Red Wine May Check Prostate Cancer (October 16, 2002)
Good news for men who like red wine: researchers from Getafe University
in Madrid have isolated five different polyphenols in red wine that inhibit
the growth of prostate cancer cells. In laboratory experiments, prostate
cancer cells in a test tube "committed suicide" by a natural
process called apoptosis.
After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second most deadly form of
cancer for men, according to the American Cancer Society.
The Spanish study examined the effect of five polyphenols found in red
wine – gallic acid, tannic acid, morin, quercetin and rutin –
on prostate cancer cells. While the findings are based on a small study,
the results are encouraging enough to expand the research to investigate
the effects of these polyphenols in humans with the ultimate goal of using
them to prevent the disease.
If these findings are confirmed by a larger study, they could explain
why North Americans and non-Mediterranean European populations have a
higher incidence of prostate cancer. The use of red wine and the consumption
of other polyphenolic foods in Mediterranean countries may be the reason.
"The Mediterranean diet is considered to be protective against endocrine
cancers (including prostate cancer)," said Dr. I. Romero, who headed
the Spanish study. "And it features a low animal-fat and meat content,
with a high intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta and wine."