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Soursop fruit, with its sweet flesh and distinctive flavor, is grown commercially to make juice, candy, sorbet and ice cream.
It's also is purported to have medicinal qualities, with claims across the Internet that soursop extract can slow the spread of cancer or make traditional CANCER THERAPIES work better.
Experts warn against using the fruit to TREAT CANCER. While research suggests soursop can fight cancer, it has not been studied in humans. As a result, there is no evidence of its safety or efficacy.
Soursop has been associated with many unsubstantiated claims, says Daniel Kellman, Clinical DIRECTOR of Naturopathic Medicine at our hospital outside Atlanta.
The long, PRICKLY FRUIT comes from the graviola tree, an evergreen native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It's also known as custard apple, guanabana and Brazilian paw paw. Practitioners of herbal medicine use soursop fruit and graviola tree leaves to treat stomach ailments, fever, parasitic infections, hypertension and rheumatism. It's used as a sedative, as well.
But claims of the fruit's anti-cancer properties have attracted the most attention. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 1997 suggests that soursop compounds tested on breast cancer cells in culture were more effective than chemotherapy in destroying the cells. But, without CLINICAL TRIALS, there is no data to support the claim.
Most studied are soursop's fatty acid derivatives called annonaceous aceteogenins. The predominant acetogenin is annonacin, which, because of its toxicity, likely would not be studied in clinical trials.
When used orally, soursop is classified as likely unsafe, said Kellman, citing two studies. Eating the fruit could lead to movement disorders similar to Parkinson's DISEASE, according to a case-control study in the French West Indies. In addition, a study suggests tea made for the leaves and stems of graviola is associated with neurotoxicity.
In general, some cancer patients use herbal supplements to relieve their symptoms and to treat their cancer. Herbal supplements, though, are not a substitute for mainstream cancer care. What's more, using herbal supplements while undergoing chemotherapy could reduce the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents due to possible herb-drug interactions.
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Kenisha • 7 months ago
I grew up eating this fruit and drinking the juice made from it as a child in Jamaica and whenever I had access to it while living in Canada. The claim that it could lead to movement disorders similar to Parkinson is ridiculous and very much a scare tactic being employed by the writer of this article. I actually found the article informative and credible until that paragraph. The study which is cited to support that claim, used only 87 ppl who were already diagnosed with having some for a two year period where they were questioned about what they ate. A conclusion was then drawn that "some tropical fruits and teas can lead to Parkinson or Parkinson type symptoms. I find that to be a joke. If that is the case, my study from family history shows way over 87 ppl that have consumed soursop and it's juices for over 30+ years and none have developed this.
Instead of focusing on the positive, that this fruit shows signs of promise in offering alternative treatments, CTCA is falling into the scare tactic approach. For an organization that advertises itself as using creative methods in their treatment approach, I would've expected you to encourage cancer patients to discuss the possibilities with their treating physicians.
It is all about money. Pharmaceuticals will lose entirely way to much money on cancer patients. Cancer is a money making business. I do not believe it is so much of a scare tactic as it is a way for them to say NO. If they do not say something bad about this fruit then the population is going to cry out for them to do these clinical trials and get it approved. With enough exposure from, people that are willing to try it or get it out there for their loved ones they might be forced to try it but I doubt it. I am glad that you posted this as it gives the other side of the story on the fruit. :)