Monday, January 19, 2009

Grape Seed Extract shown to Kill Leukemia Cells in Laboratory

A new study conducted at the University of Kentucky and published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research, found that leukemia cancer cells exposed to grapeseed extract (GSE) were rapidly killed through a process of cell suicide known as "apoptosis."

In these laboratory studies, an incredible 76% of leukemia cells died within 24 hours thanks to the ability of GSE to activate a protein called JNK, which regulates apoptosis. In a healthy person, apoptosis is a normal part of cell biology. Every living system creates cancerous cells. There are hundreds or thousands of "microtumors" in every living human being, but cancerous cells in healthy people destroy themselves once they realize they are flawed. This cellular process, however, requires healthy cell communication, and that's dependent on adequate nutrients.

Grapeseed extract appears to accelerate this process in cancer, helping them more rapidly assess their own flawed state so they can engage in apoptosis (cell suicide), thus protecting the larger organism (the body).

It's important to note that this recent study was conducted in a lab, not in humans, so its conclusions cannot necessarily be translated into saying that "grapeseed extract cures cancer.” However, it does indicate quite convincingly that if the unique phytochemical molecules found in grapeseed extract can be delivered to leukemia cells with sufficient potency, they may play an important role in accelerated cancer cell apoptosis, thereby protecting the whole organism from unabated cancer. If the results demonstrated in the labs at the University of Kentucky can be replicated in humans, it could potentially position grapeseed extract as one of the most powerful natural chemotherapeutic agents yet discovered.

Grapeseed extract has been studied and demonstrated to be remarkably effective at killing cancer cells for many different types of cancer, by the way, including cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, skin bowel and stomach.

Eat more Grapes?
Eating more grapes is certainly a healthy and protective thing to do, in that they are a source of resveratrol and various protective phytonutrients. However, in order to get the protective effect of grape seeds, you would obviously have to eat grapes with seeds in them, chewing the seeds and all. Today it’s not even very easy to find grapes with the seeds still in them on the market because of the demand for seedless grapes. As an alternative or complement to eating grapes, grape seed extract is available in supplement form.

I recommend combining grape seed extract with other important chemoprotective nutrients for a well-rounded and powerful antioxidant complex. N-acetylcysteine and acetyl-L-carnitine are two of the most powerful antioxidant compounds on the planet that would provide a powerful synergistic combination with grape seed extract.

See my post on antioxidants for more on this subject.