A study published this week in the medical journal Carcinogenesis shows that grape seed extract kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The grape seed extract (also known as proanthocyanidins and/or flavinoids)has been demonstrated to damage cancer cell DNA (by way of increasing reactive oxygen), as well as inhibiting the cancer cell’s ability to repair the damage. The best part is that the grape seed extract is not harmful to normal cells. This is probably due to the fact that cancer cells are known to have a lot of deficient metabolic pathways that can be vulnerable to attack. Normal cells do not have most of these vulnerabilities.
Another study that was published in the January 1, 2009 issue of Clinical Cancer Research by researchers from the University of Kentucky found that an extract from grape seeds caused in vitro leukemia cells to commit suicide. Grape seed extract has shown beneficial activity in a number of laboratory cancer cells, including breast, colon, lung, prostate and skin cancers, but had never been studied in hematological cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. These cancers ranked as the fourth leading cause of cancer incidence and death in the U.S. in 2006.
It would appear that a non-toxic, naturally-occurring nutrient would be a great addition to an anti-cancer regimen. It doesn’t cost much, and probably has a lot of benefits. Grape seed extract is known to be a powerful antioxidant, and it has anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties. I have taken it for hay fever for years, and it works well most of the time. Preliminary studies have shown that grape seed extract may reduce prostate cancer risk, as well as a possibility of reducing hematologic malignancies.
It isn’t clear whether or not grape seed extract could be considered a ‘cure’ for cancer, but it definitely is showing a great deal of promise. One should make sure that grape seed extract is not contraindicated for use with other treatments that are being taken. If a treatment is dependent upon the creation of free radicals, grape seed extract would likely negate this treatment’s effectiveness since is is known to be a powerful antioxidant. Please do your own research, and/or consult with your qualified health care professional to determine if grape seed extract could help you.