Grape news for colon cancer

Just over a year ago in this news column we reported on a study published in the journal Cancer Letters which indicated that grape seed extract is effective cancerous colon cells. Now a year later another study emerged which this time says that grape seed extract can also make chemotherapy for colon cancer both more effective and less damaging to the body.

It is the seeds of white grapes that are used in making grape seed extract. The coating of white grape seeds contains substances known as “oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes” (OPCs) which have an antioxidant effect around 50 times greater than vitamin C or vitamin E.

This laboratory study showed used grape seed extract made using the by-products of wine-making. The extract was freeze dried and powdered and was used against colon cancer cells grown in culture. Additionally the extract was being used alongside chemotherapy agents used in colon cancer.

The results showed that grape seed extract reduced chemotherapy-induced inflammation by up to 55 per cent. At the same time grape seed increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy at inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells by 26 per cent. This was achieved without any increase in harmful effects on healthy cells.

So the good news about grape seed extract is that unlike chemotherapy it seems to have a selective negative effect on cancerous colon cells and it appears safe. No side-effects were found using grape seed extract at concentrations up to 1000mg (one gram) per kilogram of bodyweight.

Of course you would not self-medicate if you were being treated for colon cancer. You would need to discuss using grape seed extract with your health practitioner but it does look promising for grape seed as a potent adjuvant to colon cancer chemotherapy.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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