Graviola (Sour Sop)

       Graviola (aka sour sop) is a tropical fruit that has been shown to stop cancerous tumor cells from proliferating. This plant grows in Central and South America.  Its natural habitat includes Mexico, Peru and parts of Brazil.

       A study on this herb, which was published in the October 2012 issue of Cancer Letter, showed graviola to be effect against pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult types of cancers to treat and being diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas is sometimes seen as a death sentence. This study, performed by a cancer research team at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, showed that graviola kills pancreatic cancer cells by inhibiting cellular metabolism. This cancer tumor-fighting ability has been confirmed both in test tubes and in live subjects.

       Graviola works by inhibiting numerous signaling pathways that manage how pancreatic cancer cells grow, how long they live, and how the cancer tumors spread within the host. By altering these parameters, the rate of new cancer cell growth and spread of the disease slowed significantly.  The team of researchers considers the characteristics possessed by graviola "promising."

      The publication Nutrition and Cancer confirms the cancer- inhibiting phytochemicals in graviola. This medical journal's June 2011 issue includes a study on graviola and breast cancer. In this study, scientists at Virginia Tech demonstrated that graviola fruit extract (juice) could reduce the growth of cancer on the skin of human breast cancer patients without damaging healthy breast tissue.  Mice who were given 200 mg graviola fruit extract per kilogram of food in their diet for five weeks had a significant reduction in protein expression in breast cancer tumors. Overall, graviola extract was able to reduce tumor growth by 32 percent.

       Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) has a page on its website describing the health benefits of graviola. Besides slowing cancer, MSKCC gives clinical evidence that graviola also fights viruses, kills parasites, reduces inflammation, and reverses the glycemic load which leads to diabetes.  These medical studies suggest that graviola extract may be useful to treat herpes simplex virus-1 (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1998) and other viral infections.

       In laboratory tests, graviola extract has been shown to kill certain types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. One laboratory study also found that a compound isolated from sour sop seeds had 10,000 times the potency of one particular chemotherapy drug on colon adenocarcinoma cells.   By destroying only cancer cells, graviola prevents the emergence of infections and protects the immune system. This establishes normal functioning of organs.  

       Laboratory tests have shown that an extract from the graviola tree kills twelve different types of cancers. Among them are: breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.   At the same time, graviola protects the immune system, helps in avoiding infection, restores normal operation of organs and restores the life energy and willingness to work.  It has been shown to kill fungi, bacteria and parasites, relieve depressive states and regulate blood pressure.