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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Graviola Not Recommended For Dog Cancer

Updated: April 13th, 2021

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 top of this, substances in the tree appear to have antiviral , anti-leishmania, and anti-malaria properties.

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 D

Leave a Comment

  1. Ivelisee on March 24, 2014 at 2:23 am

    wow! Thank you for deleting my question about another product that really shows your love and compassion.

  2. Ivelisse on March 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Hello my 10 year old lab was diagnosed with lymphoma. I’m very sad as we consider her part of our family, chemo is not an option to us as it is very expensive. I read about this natural product call Tumexal . I would like to know you opinion on it, as it has very good reviews. Thank you for your input.

  3. LIly on February 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

    HI Dr. Dressler,

    I am grateful for any advice/guidance you can give regarding my 8.8 yr. old English Bulldog, Lily. She began having seizures in Sept.’13; she is now on Zonisamide, Phenob, and Prednisone. She does not have seizures, however her functioning, particularly overall mentation is going downhill. Got an MRI yesterday which revealed a very big brain tumor (inoperable) – covering alot of brain area – from thalamus to mid-brain, seemingly reaching to the brainstem. Cyberknife Radiosurgery was recommended as best course of action (I am going for a consult). I am leaning towards giving it a try (they rec. 3 sessions for her); however my husband feels it is time to let her go… I am not ready to give up on her.
    However, we are both very very interested in holistic remedies…I am seriously considering trying to purchase THC Hemp oil (the success stories, particularly one with a baby that had a huge, inoperable brain tumor, cannot be denied)…

    Lily is on s/o food (kibble), though I mix in organic chicken breast, sweet potato (she tends to have diarrhea at times and sensitive digestive issues), and some zucchini, string beans, etc.
    Thank You so much for any guidance/perspective!
    Mary , NY

  4. Joanne on November 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hi there! Im sad to say my loved 5 year old lab cross, Bill had just been diagnosed with lymph cancer 🙁 he is on 20mg of macrolone daily.

    I am now planning on giving him 1000mg of soursop per day to see if this assists with killing cancer. If there are any side affects, i will cease immediately. Im thinking that he had only been given 2 months to live.. Miracles happen everyday!! ❤

  5. Donna on March 5, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Hi – I have a 5 year old Golden that had a mast cell tumor on his jip at 4 it was removed with clean margins – 11 months later we found 2 lumps – one on chest and one on hip – fibrosarcoma on both – removed clean margins – 4 months of everyday low dose chemo plus piroxicam – we finished 3 weeks ago – another lump – removed came back as hemangiopercytoma . he seems to be a cancer factory 3 types in a year and a half – is there anything that can be done to prevent?
    thank you in advance

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Dear Donna,
      there is a whole chapter on cancer prevention in the Guide which I would suggest you read. Some of my clients use the dog cancer diet, apocaps, and other steps mentioned in the guide with success. However, you should realize that if your dog is making multiple tumors, there is a fundamental genetically programmed metabolic shift that has occurred that will need long term, if not lifelong, intervention to some extent. I would think about long term treatment as opposed to prevention.
      Here is more for now:
      I hope this makes sense..
      Dr D

  6. Rudy on March 1, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Dear Doctor,

    I was really optimistic about your website, however I am sorry I do not feel the same after reading this article and your comments. you are advising these troubled people not to use turmeric (that is curcumin), you are telling them Graviola doesn’t work well and you rather have them go through chemo? Curcumin and Graviola have saved countless animal and human lives. There are research papers boasting this accomplishments. It is people like yourself who make me doubt the moral ground our medical community has taken. People, please don’t feel helpless, do your OWN research, browse the web for user reviews, talk to people who have used these remedies. Your doctor will never tell you this, simply because its business. I have a 12 year old german shepherd with cancer. And my dog is my family. I will find out whatever I need to for saving him, I won’t direct my questions at others, I’ll do the research myself and take the decision on my finds.

    Mr. Dressler, may god bless your soul.

    PS – for my fellow animal lovers, find out about Vitamin B17 (aka laetrile), apparently it works better than anything else, read the reviews of people on amazon who used its supplements. Your family’s life is in your hands, not a doctor.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on March 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      I am sorry, you are incorrect.
      I have no issue with curcumin at all and use it regularly in my patients and myself.
      Here is a post that I wrote years ago:
      Guardianship and personal advocacy are a central part to my philosophy of animal care:
      Finally, there are very few that have done the actual reviews with various natural origin treatments that I have. The information I provide is research backed, including the recommendation to avoid Graviola until the product is standardized and we know each batch are safe for long term use in the thousands of dogs who would take it if I were to advise it. Yet, when there are issues related to safety, as indicated by actual evidence (not word of mouth, not online reviews, not indignation, just information), it is irresponsible of me to provide people with advise that may turn out bad, even if few dogs are actually affected.
      PS…read about the occasional laetrile toxicity secondary to cyanide. Does it always happen? Of course not.
      It is clear to that you have not read the Guide, and that you have not educated yourself on the information provided here. Condemnation before investigation usually leads to errors in judgement.
      Although, I do appreciate the prayers 🙂
      Best, Dr D

  7. Megan on February 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Tracy, what kind of graviola are you giving? Pills or juice? And how much, how frequently? I have a golden retriever who is fighting cancer and I’m really considering giving him graviola but everything I’ve read is so mixed. Would love to hear how you’re doing it!

  8. Tracy Kinney on February 1, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I have a frenchie that had a mast cell tumor removed from his hamstring. They couldn’t get clean margins. I have another frenchie with the same thing in the same spot but we have not done surgery yet on him. I also have a mini bull terrier with mammary tumors under two of her nipples. One nipple leaks clear fluid and I can squeeze and get more clear fluid out of it. She has had a mast cell removed from the center front of her chest years ago. Did chemo. I have put all three of them on artemisinin, turmeric, graviola, and butyraid. The lump on the frenchie leg has reduced in size since I added the graviola. The mini bull doesn’t seem to have as much fluid from the nipple now. Her lumps seem to be about the same in size, though.
    I just came across your site that says the graviola may not be good for dogs. What about using the graviola for a few weeks and then stopping for a while and starting back up at some point? Let me know your thoughts on this please. I love them so much and want to do what is best for them.

  9. Beth on December 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

    New to this site. Thanks for the great Information!

  10. Jose on November 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    There is no such thing that cures cancer in 1 day..if it was peolpe would not have babies and young and old die and go thru pure hell with this disease’ if they didn;t have to cancer is the worst disease to come around in a hundred years,,,,

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