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Resveratol is found in several everyday-substances like red wine, peanuts, pistachios, a certain type of chocolates, and a few berries, Resveratrol is a natural substance found in plants that has properties similar to that of an antioxidant. It is shown to have reduced oxidative Stress and lower blood pressure in humans and is commonly consumed as a dietary supplement for several medical purposes.

Some of the purposes it serves include:

  • Increasing Lifespan: According to the observations of a research study3, Resveratrol was seen to increase lifespan by 60%, but these results were mostly seen in organisms like worms and fish, which aren't very closely related to human beings.
  • Relieving Arthritis Pains: When taken as a plant-based supplement, Resveratrol is shown to be quite beneficial for reducing inflammation and help prevent cartilage from undergoing deterioration.
  • Prevent Age-Related Cognitive Decline: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Resveratrol is shown to decrease the amount of cognitive decline that occurs due to aging.
  • Beneficial for Diabetics: In many studies involving animals, Resveratrol has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity levels, reduce stress, and increase AMPK levels, which lower blood sugar levels. These are all extremely beneficial for controlling and reducing the effect of diabetes. Its effectiveness in treating humans is yet to be determined.
  • Decrease Blood Pressure: A study conducted in 2015, showed that Resveratrol could possibly lower systolic blood pressure, which is caused due to the pressure exerted on the walls of arteries due to aging because of its antioxidant properties.
  • Helpful in Cancer Treatment: Similar to diabetes treatment, the effect of Resveratrol in treating cancer has been quite successful in test tube research with an animal sample, but it is yet to be completely determined for the human body. Studies have shown that it can reduce cancer in numerous ways.

Resveratrol in Cancer Treatment

As mentioned above, Resveratrol is found to have shown successful implications for the potential treatment and prevention of cancer in several studies that were conducted on samples of cells collected from animals. The success of this treatment on human cancer cells is yet to be completely determined.

Research cites that there are three ways in which the administration of Resveratrol can prove to be beneficial as an add-on during cancer treatment, which are:

  • Reduce Cancerous Growth: Studies have shown that Resveratrol has been successful in preventing cancerous cells from multiplying or replicating themselves. It has also been instrumental in reducing their spread via metastasis to other parts of the body.
  • Change Gene Expression: Resveratrol has also been observed to change the genetic makeup or expression in cancer cells that instigate their replication and curb it, thus making them ineffective when it comes to reproduction.
  • Change Hormone Behaviour: The compound has been known to be useful in the treatment of hormone-based cancers, by exhibiting the ability to change and influence the way certain hormones are expressed.

Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment can be quite painful in certain cases and produce long-lasting side effects that take a while to heal. Resveratrol has not only shown to affect cancerous cells during treatment, but it has also shown the potential to decrease side effects faced by patients because of radiation and Chemotherapy. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Resveratrol has shown abilities to help treat and decrease side effects like:

  • Radiation Side Effects: Radiation can cause hair loss, diarrhea, skin problems, urinary and bladder issues, and more, depending on the affected body part. In certain studies, Resveratrol has been shown to decrease some of these symptoms and effects.
  • Certain Chemotherapy Side Effects: Chemotherapy can have long term side effects like heart or brain damage, fertility, and sexual problems, hair loss, loss of appetite, and Fatigue. One of such problems in cardiotoxicity, which is the damage caused to the heart's muscles due to chemicals administered for Chemotherapy. Research has shown that Resveratrol has been known to decrease, and in some cases, prevent cardiotoxicity.

Cancer Prevention

Some studies have shown that Resveratrol is effective in all three stages of cancer, which are initiation, promotion, and progression. A phytoalexin i.e., a substance obtained from plant substances, Resveratrol exhibits properties that treat, prevent the onset and growth of cancer. It is known to destroy the ability of cancerous cells to replicate and change them genetically to prevent reproduction. It is shown thus to have chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic properties, and these have been exhibited in certain cases while conducting lab experiments as well. For example, a study on Skin Cancer in rats has shown Resveratrol to exhibit chemopreventive abilities.

The anticarcinogenic properties of Resveratrol were exhibited in several tests conducted on animal samples and a certain amount of human culture samples. Hence the extent of the effect the compound has on human cancer cells is yet to be completely determined.

Side Effects of Resveratrol

While scientific evidence based on research suggests that Resveratrol doesn't have any visible side effects when consumed in short doses of about a gram a day, doctors are concerned about the kind of effect it's long term consumption may have on patients.

A dose of over 2.5 grams a day may lead to certain painful gastrointestinal side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, or Nausea. It is also shown to cause liver dysfunction in patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It has been suggested that it is best not to consume Resveratrol supplements individually, but rather as an addition to an on-going treatment plan. Side effects can change from patient to patient, and hence it is important to discuss how the compound can be added to one's existing medical plan with a doctor.

Resveratrol has also been known to react with certain drugs and medicines, and some doctors advise against its intake for patients on certain medications like antiplatelet drugs and carbamazepine. So it's always best to properly consult a medical practitioner before it's intake.