Why Resveratrol May Help Fight Cancer

Scientist have discovered a natural substance that positively affects all stages of cancer as well as having a preventative effect. Resveratrol is a polypenol that when given in high doses shuts down and prevent cancerous tumors by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth.
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are the most abundant group of plant phenolic compounds, known to provide much of the flavor, color, and taste to fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other parts of the plants. They provide a variety of gene activating mechanisms. These small-molecule polyphenolic substances are found naturally in plants and are extremely effective at protecting plants and animals against common health problems and the effects of aging.
Plants stressed by drought, infection, ultraviolet radiation form sunlight, and other stress factors produce even more of these protective polyphenols. Resveratrol found in the skin of stressed red grapes are playing a big role in the anti-aging movement.
Before I explain how resveratrol helps in preventing and even fighting cancer I would like to explain the various stages of cancer.
How Cancer Begins
When cancer first begins in the body it is called the initiation stage. This happens when free radicals attack the membrane of the cell, the mitochondria (the cells energy furnace) and the cells DNA in the cell’s nucleus. Injury to the DNA leads to mutations and, if left unchecked leads to a malignancy.
While free radicals are normal by-products of the cell’s energy-producing mitochondria sort of like the exhaust from burning gasoline in a combustion engine. The body has systems to remove them, but when the boy is bombarded by an unhealthy diet or inadequate nutrient laden diet, environmental pollution, and the body’s own normal production, the body turn to antioxidants like Vitamins C, E and beta-carotene to neutralize their destructive effects.
In the second stage of cancer called promotion phase, the cancer cells proliferate. This is a lengthy but still reversible process in which you have actively dividing precancerous cells accumulating and enlarging. This promotion stage of rapid cell division is enhanced by inflammation, not only at the site, but throughout the entire body. Vegetable oils such as corn, and safflower oil, manmade trans-fatty acids, and saturated fats found in meat and fatty fried foods contribute to this silent inflammation.
At this 2nd stage there is no pain or indication of its presence growing in the body’s organs.  It is in the first and 2nd stage that cancer if most curable.
The 3rd stage is the most deadly stage. If the body’s defenses fail and the tumor begins to grow, it will start to release various growth factors to insure the cancer cell’s survival. These growth factors begin to intrude on healthy surrounding tissue and create thousands of new microscopic blood vessels to supply the cancerous growth. This process is called angiogenesis. As the tumor nourished itself it acquires a pathway to seed other tumors elsewhere in the body.
One in 4 people in the United States will develop cancer. Obviously the first and most significant line of defense against any cancer is to prevent it. From hundreds of studies we know that natural substances can neutralize free radicals, reduce the inflammatory response and block angiogenisis ( growing cancer cells) thus interfering with all three of the stages.
In 1979 Dr. John Pezzutto form Purdue began many years of research investigating natural plants that might inhibit or prevent cancer. After years of screening tens of thousands of natural compounds, in 1997 he and his team published a paper in the Journal Science entitled “Cancer Chemopreventive Activity of Resveratrol. A Natural Product derived from grapes. For the first time researchers demonstrated that resveratrol could interfere with all three stages of cancer. It neutralizes free radicals as a potent antioxidant in the first stage, acted as an anti-inflammatory during the promotion stage and inhibited the formation of new blood vessels during the 3rd stage. The conclusion of Dr. Pezzutto was, “Our results suggest that resveratrol merits further investigation as a cancer chemopreventative agent in humans.”
The following cancers were inhibited by resveratrol in animals and human cell models.
  • Colon
  • Neuroblastoma
  • esophagus
  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Leukemia
  • Metastasis to bone
  • Squamous cell
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreas
  • Ovary
  • Liver
  • Oral Cavity
  • Cervical
  • Lymphoma
  • Thyroid
  • Lung
  • Stomach
When resveratrol was used during radiation therapy there were several positive outcomes:
  1. Resveratrol acted as a tumor sensitizer, that is it made the malignant cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.
  2. It also made normal tissue less sensitive to radiation thus minimizing the side effects of radiation on normal tissue.
  3. 3. Resveratrol enhanced the effects of chemotherapy therefore resulting in a higher kill rate of cancerous cells. This finding was reported in March 2008 issue of the journal of Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.

With all the Resveratrol product hype how do you choose an effective resveratrol product that is effective? There is no much marketing hype that “buyer beware” is a slogan we must adopt if we want to protect our health and stop throwing on money away on inferior products.
Some believe that the best way to test for the SIRT1 activation for biologically active resveratrol products is to use high performance liquid chromatography. While a few companies have done this there Dr. Joseph Maroon, M.D. in his book, The Longevity Factors says that there is growing scientific evidence that a combination of resveratrol and other potent polyphenols migh provide improved health benefits due the synergistic properties of mixed polyphenols rather than just resveratrol alone.
In Dr. Maroons book, The Longevity Factor he mentions a product by Shaklee called Vivix which is the only mixed polyphenol on the market at the printing of his book. He goes on to expound on why a mixed polyphenol product has benefits over just a stand alone resveratrol product.