Resveratrol And Its Role In Cancer Research

Resveratrol has been the subject of increasingly intensive research over the past two decades. It is interesting to note however, that this remarkable naturally occurring polyphenol was discovered long before then. Resveratrol was in fact known for its unusual properties as far back as the 1940's, although it was primarily for its bacteria and fungi resistant properties that first gained attention.

A closer look at resveratrol

Over 20 years ago, scientists began to investigate a phenomenon that was later to be called the French paradox. This was an occurrence that revolved around the realization that the French–particularly the residents of the country's southern portion–seemed amazingly resistant to the effect of their high fat diet. This was greatly at odds with many other parts of the world, where such a diet resulted in a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases among the general population. The people of southern France appeared to have a low rate of such diseases, which led scientists to examine their diet and lifestyle habits. Subsequent research showed that this was due to the French custom of consuming generous amounts of red wine, which contained abundant amounts of resveratrol.

Resveratrol and cancer

What was more exciting however was the realization that resveratrol may in fact play a larger role in cancer prevention. In studies that involved the examination of cancer cells from different parts of the body, it was shown that resveratrol has the remarkable effect of attacking cancer cells while leaving the surrounding healthy cells virtually untouched. Further research along these lines showed that resveratrol displays this cancer cell fighting property at all three stages of cancer development. How it does this is remarkable to say the least.

How resveratrol targets cancer cells

In order to see how resveratrol has this effect of halting cancer development, it is important to realize that cancer cells rely on their mitochondria to provide them with the energy they need to grow. Resveratrol has the effect of inhibiting the normal function of the mitochondria, thus preventing further growth. In its nutrient depleted state, the cancer cell can then be easily killed off by radiation treatment or chemotherapy.

The results of tests conducted on pancreatic cancer cases were particularly encouraging, with patients taking the supplements in conjunction with chemotherapy experienced significantly higher rates of improvement than patients that underwent only chemotherapy.

Other health benefits

As significant as resveratrol’s potential to fight off cancer, what is even more remarkable is that it can help prevent and offset the effects of many other diseases as well. Resveratrol may also be able to provide protection against obesity, certain types of diabetes, and heart disease, which makes it an even better supplement to add to your daily regimen.

Leave a comment

Latest Articles

Any Query?