Resveratrol and Grape Seed Extract for Cancer

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: CORE and SOUL offer grape seed extract, resveratrol and proanthocyanidins but in a synergistic effect with black cumin seed and black raspberry seed, milk thistle seed and cranberry seed. Not surprisingly, when taken separately, grape seed extract and the related product from grapes resveratrol are not as effective. Their synergistic power trumps their individual benefits. “This seems to be beneficial for not only promoting bacterial diversity, but also preventing chronic diseases and eliminating the colon cancer stem cells,” Vanamala, an author of the three articles below reminds us. These articles address the benefits of these natural dietary ingredients in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer but in my experience, this research applies to all cancers. Eat the seed! 


  1.  BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Aug 9;16:278. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1254-2.

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

Reddivari L1, Charepalli V2, Radhakrishnan S2, Vadde R2,3, Elias RJ2, Lambert JD2,4, Vanamala JK5,6,7.


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.



RSV-GSE suppressed tumor incidence similar to sulindac, without any gastrointestinal toxicity.



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.

Free PMC Article



2.   J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Dec;26(12):1641-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.08.005.

Anthocyanin-containing purple-fleshed potatoes suppress colon tumorigenesis via elimination of colon cancer stem cells.

Charepalli V1, Reddivari L2, Radhakrishnan S1, Vadde R3, Agarwal R4, Vanamala JK5

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are shown to be responsible for initiation and progression of tumors in a variety of cancers. We previously showed that anthocyanin-containing baked purple-fleshed potato (PP) extracts (PA) suppressed early and advanced human colon cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis, but their effect on colon CSCs is not known. Considering the evidence of bioactive compounds, such as anthocyanins, against cancers, there is a critical need to study anticancer activity of PP, a global food crop, against colon CSCs. …. Combined, our data suggest that PP may contribute to reduced colon CSCs number and tumor incidence in vivo via suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and elevation of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis.

3.  Nutrition. 2014 Nov-Dec;30(11-12):1242-56. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.02.016. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Colon carcinogenesis: influence of Western diet-induced obesity and targeting stem cells using dietary bioactive compounds. 

Kasdagly M1, Radhakrishnan S2, Reddivari L3, Veeramachaneni DN4, Vanamala J5 



Colon cancer strikes more than 1 million people annually and is responsible for more than 500,000 cancer deaths worldwide. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of malignancies, including colon cancer are driven by cancer stem cells (CSCs) that are resistant to current chemotherapeutic approaches leading to cancer relapse. Wnt signaling plays a critical role in colon stem cell renewal and carcinogenesis. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (LGR5), a Wnt target gene, and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 B1 (ALDH1B1) are good markers for normal and malignant human colon stem cells. Diet contributes to 20% to 42% of all human cancers and 50% to 90% of colon cancer. Recent evidence shows that the Western diet has a causative link to colon cancer; however, mechanisms of action are not fully elucidated. Western diet-induced obesity elevates systemic insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin levels, which could lead to elevated proliferation and suppressed apoptosis of CSCs through PI3K/AKT/Wnt pathway. Although conventional chemotherapy targets the PI3K/AKT pathways and can significantly reduce tumor size, it fails to eliminate CSCs and has serious side effects. Dietary bioactive compounds such as grape seed extract, curcumin, lycopene, and resveratrol have promising chemopreventive effects, without serious side effects on various types of cancers due to their direct and indirect actions on CSC self-renewal pathways such as the Wnt pathway. Understanding the role of CSCs in diet-induced colon cancer will aid in development of evidence-based dietary chemopreventive strategies and/or therapeutic agents targeting CSCs.




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