Grape Seed Extract Benefits Colorectal Cancer, Other Diseases

Grape seed extract and colorectal cancer
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Grape seed extract has been the topic of numerous research studies in recent years, and the latest one focuses on colorectal cancer. Here are the findings of the newest research as well as previous discoveries about this natural substance in fighting other diseases.

Grape seed extract is a cancer fighter

Many plants and herbs are a good source of antioxidants, which fight molecules that cause oxidative damage and destroy cells, resulting in cancer and other diseases. However, not all antioxidant sources are equally potent. A good example is grape seed extract, which is teeming with antioxidant powers.

In this latest study, conducted at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado, a team of researchers discovered that grape seed extract can inhibit the growth and survival of colorectal cancer cells while ignoring healthy cells. What’s most interesting is that the extract is most effective against advanced colorectal cancer cells.

This study is not the first time grape seed extract has shown an ability to protect against or fight cancer. In a previous study also from the Skaggs School, investigators found that grape seed extract stopped the growth of squamous cell cancer of the head and neck in mice, again while not harming healthy cells.

Another new study just published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, scientists reported that grape seed extract has shown an ability to help protect against ultraviolet-induced skin cancer. Grape seed has also demonstrated the potential to help fight oral cancer.

Now in this latest study, doctoral candidate and study co-author Molly Derry explained that “This study shows that many of the same mutations that allow colorectal cancer cells to metastasize [spread] and survive traditional therapies make them especially sensitive to treatment with GSE [grape seed extract].”

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The study was done on colorectal cancer cells lines at various stages of the disease. Of special importance is the finding that the extract is so effective in advanced colorectal cancer, since more than 60 percent of people who are diagnosed with the disease are in an advanced state.

Another advantage of grape seed extract is that it contains many active components, which can target multiple mutations. Colorectal cancer cells can have an estimated 11,000 genetic mutations, according to Derry.

Other benefits of grape seed extract
Aside from cancer, grape seed extract has shown some benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. In a recent article in PLoS One, investigators noted that the extract had a positive effect on bone damage and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis.

Grape seed extract may also help in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Although all the studies thus far have been done in mice, research suggests grape seed extract could inhibit the activity of the proteins (tau peptides) involved in this common form of dementia.

In yet another study, a Yale School of Medicine meta-analysis in 2011 reported on studies in humans that involved grape seed extract and cardiovascular risk. The researchers’ evaluation showed that “grape seed extract appears to significantly lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate,” but that it had no effect on C-reactive protein or lipid levels, all of which are factors in cardiovascular disease.

Discoveries of the benefits of various natural substances continue to illustrate that there is much these compounds can offer us. The latest findings concerning the impact of grape seed extract on colorectal and previous studies of other diseases are an excellent example of these possibilities.

SOURCES:
Chis IC et al. Antioxidant effects of a grape seed extract in a rat model of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes & Vascular Disease Research 2009 Jul; 6(3): 200-4
Derry M et al. Differential effects of grape seed extract against human colorectal cancer cell lines: the intricate role of death receptors and mitochondria. Cancer Letters 2013 Jan. 21 online. DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.12.015
Feringa HH et al. The effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular risk markers: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2011 Aug; 111(8): 1173-81
Lin YS et al. The chemoadjuvant potential of grape seed procyanidins on p53-related cell death in oral cancer cells. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine 2012 Apr; 41(4): 322-31
Perde-Schrepler M et al. Grape seed extract as photochemopreventive agent against UVB-induced skin cancer. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology 2013 Jan 5; 118:16-21
Wang J et al. Grape derived polyphenols attenuate tau neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2010; 22(2): 653-61

Image: Morguefile

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