Wines from the Lone Star state have joined an elite group of wines from other production areas that share anti-cancer traits.


Researchers from Texas AgriLife have shown that extracts from two Texas-produced red wines—syrah and port—decreased cancer and breast cancer cell growth at about the same levels as other wines studied.


The study by Susanne Talcott, a College Station-based food and nutrition scientist, was the first of its type to study Texas wines, according to a university news release.


"These results could definitely be projected to all Texas wines containing similar amounts of bioactive compounds," Talcott said in the release. "And this will be the basis for a continued intensive study of all the health benefits of wines made in this state."


People who consume moderate levels of Texas wines daily—up to 1 1/2 glasses—could obtain the same health benefits as drinking wines from other regions. Talcott says.


"In general, studies show that wine may either prevent cells from mutating into cancer cells, or stop existing cancer cells from growing and causing them to die," Talcott said.


Certain components in wine arrest molecules in cancer cells, called micro RNAs, causing them to die, she says. The same compounds also may prevent cancer.


Texas is home to 177 wineries and 2,800 acres of bearing winegrapes in 2008, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The crop was valued at about $4.8 million.