Grape Seed Extract Found To Kill Leukemia Cells In Laboratory Tests
    By News Staff | December 31st 2008 12:00 AM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide, according to researchers from the University of Kentucky. They found that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to the extract.

    The investigators, who report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, also teased apart the cell signaling pathway associated with use of grape seed extract that led to cell death, or apoptosis. They found that the extract activates JNK, a protein that regulates the apoptotic pathway.

    While grape seed extract has shown activity in a number of laboratory cancer cell lines, including skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancers, no one had tested the extract in hematological cancers nor had the precise mechanism for activity been revealed.

    "These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers," said the study's lead author, Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky.

    "What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grape seed extract fits into this category," he said.

    Shi adds, however, that the research is not far enough along to suggest that people should eat grapes, grape seeds, or grape skin in excess to stave off cancer. "This is very promising research, but it is too early to say this is chemo-protective."

    Hematological cancers – leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma – accounted for an estimated 118,310 new cancer cases and almost 54,000 deaths in 2006, ranking these cancers as the fourth leading cause of cancer incidence and death in the U.S.

    Given that epidemiological evidence shows that eating vegetables and fruits helps prevent cancer development, Shi and his colleagues have been studying chemicals known as proanthocyanidins in fruits that contribute to this effect. Shi has found that apple peel extract contains these flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity, and which cause apoptosis in several cancer cell lines but not in normal cells. Based on those studies, and findings from other researchers that grape seed extract reduces breast tumors in rats and skin tumors in mice, they looked at the effect of the compound in leukemia cells.

    Using a commercially available grape seed extract, Shi exposed leukemia cells to the extract in different doses and found the marked effect in causing apoptosis in these cells at one of the higher doses.

    They also discovered that the extract does not affect normal cells, although they don't know why.

    The researchers then used pharmacologic and genetic approaches to determine how the extract induced apoptosis. They found that the extract strongly activated the JNK pathway, which then led to up-regulation of Cip/p21, which controls the cell cycle.

    They checked this finding by using an agent that inhibited JNK, and found that the extract was ineffective. Using a genetic approach – silencing the JNK gene – also disarmed grape seed extract's lethal attack in leukemia cells.

    "This is a natural compound that appears to have relatively important properties," Shi said.

    Article: Ning Gao, Amit Budhraja, Senping Cheng, Hua Yao, Zhuo Zhang, Xianglin Shi, 'Induction of Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells by Grape Seed Extract Occurs via Activation of c-Jun NH2-Terminal Kinase', Clinical Cancer Research 15, 140-149, January 1, 2009. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1447


    Kimberly Crandell
    Great news, great discovery.  I hope this turns into something significant - and the effects can be reproduced in clinical trials.  Leukemia needs an ass-whuppin'.
    Nicholas Horton
    An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide
    Does this mean we can prosecute grape seeds for assisted suicide?

    Shi adds, however, that the research is not far enough along to suggest that people should eat grapes, grape seeds, or grape skin in excess to stave off cancer. "This is very promising research, but it is too early to say this is chemo-protective."
    Maybe not in excess, but eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables has very few negative effects.  So, it's worth it to eat them in moderate quantities, even high quantities. 
    The issue will be when a company takes the "it doesn't hurt and it may help" idea to make some ridiculous claims and start marketing it to people.  Homeopathy doesn't really hurt, until actually believing it does.  

    We've had a lot of articles over the last year talking about the miracle properties of flavonoids.    They're the new Prius!  So reach for your wallet.
    Nicholas Horton
    buyer beware indeed.  The supplement industry thrives on selling simple things that anyone can get for cheap for high prices by the shear force of aggressive marketing.  Impressive from a marketing standpoint, and somewhat depressing from a societal standpoint.

    Eating fruits and vegetables is a good thing.  Sucking down extracts in pill form for $100/month is not.
    This is great! I hope they can further advance this technology.

    Well I think anything is better than what's out there! My BIG QUESTION to any one out there is...Has anybody heard of the name Royal Raymond Rife? This brilliant scientist was famous for having cured 18 terminal cancer
    patients, all about the same time Louis Pastuer was around. I would love to know more about Raymond Rife's

    My wife (for 40 years!) passed away more than three years ago. She had leukemia and went throw all today tests,
    which turn out to be useless! But today doctors still use this procedure, and a lot leukemia patients still sufering!
    Why? Because doctors must follow FDA recomendations, and, ofcourse, doctors do not want become defenders
    in the court . Today friend's of mine wife also diagnosted with leukemia, and she already went throw chimo therapy.
    Her doctor told her do not use any alternative medicine what have been recomended by another doctors who tryed to
    find out new way to cure leukemia and have positive results (but not approved by FDA). Why? Because these new
    medicine would be change FDA current or new tests, and doctor could not get correct test result.
    I'm really proud about those doctors who find out that exstract from grape seeds can cure leukemia!
    Question is how long it's take for FDA approval?
    And also I'd like to have capability to E-mail this news to my friends ASAP! Please, help me do that! Thank you, Lev

    Lev ~

    Click the "Share/Save" button at the top of the article; it will give you a drop-down menu that will enable you to email it directly to your friend. My sympathies to you on the loss of your wife, and best of luck to your friend. I hope this helps - cancer sucks.

    Renee and Lev - thank you!  I read this comment and discovered some change we had made (probably last week) had knocked out the "forward" and "print" buttons for people who are not logged in/members of the site.

    So now it is back.   Below the title you should once again see 

    which is a little more intuitive than going through Share/Save and people use them a lot, which is why we broke them out separately.
    Nice Article. It will be helpful to a lot of people.

    Only 76 Percent?

    I don't mean to sound too disappointed here, but didn't the University of Florida find way back in January 2006 that the Acai Berry had the same effect but was 86% effective instead?

    I understand that grape seeds are much more available here, of course, than Acai berries are, but I see at least 3 dozen different acai berry products in my local grocery store now and growing...

    This makes me really wonder if many other fruits are highly effective, or even more effective at fighting Leukemia as well. Perhaps it's just the high level of Anthocyanins though, which are obviously present in both Acai and Grape skins.

    Thanks for the heads up. It's nice to know that other fruts are being tested the same way.
    VITAMIN B17.
    Research it.