Research Update: Andrographis and French Grape Seed Extract Shrink Tumors, May Stop Chemo Resistance

I am continually impressed by the cancer-fighting power of botanicals. The results of a groundbreaking new study show how a standardized extract of andrographis and a tannin-free French grape seed extract are very effective at shrinking tumors, stopping cancer growth, and working synergistically as a therapeutic strategy.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, and conventional treatment often becomes ineffective. Fortunately, two tumor-stopping botanicals may provide an answer. This groundbreaking study featured two previously studied, specialized extracts—one from andrographis (EP80) and one from French grape seed (VX1). Researchers wanted to see if these botanicals could stop cancer cells from replicating and shrinking tumors. Using cell cultures and human cancer tumors (in an animal model), researchers tested the ability of the nutrients to stop tumor growth both individually, and in combination. The andrographis used in this study was a specific extract that is standardized to 20% (80 mg) andrographolides, key compounds of this Ayurvedic herb. This extract has previously been shown to enhance the effectiveness of conventional chemotherapy drugs.

The second botanical, French grape seed extract, has also been used in a number of cancer-related studies and found to prevent the return of tumors. Like andrographis, it also enhances the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug 5-FU. It is standardized to 99 percent polyphenols and 80 percent tannin-free oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs)— cancer-fighting components of the ingredient. It is a tannin-free extract, so it contains only low molecular weight OPCs that are readily absorbable. In fact, that’s one reason that this grape seed extract was chosen for this study and for leading cancer research during the past few years—it gets to the source of the problem better than other grape seed extracts. Because these botanicals work along a multitude of pathways, they cover more ground than standard drugs in stopping tumor growth and the spread of cancer.

“The high degree of morbidity and mortality in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is largely due to the development of chemoresistance against conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. In view of the accumulating evidence that various dietary botanicals offer a safe, inexpensive, and multi-targeted treatment option, herein, we hypothesized that a combination of Andrographis paniculata and Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) might interact together with regard to anti-tumorigenic activity in CRC. As a result, we demonstrated the enhanced anticancer activity between these two botanical extracts in terms of their ability to inhibit cancer cell growth, suppress colony formation and induce apoptosis. Furthermore, we validated these findings in subcutaneous xenograft model and in patient derived primary epithelial 3D organoids. Transcriptomic profiling identified involvement of metabolic pathways and ferroptosis-associated genes, including HMOX1, GCLC and GCLM, that may be responsible for the increased anti-tumorigenic activity by the two compounds. Collectively, our study provides novel evidence in support of the combinatorial use of andrographis and OPCs as a potential therapeutic option, perhaps as an adjunctive treatment to classical drugs, in patients with colorectal cancer.”


Shimura T, Sharma P, Sharma GG, Banwait JK, Goel A. Enhanced anti-cancer activity of andrographis with oligomeric proanthocyanidins through activation of metabolic and ferroptosis pathways in colorectal cancer. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 6;11(1):7548. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-87283-y. PMID: 33824419; PMCID: PMC8024269.


“used with permission from Terry Talks Nutrition”

Michael Chase, MS, NTP

Nutrition Science and Dietetics

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Individuals should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The statements made in this informational document have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any product discussed is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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