Friday, June 28, 2013

For The Love Of Soursop - Delicious All Natural Cancer Killer??

Growing up in the Caribbean they'd be an abundance of this deliciously creamy fruit. I'd eat it straight up or enjoy it as a creamy drink made by my dad. As with most of the vegetables and fruits I enjoyed as a child, I didn't know just how amazingly potent these all natural foods could be. Almost every day we hear about someone suffering from the lethal disease called, cancer. In the past 5 years alone I've lost three family members to cancer. Although many medicines and treatments have been introduced so far, cancer still claims the lives of approximately 20,000 people everyday across the globe.

Chemotherapy is one of the most widely used treatments for curing cancer. It effectively destroys the cancer cells and inhibits their growth. Unfortunately, Chemotherapy comes with several side effects such as hair loss, anemia, nausea, and vomiting. Chemo helps destroy the cancer cells but meanwhile it also damages the healthy cells of the body. Some preliminary findings have helped researchers to conclude that the fruit is a natural cure for cancer (especially colon cancer) and it is, “10,000 times stronger than chemo”. One of the studies conducted by Cancer Centre, published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry”, in 1997, says that compounds found in soursop proved to treat breast cancer 250 times more effectively than chemo. 250 times! 

Soursop is commonly found in the tropical areas of Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uganda, Somalia, and of course the Caribbean. The fruit belongs to the family of Pawpaw.

Soursop is called by other names as well such as graviola (Brazilian Portuguese), guanĂ¡bana (Spanish), anona (European Portuguese), corossol (French), Brazilian pawpaw and in some cultures it is also known as Thorny Mango.


Even before it was reported to fight cancer, soursop has been consumed in countries that cultivate it. It's a delicious tropical fruit eaten fresh or made into shakes, smoothies and other food and beverages. Though the irregular green shape with dull spikes looks rather strange to those unaccustomed to its appearance, opening the fruit yields a creamy white pulp with black seeds that is truly tropical in flavor and aroma. 

The soursop is packed with valuable nutrients in it such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

It's beneficial for curing fungal and bacterial infections, stress, depression, nervous disorders, blood pressure and sleeping disorders. According to a study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplement in 2008, graviola extracts are effective in the treatment of parasitic and microbial agents.

Graviola tree extracts have been tested in almost 20 laboratories by America’s largest drug manufacturers, since 1970s and has proven to be beneficial in the following ways:

It effectively targets and destroys malignant cells in almost 12 types of cancer such as breast, lung, pancreas, prostate and colon.

The commonly used drug that helps combat cancer, as a part of chemotherapy is Adriamycin. The soursop tree contains compounds that have 10,000 times more strength to combat cancer than Adriamycin.

Unlike chemotherapy the graviola extracts only targets the cancer cells and destroys them. It does not do any damage to the healthy cells.

The Science Behind The Claims

In 1976, the anti-cancer activity of graviola leaves was first noted by the National Cancer Institute, stating that “The NCI 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. The researchers have found that tumour cells that are resistant to chemotherapy treatment, or, multi-drug resistant cells, were effectively destroyed by acetogenins. Multi drug resistant cells develop resistance to all chemotherapy treatments, leaving the patient at a dead end. These  cells require incredible amounts of cellular energy in order to rid themselves of these chemotherapeutic drugs. This made the cancer cells prime targets for acetogenins that were found to effectively inhibit 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 the soursop 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. The soursop only targets cancerous cells, thus our other cells are left untouched. 



1996 study found that a compound isolated and extracted from the seeds of the sour sop had 10,000 times the potency of the chemotherapy drug adriamycin on colon adenocarcinoma cells. However, these results are for only one kind of chemotherapy drug. And, unless a cancer patient were to eat the fruit's seeds rather than the fruit itself, they would not receive the cancer killing compound. Moreover, these tests were performed in the laboratory. Humans were not tested.



The Cancer Research of UK states that while the graviola extracts have demonstrated anticancer properties in laboratory tests these extracts have not been properly studied in humans thus the claims that the fruit has been found to be a miraculous natural remedy for many kinds of cancer is simply not true. There is, as yet, no credible evidence to support the idea that eating sour sop will cure or effectively treat cancer in humans. 


Despite the absence of supportive data clearly showing that the soursop can cure cancer in humans, graviola, like many herbal products, is heavily promoted to cancer patients on the Internet, often with false claims of cure. Patients should be cautioned against herbal supplement use when on treatment.


Possible Side Effects 

The fruit is beneficial but still there are some side-effects associated with the consumption of this fruit. There are high levels if annonacin found in this fruit that may cause Parkinson’s disease if consumed in large quantities. This finding has been published in the journal, “Movement Disorders”, in the year 2002. In some cases it may even prove harmful for the body’s cells by stopping it from producing ATP (ATP is also known as Adenosine triphosphate and it is responsible for transferring chemical energy within the cells).

According to the Cancer Research UK,"...we do know that it may cause nerve changes, causing symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. So it may have harmful side effects for some people." 


Regardless of what any study or article states it's always recommended and encouraged to  talk to your doctor before taking any kind of complementary or alternative therapy.
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. 

As a cancer buster, it is said that the leaves and bark of wild soursop trees, preferably grown organically, contains the most healing properties. These are dried and made into a tea and then boiled to extract the medicinal compounds.


Why have we not been aware of this natural medical treatment for cancer?

Now you must be wondering that why the properties of this amazing cancer fighting fruit has been hidden until now? Though extensive researches have been undertaken regarding this fruit, it has still not been publicized. Some proponents say that there is a huge conspiracy regarding the findings about soursop. The reason this natural remedy is being kept away from the public eye is because soursop has the potential to be substituted for chemo. If it happens, it will lower down the profits of the pharmaceutical companies producing synthetic cancer drugs.
Many believe that 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, I doubt that these companies will 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? 


Hopefully more funds will be poured into research and eventually yield an established protocol on the treatment of cancer through the use of the soursop so that aside from the conventional medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, there can be a less invasive and effective alternative. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy this delicious delight.

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