The primary reason there is very little information on so many natural substances that show very good positive effects,(vit C, DCA, Pawpaw, etc there are so many, and probably the most tested one of all Curcumin, see pubmed articles there are many) is not because they don’t work, they know that they do for many different things and different scenarios, but because they are not able to synthesize it and achieve the same effect. Very complex things happen as soon as you put a substance in the human body and truth is science actually knows very little about all of the chain reactions and sub-reactions that occur to achieve a specific result. Almost all of our drugs come from or are derived from nature, good example is one I just posted a response on which is Vinorelbine(Navelbine), derived from alkaloids in the rosy periwinkle plant, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharanthus_roseus ) they are modified, concentrated and synthesized in order to control it’s quality, purity, concentration and most importantly in a for profit system, obtain intellectual property rights and patents on it which is probably truly the primary reason “natural” things are attacked and derided constantly and never fully tested. The fact of the matter is, almost all of our drugs come from or started from “natural” things. So all this nonsense about such and such has no proper blind study testing is nonsense defense because no one will ever fund it to do so, therefore it’s quite easy to say xx is bogus because it never went through the big pharma only crazy expensive trails, tests, publications etc. It’s like telling someone who has been driving since they were 16 years old they don’t actually know how to drive because they never bothered to get their drivers license. If you define a qualification that must be met or passed then you can control who or what can or cannot participate. In the case of drugs that is completely controlled by those with the most money.
It costs about $2.5 billion US dollars and around 15 years to get a drug from start to FDA approval, unless fast tracked and that is generally for just 1 disease. There is absolutely no pharmaceutical company(basically the only real participants in getting drugs through approval) that will spend that kind of money or time on something they cannot own, receive a return on their investment for and generate a profit for their share holders. That is just the way it is, there should be no confusion about it. I agree it’s wrong and it sucks, but that is the reality of it like it or not.
Marketing is a very powerful tool and here in the US we for some reason are highly susceptible to it. I don’t know why, we just are so it’s easy to understand why so many easily believe that the reason these companies produce all these drugs is to actually heal or cure something which btw other than antibiotics and immunizations and a few other things, don’t really cure or heal anything, your body does. These things can either help or hurt your body in doing what it needs to do and there are many that are very good at it but see it for what it is. They do this to make money, lots of it. But you can’t market that, you market the benefit…take this pill or substance and feel young again, feel no pain, clear up your skin etc etc. None of these things or very few actually fix the problem, they mask it(pain medication), subdue it, hide it etc. Of course we need many of these things and they are quite helpful, I am not bashing them, just saying, see it and them for what it is and they are. There is absolutely no for profit company in existence, nor will there be, that is trying to cure cancer. It is not in their best interest and would likely ruin their company in short order.
Taking an aspirin because you have a headache does not “cure” or “heal” your headache, it thins your blood among other things and masks the pain until your body deals with the issue. Take an aspirin when you have a headache while climbing Mount Everest at 20,000 feet and you just might die as you thin out your blood and force even more plasma leakage.
Drugs are big business, they do a lot of benefit but they also do a lot of harm. There is no search for the cure of anything in the business world, treating is much more profitable than curing and truth be told they don’t really know how to cure anyways, that is what your body does, we just try to help it along as best we can and not cause a ton of other damage,(maybe not so much these days).
Think of it this way, would a car company build a car that never needed service, never failed and would last forever? Of course not, they would be out of business very quickly. There is no difference with cancer, not to mention a glaringly overlooked fact that all cancers are unique. Lung cancer in one is not the same as lung cancer in another, this is precisely why x drug does not always work for x cancer in x patient. They are different and unique and quite often require a different drug, which btw we don’t test for at all in standard of care treatment, it’s just a simple recipe, x for x based on prior statistical information.
There is no magic pill or substance, what works for one may not work for another. Stop believing the fantasy that just because big money interests aren’t testing it based on their defined standards that it doesn’t do anything. As soon as they figure out how to own it, control it and make money from it you will hear more about it that you could ever imagine, just count how many drug commercials you see in 1 night watching tv.
We all like to believe that they do all this research, have money drives, walk for the cure etc etc because they care and or are trying to do something about it. It is marketing plying on our fears and emotions, those affected and those who love or help those affected and they are very good at it. Certainly many people involved want to do these things for the right reasons and that’s great, but this is a business and if it doesn’t make x amount of profit vs cost/expense than it is no good, whether it works or not makes no difference.
The true problem is that our focus in wrong. Being a pro-capitalist society, of which I fully support, we primarily focus on and believe that the pursuit of greater profits drives innovation, creation, expansion and forever constantly brings newer and better things. Again that is mostly marketing. Some of that is true but we never go over all the bad things that happen as a result of that, we just like the good stuff.
If profit solved problems cancer would have been a contained easily stabilized disease decades ago. However our results in the last 100 years have not changed one bit except for an exponential increase in those getting cancer and those profiting from it.
There are certain things that should absolutely not be profit driven and cancer is one of them. If we had proper focus, the disease of cancer would be approached as we did polio or small pox, in the public interest for the public good and not for profit sake. All avenues of research would be explored and funded. If we could do that we would have proper advancement of stabilizing this epidemic for good. Keep in mind though, your also talking about doing away with a trillion dollar industry at the same time so which is more important? Sad to say, currently and historically with cancer, money has been more important or at least has the loudest voice or the most control.
Will this ever change? I have no idea, but it is certainly possible.
- Anybody tried Pawpaw/acetogenins?
- How Paw Paw Works Against Cancer Cells
- Simple Cell Biology and ATP Production
- Acetogenins–the Substances that Reduce ATP
- How the Acetogenins Work
- Using Paw Paw
- Using Pawpaw As Cancer Treatment: How Does Pawpaw Fight Cancer
- Pawpaw as Cancer Treatment
- Fighting Cancer Cells with Pawpaws
- Using Pawpaws for Cancer
- Graviola tree and paw paw treatments
Anybody tried Pawpaw/acetogenins?
I walked into the bedroom this morning to find my wife watching one of those web ads about acetogenins. Since being diagnosed with melanoma in 2013 I have looked at alternative treatments to supplement the treatments the doctor has prescribed. I’ve tried Tagamet and mushroom extract in addition to Yervoy, and now Keytruda, with the blessings of my doctor. Both of those substances have been found to be of benefit for at least some melanoma patients.
Now I have a healthy dose of skepticism about these things on the internet, but I grabbed my laptop and googled “acetogenin.” I was amazed to find that there are at least several scholarly papers that have found that acetogenins have anti-tumor properties. They apparently work on a cellular pathway that starves tumor cells of nutrients, or something to that effect.
In the months I’ve been hanging around this message board, I have never heard anyone else mention them. Apparently the primary source for acetogenins is Pawpaw extract. Has anybody tried them, have any experience with them, know anything about them? Like I said, I’ll try anything that could possibly work as long as my doctor ok’s it. And I intend to ask her about acetogenins when I see her a week from Monday.
ABOUT PAW PAW
How the acetogenins from Paw Paw can help fight cancer
Written by Steven Horne
Read also Part 2 (Skin cancer, fungus, lice etc)
Nature’s Sunshine Products makes a unique and powerful product called Paw Paw Cell Reg, which contains a standardized extract of acetogenins from the twigs of the American paw paw tree (Asimina triloba). These compounds were extensively researched by Dr. Jerry McLaughlin during his many years at Purdue University. A comprehensive review article was published in the January 1999 issue of the Journal of Natural Products, and McLaughlin’s group has over 100 papers already published on the paw paw compounds.
Dr. McLaughlin discovered that paw paw contains a group of plant chemicals called annonaceous acetogenins. There are over 50 of these long chain fatty acids in paw paw. His research has established that these acetogenins:
These acetogenin compounds are found in plants in the Annonaceae family, which contains about 2,100 species of plants, most of which grow in the tropics. Paw paw is the only deciduous member of this family and has one of the highest amounts of these compounds. Graviola (Annona muria) is being promoted as an anti-cancer remedy but contains much smaller amounts of these compounds.
In addition, the amount of acetogens varies widely from plant to plant and even seasonally. Dr. McLaughlin found the highest concentrations of these substances in the spring twigs (before the leaves appear), the unripe fruits and the ripe seeds. Dr. McLaughlin was able to create a standardized extract of these substances, so that you can get a consistent amount of these compounds in each dose. NSP has an exclusive right to distribute Dr. McLaughlin’s patented product.
This article has two parts. The first part discusses the problem of cancer and how the acetogenins from paw paw can help fight it. The second part explains other uses for paw paw, including how to make a paw paw shampoo for head lice and a paw paw salve for fungal infections, warts and skin cancers.
Paw Paw and Cancer
Cancer cells are the result of damage (mutations) to DNA in the cell’s nucleus that turns a healthy cell into a type of parasite. Cancer cells grow much faster than ordinary cells competing with healthy cells for nutrients. Having lost their normal control systems for growth, cell division and death, these cells multiply out of control. They attract new blood vessels to themselves to feed their runaway appetites for the nutrients needed for their out-of-control growth. Cancers can grow “tentacles” to reach out and invade other areas. Cancers can even clone themselves. When they travel through the blood stream and lymphatic system, they metastasize throughout the body.
Although genetic weaknesses and predispositions may contribute to the occurrence of cancers, environmental influences such as chemicals, radiation, and viruses are involved most of the time. Cigarette smoking is linked to 30% of cancers.
The liver detoxifies and eliminates many chemicals that might cause cancer and most traditional anticancer herbal formulas actually help by improving liver function. The liver also destroys excess estrogen, which is a signal for cellular growth and increases the development of cancers, especially in women.
It may take years for a primary tumor to grow large enough to be seen or felt as a lump. Cancer may spread through the system of lymph nodes. In very serious cases, cancer cells, traveling through the blood, may metastasize in other tissues such as the brain, lungs, or liver.
Understanding Cancer Cells
Cancer cells differ from normal cells in several ways. They develop an anaerobic metabolism that allows them to create energy in the absence of oxygen. They have seven times more insulin receptors than ordinary cells and more receptors for glucose uptake, which means they can absorb blood sugar faster than healthy cells. They have ten times more receptors for IGF-1, a hormone that allows glucose absorption. To sum it all up, their metabolic rate is many times faster than that of healthy cells.
In order to fuel their unusually rapid growth and reproduction, cancer cells stimulate the growth of new blood vessels around them and increase the rate at which they convert nutrients from the blood into energy for themselves.
Apoptosis—Programmed Cell Death
Just like people, cells in the body have a time to live and a time to die. Cells can die because they are killed by injurious agents, but they can also die because the are induced to commit suicide – a process called apoptosis. There are built in mechanisms inside each cell that cause apoptosis when conditions are right. This process takes place naturally when certain cells are no longer needed by the body or when they become a threat to the body.
The primary way the annonaceous acetogenins in paw paw work is by inhibiting the production of ATP inside the mitochondria in the cell. Since cancer cells need more energy than normal cells to survive, this loss of energy triggers apoptosis. In other words, paw paw “convinces” cancer cells to self destruct.
Are There Any Side Effects?
One of the main problems with traditional cancer therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy is that they damage healthy cells as well as cancer cells. So, the question naturally arises, if acetogenins block ATP production, wouldn’t that affect healthy cells, too? Well, they do slow down the function of healthy cells, but since the cancer cells use energy at a rate up to 17 times faster than normal cells, the compounds have the strongest effect against the rapid metabolism of the cancer cells. The abnormal cancer cells are induced to self destruct due to the reduced metabolism, while healthy cells remain undamaged.
In early research, it was discovered that paw paw extract was consistently vomited up before quantities that could cause serious problems to healthy cells could be consumed! In a toxicology study using dogs, they were unable to give the dogs a dose sufficient to cause death. The dogs would simply vomit.
Also, before being released, this paw paw extract was provided to 130 cancer patients for up to one and a half years. Only three of those in the study reported nausea and vomiting and one reported itching. None had any typical chemotherapy problems such as bone marrow supression, anemia, hair loss, etc.
Using Paw Paw Cell Reg
The suggested use of Paw Paw Cell-Reg is 4 capsules per day until after remission. These should be taken at the rate of one capsule four times per day. Many people have found they can tolerate more and have taken 8, 12 or 16 capsules per day, again, divided into four doses. Work up slowly, and if you notice any nausea, vomiting or loss of energy, back down.
People using Paw Paw Cell Reg often find it beneficial to combine it with Immune Stimulator and Protease Plus or High Potency Protease. For maximum benefit, take all of these supplements, including the Paw Paw, between meals.
Protease activates immune activity, including Natural Killer (NK) cells, against cancers. It makes cancer cells and viruses more discernable to the immune system. Immune Stimulator increases immune activity, which helps the body fight cancer.
This program can be used as an alternative or supplement to chemotherapy, then continued for a month beyond the time that all tumor markers are down and there is no further evidence of the cancer. Additionally, it can be used at least once a month for the next 2-3 years.
Paw Paw is NOT a product to take to prevent cancer. It should only be taken when actually fighting cancer or some other health problem. Also, Paw Paw only works on tumors. It is not helpful for other forms of cancer.
What to Expect
First, it is unlikely one would overdose on paw paw extract because vomiting occurs before too much can be consumed. If nausea or vomiting do occur, simply lower the dose.
It is typical to see significant reductions in tumor size and in tumor antigen levels within six to eight weeks. Some people report a more rapid, measurable response to the program. For instance, one lady saw an improvement in her CA-125 markers (Cancer Antigen 125 is used to monitor ovarian cancer) after only one week.
In a patient with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, who had undergone three rounds of chemotherapy in six and a half years, the white cell count and lymphocytes returned to normal ranges after only 35 days of taking paw paw extract.
People who have cancer who take Paw Paw Cell-Reg are also reporting increased energy levels. This is because paw paw’s inhibiting effect on the metabolism of cancer cells means that healthy cells no longer have to compete with cancer cells for energy.
Because cancer is a very serious illness, I recommend that you should have your progress monitored by appropriate medical testing and you should work with an experienced professional in developing your program.
(For most common health issues: visit this page)
1. Our very existence is dependent upon the body’s ability to utilize minerals because minerals activate enzymes! More about minerals
2. Digestive Enzymes: If food is not digesting properly, it creates waste that builds up downstream in the colon… an open door to toxicity & diseases! More Info
3. Probiotics: “Friendly gut bacteria play a crucial role in preventing diseases, from cancer to obesity”. Dr. Robynne Chutkan M.D. More info
How Paw Paw Works Against Cancer Cells
In order to understand how paw paw works, it is helpful to be familiar with a little biology on human cells. It is also recommended that you watch the video animation on paw paw if you have not already done so. It may take a couple of times watching it to catch everything, but it should help your comprehension of the material.
Simple Cell Biology and ATP Production
Simply put, cells need energy to live, survive, and multiply–no real surprise. After all, we know that we must give our bodies energy in the form of food in order to live. During the digestion process, the food begins to be broken down and put into a form that eventually can be utilized by the cells in our body. One result of this process is the formation of blood sugar, or glucose. As blood travels throughout the body, the cells absorb the life-sustaining glucose. All cells need it, but some need more than others and are thus “high-users.”
The cell has some special molecules on its exterior that transport glucose from the blood into the cell–appropriately called “glucose transporters.” However, at this point, the process is not done. The cell must then convert the glucose into usable electrons–in other words, usable energy. There are a couple of different processes that the cells use to accomplish this, but the vast majority of the metabolism (energy conversion) that takes place is through the mitochondria of the cell.
The mitochondria resides on the interior of each cell. Actually, each cell has hundreds or thousands of them. (On the picture, the mitochondria are the “sausage-shaped” structures on the interior of the cell walls.) As noted earlier, their primary purpose is to take glucose and oxygen and use it to produce the energy that the cell needs. The energy that is produced is called adenosine tryphosphate, or ATP for short.
In general, cancer cells fit the profile of “high users” of ATP. In fact, some studies indicate that they need anywhere from 10-17 times as much ATP as a normal cell in order to survive and multiply. Thus, if the ATP that is produced by the mitochondria of the cancer cells can be somehow controlled or reduced significantly, those cells can be negatively impacted, hopefully making them die off.
Acetogenins–the Substances that Reduce ATP
Research by Dr. Jerry McLaughlin of Purdue University found that the paw paw tree is a source of substances known as acetogenins. (Since the family Latin/scientific name of paw paw is Annonacea, these natural substances are often referred to in the literature as Annonaceous Acetogenins.) It is these acetogenins that he found to drastically reduce the ATP production of the cells’ mitochondria.
There are several different acetogenins. They vary from species to species of trees within the “paw paw family”, and within other related trees. However, Dr. McLaughlin found that the highest concentrations and most powerful acetogenins were in the Asimina triloba species of the paw paw. Furthermore, he found that there were even differences in the actual geographical location of the trees–noting during his research that some groves of trees were more potent than others.
Important Note: Not surprisingly, some companies have produced products using graviola (a biological cousin of the paw paw) and market them as similar to–or equal to–paw paw itself. However, Dr. McLaughlin showed this to be false. He has written on several occasions in technical papers detailing the big difference chemically and structurally between the acetogenins found in graviola and those found in paw paw. Dr. McLaughlin developed a procedure to standardize extracts from paw paw to contain a certain known amount of acetogenins, and licensed it to a company in Utah. Thus, it is important for anyone contemplating using the paw paw treatment to be sure that a standardized extract of from the Asimina triloba tree is obtained–not graviola, since graviola is far less potent due to its chemical structure. Read about differences between paw paw and graviola.
Further research by Dr. McLaughlin found that although the acetogenins are found throughout the paw paw tree, fruit and seeds, the greatest concentration of them is in the twigs of the tree. Also, he found that the acetogenin levels peak during the month of May. Thus, even the time that the paw paw is harvested is drastically important. Thus, someone using the paw paw treatment needs to verify that the manufacturer harvests the twigs at the right time of the year.
How the Acetogenins Work
When a person intakes a source of acetogenins, such as a capsule of standardized paw paw extract, the blood supply picks them up and delivers them throughout the body along with glucose. Although a slight amount of acetogenins may wind up in non-cancer cells, the resulting lowering of ATP production is not enough in most of these cells to cause any problems. The huge energy requirement of the cancerous cells tends to “hog” most of the acetogenins to those cells. Furthermore, when the acetogenins start working on the “high-usage” cancer cells, the resulting drop in ATP energy production is much greater than it would be in most normal cells. Thus, if cancer cells are present in the body, the paw paw tends to affect them, while leaving the normal cells alone.
Unlike chemotherapy, the paw paw works to “starve” the cancer cells instead of poisoning them. Thus, the action is usually slower than chemotherapy. However, the side effects are minimal, as discussed below.
The acetogenin energy-inhibiting properties work in basically four ways:
- Acetogenins modulate/reduce the production of cellular energy (ATP), thus robbing the cancer cells of the energy it needs to survive. This is the basic process described above, and certainly one of the most important.
- Acetogenins help modulate/reduce the growth of blood vessels near the cancerous cells. Since the cancer cells need more ATP, they need more glucose to convert into it. Thus, the body tends to grow new blood vessels to deliver the glucose. Actually, the new blood vessel growth needs ATP itself, so the ATP reduction helps reduce that growth that is necessary for cancer cell survival.
- Acetogenins enhance the effectiveness of chemical medical treatments. It is very common to hear that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy develop a resistance to the chemo itself, thus rendering the treatment to no effect. This is usually called Multiple-Drug Resistance (MDR). This resistance takes place because cancer cells will develop the ability to recognize and reject chemicals that it becomes familiar with. The cells will actually develop a “pumping action” to pump the chemicals back out of the cells before the chemicals have their desired effect. However, this pumping action used to reject the chemicals uses–guess what–ATP. Lowering ATP to these cells reduces their ability to pump out the chemotherapy drugs, thus making the cells susceptible to the chemotherapy treatments again. Several technical articles have been written on the effect of paw paw on MDR cells, some of which can be read on this website.
- Acetogenins help reduce duplication of cancer cells. The DNA and RNA are “blueprints” that affect the structure and behavior of cells. However, ATP is an essential part of DNA and RNA division and reproduction. The lowered levels of ATP tend to reduce rapid cell growth.
Using Paw Paw
(Note: If you decide that using paw paw is a course of treatment that you want to do, it is always recommended that you talk about this with your physician. As noted in our disclaimer, the owners and contributors of this website are simply documenting academic information, articles, and other sources on this website. They are not physicians and do not give medical advice. Under no conditions should you stop taking conventional treatment without the input/approval of your treating physician.)
If a person is serious about this type of treatment, only a standardized paw paw extract should be used. It is definitely best to purchase the product from a manufacturer that Dr. McLaughlin has personally worked with. Normally, a capsule is taken 3-4 times daily with some food. If swallowing is an issue, the capsules can break apart and the contents mixed into something easier to swallow. While not necessary for the action of paw paw to work, many people often use paw paw in conjunction with a beta-glucans, immune stimulating type of product. The beta-glucans are usually taken in between the times when paw paw is taken (between meals).
Side effects. Another positive thing about paw paw is the lack of side effects. At least one paper noted that paw paw was 300 times as toxic as one leading chemotherapy drug–without the side effects of hair loss and weight loss normally experienced. If the paw paw is taken on an empty stomach, the recipient might experience nausea and/or vomiting. The same is true if a person were to try to overdose on paw paw. (This natural anti-overdose mechanism is yet another positive.) On very rare occasions, a recipient might feel a temporary lowering of energy due to ATP reduction in cells throughout the body. Other than these, there are no side effects known.
Typical Duration of Use. In general, paw paw should not be used for any sustained, prolonged time unless abnormal cells are present. In the absence of cancer cells, the paw paw will be attracted to other cells in the body that are “high energy usage” cells. They could be anywhere, but the likely candidates are in the digestive and intestinal systems. Because of that, paw paw should not be used as a preventative. It is sometimes used for short durations (less than one month) internally for parasites. Thus, if a person is determined to be cancer-free, they should generally stop taking it no more than a month later. Often, the person may come back and take it for short durations (about a week) each month. However, sustained, prolonged usage is usually ended.
If a preventative is being considered, it is probably wiser to consider things that build and support the immune system, such as a beta-glucans product and a high antioxidant product. There are several good liquid antioxidants available, one of which is mangosteen juice. If you choose to go that route, consider a mangosteen juice that is high in xanthones and without any harmful preservatives.
It is these same basic mechanisms that made paw paw effective against lice, parasites, and plant pests. For more information and technical writing, we recommend that you visit our articles section.
Alali, F. Q., Liu, X. X., and McLaughlin, J. L. Annonaceous acetogenins: recent progress. J Nat Prod 1999;62(3):504-540. View abstract.
Haribal, M. and Feeny, P. Combined roles of contact stimulant and deterrents in assessment of host-plant quality by ovipositing zebra swallowtail butterflies. J Chem Ecol. 2003;29(3):653-670. View abstract.
Rupprecht, J. K., Hui, Y. H., and McLaughlin, J. L. Annonaceous acetogenins: a review. J Nat Prod 1990;53(2):237-278. View abstract.
Tomita, M. and Kozuka, M. . Yakugaku Zasshi 1965;85:77-82. View abstract.
Wood, R. and Peterson, S. Lipids of the pawpaw fruit: Asimina triloba. Lipids 1999;34(10):1099-1106. View abstract.
A novel mechanism for the control of clinical cancer: inhibition of the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with a standardized extract of paw paw (Asimina triloba, Annonaceae) (Unpublished). 2001.
Avalos J, Rupprecht JK, McLaughlin JL, et al. Guinea pig maximization test of the bark extract from pawpaw, Asimina triloba (Annonaceae). Contact Dermatitis 1993;29:33-5. View abstract.
Barber MA. Poisoning due to the papaw (Asimina triloba). JAMA. 1905;XLV(27):2013-2014.
He K, Zhao GX, Shi G, et al. Additional bioactive annonaceous acetogenins from Asminia triloba (Annonaceae). Bioorg Med Chem 1997;5:501-6. View abstract.
McLaughlin JL. Paw paw and cancer: Annonaceous acetogenins from discover to commercial products. J Nat Prod. 2008;71:1311-1321. View abstract.
Ratnayake S, Rupprecht JK, Potter WM, McLaughlin JL. Evaluation of various parts of the paw paw tree, Asmina triloba (Annonaceae), as commercial sources for the pesticidal annonaceous acetogenins. J Econ Entomol 1992;85:2353-6. View abstract.
Zhao GX, Miesbauer LR, Smith DL, et al. Asimin, asimininacin, and asiminecin: novel highly cytotoxic asimicin isomers from Asiminia triloba. J Med Chem 1994;37:1971-6. View abstract.
Using Pawpaw As Cancer Treatment: How Does Pawpaw Fight Cancer
Natural remedies have been around as long as humans. For most of history, in fact, they were the only remedies. Every day new ones are being discovered, or rediscovered. Keep reading to learn more about pawpaw herbal medicine, specifically using pawpaws for cancer treatment.
Pawpaw as Cancer Treatment
Before going any further, it’s important to state that Gardening Know How cannot offer any medical advice. This is not an endorsement of a certain medical treatment, but rather a laying out of the facts of one side of the story. If you’re looking for practicable advice on treatment, you should always speak with a doctor.
Fighting Cancer Cells with Pawpaws
How does pawpaw fight cancer? In order to understand how pawpaws can be used to fight cancer cells, it’s necessary to understand how cancer cells
work. According to an article from Purdue University, the reason anti-cancer drugs can sometimes fail is because a small portion (only about 2%) of cancer cells develop a kind of “pump” that flushes out the drugs before they can take effect.
Since these cells are the ones most likely to survive treatment, they are able to multiply and establish a resistant force. However, there are compounds being discovered in pawpaw trees that are, it seems, able to kill these cancer cells in spite of the pumps.
Using Pawpaws for Cancer
So will eating a few pawpaws cure cancer? No. The studies that have been conducted use a particular pawpaw extract. The anti-cancer compounds in it are used in such a high concentration that it can actually be somewhat dangerous.
If taken on an empty stomach, it can cause vomiting and nausea. If taken when no cancer cells are present, it may attack similar “high energy” cells, like those found in the digestive system. This is just another reason why it’s important to speak with a doctor before undergoing this, or any other, medical treatment.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.
Graviola tree and paw paw treatments
Theory Behind How It Works
These products come from trees in the tropical areas of South and North America. Paw Paw is claimed to work by blocking ATP production and thus reduce the voltage of the cancer cell to the point it falls apart (apoptosis or programmed cell death). Because Paw Paw and graviola are cousins, it is assumed that they work utilized the same mechanism. They are also claimed to build the immune system.
Scientists with the Tepic Institute of Technology (Instituto Tecnológico de Tepic – ITT) in Mexico discovered acetogenins, a compound in the fruit with incredible chemotherapeutic properties.
The researchers with ITT are studying soursop in an effort to find more anti-cancer foods that are readily available in Mexico due to the steadily rising cases of cancer among their population.
Team leader, Montalvo González, explained, “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 amount consumed.” (1)
In an assessment of Graviola, published in the December 2008 issue of the “Journal of Dietary Supplements” by U.S. researchers Lana Dvorkin-Camiel and Julia S. Whelan, multiple in-vitro studies determined that Graviola is effective against various microbial and parasitic agents. Graviola displayed specific effectiveness on parasites Leishmania braziliensis, Leishmania panamensis, Nippostrongylus braziliensis, Artemia salina and Trichomonas vaginalis, as well as against the Herpes simplex virus.
As it relates directly to cancer, cell and animal research demonstrates that Graviola may be an anti-cancer agent. However, no human clinical trials have been performed as of yet. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MSKCC, Graviola extract proved to be effective against liver cancer and breast cancer cells. Naturopath Leslie Taylor, author of “The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs,” notes that studies show Graviola has an inhibitory effect on enzyme processes in some cancer cell membranes. Graviola only affected cancer cell membranes and not those of healthy cells. This research may lend support to the herb’s traditional use against cancer. (2)
Theory: This protocol claims to kill the microbes inside the cancer cells, they allow more of the glucose to be converted to pyruvate and thus more ATP energy is created inside the cancer cells.
Graviola Tree and Paw Paw Tree Theory
This is one of those treatments for cancer that is fairly new, meaning it has only recently found its way onto the internet. Nevertheless, there have been a lot of scientific studies on these two products. (3) At the current time most of the articles for Graviola and cancer come from a single source – the Health Sciences Institute (see the links below), though there are a growing number of independent articles.
Graviola is sometimes called “Brazilian Paw Paw,” which can cause some confusion. (4)
Paw Paw is reported to be more powerful than graviola when treating cancer, (5, 6) if the quality of the processing is comparable. Graviola only has single ring compounds, while the Paw Paw’s acetogenins have several double ring compounds (e.g. bullatacin) which makes Paw Paw much more powerful.
Paw Paw works (and this seems to apply to graviola as well) by slowing down or stopping the production of ATP. This in turn lowers the voltage of the cell. For normal cells, there is plenty of ATP, thus lowering the level of ATP has no effect on the cell. However, with cancer cells, due to the way they create energy (by fermentation), ATP is far more critical. (5, 6)
When the ATP level, and the energy of the cell level, drops to a critical level the cell falls apart. The residual pieces of the dead cancer cell are called “lysing” and I assume are similar to other apoptosis (programmed cell death) killed cells. If that is the case, then part of the lysing is literally “eaten” by other cells (called: phagocytosis).
Graviola, like its cousin Paw Paw, is claimed to greatly enhance the effectiveness of another alternative cancer treatment – Protocel. However, generally it is recommended that Protocel not be taken with graviola or Paw Paw.
Paw Paw has been reported to kill multiple-drug resistant (MDR) cells, which can result from someone taking chemotherapy.
Paw Paw gravitates towards cells that use a lot of energy and then cuts off their energy supply. Since cancer cells use 10-17 times as much energy as a normal cell, Paw Paw it is theorized to act on cancer cells.