (a loss of elasticity is what causes skin to sag more as we age). In addition, the wine was associated with a decrease in water loss at the skin surface, a measurement that indicates the skin is providing a more effective barrier against damage.
The researchers did not see any significant difference in the amount of wrinkles on the skin. Participants showed improvements in skin smoothness and less evidence of inflammation and oxidative stress compared to baseline, but there was not a significant difference in these factors between dealcoholized muscadine wine and the placebo.
“This cross-over study demonstrated 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,” said Christman. “This is likely due to decreases in inflammation and oxidative stress.”
Since the trial involved only 17 participants, repeating the study with a larger and more diverse group of people would help to confirm and strengthen the findings. In addition, most commercially-available muscadine wine contains alcohol, and researchers cautioned that drinking wine with alcohol may produce a different result.
“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 Christman. “Alcohol would add another variable to the study that may cause the effects to be different. In addition, the dealcholization process may alter the chemical composition.”
Reference: “Dealcoholized Muscadine Wine Improved Skin Health, Reduced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Women in a Randomized Controlled Trial” by Lindsey Christman and Liwei Gu, 24 July 2023, NUTRITION 2023 (abstract; presentation details).