A diet of fruits and vegetables, washed down with red wine or green tea, could help keep cancer and heart disease at bay.
That's thanks to polyphenols -- antioxidants that shut down and prevent cancerous tumours, according to new research published in the November issue of The FASEB Journal.
The research, by French scientists, describes how very high doses of polyphenols prevent cancerous tumours by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumour growth.
Polyphenols are commonly found in red wine, fruits, vegetables and green tea.
The researchers found that relatively lower doses of polyphenols play a beneficial role in those with diseased hearts and circulatory systems by facilitating blood vessel growth, the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) reported.
The amount of polyphenols necessary for this effect was found to be the equivalent of only one glass of red wine per day or simply sticking to a healthy diet of polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables - known as the "Mediterranean Diet".
The study adds to a growing body of research showing dose-dependent relationships for many types of commonly used compounds.
"When it comes to finding treatments for complex diseases, the answers are sometimes right there waiting to be discovered in unexpected places like the produce aisles and wine racks of the nearest store," said the Journal's editor Gerald Weissmann.
"But it takes modern science to isolate the pure compound, test it in the lab, and to go on from there to find new agents to fight disease."