Graviola (Annona muricata) is a tropical tree that has been touted as a useful cancer supplement. It is also called corossol or soursop. Graviola does have medical potential and is used as a medicine in certain parts of the world. The fruit is also commonly eaten.
The problem is that Graviola contains both medical compounds and substances that, when taken over long periods, may be toxic.
It is true that there are some interesting molecules in the tree, bark, fruit and leaves that show some limited evidence for being active against cancers.
Different Graviola compounds showed activity against human hepatoma cells, ovarian cancer cells, mammary cancer cells, pancreatic carcinoma cells, colon adenocarcinoma cells, prostate cancer cells, mammary cancer cells, lung cancer cells, and others.
On first blush, this plant does indeed seem to have good things going for it. However, there is more to the story. There are some possible dangers that should be recognized before buying and using Graviola supplements for dog cancer.
The main issue at this time is Graviola may be associated with a brain syndrome that is similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans. Several studies indicate a link. You may find them here, here, here and here…among others.
This brain syndrome in humans causes muscle rigidity, tremors, slowed movement, and difficulty keeping balance. Of the toxins in Graviola, annonacin may be the more potent toxin, as it was shown that very small amounts may be capable of being toxic to the nervous system.
As a matter of fact, the very thing that makes Graviola have medical potential seems to be that which carries danger. The chemicals in Graviola are capable of disrupting a small structure in cells called the mitochondria. These act like little energy generators in the cell.
When mitochondria in microbes or cancer cells are disrupted by Graviola, these disease-causing agents are damaged. However, it appears that the same thing happens in brain cells, which may explain why this brain syndrome is seen so frequently in regions where the people consume a lot of soursop, the Graviola fruit.
Until we are able to more clearly understand the complex nature of Graviola, it should not be used as a dog cancer supplement.
If you would like more clarification on dog cancer supplements, look into The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
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