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 [ how much is] 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.