Recent research has shown that the antioxidant resveratrol, naturally found in grape skins and blueberries, may weaken pancreatic cancer cells, and make them more susceptible to chemo. It seems to make tumors more sensitive, while decreasing the sensitivity of normal cells.
Researchers treated cancer cells with 50 mg of resveratrol, then iodized them to mimic chemotherapy. A control group was also iodized without the resveratrol. Pancreatic cancer is particularly chemo-resistant, because the pancreas secretes enzymes that wash away the chemo drugs before they can work. In cells that had the resveratrol treatment, the enzymes that do the “washing” were inhibited. While we don’t know why this happened, it may be a new side effect of resveratrol. All antioxidants remove free radicals from the body. These free radicals contribute to aging, cardiovascular disease, and aging.
Scientists are working to find more beneficial effects from resveratrol. Studies have demonstrated that it will extend the lifespan of certain organisms, and even small fish. The fish in the study lived 50% longer than their untreated counterparts, and had better cognitive and motor abilities too. Other research shows that resveratrol protects plants from infection and makes the HIV virus more susceptible to drug treatment. In influenza-infected cells, treatment with resveratrol inhibited viral growth by 90% over the course of a day.
Resveratrol has also proven to increase stamina and endurance, and somewhat negate the effects of a high-fat diet. With all these beneficial effects, resveratrol is definitely worth a try.