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Grape Seed Extract and the Fight Against Bowel Cancer

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healthy grape seeds

New breakthroughs in bowel (colorectal) cancer research show that grape seed extracts increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. These reports are encouraging for both patients and doctors as they combat one of the most common and one of the most lethal cancers in the world.

Recent Statistics on Bowel Cancer

Investigative studies carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008 revealed that there were approximately 450,000 new cases of bowel cancer that same year in the European region, and roughly 232,000 deaths. The American Cancer Association claims that “colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US.” In the United States over 136,000 persons will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014, with over 50,000 deaths expected.

Despite the medical and technological advancements made each year, an incredible 65% of all cases of bowel cancer occur in high income countries. The World Health Organization explains that behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy eating habits, high alcohol intake and physical inactivity account for a large proportion of cases. According to the American Cancer Association, individuals with a first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) who has colon cancer are 2-3 times more likely to develop the disease.

Treating Bowel Cancer with Grape Seed Extract

Researchers at the University of Adelaide claim that grape seed extracts have a twofold positive effect when used in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer. Dr. Amy Cheah, lead researcher for the team explains that “this is the first study showing that grape seed can enhance the potency of one of the major chemotherapy drugs in its action against colon cancer cells.” But the good news does not stop there. Dr. Cheah also states that:

“Our research also showed that in laboratory studies grape seed taken orally significantly reduced inflammation and tissue damage caused by chemotherapy in the small intestine, and had no harmful effects on non-cancerous cells. Unlike chemotherapy, grape seed appears to selectively act on cancer cells and leave healthy cells almost unaffected.”

Remarkably, the researchers discovered that at certain concentrations, grape seed extract was even more effective than chemotherapy. Additional fact is that grape seed extract side effects are zero or minor.

Grape Seed Effectiveness Explained

Why has grape seed extract proven to be so effective in treating cancerous cells? Well, grape seeds contain an abundance polyphenols which are powerful antioxidant and anticancer agents. These bio-agents are able to suppress the activity of free radicals within the cells, reduce oxidative stress and minimize cancerous growth. Further research on the anticancer activities of grape seed extract is readily accessible on many reputable sources online.

Other positive Effects of Using Grape Seed Extract in Bowel Cancer Treatment

While the immediate advantages of using grape seed extract in cancer treatment are clear to see, there are other benefits which might result from such medical approaches. For one thing, it would have a significant positive impact on the winemaking industry, which produces grape seeds as a major byproduct. Secondly, it would drastically cut medical costs due to the increased effectiveness of anticancer treatments and the general accessibility of grape seeds. Thirdly, grape seed extract is all natural, which means that no artificially engineered chemicals or toxins are being introduced into the human body.

What the Future Holds

Medical science has come a long way in recent years. However we are continuing to see that the simplest solutions to medical problems are often the best. Grape seed extract has amazed scientists the world over with its effectiveness in the laboratory and the best thing is, you can easily get your own health boosting supply by simply eating grapes (seeds included!) on a regular basis.



 Image courtesy of lil west

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