New York – A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows eating grapes can help protect against sunburn and ultraviolet (UV) rays. Study participants showed increased resistance to sunburn and a reduction in markers of UV damage at the cellular level. Lead researcher Craig Elmets from University of Alabama, Birmingham in the US, says: “Grapes may act as an edible sunscreen, offering an additional layer of protection in addition to topical sunscreen products.” Study results showed that grape consumption was protective as more UV exposure was required to cause sunburn following grape consumption, with MED increasing on average by 74.8 per cent. Analysis showed grape diet was associated with decreased DNA damage, fewer deaths of skin cells, and a reduction in inflammatory markers. Elmets said: “We saw a significant photoprotective effect with grape consumption and we were able to identify molecular pathways by which that benefit occurs — through repair of DNA damage and downregulation of proinflammatory pathways.” Most skin cancer cases are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the Sun, about 90 per cent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 86 per cent of melanomas, respectively. Also 90 per cent of skin ageing is caused by the sun.