Most of us have come across wine as a harmful drink. Well, a scientific research has revealed something really surprising! Studies suggest that wine has potent ingredients that can serve as a cure for cancer.
Wine is commonly made out of Andean berries. Vaccinium meridonale or Andean berry contains significant antioxidant content and helps to eliminate harmful free radicals from the body.
The researchers from the National University of Colombia and University of Antioquia have discovered that Andean berry wine also has latent use in the preventing and treating cancer.
Free radicals are unstable, reactive species of elements that are produced in the body in result to various metabolic processes. A high amount of free radicals, greater than that of the antioxidants, inflicts damage on DNA, proteins, and cellular membranes. These kinds of corporal damages can increase the risks of diseases like cancer.
Plant-based foods are usually rich in antioxidants but they may lose the content when processed. However, studies suggest that the fermentation process used for producing alcoholic beverages helps to retain the antioxidant content of the ingredients used. In addition, it allows long-term storage of antioxidant-rich foods.
In winemaking, the maceration technique, however, possibly affects the antioxidants of the ingredients.
This respective study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. For the analysis, the researchers considered three maceration techniques,
- Fruit preheating
- Mechanical maceration
- Combination of both
The researchers, then, compared the antioxidant properties of Must and fermented wine. Must is the un-fermented, freshly pressed fruit juice. The antioxidant activity of the Andean berry products relies upon on their anti-free radical activities and their total phenolic content.
The observations were as follow,
- In comparison to the fermented products, Must exhibited a higher phenolic content especially when prepared using maceration techniques involving heat.
- Mechanical maceration resulted in the reduction of antioxidants. This could possibly be due to polyphenol oxidase. Moreover, mechanical maceration enhances the area of contact of oxygen improving the enzymatic action. On the counter side, heat inhibits enzymatic action leading to higher antioxidant content.
The research team also determined the anti-proliferative activity of Andean berry wine prepared by the pre-heating method. Andean berry wine was seen to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. This cytotoxic activity of wine is attributed to the presence of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins can inhibit cancer cell proliferation and metastasis, various studies report.
Thus, Andean berry wine can potentially be used for cancer treatment and prevention due to its high antioxidant content. However, further research is still required for any kind of practical implementation of the study.