Over indulging in alcohol, is likely to increase your risk of certain cancers, but a University of Colorado team explains how a compound in red wine maybe useful in fighting cancers. A recent study published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology shows that although alcohol has been linked as a risk factor for head and neck cancer, resveratrol — a compound found in red wine and grape skins — may be useful in treating cancers.
The mice in this experiment had cancer tumors, but when chemical compounds found in red wine were administered into the rodents’ bodies, their tumors decreased in size and the growth of new ones was minimised. These findings could lead to nontoxic options in cancer treatment down the road. It is unlikely that normal quantities of resveratrol in wine can make a difference in terms of cancer protection. However, it is worth noting that Pinot Noir has one of the highest levels of resveratrol of all wine varieties. A study published in 1995 in the “American Journal of Enology and Viticulture” compared various wines from around the world and found that pinot noir wines had the highest content of resveratrol regardless of country of origin. I was involved in a benchmarking study comparing pinot noir grapes/wine produced in the Mornington Peninsula with those coming from the Yarra Valley. This demonstrated the regional, as well as sub-regional variations in resveratrol. Incidentally, my grapes and wine had the highest levels in the study however I can’t claim any credit or have any explanation for why some vineyards have higher levels that others.