Antioxidant in grapes may help treat acne

Resveratrol, an antioxidant derived from grapes and found in wine, can inhibit growth of the bacteria that causes acne, a new research shows.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 01, 2014, 16:41 PM IST

New York: Resveratrol, an antioxidant derived from grapes and found in wine, can inhibit growth of the bacteria that causes acne, a new research shows.

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) 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.

Published in the current online edition of the journal Dermatology and Therapy, the early lab findings demonstrated that resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide attack the acne bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, in different ways.

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

"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," said Emma Taylor, assistant clinical professor of medicine in the division of dermatology at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Resveratrol is the same substance that has prompted some doctors to recommend that adults drink red wine for its heart-health properties.

The antioxidant stops the formation of free radicals, which cause cell and tissue damage.

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 monitored the cultures for bacterial growth or killing for 10 days.

Surprisingly, the two compounds together proved the most effective in reducing bacteria count.

"It was like combining the best of both worlds and offering a two-pronged attack on the bacteria," added senior study author Jenny Kim, professor of clinical medicine in the division of dermatology, UCLA.

"We hope that our findings lead to a new class of acne therapies that centre on antioxidants such as resveratrol," researchers concluded.