News Release

Muscadine wine shows promise in improving aging skin

Daily dose of dealcoholized wine enhanced skin elasticity in middle-aged women

Reports and Proceedings

American Society for Nutrition

Could muscadine wine help perk up sagging skin? According to a new study, women who drank two glasses of dealcoholized muscadine wine daily showed significant improvements in the elasticity and water retention of their skin compared with those who consumed a placebo.


The study is the first time scientists have studied the impacts of nonalcoholic wine consumption on skin health in a randomized clinical trial. Researchers attribute the beneficial effects to chemical compounds called polyphenols that naturally occur in many plants.


“Muscadine grapes have been found to have a unique polyphenolic profile in comparison to other red wine varieties,” said Lindsey Christman, PhD, who conducted the research with Liwei Gu, PhD, professor of food chemistry and functional food at the University of Florida. “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.”  


Christman will present the findings at NUTRITION 2023, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition held July 22–25 in Boston.


Muscadine grapes are native to the Southeastern United States and are commonly used to make wine. Previous clinical trials have suggested that polyphenols found in muscadine wine including anthocyanins, quercetin, and ellagic acid can help to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. 


For the study, researchers recruited 17 women age 40-67 and randomly assigned them to drink either dealcoholized wine or a placebo beverage that looked and tasted similar but did not contain polyphenols. Participants consumed 300 milliliters or about 10 ounces (the equivalent of two glasses of wine) of their assigned beverage daily for six weeks, then took a three-week break before switching to the opposite beverage for six weeks.


Researchers measured participants’ skin conditions and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress at the start of the study and at the end of each six-week period. They found that drinking muscadine wine significantly improved skin elasticity (a loss of elasticity is what causes skin to sag more as we age). In addition, the wine was associated with a decrease in water loss at the skin surface, a measurement that indicates the skin is providing a more effective barrier against damage.


The researchers did not see any significant difference in the amount of wrinkles on the skin. Participants showed improvements in skin smoothness and less evidence of inflammation and oxidative stress compared to baseline, but there was not a significant difference in these factors between dealcoholized muscadine wine and the placebo.


“This cross-over study demonstrated that six weeks of dealcoholized muscadine wine consumption resulted in improvement of certain skin parameters associated with aging, such as elasticity on the forearm and barrier function of the skin on the face, when compared to baseline and placebo,” said Christman. “This is likely due to decreases in inflammation and oxidative stress.”


Since the trial involved only 17 participants, repeating the study with a larger and more diverse group of people would help to confirm and strengthen the findings. In addition, most commercially-available muscadine wine contains alcohol, and researchers cautioned that drinking wine with alcohol may produce a different result.


“We used dealcoholized muscadine wine because we were interested in the effect of the bioactive compounds in wine, specifically the polyphenols, on skin health,” said 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.”


Christman will present this research at 12:45 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 24, during the Aging and Chronic Disease Poster Session in the Hynes Convention Center Hall C (abstract; presentation details).


Please note that abstracts presented at NUTRITION 2023 were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.


About NUTRITION 2023

NUTRITION 2023 is the flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition and the premier educational event for nutritional professionals around the globe. NUTRITION brings together lab scientists, practicing clinicians, population health researchers, and community intervention investigators to identify solutions to today’s greatest nutrition challenges. Our audience also includes rising leaders in the field – undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. NUTRITION 2023 will be held July 22-25, 2023 in Boston. #Nutrition2023


About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice, and education. Since 2018, the American Society of Nutrition has presented NUTRITION, the leading global annual meeting for nutrition professionals.


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