Grape Seed Extract Protects Against Skin Cancer

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94be8d970d-200wiI just read a study evaluating the use of various vitamins and supplements and likelihood of getting skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma of the skin) and wanted to let you know the exciting news about the results. The study was performed at the Kaiser Permenente Hospitals in San Francisco (where else?)

Here’s the scientific part: four hundred fifteen patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were age-matched with an equal number without cancer. They were questioned about their use of Vitamins A, C, D, and E, and grape seed extract. Grape seed extract (not to be confused with grapefruit seed extract) contains powerful anti-oxidants including “proanthocyanidins”.  These neutralize “free radicals” generated by sunlight, and help prevent sun damage to the DNA that leads to cancer.

What it means for you: The study showed that there was a significant association between use of grape seed extract and reduced development of skin cancer. Multivitamin use was associated with a borderline significant reduction in SCC’s. Vitamins A, C, E, and D were not associated with any change in likelihood of developing SCC. The only unsettling variable in the study was the increased prevalence of blond and red hair in the SCC group (unsettling because this means that people with lighter complexions seemed to have more incidence of cancer.)

Although there were some potential faults in the study design, it does point to the potential protective effects of powerful antioxidants like grape seed extract in protecting against squamous cell cancer of the skin. It does not remove the need for sun protection, but may offer protective additional protection.

To your health,

-Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology, New York