Fact or Myth: Graviola Cures Cancer?

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Well…the jury is still out. There are no long-term human studies proving graviola cures cancer, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t possess anti-cancer properties; it just means more research needs to be conducted. Let’s take a look at what we’ve found thus far.

graviolaWhat Is Graviola?

Graviola is a spiked fruit from South America and the Caribbean that has a custard-like consistency and a sweet and sour taste. This rainforest treasure goes by many names—soursop, guanaba, cherimoya—and its leaves and bark have been brewed into healing teas by Amazon natives for thousands of years. It’s a traditional remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, arthritis, liver problems, parasites, worms, and fever. And although there’s no hard evidence, some research suggests that the phytochemicals in graviola have the potential to be a potent cancer cure.

Phytochemical Protection

The active compounds in graviola, called annonaceous acetogins, may arrest cancer tumor growth and protect the body from developing cancer cells.

A 2001 study published in the Journal of Natural Products reported that a compound extracted from graviola seeds killed liver cancer cells without harming healthy cells.

A 2001 study from Virginia Tech researchers was published in Nutrition and Cancer. Results indicated that the phytochemicals in graviola reduced breast cancer tumor growth in vitro and in mice by 32% overall.

A 2010 study published in the journal Molecules showed that annonaceous acetogins slowed the spread of lung cancer cells and laryngeal cancer cells.

A 2012 study published in Cancer Letters by University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers showed that graviola killed pancreatic cancer cells in test tubes and in animals and humans by inhibiting signaling pathways and slowing the rate of cancer cell division, growth, and metastases.

Graviola gained its reputation as a cancer cure mainly due to research from Purdue University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Research showed that annonaceous acetogins significantly suppressed cancer cells while leaving normal cells unscathed, but these were test-tube results, not human clinical trials. Also, researchers tested annonaceous acetogins extracted not from graviola, but from annoma glabra, a tropical tree that grows in Florida and bears pond apple fruit.

Health Benefits of Graviola

The FDA does not support graviola as an anti-cancer agent, and has gone so far as to insist that certain websites that publish info about graviola’s anti-cancer effects remove the claims or face penalties. The FDA has, however, approved graviola as an immune-boosting fruit. Graviola may also…

  • Help boost circulation
  • Provide antioxidant protection against free radicals
  • Support your lymphatic system
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