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Inhibition of Colorectal tumor growth by Grape seed extract

Scientists have found marked inhibition of colorectal tumor growth by certain chemicals in grape juice in both cell cultures and in mice. The anti-cancer effects of this// extract in other types of tumor have previously been proven by these researchers.

This study is included in the October 18 issue of Clinical Cancer Research. In this study, advanced colorectal tumors showed a reduction of 44 % in the animals. The molecular mechanism of the inhibition of cancer growth by grape seed extract was also established in this study. In tumor cells, the availability of a critical protein called Cip1/p21 is enhanced by the grape seed extract. This successfully arrests the cell cycle and usually leads the cancer cell to self-destruction.

"With these results, we are not suggesting that people run out and buy and use grape seed extract. That could be dangerous since so little is known about doses and side effects," said Rajesh Agarwal, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

"The value of this preclinical study is that it shows grape seed extract can attack cancer, and how it works, but much more investigation will be needed before these chemicals can be tested as a human cancer treatment and preventive," he said.

The skin and seeds of grapes are a rich source of proanthocyanidins, a class of antioxidant flavonoids that remove harmful free oxygen radicals from cells. Grape products (juice and red wine) are known for their heart healthy effects, especially in lowering levels of blood cholesterol, Agarwal said, and because grape seeds contain higher concentrations of these chemicals, they are widely marketed as a dietary supplement.

Agarwal and his team of investigators were first to report, in 1999, that grape seed extract also has chemopreventive activity against skin cancer. Their subsequent preclinical work has shown that the extract also
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