Graviola Health Benefits
Graviola health benefits are related to its anticancer, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. The leaves, roots, fruits, and bark of graviola (Annona muricata), also known as soursop, have been used as herbal remedies around the world.
Graviola is derived from a tree that grows in the rain forests of South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The active ingredient in graviola is the phytochemical annonaceous acetogenins, which is at least partly responsible for graviola health benefits.
In a study conducted at Purdue University, scientists found that annonaceous acetogenins was effective against the growth of treatment resistant human mammary cancer cells. (Oberlies 1997) Graviola extracts have also demonstrated activity against several other cancer cell lines in the lab. (Jaramillo 2000; Liaw 2002)
Among the more recent studies is one from Nebraska that evaluated use of graviola against pancreatic cancer cells. The authors noted that their findings in the lab suggested “promising characteristics of the natural product [graviola] against this lethal disease.” (Torres 2012) So far, however, no large-scale studies have been done in humans.
How To Use Graviola
Before taking advantage of any graviola health benefits, men should consult their healthcare provider. Although various websites claim graviola does not cause side effects, there are several precautions to consider. One, taking a large dose of graviola juice may cause vomiting. Two, graviola has a depressant effect on the cardiovascular system and so should not be used by anyone who has a heart condition. Three, long-term use of graviola can lead to fungal and yeast infections, because of its antimicrobial properties.
Jaramillo MC et al. Cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of Annona muricata pericarp. Fitoterapia 2000; 71: 183-86
Liaw CC et al. New cytotoxic monotetrahydrofuran annonaceous acetogenins from Annona muricata. J Nat Prod 2002; 65:470-75
Oberlies NH et al. Structure-activity relationships of diverse Annonaceous acetogenins against multidrug resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr) cells. J Med Chem 1997; 40:2102-6
Torres MP et al. Graviola: a novel promising natural-derived drug that inhibits tumorigenicity and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo through altering cell metabolism. Cancer Letters 2012 Oct 1; 323(1): 29-40