Resveratrol in red wine might protect against cancer, but don’t reach for drink just yet

| | August 3, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Researchers in Leicester have published the results of a new study showing that relatively small doses of purified resveratrol, a chemical found in red grapes and wine, might have an impact in reducing the risk of bowel cancer – at least, in mice prone to developing the disease.

Judging by the kind of headlines we’ve seen in response to previous resveratrol studies, we can expect at least a few “Red wine prevents cancer” stories. But, as we’ve explained before, this is a long way from the truth: in fact, alcohol increases the risk of cancer and would outweigh any potential benefits. Additionally, these studies have only looked at the effects of purified resveratrol – not red wine.

To avoid any misunderstandings, we wanted to explain a bit more about the research – published in the journal Science Translational Medicine – and why it isn’t an excuse to hit the bottle.

The chemical itself has a range of effects on cells, mainly by influencing energy production (metabolism), although exactly how it works isn’t entirely clear. Tests on cells grown in the lab and some animal studies have suggested that resveratrol may have anti-cancer properties. However, translating these intriguing lab results into benefits for patients is fraught with difficulties and results from human trials of resveratrol for many diseases have been inconsistent – an issue that seems to crop up repeatedly with other food-derived chemicals.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Resveratrol, red wine and cancer: what’s the story?


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