Acne and Red Wine

Drink Red Wine to Cure Acne?

 


Raise a toast to the group of researchers at the University of California who found evidence that red wine can serve as an effective deterent against acne. 
According to the study, a key antioxidant (resveratrol) derived from grapes – also found in red wine – prevents the growth of bacteria that cause acne. The researchers also found that when resveratrol is combined with benzoyl peroxide, a common acne medication, the resulting solution may boost the drug’s ability to completely destroy the bacteria. 
 
If true outside of the lab, this discovery could lead to a much more effective cure for acne. 
 
The study claims that the combination of benzoyl peroxide and resveratrol attack the acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) in many different ways. 
Apparently, resveratrol prevents the formation of free radicals that results in damage of cells and tissues, whereas Benzoyl Peroxide helps create free radicals that destroy the acne bacteria. 
 
"We initially thought that since actions of the two compounds are opposing, the combination should cancel the other out, but they didn't," said Dr Emma Taylor, the study's first author. Taylor serves as an assistant clinical professor of medicine in the Dermatology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine.
 
"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," Taylor added. 
 
Interestingly, it is because of the same antioxidant that some doctors strongly recommend a healthy intake of red wine for preventing (or even curing to some extent) many common heart disorders. 
 
During the study, the researchers grew multiple colonies of bacteria that causes acne in humans and then applied different concentrations of benzoyl peroxide and resveratrol on them – both alone and together. Each individual colony was then monitored closely for changes. 
 
The researchers found that benzoyl peroxide was able to terminate the bacteria in virtually all concentration levels. However, they also found this effect to be short lived (one hour maximum). 
 
Meanwhile, resveratrol proved inefficient when it came to killing the bacteria. However, it could effectively prevent the colony from spreading any further.
To their surprise, when combined together, the resulting solution proved to be far more effective in reducing the size of the bacteria colonies.
 
"It was like combining the best of both worlds and offering a two-pronged attack on the bacteria," observed Dr Jenny Kim, professor of clinical medicine in the Dermatology division at the Geffen School.
 
After the initial success against the acne bacteria, the researchers tested the combination of the two compounds for toxicity. It was found that benzoyl peroxide was much more toxic compared to resveratrol, which is probably why using the former medicine causes the skin to turn red and irritated in high doses. 
 
The details of the study can be found in the Journal of Dermatology and Therapy. 

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