A new study has found that an antioxidant called resveratrol found in wine and grapes, restrain the growth of acne bacteria.
UCLA researchers have 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.
Early lab findings demonstrated that resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide attack the acne bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, in different ways.
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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.
They found that benzoyl peroxide was able to initially kill the bacteria at all concentration levels, but the effect was short lived and didn?t last beyond the first 24 hours.
Resveratrol didn't have a strong killing capability, but it inhibited bacterial growth for a longer period of time. Surprisingly, the two compounds together proved the most effective in reducing bacteria counts.
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Using a high-powered microscope, the UCLA 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.
They also 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 study is published in the online edition of the journal Dermatology and Therapy.