Saturday, October 5, 2013
A COMPOUND FOUND IN RED WINE COULD AID IN BATTLE AGAINST CANCER
British scientists have discovered how to get biologically active doses of resveratrol, the anti-ageing compound extracted from the skins of red grapes, into the body.The major development paves the way for new treatments which use the health-giving chemical to protect against a string of chronic disease for a variety of cancers to heart disease and even to extend life.Researchers at the University of Leicester have shown how resveratrol can still remain effective at fighting cancer even after the body converts it into other compounds.Resveratrol is metabolised by the body very quickly which means it had previously been thought that levels would drop too quickly to make it usable in clinical trials.But now, the latest study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that in fact it is not rendered ineffective once it is metabolised by the body.
There is a lot of strong evidence from laboratory models that resveratrol can do a whole host of beneficial things – from protecting against a variety of cancers and heart disease to extending life span – Professor Karen Brown
The Cancer Research UK-funded research shows that the chemical can still be taken into cells after it has been metabolised into compounds called resveratrol sulfates. Because of this change, enzymes within cells are then able to break it down into resveratrol again.This means that levels of resveratrol in the cells are higher than was previously thought. In fact, the results appear to show resveratrol may be even more effective once it has been generated from resveratrol sulfate because the concentrations achieved are higher. Professor Karen Brown, who led the study, said: “There is a lot of strong evidence from laboratory models that resveratrol can do a whole host of beneficial things – from protecting against a variety of cancers and heart disease to extending lifespan. “It has been known for many years that resveratrol is rapidly converted to sulfate and glucuronide metabolites in humans and animals – meaning the plasma concentrations of resveratrol itself quickly become very low after administration.“It has always been difficult to understand how resveratrol is able to have activity in animal models when the concentrations present are so low, and it has made some people skeptical about whether it might have any effects in humans.“Researchers have hypothesized for a long time that resveratrol might be regenerated from its major metabolites in whole animals but it has never been proven.