~ Resveratrol Identified as an Anti-Cancer Compound

HealthNewsDigest.com, 04 Apr 2005

New research suggests the importance of foods like cranberries that naturally contain resveratrol, an anti-cancer compound. A research team led by Dr. Bharat Aggarwal at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in conjunction with Dr. Navindra Seeram of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, published their review article, citing more than 70 previous studies, in the journal Anticancer Research.


The authors reviewed studies examining resveratrol's ability to suppress proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells, including lymphoid and myeloid cancers; cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, stomach, prostate, head and neck, ovary, liver, lung and cervical cancers; melanoma; and muscles. Some studies indicate antiproliferative effects at certain dose ranges but not others, indicating further need for systemic research to test a range of resveratrol concentrations in vitro and then apply those doses in vivo to the different types of tumors.


Besides inhibiting proliferation, resveratrol was also shown to induce apoptosis through one of two pathways (inducing Fas-dependent apoptosis in some cell lines, and Fas-independent apoptosis in others) in b-cell and t-cell lymphomas; myeloid leukemia; breast, colon, pancreas, stomach, prostate, thyroid and head and neck, ovary, liver, lung, and cervical cancers; and melanoma. Most studies indicate resveratrol does not induce apoptosis in normal cells.

In vitro and animal studies comprised the majority of the research reviewed, though several of the leukemia studies were in vivo. The research points to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of resveratrol as well. Good sources of resveratrol include grapes, peanuts, cranberries and other berries.

The researchers conclude that resveratrol holds great potential in cancer prevention and therapy. In vivo studies clearly showed that resveratrol is pharmacologically safe. Its ability to radiosensitive and chemosensitize suggest additional opportunities. With a simple structure and the presence of hydroxyl groups, resveratrol would also be well suited for structure-activity relationship studies to improve biopotency and bioavailability.

Reference: Aggarwal, BB. Role of Resveratrol in Prevention and Therapy of Cancer: Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Anticancer Research 2004;24:2783-2840.

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