Study: Advanced cancer cells more susceptible to grape seed extract

pillsA recent study from the University of Colorado Cancer Center published in the journal Cancer Letters shows that the more advanced the cancer cells, the more grape seed extract (GSE) inhibits their growth and survival. Compared to chemotherapy, GSE leaves healthy cells entirely alone.

“We’ve known for quite a while that the bioactive compounds in grape seed extract selectively target many types of cancer cells. This study shows that many of the same mutations that allow colorectal cancer cells to metastasize and survive traditional therapies make them especially sensitive to treatment with GSE,” said Molly Derry, doctoral candidate at the cancer center. Since 60% of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer are usually in a more advanced stage of the disease, “finding a way to selectively target advanced colorectal cancer cells could have major clinical importance.”

Generally, it takes more chemotherapy to kill a stage IV cancer cell than a stage II cancer cell, but in the study, researchers saw that the reverse was true with grape seed extract- less than half the concentration of GSE was required to suppress cell growth and kill 50 % of stage IV cells compared to stage II cells.

Another advantage of GSE is that it targets colorectal cancer through inducing oxidative stress, which leads to programmed cell death known as apoptosis. “A colorectal cancer cell can have upwards of 11,000 genetic mutations – differences from the DNA in healthy cells. Traditional chemotherapies may only target a specific mutation and as cancer progresses more mutations occur. These changes can result in cancer that is resistance to chemotherapy. In contrast, the many bioactive compounds of GSE are able to target multiple mutations. The more mutations a cancer presents, the more effective GSE is in targeting them,” Derry reported.

Grape seed extract is an antioxidant (i.e. a nutraceutical that helps protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals). If you are interested in an integrative approach to preventing or treating cancer, talk to your naturopathic doctor today.

SOURCE: University of Colorado Denver

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