Resveratrol May Reduce Cancer Risk and Cancer Cell Growth



 

A new study suggests that resveratrol may reduce cancer risk and cancer progression.



 

 

 

RESVERATROL MAY REDUCE CANCER RISK AND CANCER CELL GROWTH

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, resveratrol, a plant-derived phenol, has been found, in laboratory studies, to potentially reduce the risk of both cardiovascular disease and cancer, and may increase longevity as well (at least in laboratory animals…).

Resveratrol’s anti-cancer effects have been observed in multiple laboratory studies using cancer cells grown in culture and in laboratory animals.  (Unfortunately, there is very little clinical data available regarding the effects of resveratrol in humans.) However, the precise mechanisms whereby resveratrol may inhibit the development and growth of cancer cells remain unclear at this time.  Now, a newly published study, which appears in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, sheds some important scientific light on at least one mechanism whereby resveratrol may inhibit cancer cell development and growth.

In this two-part laboratory study, resveratrol was found to increase the production of the enzyme SIRT1, which appears to play an important role in suppressing cancer cell growth and survival.

In the first part of this study, human prostate cancer cells were exposed to resveratrol, which resulted in an increase in the production of SIRT1, and an associated decrease in tumor cell growth and survival.

In the second part of this study, a strain of mice predisposed to developing prostate cancer had their food supplemented with resveratrol.  When compared to similar mice that did not receive resveratrol supplements, exposure to dietary resveratrol resulted in a significant decrease in prostate gland size, and, more importantly, a significant reduction (54%) in precancerous changes (high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, or HGPIN) within the prostate gland.  When the prostate glands of the resveratrol-supplemented mice were tested, increased levels of the SIRT1 enzyme were also confirmed.

This study showed that resveratrol increases SIRT1 levels, which may, in turn, reduce the development of precancerous changes that can lead to the development of prostate cancer (and, potentially, other types of cancer as well).  This study also showed that resveratrol may also be able to reduce the growth and survival of human prostate cancer cells.

There are a couple of very important caveats to mention with regards to this study.  First of all, as I have repeatedly noted before, what works on cancer cells growing in a laboratory dish, or in genetically altered laboratory animals, often fails to work on human beings.  Secondly, there is no long-term clinical data looking at the effects (either good or bad) of resveratrol supplementation in humans.  Finally, resveratrol is poorly absorbed in humans, and relatively high (and frequent) oral intake of this compound is required to achieve blood levels comparable to those concentrations used in most laboratory studies. Fortunately, at this time there are approximately a dozen human research studies underway that are assessing the impact of resveratrol supplementation on cancer risk and cancer-associated survival.  Hopefully, some of these ongoing clinical studies will shed additional important scientific light on the potential of resveratrol to prevent and treat cancer in humans, although the findings of these studies are still years away.

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Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 2.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


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Soy & Curcumin Reduce Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

May 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 

SOY & CURCUMIN REDUCE PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN (PSA)

Regular readers of this column are already aware that the regular consumption of foods containing soy isoflavones may be associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, and other types of cancer as well.  Curcumin, as curry lovers know, is contained within the spice known as turmeric.  Curcumin has been extensively studied, and it too may possess anti-cancer properties as well.  Both of these dietary compounds are thought to have potent anti-inflammatory effects on the prostate gland, and on other organs of the body.  Additionally, soy isoflavones also act weak estrogens (“phytoestrogens”), and may suppress prostate gland activity on this basis too.

Prostate cancers, as well as the normal prostate gland cells that give rise to prostate cancer, produce PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which allows doctors to detect new or recurrent prostate cancers by measuring the level of PSA in the blood.  A newly published research study, which appears in the current issue of the journal The Prostate, adds further evidence that soy isoflavones and curcumin may have an important role to play in prostate cancer prevention and, possibly, prostate cancer treatment.

This study consisted of both a laboratory experiment and a small clinical research trial with human volunteers.  In the laboratory portion of this study, human prostate cancer cells were treated with soy isoflavones and curcumin.  When these prostate cancer cells were treated with soy isoflavones and curcumin, the production of PSA by these cells was dramatically decreased.  Moreover, a receptor for male sex hormones, which prostate cancers use to fuel their growth, was significantly suppressed following treatment of these cells with soy isoflavones and curcumin.

In the clinical portion of this research study, men who had undergone prostate gland biopsies due to an elevated PSA blood level, but who were subsequently found not to have prostate cancer, were also evaluated.  In this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 85 men without prostate cancer, but with elevated blood PSA levels, were divided into two groups.  The “experimental group” of men received curcumin and soy isoflavones once per day.  The “control group” of men received a placebo (“sugar pill”) once per day.  Neither group of male volunteers, nor the research assistants who dispensed these pills, knew which men received the placebo pills and which received the soy isoflavone and curcumin pills.

PSA levels were tested in all of these male volunteers at the beginning of the study, and 6 months later.  Among the men randomized to receive daily supplements of soy isoflavones and curcumin, the level of PSA in their blood dramatically declined following 6 months of supplementation with soy isoflavones and curcumin. 

While the results of this small and elegant research study do not prove that soy isoflavones and curcumin can actually prevent prostate cancer in humans, these results do suggest, at least, a biological mechanism whereby these dietary compounds might reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, and might also have anti-cancer effects in patients with prostate cancer.  However, only large-sale prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled human clinical trials will be able to prove that these dietary compounds can actually prevent or effectively treat prostate cancer.

At this time, there are multiple ongoing and recently completed prostate cancer prevention and treatment clinical research trials using soy isoflavone supplements.  The results of several of these studies will, hopefully, become available within the next 3 to 5 years. 

While there are multiple cancer prevention and cancer treatment research trials underway that are evaluating curcumin, none of these ongoing curcumin clinical trials are focused on prostate cancer, unfortunately. 

Based upon the findings of this small and innovative research study of soy isoflavones and curcumin, the next logical step would be a large prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study that randomizes patient volunteers to placebo, versus soy isoflavones only, versus curcumin only, versus a combination of soy isoflavones and curcumin.  A cancer prevention study could look at prostate cancer incidence in men who are already at high risk of developing this common form of cancer.  A prostate cancer treatment study, using the same methods, could assess the clinical impact of soy isoflavones and curcumin on the progression or recurrence of prostate cancer in men who have already been diagnosed with this form of cancer.

 

To learn more about the role of soy isoflavones and curcumin as potential cancer prevention nutrients, look for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can. 


 

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