1 january 2014

Can resveratrol in wine protect against the carcinogenicity of ethanol? A probabilistic dose-response assessment

Resveratrol, which may occur in wine, was suggested to act as a chemopreventive agent against the carcinogenic effects of ethanol. The assumption was based on data from experimental animals, which have shown that resveratrol above certain thresholds may reduce the incidence of tumours in several of the alcohol-related cancer sites (colon, liver and female breast). Using a probabilistic Monte Carlo type methodology, we estimated daily intake based on chemical analysis of resveratrol (n = 672) and ethanol (n = 867). Benchmark dose (BMD)-response modelling was conducted for resveratrol based on eight animal experiments, whereas BMD data for ethanol were taken from the literature. The margin of exposure (MOE) was calculated for both substances as an indicator if the intake may reach effective dosages. For intake of one 100-mL glass of wine, the average MOE was found to be 4.1 for ethanol and 459,937 for resveratrol. In the best-case scenario for resveratrol (e.g., very high contents and assuming a low effective dosage), the minimum MOE would be 111, which means that 111 glasses of wine need to be consumed daily to reach the BMD. The MOE ratio between resveratrol and ethanol is 166,128 on average, meaning that per glass of wine, ethanol is more than 100,000 times more potent than resveratrol. As resveratrol intake may not optimally reach the effective dosage, our study excludes a preventive effect of this substance on alcohol-related cancer. Commercial information about cancer-preventive or -protective effects of resveratrol in wine is misleading and must be prohibited.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Lachenmeier D.W.; Godelmann R.; Witt B.; Riedel K.; Rehm J.
  • Issue

    Int.J.Cancer / pages 144-153 / volume 134
  • Published Date

    1 january 2014