Red Grapes and Cancer
Grape is one of the most
cultivated fruits in the world, with 68 million tons produced in 2010. In term of production, it comes right
behind citrus fruits (124 million), bananas (102 million) and apples (70 million). Grapes come in the form of
clusters composed of many grains, which are small size and light-colored for white grapes (greenish,
yellowish, golden yellow), or darker to red (purple, pink or dark-purple) for red
This is one of the most
ancient fruits, and it is very healthy. Grapes are mainly used to make wine from their fermented juice, but
are also eaten as fruit, either fresh (table grapes), or dried (raisins), which are mainly used in baking or
cooking. The fruit is also used to make juice, which most people love drinking. Some producers also extract
oil from the seeds (grape seed oil).
Anticancer Nutrients of
Grape juice, as well as
raisins, is an excellent source of manganese, which is ideal for the health of both men and women. Fresh
grapes are a source of copper, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin C. Raisins, however, provide the body with important minerals such as iron,
potassium, and phosphorus. When it come to fighting cancer, the choice of the color is very important.
Red Grapes More
Antioxidants than Green
If your intention is to
fight cancer, prevention of development or progression of cancer cells, it is better to consume red grape which has about 2 times more antioxidant
than green grapes. Indeed, red grapes contain a higher amount of anthocyanins, phenolic antioxidant compounds
that give them their color. In addition to the anthocyanin content, no other significant difference was observed
between red grapes and green grapes. Although it would be superfificial to claim grapes heal cancer, ignoring
its properties to fighting the disease would be unconscionable.
Grapes and Cancer
Grape juice consumption
would have a protective effect against cancer. A study conducted in rats showed a reduction in the
proliferation of malignant cells of the mammary gland and decreased tumor weight according to the
administered dose of grape juice. In addition, three in vitro studies have shown a protective effect of red
grape juice against colon cancer and cancers of the white blood cells: leukemia and lymphoma, for example. However, further studies are needed to determine how these effects
may occur in humans. As for now, scientists in different parts of the world are conducting research on grapes
and breast cancer.
On the other hand, other
research on people undergoing chemotherapy found that drinking grape juice can decrease the incidence of
nausea and vomiting. However, other studies are needed to confirm this effect.
Grapes and Cancer
Researchers of Illinois
University have discovered in grapes ten new flavonoids, which would give the fruit a greater anticancer
activity than that attributed to it until now. The results of a series of in vitro studies indicate that
these flavonoids have the effect of inhibiting the activity of an enzyme, topoisomerase II, which plays an
essential role in the development of cancer, and associate with chemotherapy resistance in certain cancers
such as gastric cancer. In fact, in conventional medicine anthracycline (a cytotoxic antibiotic
chemotherapy medication) and etoposide (another cytotoxic anticancer drug), synthetic inhibitors of
topoisomerase II, are used to treat certain cancers, including Hodgkin's disease.
topoisomerase II inhibitor drugs are given to patients to counteract the proliferation of cancer cells or
suppress tumors. The fact they are synthetic, anthracycline and etoposide can cause serious side effects. The
inhibiting effects of grapes, however, work safely even in children, causing no adverse
One of the researchers,
Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, notes that various flavonoids grapes work synergistically to produce the
anti-cancer effect; in other words, their joint activity is greater than that of each of them alone. She
states "it is probably best to eat grapes instead of taking extracts which do not necessarily contain all the
flavonoids that are found naturally in fresh fruits."
Some new flavonoids
isolated in grapes include cyanidins, procyanidins, myricetin, and rutin (also called rutoside,
quercetin-3-O-rutinoside and sophorin). The results of the studies indicate that the anticancer activity
thereof is greater than that of resveratrol, another grape component which has already been assigned
chemoprophylactic properties: prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disorders. Their effects are also more
powerful than those of green tea polyphenols.
As of today, there many
studies going on grapes and prostate cancer, grapes and colon cancer, grapes and pancreatic cancer, but no
conclusive results have been released yet. The smart thing to do is to consume the fruit
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