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Grape extract "kills leukaemia"

Scientists have discovered a grapeseed extract can force leukaemia cells to die.

Laboratory experiments show the commercially available extract caused 76% of the blood cancer cells to be destroyed within 24 hours in a process of natural self-destruction called apoptosis. All healthy cells remained unharmed.

Although the research is in its early stages and it has not been recommended people eat grapes to stave off cancer, US scientists believe the results could mark the start of promising new treatments.

It is the antioxidants in grapeseed, including resveratrol, which is known to have anti-cancer properties, that are believed to cause the cells to die.

Previous tests found that the extract was effective on skin, breast, bowel, lung, stomach and prostate cancer cells, but it this is the first time it has been tested on leukaemia.

Professor Xianglin Shi, from the University of Kentucky in Philadelphia, who led the research, said: "These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of haematological (blood) malignancies and possibly other cancers.

"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."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

University of Kentucky

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Resveratrol can help you to lead a long and healthy life so says many doctors. Red wine alone does not supply enough resveratrol to achieve the full range of benefits because one glass of red wine has only about 1 mg of resveratrol and you need about 250 mg/day. You need to take high potency resveratrol supplements to achieve the results documented in scientific studies.Resveratrol Supplements can also help you control your weight naturally by increasing energy, reducing cravings, and limiting your appetite." - Jim Frick, USA