Resveratrol (Japanese Fleece Flower) for Prostate Health

We usually know grapes and wine as the primary source of resveratrol. However, it is also found in pistachio, soy, and peanuts. 

You can also receive plenty in your diet through Itadori tea. This is an infusion made with Japanese Fleece Flower (Polygonum cuspidatum).

But why would you want to increase your intake of resveratrol? In this article, you will find out. 

We review the benefits of resveratrol for prostate health and other exciting scientific findings. 

There are over 70 plant species with resveratrol, but throughout the article, we will focus on the Japanese Fleece Flower as an alternative to get the benefits in your daily cup of tea.

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What is resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a flavonoid and a nutraceutical substance with wide pharmacological applications. The chemical name is 3,4′,5- trihydroxystilbene, and it is a stilbene compound with antimicrobial and antifungal activity in plants. 

It protects plants from injury, infection, and ultraviolet damage. When consumed by mammals, it also activates receptors and changes cell metabolism.

This substance has been linked with anti-inflammatory function, stress resistance, endothelial function improvements, and much more. It promotes a healthy cell cycle and modulates the circadian rhythm. 

Altogether, this natural compound has many applications in cancer therapy, inflammatory disease, and cardiovascular risk.

The most common source of resveratrol is grapes, and it is found in wine. This substance is the reason why wine is a healthier alcoholic beverage compared to others. 

But besides grapes, it is found in various nuts and Japanese Fleece Flower. What’s more, Itadori tea made with this plant has a higher concentration of resveratrol than nuts. It is only comparable to that found in wine but without the effects of alcohol.

How can it help prostate health?

As noted above, resveratrol is a plant substance. Still, it is active in the human body and causes several changes in cell metabolism. 

Many studies have focused on changes in the cell cycle and apoptosis induction in cancer. Even prostate cancer cells react to resveratrol by inhibiting tumor growth.

We have described a few pathways in the section above, but there are many others. Detailing all mechanisms of action would be difficult to do in a single article. They include inhibition of angiogenesis and lower tumor invasion. In other words, tumors do not grow as many blood vessels and are less likely to spread to other tissues. 

The blood vessel effect is mediated by a reduction of vascular epithelial growth factors. A decrease of matrix metalloproteases achieves tumor invasion reduction. 

Apart from that, resveratrol increases the sensitivity of cancer to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Cancer cells are more sensitive to doxorubicin, actinomycin D, methotrexate, taxol, and other chemotherapeutic agents after being exposed to resveratrol.

Finally, it is essential to highlight the modulation of inflammatory substances by resveratrol. Inflammation and oxidative damage work synergistically in prostate cancer to facilitate the initiation and progression of tumor development. 

Prostaglandins converted by cyclooxygenase-2 enzymes promote angiogenesis and cell proliferation. They also suppress apoptosis. Thus, the inhibiting effect of resveratrol over this enzyme is beneficial and may prevent prostate cancer.

Additionally, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves inflammation in prostatitis. Studies show that resveratrol inhibits fibrosis, urinary dysfunction, and the progression of chronic prostatitis. 

More evidence from clinical trials is required to see how it applies outside of the laboratory. However, given the current knowledge, resveratrol is a promising therapeutic agent in prostatitis cases.

What the studies say

Current studies of resveratrol in prostate cancer are mainly done in vitro. There are only a few animal models and no applications in human trials. So far, there are no demonstrations of the therapeutic potential of resveratrol in prostate cancer. There are many studies of resveratrol in other types of cancer, though.

Many in vivo studies have had promising results. One of them evaluated the effect of a herbal preparation with four herbs, including the Japanese Fleece Flower as a source of resveratrol. 

This preparation is commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms, such as a weak urinary stream and nocturia. The study showed a reduction of urinary frequency, an improvement in urinary volume, and lower prostate weight after 4 weeks. The effect was similar to that obtained with drugs such as dutasteride and alfuzosin.

Similarly, most studies in cell lines and mice show significant benefits in vivo. A study with TRAMP mice showed suppressed tumor growth in vivo. In TRAMP cell lines, there was a reduced cell proliferation and inhibition of Hedgehog signaling. 

In LNCaP cell lines, resveratrol induced apoptosis (cell death) and regulated androgen receptors. And, in xenograft models, it inhibits angiogenesis and metastasis besides tumoral growth. 

Other effects reported by studies include an up-regulation of enzymes, down-regulation of various prostate cancer genes, and modulation of metabolic signaling. Altogether, they could have a significant role in human trials, which are still lacking.

Other health benefits of resveratrol

Resveratrol is a substance with cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, and antitumoral benefits. Still, it is probably better to consume a natural source because it contains many other phytonutrients. They often act synergistically and potentiate the benefits of resveratrol alone.

That’s why we recommend the Japanese Fleece Flower (Polygonum cuspidatum) as a source of resveratrol. It has a higher concentration, just like wine. 

But you won’t have the adverse effects of alcohol. Thus, you can consume a higher volume of Itadori tea made of this herb without any adverse event.

Here’s a summary of the benefits of resveratrol when consumed in Japanese Fleece Flower infusions:

Antioxidant effects

Many benefits have to do with the antioxidant capacity of this substance. It neutralizes free radicals and prevents damage to cell structures and DNA.

Cytotoxic activity

Resveratrol and other components of the Japanese Fleece Flower are useful against certain cell lines. For example, cervical adenocarcinoma cells and pancreatic carcinoma cells. As such, they confer antitumoral activity and can be helpful to prevent or treat certain cancers.

Antidiabetic activity

A diluted extract of Japanese Fleece Flower is known to have antidiabetic activity measured by alpha-amylase inhibition assays. 

There are reported health benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, resveratrol is known to protect the heart from an increased cardiovascular risk.

Antimicrobial activity

These extracts have been tested against various microorganisms. It has antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus mirabilis. It is also active against several yeasts, including Candida species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Debaryomyces hanseii.

Additionally, a recent review of clinical trials confers resveratrol the following health benefits:

Obesity and insulin resistance

Besides helping to control blood sugar, resveratrol reduces insulin resistance and increases HDL levels (good cholesterol). Thus, it prevents and treats what we know as metabolic syndrome.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Some studies suggest that resveratrol reduces lipid content in the liver. It brings back liver enzymes to normal levels. It may be useful to prevent inflammation and fibrosis in these patients.

Neurological disease

Studies support the use of resveratrol in cases of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. 

It reduces oxidative stress in the brain and provides neuroprotection against inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Kidney disease

Resveratrol reduces the harmful effects of hyperglycemia in kidney structures. It inhibits inflammation and metabolic stress and mitigates the metabolic consequences of kidney disease.

Chronic inflammatory conditions

This substance can also help patients with arthritis, acute inflammation, and chronic inflammatory disease. It is effective in treating ulcerative colitis and may relieve inflammatory symptoms in arthritis.

Aging

Resveratrol supplementation can be useful for healthy aging without cardiovascular disease. Some authors have described anti-aging benefits for the skin and other body structures.

Conclusion

Resveratrol is a famous polyphenol with applications for heart disease and a protective effect against free radicals. A high dose of dietary resveratrol and calorie restriction may contribute to healthy weight loss and reduce cardiovascular risk. It also improves the lipid profiles in patients with high cholesterol and triglyceride level.

Resveratrol has a beneficial effect on prostate cancer in animal studies. However, there are no randomized controlled trials yet. 

We can increase dietary resveratrol intake by consuming grape juice or wine. But another alternative with an equally high concentration of resveratrol is Itadori tea, prepared as an infusion of Japanese Fleece Flower.

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Sources

  1. Burns, J., Yokota, T., Ashihara, H., Lean, M. E., & Crozier, A. (2002). Plant foods and herbal sources of resveratrol. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 50(11), 3337-3340. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12010007/
  2. Berman, A. Y., Motechin, R. A., Wiesenfeld, M. Y., & Holz, M. K. (2017). The therapeutic potential of resveratrol: a review of clinical trials. NPJ precision oncology, 1(1), 1-9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320022004_The_therapeutic_potential_of_resveratrol_a_review_of_clinical_trials
  3. Jasiński, M., Jasińska, L., & Ogrodowczyk, M. (2013). Resveratrol in prostate diseases–a short review. Central European journal of urology, 66(2), 144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936154/
  4. He, Y., Zeng, H. Z., Yu, Y., Zhang, J. S., Duan, X., Zeng, X. N., … & Yang, B. (2017). Resveratrol improves prostate fibrosis during progression of urinary dysfunction in chronic prostatitis. Environmental toxicology and pharmacology, 54, 120-124. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5780169/
  5. Minh, T. D., Ha, T. N. T., Duy, T. N., Hoang, N. N., PhamTien, D., Thai, H. P., … & Krasnova, M. V. (2021). Linh Phu Khang Tue Tinh inhibited prostate proliferation in rats induced benign prostatic hyperplasia by testosterone propionate. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 279, 114388. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34224813/
  6. Pogačnik, L., Bergant, T., Skrt, M., Poklar Ulrih, N., Viktorová, J., & Ruml, T. (2020). In vitro comparison of the bioactivities of Japanese and Bohemian knotweed ethanol extracts. Foods, 9(5), 544. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278624/
  7. Singh, A. P., Singh, R., Verma, S. S., Rai, V., Kaschula, C. H., Maiti, P., & Gupta, S. C. (2019). Health benefits of resveratrol: Evidence from clinical studies. Medicinal Research Reviews, 39(5), 1851-1891. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30741437/

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