TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Inside a glass of red wine is a compound that could ward off one of the world's leading causes of death.
"What's really interesting about it is it's been shown to prevent carcinogenesis, so prevent the development of cancer," said University of Arizona Honors College student Ariane Guthrie.
Guthrie and her research partner, Dr. Jessica Martinez of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, are taking a deeper look into how a natural compound known as resveratrol, could prevent cancer -- namely, breast cancer.
For years, scientists have scrutinized whether resveratrol, which can be found in red wine and peanuts, can indeed prevent cancer.
Guthrie's thesis, along with Martinez's mentorship, seeks to unlock resveratrol's benefits and even expose possible adverse effects of resveratrol among those who take it.
"It may not be for everybody. Now that resveratrol is available in such high doses and as a supplement, there is that potential for it to have nutrient drug interactions," Guthrie said.
Guthrie's and Martinez's prime goal, however, is to learn how resveratrol could prevent breast cancer by studying how it interacts with metabolites.
"What we're doing is we're looking at the systemic effects of resveratrol in these women," Martinez said.
To do so, their research delves into data already available from a clinical trial where women took one dose of resveratrol supplements everyday for 12 weeks. They are able to study metabolic changes by analyzing plasma and urine samples from the clinical trial.
"If resveratrol does what we hope it does, then it would have a particular mechanism for breast cancer," Martinez said.
Both researchers however, need more funding to further the research by analyzing more samples.
"We'll be able to learn a lot more with more support," Martinez said.
Donations to support their research can be made through the UA Honors College.
The first $1,000 in donations will be matched by the UA Honors College dean, the UA Cancer Center Director, and development officers from those units.