(NaturalNews) Did you know that a little-publicized 2011 study from the journal Nutrition and Cancer showed that taking grapeseed extract could reduce men's risk of prostate cancer by 40-60 percent?
The study was conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
The study actually evaluated nine separate "specialty supplements," defined as supplements that are neither vitamins or minerals. The researchers noted that although such supplements have become increasingly popular with consumers in recent decades, and although many have demonstrated anti-cancer properties in laboratory studies, very few studies have had their effectiveness tested in studies on actual human beings.
In the case of grapeseed extract, those laboratory studies have established it as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and have also shown it to combat high blood pressure, fight cancer, and be active within prostate cells.
The prostate cancer study was conducted on 35,239 male participants in the Vitamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study who were between the ages of 50 and 76. All participants were residents of Western Washington State and completed a detailed questionnaire about which of 18 specialty supplements, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements, they were using or had used regularly over the past 10 years. Regular use was defined as taking a supplement at least once per week for at least a year. Nine of the specialty supplements were included in the final analysis: grapeseed extract, chondroitin, co-enzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic pills, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine and saw palmetto
Participants also answered questions about their prostate cancer risk factors, including personal medical history, family cancer history, body mass index, and lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption.
Six years after the study's start, the researchers found that men who regularly took grapeseed extract were 41 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who did not take grapeseed extract regularly. Men whose average use over the 10 years preceding the study was classified as "high" actually reduced their prostate cancer risk by 62 percent.
None of the other supplements included in the analysis showed any effect on prostate cancer risk.
Other cancer-fighting properties
Grapeseed extract's cancer-fighting properties are an ongoing area of scientific research. In a follow-up to the above study, the researchers used the same data plus information from 30,988 women to analyze specialty extracts' effects on the risk of hematologic cancers, including cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Comparable to the findings from the prostate cancer study, the researchers found that participants who had any history at all of using grapeseed extract were 43 percent less likely to develop hematologic cancer. The only other supplement that offered any protection against these cancers was garlic; participants with "high use" of garlic were 47 percent less likely to develop hematologic cancers than those with no use.
Another human study, also published in 2011, found that grapeseed extract reduced the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 74 percent.
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