Dr. Weeks Comment: There are two world of medicine today. Holistic integrative which uses “centisble” treatments – those which are safe, effective and cost-effective – natural or otherwise. The other world is the profit-driven corporate medicine which dominates health care today and which priorities using the patient as a renewable resource to maximize profits. Sounds crude or bitter? That aside, does it sound accurate? Here is an example of a courageous and celebrated scientist whose work is being ignored ….. until a profitable (patentable) drug can be created from the naturally occurring grape seed extract. (Later, for information about more brilliant scientists whose unprofitable yet brilliant work was ignored for lack of profit potential see Pauling and McCulley for starters) So you should know that when your doctor tells you “There is no cure.”, it is understood that he or she means “There is no profitable cure.” Those are the only ones which are allowed as “standard of care.” All other centisble treatments are stigmatized. (see second article below which is typical fear baiting.)
“…Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will exceed half a million. Another study published in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed…”
The benefits of grape seed extract in cancer are well documented, but modern medicine won’t do anything with it until the mechanism of action has been found, so that it can be isolated, purified, made poisonous and owned by a single company for enormous profits.
The more advanced cancer is, the less effective chemotherapy is. However, a new study has shown that grape seed extract has exactly the opposite quality: The more advanced the cancer, the less extract that’s needed to kill it. On top of that, the study also shows that grape seed extract targets the cancer cells that become most resistant to chemotherapy.
In the face of this remarkable new development, it’s likely that grape seed extract is more effective in treating late-stage cancer than modern medicine’s chemotherapy. Not only does it take less and less of the substance to kill cancer cells, it’s able to target the cells that have become drug resistant, thus making chemo useless!
Yet again, the common misperception that modern medicine’s treatments are stronger or more potent or better in any way is shown to be mistaken. Sadly, it’s a mistake that can kill.
Grape Seed Extract Exposes Modern Medicine’s Failings
The study in question was produced in the University of Colorado Cancer Center and published in the journal Cancer Letters. It was an in vitro study, not in vivo. That is, no living creatures were involved. The study was performed on cell cultures. That might make it seem relatively insignificant. However, much prior research has already documented grape seed extract’s ability to control and kill cancer, so that’s not in much doubt. What this study discovered is a plausible means by which it happens. This is the kind of information that modern medicine craves.
Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will exceed half a million.
Another study published in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and 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,” says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
It depends in large part, says Agarwal, on a healthy cell’s ability to wait out damage.
“Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” Agarwal says. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.”
Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci).
“Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Agarwal says.
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,” Agarwal says.
The “Plausible” Mode of Action
Have you ever noticed how there’s so much focus on the idea that cholesterol causes heart disease? It doesn’t, but that doesn’t deter the ongoing research that assumes it to be true. That’s because modern medicine demands to know how something works—or at least to be given an explanation, whether true or not. There’s an assumption that, if you know that A is associated with B, then controlling A will prevent or cure B. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s true, only that it sounds plausible.
Rather than focusing on what really counts—survival and return to health—medicine focuses on markers that are based on plausible modes of action.
Once a “plausible” mode of action idea has caught on, research funds get directed towards it. A search goes on to find ways to control that presumed connection. That’s why we have statins. They’re associated with heart disease. They don’t cause it, but a seemingly plausible theory was produced saying that cholesterol causes heart disease. Therefore, since statins can reduce cholesterol, they’re the first thing a doctor prescribes when someone has any sort of heart disease sign—even just being past the age of 40 or 50.
Statins don’t produce health. In fact, they destroy it, causing memory loss, muscle damage, and death. But they’re a perfect example of a plausible idea getting research funding, drugs being developed to cause a change in a marker, doctors prescribing it, and enormous profits getting funneled to Big Pharma.
Ultimately, does it matter whether a treatment can meet some arbitrary marker, or is it more important that it heals you? The answer should be obvious—and it is to everyone but a medical system that’s gone awry. Modern medicine wants a product that’s owned by Big Pharma because that apparently means it’s science-based. That it invariably costs an exorbitant amount and doesn’t cure isn’t of concern. All that matters is that arbitrary markers be met.
Therefore, while it’s interesting to learn something about how a treatment works, let’s get on with it. Let’s focus on the fact that grape seed extract does work and inform people so they can take advantage of it.
Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract
It’s well established that resveratrol, which is found in both grape seeds and skins, is the active ingredient that does so much good. So, what can resveratrol, or grape seed or grape skin extract do for you? Let’s take a look at what studies have shown:
- Pancreatic cancer cell proliferation is inhibited by resveratrol.
- Resveratrol is protective against several types of viruses, though the means by which protection is accomplished is unknown:
- Herpes simplex 1 infections.
- Varicella zoster (chicken pox and shingles)
- Human cytomegalovirus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Enterovirus type 71 (which can cause paralysis, including the heart)
- Growth of colorectal cancers are halted by resveratrol.
- Resveratrol has been shown to stimulate cognitive function in mice.
- Fungal infections, which are notoriously difficult to treat, have been shown to respond to resveratrol, and without the adverse effects of standard drug therapy.
- Resveratrol exerts a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.
- Autoimmune myocarditis in rats was shown to improve with application of resveratrol.
- Alzheimer’s disease may be warded off by grape seed extract.
- Head and neck cancer cells are destroyed by resveratrol, but healthy cells are unharmed.
Every item in this list comes from a scientific study.
We must all make our own choices regarding health. However, the medical world is waiting for a Big Pharma-sanctioned product made from grape seeds—one that will likely have been sliced and diced until all symbiotic interactions with other ingredients are lost and harmful effects naturally mitigated through that symbiotic action are enhanced. Until that time, you won’t see grape seed extract offered by any modern medical doctor.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take it. At least, right now. The day is coming when agencies like the FDA will tell us that we don’t have that right, and gives sole herbal product rights to Big Pharma. We’re already seeing parents denied the right to have their children’s medical needs treated naturally. If you care about your health, be sure that you can maintain access to all those natural substances that Big Pharma is maneuvering to have taken from us.
Of course Big Pharma will no doubt be unhappy about Dr. Agarwals findings, and it probably won’t be long before they set their shills upon him. So it is worth a quick look at his bio:
Dr. Bharat B Aggarwal is a Ransom Horne, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Cancer Medicine, Professor of Immunology, Professor of Biochemistry and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, and Chief, Cytokine Research Section, in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
He has trained over 80 postdoctoral fellows and visiting professors from around the world. He co-organized and served as member in many International and National Conferences/ Symposia and was invited to give lectures/seminars (324) in more than 50 countries. He has recently authored “Healing Spices” book that was released on January, 2011.
Dr. Aggarwal has published more than 600 papers in peer-reviewed international journals (including Science, Nature, Cancer Cell, PNAS, Journal of Exp. Medicine, JBC, Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology), invited reviews and book chapters. He has been listed as one of the most highly cited scientist by ISI since 2001; and has been included in ISI Highly Cited among most highly cited authors in Immunology category. He has also been listed as top 25 researchers in apoptosis area in the World. His papers exhibit high-citation index (over 1000 for some).
Dr. Aggarwal is inventor/coinventor on over 33 patents.
Dr. Aggarwal has received numerous awards including World Congress Science Prize from Oxygen Club of California 2010, Excellance in Research Award of McCormick Research Institute from the American Association of Nutrition, 2008, Outstanding Scientist Award from the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research, 2006, Ranbaxy Award for Outstanding Scientist of the year, 2004.
THE FEAR MONGERING
from the Fred Hutch New Service
Cancer treatment quackery fuels concern among doctors, FDA
Be wary of possible side effects, drug interactions when using alternative health supplements, physicians caution
One potentially fake cancer drug sold online can actually cause malignancies. One enema machine, purported to treat ovarian cancer under the FDA banner, was never cleared for sale in the U.S., federal health officials assert.
Those products and more were targeted last week in a global crackdown on more than 1,000 websites that sell possibly dangerous and bogus medicines and medical devices. The bust, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Interpol, coincides with the surge of unproven cancer “cures” hawked by Internet sellers, the FDA warns.
Cancer-treatment fraud is “particularly heartless,” FDA officials say, because it preys on the desperation of patients who are tempted “to jump at anything that appears to offer a chance for a cure.” At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, some doctors are equally leery when patients ask to add claimed “natural” remedies to their treatment regimens…. For the full article (copyrighted) see Fred Hutch News Service
Dr. Weeks’ Comment: If the treatments which the oncologists offer were promising, this crack down on natural agents like grape seed extract would be more understandable. Many cancer patients tell me that it is the oncologists who are “heartless” and it is they who encourage the patients to quickly decide to accept the standard of care despite the consistent pattern of oncologists understating the costs and risks….