Researchers at the University
of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found that Resveratrol
in red wine may help reduce the risk of developing prostate
cancer, reports the August online edition of the Journal
The study involved male mice that were
fed a plant compound found in red wine called resveratrol,
which has shown anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Other sources of resveratrol in the diet include grapes,
raspberries, peanuts and blueberries.
In the study resveratrol-fed mice showed
an 87 percent reduction in their risk of developing prostate
tumors that contained the worst kind of cancer-staging diagnosis.
The mice that proved to have 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, those fed resveratrol
but still developed a less-serious form of prostate cancer,
were 48 percent 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 Dr.Coral Lamartiniere,
Ph.D., 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.
Lamartiniere said his research team has
been pleasantly surprised at the chemoprevention power of
wine and berry polyphenols like resveratrol in animal models.
"A cancer prevention researcher lives
for these days when they can make that kind of finding,"
Lamartiniere said. "I drink a glass a day every evening
because I'm concerned about prostate cancer. It runs in
Lamartiniere and other researchers say
work is already underway to test resveratrol consumption
in humans to see what concentrations are needed to convey
However, it must be emphasized that the
amounts used in the UAB mice studies were the equivalent
of one person consuming one bottle of red wine per day,
which is not advisable. Since drinking alcohol in excessive
amounts can have harmful health effects, doctors generally
recommend moderate red wine consumption, which is an average
of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
Funding support came from the U.S. Department
of Defense and the National Cancer Institute.
The findings were published in August through
the online edition of the Journal of Carcinogenesis.