Thousands of people die every year due to head and neck cancer. It is slowly becoming quite widespread nowadays. If you look worldwide, the number soars as big as half a million cases of head and neck cancer. A present-day solution would be grape seed extract for head and neck cancer to keep the disease at bay or maybe even cast it away!
Grape seeds are of plant origin. We have long known that bioactive compounds in grape seed extracts selectively target many types of cancer cells. The medicinal use of plants and other natural extracts can be traced back for centuries in different cultures. Despite this history, it is only recently that the technique has made it possible to truly explore the link between plants and a particular disease, cancer.
The grape seed extract is obtained from ground grape oil of red wine. The extract contains a substance called proanthocyanidins, which have antioxidant properties. There is increasing evidence to point out the beneficial effects of eating fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of different types of cancer.
Grape seed extract (GSE) has become quite a popular dietary supplement due to its ability to naturally regulate reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are responsible for oral carcinogenicity. So, regulating the ROS can be key to fighting cancer. Commercial GSE preparations are sold worldwide as dietary supplements due to their natural free radical scavenging capabilities. The cancer prevention and anticancer potential of GSE have been thoroughly evaluated in the past, including in skin, colorectal, prostate, breast, lung, and stomach cancers. However, the effects of GSE on oral cancer cells have been even less studied.
GSE and its Head and Neck Cancer-fighting abilities
Recently, a study published in the journal Carcinogenesis found that in cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) killed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while also killing leaving healthy cells undamaged.
This effect was remarked as dramatic by Dr. Rajesh Agarwal, a leading researcher working at the University of Colorado Cancer Centre. Since cancer cells are very fast-growing and rob the surrounding cells of nutrition and lead to the death of the healthy cells surrounding them in the process. But not all cancer cells are so fast-growing. So it depends on the ability of the healthy cells to fight the damage. When conditions are hostile, the cancer cells cannot thrive and they die ultimately.
Grape seed extract creates unfavourable conditions for growth. Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract damages both the DNA of cancer cells (through an increase in oxygen reactivity) and shuts down repair-permissive pathways. The seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells. Cancer cells have a lot of faulty pathways, and they’re very vulnerable if those pathways can be targeted. The same is not true for healthy cells. The healthy cells don’t have any such faulty pathways. Hence, they will remain unharmed and unscathed while using the grape seed extracts.
Since there are only limited therapeutic options available for head and neck cancer, GSE can be a newer and more effective approach to fight against this type of cancer. This can work by simply incorporating the GSE or GSE-based products as a dietary supplement to avail of all of its benefits.
How to take the GSE?
When it comes to adding this wonderful chemopreventive agent to your lifestyle, then you have got plenty of options. It comes in all sorts of concentrations and forms to deliver you the benefits of GSE. You can either go for the liquid form or take it as a pill or a capsule to be taken orally. You can use it this way: take 10 drops of the grape seed extract concentrate liquid in a glass of fresh juice or water. Drink it with the meal or without a meal. You can drink this solution up to 3 times a day.
If you choose to take capsules then take a capsule once or twice a day. Whatever option you may choose, ensure that you take a proper consultation with your physician or specialist before making any decision. This will help you know the exact dosage and if you can go for the GSE or GSE-based products.
When to avoid GSE?
If you are taking warfarin or other anticoagulants then you should avoid GSE intake. According to laboratory studies, grape seeds can increase the risk of bleeding. The clinical relevance has not yet been determined. You are taking a CYP3A4 substrate drug and or, UGT substrate drugs. Laboratory studies suggest that grape seeds may increase the risk of side effects. Although clinical relevance has not yet been determined.
Side effects and Risks
Every drug has some kind of side effects. GSE is no exception to that. The grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Headache, itching of the scalp, dizziness, and nausea are some of the side effects of using GSE.
If you ask for the risk involved with the GSE then, people with grape allergies should not use grape seed extract. Another thing to consider would be: If you have a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure, consult your doctor before starting to use grape seed extract.
People receiving some kind of medication should consult their doctors before starting to use grape seed extract. GSE may interact with anticoagulants, NSAID analgesics (aspirin, Advil, alive, etc.), certain heart medications, and medications such as cancer treatments.
GSE has shown great hopes for head and neck cancer in many kinds of research. It has chemo preventive and cancer-fighting properties which will not only help to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells and even kill the cancer cells but also the cancer stem cells. So, it will help to upgrade the contemporary medical treatment to fight cancer in a better way.