Disclaimer: Scientific studies are for informational and educational purpose only. French Glory Isotonic OPC products are nutritional supplements, not intended to diagnose, treat, care for or prevent any diseases

What Is Cancer?

Normal cells in our bodies are always regulated in certain ways as programmed by our genes so that they grow based on rules. There are often errors in normal cell division and growth, for example, from damaged DNA molecules. The errors would lead to wrong cells not useful for our bodies.  A damaged DNA may be fixed by any repairing enzymes inside the cell to regenerate a normal cell. Or a wrong cell may be quickly detected and is destroyed by our immune system.

When our immune system is weak, abnormal cells may be left free to divide and grow in a way that there is no mechanism to regulate their growth. Cancer is a class of diseases that involve uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells or cancerous cells. Cancer is called medically as a malignant neoplasm. The uncontrolled cellular divisions lead to rapid growth of the body tissue and the cancer cells invade nearby parts of the body. The cancerous cells may also spread, especially in the late (advanced) stage of cancer, to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream.

Molecular Mechanism of Cancer

There have been many explanations of cancer. At the molecular level, the cellular division and growth are controlled by complex signal transduction mechanism mainly involving protein kinases. Protein kinases are enzymes that can phosphorylate (add or remove phosphate groups to) other enzymes or proteins. Some protein kinases tell the cells to die (apoptosis) and some other protein kinases tell cells to survive and to divide (survival and proliferation). Some protein kinases are inside cells while others are across cell membrane with extra- and intra-cellular domains. A signal of cell division usually starts when the extra-cellular domain binds to a growth factor at the cell surface, and the intracellular domain is activated concurrently to pass the signal to other protein kinases inside the cell via a chain of phosphorylation or dephosphorylation reactions.

Protein Kinase Inhibitors as Anticancer Drugs

Protein kinases have been the major targets for drug discovery research to fight cancers for the last 3 decades. Human beings have devoted a vast amount of resources to this field, probably more than any other area of drug discovery. The first protein kinase inhibitor approved by the US FDA in 2001 was imatinib (trade name: Gleevec). Since then, there have been about 20 drugs on the market targeting protein kinases, including mostly small molecule inhibitors and 5 monoclonal antibodies. Those small molecule drugs have severe side effects, and can be used only for patients of advanced (late) stage of cancers/tumors when all other available treatments fail. These drugs may increase the life of a cancer patient by 3-9 months.  A cancer cure will remain as a dream for a long time or maybe generations to come true.

Stronger Immune System May Reduce the Chance for Cancer

To build and maintain a strong immune system are a challenging task for every human being and are the best way to seek healthy and longer life and to reduce the chances for any cancer to develop. There are many factors contribute to our optimal immunity, noticeably mood, rest and exercise, balanced nutrition, etc.  A strong immune system is necessary to efficiently fix any DNA damages, and to dispose any abnormal cells.

Grape Seed Extract Supplement Help for Optimal Immunity

Grape seed extract contains supper antioxidants that protect our immune system from being attacked by harmful free radicals. Grape seed extract supplementation is highly recommended for any one at or beyond the middle age. Health-consciousness is a characteristic of modern human beings based on scientific knowledge how to take the preventive approaches and to avoid health problems.

Grape Seed Extract Studied for Anticancer Activity

For the last several years, scientists have been specially interested in investigations what proanthocyanidin natural products in grape seed extract can do to the cancer cells. The investigations have been carried out using cell lines in test tubes and animal models of various cancers, such as skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, head & neck cancer, prostate cancer, etc. The studies have led to very encouraging results that grape seed extracts inhibit the growth of various cancer cells without any side effects on normal cells.

An Example of Grape Seed Extract  to Inhibit
the Growth of Colon Cancer

A group of Italian scientists published a paper in International Journal of Molecular Science 2012 with a title of Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects Triggered by Grape Seed Extract (GSE) versus Epigallocatechin and Procyanidins on Colon Cancer Cell Lines. They used cell count and flow cytometry assays to evaluate the cytostatic and apoptotic effects produced by grape seed extracts on Caco2 and HCT-8 colon cancer cells. All the extracts induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in Caco2 and HCT-8 cells, along the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.

An Example of Grape Seed Extract to Inhibit
the Growth of Head & Neck Cancer

Another study was published in Carcinogenesis 2012 by scientists at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This study shows that grape seed extract kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed, in both cell lines and mouse models. It's a rather dramatic effect that grape seed extract natural products only kill the cancer cells. This is because normal healthy cells are able to wait out damages caused by the polyphenol natural products extracted from grape seeds. Grape seed extract prevents  the cancer cells from uncontrolled growth. When the cancer cells cannot grow fast, they die. The presumption is that cancer cells have many vulnerable spots in their signal transduction pathways for proliferation, which are effectively targeted by the natural products in grape seed extract. The same is not true of healthy cells. In contrast to many anticancer drugs, there is absolutely not any toxicity observed for the healthy cells and for the mice treated with grape seed extract.

An Example of Grape Seed Extract
to Inhibit the Growth of Lung Cancer

In 2011, a group scientists at Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham published a paper titled Grape Proanthocyanidins Induce Apoptosis by Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential of Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells (NSCLC cells) in Vitro and in Vivo. They tested, in the cell culture and the mice model, the idea using non-toxic dietary phytochemicals, grape seed extract proanthocyanidins as a chemotherapeutic strategy for the management of the NSCLC. Their results indicate that grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) induce apoptosis of NSCLC cells, A549 and H1299, in vitro which is mediated through increased expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, decreased expression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl2 and Bcl-xl, disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, and activation of caspases 9, 3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP).

Further, administration of 50, 100 or 200 mg GSPs/kg body weight of mice by oral gavage (5 d/week) markedly inhibited the growth of s.c. A549 and H1299 lung tumor xenografts in athymic nude mice, which was associated with the induction of apoptotic cell death, increased expression of Bax, reduced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and activation of caspase-3 in tumor xenograft cells.

The results from both the cell culture and animal model studies support that grape seed extract proanthocyanidns may represent a potential therapeutic agent for the non-small cell lung cancer.


1. Dinicola S, Cucina A, et al. Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects Triggered by Grape Seed Extract (GSE) versus Epigallocatechin and Procyanidins on Colon Cancer Cell Lines. Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(1):651-64.

2. Shrotriya S, Deep G, et al. Generation of reactive oxygen species by grape seed extract causes irreparable DNA damage leading to G2/M arrest and apoptosis selectively in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Apr;33(4):848-58.

3. Sun Q, Prasad R, Rosenthal E, Katiyar SK. Grape seed proanthocyanidins inhibit the invasive potential of head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cells by targeting EGFR expression and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Dec 21;11:134.

4. Yuan XY, Liu W, Hao JC, Gu WJ, Zhao YS. Topical grape seed proanthocyandin extract reduces sunburn cells and mutant p53 positive epidermal cell formation, and prevents depletion of Langerhans cells in an acute sunburn model. Photomed Laser Surg. 2012 Jan;30(1):20-5.

5. Singh T, Sharma SD, Katiyar SK Grape proanthocyanidins induce apoptosis by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential of human non-small cell lung cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27444.

6. Afaq F, Katiyar SK. Polyphenols: skin photoprotection and inhibition of photocarcinogenesis. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2011 Dec 1;11(14):1200-15.

7. Tong H, Song X, et al. Immunomodulatory and antitumor activities of grape seed proanthocyanidins. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Nov 9;59(21):11543-7.

8. Haniadka R, Popouri S. et al. Medicinal plants as antiemetics in the treatment of cancer: a review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2012 Mar;11(1):18-28.

9. Vaid M, Singh T, Katiyar SK. Grape seed proanthocyanidins inhibit melanoma cell invasiveness by reduction of PGE2 synthesis and reversal of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21539.

10. Filip A, Daicoviciu D, Photoprotective effects of two natural products on ultraviolet B-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in SKH-1 mouse skin. J Med Food. 2011 Jul-Aug;14(7-8):761-6.

11. Kaur M, Tyagi A,  Grape seed extract upregulates p21 (Cip1) through redox-mediated activation of ERK1/2 and posttranscriptional regulation leading to cell cycle arrest in colon carcinoma HT29 cells. Mol Carcinog. 2011 Jul;50(7):553-62.

12. Park SY, Lee YH, et al. Grape seed extract regulates androgen receptor-mediated transcription in prostate cancer cells through potent anti-histone acetyltransferase activity. J Med Food. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1-2):9-16.

13. Kampa M, Theodoropoulou K, et al. Novel oligomeric proanthocyanidin derivatives interact with membrane androgen sites and induce regression of hormone-independent prostate cancer. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011 Apr;337(1):24-32.

14. Hanausek M, Spears E, et al. Inhibition of murine skin carcinogenesis by freeze-dried grape powder and other grape-derived major antioxidants. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(1):28-38.

† The contents in this website have not been evaluated by the US Food & Drug Administration. Vitaflavan® grape seed extract and FrenchGlory® OPC antioxidants are nutritional supplements, not intended to diagnose, treat, care for or prevent any diseases.

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Grape Seed Extracts Inhibit the Growth of Cancer Cells In Cell Culture and Animal Models without Side Effects on Normal Cells