The hormone is abundant in grape seeds and skins and helps to protect the plant against environmental stresses such as pruning, micro-organisms and fungus. The fermenting process in red wine means the seeds and skins stay in the wine, and sealing the bottle prevents the resveratrol from escaping.
Though a clear link between resveratrol and cancer prevention is yet to be established, it has been found to interfere with tumour growth in animals in some lab tests. A Danish study also showed that men who drank one glass of red wine per day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 40 per cent.
So raise a glass of red wine, but keep it to one 125-millilitre glass per day for women, and one or two for men. Any benefits quickly diminish with over-consumption.