Graviola (annona muricata), or soursop, grows in the Amazon jungle and some of the Caribbean islands. All sections of the graviola tree are used in traditional medicine in the tropics, including roots, bark, fruit, and fruit seeds.
Soursop contains many chemicals that may be active against cancer, as well as disease causing agents such as viruses and bacteria. Annonaceous acetogenins are, powerful antioxidants that have been found to help avoid and treat illness. In lab studies, graviola can kill some types of breast cancer and liver cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy medicines.
Annonaceous acetogenins were influential against the growth of Adriamycin-resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma by blocking access of cancer cells to ATP and by inhibiting the actions of plasma membrane glycoprotein. Soursop is thought that the extract is able to block the cancer cell’s access to ATP, the source of energy for the cancer cell.
The oldest researches were between 1941 and 1962. The findings of the various studies have showed the plant’s antispasmodic, hypotensive, cardiotonic and vasodilator effects. The first cancer research on graviola was conducted in 1976 by the “National Cancer Institute“. In plant screening, the stem and leaves of graviola showed active cytotoxicity against cancer cells. Their results reported that the Graviola were effective in destroying malignant cancer cells.
In 1997, researches at “Purdue University” proved that annonaceous acetogenins appeared especially effective at destroying cells that had survived chemotherapy. A study conducted at “Purdue University”, showed that the acetogenins can selectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells and furthermore inhibit the growth of tumor cells resistant to doxorubicin, respecting the integrity of cells healthy tissue. Many of the annonaceous acetogenins have a cytotoxicity with ED50 values as low as 10-9 ug/ml. In other study performed by experts at the “Purdue University”, it was demonstrated that the acetogenins of graviola are very strong to have an ED50 of up to 10 to 9 micrograms per milliliter, resulting to have about 10,000 times the power of adriamycin.
A 2001 study reported in the “Journal of Natural Products” proved that graviola contains different compounds found to be toxic to human liver cancer cells. A laboratory experiment reported in the July 2011 edition of Nutrition and Cancer demonstrated that graviola inhibits EGF receptor production and slows the growth of human breast cancer cells cultured in test tubes and grafted onto mice. In another study, researchers at “Universidad de Antioquia” showed that graviola extract inhibit the growth of a lymphoma cell line named U-937. According to a study published in the May 2011 edition of the Journal of Asian Natural Products Research found that acetogenins stopped malignant tumor cell growth.