Grape seed extract kills cancer STEM cells

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Again the seeds come to the rescue. Resveratrol alone is not sufficient. You need to eat the seed – the grape seed and it should be  1) organic   2) non-GMO and the whole seed – husk and all.  Eat the seed and thrive!

Grape compounds suppress colon cancer stem cells in vitro and in a rodent model of colon carcinogenesis

  • Lavanya Reddivari  et al
BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201616:278

DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1254-2

Published: 9 August 2016



We have previously shown that the grape bioactive compound resveratrol (RSV) potentiates grape seed extract (GSE)-induced colon cancer cell apoptosis at physiologically relevant concentrations. However, RSV-GSE combination efficacy against colon cancer stem cells (CSCs), which play a key role in chemotherapy and radiation resistance, is not known.


We tested the anti-cancer efficacy of the RSV-GSE against colon CSCs using isolated human colon CSCs in vitro and an azoxymethane-induced mouse model of colon carcinogenesis in vivo.


RSV-GSE suppressed tumor incidence similar to sulindac, without any gastrointestinal toxicity. Additionally, RSV-GSE treatment reduced the number of crypts containing cells with nuclear β-catenin (an indicator of colon CSCs) via induction of apoptosis. In vitro, RSV-GSE suppressed – proliferation, sphere formation, nuclear translocation of β-catenin (a critical regulator of CSC proliferation) similar to sulindac in isolated human colon CSCs. RSV-GSE, but not sulindac, suppressed downstream protein levels of Wnt/β-catenin pathway, c-Myc and cyclin D1. RSV-GSE also induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in colon CSCs characterized by elevated p53, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and cleaved PARP. Furthermore, shRNA-mediated knockdown of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, in colon CSCs did not alter efficacy of RSV-GSE.


The suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and elevated mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in colon CSCs support potential clinical testing/application of grape bioactives for colon cancer prevention and/or therapy.

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