Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wine Everyday Keeps the Doctor Away?

Several weeks ago I published an article about the massive increase in the purchase and consumption of red wine after a medical study revealed that an element in red wine may extend a person's life span. That study was truly remarkable and provided some weight for the argument to drink a glass of wine everyday to keep the doctor away.

To take that to the next level, an article on discusses another medical study which found that a pigmentation chemical that makes grape skins and wines red has been found to kill human leukemia and lymphoma. However, the compound, a type of anthocyanidin common in plants, left healthy blood cells alone. The study will be published on May 4 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. For the full Wine Spectator story, click here.

The medical team focused on one of the most common anthocyanidins, which are forms of anthocyanin, water-soluble flavonoids that provide color to flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables. In grapevines, anthocyanidin is believed to play a part in attracting honeybees to the vines' flowers, as well as serving as a natural sunscreen by protecting against high levels of ultraviolet radiation.

The team studied the effects and the mechanisms of cyanidin-3-rutinoside (C-3-R), to see how it behaves in the presence of cancer. The C-3-R was extracted and purified from black raspberries, though it also abounds in red wine. The C-3-R was tested on several lines of human leukemia and repeated using cell cultures of lymphoma, another immune system–based cancer. The scientists observed that, at low doses of C-3-R, half of the cancer cells in all of the lines died within 18 hours of treatment. At higher doses, the C-3-R killed all of the cells by the end of the 18-hour period. The experiment was repeated several times, on different types of leukemia cancer cells, with similar results.

Now I don't need another reason to drink a glass of wine everyday, but some of you might. The health benefits of wine have been professed for centuries, and often in the form of wives tales. However it seems that the medical world continues to conduct studies that illustrate some very promising health benefits. About 44,000 new leukemia cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2007, and there will be about 22,000 leukemia-related deaths according to the National Cancer Institute. I'm not saying red wine will cure cancer, but anything that can possibly prevent or ease the disease is OK in my book.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

honestly. i drink at least 2 glasses a night and have not been sick in 3 years. no cold nothing. wierd?