A new University of Guelph study has seemingly pinpointed why consuming red grape juice or wine has the potential to help fight off breast cancer, according to a university media release.
Professor Gopi Paliyath, of the school’s department of plant agriculture, and Professor Kelly Meckling, of its human health and nutritional sciences department, have learned polyphenols in red grapes can inhibit cancer cells from establishing by suppressing the expression of certain genes that lead to tumor development.
The results of their research are to be published in the Journal of Nutrition Research.
Their study saw mice fed polyphenols extracted from Merlot grapes and red wine. The mice were subsequently injected with breast cancer cells.
“Our results support the disease-preventive role of fruits in the diet,” Paliyath stated. “When people consume red grapes or juice, the concentration of polyphenols in the body can increase. Maintaining a certain level of polyphenols may lead to the destruction of mutated or abnormal cells, preventing their establishment and the development of cancer.”
Both grape and wine polyphenols prevented tumor growth, in the research. But grape polyphenols were more effective, probably because the mice absorbed them better, Paliyath said.
In previous research, the researchers showed polyphenols also can stop established breast cancer cells by interfering with the cells’ mitochondrial function, which leads to their self-destruction.
“Ultimately, the consumption of grapes, grape juice and red wine may provide multiple levels of protection against breast cancer,” Paliyath said.