A new treatment involving and antioxidant found in red wine (and a number of foods) and a chemotherapy drug is proving to be a powerful way to battle malignant pleural mesothelioma.
According to scientists at South Korea’s Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital Cheonan, combining cisplatin (a popular chemotherapy medication) with the natural antioxidant resveratrol (found in red grapes, red wine, and other foods) helps to kill cancerous mesothelioma cells. Research indicated that taking cisplatin alone has limited effects, but resveratrol works well with the medication and makes the cancerous cells more vulnerable.
“The molecular basis of the synergistic anti-cancer activities of [cisplatin] and [resveratrol] is not yet understood in detail,” wrote Yoon-Jin Lee, the study’s lead investigator. “However, emerging studies have revealed that [resveratrol] acts as an excellent candidate for potentiation of platinum treatment in vitro and in vivo.”
This isn’t the first time resveratrol was studied to determine its effectiveness in battling cancer. In 2010, the Soonchunhyang research team gave lab mice 20mg of the antioxidant for a month. Results showed that the mice survived longer while their cancerous tumors were reduced from growing. In 2014, the team combined resveratrol with clofarabine, a chemotherapy medication that helps treat cancer and leukemia. The results showed that combination weakened mesothelioma cells.
However, according to Lee, cisplatin has proven to be more powerful that other methods studied, when combined with resveratrol.
“Escaping from apoptosis is one of cellular adaptation mechanisms that confer malignant cells resistance to anticancer therapies,” Lee wrote. “Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting apoptotic pathways are considered a useful adjunct to standard cancer therapy and make a signiﬁcant contribution to a favorable treatment outcome.”
Along with being found in red grapes and red wine, resveratrol is also found in pomegranate, raw cacao, blueberries, cocoa, dark chocolate, cranberries, raspberries, peanuts, and mulberries. It’s created by plants to increase both their resistance to disease and survival rate. When consumed, humans can get similar benefits.
Science has long since proven that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anti-carcinogenic properties. It not only helps to treat cancer, but also a number of other chronic diseases.
Red wine contains high amounts of resveratrol, but the drawback is when you drink wine in abundance, you’re subjecting your body to neurotoxins. When scientists combine resveratrol with chemotherapy drugs, there are no neurotoxins or any other type of toxins included. In addition, consuming red wine typically doesn’t give you enough resveratrol as the body’s chemicals break down wine quickly. It would typically take hundreds of glasses of red wine to get 20mg of resveratrol.
“You would need to drink a hundred to a thousand glasses of red wine to equal the doses that improve health in mice,” said Dr. Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School.
Doctors suggest instead of consuming too much red wine, consider eating muscadine grapes on a regular basis, as they contain nature’s highest concentration of resveratrol. Another option includes taking daily resveratrol supplements, but make sure they’re made from a whole food complex.
Dr. David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS, states that resveratrol supplements help fight cancer in six key ways, including:
- Pausing the cell cycle for DNA repair
- Stimulating mitochondrial activity
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Decreasing systemic inflammation
- Promoting cell death in cancerous cells
- Suppressing cancer pathways
Jockers states that supplements are the better choice for consuming resveratrol. Supplements range anywhere from 20mg to 100mg, but Jockers suggests that cancer patients may need to take additional doses, in the 100mg to 200mg. As always, you should consult your own physician before trying any new supplements.
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