Grape Seed Demonstrates Potent Anti-Cancer Effects

Grape seed are waste products of the winery and grape juice industry. A wide variety of phytochemicals, have been shown to possess anti-carcinogenic effects. Among these are the grape seed proanthocyanidins, which are the active ingredients of  GSE (grape-seed extract). Grape seed extract is especially rich in a very strong flavonoid called OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins). Scientists believe the anti-cancer effects of GSE come from these proanthocyanidins.

Grape Seed Extract Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Substantial in vitro and preclinical in vivo studies have demonstrated the chemopreventive efficacy of grape seed proanthocyanidins against various forms of cancers in different tumor models. In a study reported by “Carcinogenesis”, Agarwal (investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center) explained that grape seed creates conditions that are unfavorable to cancer cell growth. The grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA and stops the pathways that allow cancer cell repair. A study reported in 2010 in “Pharmaceutical Research” found that GSE (grape seed extract) stopped tumor growth in mice after clinically induced exposure to UVB radiation.

A study reported in the journal “Carcinogenesis” shows that in both cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In a study, reportedin 2011, found that GSE reduces the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 74 %. University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers have reported a study in the journal Cancer Letters that shows grape seed extract is a potent agent against colorectal cancer. The researchers think that grape seed extract targets colorectal cancer by causing oxidative stress that leads to the programmed cell death known as apoptosis. Colon and intestinal cancer was inhibited in mice fed 0.5 % GSE for 6 weeks, in a 2010 study published in the journal Neoplasia. At the end of the research, observed a 40 % lessen in the total number of intestinal polyps.

An extract from grape seed laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide, according to scientists from the University of Kentucky. They found that within 24 hours, 76% of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to the grape seed extract.  The scientists then used pharmacologic and genetic approaches to determine how the grape seed extract induced apoptosis. They found that thegrape seed  extract strongly activated the JNK pathway, which then led to up-regulation of Cip/p21, which controls the cell cycle. “These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers,” said the study’s lead author, Xianglin Shi.

In a lab experiment reported in 2004 in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, grape seed extract was effective in blocking division of breast cancer cells in culture, reducing their growth rate by up to 72%. Studies performed by scientists showed that procyanidin dimers, particularly procyanidin B2 dimer from wine extract and found in high quantities in grape seeds, inhibited the activity and expression of this enzyme, which is responsible for the conversion of androgens into estrogens in aromatase-transfected MCF-7 breast cancer cells and their xenografts in athymic nude mice. In other study, grape seed extract exerted a synergistic effect with doxorubicin in inhibiting the growth of estrogen-receptor–expressing MCF-7 cells as well as estrogen-receptor negative MDA-MB468 cells.

In a study; researchers measured the vitamins, minerals and specialty supplements in the diets of 66,227 healthy  women and men, aged 50 to 76. After 8 years of follow-up, compared to those who did not take these supplements, those who took a daily multi-vitamin for at least 8 years were 20% less likely to develop a hematologic cancer; for GSE (grape-seed extract), 43% less likely. 35,239 males were followed over 10 years since 2000 in the VITAL cohort study Men, with “high average use” over 10 years of an individual grape seed extract experienced a 62%  reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to non-users.

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