I’m very excited about this issue’s article. Scientists may have discovered an important key – perhaps the key – to preventing and curing colon cancer. A natural plant extract available in any supplement store looks to be a potent “weapon of mass destruction” against colon cancer cells. And at first blush, I see no reason why it might not work against other cancers, too.
Let’s take a look at this exciting news…
Colorectal cancer is a growing threat to modern populations, thanks to our sedentary habits and our addiction to processed-foods . Also known as colon cancer, rectal cancer, and bowel cancer, it stems from out-of-control malignant cell growth in the rectum or colon.
This cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It’s most often seen in modern countries that enjoy a high standard of living.
But even as more and more people fall victim to this disease, there’s good news on the horizon: a new study shows a simple substance known as grape seed extract (GSE) does a bang-up job of halting the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
And according to this study, the more vicious the cancer cell growth rate … the more effective grape seed extract is at thwarting it.
GSE: The “all-purpose” cancer killer
The study came from researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and was published in the journal Cancer Letters. Molly Derry, lead study author, pointed out that they’ve long since known about the power of grape seed extract to selectively target cancer cells.
But here’s why the new findings are so interesting. When colorectal cancer cells metastasize and traditional therapies can’t beat them, the cancer cells actually become even more sensitive to GSE treatments. This means we now have a way, as Derry says, “… to selectively target advanced colorectal cancer cells.”
Here’s another humdinger: Typically, larger chemotherapy doses are needed to kill later stage cancers. A person suffering from Stage IV colon cancer is going to be treated with much more chemo poison than a person with Stage II colon cancer.
But when it comes to treating late-stage cancers with grape seed extract, less is more. Derry was quoted as saying, “It required less than half the concentration of GSE to suppress cell growth and kill 50 percent of stage IV cells than it did to achieve similar results in the stage II cells.”
The scientists working on this project believe the key mechanism that allows grape seed extract to do this is the oxidative stress it puts on cancer cells. This prompts the cancer cells to self-destruct, a process known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. But along with that, other bioactive compounds within GSE seem to work together to target the different mutations of the cancer cells. In fact, the more mutations the cancer throws at them, the more effective they become at knocking them out.
This is in sharp contrast to conventional treatments, which are constantly “outsmarted” by cancer’s ability to mutate.
Grape seed extract works better than chemotherapy because traditional chemo only targets a specific mutation. This is not an effective strategy considering that colorectal cancer cells can have more than 11,000 genetic mutations. So those cells can become resistant to chemotherapy but still remain completely vulnerable to the bioactive compounds in grape seed extract.
It appears that GSE can be characterized as a broad-spectrum mutation-targeting chemical – in effect, a “weapon of mass destruction” against cancer cells.
Got colon cancer of the worst kind? No problem.
A proven natural cure for beating an enemy like colon cancer is fantastic news, to be sure. But perhaps even better is the fact that these findings may prove critical in prompting more natural therapy use for late-stage colon cancer—especially since the burn and poison methods used in allopathic medicine don’t work all that well for older folks suffering from the disease.
Colorectal cancer usually hits the older crowd thanks to the cumulative, long-term effects of lifestyle choices (bad diet, lack of exercise) plus the general toll of aging. Few cases are linked to genetics, and too few are cured, especially those that reach Stages III or IV.
Early symptoms of colon cancer include constipation, blood in your stool, weight loss, and appetite loss. Older males are the most at risk, as are those who eat a diet heavy with fat, alcohol, and red meat. Smoking and a lack of exercise only make your risk factor higher.
Until now, regular screenings (a colonoscopy) were the most effective way to lower your chance of dying from the disease. Most doctors recommend you get screened about once per decade once you hit age 50, and then all the way up until you’re 75. If cancer is found in your colon wall, surgery usually cures it. But if the cancer has spread, chemo tends to be the recommended option.
In general, folks who die from colon cancer are the late-stage cases who’ve had the disease spread throughout their body. But incredibly, this is where grape seed extract can make the biggest difference.
It works proactively, too…
Grape seed extract, as you’ve probably guessed, comes from whole grape seeds. These seeds carry a high level of vitamin E, flavonoids, and linoleic acid, among other things. You’ll typically find it in capsules or tablets of 50 to 100 mg each. Little is known about the effect of long-term grape seed extract consumption. Known side effects include headache, dry scalp, and the occasional bout of dizziness or nausea.
By the way, you don’t have to be diagnosed with colon cancer to start reaping the anti-cancer benefits of GSE. You can take it proactively to protect yourself against colorectal cancer and other digestive cancers.
Current recommendations from nutrition experts are to supplement with standardized, whole grape seed extract. Aim for between 150 and 250 mg per day. If I had colon cancer I would certainly take at least 250 mg per day, and I’d consult a naturopath about taking higher doses.