Figure : Resveratrol Structure

Grape are a favorite fruit amongst many people. Grapes can be eaten fresh or can be used for making winejamjuicejelly and more. But recent studies based on animal models indicates that resveratrol obtained from grape extract can help fight cancer at the stem cell level and induce apoptosis of colon, skin, and neck cancer. It is assumed to inhibit key signaling pathways of carcinogenesis.

Grapes and grape extract contain natural chemicals that have the potential hold promise as a treatment of cancer and to stop the spread of cancer cells (Elvira Gonzalez de Meija, 2005). According to a team of researchers from the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, compounds from grapes were found to have killed colon cancer stem cells both in a petri dish and in mice. A compound called Resveratrol was isolated, which is found in grape skins and seeds, could eventually lead to treatments in preventing colon cancer. Resveratrol in combination with grape seed extract is very effective at killing colon cancer cells (Jairam K.P. Vanamala, 2017).

Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols. They’re thought to act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can put individuals at higher risk for diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and conditions affecting the heart. It is thought that resveratrol also acts as an anti-aging agent and has many other benefits yet to be discovered (WebMD, 2016).

Scientists are striving to target cancer stem cells. Cancerous tumors are driven by cancer stem cells and serve as a seed of cancerous cells. Cancer stem cells are capable of self-renewal, cellular differentiation and maintain their stem cell-like characteristics even after invasion and metastasis (NCBI, 2013).

These findings could lay the foundation for clinical testing of the compounds on human colon cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women and the third in men. If successful, the compounds could then be used in a pill to assist in preventing colon cancer and lessen the recurrence of the disease in colon cancer survivors (Jairam K.P. Vanamala, 2017).

Supplements of resveratrol and grape seed extract won't offer the same rewards as consuming grapes, as they may not have all the key chemicals. The research team has identified an additional 10 previously unknown flavonoids and proanthocyanidins in grapes (Elvira Gonzalez de Meija, 2005). Moreover, the function of those chemicals works best in conjunction with each other, rather than individually. (Elvira Gonzalez de Meija, 2005).

In addition, it is hypothesized that grape seed extract has a strong effect on the activation of JNK, which leads to the up-regulation of Cip/p21 (a CDK inhibitor which controls the cell cycle). Consequently, this leads to apoptosis of cancer cells, particularly in leukemia (Dr Xianglin Shi, 2009). Moreover, grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed (Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, 2012).

When taken separately in low doses, resveratrol and grape seed extract are not as effective against cancer stem-cell suppression than taken in combination with each other, according to the researchers. The combined effect of grape seed extract and resveratrol may offer clues as to why cultures with a plant-based diet tend to have lower colon cancer rates. These diets may naturally be preventing cancer by using a wide variety of beneficial compounds to target multiple pathways that cancer stem cells use to survive.

Finally, the best choice is to use fresh fruits as much as possible and to benefit from their cancer warding chemicals. There is no need to rush into the use of supplements without a doctor’s advice or supervision.



COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Vedat Sunguri ( Master of Pharmacy, University of Pristina) .