Vina Medicata ~ The Doctor is In… Your Glass

What’s good for the heart may also be very good for lung cancer. In a groundbreaking study just published in  Cancer Cell International, investigators from Brock and McMaster universities in Canada have shown that wines are effective in stopping the spread of non-small-cell carcinoma.

Over the past few years, much has been written about the benefits of  polyphenol resveratrol on cardiovascular health, confirming that drinking a glass of red wine a day can help keep the heart surgeon away.

In cancer, cell damage occurs from oxidation, a process that releases harmful free radicals. Polyphenol resveratrol, is a potent antioxidant that prevents this damage. The significance of this study: This is the first time that researchers have demonstrated this link using actual wine instead of a synthetic form.

Evangelia Tsiani, associate professor of community health sciences at Brock University and Dr. Theos Tsakiridis, from the Radiation Oncology division at McMaster University’s Department of Oncology, looked at the effects of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Riesling on Non-Small Lung Cancer Cells (NSLCC). Using wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries, they found strong data suggesting that wine may have “considerable anti-tumour and chemoprevention properties in lung cancer and deserves further systematic investigation in animal models of lung cancer.”

While all the reds had a significant effect, and in small doses, the Pinot Noir was the most effective. White wines produced an effect that was evident but higher doses were required to be significant. And as with most things in life, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing will not help increase the result, and it’ll just give you a sore head in the morning.

According to Mark McNeil [via the Hamilton Spectator], just eating the wine grapes was not identified by the research team as a beneficial way to deliver the resveratrol needed to obtain these results ~ it may be a combination of resveratrol and the various, currently unidentified, chemicals in fermentation that impact the cancer cells.

While more investigation is needed to determine whether this study will yield the same effect in animals, it’s an excellent step in the right direction for helping prevent the progression of a disease that affects so many.

So drink up! In many cases, it’s just what the doctor ordered.


©TheWineStudent, 2014


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