Salvestrols are naturally occurring plant derived compounds (phytonutrients). Salvestrols are essential for wellbeing and because they cannot be made in the body they must therefore be supplied through our diet.
As a group, they are chemically unrelated substances except for the similar manner in which they confer their benefits, that is, as a result of their action with the CYP1B1 enzyme. This CYP1B1 enzyme is over expressed in malfunctioning cells and not present in normal healthy cells. The metabolites produced through metabolism of Salvestrols by the CYP1B1 enzyme result in the suppression and death of these malfunctioning or diseased cells.
Salvestrols where discovered in 1998 as a result of the combined research of Professor Dan Burke, a pharmacologist, and Professor Gerry Potter, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the Cancer Drug Discovery Group at Leicester’s De Montfort University. Professor Potter had spent almost 20 years designing synthetic cancer drugs but realised along the way that plants have similar chemicals that could prove to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer.
The collaboration of the two research directors-Professors Dan Burke and Gerry Potter-resulted in the discovery that a group of natural dietary compounds-Salvestrols-exerted similar effects to those they were seeking to exact by the use of synthetic pharmaceuticals, and as a result their focus now lies entirely within the realm of natural products.
Salvestrol is a new name Potter coined to describe this group of natural compounds from the Latin word salve, meaning ‘to save’.
Salvestrols are a spinout from a drug discovery programme which has already delivered several major pharmaceutical products considered to be key in their class and others which are currently undergoing clinical trials.
More than $30 Million US dollars has gone into the research of Salvestrols and this continues today. Salvestrols food supplements are available worldwide and can be found throughout Europe, Australia, the UK, Canada and now recently Southern Africa.
It seems that human cells affected by diseases such as cancer contain an enzyme called CYP1B1. This enzyme is unique to diseased cells and cannot be found in normal healthy cells.
Salvestrols enter the body through ingestion of certain plant matter. They are then released into the blood stream where they then interact with the CYP1B1 enzyme. The result of this interaction is a creation of a toxin which only affects the specific diseased cell and in turn this cell is poisoned. This results in the death or suppression of the cell. As healthy cells do not contain the enzyme Salvestrols do not interact with them in the same manner.
Scientists generally believe that cancer cells are forming in the body continually, but most are destroyed before they develop into malignant tumours. The research team now believe that Salvestrols play a key role in this process. Salvestrols provide an explanation of the link between diet and cancer and between the fruit and vegetable consumption and lower cancer incidence.
Salvestrols have been identified in many fruits, vegetables and herbs which are components of the diet throughout the world. They cannot be synthesised in the body but are essential dietary components found only in plants.
The compounds which the plant produces in this way are called phytoalexins- or secondary plant metabolites-and whilst all Salvestrols are phytoalexins, not all phytoalexins are Salvestrols. The same way all dogs are animals but not all animals are dogs! Only specific structures can interact with the CYP1B1 enzyme to produce the desired effects in the diseased cells and thus they have specifically been given the name Salvestrols.