(NaturalNews) The cardiovascular "super-nutrient" resveratrol, which is prominently found in grape skins and red wine, may also play an important role in mitigating prostate cancer. A new study out of Missouri links the compound to spurring a critical uptick in the production of special proteins that target malignant cancer cells, which could eventually render the nutrient a powerful, natural weapon in the fight against cancer.
For their research, Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of surgical oncology at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, and his colleagues examined how prostate tumor cells respond to resveratrol. Since it is already known that resveratrol helps boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating various forms of prostate cancer, the team decided to investigate whether or not a similar benefit could be observed for the nutrient's use in conjunction with radiation therapy.
Nicholl and his team discovered that resveratrol boosts production of two naturally-occurring proteins known as perforin and granzyme B, which together target harmful cancer cells throughout the body. Prostate tumor cells naturally contain these two proteins, but resveratrol helps prostate cancer cells to produce even more of them, which in effect can greatly improve cancer patients' chances of eradicating their malignant cancer cells and moving on to full recovery.
"It is critical that both proteins, perforin and granzyme B, are present in order to kill the tumor cells, and we found that the resveratrol helped to increase their activity in prostate tumor cells," said Nicholl about the findings. "Following the resveratrol-radiation treatment, we realized that we were able to kill many more tumor cells when compared with treating the tumor with radiation alone. It's important to note that this killed all types of prostate tumor cells, including aggressive tumor cells."
Similar research published last year in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found that resveratrol is also a powerful "chemosensitizer," which means it helps cancer tumors respond more effectively to chemotherapy treatment. According to that study, resveratrol effectively modulates cell signaling molecules, which can help enhance the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments.
Resveratrol fights cancer even without chemotherapy, radiation
By itself, resveratrol is also a proven anti-cancer nutrient with a powerful ability to fight cancer cells without the need for chemotherapy or radiation. Supplementing with resveratrol, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to rid the body of cancer-causing free radicals, can assist the body in maintaining homeostasis and also deter the onset of a host of debilitating diseases, especially when combined with other powerful disease-fighting agents such as turmeric (curcumin) and lycopene.
"A series of laboratory experiments suggests that resveratrol inhibits the development of cancer in animals and prevents the progression of cancer," writes Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr., D.C., in his book The Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine. "In another set of animal studies, resveratrol was shown to inhibit both the acute and chronic phases of inflammation."