Preclinical and clinical studies have offered evidence for protective effects of various polyphenol-rich foods against cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers. Resveratrol is among the most widely studied polyphenols. However, the preventive and treatment effectiveness of resveratrol in cancer remain controversial because of certain limitations in existing studies. For example, studies of the activity of resveratrol against cancer cell lines in vitro have often been conducted at concentrations in the low μM to mM range, whereas dietary resveratrol or resveratrol-containing wine rarely achieve nM concentrations in the clinic. While the mechanisms underlying the failure of resveratrol to inhibit cancer growth in the intact organism are not fully understood, the interference by thyroid hormones with the anticancer activity of resveratrol have been well documented in both in vitro and xenograft studies. Thus, endogenous thyroid hormones may explain the failure of anticancer actions of resveratrol in intact animals, or in the clinic. In this review, mechanisms involved in resveratrol-induced antiproliferation and effects of thyroid hormones on these mechanisms are discussed.
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