Red grapes, Vitis vinifera is one of the most commonly lovable fruits around the world. It is both utilized as fresh table grapes or as processed fruit, in the form of raisins, wine, grape juice and molasses. Recently, this fruit has gained popularity due to one of its health benefits. It has been evaluated that being enriched with powerful antioxidants, this fruit is found to have a significant role in cancer prevention.
The bioactives present in red grapes makes them suitable to be used as chemopreventive agents. Chemoprevention is a novel and promising approach that involves use of natural, biological or synthetic agents to prevent, suppress and reverse the carcinogenic progression. Despite substantial advancement in the anticancer therapies development, the prevalence of cancer is still surging globally. This is the reason cancer prevention has become a top priority for the scientific societies around the world.
The cancer chemoprevention can be categorized into four parts: medicines, hormonal, vaccines and diet-related agents. Out of these, diet-derived antioxidants have been examined extensively in the context of protection these provide against free radicals, DNA mutations and oxidative stress.
Bioactives and antioxidants present in red grapes are one of the diet-derived agents that have a great role in lowering the risk of developing cancer.
Let’s explore about this fruit in little more detail:
- Phenolic Antioxidants in Grapes
- Anticancer Properties of Grape Phenolic Compounds
Phenolic Antioxidants in Grapes
Phenolic antioxidants are the major bioactives found abundantly in the grapes skin and seeds. These phenolic antioxidants involves:
100 grams of fresh grape fruits contain approximately 63 to 182 mg phenolic components.
In red grapes, anthocyanins are present in abundance. The skin of grapes are rich in resveratrol, catechin and anthocyanins. On the other hand seeds of grapes are rich in procyanidins.
These procyanidins possess a broad wide spectrum of therapeutic, medicinal and pharmacological properties. One of these is the anticancer action of grapes.
Anticancer Properties of Grape Phenolic Compounds
Grape antioxidants have gained lots of attention these days due to its anticancer effects. There are various studies which showed that high intake of grape components is known to reduce the risk of various cancers like colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, head and neck cancer.
Grape Antioxidants found to prevent carcinogenesis and cancer progression via:
- Inducing apoptosis in cancer cells
- Stimulating cell cycle arrest
Other than this, grape antioxidants show potent anticancer actions through acting upon various cellular events like tumor initiation, promotion and progression. These actions are due to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative properties of grape bioactives.
Bioactives present in these fruits significantly act as free radical scavengers and help to neutralize the reactive oxygen species. It further aids in lowering the oxidative environment which is a major part in tumor progression. These activities are also known to exhibit inhibitory effects against COX enzymes.
COX are the enzymes which produce prostanoids. Prostanoids play a significant role in stimulating cancer cellular proliferation, invasion, apoptosis inhibition and suppression of the immune system.
Other than this grape antioxidants are also known to modulate the estrogen receptors (ER), hence able to act against gynecological cancers, including breast cancer. The bioactives which exhibit anti estrogenic and estrogenic effects are quercetin, catechin and resveratrol.
Hence, it is not wrong to say that red grapes are really beneficial to add to a diet on a regular basis. Consume this fruit everyday to prevent yourself from various cancerous cell lines. Along with this, also keep your diet and be physically active and healthy.
Also, give a look how Mediterranean diet can help you to prevent cancer.