Polyphenols are often associated with compounds that are antioxidants. This is because they can react with free radicals to form a more stable molecule; one that is less toxic than the original radical. Since resveratrol’s prime function in nature is to protect the fruit against pathogens, it only makes sense that it would exhibit potent anti-fungal activity in the human body, which it does. It also destroys candida albicans.
Reseveratrol has been shown to exhibit “selective toxicity” toward cancer cells.
How? Reseveratrol is virtually non-toxic since, after oral ingestion, it is quickly metabolized by the liver, attached to a detoxification molecule called “glucuronate,” which renders it harmless. However, at the tumor site, the resveratrol is unzipped by an enzyme called “glucuronidase” that uncouples it from the glucuronate and makes it available to “go to work” on the cancer cells.
In studies published in the March 2004 Anticancer Research, resveratrol and curcumin impeded tumor cell growth and induced apoptosis in neuroblastomas (brain cancer) by activating the p53 gene pathway. In addition to inducing apoptosis, resveratrol appears to kill off cancer cells by depolarizing (i.e. demagnetizing) mitochondrial membranes (the energy source) within tumor cells, which results in a decrease in the cell’s potential to function. Resveratrol is a dozen cancer-fighting drugs all wrapped up into one. It is another of God’s natural cancer killers and fights cancer in so many ways that researchers can’t find a cancer-promotion pathway it doesn’t inhibit.
It has been suggested that resveratrol underlies the phenomenon known as the “French paradox,” which is the unexplained fact that the French, who have the same cholesterol levels as the rest of us, have only one-third the rate of heart disease. Why? Because the French drink wine with meals, and red wine contains a high concentration of resveratrol.
The W.H.O. has suggested that resveratrol can reduce cardiovascular risks by up to 40%, since it blocks platelet “stickiness,” prevents oxidation of LDL’s, reduces triglyceride levels, and (most importantly) reduces tension levels, thus relaxing and dilating the arteries. Other beneficial effects include increases in collagen synthesis and amelioration of depression.
To date, no side effects, toxic symptoms, or drug interactions have been reported in connection with resveratrol consumption. Not surprisingly, resveratrol has also caught the eye of several Big Pharma companies who are already trying to capture its benefits in a synthetic, patentable.
Glaxo Smith Kline, a large pharmaceutical company failed miserably at trying to create a synthetic form of resveratrol. Read below as to why.
Shaklee corporation has made a product called Vivix that contains not just resveratrol but other polyphenols Clinical studies showed it to 10X more powerful than resveratrol alone.
Dr. Steve Chaney, retired professor at University North Carolina, Chappel Hill writes:
Some of the articles went so far to say that people should be cautious about taking resveratrol supplements until these safety issues had been resolved. […]
Let me make this perfectly clear!
The “resveratrol” drug referred to in these articles is not resveratrol itself!
But let’s start at the beginning.
The story started when scientists at Harvard screened over 500,000 chemicals to find which would be most effective at turning on anti-aging genes.
They were looking for a drug that they could patent and sell to a drug company for big bucks – not a naturally occurring botanical nutrient.
But what they found was that resveratrol, a nutrient that is found naturally in red wine, was the most effective compound out of those 500,000 that they screened at turning on the anti-aging genes.
That was great news for those of you who are using resveratrol supplements, but it was bad news for them because they couldn’t patent it and, therefore, couldn’t sell it to a drug company.
But all was not lost. There is a time-tested process for dealing with this dilemma.
You just make a chemically modified derivative of the natural compound and, if it works, you patent the chemical derivative and sell it to a drug company.
So that’s what the scientists at Harvard did…
They made a chemical derivative of resveratrol called SRT501, showed that it also turned on the anti-aging genes, patented it and sold it to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $500 million. Sirtris, in turn,sold it to GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.
As I said, this is a frequently used process. Many successful drugs have been obtained this way, but the process is also fraught with perils.
The problem is that the chemically modified derivative is often not metabolized in the same way as the original and frequently can be toxic in unexpected ways.
In fact, the failure rate for this process is quite high. Most of the chemical derivatives fail during clinical trials for one reason or another. It is only on a very rare occasion that these chemically modified derivatives make it through clinical
trials and become a successful drug.
Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that SRT501 displayed unexpected toxicity that caused GlaxoSmithKline to halt clinical trials of the drug.
But, SRT501 is not resveratrol and the toxicities of this drug have nothing to do with resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a completely natural nutrient found in grapes, red wine and other foods. SRT501 is a man-made chemical derivative of resveratrol.
Sometimes it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature!
To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney