Scientists at the University of Leicester have found new evidence about resveratrol, a chemical found in the skins of red grapes, to help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Even though the potential health benefits of resveratrol have been known for some time, it has not yet been proven that resveratrol can be effective in humans.

Using laboratory models, the scientists have found that a daily amount of resveratrol equivalent to two glasses of wine can reduce the rate of bowel tumours by 50%.

The scientists now plan to conduct clinical trials to find out the optimum level of resveratrol in humans.

Member of cancer biomarkers and prevention group at University of Leicester professor Karen Brown said they are planning to identify the mechanisms of how resveratrol works in human cells.

"A lot of people take resveratrol as a supplement, but at the moment we don’t know how it works or on whom it can work until we have more information – we don’t even know the best dose you should take," Brown added.

"It has been shown that high doses of resveratrol may potentially interfere with other medication. With all the exciting new studies that are being done – especially the clinical trials – I hope we’ll have a clearer picture in the next few years."