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Resveratrol and Cancer Prevention

Although heart disease remains the #1 one killer for Americans, there seems to be far more fear and mystery associated with cancer. Heart disease is less daunting because it typically issues warnings along the way, like elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. And it tends to be amazingly reversible, even in the later stages. Cancer, however, is a different story, generally being diagnosed without any warning. Few would disagree that because there is no actual “cure” as yet, prevention is truly the best “medicine.”

So, how can you minimize your cancer risk? Fortunately, most of the lifestyle choices that reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes also help prevent cancer. These include:

  • Avoid tobacco, in all forms, all the time.
  • Reach-and maintain-a healthy body weight.
  • Swap the white flour items for whole, unprocessed grains
  • Boost your daily intake of colorful, fresh produce.
  • Supplement your diet with powerful antioxidants like resveratrol
  • You probably expected most of those suggestions, but what about resveratrol? It turns out that this polyphenol found in red wine and supplements has uniquely powerful anticancer properties. Resveratrol has been shown to suppress cancers of the breast, prostate, stomach, colon, pancreas, and thyroid; melanoma, and ovarian and cervical cancers. Quite a list, no?

    Apparently, resveratrol concentrates in the liver and kidneys, protecting you from the multistep process of carcinogenesis at various stages. Along with suppressing tumor initiation, promotion, and progression,1 resveratrol helps block the metabolic activation of carcinogens, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and decreases overall cancer cell growth.2 Many studies with resveratrol support it being used not only in cancer prevention, but in treatment combinations as well.3

    While there’s no magic bullet for preventing cancer, your daily choices can make a profound difference over time.

    1 Anticancer Res. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5A):2783-840
    2 Eur J Cancer Prev. 2003 Oct;12(5):417-25
    3 Curr Med Chem Anticancer Agents. 2003 Mar;3(2):77-93

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