Red Wine Helps in Fighting Cancer

Apr 01, 2008
Natural antioxidant found in red wine has the potential to fight with pancreatic cancer cells, study says.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center suggest that antioxidant resveratrol in grape skins and red wine can reach to the mitochondria, a core of cell's energy source and damage its function. Also if the treatment includes the combination of using resveratrol and irradiation, it resulted in apoptosis, the cancer cell death.

Paul Okunieff, a leading author of the study, said that in spite of the fact that consumption of red wine during chemotherapy or radiation treatment was not studied well, there are no contradictions in drinking red wine in moderation during treatment. Also he said that even better would be to drink red or purple grape juice.

Earlier scientists feared that antioxidants may also protect cancer cells. This research did not show such link and moreover, suggested that resveratrol is not only damaging the tumor cells but they also protect the healthy tissue from negative effect of radiation.

Okunieff explained that the next step is to find the proper concentration of this antioxidant and study how it acts inside the cell. Resveratrol showed the potential to make cancer cells more susceptible to radiation while healthy tissue less sensitive to its harmful effect.

The natural antioxidant resveratrol is known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic agents. Other natural antioxidants known are caffeine, melatonin, flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamins C and E.

Pancreatic cancer cells are known to be more resistant to chemotherapy. The pancreas gland is responsible for production of insulin and also channels digestive enzymes into duodenum. As a result during this process, chemotherapy is transferred to the pancreas from cells. Resveratrol can make a difference, decreasing the chances for the chemotherapy to be pumped out of the cells.

The findings of the research are published in the March edition of the journal, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.