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CHARLOTTEVILLE, Va., May 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Virginia scientists say they have discovered how red wine in moderation can provide some health benefits.
Such benefits are mainly attributed to a compound called resveratrol. Now, scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have found how resveratrol helps starve cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a key protein that feeds them.
The protein, called nuclear factor- kappa B, is found in the nucleus of all cells and activates genes responsible for cell survival.
"We used physiologically-relevant doses of resveratrol and found dramatic effects on human cancer cells," said Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the school.
Mayo said three or four glasses of wine a week provides the needed amount of resveratrol to block the protein from feeding cancer cells. Drinking much more than that, however, could lead to a greater risk of cancer, he said.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.