Grape-seed extract kills laboratory leukemia cells, proving value of natural compounds

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.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research

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Dec 31, 2008
Would somebody PLEASE explain to me WHY a substance like this one could not be put into human trials immediately? It could be saving lives today!

Dec 31, 2008
Big-Pharma wouldn't like that approach, would they? I reckon once essential oils and other natural remedies are classed as a prescription drugs, then the full range of benefits will be discovered.

Dec 31, 2008
well the beauty of it is there is no need to put this into human trials, at least not formally. Take a look at what they are doing over at

example, along with dca this person is giving there husband the following:
02/2008 Start eating seeds, apple pits, cherry seeds, flaxseeds and bitter almonds, just blend and mix with water and 3 times a day. (about 50 cherry seeds per day)

you can see the whole report here

Dec 31, 2008
great, no company is going to lay out the huge cash for clinical trials because they cant make any $$$ selling grapes, but a website and and some grapes dont cost much for someone with cancer... i hope to see more site like thedcasite popping up in the near future.

Dec 31, 2008
You have to get the corporations and their lobbyists the hell out of medicine in the US. One of the most -if not THE most un-ethical person(s) to have an occupation in the US medical system is "The Pharmacological sales representative".

'Socialized' medicine can work, like it does in Canada, if the lobbyists and the medical corporations would stay out of the way with regards to the propaganda war they have employed against such initiatives. They have propagandized against such for at least 25-30 years, if not more and vilify Canada's system at every chance and turn they get or are given. Outright lies are the common fare there.

The second big trick, is to keep their lobbyists out of the US congress when this medical system comes into being, as they will shape policy to their favor, which means it will be even more ineffective than the failed system you have now.

Look far enough and deep enough into it to understand where the truth of the problems lie, you might find that it lies squarely in the lap of the level of 'corporatism' you Americans have allowed you governmental system to decay and collapse-into. As they SAY, FYI, or For Your Information..'corporatism' is a word that is alternately used instead of 'fascism'. The clinical descriptive for what the word 'fascism' means, is when governments and corporations collude to work against the common man for their won personal reasons. This means that, according to what words mean in the English language, the US has fallen deeply into fascism and the public is not willing to face this, as the machine, as usual, does it's best to put a 'face' on it that allows people to continue to take the easy way out and not deal with this point.

The same people who want to keep the flawed and non-functional governmental system you have now-in existence and to even be strengthened..are the same people who feed you bad data on even what words like 'socialism' actually mean. Hint: the descriptive for socialism isn't evil and it isn't some killer disease, it is merely a descriptive for an initiative (of a group) that looks for and to the group, not selfish motives of any individual. Nothing more. As stated, the swing has been too far toward the selfish insanity, the 'zero sum' crowd in the US political and economic system,and you system has failed. spectacularly, in fact.

As stated, just be sure that the corporations and anyone who works with them are out of the equation when it comes to fixing your medical system.

Good luck to you. If you understand what I have said, you will realize that you have a major task in front of you to remove these entrenched diseases from your political system.

Jan 01, 2009
slow water drip?

Jan 01, 2009
Hell yea! Grape seeds are the dope! I put the extracts in E- oil for my skin.

Jan 01, 2009
also, the Dope is the dope...

THC (delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol - the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis) has been shown to inhibit lung cancer


and destroy Gliomas


many links here -


Jan 02, 2009
No doubt!

Jan 04, 2009

Aren't all of those above ingredients high in cyanide compounds? Perhaps the fomer poison in small doses is what causes the apoptosis of the errant cells.

hmmm you may be onto something, i did a quick google and came up with this

"Certain rare plants contain cyanide, including apricot pits and a type of potato called cassava. The cyanide in these plants is different from "free" cyanide, which would be toxic on contact. The cyanide in these plants is "bound" molecularly, so that the cyanide has no toxic effect unless it comes into contact with certain enzymes. It is believed by some that this characteristic allows for the destruction of cancer cells, which contain the "unlocking enzyme" that this bound cyanide responds to, while having little-to-no toxicity to the rest of the body. Only chronic or massive ingestion of any of these plants can lead to serious poisoning."

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