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Grape Seed Extract May Protect Against Skin Cancer

Extracts from grape seeds, rich in a substance called proanthocyanidin, could help prevent skin cancer by boosting the immune system.

In a new study, hairless mice supplemented with proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seed developed fewer skin tumors after exposure to UVB radiation.

A small but expanding number of other studies have shown similar results. A German study reported that subjects taking oligomeric proanthocyanidins had reduced reddening of the skin when exposed to UV radiation.

In the new study on mice, tumor incidence was reduced by 35 percent, tumor multiplicity by 65 percent, and tumor size by 78 percent at the highest dose of proanthocyanidin given to the mice.

Supplementation with grape seed extract appears to reduce the UVB-induced increase in the cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10), which suppresses immune function. At the same time, it increased production of IL-12, which stimulates the immune system.

Yahoo News March 26, 2007

Food Navigator USA.com March 27, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The news just keeps getting better about the natural power of grape seed extract and proanthocyanidins, where the antioxidant capacity of grape seed resides. Antioxidants help protect your body from premature aging, disease and decay. Antioxidants are needed to neutralize free radicals, which play a major role in the development of degenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, strokes and aging.

Scientific studies have shown that the antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times stronger than vitamin E.

ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and it measures the total antioxidant potency of foods or supplements. I have looked at some new research that shows a specific type of grape seed extract has an ORAC value of nearly 50,000.

The next highest ORAC food is gogi berries at 25,000, followed by dark chocolate at 11,000. Blueberries are much further down the list at 2,500 and even popular products like noni juice are only 1,500, just below spinach at 1,700.

Additionally, extensive research suggests that grape seed extract has the ability to bond with collagen, and it also promotes youthful skin, cell health, elasticity and flexibility. Other studies show that grape seed extract proanthocyanidins help protect the body from sun damage and help improve vision.

Grape seeds have been shown to improve flexibility in joints, arteries and body tissues such as the heart, and research studies have shown that grape seed helps improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries and veins.

But be careful when purchasing grape seed extract. You only want to purchase WHOLE grape seed extract, and not ones with isolated resveratrol compounds.

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