Tannin-free French grape seed extract with highly absorbable oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) has already shown strong anti-tumor effects in prior research. This study combined the OPCs from French grape seed extract with a curcumin from turmeric that is blended with turmeric essential oil for greater absorption and the presence of ar-turmerone, a beneficial compound within the oil.
Both grape seed OPCs and curcumin work along multiple pathways in the body to reduce inflammatory damage to healthy DNA, stop cancer cells from replicating, and prevent the growth and development of tumors. What’s interesting here is that these two botanical ingredients work along differing paths, and because of this, they can cover more ground in the battle against cancer than either one could separately.
As in the other studies, an important key is the form of the ingredients used in the study. The grape seed is tannin free and specifically standardized for OPCs that are able to absorb in the digestive tract, enter the cells, and start repairing them (or stopping their spread, if they’re cancerous.) The curcumin – not to be confused with plain turmeric or standard extracts – uses turmeric essential oil, not piperine, to help it absorb well and remain in the bloodstream longer.
As the researchers note in their study, it has become increasingly popular to combine anti-cancer therapies. Both French grape seed OPCs and curcumin represent a “one-two punch” for knocking out cancer. The French grape seed is water soluble – it absorbs quickly and works fast. The curcumin is fat soluble and remains in the body longer. There may be a time in the future when they are one of the first choices for fighting cancer, but in the meantime, they may be an excellent addition to standard therapies and actually make them more effective by overcoming chemo-resistant tumors.
Ravindranathan P, Pasham D, Balaji U, Cardenas J, Gu J, Toden S, Goel A. A combination of curcumin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins offer superior anti-tumorigenic properties in colorectal cancer. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 14;8(1):13869.
Combining anti-cancer agents in cancer therapies is becoming increasingly popular due to improved efficacy, reduced toxicity and decreased emergence of resistance. Here, we test the hypothesis that dietary agents such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) and curcumin cooperatively modulate cancer-associated cellular mechanisms to inhibit carcinogenesis. By a series of in vitro assays in colorectal cancer cell lines, we showed that the anti-tumorigenic properties of the OPCs-curcumin combination were superior to the effects of individual compounds. By RNA-sequencing based gene expression profiling in six colorectal cancer cell lines, we identified the cooperative modulation of key cancer-associated pathways such as DNA replication and cell cycle pathways. Moreover, several pathways, including protein export, glutathione metabolism and porphyrin metabolism were more effectively modulated by the combination of OPCs and curcumin. We validated genes belonging to these pathways, such as HSPA5, SEC61B, G6PD, HMOX1 and PDE3B to be cooperatively modulated by the OPCs-curcumin combination. We further confirmed that the OPCs-curcumin combination more potently suppresses colorectal carcinogenesis and modulated expression of genes identified by RNA-sequencing in mice xenografts and in colorectal cancer patient-derived organoids. Overall, by delineating the cooperative mechanisms of action of OPCs and curcumin, we make a case for the clinical co-administration of curcumin and OPCs as a treatment therapy for patients with colorectal cancer.
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