Graviola Fruit Extract Might Help Fight Breast Cancer
Posted Jul 13 2011 10:00am
The development and growth of breast cancer is stimulated by many factors including a variety of growth factors. One of these growth factors is epidermal growth factor (EGF) and some cancers overexpress the receptors for EGF. Because of the effect of growth factors on breast cancer progression, breast cancer treatments and dietary modifications that suppress or block the function of EGF receptors are an important part of our fight against breast cancer.
A collaborative breast cancer research team recently reported that an extract made from graviola fruit appears to have cancer fighting properties linked to EGF receptor function. Using both a cell culture system and an animal model of breast cancer, the researchers examined the impact of the graviola fruit extract on breast cancer cell and tumor growth.
In the cell culture system, the study investigators treated human breast cancer cells that overexpress the EGF receptor (MDA-MB-468 cells) with the graviola fruit extract. The results showed that the graviola fruit extract suppressed the presence of EGF receptors, interrupted the breast cancer cell growth cycle and induced cell death. These cancer fighting benefits of the graviola fruit extract were specifc to the breast cancer cells, since it had no effect on healthy, non-tumor breast cells.
To determine if the benefits seen in the cell culture tests translated to live animals, the researchers implanted these EGF receptor-overexpressing cells into mice and fed the mice the graviola fruit extract for 5 weeks. Consumption of the graviola fruit extract reduced the presence of the EGF receptors in breast cancer tumors by 56% and inhibited tumor growth by 32%.
Overall, these studies provide some early evidence that graviola fruit has breast cancer fighting properties. In addition to its cancer fighting benefits, the graviola fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamin C and a good source of magnesium, potassium, and several B vitamins. Graviola fruit is also known as soursop, Brazilian pawpaw, and guanabana.