One of the most loved seasonal fruits, sweet tasting grapes also come with a host of health benefits. According to a new study by Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, daily consumption of grapes may help in killing colon cancer stem cells due to the presence of a compound known as Resveratrol. Found in the skin and seeds of grapes
, this is the same compound for which a glass of red wine is touted to be beneficial for health. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that helps in preventing the formation of free radicals that could lead to cancer, heart disease and other ailments.
“The combination of resveratrol and grape seed extract is very effective at killing colon cancer cells,” said Jairam K.P. Vanamala from the Institute. The researchers suggest that the findings could pave the way for clinical testing of the compounds on human colon cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women and the third in men. If successful, the compounds could then be used in creating pills to help prevent colon cancer and lessen the recurrence of the disease in colon cancer survivors.
According to the researchers, cancer stem cells are capable of self-renewal, cellular differentiation and maintain their stem cell-like characteristics even after invasion and metastasis. When taken separately in low doses, resveratrol and grape seed extract are not as effective against cancer stem-cell suppression as when they are combined together.
“This also connects well with a plant-based diet that is structured so that the person is getting a little bit of different types of plants, of different parts of the plant and different colors of the plant,” said Vanamala.