Red wine linked to anti-cancer potential

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cancer

A nutrient found in red wine has shown a positive result in cancer
reduction, a study in mice has found.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and writing in the August edition of the Journal ofCarcinogenesis​, examined the effect of the plant compound resveratrol when fed to male mice with the aim of preventing prostate tumours. The study adds more weight to the health benefits of the compound. Previous studies have linked it to having a positive effect on extending survival rates of mice and preventing the negative effects of high-calorie diets. It has also been linked to diabetes, heart health and obesity. Resveratrol - an antioxidant - is also found in grapes, raspberries, peanuts and blueberries, which in turn fall under the umbrella group of superfoods. In red wine, the amount of resveratrol in a bottle can vary between types of grapes and growing seasons, and can vary between 0.2 and 5.8 milligrams per litre. But nearly all dark red wines - merlot, cabernet, zinfandel, shiraz and pinot noir - contain resveratrol. In the study the mice were given the equivalent of one litre of wine a day. In the study, resveratrol-fed mice showed an 87 per cent reduction in their risk of developing prostate tumours. The mice that experienced the highest cancer-protection effect earned it after seven months of consuming resveratrol in a powdered formula mixed with their food. Other mice in the study, that developed a less-serious form of prostate cancer and were fed resveratrol, were 48 per cent more likely to have their tumor growth halted or slowed when compared to mice who did not consume the compound, the UAB research team said. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that resveratrol consumption through red wine has powerful chemoprevention properties, in addition to its apparent heart-health benefits, said lead study author Coral Lamartiniere of UAB's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. An earlier UAB study published May 2006 in the same journal found resveratrol-fed female mice had considerable reduction in their risk of breast cancer. He said: "A cancer prevention researcher lives for these days when they can make that kind of finding. "I drink a glass a day every evening because I'm concerned about prostate cancer. It runs in my family.​" The team of researchers are now starting work to test resveratrol consumption in humans, specifically looking at the levels of concentrations needed to produce a similar effect as that which was found in the mice. The study was partly funded by the United States Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute, but the full results have not yet been seen by

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