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Does Resveratrol Really Fight Cancer?

Does Resveratrol Really Fight Cancer?

anthony-loera anthony-loera
3 minute read

How Resveratrol Fights Cancer

Resveratrol Fights Cancer? Some of the most exciting discoveries in the field of aging in recent years have been made on a signaling protein called mTOR. It was discovered a few years ago by three independent laboratories funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that rodents that were treated with rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR, led to the extension of lifespan.

The experiment created shock waves in the aging field for several reasons. Among them was that rapamycin is already an FDA-approved drug for human consumption (used as an immunosuppressant to prevent organ rejection after organ transplantation and is also used as an antifungal), rapamycin extended the lifespan of young rodents but more surprisingly, it also extended the lifespan of 20-month-old mice (which is the equivalent to a 60-year-old human).

Naturally, many scientists then began to study the mechanism(s) of action of mTOR in relation to longevity in addition to comparing different dosages of rapamycin at different ages. Among the discoveries made is that mTOR can regulate autophagy. It appears the connection to mTOR is How Resveratrol Fights Cancer. [1][2]

How Resveratrol Fights Cancer, Yes Autophagy

Autophagy simply refers to the cell’s ability to digest internal organelles and proteins that are nonfunctional, and by degrading these nonfunctional structures, the cell’s survival increases and continues to work properly. In some cases, autophagy can also lead to the destruction of the entire cell.

Scientists suspect that autophagy may be one mechanism for how mTOR inhibition extended the lifespan of the rodents because it allowed the cells to work properly and eliminate any nonfunctional cell.

In a study published this month in Biochemical Pharmacology, it was shown that resveratrol may induce the death of cancer cells by inducing autophagy using mTOR (Biochemical Pharmacology, May 2013, in press).

The study helps clarify observations of the antitumor properties of resveratrol and how resveratrol fights cancer that remained elusive to scientists. First, the group demonstrated that resveratrol caused lung cancer cells' death (via autophagy). They showed this by looking at specific proteins that work as markers for autophagy activation. [3][4]

How Resveratrol Fights Cancer? It is an mTOR Inhibitor

The second major discovery is they demonstrated that this death induced on the cancer cells required the specific involvement of mTOR as demonstrated by inhibitors that blocked the mTOR signaling pathways. And that is How Resveratrol Fights Cancer. [5][6]

It appears that the biological effects of resveratrol continue to unravel and marvel.

References:

  1. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cdt/2006/00000007/00000004/art00005
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/24/24/4506
  3. https://rupress.org/jcb/article/192/4/615/36371/Spermidine-and-resveratrol-induce-autophagy-by
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815753/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304383510005471
  6. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21772

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