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Grape Seed Extract & Leukemia Cell Suicide

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:36pm
At the Hippocrates Health Institute, I met a lovely woman with dark brown hair and very fair skin from South Africa. Almari (I love her name) now lives in Los Angeles and, despite her zest for life and beauty and radiance and outward appearance of health, has leukemia.

Almari is heading in for a bone marrow transplant on February 2nd and asked that I keep her in my thoughts. I will also keep her in my heart and am praying for her complete recovery. Perhaps you can too, as the power of our vast connectedness is only starting to be understood.

While I regularly read the science news , scanning for natural approaches to heal disease and promote health, my attention is more attuned to leukemia these days after meeting Almari.

On December 22nd, a press release from the American Association for Cancer Research got my attention when they reported:

"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."

That's an amazing statistic. If a pharmaceutical drug could combat cancer cells so heroically in 24 hours, all without harming normal cells, well the originating company's stock rise would be enough to put the U.S. economy into a good mood.

Instead, this research is being quietly reported in this month's Clinical Cancer Research journal.

The press release on grape seed extract and leukemia cells went on to report:

"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.


While the researchers are cautious and say it's premature to see grape seed extract as a chemo-protective agent, it's still very promising research from my perspective. Here's to all the right follow-on research and to an era where this kind of research -- on safe, natural, truly healing agents from nature -- gets more prominent notice and concommitant funding.
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