NUTRITION&FOOD Published September15, 2015 By Angela Betsaida Laguipo

Can Soursop Prevent, Treat Cancer?

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(Photo : Andreas Rentz / Getty Images News)

Today, there are many plants used for various diseases. The growing popularity of herbal medicines has taken the market by storm. One particular fruit is claimed to be a super food to prevent and even cure cancer. Soursop or graviola is gaining public interest in its power against one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide.

There are approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012. According to the World Health Organization, the cases are expected to increase by 70% over the next 20 years. Hence, preventing cancer is now one of the hottest topics in the internet and in local media.

According to Cancer Research UK, graviola comes from a tree in forests found in Africa, South American and Southeast Asia. Other names are custard apple, soursop, guanabana, guyabano and Brazilian paw paw. Mainly, it consists of a phytochemical called anonaceous acetogenins.

Acetogenins have been approved for cancer treatment. Many studies have reiterated the antioxidant content of this plant specifically focusing on the roots, leaves and seeds. According to The Truth About Cancer site, scientists from the Tepic Institute of Technologi in Mexico found out that acetogenins, compounds found in the fruit has chemotherapeutic properties.

"The research seeks to add value to the fruit so the least of it is wasted. We focus on acetogenins compounds because in Mexico, cancer is a disease that is increasing among the population and scientific research shows that the compounds found in this fruit can encapsulate tumors, but this depends on the [ how much is] amount consumed," Team leader, Montalvo González, explained.

Meanwhile, Style Craze reports the health benefits of graviola. Aside from being antimicrobial, soursop leaves can treat different types of cancers including prostate, lung and breast cancers.

Graviola can be used for ailments through boiling of leaves for tea and the fruit could be made into ice cream, smoothies and beverages.

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