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  • Low-Dose Resveratrol Devastates Cancer Cells Via Release Of Intracellular Calcium

    January 2, 2018: by Bill Sardi

    In 2007 researchers first reported on the ability of the red wine molecule resveratrol (rez-vair-a-trol) to non-toxically kill cancer cells via release of calcium inside tumor cells.

    Resveratrol induces release of calcium stores from a small protein-folding labyrinth inside living cells called the endoplasmic reticulum.  Calcium concentration is higher within the endoplasmic reticulum than in the surrounding watery cytoplasm.  A 3-to-4-fold increase in calcium was measured in one lab dish study using resveratrol.  Calcium is then driven into the cell energy-producing mitochondria, which de-energizes them and further releases calcium back into the watery cytoplasm that eventually leads to tumor cell death.  In laboratory animals some implanted tumors reverted back to their original size.

    At the time researchers said their discovery “might serve as a universal cell death signal that can be exploited for antitumor therapy.”

    Cell: Non-toxic Cancel Cell Death Via Resveratrol-Induced Intracellular Calcium Overload

    Despite this ground breaking study that pointed to a non-toxic method of killing cancer cells without harming health cells, it was another eight years before further studies were conducted involving the cancer cell killing activity of resveratrol via calcium overload.

    Resveratrol is unique in its ability to kill cancer cells via calcium influx into malignant cells compared to other similar molecules.

    A few hundred mitochondria inside each living cell in the body produce the cell energy (adenotriphosphate or ATP) required for cellular functions.

    Ironically, a requirement of cancer cells is the transfer of calcium from endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria for their survival.  But this results in mitochondrial calcium addiction and susceptibility of cancer cells to calcium influx (overload) and cells death.

    Immune system activated also

    Cellular calcium influx also activates the immune system.  Immune cells remove cancer cells from the body by utilizing T-cells (thymus cells) and natural killer cells.  Immune cells are activated as intracellular calcium concentration rises.  The immune system has capacity to destroy cancer cells by activation of T-cells or natural killer cells without being toxic to healthy tissues and cells.  This calcium-directed treatment “comprises a far unused anti-cancer strategy” says one report.

    When resveratrol was added to mesothelioma cells in a lab dish (mesothelioma is a highly malignant asbestos-related cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs), intracellular calcium levels rose but not in non-malignant cells.  This cancer cell killing effect was accomplished with a very low dose concentration of resveratrol.

    Research into this non-toxic cancer-killing effect heated up in 2017.  A compelling report shows that resveratrol helps to shift the energy sources required for tumor cell growth away from sugar (glycolysis) and back to oxygen (oxidative phosphorylation).

    The shift towards utilization of sugar as an energy source for unbridled cancer cell growth was first noted by Otto Warburg in the early 1900s.  By shifting to sugar (glucose) for energy, a low-calcium concentration is achieved that is critical to maintain cancer cell survival.

    In a lab dish the use of low-dose resveratrol has been shown to increase the ability of cancer cells to oxidize (degrade) glucose by 41-65% and decreases the expelling of lactic acid from tumor sites, thus reducing the acid environment that characteristically surrounds tumors.

    Resveratrol “at doses close to the amount found in the blood serum of resveratrol-treated patients” reorients cell metabolism away from glucose and towards oxygen, a reverse Warburg effect.  The prevailing claim that resveratrol is not bioavailable is dashed.

    In over a dozen years of use of resveratrol pills in the U.S., no deaths or hospitalizations have been reported, which speaks for the safety of this non-prescription herbal remedy.  Resveratrol is ready to be safely used in the oncology clinic.

    The chelation (removal) of calcium from tumor cells abolishes this cell-killing effect, which serves as proof of this mechanism.  The use of calcium-blocking drugs would also negate this cancer cell-killing property of resveratrol.

    As an indication of the importance of this discovery, Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize in physiology when he showed the opposite effect.  Some sort of medical politics must be in play for the scientific community and medical news press to overlook this important discovery.

    Finally, by July of 2017 researchers reported in the journal Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry that “resveratrol specifically kills cancer cells by a devastating increase in the calcium coupling between greatly tethered endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria.” These researchers report resveratrol decreases the viability of cancer cells by more than 60-70%, which resulted in programmed cell death (apoptosis).  ####

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