For years, scientists, doctors and wine fans have debated the idea that red wine can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The jury is still out on that claim, but research being done at City of Hope is revealing that grapes and grape products may help fight certain kinds of cancer.
Researchers in City of Hope’s divisions of Tumor Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine have been studying grape seed extract. They have found the popular nutritional supplement blocks the body’s production of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, an important protein.
VEGF helps new blood vessels grow, and is often found in cancer tumors.
Blocking VEGF, in turn, could strangle those tumors by keeping them from getting the blood and oxygen they need to grow and spread. Blocking VEGF has already proven effective against colorectal and kidney tumors.
Other City of Hope research, meanwhile, has indicated grape seed extract can lower estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a major role in the development of breast cancer.
Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., leads the City of Hope team that uncovered a connection between grapes and estrogen. In 2003, he and his colleagues published research identifying certain compounds in red wine that can limit estrogen production.
Promising as all this research is, none of our scientists’ findings suggest that drinking wine or taking grape seed extract as a nutritional supplement is a tool for preventing cancer. Much more research needs to be done.
That research will be made possible by your continued support of City of Hope. Thank you.