Could wine hold the key to youthful skin? According to a small study which premiered at NUTRITION 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, dealcoholized muscadine wine may hold the key to significantly improved skin.
When compared to a placebo, participants who drank two glasses a day of non-alcoholic muscadine wine had reduced signs of inflammation and oxidative stress and significantly improved skin’s elasticity, a key component in the aging of skin. That said, the study noted that there were no changes to the appearance of wrinkles in any of the 17 participants.
Why Red Wine?
Red wine has long been thought of as heart healthy, a claim that’s widely popular, but not as rock-solid as you might think. That’s because all the studies that have pointed out the association of moderate red wine consumption with lower heart disease can only ever show that those two things are associated, not that one causes the other.
But all that investigation into red wine did yield important information: A beneficial plant compound, polyphenols, are abundant in the skins of red and purple grapes.
That’s exactly what this recent study honed in on.
“Muscadine grapes have been found to have a unique polyphenolic profile in comparison to other red wine varieties,” says Lindsey Christman, PhD, co-author of the study. “Our study suggests that muscadine wine polyphenols have potential to improve skin conditions, specifically elasticity and transepidermal water loss, in middle aged and older women.”
Will This Work With Alcoholic Muscadine?
We don’t know for sure.
Native to the Southeastern United States, muscadine grapes are commonly used to make a very aromatic sweet, wine. Usually, muscadine has an alcohol content of around 10%. When you make a wine non-alcoholic, it actually goes through the same process as regular wine, with an added step at the end called reverse osmosis. That’s the part where the alcohol is removed usually through high pressure or heat systems.
Christman explains that the idea was to isolate the compounds they were interested in, so that they could see how the process of wine-making impacts them without all that alcohol getting in the way. “We used dealcoholized muscadine wine because we were interested in the effect of the bioactive compounds in wine, specifically the polyphenols, on skin health,” says 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.”
While that means that drinking alcoholic muscadine wine may have a different result, it also means that just eating a muscadine grape may not work the same either.
Do we Have the Secret to Ageless Skin?
A lot more needs to be done before we can say for sure that drinking non-alcoholic muscadine wine improves skin elasticity. This study needs to be repeated with many more participants in order to confirm and strengthen the findings.
The good news is, this study has certainly increased interest in studying the impact of muscadine on skin health. In other words, watch this space.