By: Danae Roumis for Uterus1
Grape juice may no longer be just for adorable toddlers. In a study published in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Foods, researcher Dr. Keith Singletary of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that extracts from concord grapes have the potential to combat breast cancer.
Anthocyanins, the compounds that color dark (purple, blue, red) fruits, have already been studied for their contribution to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and gastrointestinal cancers. New research suggests that concord grape extract (CGE), being rich in anthocyanins, has the potential to hinder carcinogenic changes in healthy breast tissue.
|Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables – including ones that are dark purple, blue, and red in color – which are high in antioxidants, nutritional value, and potential cancer-fighting properties.|
Include juice made from 100% concord grapes or other dark fruits into your diet. Dietary supplements of grape seed extract are also available in capsule, tablet and liquid form.Scheduling an annual mammography is the best way to detect early signs of breast cancer. Ask your physician about once-per-month breast self-exams, and discuss a personalized screening schedule.
Dr. Singletary and his team exposed healthy breast cancer cells to an environmental carcinogen, benzo[a]pyrene, and introduced CGE once the cancer had appeared. Cancer cell proliferation was significantly inhibited once CGE was present – in other words, the extract helped slow the spread of the malignant cells. It is thought that CGE works by detoxifying the enzymes which stimulate that spreading. Research by the American Cancer Society on gastrointestinal cancers demonstrates that in addition to slowing cell growth rates, anthocyanins may be able to kill about one-fifth of the cancer cells present, while leaving healthy cells intact. If anthocyanins are found to do the same for breast cancer cells, development of new treatments and therapies may result.
The best way to take advantage of this proposed relationship is to supplement your diet with 100 percent concord grape juice, or other juices made from dark fruits. Grape seed extract is also available in capsule, tablet and liquid forms. Furthermore, regular breast examinations are extremely important in the detection of breast cancer. Mammography and self-examinations are not interchangeable; rather, they should supplement each other. Be sure to communicate with your physician about these examinations, and any concerns you have.