Thursday, January 29, 2009

Omega-6 Lowers Heart Disease Risk

TEHRAN , Jan 28 (FNA)- American Heart Association scientists suggest that omega-6 fatty acids should account for 5 to 10 percent of the daily caloric intake.

Despite previous studies indicating that omega-6 fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by promoting inflammatory processes, a new study shows that low amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

According to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, omega-6 fatty acids do not alter the levels of inflammatory markers or metabolic parameters nor do they influence the platelet function.

Previous studies had reported the cholesterol-lowering effects of linoleic acid, the primary source of omega-6 in food, adding that the substance cannot be synthesized by humans and is only found in vegetable oils such as corn and sunflower oil.

Scientists concluded that the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake does not have any significant effects on the risk of stroke or cancer.

A man takes part in - and films - a march by indigenous people in Belem, Brazil, to raise attention about saving the Amazon forest, as the annual World Social Forum gets under way there.-Courtesy : BBC

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tea Can Keep Breast Cancer at Bay

TEHRAN, Jan 26 (FNA)- Drinking tea on a daily basis and particularly at moderately high levels can lower the risk of developing breast cancer in young women.

According to a study conducted by Moffitt Cancer Center, drinking three cups of tea every day cuts the risk of breast cancer by one-third.

It also places young women 66 percent less likely to develop invasive lobular breast cancer - an uncommon type of breast cancer which accounts for 10-15% of breast cancers.

While drinking tea reduces the risk of developing a tumor by 37 percent in women younger than 50, older women did not benefit from drinking similar amounts of tea.

Scientists believe the high content of polyphenols found in tea is responsible for its anti-cancer properties.

Previous studies had reported several health benefits for tea, particularly green tea, including a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, lower blood cholesterol levels and improved blood pressure levels. -- Kayhan International

Monday, January 26, 2009

Discovery Could Block Blood Clots

LONDON, Jan 25 (BBC)--Scientists have found a potential way to prevent blood clots which can cause heart attacks.

They believe the discovery could aid the development of better heart attack prevention and treatment.

The key is to remove a particular protein - PKC alpha - from specialist blood cells called platelets which play a key role in the formation of clots.

The University of Bristol study, carried out in mice, appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Blood clots perform an essential function, limiting blood loss from a wound.
However, when they form in diseased arteries feeding the heart they can be life-threatening, causing a heart attack in 146,000 people in the UK every year.

Current anti-clotting medicines, such as aspirin, reduce the risk of heart attack - but in some people can also cause excessive and dangerous bleeding.

Platelets are small cells in the blood that sense when a blood vessel has been damaged.

They rapidly become very sticky, and form a protective plaster over the site of damage.

In a patient with heart disease, fatty plaques build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart.

If an artery ruptures the platelets clump together at the site of damage and can block the vessel, which can cause a heart attack.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Power of Berries

Studies show that many berries, including these Olallie blackberries, are packed with nutrients and may be a weapon against cancer. (David Karp for The New York Times)
Several studies show that people who eat diets high in fruits and vegetables have lower cancer rates. Now a large body of research suggests that berries may be among the most potent cancer-fighting fruits.

In numerous laboratory studies, researchers at Ohio State University have found that black raspberries inhibit the development of oral, esophageal and colon cancers in rats. Some human studies have also suggested a benefit from berry consumption.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Live longer with clean air

LOS ANGELES - CLEANER air over the past two decades has added nearly five months to average life expectancy in the United States, according to a federally funded study.

Researchers said it is the first study to show that reducing air pollution translates into longer lives.

Between 1978 and 2001, Americans' average life span increased almost three years to 77, and as much as 4.8 months of that can be attributed to cleaner air, researchers from Brigham Young University and Harvard School of Public Health reported in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Some experts not connected with the study called the gain dramatic.

'It shows that our efforts as a country to control air pollution have been well worth the expense,' said Dr Joel Kaufman, a University of Washington expert on environmental health.

Scientists have long known that the grit in polluted air, or particulates, can lodge deep in the lungs and raise the risk of lung disease, heart attacks and strokes. The grit - made of dust, soot and various chemicals - comes from factories, power plants and diesel-powered vehicles.

In 1970, Congress passed a revised Clean Air Act that gave the Environmental Protection Agency the power to set and enforce national standards to protect people from particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

The law is widely credited with improving the nation's air quality through such things as catalytic converters on cars and scrubbers at new factories.

For the study, scientists used government data to track particulate pollution levels over two decades in 51 US cities.

They compared these changes to life expectancies calculated from death records and census data. They adjusted the results to take into account other things that might affect life expectancy, such as smoking habits, income, education and migration.

On average, particulate matter levels fell from 21 micrograms per cubic metre of air to 14 micrograms per cubic metre in the cities studied. At the same time, Americans lived an average 2.72 years longer.

'We saw that communities that had larger reductions in air pollution on average had larger increases in life expectancies,' said the study's lead author, C. Arden Pope III, a Brigham Young epidemiologist.

Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York, which made the most progress cleaning up their air, saw life spans increase by about 10 months.

Los Angeles, Indianapolis and St. Louis were among the cities that saw gains in life expectancy of around five months.

The study was partly funded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and EPA.

'This finding provides direct confirmation of the population health benefits of mitigating air pollution,' Daniel Krewski, who does pollution research at the University of Ottawa in Canada, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

In a statement, the EPA said such studies provide critical information that can help the agency set standards on particulates.

EPA data show that average particulate levels nationally have fallen 11 percent since 2000.

Last year, government researchers reported that US life expectancy has surpassed 78 years for the first time. They attributed the increase to falling mortality rates for nine of the 15 leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, accidents and diabetes. -- AP

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

$181b on healthcare: China

BEIJING - CHINA said on Wednesday it planned to invest 850 billion yuan (S$181 billion) in the reform of its healthcare system in the next three years.
Premier Wen Jiabao put forward a series of targets for the reform of the nation's struggling healthcare system at a meeting of the State Council, or cabinet, according to a statement posted on the government's website.

'As a preliminary estimate... all levels of government are expected to invest 850 billion yuan within the next three years,' the statement said.

The meeting stressed that by 2011, China aimed to have basic medical protection for most of its population, and also planned to improve access to basic healthcare and to better levels of service.

The burden of medical costs for citizens would also be eased, according to the statement.

Until the 1980s, most Chinese citizens had access to cheap healthcare, but the system was broken up in the 1980s under the country's economic reform policies.

That led to a rise in the cost of healthcare and drugs, and to an increasing divide in access to treatment.

Recent cases of patients dying because they could not afford treatment have highlighted the inadequacies of the current system, and provoked strong criticism. -AFP

Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Grape! For Malaysian

Healing or Hype?

WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Gary Vogin

Nov. 7, 2001 -- At 42, Linda Walsh of Buena Park, Calif., could hardly believe that age spots were spreading up her shins and down her feet. To make matters worse, her hair was beginning to fall out, her joints were becoming stiffer by the day, and fatigue weighed every step she took.

Then she discovered grape-seed extract.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Arthritis 'Woes' Worse in Women

LONDON, Jan 14 (BBC)--Women may suffer more from rheumatoid arthritis than men, findings suggest.

Female patients say they experience more symptoms like aches, pains and tiredness even when they appear to have the same level of disease as men.

The Finnish researchers believe their findings may be down to physical strength - women are naturally weaker than men and thus feel the strain more.

Details of their study of over 6,000 patients from 25 countries is published in Arthritis Research and Therapy.

It is already known that the disease is more common in women than in men - more than 70% of those with rheumatoid arthritis are female.

In the latest study, the men and women were asked to complete questionnaires about their disease and underwent x-rays and blood tests to gauge how advanced their arthritis was.

Lead researcher Dr Tuulikki Sokka, a consultant in rheumatology at the Jyvaskyla Central Hospital, said: "The level of rheumatoid arthritis appears to be pretty much the same in both sexes but the symptoms of joint tenderness and things like that appear to be worse in women.

"The problem is that the only real measure we have for rheumatoid arthritis is the X-ray, which only measures damage.

"This is not a very valuable tool in the everyday clinic and so we need to rely on what patients tell us. We found that women tell us they have more severe symptoms."
Dr Sokka believes this relates to women being physically weaker than men.

"Our findings were particularly obvious in older women, who are losing their muscle mass little by little every year.

"Given that woman is the 'weaker vessel' concerning musculoskeletal size and strength and her baseline values are lower than men's, the same burden of a musculoskeletal disease may appear to be more harmful to a woman than to a man."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Grape Seed the Star of the Oil Universe?

Lots of reports touting the benefits of grape seed oil. Here are a few noteworthy claims:

* Grape seed oil is high in procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs); the same antioxidants found in berries, green and black teas, and red wine. According to some experts, PCOs are more powerful antioxidants than vitamins C and E. In fact, berries, green and black teas and red wine are known for their health-giving properties. Red wine has even been touted as the reason some Europeans who drink wine daily – the French, for example - are generally healthier than Americans.

Nutritional supplement derived from the seeds.

Grape Seed Extract
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008


Grape Seed Extract is a nutritional supplement derived from the seeds of the grape plant (Vitis vinifera).


Grape Seeds are rich in chemicals called proanthocyanidins that exhibit antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants have the ability to neutralise harmful chemicals called free radicals, which can contribute to premature ageing and are involved in the development of many diseases, including arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer.

One clinical trial demonstrated that the antioxidant action of Grape Seed Extract is more powerful than the effect of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene.


- The main action of Grape Seed Extract is its ability to prevent harmful cell changes in the body that could otherwise progress to cancer.

- Grape Seed Extract has been found to protect the body against damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light which can harm the membranes surrounding cells in the body resulting in DNA damage.

- Proanthocyanidins derived from Grape Seeds possess cardio-protective properties.


The antioxidant compounds found in red wine are known as polyphenols and are different from those found in Grape Seed Extract. The antioxidant potential of both red wine and Grape Seeds have been scientifically established.

As Grape Seed Extract and wine antioxidant compounds are chemically distinct, the antioxidant activities cannot be the same.

For Further Information.
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Grape Ex effective in killing breast cancer cells.


Grape seed extract is the primary commercial source of a group of powerful antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), also generically called pycnogenol, a class of flavonoids.

Laboratory studies have indicated OPCs are much more effective than vitamin C and vitamin E in neutralizing free oxygen radicals, which contribute to organ degeneration and aging in humans.

The primary sources of OPCs are pine bark extract and grape seed extract. However, the grape seed extract is more widely recommended for its lower cost and because it contains an antioxidant not found in pine bark.


A study published in 1998 by a team of researchers at Creighton University, Georgetown University Medical Center, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, reported that grape seed extract significantly inhibited and sometimes killed human cancer cells, while promoting the growth of normal healthy cells.

The extract was effective in killing 34–48% of breast, lung, and stomach cancer cells. It was not effective in destroying leukemia cells.

Other studies have shown grape seed extract, combined with other antioxidants, can reduce the overall risk of developing cancer.

Respiratory Conditions

Grape seed extract has been found to be beneficial in treating several respiratory conditions, including asthma, emphysema, allergies, and sinusitis.

Pycnogenol helps inhibit the production of histamines, which decreases sensitivity to pollens and food allergens, thereby reducing allergic reactions.

For Further Information.
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Grape_EX help improve the elasticity and youthfulness of the skin

PCO (Grape_EX) products help protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage that leads to wrinkles and skin cancer. Because it stabilizes collagen and elastin, Grape_EX can help improve the elasticity and youthfulness of the skin.

Grape_EX strengthens the connective tissue of the skin and fat chambers. People taking grape seed extract PCO have noticed that it helps tonify their skin and reduce cellulite, stretch marks, and old scars. There is speculation that cellulite may be a sign of bioflavanoid deficiency.

Grape seed extract PCO has also been found to reduce the coughing, wheezing, weakness, mucous and recurring respiratory infections usually associated with emphysema. Apparently, PCO reduces the inflammation and damage to the air sacs of emphysema patients.

For Further Information.
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Grape Seed Extract For Grape_EX

Grape Seed Extract which is high in Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC’s or PCO’s) is powerful antioxidant which can reduce the damage done by free radicals, strengthen and repair connective tissue, and promote enzyme activity. OPC’s can also help moderate allergic and inflammatory responses by reducing histamine production.

Antioxidants are important protectors of health because they provide electrons that neutralize "free radicals"--molecules with unpaired electrons which have the power to cause degenerative and life-threatening diseases.

Free radicals are produced from normal oxygen metabolism within the body, and from exposure to certain chemicals, environmental pollutants, sunlight, radiation, burns, cigarette smoke, drugs, alcohol, viruses, bacteria, parasites, dietary fats, and more. The antioxidants known today are vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium, bioflavonoids and bioflavanols.

Bioflavanoids are natural plant components that strengthen and protect living tissue.

PCO extracts have been scientifically studied and medically used in Europe since the 1950s. Scientifically documented, observed benefits include:

* Enhanced capillary strength and vascular function, which helps the heart and decreases: PMS problems, bruising, edema from injury or trauma, varicose veins, leg swelling and retinopathy.
* Enhanced immune resistance.
* Increased peripheral circulation, improving vision.
* Reduced adverse allergic and inflammatory responses.
* Reduction in skin aging and loss of elasticity.

The PCO bioflavanoid complex was recently discovered to be 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E as an antioxidant. The advantages of PCO include:

* It is bioavailable and immediately absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream.
* It is distributed to virtually every organ and tissue, and remains in the body for up to 72 hours.
* Not only does it neutralize free radicals themselves, but it also conserves and regenerates vitamins C and E. Vitamin E is a powerful free radical scavenger, but it is quickly used up. PCO and vitamin C work synergistically to regenerate vitamin E.
* PCO is one of the few antioxidants that crosses the blood/brain barrier to protect neural tissue.
* PCO extracts have been proven to be completely safe.

For more information:
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Friday, January 9, 2009

Grape Seed Extract effectively reduced hyper-pigmentation

Melasma is common in pregnant women, and those taking contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It is also prevalent in men and women of Native American descent (on the forearms) and in men and women of German/Russian Jewish descent (on the face). Melasma are dark, irregular patches often found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip, and forehead and normally develop over time and does not cause any other symptoms beyond this cosmetic discoloration.

In this one year study on 12 Japanese women it was shown that grape seed extract has a lightening effect on melasma and effectively reduced hyper-pigmentation and that final results were achieved after 6 months of intake.

In a study on guinea pigs, the oral intake of grapeseed extract showed to have a marked lightening effect on the skin where the skin had pigmentation induced by ultra violet rays - like those of the sun. In this study, a control was kept with some of the other guinea pigs being given vitamin C instead - but they did not show and reduced pigmentation - therefore - it can be concluded that it is not the antioxidant effect that resulted in the skin lightening, but was due to anther pathway.

For Further Information.
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Grape Seed

What is the most important information I should know about grape seed?

Grape seed has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of grape seed may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What is grape seed?

The use of grape seed in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Grape seed is also known as Vitis vinifera.

Grape seed has been used as a dietary source of essential fatty acids and tocopherols and as an antioxidant. Grape seed had been used for its liver protective effects, to improve circulation (including conditions such as varicose veins, bruising, swelling, and decreased vision), and to improve skin tone and elasticity.

Grape seed has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of grape seed may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Grape seed may also have uses other than those listed in this medication guide.

Who should not take grape seed?

Before taking grape seed, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants or foods), or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. Grape seed may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take grape seed without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. It is not known whether grape seed will harm an unborn baby.

Do not take grape seed without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is not known whether grape seed will harm a nursing infant.

There is no information available regarding the use of grape seed by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take grape seed?

The use of grape seed in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take grape seed, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Different formulations of grape seed are available to be used internally (orally) and externally (topically).

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, topical formulations, teas, tinctures, and others) of grape seed at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of grape seed.

Store grape seed as directed on the package. In general, grape seed should be protected from light and moisture and stored in a sealed container.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of grape seed. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a grape seed overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking grape seed?

There are no known restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking grape seed, unless otherwise directed by your health care professional.

What are the possible side effects of grape seed?
Although rare, allergic reactions to grape seed may be possible. Stop taking grape seed and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

No other side effects have been reported with the use of grape seed. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect grape seed?

No interactions between grape seed and other medicines have been reported, although they are possible. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or other herbal/health supplements.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about grape seed.

Grape Seed Extract May Fight Leukemia

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Dec. 31, 2008 -- Grape seed extract may have potential in curbing leukemia.

Researchers report that when they exposed human leukemia cells to grape seed extract in test tubes, the leukemia cells died sooner than usual. And the grape seed extract didn't hurt normal cells.

"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," researcher Xianglin Shi, PhD, says in a news release.

But Shi says that although the grape seed extract research is "very promising," it's still in its early stages. "It is too early to say this is chemoprotective," Shi says.

In 2006, other scientists reported that grape seed extract showed promise against colon cancer in lab tests on mice. Shi's team also read reports from other researchers studying grape seed extract and leukemia.

Shi's team looked for clues about how grape seed extract hastens leukemia cell death. They found several proteins that the grape seed extract apparently affected. Those proteins could make "attractive targets," Shi and colleagues write in the Jan. 1, 2009, edition of Clinical Cancer Research.

Shi's study didn't include testing grape seed extract against leukemia in people or animals.

For now, the researchers aren't making any recommendations about grape seed extract for leukemia patients. But they write that their findings may have implications for adding grape seed extract or other agents to chemotherapy or other therapies for leukemia and perhaps also for other blood cancers.

View Article Sources.

Grape Seed are effective in Breast Cancer (BC) Treatment

Institution: Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
Investigator(s): Melanie Ruth Palomares , M.D., M.S. -
Award Cycle: 2005 (Cycle 11)

Initial Award Abstract (2005)
Introduction: A class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are effective in breast cancer (BC) treatment, and may also be effective for BC prevention in women who have entered menopause. Herbal dietary supplements are a popular form of cancer prevention for healthy women. Our group demonstrated that grape seed extract (GSE) acts like an AI in mice. This led us to conduct a human clinical trial to test the AI activity of GSE. The prospective collection and storage of blood during the course of the trial will allow us to study markers of BC risk reduction and potential long-term side effects. The purpose of this proposal is to utilize resources from the ongoing trial to gather data to gain further understanding of the spectrum of GSE action, as well as its potential long-term adverse effects.

Hypotheses: We want to address five main questions: (1) Does GSE adversely affect the testosterone-related hormones? These hormones are present in low levels in women and are important for maintaining bone health, libido, memory, and a general sense of well-being. High levels are associated with elevated breast cancer risk and unwanted hair growth. (2) Does GSE adversely affect cholesterol or blood clotting proteins that are associated with heart disease? (3) Does GSE reduce insulin resistance? This has been associated with breast cancer risk. (4) Does GSE reduce new blood vessel growth? This also has been associated with breast cancer development. Finally, (5) can previously unknown anti-cancer effects of GSE be discovered through the use of a new technology called proteomics?

Methodology: Twenty-four postmenopausal women at increased risk for BC are being studied in our ongoing GSE trial. Blood is being collected and stored during the course of the study. This proposal outlines aims to use the stored blood to measure how GSE affects the following laboratory studies: testosterone-related hormones, cholesterol and blood clotting factors, insulin studies, a specific blood vessel growth factor, and blood protein profiles via proteomics.

Innovative elements: The ongoing clinical study represents the first step in applying the AI effect of GSE discovered at the laboratory bench, by our group with CBCRP support, to women with high risk for developing BC. The additional laboratory studies proposed will provide crucial information in determining the usefulness of GSE as a natural BC prevention agent, as well as provide a better understanding of how GSE works in humans. No one knows the effects of AIs or GSE on the factors proposed. Further, both sensitive and precise laboratory methods and cutting-edge exploratory protein profiling technology will be used in these experiments.

Advocacy involvement and human issues: With BC being the most common cancer in American women, development of a well-tolerated, inexpensive, natural product that reduces breast cancer risk would have an enormous public health impact. If GSE can be shown to be effective in reducing the risk of BC, while at the same time preserving overall health, it could become an economical and noninvasive alternative for breast cancer risk reduction. The fact that GSE is inexpensive and widely available will allow greater access to underserved women with a high risk for BC.

Final Report (2008)
A class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are effective in breast cancer (BC) treatment, and may also be effective for BC prevention in women who have entered menopause. Herbal dietary supplements are a popular form of cancer prevention for healthy women. Our group demonstrated that grape seed extract (GSE) acts like an AI in mice. This led us to conduct a human clinical trial to test the AI activity of GSE.

We initially encountered some difficulty in recruiting healthy women in the community under the original eligibility criteria that led to some delay in subject accrual. Specifically, many women interested in participation did not meet the requirement of elevated risk of breast cancer for the study. Because the aim of this Phase I trial is proof of aromatase inhibition in humans and determination of the optimal dose and duration of GSE to achieve that effect, we amended the protocol to eliminate the prerequisite of elevated Gail and Claus risk estimates for breast cancer. We also expanded the age range from 50-65 to 40-75 so that more postmenopausal women may participate.

As of February 28, 2008, the study met its accrual goals. We prescreened a total of 194 subjects and invited 35 potentially eligible subjects for a screening visit. Of those, 28 subjects were confirmed eligible and consented to participation. We enrolled 27 of those subjects, but 2 were nonadherent to the placebo run-in and therefore dropped from the study prior to GSE administration. Of the 25 subjects who were started on GSE, 22 have completed the study per protocol thus far: six subjects on dose level #1 (50 mg/day), six on dose level #2 (300 mg/day), six subjects on dose level #3 (1,000 mg/day), and four subjects on dose level #4 (2,000 mg/day). Two subjects are currently receiving 2,000 mg/day of GSE, and are anticipated to complete the study by July 2008.

At this time, results are available on the 50 and 300 mg/day doses only. We observed an overall trend suggesting estrogen suppression by the 12th week of GSE treatment at the 300 mg/day dose level. Unfortunately, pharmacokinetic analyses have been hindered due to technical difficulties with measuring four different procyanidin dimers with optimal sensitivity. However, these analyses are currently underway, and we expect results shortly.

As far GSE effects on the proposed secondary endpoints, no significant measurable changes in androgen levels, or in VEGF and other angiogenesis-related proteins, were observed at the 50 and 300 mg/day dose levels GSE. With regards to insulin metabolism, although a non-significant trend toward increased C-peptide was observed at the 50 mg/day dose level, C-peptide was overall unchanged at the 300 mg/day dose level. There were no observable effects of GSE on either IGF1 or IGFBP3 at either the 50 or 300 mg/day dose levels.

We anticipate completion of accrual and treatment of all subjects on this trial by July 2008. Completion of data collection and analysis will follow immediately after trial completion.

Symposium Abstract (2007)
Suppression of estrogen through inhibition the enzyme aromatase is thought to have potential for breast cancer risk reduction. While pharmaceutical agents have an established role in breast cancer treatment, foods and dietary compounds are now also being explored for cancer prevention. The purpose of this research is to screen foods for aromatase inhibitory activity, identify the chemicals responsible for that activity, perform preclinical studies evaluating the ability of a food extract to inhibit aromatase-mediated cancer development, and translate promising natural aromatase inhibitors into clinical trials.

Our laboratory tested seven fruit juices and found that juice from red grapes was the most effective in inhibiting aromatase activity. We subsequently found that extracts of red grape juice and wine suppressed aromatase in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrated that the extracts also suppressed proliferation of an aromatase over-expressing, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell line, MCF-7aro. Furthermore, oral administration of the extract completely halted aromatase-induced hyperplasia in a mouse model of aromatase-mediated breast cancer. We then showed that procyanidin B dimers, the major phytochemicals in the seeds and skins of grapes, are the chemicals responsible for the anti-aromatase activity. Lastly, we performed feeding experiments with grape seed extract and demonstrated inhibition of aromatase-mediated mammary tumor growth in mice.

Based on this preclinical data, we hypothesize that post-menopausal women could reduce their breast cancer risk with a grape seed extract dietary supplement through suppression of estrogen. A Phase I chemoprevention trial to evaluate the anti-aromatase activity of grape seed in post-menopausal women is underway to test this hypothesis. The design of this clinical trial will be presented.

source : Grape Seed as a Natural Breast Cancer Chemopreventive Agent