Korean traditional rice wine, or makgeolli, contains a material believed to be effective in slowing the growth of stomach cancer cells, a study showed Monday.
The Korea Food Research Institute said in a recent study that it discovered that makgeolli curbs the proliferation of stomach cancer tumors when it comes into contact with stomach cancer cells.
Animal testing on mice also showed that makgeolli was effective in facilitating phosphatase and tensin homolog, a protein that helps suppress tumors.
The study used a makgeolli extract obtained after the alcohol and moisture were removed.
Beta sitosterol, mostly contained in rice, is the key ingredient that works against stomach cancer cells, the KFRI said.
A previous study by the institute found the existence of other anti-tumor substances such as farnesol and squalene in the alcoholic beverage that is also abundant in healthful bacteria and dietary fiber.
The Korean traditional liquor is made from rice, yeast and water, typically containing 6-8 percent alcohol.
Once known as the farmer's drink, makgeolli has expanded its customer base among youngsters as a low-alcohol option in South Korea.
Local makgeolli makers have been also making efforts to expand to overseas markets by developing new flavors and alcohol degrees to cater to the various needs of foreign customers. (Yonhap)