Patrick Holford

Patrick Holford

At Kildinan Farm, we’re strong supporters of the work of Patrick Holford. He’s speaking in Cork on Sunday, April 2013. He’s always worth listening to and is such a motivational speaker in advocating steps we can all take to obtain and manage good general health.

Following below is what he has to say about Salvestrols and we think it is very much worth your while to read this.


“Everyone knows that eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health. Conventional medical advice is to eat at least five portions a day and evidence shows that a diet rich in plant-based foods helps to combat many diseases, especially cancer. What is now becoming clear is that there is more than one single mechanism whereby plants are able to help prevent and reverse the cancer process. A dedicated team of research scientists in Leicester believe that a key component, and a mechanism, in plants could be a major breakthrough in both cancer prevention and treatment. They believe that the Salvestrols, naturally occurring compounds in certain plants, can help to explain how plants offer a treatment for cancer with fewer side effects than conventional treatments .

What are Salvestrols?
Salvestrols are a group of naturally-occurring plant compounds, 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. Potter had spent almost 20 years designing synthetic cancer drugs but realised along the way that plants have similar chemicals   and started to look for natural anticancer remedies.

The science behind Salvestrols started with Potter’s work on resveratrol (an antioxidant chemical found in grape skins and red wine), which is widely credited with cancer preventative properties. It was found that resveratrol is changed by an enzyme, present in both pre-cancerous and cancerous cells, to produce a toxic substance which brings about ‘cell death’ (apoptosis) and therefore destroys the cancer cells. This substance is called piceatannol (pronounced piss-see-at-inol), known to be highly toxic to cancer cells.2 Since Salvestrols are highly selective and only active in cancer cells, they are non-toxic to other cells. Potter developed a drug to mimic the role of resveratrol in fighting cancer, which is currently going through clinical trials.

In the meantime, Potter and his team have been busy analysing many kinds of food and have discovered that there are dozens of natural molecules similar to resveratrol, found in common foods and plants, some of which have an even stronger anticancer activity than resveratrol. Salvestrol is a new name Potter coined to describe this group of natural compounds from the Latin word salve, meaning ‘to save’. The formal definition of a Salvestrol is “a natural dietary anticancer prodrug”.”