28 March 2008

Cancer doesn't have enough red wine

Peter Smirnov, <url>Scientists managed to find a dose of resveratrol – a natural antioxidant of red wine, which helps protect healthy cells with radiation therapy, but weakens the protection of cancer cells.

The dose is such that even if cancer cells splash in red wine, the concentration of resveratrol will be insufficient. It is better to drink grape juice.

Oncology has always been open to herbal medicines, ranging from photodynamic therapy to the most powerful poisons not recommended by doctors even in the most severe cases. However, not all of them have a selective effect on tumor cells, unlike the new drug from the Rochester Medical Center. They have already become known not only to the medical community, the antioxidant resveratrol.

Last time, its role in the experimental treatment of strokes and diabetes was shown, and scientists even claimed that they had found a new drug that could cope with many diseases of aging, such as heart attacks, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. This time, the group of diseases amenable to this "panacea" has been replenished with cancer

The effect of an antioxidant from the skin of grapes is achieved due to the action of resveratrol on the mitochondria – the energy stations of any cell in our body.

Oncologists have been trying to cope with this task since the discovery of programmed cell death.According to the oncologist, although the intake of red wine during radiation or chemotherapy has not been thoroughly studied until today, it is not contraindicated.

Now the exclusion of wine from the daily diet remains at the discretion of doctors, there are no recommendations on this matter. However, if the patient is already taking a small amount of wine, then most oncologists will not mind.

The situation with antioxidants in oncology is controversial, because, in addition to protecting healthy tissue, they can also affect the tumor. Okuneff believes that this is unlikely and the opposite situation even develops in the body.

The truth, as it often happens in pharmacology, should be sought in concentration. This was achieved by American specialists who not only showed what happens in the cell, but also selected the appropriate dosage at which tumor cells become more sensitive to radiation therapy, and healthy tissues, on the contrary, become more protected.

Scientists used resveratrol in a fairly high concentration - about 50 g per liter of nutrient fluid in which pancreatic cancer cells grew. In the wine obtained as a result of natural fermentation, the concentration of this substance reaches 30 g per liter.

In nature, resveratrol protects plants from bacteria and fungi. Its purified variants and synthetic analogues are described as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic substances. Similar properties are inherent to all plant-based antioxidants to varying degrees, so resveratrol has become another natural "panacea" in the range of caffeine, melatonin, flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamins C and E.

But if Okuneff does not undertake to assert anything about the rest of the substances, then for the red wine component he and his colleagues have shown that it:

  • selectively blocks cell membrane pumps pumping chemotherapeutic agents out of the cell;
  • it launches the production of reactive oxygen species that mediate cell death, and in addition – associated with a considerable number of different diseases;
  • causes apoptosis – the result of the production of reactive oxygen species;
  • depolarizes mitochondrial membranes, which blocks their function and deprives the cell of an energy source.

One of the features of pancreatic cancer is resistance to chemotherapy due to natural pumps and secretory vesicles pumping enzymes into the ducts and then the intestines. The same mechanisms also remove chemotherapeutic agents from the cell, making them insensitive to treatment. Resveratrol blocks these mechanisms, opening up new possibilities for old methods.

It is worth noting that all studies have been conducted so far only on the culture of pancreatic cancer cells, so the "selectivity" of the action mentioned by scientists in the article is based solely on previous work on the study of the substance. In addition, cascades of reactions tied to reactive oxygen species behave completely differently in the body, where there are neutrophils and other "competent" cells.

Anyway, if you still decide to take advantage of the discovery of scientists, even for preventive purposes, it is better to just drink good grape juice. Firstly, a large amount of resveratrol is destroyed during fermentation. And secondly, wine and the pancreas are not compatible: alcohol is the cause of a greater proportion of all pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), considered the main precancerous condition.

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