Soursop: The Cancer Killer We Never Knew About?

September 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Healthy Eating Tips

Cancer will affect nearly 1 in 3 people at some stage in their life. With such a high rise in cancer rates, and very few treatment options (most of which leave you feeling incredibly ill and disable you for months, or even years), it is no wonder that a majority of cancer patients are turning to alternative medicine to help cure them of the disease. Nature is full of natural treatments, not just for cancer, but for many illnesses, such as the Soursop, which has been found to be 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy at attacking and killing cancer. 

Why have we not been aware of this natural medical treatment for cancer?
The main reason is because pharmaceutical companies are presently reproducing several annonaceous acetogenins in the laboratory. Since you cannot patent natural chemicals, these companies are trying to re-create the chemical structure in order to make synthetic acetogenin that can be patented and marketed to its full potential. There is no money to be made for pharmaceutical companies when it comes to Mother Nature and her promising medicinal plants. Until this plant’s active ingredient can be patented in such a way that money can be made from it, these companies will not support or fund clinical studies that will help support and prove to a further extent, this plant’s miraculous effects against disease and illness. Nature is the cure, we are aware that this plant is powerful, so why not use it as a prevention and a cure, when it is available in full abundance? We don’t need a drug made from the plant, all we need is the plant itself (and I assure you that this drug will likely be FAR more expensive when it is developed, than the fruit itself).

The soursop, a fruit of the flowering, evergreen Graviola tree (Scientific name: Annona muricata) is native to Mexico, Cuba, Central American, the Caribbean and northern South America. The fruit, roots, leaves and bark are all used in natural treatments, however, the active ingredient, Acetogenin, is most concentrated in the leaves of the plant. The fruit itself is very large and has a subacid sweetish pulp that can be eaten as whole or can be concentrated down to a fruit juice (the main way this fruit is consumed).

What diseases is this fruit effective against?
The Soursop leaf and bark have been shown to regulate blood sugar and cure diabetes. This has led to discoveries of the fruit’s effectiveness of disorders of the endocrine system: liver, kidney, thyroid, pancreas, ovary, prostate, intestines, gall bladder and appendix. It has also been shown to fight lung & breast cancer as well as brain tumours. It has been proven effective as an anti-spasmodic and eliminates dust mites that cause asthma and bronchial diseases. The leaf tea itself can cure liver issues, and improves pancreas functioning, while effectively de-worming children, and curing malaria. Lastly, it has been shown to raise immune defence in chemotherapy patients as well as HIV (AIDS) patients.

Why is this fruit so powerful?
In 1976, the anti-cancer activity of graviola leaves was first noted by the National Cancer Institute, stating that “The NCI, or the National Cancer Institute did some research on the guanabana cancer cure [sic] and came up with some interesting results. The study…showed that the leaves and stems of the plant were incredibly efficient at destroying certain cancerous cells in the body.” This study was not publicly released, however, subsequent research on graviola conducted at Purdue University has proven promising results.

Much of Purdue’s research focused on the anti-tumour properties of annonaceous acetogenins. Oberlies, Chang, and McLaughlin (1) found that tumour cells that are resistant to chemotherapy treatment, or, multi-drug resistant (MDR) cells, were effectively destroyed by acetogenins. MDR cells develop resistance to all chemotherapy treatments, leaving the patient at a dead end. MDR cells require incredible amounts of cellular energy (Adenosine triphosphate; ATP) in order to rid themselves of these chemotherapeutic drugs. This made MDR cancer cells prime targets for acetogenins that were found to effectively block ATP transfer into these cells, inhibiting their function in a way that eventually leads to cell death.

It is important to note as well, that researchers who have explored the mechanisms used by graviola are only  specific to cancerous cells, and not healthy cells. Why? Because cancer cells have a consistently higher level of cellular activity, and thus produce a much higher level of ATP, and is better recognized and targeted by the acetogenin molecules. This is of benefit to the user since chemotherapy targets BOTH normal (such as stomach and hair cells) and cancerous cells, causing the often devastating side effects of nausea, weight loss, hair loss, and overall low quality of life for cancer patients. Graviola only targets cancerous cells, thus our other cells are left untouched.

One study conducted at the Catholic University of South Korea and published in the Journal of Natural Products stated that graviola was 10,000 times more effective against cancer than the popular chemotherapy drug, Adriamycin. A second study from South Korea showed that graviola had no negative activity on healthy cells (unlike the devastating effects Adriamycin has on the body), as we saw previously.

Is Graviola Safe?
Naturopath Leslie Taylor (2) acknowledges that alkaloids are highest in the seeds and roots of graviola and because of this, have shown neurotoxic effects in tests. She recommends, instead, using the leaves and pulp of the fruit when trying to treat certain illnesses (which is beneficial considering the leaves contain the highest concentration of acetogenins). Pregnant women should not consume large amounts of this fruit or the leaves, barks or seeds, as the fetus produces large amounts of ATP, thus acetogenins could attack the developing fetus.

Take Home Message:
Although no large-scale studies on humans have been conducted, preliminary research shows hope that this fruit is highly effective in combating cancer cells. Further research on this plant must be emphasized and demanded from the public. With such astonishing results as these, it is curious as to why larger studies on humans have not been conducted. It could very well be the case that pharmaceutical companies want to keep this miracle under the covers until they either patent it, or do nothing with it so they can remain making millions of dollars from chemotherapy treatments and radiation. What are your thoughts on the matter? I would love to hear everyone’s opinion!

 Main Sources:

(1) Oberlies, N., Chang, C., & McLaughlin, J. (1997). Structure-activity relationships of diverse Annonaceous acetogenins against multidrug resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr) cells. Journal of Medical Chemistry, 17, 84-90.

(2) Taylor, L. (2005). The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs. Square One Publishers

Additional sources via:
- http://www.graviola.org
- http://www.cancernetwork.com/display/article/10165/1298303
- http://www.graviolaleaves.com
- http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69245.cfm
- http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400299/graviola-a-worthwhile-botanical-against-cancer
- http://www.rain-tree.com/reports/hsi_200510.pdf

 

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