Study shows grape seed extract provides UV protection

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Ingredients company New Zealand Extracts says that research it has conducted with AgResearch suggests that a Sauvignon Blanc extract could be a good sunscreen.

The research was conducted into a by-product from Malborough Sauvignon Blanc wine production, and the preliminary results of the scientific investigation could lead the company to make enhanced product claims for its grape seed-based product, Oxifend.

During the research the latest technologies for mapping UV damage in wool keratins and meat collagens were used to asses the protective action of the product.

Oxidative qualities combat protein damage

We were surprised by how effective grape seed extracts are at combating protein damage from UV rays on skin,"​ said AgResearch senior scientist Dr Jolon Dyer.

AgResearch is a New Zealand-based organisation specialising in research on behalf of businesses in the biotechnology and agricultural sectors.

“A protective effect was observed right down at the protein level, with mitigation of oxidative damage,”​ Dyer added. “This significant discovery is likely to have a huge benefit particularly given increasing concerns around UV rays.”

Assessments included damage to amino acids

The researchers reported that damage caused at the molecular level was reduced or lessened when the grape seed extract was applied to the skin.

Assessments of oxidative damage across the skin proteins and were detailed enough to include amino acids, which are particularly sensitive to UV damage.

“Importantly, the preliminary results indicate a significant reduction in the level of oxidation in the skin proteins,”​ said Dr Dyer.

Results back up UV protection claims

Previous studies carried out by AgResearch had already proved that NZ Extracts’ Oxifend product had significant anti-ageing qualities, enabling the company to target that segment of skin care.

“Dr Dyer’s results provide powerful justification for the inclusion of our Oxifend grape seed extract in skin care formulations, and we expect considerable interest in this product from skin care companies,”​ said Dr. Glenn Vile, general manager of NZ Extracts.

“These grape seeds and other matter were discarded in the past and all the properties and benefits of the seeds weren’t being captured,”​ said Dr Vile.

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