University of Leicester scientists will present groundbreaking new evidence about how a chemical found in red wine can help prevent cancer on Wednesday, December 5.
Experts from around the world are set to attend Resveratrol 2012, a major conference at the University which will assess the latest advances in the study of resveratrol – a compound found in the skins of red grapes.
The conference will feature new findings based on the last two years of research, which show how the chemical can help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
The event follows the first international conference on resveratrol, held in 2010 in Denmark, and evidence from more than ten clinical trials held since will be presented and discussed.
Although the potential health benefits of resveratrol have been known for some time, it has not yet been proven that resveratrol can be effective in humans and the best dose to give remains unknown – meaning that its widespread use cannot safely be recommended at the moment.
Researchers at the University of Leicester have been researching the levels of resveratrol which can be beneficial in preventing cancer.
Using laboratory models, they have found that a daily amount of resveratrol equivalent to two glasses of wine can halve the rate of bowel tumors.
Professor Karen Brown, a member of the University's Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group and one of the organisers of Resveratrol 2012, said: "This is the second conference that brings together all the world experts in resveratrol. We have got a fantastic line up covering cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases and life extension.
"At the University of Leicester, we want to see how resveratrol might work to prevent cancer in humans. Having shown in our lab experiments that it can reduce tumour development we are now concentrating on identifying the mechanisms of how resveratrol works in human cells."
The Leicester researchers now hope to take their findings from the lab to the next stage by carrying out clinical trials to find the optimum level of resveratrol in humans.
Professor Brown added: "A lot of people take resveratrol as a supplement, but at the moment we don't know how it works or on whom it can work until we have more information - we don't even know the best dose you should take. It has been shown that high doses of resveratrol may potentially interfere with other medication. With all the exciting new studies that are being done - especially the clinical trials - I hope we'll have a clearer picture in the next few years."
The conference will include more than 65 lectures, presentations and posters by different researchers from all over the world.
As well as offering opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking, the conference will produce a selection of reports with the latest update on global resveratrol research, as well as the next set of recommendations for the coming year's scientific research and the use of resveratrol.