Red wine kills cancer | Health - Hindustan Times

Red wine kills cancer

PTI | ByAsian News International, Washington
May 28, 2004 12:30 PM IST

A compound in Red wine called resveratrol starves cancer cells by inhibiting action of key protein.

A new research conducted by scientists at the University of Virginia Health System has revealed that a compound found in Red wine called resveratrol starves cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a key protein that feeds them.

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The protein, called nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-kB), is found in the nucleus of all cells and activates genes responsible for cell survival. Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University said that the resveratrol in one glasses of wine three or four times a week is the right amount to block the protein from feeding cancer cells.

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The findings were discovered by Fan Yeung, a postdoctoral fellow at U.Va. Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Mayo and his team demonstrated that cancer cells treated with resveratrol died because they became sensitive to a compound called Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa).

Resveratrol initiated a reaction in the NF-kB molecule that caused the cancer cells essentially to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis.The use of NF-kB inhibitors like resveratrol also has important implications for increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapy.

"Researchers are always looking for ways to improve cancer therapy. Current studies are using compounds similar to TNFa in conjunction with resveratrol to kill cancer cells," Mayo said.

Mayo added that clinical trials using this approach in patients are showing encouraging results and this research may explain why this combined therapy is effective.

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