A Recent Study Reports Grape Seed Extract Kills Head and Neck Cancer Cells, Leaving The Healthy Cells Unharmed
Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will be over 500,000.
A study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and laboratory mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
“It’s a rather dramatic effect,” report a team researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Essentially, the outcome depends on a healthy cell’s ability to wait out damage.
“Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” they explain. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.”
Grape Seed extract creates conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the report shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair.
“Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Again, the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells.
“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,” the researchers clarify.
This research was supported by grants from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and from the National Cancer Institute,
Story Source: University of Colorado Denver (2012, January 27). “Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed”
Journal Reference: Generation of reactive oxygen species by grape seed extract causes irreparable DNA damage leading to G2/M arrest and apoptosis selectively in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. Carcinogenesis, 2012;
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.
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