Beauty benefits of red wine

Skin Care Matters

Sunday, December 24, 2017

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THE holiday season is here and so is the the abundance of red wine. Though we know it is the choice drink for many, there are also several beauty benefits to be had from red wine.

Here are a few:

1. Anti-ageing

Resveratrol is a polyphenic bioflavonoid antioxidant found in red wine. It's classified as a photoestrogen because it interacts with oestrogen receptors in a positive way.

It's believed to be one of the most potent polyphenols and strongest protectors against free radical damage, cognitive decline, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Red wine is probably the best known source of resveratrol, due to the fermentation process that turns grape juice to alcohol. When red wine is produced, grape seeds and skins ferment in the grape's juices, which has a positive effect on the levels and availability of resveratrol.

People use resveratrol for a number of anti-ageing and healing benefits, and research suggests that it can boost your health in the following ways:

• By fighting oxidative stress;

• By supporting cellular and tissue health;

• By protecting against cancer;

• By promoting circulation;

• By protecting cognitive health;

• By preventing premature ageing;

• By supporting healthy digestion;

• By improving energy and endurance; and

• By protecting against diabetes.

2. Fights acne

The resveratrol in red wine can slow down the growth of bacteria that cause acne, as per a recent study. It also inhibits keratinocyte proliferation, which can cause acne lesions.

The results were particularly effective when acne sufferers, along with a glass of red wine, also went for a topical treatment with benzoyl peroxide. Combining resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide could offer prolonged antibacterial effects on the acne bacteria.

3. Fights obesity and weight gain

This is due to a compound found in grapes and other fruits (like blueberries and passion fruit called piceatannol, which has a similar chemical structure to resveratrol. According to researchers, piceatannol blocks an immature fat cell's ability to develop and grow. It's also been found to alter the timing of gene expressions, gene functions, and insulin functions during the fat cell's metabolic process.

When piceatannol is present, there's a complete inhibition of adipogenesis, the process of cell development. Piceatannol is effective at fighting obesity and weight gain because it's able to destroy fat cells early in the process of cell development, thereby preventing fat cell accumulation and, later on, body mass gain. It does this by binding to insulin receptors found in fat cells and blocking insulin's ability to control cell cycles. It also blocks insulin's activity to activate genes that are important in the later stages of fat formation.

4. Improves sleep

The grapes red wine is made of are rich in melatonin — the very same compound that induces sleep in humans. This hormone is produced in our brain by the pineal gland. According to scientists, the melatonin content in red wine could be high enough to help us sleep.

The melatonin in red wine can regulate the circadian rhythm, thereby aiding sleep.

5. Treats sunburn

Did you know that sunburn can occur in just 20 minutes, but can take as long as six hours to show up? This means, you could be sunburnt without even realising it.

And guess what? This is the biggest risk factor in the onset of skin cancer. But don't worry, rubbing red wine on the affected areas can ease sunburn.

The flavonoids in red wine prevent the skin from forming reactive oxygen species, compounds that react with UV rays and cause sunburn. This does not mean you can ditch your sunscreen altogether. Continue using your sunscreen, but also have a sip of red wine now and then.

Take-home message?

Red wine is loaded with antioxidants, particularly flavonoids like quercetin and resveratrol. These antioxidants boost many of the body's processes, but are particularly revered for antiageing benefits and weight control.

Other health benefits of red wine include its ability to improve cholesterol, fight free radical damage, help manage diabetes, and prevent cognitive decline.

The darker the wine, the higher the antioxidant content, and research points to Pinot Noir as the red wine with the highest antioxidant levels. Thus, Pinot Noir is a great choice to drink in order to get the benefits of red wine.

It's important to note that more wine doesn't mean greater health benefits. Despite the healthy properties in red wine, the alcohol itself is actually a neurotoxin, meaning it can poison your brain and tax your liver, among other bodily systems.

That being said, it's best to drink small amounts of wine now and then. Don't exceed five glasses per week and no more than two in one day. This is the best way to get the benefits of red wine without counteracting them by too much alcohol consumption.

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