Resveratrol and CancerMore than a potent anti-aging nutrient, resveratrol is a chemoprotectant and a chemotherapeutic agent that may be a valuable asset in canine osteosarcoma treatment as well as prevention.

Originally discovered as the powerful antioxidant in grape skins and touted as the ingredient that gave the French their health and longevity despite their indulgence in fatty foods and tobacco, resveratrol has been shown in a wealth of studies to be even more herculean than originally thought.

Inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells through multiple actions, resveratrol blocks angiogenesis (the growth of small blood vessels that feed a tumor) without causing the tumor to spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body. Resveratrol activates or deactivates particular proteins, such as setting the Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), an important immune system molecule that characterizes many tumors, into action. And it supresses NF-kB, a protein which is linked to almost all cancers in humans.

The natural plant-derived compound works by kick-starting processes within the cells and organs which attack disease or protect against stress and harmful environmental factors. The manner in which resveratrol attacks cancer is selective, almost intelligent in the way it affects cells.

The National Cancer Institute has stated that resveratrol may be an effective chemopreventive agent in three stages of cancer: initiation, promotion, and progression. Additionally, when used in conjunction with some chemotherapy agents, resveratrol improves their effectiveness while mitigating their side effects

Over 4,000 studies have been published illustrating the diverse properties of this exceptionally small molecule and its potentially huge implications for the prevention and treatment of human disease. No single molecule or drug, known to medical science, has displayed the wide range of potential preventative, therapeutic, and quality of life enhancement properties of resveratrol.

Besides inhibiting cancer, resveratrol has been shown to kill bacteria, viruses and fungal infections, extend life span in animals, improve energy production in cells, quench damaging free radicals, increase glucose tolerance in diabetics, improve cardiac function, enhance physical and mental fitness and concentration, repair damaged DNA, prevent cell damage from nuclear radiation, and much more.

While it is generally known that grape skins, peanuts, raspberries, blueberries and other plants contain resveratrol as part of their immune and natural defense systems, most people believe the resveratrol in their capsules has been extracted from grape skins. But the fact is that the small amount of resveratrol in grapes makes the vineyard a very uneconomical source for the compound.

Giant Japanese Knotweed PlantConcentrations are highest in the Japanese Giant Knotweed plant, (Polygonum cuspidatum), a voracious predator which is one of the toughest, most aggressive plants on earth. Rich in resveratrol, this docile looking, flowering perennial, whose roots can compete with a mature oak, is also a source of other protective compounds, like polydatin, pterostilbene, and emodin.

Thriving in any environment, the knotweed seems to grow stronger in hostile areas. And once established, all existing vegetation is taken over in a few years. Moreover, if not pruned away from buildings, this stalwart plant is so tough it can grow through concrete foundations.

I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to hear that the Japanese Giant Knotweed has been accepted traditional medicine in China and Tibet for at least two thousand years. And while more studies with resveratrol and osteosarcoma have yet to be documented, there is ample evidence to consider resveratrol for your canine osteosarcoma arsenal.



According to scientific studies, the dose for pure trans-resveratrol is relatively clear. While doses of around 50 mg to 100 mg, seem to show potentially important preventative effects in some studies, the consensus, to date, is that at least 250 mg is required to reach the threshold for efficacy as demonstrated in most animal and in vitro studies.

The dose recommended by most clinicians for treatment of an existing condition ranges from 1,000 mg to 4,000 mg. The general agreement is that the anti-cancer properties of resveratrol are tied to its ability to induce apoptosis (mediated cell death), and that is dose-related.

At low doses, resveratrol suppresses apoptosis, while at high doses it enhances apoptosis. You want apoptosis to be enhanced in canine osteosarcoma, so you should go high. However it is recommended that you check with your vet a before dosing your dog.

That being said, when I spoke with the representative of a company, whose pure resveratrol products have been used in most major clinical studies, about off label dosing for a dog, I was given the following general guidelines:

Preventative dosing is 5 mg to 10 mg per kilo of body weight (about 5 mg per pound).

Dosing for therapeutic reasons is critical and is two to four times that amount, possibly even up to 5 times the amount. That would figure in at up to 25 mg per pound per day. The total dosage is divided by four and given in 6-hour intervals. So if you were dosing a 70 pound dog with diagnosed osteosarcoma, you would be giving him or her 25 mg X 70 = 1400 mg. Divide that by 4 and you get 350 mg of pure trans-resveratrol every 6 hours for the total dose of 1400 mg daily.

A 5 pound dog X 25 mg per pound is 125 mg daily. This is divided by 4 to give you about 30 mg every 6 hours.

This formula is not written in stone and you may wish to start at a lower dose, see how your dog’s metabolism reacts, and gradually adjust upwards. My personal feelings are that since osteosarcoma is so fiercely aggressive, I would be adjusting upwards, but not too gradually.

All that being said, it is reassuring to note that no toxicity or serious adverse effects were observed in several animal (and human studies) in which up to 5,000 mg was given on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time. In animal studies, dosages up to the human equivalent of 30,000 mg have been tolerated with only minor adverse effects.


Some Fine-Tuning on Dosage and Resveratrol Products

For canine osteosarcoma, you may want to consider using two of Biotivia’s products in your dog’s daily dosage. The first is Transmax, pure trans-resveratrol or Transmax-TR (the timed release version for a 12 hour dose so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to dose again) plus Pteromax which contains both trans-resveratrol and pterostilben

Should you want to combine both products, a reasonable dosing schedule would include 2 doses of Pteromax during the day and the Transmax-TR before bedtime

The easiest schedule might be using just the Transmax-TR every 12 hours. But the options are there

It is best to dose on an empty stomach. The capsules are small, but they could be easily hidden in a sliver of cheese  or tucked into a pill pocket if you have difficulty dosing your dog.

Resveratrol breaks down quickly in the presence of oxygen. If capsules need to be split and stored for a very short time, place them in an air tight jar with an oxygen desiccant.  But if just a little needs to be saved, I might err on the side of knowing that too much resveratrol when treating therapeutically is better than too little and just include the little extra in the dose. Resveratrol is a well tolerated supplement.

Do not dose resveratrol with quercetin. While many researchers have seen a synergistic effect when resveratrol is combined with other polyphenols such as curcumin, not all polyphenols are synergistic. And when resveratrol is combined with the antioxidant quercetin, a negative effect on Sirt gene activation has been observed.

Some people report diarrhea when taking resveratrol. If the product taken is not pure resveratrol, but rather a full spectrum resveratrol, it will include the antioxidant emodin which is contained in the Japanese Giant Knotweed plant from which resveratrol is taken. While emodin is a potent anti-cancer agent as well, it can function as a laxative for some.

To avoid this possible, minor unwanted side effect, be sure to choose pure trans-resveratrol rather than a full spectrum transveratol for your canine osteosarcoma protocol.





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