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Wine used in anti-cancer pill

The chemical compound found in red wine is to be used in a pill developed by scientists to help stop cancer, it has emerged.

The compound, resveratrol, is one of the ingredients of four pills currently being tested by boffins at the university of Leicester. Other chemicals include tricin from rice, anthocyanins (antioxidants from bilberries, but also found in red wine) and curcumin, from curry spices.

UK newspaper the Daily Mail says the scientists are looking to use food compounds to prevent the onset of breast, colon and prostate cancer. The pills are predicted to be on the shelves by 2010 and the researchers say they could be ‘highly effective’ as a means of preventing human cells from becoming malignant.

‘These [compounds] have proved highly effective in the laboratory – it is extraordinary,’ said Professor Will Steward. ‘We know they are safe to use but we want to establish if they are effective in humans.’

Tests using the tablets are ongoing, with further clinical trials expected.

Written by Oliver Styles, and agencies

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