Wine pills could help fight against cancer

British scientists are pioneering the use of pills made from rice, berries and red wine to prevent cancerous tumours in the breast, bowel and prostate.

After extensive research into the diets of people less likely to develop cancer, four different pills are being made from compounds in Thai sticky rice, bilberries, red wine and spices.

Funding for the project is being supplied by Cancer Research UK and the pills will be ready for trial by 2010.

Professor Will Steward, a cancer and molecular medicine expert at the University of Leicester, said: "These agents have proved highly effective in the laboratory.

"They act in numerous ways on pre-cancerous cells but they also appear to be effective on cancerous cells."

The four compounds are tricin, found in Thai sticky rice, resveratrol from red wine, curcumin from turmeric and anthocyanins, groups of antioxidants derived from bilberries.

Red wine has long been hailed as a health supplement and a recent report in Cell Metabolism revealed that it could improve treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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