Resveratrol is a phytonutrient that is considered to be a potent antioxidant. But resveratrol also has other healing properties, as demonstrated in a recent study conducted by researchers from the US Department of Agriculture. (Hudson 2008) The scientists found that resveratrol slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells, which led them to suggest that the phytonutrient may be helpful in preventing the growth of the cancer in its early stages. Resveratrol also can reduce the activity of substances that cause inflammation in the body. Although studies show that resveratrol can inhibit the proliferation of various cancer cell lines, it is not known whether high intakes of resveratrol can help prevent cancer in humans. The anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol came into play in a study at Stanford University, in which researchers noted that up-regulation of MKP5 by resveratrol may contribute to its actions against prostate cancer by decreasing inflammation of the prostate. (Nonn 2007) A University of Missouri study looked at various botanical compounds, including resveratrol, and found that it was effective in inhibiting the growth of both human and mouse prostate cancer cell lines. (Slusarz 2010)
At New York Medical College, scientists evaluated the impact of two resveratrol analogues in cultured human prostate cancer cells. They found that the analogues were active against different stages of the prostate cancer cells. (Hsieh 2010)
A collaborative effort among researchers from three institutions in Virginia set out to identify the mechanisms behind resveratrol’s ability to inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis. Their research indicated that certain transcription factors mediate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic benefits of resveratrol, partly due to activation of a specific pathway. These findings help support claims regarding resveratrol’s anticancer properties. (Chen 2010)
In a Japanese study, researchers explored how resveratrol inhibits the function of androgen receptors, which have a key role in the development of prostate cancer. In a laboratory experiment, they discovered that resveratrol inhibits DNA binding of androgen receptors, which furthers the understanding of how resveratrol may be helpful in fighting prostate cancer. (Harada 2011)
Drinking red wine is one way to get resveratrol, but individuals would need to drink a great deal of wine to get any possible medicinal benefits. Resveratrol supplements can serve as a logical alternative. Most resveratrol supplements in the United States contain extracts of Polygonum cuspidatum, which is also known as Japanese knotweed, Hu Zhang, or kojo-kon. Others contain extracts of red wine and red grapes, although Japanese knotweed is a cheaper source of resveratrol. There is some debate about whether knotweed supplements are inferior to those made from red grapes or red wine extract, but so far no studies have come to a conclusion on either side of the question. However, we suggest you look for brands that use red grape and red wine extracts. Supplements typically contain 10 to 50 mg of resveratrol, but effective doses for humans are not known.