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   Oct 02

Could red wine help improve your skin? ‘Healthy’ ingredient may combat acne by making existing treatments more effective

Resveratrol, antioxidant derived from grapes, can kill acne-causing bacteria

So-called ‘healthy’ antioxidant is said to help prevent cell and tissue damage

Combining resveratrol with a common acne medication, benzoyl peroxide, may enhance the drug’s ability to kill the bacteria, say scientists

Antioxodant was found to extend the time benzoyl peroxide killed bacteria

Findings could also mean less of the drug is needed, reducing redness

Resveratrol, the antioxidant derived from grapes and found in wine, can kill bacteria that causes acne

A glass or two of red wine could help battle acne and other painful skin conditions, new research has revealed.

Scientists have discovered that resveratrol, the antioxidant derived from grapes and found in wine, can kill bacteria that causes acne.

They also found that combining resveratrol with a common acne medication, benzoyl peroxide, may enhance the drug’s ability to kill the bacteria and could translate into new treatments.

The findings, published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, show that the two combined attacked acne bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, in different ways.

Resveratrol has already been linked to good heart health. The antioxidant is said to stop the formation of free radicals, which cause cell and tissue damage.

Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidant that works by creating free radicals that kill the acne bacteria.

Dr Emma Taylor, who lead the research at the University of California in Los Angeles, said:

‘At first we thought that since actions of the two compounds are opposing, the combination should cancel the other out – but they didn’t.

‘This study demonstrates that combining an oxidant and an antioxidant may enhance each other and help sustain bacteria-fighting activity over a longer period of time.’

The team grew colonies of the bacteria that causes acne and then added various concentrations of resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide both alone and together.

The researchers then monitored the cultures for bacterial growth – or killing – for 10 days.

They found benzoyl peroxide was able to initially kill the bacteria at all concentration levels, but the effect was short lived – not lasting beyond the first 24 hours.

While resveratrol did not have a strong killing capability, it stopped bacterial growth for a longer period of time.

Overall, the two compounds together proved the most effective in reducing bacteria counts.

Fellow study author, Dr Jenny Kim, said: ‘It was like combining the best of both worlds and offering a two-pronged attack on the bacteria.’

Scientists have understood for years how benzoyl peroxide works to treat acne, but less has been known about what makes resveratrol effective – even though it has been the subject of previous studies.

Using a high-powered microscope, the researchers observed that bacteria cells lost some of the structure and definition of their outer membranes, which indicated that resveratrol may work by altering and possibly weakening the structure of the bacteria.

The researchers also cultured human skin cells and blood cells with the two compounds to test their toxicity.

They found that benzoyl peroxide was much more toxic than resveratrol, which could help explain what causes skin to become red and irritated when it’s used as a topical treatment in high dose or concentration.

The actress Cameron Diaz has previously spoken about her battle with acne when she was younger. Scientists hope combining resveratrol with a common acne medication may enhance the drug’s ability to kill bacteria
Dr Taylor noted that combining the two compounds allowed for prolonged antibacterial effects on the acne bacteria while minimising its toxicity to other skin cells.

The finding could lead to a more effective and less irritating topical acne therapy.

She said: ‘We hope our findings lead to a new class of acne therapies that centre on antioxidants such as resveratrol.’

Millions of people suffer from acne and it has a significant psychological effect on patients, but limited progress has been made in developing new strategies for treating it.

Most acne sufferers are aged between 12 and 25, but some older and younger people are affected.

About nine in 10 teenagers develop some degree of acne. While it is often mild, three in 10 get it bad enough to need treatment from a doctor to prevent scarring.

Untreated acne usually lasts about four to five years before settling. However, it can last for many years in some cases.

According to researchers, antibiotic resistance and side effects limit the effectiveness of current treatments.

Source: Daily Mail

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