Grape Seed Extract Can Prevent Skin Cancer
Chemicals found in grape seeds may help ward off skin cancer due to regular exposure to the sun, according to the results of an animal study reported in Chicago at the recent 223rd annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.Researchers from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, exposed hairless mice to ultraviolet light. Some of the mice they fed a standard diet supplemented with grape seed proanthocyanidins, or GSPs, while control mice were fed a standard diet without this supplement.
Dietary supplementation with GSPs inhibited light-induced carcinogenesis, study chief Dr Santosh K Katiyar told the conference.
Mice supplemented with GSPs had up to 65 fewer tumors than control mice did. Moreover, the tumors seen in GSP-supplemented mice were up to 78% smaller than those seen in the control mice.
“It suggests that regular consumptions of GSPs as a dietary supplement may be beneficial for the prevention of skin cancers,” Katiyar said in written statement.
GSPs appear to inhibit suppression of the immune system caused by ultraviolet light. This is “an important characteristic of GSPs, which has not been reported by several other dietary botanical agents,” Katiyar noted.
GSPs have antioxidant activity, and UV-induced oxidative stress has been linked to the induction of skin cancers.
Over-exposure to sunlight accounts for more than one million new cases of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers each year in the US alone.
“Effective preventive agents and strategies that can reduce or control the risk of UV-induced skin cancer is required to address this pressing public health issue,” Katiyar said.
Based on the current findings, further studies of GSPs for the prevention of skin cancers in humans are warranted, the Birmingham team concludes.