Red Wine Benefits for Prostate Health

Want to keep your prostate healthy? Well, you are just a ‘glass of red wine’ away from it. Consuming red wine in moderation has long been known to benefit the heart. However, recent studies have shown that red wine does display a prostate-protective effect, and drinking it regularly may help reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer.

Red grapes that are primarily used in making red wine contain resveratrol, which lies in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol shows antioxidant activity, but also seems to have anti-cancer properties that help in promoting prostate health.

How is Red Wine Good for Prostate
According to June 2007 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, consuming at least 4 glasses of red wine every week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by half.

The study published in the International Journal of Cancer traced the type of alcohol consumed by two groups, with over 700 men in each group. One group consisted of men affected with prostate cancer, while the second group had healthy individuals. The study showed a remarkable decrease in prostate cancer risk in people taking red wine. One glass of red wine contains 4 ounces. Researchers found that men who took four to seven glasses of red wine per week slashed their risk by a whopping 48%. Men who consumed just 1 glass of red wine every week carried 6% lower risk of prostate cancer.

The study also revealed that increased intake of red wine (up to 8 glasses every week) reduced the chances of getting aggressive cancer by 61%. Aggressive cancer is one of the most severe forms of cancer in which the cancerous cells spread rapidly. Thus, the study shows that red wine further slashes the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. This indicates that red wine consumption provides more effective protection against severe forms of cancer.

Effective Medical Treatments
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are more potent against prostate cancer cells when the treatment is complemented with resveratrol, an important ingredient found in red wine. From previous studies it was proved, that bringing prostate cancer cells in contact with a specific dose of resveratol make them extremely sensitive to chemotherapy. Researchers were keen to find out whether this effect also holds true for radiation. A study reported in the Journal of Andrology and Cancer Science, did prove that exposure of prostate tumor cells to resveratrol, and the subsequent radiation therapy that followed, destroyed up to 97% of tumor cells, including the aggressive type of cancer cells.

Proteins in cancer cells play a key role in the destruction of tumor cells. It is observed that the amount of proteins present in prostate cancer cells is small. However, due to the combination treatment, the activity of proteins rose dramatically, which led to widespread wipe out of tumor cells.

The research does show that tumor cells are more responsive to radiation/chemotherapy when combined with resveratrol. The combination treatment seems to be more efficacious than chemotherapy or radiation alone.

Although the study points out the effectiveness of resveratrol in killing cancer cells, using it along with prostate cancer treatment is not feasible. This is because the amount of resveratrol required to destroy cancer cells is substantially high, and so taking resveratrol in such large doses can cause a wide range of side effects.

On the whole, the research does reveal that intake of red wine and prostate health go well together. Still, drinking red wine in moderation is a must to reap its benefits, as observed by the researchers. Heavy consumption of red wine (more than 8 glasses every week), is detrimental to health and hence, excess intake should be avoided.