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Grape powder blocks genes linked to colon cancer
Date:11/14/2007

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 14, 2007 Low doses of freeze-dried grape powder inhibit genes linked to the development of sporadic colorectal cancer, University of California, Irvine cancer researchers found.

The study suggests that a diet rich in grapes may help prevent the third most common form of cancer, one that kills more than a half a million people worldwide each year. Around 7 percent of all Americans develop colon cancer during their lifetimes.

Led by Dr. Randall Holcombe, director of clinical research at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine, the study followed up on previous in vitro studies showing that resveratrol, a nutritional supplement derived from grape extract, blocks a cellular signaling pathway known as the Wnt pathway. The Wnt pathway has been linked to more than 85 percent of sporadic colon cancers, which is the most common form of colon cancer.

The UC Irvine researchers conducted their study with colon cancer patients. One group was given 20 milligrams daily of resveratrol as a pill; another drank 120 grams daily of grape powder mixed in water; and a third drank 80 grams daily of grape powder.

While the supplements did not have an impact on existing tumors, biopsied colon tissue showed that Wnt signaling in the patients taking 80 grams of grape powder was significantly reduced. Similar changes were not seen in patients taking the higher dose of grape powder or the resveratrol pills.

The researchers arent certain why the lower dose of grape powder was more effective than the higher one. However, they believe that the active components in the grapes may have different effects at low dose than they do at high dose, which is a fairly common finding in nutritional studies.

Holcombe and his colleagues will present their study results Nov. 16 at the Society for Integrative Oncologys Fourth International Conference in San Francisco.

This is truly exciting, because it
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-285-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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