by: John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Colorado Cancer Center reporting in the prestigious journal Carcinogenesis explain the unique mechanism exerted by grape seed extract to destroy cancer cells that target the head and neck. More than half a million people worldwide will fall victim to squamous cell carcinoma involving the head and neck, and 12,000 will die in the US alone. In an experimental model using mice, scientists have found that grape seed extract triggers DNA damage in the cancer cells and inhibits the necessary repair mechanism used by the cells to regenerate and multiply.
Grape Seed Extract Lowers the Growth Rate of Certain Cancers by up to 67%
The lead researcher, Dr. Rajesh Agarwal and his team determined that supplementing mice with grape seed extract (GSE) reduced the growth of certain cancers by up to 67%, lowered the rate of progression of deadly tumors and DNA damage while inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of the cancer cells. Mice have been used to study specific cancer cell lines because they parallel tumor progression and metastasis in a manner similar to humans.
The researchers found that GSE created an environment that is unfavorable for cancer cell growth. Cancer cells require a specific environment, blood supply and metabolic nutrients to be able to propagate. If any of these pathways are disrupted, cancer cell death occurs. The scientists commented "Cancer cells are fast-growing cells… not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can't grow, they die."
The team determined that GSE both damages cancer cells' DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair. Most important, they found there was no toxicity from supplementation. GSE killed the cancer cells by knocking out one of several vulnerable paths necessary for growth, and left the healthy tissue untouched. Dr. Agarwal concluded "I think the whole point is that cancer cells have a lot of defective pathways and they are very vulnerable if you target those pathways. The same is not true of healthy cells."
Though this study focused specifically on GSE as a therapeutic agent for cancers of the head and neck, prior research has shown the natural compound was effective against leukemia and tumors affecting the skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate. Nutrition experts recommend supplementation with an organically harvested grape seed extract (150 mg per day) to support brain health and fight cancerous tumor development.