Researchers from the Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, completed a unique study of resveratrol in 2004. The study was intended to determine the amount of resveratrol a human could absorb through oral dose.
Oral Doses of Resveratrol
Resveratrol has long been known to have verified positive impact on a variety of health issues, most notably prevention and suppression of various cancers and heart disease.
Scientific studies have dramatically shown the impact resveratrol (a compound naturally occurring in red wine and grapes) has on cancer cells and lipoproteins. However, the question was raised whether it was feasible that human beings could ingest and absorb enough resveratrol orally to generate the same results as produced in the laboratory. This is the question the team from the Medical University of South Carolina set out to answer.
Conclusion: Low bioavailability of resveratrol when ingested orally
It was discovered that while 70% of the resveratrol doses administered orally was absorbed, most of the resveratrol was soon metabolized and eliminated from the body via urine and feces. Only trace amounts of unchanged resveratrol were found in the bloodstream after a short period of time. These trace amounts do not have the capacity to reproduce the beneficial effects observed in laboratory settings.
Buccal delivery provides greater bioavailability
However, according to another study by Asensi M, Medina I, Ortega A, et al (2002), the most efficient way of administering resveratrol in humans appears to be buccal delivery. This group of researchers found that after keeping the trans-resveratrol compound inside the mouth for up to one minute – without swallowing – the levels of unchanged resveratrol in the bloodstream were 250 times higher to those obtained with pills. These findings make alternative delivery methods such as resveratrol melting tablets, lozenges and chewables more likely to produce the beneficial effects of resveratrol found in the laboratory.
A 1990 study by Yong Nam Han, Shi Yong Ryu, and Byung Hoon Han of the Natural Products Research Institute at Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea conducted at study in which they discovered that the antioxidant activity of resveratrol closely correlates with its ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase-A activity (the activity of molecules with a single amino acid).
Goal of This Study of Resveratrol
Resveratrol, a polyhydroxylstilbene, was reported to inhibit the activity of monoamine oxidase-A. In this study the team from Seoul National University hoped to discover a plausible mechanism by which red wine resveratrol is able to slow the activity level of monoamine oxidase-A.
Researchers first isolated a number of phenolic substances (among them resveratrol) in an attempt to find the most potent inhibitor of monoamine oxidase-A. Components of the study were serotonin and the mitochondrial MAO of rat brain.
Resveratrol as an antioxidant
The study revealed that not only was resveratrol the most powerful antioxidant of the monoamine oxidase-A inhibitors, it completely suppressed MAO-A and became, in the view of the research team, the selective agent for MAO-A inhibiting.
In 1998, O.P. Mgbonyebi, J. Russo, and I.H. Russo of the Breast Cancer Research Laboratory, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia conducted studies revolving around the antiproliferative effect of resveratrol on breast epithelial cells.
Introduction to Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a phytoalexin, a natural antibiotic produced by plants. It can be found in many sources in the human diet, such as grapes, peanuts, blue berries, white and red wine, etc.
Basics of This Study of Resveratrol
In the current study, researchers examined synthetic resveratrol supplements to determine the extent of its ability to inhibit the proliferation (explosive reproduction) of malignant breast cancer cells.
Three forms of breast cancer were studied (MCF-7, MCF-10F, and MDA-MB-231). Each was treated with a variety of resveratrol doses (5, 10, 20, and 40 microg/ml).
The team determined that all three lines of breast cancer cells were affected by the resveratrol treatment. Results were dependent on the level of resveratrol dosage and the length of time the cells had been treated with the resveratrol.
Resveratrol was found to have substantial effect as a chemopreventative agent in both hormone responsive and non-responsive forms of breast cancer.
In a 2001 report made by researchers at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, and the University of Illinois Cancer Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago K.P.L. Bhat, J.W. Kosmeder II, and J.M. Pezzuto endeavored to summarize the health benefits of the naturally occurring polyphenol resveratrol.
Resveratrol naturally occurs in various plant-derived foods and beverages, such as grapes, peanuts, white and red wine, raw cranberry juice, and so forth. Its health benefits have been observed in the form of cancer prevention and prevention of heart disease among other things.
Antioxidant Benefits of Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a known antioxidant and its ability to promote nitric oxide production is well documented. It has also been shown to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which makes it highly beneficial as a cardiopreventative agent due to the fact that it protects against plaque build up in the arteries.
The estrogenic effect of resveratrol supplements make it a valuable instrument in the fight against breast cancer as it transfects breast cancer cells.
Likely, researchers have only scratched the surface of the many health benefits resveratrol has. Additional studies will allow researchers to not only identify the exact mechanisms by which resveratrol positively impacts so many diseases, but also identify additional health issues that can be helped by resveratrol.
Leading up to this 1999 study, there was a great deal of literature surrounding the health benefits of resveratrol, a polyphenol naturally occurring in many foods and beverages. Its cancer preventative and heart disease preventative characteristics have made red wine resveratrol the focus of many studies. However, Calabrese intended to determine if these health benefits would extend themselves beyond cancer and heart disease and might be an influence on menopause.
Calabrese’s Findings Surrounding Resveratrol
The hypothesis of this study is based on the idea that the structure of resveratrol is so much like that of diethylstilbestrol, a drug prescribed to prevent miscarriages, that it might act as a phytoestrogen in humans.
Calabrese’s team conducted a population study, read literature on resveratrol’s effects on female reproduction, osteoporosis, and cancer, and they conducted various trials of their own.
Their findings concluded that moderate wine consumption appeared to act as a phytoestrogen, a compound in plants that simulates estrogen in humans. Resveratrol doses boosted the physiological reactions that typically accompany estrogen increases.
This activity could effectively moderate the effects and symptoms of menopause in women.
At the School of Life Sciences at Lanzhou University, G.A. Liu and R.L. Zheng conducted research into the ability of polyphenols (groups of chemicals found in plants) to protect healthy cells against diseases like heart disease and cancer at the cellular level.
Seven polyphenols were studied, among them resveratrol.
DNA damage was induced by using hydrogen peroxide on human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) which is known to cause single strand breakage in DNA. The researchers then observed the ability of the seven polyphenols to protect the cells against the damage the hydrogen peroxide was invoking on the cellular DNA.
Resveratrol Provides Significant Cell Protection
Resveratrol, as well as others of the seven tested polyphenols, had a substantial impact on inhibiting cell damage. The impact was dose-dependent as higher doses were more effective in cell protection.
Some of the polyphenols, however, failed to provide any protection. In fact, only three had any effect in protecting the cells against hydrogen peroxide damage (resveratrol, quercetin, and 7.8-dihydroxy-4-methyl coumarin), but these had a big enough impact to convince the researchers that they had discovered a possible mechanism explaining resveratrol’s outstanding track record in protecting against cancer and heart disease.
Hai-Bo Zhou, Juan-Juan Chen, Wen-Xia Wang, Jian-Ting Cai, and Qin Du of the Department of Gastroenerology in the Second Hospital of Zhejiang University set out to study the effects of resveratrol on stomach cancer. The 2004 study revealed some critical findings about resveratrol.
The researchers transplanted human stomach cancer into the subcutaneous tissue of nude mice to determine resveratrol’s effect on live candidates.
Three different doses of resveratrol were tested (500 mg/kg, 1000 mg/kg, and 1500 mg/kg). The dose was directly injected beside the tumor in each candidate. Changes in tumor size were then monitored.
Effects of Resveratrol on Stomach Cancer Tumors
In all cases, the resveratrol inhibited cell growth significantly. As the dose increased, the inhibition rate also increased. In fact, at 1500 mg/kg inhibition rate reached nearly 40%.
In addition to the growth inhibiting effect, resveratrol also induced cell apoptosis (natural cell death) in the cancer cells. A marked reduction of tumor size was observed.
Resveratrol slowed cell development in the stomach cancer cells at a rate of up to 40% and initiated apoptosis in the gastric carcinoma cells.
Doctors Z.J. Sun, H.S. Liu, and G.J. Wang published a study in 2002 that examined the anti-tumor effect of resveratrol, a red wine ingredient, and the effects of resveratrol with an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug on the growth of liver cancer cells.
The doctors, from the Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery at the First Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, China, tested their theory in a controlled environment. The doctors wanted to see if resveratrol and an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug could work together to produce an outcome on the liver cancer cells that couldn’t have been reached with either agent alone.
The study shows that red wine resveratrol did restrict the growth of liver cancer cells. The doctors also found that the combined anti-tumor effects of resveratrol and the chemotherapy drug were greater than the effects of liver cancer cells treated with only the chemo drug.
Overall, resveratrol supplements can suppress the growth of liver cancer cells in a controlled laboratory-testing environment. Also, resveratrol’s anti-tumor activity may occur through the initial processes of programmed cell death, where younger cells replace old cells.
A study was released in 2002 from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and the Cancer Prevention and the Cancer Prevention and Research Center, College of Pharmacy at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
The Resveratrol Research Study
Drs. Richard M. Niles, Margaret McFarland, Mathew B. Weimer, Alka Redkar, Ya-Min Fu, and Gary G. Meadows examined the effect of resveratrol, a red wine ingredient, on the growth of two human skin cancer cell lines. The doctors found that this plant compound restricted growth and caused cell death in both skin cancer cell categories. Overall, the results suggest that the effect of resveratrol on skin cancer cells are justified and that resveratrol may be effective as a therapeutic or cancer prevention agent against skin cancer.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring plant compound found in high concentrations in red grapes, red wine, peanuts and pine. It has been found to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Resveratrol also reduces the growth of various types of tumor cells, and inhibits the creation of cancer in laboratory experiments. Studies have also shown that resveratrol benefits as a potent suppressor of tumor promotion. It has also been shown to suppress the growth of colon tumor cells, leukemia cells, breast and prostate cancer cells.
A study on the combined effects of resveratrol and a naturally derived chemotherapy drug on lung cancer cells was published in 2003 by Drs. T. Kubota, Y. Uemura, M. Kobayashi and H. Taquchi from the Department of Medicine at the Kochi Medical School in Kochi, Japan.
Red wine resveratrol is a natural compound found in grapes and other food products that can help prevent cancer. The results of this study suggest that resveratrol may be a promising alternative therapy for lung cancer. The research also suggests that lung cancer cells that have been exposed to resveratrol have a lower tolerance level to be destroyed by the chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, which is similarly abstracted from natural plant substances.
Resveratrol Enhances the Therapeutic Effects of Paclitaxel in Lung Cancer Cells
The doctors found that resveratrol prevented the growth of three lung cancer cell lines by 50%. They examined the combined effects in cells of resveratrol and paclitaxel. Paclitaxel is an important cancer prevention agent against lung cancer. Resveratrol enhanced the subsequent restriction of cells caused by the chemotherapy drug.
There are different ways to ingest the grape polyphenol called resveratrol. There is also research supporting that moderate red wine drinking supplies the body with small doses of resveratrol. There are also resveratrol supplement tablets and pills for people who do not drink alcohol.