Can this prickly fruit treat cancer?

A Facebook post claiming that soursop or graviola can cure cancer has gone viral on social media.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  12 Dec 2022 12:51 PM GMT
Can this prickly fruit treat cancer?

Hyderabad: A Facebook post claiming that soursop or graviola can cure cancer has gone viral on social media.

Soursop or graviola (scientific name Annona muricata) is a tropical fruit usually found in the warm regions of the Americas. According to WebMD, "Soursop is a member of the Annonaceae family, also known as the custard apple family…Soursop has many uses in traditional medicine, and it has been used to treat a wide range of health conditions and ailments." But can it cure cancer?

Fact Check

According to a 2021 study, multiple studies were conducted to find out whether soursop can be a potential cure for cancer. While the studies found that soursop may have benefits in treating cancer, but the research is only conclusive in case of mice, rats, and isolated human cells. It should be noted that no human trial has been done yet. "Future studies investigating its use in people diagnosed with a range of cancers are warranted," it concluded.

Another research, which studied the impact of self-medication with herbal medicine on breast cancer patients, found a link between consuming soursop and low survival rates after consuming the ingredient for a longer period of time. It concluded, "…self-medication with Graviola or Alenda may be associated with an increase of death risk in patients with breast cancer. Further studies are needed to confirm these results."

Moreover, we found that in 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a series of warnings to 14 companies involved in making products with soursop and claiming it was an alternative treatment for cancer.

On soursop being used as an alternative cancer treatment, Cancer Research UK said, "A 2018 review found that graviola can be used as a chemopreventive agent. This means it stops cancer from happening. It has also been found to be effective against many cancers. However, these were laboratory studies and not human trials. There has to be further studies and evidence to prove it has the same effects in humans."

It added, "Another review in 2018 agrees that there are no valid human clinical trials for graviola." It also warned that the fruit can cause "nerve damage leading to symptoms that are similar to Parkinson's disease."

It is evident that soursop or graviola may have some anti-cancerous effects and has shown promising results in some studies on mice. But more research is needed to prove it can be an alternative treatment to treat cancer in humans. As of now, the claims are completely anecdotal and unproven.

Hence, the claim is false.

Claim Review:Soursop treats cancer.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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