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Resveratrol may prevent breast cancer

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TUESDAY July 8, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) ---Taking the amount of resveratrol found in a glass of red wine could suppress a carcinogenesis that would otherwise lead to breast cancer, according to a laboratory study in the July 2008 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytochemical found in red wine, red grapes, and some nuts. It has been known to provide a range of health benefits such as prevention of heart disease and cancer.

"Resveratrol has the ability to prevent the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that leads to cancer by blocking the formation of the estrogen DNA adducts," said Eleanor G. Rogan, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

"We believe that this could stop the whole progression that leads to breast cancer down the road."  

Rogan is a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

For the current study, Rogan and colleagues measured the effect of resveratrol on cellular functions known to affect breast cancer.

They found that resveratrol was powerful in terms of its suppression of the formation of some estrogen-DNA adducts, which would potentially lead to development of breast cancer.

The results show that as little as 10 umol/L, the amount found in a glass of red wine (which typically contains 9 to 28 umol/L of resveratrol), would suppress the DNA adducts.  

Estrogen is known to fuel the growth of breast cancer by reacting with DNA molecules to form adducts, according to the authors.

What resveratrol suppressed was the expression of CYP1B1 and the formation of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, two known risk factors for breast cancer, the researchers found.

Rogan was cited in a news release as saying resveratrol works by inducing an enzyme called quinone reductase, which reduces the estrogen metabolite back to an inactive form. 

The real preventive effect in humans needs to be tested in trials, Rogan said.

Editor's note: Resveratrol is present in red wine, but do not count on red wine to prevent breast cancer. Alcoholic beverages are known carcinogens and boost the risk of cancer.


By Ben Wasserman, and edited by Heather Kelley.
Jul 8, 2008 - 4:30:13 PM
 

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