Researchers identify cancer preventive properties in common vitamin supplement

July 7, 2008

Early laboratory research has shown that resveratrol, a common dietary supplement, suppresses the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer, suggesting a potential role for the agent in breast cancer prevention. Resveratrol is a natural substance found in red wine and red grapes. It is sold in extract form as a dietary supplement at most major drug stores.

"Resveratrol has the ability to prevent the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that leads to cancer by blocking the formation of the estrogen DNA adducts. We believe that this could stop the whole progression that leads to breast cancer down the road," said Eleanor G. Rogan, Ph.D., a professor in the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Rogan was the lead author of the report that was published in the July 2008 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

For the current study, Rogan and colleagues measured the effect of resveratrol on cellular functions known to contribute to breast cancer.

The formation of breast cancer is a multi-step process which differs depending on type of disease, a patient's genetic makeup and other factors. However, scientists know that many breast cancers are fueled by increased estrogen, which collects and reacts with DNA molecules to form adducts. Rogan and colleagues found that resveratrol was able to suppress the formation of these DNA adducts.

"This is dramatic because it was able to be done with fairly low concentrations of resveratrol to stop the formation of these DNA adducts in the cells we studied," said Rogan. Although researchers experimented with up to 100 µmol/L of resveratrol, the suppression of DNA adducts was seen with 10 µmol/L. A glass of red wine contains between 9 and 28 µmol/L of resveratrol.

The researchers also found that resveratrol suppressed the expression of CYP1B1 and the formation of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, two known risk factors for breast cancer.

Rogan said resveratrol works by inducing an enzyme called quinone reductase, which reduces the estrogen metabolite back to inactive form. By making estrogen inactive, resveratrol decreases the associated risk.

The current study was conducted in laboratory cultures, and will need to be confirmed in larger human trials, Rogan said.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research

Explore further: How much alcohol is really OK?

Related Stories

How much alcohol is really OK?

October 2, 2017
(HealthDay)—All the good news/bad news studies about alcohol can leave you confused. But research suggests that you still need to keep moderation in mind when you raise a glass.

Red wine ingredient resveratrol stops breast cancer growth

September 29, 2011
Cheers! A new research report appearing in the October 2011 issue of The FASEB Journal shows that resveratrol, the "healthy" ingredient in red wine, stops breast cancer cells from growing by blocking the growth effects of ...

Rare genetic disease offers insight into common cancers

September 4, 2012
Fanconi anemia is a recessive genetic disorder affecting 1 in 350,000 babies, which leaves cells unable to repair damaged DNA. This lack of repair puts Fanconi anemia patients at high risk for developing a variety of cancers, ...

Aspirin and resveratrol could prevent cancer by killing tetraploid cells, research shows

February 11, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Aspirin and resveratrol kill tetraploid cells in mice and humans, according to a study by Guido Kroemer of the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France and his colleagues. Precancerous lesions often ...

Resveratrol, quercetin could provide new options for cancer therapy

July 16, 2015
Resveratrol and quercetin, two polyphenols that have been widely studied for their health properties, may soon become the basis of an important new advance in cancer treatment, primarily by improving the efficacy and potential ...

Therapy-resistant breast cancer mechanism revealed

May 26, 2015
Mitsuyoshi Nakao, Director of the Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics in Kumamoto University and Associate Professor Noriko Saitoh revealed that a cluster of defined, non-coding RNAs are mechanistically involved ...

Recommended for you

Many pelvic tumors in women may have common origin—fallopian tubes

October 17, 2017
Most—and possibly all—ovarian cancers start, not in ovaries, but instead in the fallopian tubes attached to them.

Researchers find novel mechanism of resistance to anti-cancer drugs

October 17, 2017
The targeted anti-cancer therapies cetuximab and panitumumab are mainstays of treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, many patients have tumors ...

Biology of childhood brain tumor subtypes offers clues to precision treatments

October 17, 2017
Researchers investigating pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGG), the most common type of brain tumor in children, have discovered key biological differences in how mutated genes combine with other genes to drive this childhood ...

New assay may boost targeted treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

October 17, 2017
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive cancer and the most frequently diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide (nearly 40% of cases). Recent advancements indicate that both the prognosis and choice of treatment ...

Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment

October 16, 2017
Killing cancer cells indirectly by powering up fat cells in the bone marrow could help acute myeloid leukemia patients, according to a new study from McMaster University.

Study reveals complex biology, gender differences, in kidney cancer

October 13, 2017
A new study is believed to be the first to describe the unique role of androgens in kidney cancer, and it suggests that a new approach to treatment, targeting the androgen receptor (AR), is worth further investigation.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Jul 08, 2008
Excellerating mitosis requires energy! Energy at cell level is electron spin and speed. Reduce electron speed and spin, (or simply reduce electrons), and you de-cellerate mitosis. High speed electrons break hydrogen bonds!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.