Evidence suggests red wine contains cancer healing qualities





Moderate red wine consumption has long been attributed to boasting health benefits such as a strong heart and nutritious bones, and researchers now suggest a cheeky daily glass of claret contains a chemical compound capable of preventing cancer. 
 
Just two glasses of red wine a day could reduce the rate of bowel cancer thanks to resveratrol, which is present in the skin of red grapes and also credited with the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.

Scientists at Leicester University gave the human equivalent of five milligrams of resveratrol, two glasses of red wine, to mice and found it halved the growth of bowel tumours.

Lead scientist Professor Karen Brown, a member of the university's Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, said: “Having shown in our lab experiments that it can reduce tumour development we are now concentrating on identifying the mechanisms of how resveratrol works in human cells. We want to see how resveratrol might work to prevent cancer in humans.

"Everybody thinks that more is better but we found that the low dose was more effective than the high one. We were amazed that it had any effect at all, and even more surprised by the effectiveness of the low dose."

Previous studies on resveratrol have shown that a moderate dosage of the compound can reach target tissues in humans yet thus far cancer trials involving resveratrol supplements have been far from conclusive. Some results have intimated that higher doses of the compound could actually inhibit with certain medicines.

"We're still trying to understand the mechanism behind the way resveratrol works and see if it translates to human tissues and cells," Brown continued, "It's a fascinating compound because it does so much.

"We're now at a really exciting stage of research on resveratrol, but we need to nail down what mechanisms are important at the right concentrations."

The scientific findings will be presented at Resveratrol 2012, a conference dedicated to resveratrol research which is starting at the university. 
 
Main image by Ira Gelb
 
 

Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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