Grape seed and Cancer

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: A great symphony (healing protocol) requires not only a great conductor (formulator) but great musicians (ingredients). In the life-changing crushed whole organic seed drink SOUL, the first violinist and acknowledged star has always been the amazing black cumin seed. But now, let;s have the French Chardonnay grape seed take a bow! After all, to kill cancer STEM cells is genius and should be music to the ears of anyone dealing with cancer.

“….In our study, we were the first to show that these low-molecular weight OPCs can eliminate cancer stem cell…”

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French Grape Seed Extract May Help Eliminate Cancer Stem Cells
June 2, 2016
Toden S, Goel, A. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins inhibit Hippo-YAP pathway and prevent colorectal cancer stem cell formation. Poster presentation at the annual American Association for Cancer research (AACR) meeting. New Orleans, LA. April 16-20, 2016] Interview with:Ajay Goel, Ph.D.
Professor, and Director of Center for Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention
Baylor Scott & White Research Institute
Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX What is the background for this study?

Dr. Goel: One of the areas in which I am interested is examining the activity of natural compounds as it relates to cancer prevention, progression, and treatment. Polyphenols have known antioxidant and anti-cancer activity, but it is important that we better understand the mechanisms of action. I have found in my research on curcumin and boswellia that these plants contain compounds that work on an epigenetic level and can influence microRNA in ways that chemotherapeutic agents cannot. MicroRNA is important because it is like a master control panel that turns on and off a multitude of genetic “switches.” Influencing the activity of microRNA influences a wide array of genetic expression. If you tell the general of the army what to do, it has a much greater impact than directions given to a private, because the general influences so many more soldiers.

Because grape seed extract contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) that are also quite active in influential cancer mitigating genetic pathways, I wanted to determine its effects more exactly. I chose specifically tannin-free, low molecular weight OPCs because there is some evidence that the larger sized OPCs are not absorbable. What are the main findings?

Dr. Goel: I was quite pleased that this was the first study of its kind, and we demonstrated a novel and previously unknown mechanism of action by which low molecular weight oligomeric proanthocyanins (OPC) from French Grape Seed Extract VX1 help eradicate colorectal cancer cells. Chemotherapy is good at killing cancer cells, but the reason we so frequently see recurrence is because cancer stem cells are left behind. They become somewhat dormant and “hide” from the chemotherapy, and then after treatment is completed, the reawaken and create a cancer recurrence that often rapidly moves to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.

In our study, we were the first to show that these low-molecular weight OPCs can eliminate cancer stem cells. They target a unique pathway called HIPPO-YAP, which is required for stem cell survival. We were able to demostrate that OPCs suppress this pathway, and this is something that has never been shown before.

We also found that OPCs can cause cell cycle arrest and imprison tumor cells in their growth phase, which subsequently leads to cancer cell death. OPCs target specific microRNAs that lead to cancer suppression. What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Goel: Though these are pre-clinical findings in cultured cells and animal models, these results may hold great promise for people with colorectal cancer, which was the form of cancer we studied. More human research is needed, and I would like to see investigations in other types of cancer as well, because we see similar types of microRNA activity across nearly all kinds of malignancies.

In the meantime, I think using a tannin-free, low molecular weight OPC grape seed extract may provide excellent health benefits. It is a dietary supplement and healthy antioxidant, with an excellent safety profile. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Goel: It may be too soon to declare it part of an anti-cancer regimen, because we need more human research, but using it ongoing for dietary support has already been determined beneficial for overall health. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Goel:It may be important to note that the form of grape seed extract used in the study, VX1, has unique specifications for standardization to low molecular weight for proper absorption. It is a tannin-free extract. Therefore, results may not apply to other forms of grape seed without these standardizations. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

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