Red wine
A team of researchers has identified a chemical compound, resveratrol, in the red wine that can potentially help slow down the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's. In this photo, dated Feb. 10, 2015, a glass of red wine is seen near Bordeaux, southwestern France. Reuters/Regis Duvignau

Resveratrol, a cancer-fighting compound found in red grapes and wine, helps prevent bowel cancer if taken in small doses, a University of Leicester, England, study showed. The latest research specifically found that small doses of wine were more effective than higher doses, slashing observations made by previous studies that say drinking more wine helps reduce the disease's risk.

Researchers conducted the study to see whether the daily low doses of resveratrol were effective enough to fight cancer. The study team said the low dose is equivalent to the resveratrol found in 250 milliliter glass of red wine.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, was conducted on cancer-prone mice. Researchers gave varied amounts of resveratrol doses to them and found that even lower bouts of the compound can be effective against cancer cells. The results also showed that the compound affects the tumor's growth process.

According to the researchers, a 50 percent reduction in tumor size was observed while the high dosage showed only 25 percent reduction. But, the team noted that this effect was only seen in mice that were on a high-fat diet.

“For the first time, we’re seeing that less resveratrol is more. This study shows that low amounts may be better at preventing tumors than taking a high dose,” Karen Brown, the study's author and professor of translational cancer research at the University of Leicester, said in a statement released Wednesday.

Researchers said that the findings of the study open up new possibilities for the role of purified resveratrol in preventing cancer. However, the team noted that people with a specific genetic make-up, particular diets and lifestyles could reap the most benefits from this compound.