The BBC headline reads "Grapeseed Extract Kills Cancer Cells" and goes on to say that "in lab experiments, scientists found that the extract stimulated leukemia cells to commit suicide."¹
This may be one of the most encouraging pieces of cancer research in the last 38 years. Clifton Leaf, executive editor at Fortune magazine and a cancer survivor, says in his Fortune magazine article entitled Why We're Losing the War on Cancer (and How to Win It): "Optimism is essential, but the percentage of Americans dying from cancer is still what it was in 1970… and in 1950."
The amazing thing is that this lack of progress has come at the cost of over US$ 200 billion in cancer research. According to PubMed, the National Cancer Institutes's online database, the cancer research community has published 1.56 million papers, and yet there has been no progress whatsoever with regards to the four major cancers: lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. No progress. Zero.²
The fact that the extract used in this trial was simple grapeseed extract (grapeseed oil) and that it was shown to be highly effective in killing leukemia cells is absolutely amazing!
The 76% effectiveness of this seed extract in this laboratory experiment is exceptional. Grapeseed extract will surely be the subject of more research in the future.*
The University of Kentucky study found that leukemia cells exposed to grapeseed extract were quickly killed by a process called "apoptosis". This process can be thought of as cell suicide.
In a healthy person, cancer cell apoptosis is a normal, healthy part of biology. Every living system creates cancerous cells. There are hundreds or thousands of "microtumors" in every human being living today, but cancerous cells in healthy people destroy themselves once they realize they're flawed. This cellular "realization," however, requires healthy cell communication, and that's dependent on the correct nutrients, minerals and proteins being available in the body.
Grapeseed extract appears to accelerate this process in cancer cells, helping them more rapidly assess their own flawed state so they can engage in apoptosis (cell suicide), thus protecting the larger organism (the body).
-Mike Adams, health advocate and journalist³
Dr Xianglin Shi, a professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky and the lead author of the study, used a commercially available grapeseed extract, exposing the leukemia cells to various concentrations of the extract for varying amounts of time.⁴
The results of these experiments showed dose-and time-dependent increases in the cancer cells' apoptosis or "suicide" and resultant death.
A very encouraging and exciting result of this trial is that this extract did not negatively affect healthy cells. This, by the way, is typical of truly natural healing methods used by traditional cultures for centuries.
Since the trials were conducted in the lab and not in humans, it's too early to say that "grapeseed extract is a cure for cancer." But the research certainly seems to encourage further study of the singular ability of this phytochemical found in grapeseed extract to induce cancer cells to destroy themselves, thereby keeping the whole body healthy.
Of note is the fact that when a cell goes through the process of apoptosis, it does so in a way that the body is able to dispose of all the pieces of the dead cell in an orderly and natural fashion. This is not the case when chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used. The cancer cells killed by these therapies become contaminants to the body and further tax the already depressed and stressed immune system. When cells die this way it's called necrosis which also stresses the elimination and detoxification systems such as the kidneys, liver, and colon.
In the US, hematological cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma accounted for over 118,000 new cancer cases and nearly 54,000 deaths in 2006. That's the equivalent of the number of American soldiers killed during the entire ten-year Vietnam war. Chemotherapy is actually relatively effective in the case of these cancers, and that's good. The problem is you have to be able to survive the treatment.
Skin cancer, as well as breast, prostate, lung, bowel and stomach cancers, have all responded well to treatment with grapeseed extract in other studies. Let's hope that this study will spark more public interest as well as interest by the medical community in general and cancer research in particular.
Yes! Grapes together with the seeds not only contain grapeseed oil but also resveratrol and many protective phytonutriets. Don't wait for the conventional cancer community to endorse the health benefits of eating grapes and chewing the seeds. (By the way, I heard of the benefits of treating cancer with grapes almost 40 years ago. It's not something new.)
Why not eat all the grapes you can? Eating grapes won't harm you like chemotherapy does. Grapes have no negative side effects. Besides, they're yummy. Just be sure your grapes have seeds in them.
There is one more thing you should know. Grapes are typically among the top most sprayed crops. Because of this contamination with chemical insecticides, it's best to buy organic. Also of note is the fact that grapes, just like black and green tea, have a natural tendency to uptake fluoride from the environment. This means that even organic grapes will have more fluoride found in them than other fruits or vegetables grown in the same region.
Conventional chemotherapy pharmaceuticals are highly toxic to healthy cells and to the whole body, especially the immune system. This therapy can cause permanent brain damage, as well as heart and kidney damage. (These so-called "side effects" are actually unintended effects. They are unintended but direct effects of the toxic substances used in chemotherapy. "Side effects" is a misnomer in our opinion.)
The American Cancer Society explains the side effects of chemotherapy like this:
How chemotherapy may affect parts of your body:
Non-toxic remedies such as GSE that can promote the self-destruction of cancerous cells while having only positive effects on healthy cells show, once again, that natural health remedies can be not only safer, but much more effective at treating disease and supporting good health.
Professor Xianglin Shi, the lead researcher of the study, is quoted as follows in the BBC article:
These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as GSE into prevention or treatment of haematological (blood) malignancies and possibly other cancers. ...What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grapeseed extract fits into this category.
This extract is now positioned to become a focus of natural cancer treatment studies. People have been eating grapes for thousands of years, so we don't have to worry that anyone will be harmed by eating lots of grapes, including the seeds.
There are many supplements on the market that contain this extract, but a word of caution: be careful with what is known as fillers. Most supplements today contain small amounts of the actual active ingredient and large amounts of fillers, including magnesium stearate, stearic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, sorbic acid (not to be confused with ascorbic acid), silicon dioxide, silica, etc.
For those who take lots of supplements, these added ingredients can add up and have negative effects on health.
We will be posting reviews of some very promising supplements that include GSE but don't contain any fillers whatsoever. You can read about my personal experience taking Moxxor, a supplement containing grapeseed extract.