Red Wine Fights Cancer : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Red Wine to the Rescue

Key substance protects against cancer, heart disease

By Julia McNamee Neenan HealthSCOUT Reporter MONDAY, July 10 (HealthSCOUT) -- It's not news a glass of red wine each evening can stave off cancer and heart disease. Now a new study says why.

The study found a substance in red grapes and wine, called trans-Resveratrol, or Res, halts the growth of cancer in lab experiments.

"Resveratrol was able to promote the cell death of cancer cells in an early stage of the cancer process," says lead study author Minnie Holmes-McNary, a molecular nutritionist at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. The study appears in the July 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Compared with chemotherapy, Res could turn out to be a much less toxic way to fight cancer, Holmes-McNary says. "It's a natural compound, in a normal food we normally eat."

For cancer cells to reproduce, they have to get the go-ahead from an important protein called NF-kappa B, found in cells throughout the body. But Res can essentially immobilize NF-kB, says Holmes-McNary.

The so-called "French paradox," first described in the late 1980s, showed that drinking red wine seemed to reduce incidences of heart disease and cancer. One study said one glass a day reduced risk of stroke for men by 45 percent. Until now, no one had been able to pinpoint how or why.

NF-kB normally protects cells, Holmes-McNary says. During a virus infection, for example, NF-kB migrates to the cell's nucleus and ignites other proteins that mount a defense against the virus. But NF-kB also protects new cancer cells.

"It helps provide the environment in which cancer cells can grow. That is the part of the process when we say the cancer is out of control," Holmes-McNary says.

Blocking NF-kBs prevents cancer cells from growing, Holmes-McNary says. In one experiment, Holmes-McNary treated white blood cells so their NF-kB was turned on as they migrated to the nucleus. Treating the cells with Res for 30 to 60 minutes halted NF-kB's progress, Holmes-McNary says. Similarly, when liver cells with a potential cancer gene were treated with Res, growth of the cancer cells stopped.

In addition to suppressing cancer growth, deactivating NF-kB also meant that another protein, MCP-1, was not triggered, Holmes-McNary says. And since MCP-1 is key to the development of inflammation and atherosclerosis, Holmes-McNary says this could be good news for research in heart disease.

Res is found in many fruits and nuts, though Holmes-McNary says it seems to be particularly concentrated in red grapes, mulberries, raspberries and peanuts.

However, Guohua Cao, a chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston, says red wine doesn't contain that much Res. He says many researchers believe red wine's ability to fight cancer and heart disease comes from antioxidant concentrations in the drink.

Nonetheless, Cao says it's not surprising that Res thoroughly dismantles NF-kB, and it could prove to be a valuable tool to fight cancer and heart disease.

Holmes-McNary says the next step will be testing Res on tumors in animals.

What to Do

Go ahead and eat red grapes and drink that red wine, but Holmes-McNary says also do yourself a favor by eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

For more on the possible benefits of drinking wine, check this roundup of recent research . And never fear; Science Daily has a story showing that beer, too, can help protect you from cancer.

-- cin (cin@cinn.cin), August 05, 2000


I'm not questioning that red wine is good for some folks (seems like I also read that wine was fine for men but not as good for women because those compounds could also increase estrogen production, which is suspected to cause breast cancer) -- BUT -- just once, I'd like to see legit medical doctors recommend that something that I enjoy eating or drinking is good for reducing the risk of cancer...

I'll be the first to fund a study that shows that drinking two cans of Dew daily scares away prostate cancer or acne or...

-- (, August 05, 2000.

LOL kb

I, myself, don't care for the taste of red wine, but like some white wines. I wonder if there are some similar benefits.

-- cin (cin@cinn.cin), August 05, 2000.

Isn't any wine supposed to help cut the blood cholestrol? I'm sure there are benefits to both. I quit drinking because I honestly don't like the taste of alcohol and can get just as high and relaxed from a couple hours of bass fishing, but I've been told by many that I'm not normal.

Pity me tonight. My girlfriend and I were supposed to go to the state fair, but her uncle's funeral was today. I offered to accompany her, but she was afraid that the sight of me in a suit and tie would bring him back to life, and apparently he was a cranky old snot.

-- (, August 05, 2000.

I was raised as thinking of wine (red wine) as a food item, to be taken with your meals. As it is, I can't see how I could enjoy a a hearty meal without a good glass of vino.

By the way, I've recently noted that the pretentiousness in describing good wines has spread to cigars as well. A friend passed me a copy of Cigar Aficionado and I just about choked on some of the reviews.... A red table wine tastes about as much like fruits and muffins as a Partagas "reminisces" of wood and leather.


-- Morgan (, August 06, 2000.

Party on.

-- Oxy (, August 06, 2000.

"Science Daily has a story showing that beer, too, can help protect you from cancer."

Best news I've heard all week! I can't wait to tell my wife!!!

-- Brewer (suds@for.the.masses), August 06, 2000.

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