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Fruits That Stop Cancer

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) Scientists have discovered five fruits that are effective in stopping cancer.  Each has a specific cancer fighting component that shrinks tumors, and keeps cancer cells from proliferating. Unlike the drugs of mainstream cancer treatment, these components are not specific to one form of cancer, but are able to treat many forms of cancer successfully.

Pineapple – Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key cancer fighting component in pineapple.  Scientists at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have found bromelain shrinks tumors through its ability to dissolve fibrin, the protein based defense shield that protects cancerous tumors.  Once that shield is stripped away, the immune system can easily eliminate them.   

Bromelain has the ability to modulate key pathways that support malignancy.  This anti-cancer activity consists of direct impact on cancer cells and their micro-environments, as well as strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, and altering the hemostatic system, making it more difficult for  tumors to set up and maintain a blood supply.

Bromelain is able to normalize breast cancer cells to the point where they die on schedule in a process known as apoptosis, according to scientists at the Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research in Florida.  Cancer cells are only a threat when they refuse to die.

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research have also reported the anti-inflammatory, anti-invasive and anti-metastatic properties of bromelain. In mice studies they found that pre-treatment with bromelain resulted in a reduction in cumulative number of tumors and in average number of tumors per mouse. Reduction in tumor volume was a whopping 65%. Bromelain resulted in up-regulation of the anti-cancer gene p53. These scientists concluded that bromelain is protective of DNA formation, and able to prevent inappropriate cell signaling cascades.

Papaya – Papaya, also known as Paw Paw, is a potent cancer fighter that is highly effective against breast and prostate cancers, as well as other cancers. Papaya contains another proteolytic enzymes known as papain.  Like bromelain, papain is able to digest and destroy the defense shields of tumors, rendering them defenseless to the immune system.

Recent research has found that papaya can stop the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells, halt metastasis, and normalize the cell cycle.

Scientists studied 14 plant foods commonly consumed in Mexico to determine their ability to stop breast cancer cell growth. They evaluated levels of beta-carotene, total plant phenolics, gallic acid content, and antioxidant capacity. They found that of all the plants tested, only papaya had a significant effect on stopping breast cancer cell growth.

The intense orangey-pink color of papaya means it is chock full of cancer fighting carotenoids, not only beta carotene, but an abundance of lycopene as well. The construction of lycopene makes it highly reactive toward oxygen and free radicals. Scientists at the University of Illinois think this anti-oxidant activity contributes to its effectiveness as a cancer fighting agent. Epidemiological studies have indicated an inverse relationship between lycopene intake and prostate cancer risk. They showed that oral lycopene is highly bioavailable, accumulates in prostate tissue, and is localized in the nucleus of prostate epithelial cells.


Lycopene induces cancer cell death and anti-metastatic activity, and increases levels of protective enzymes. The safety of lycopene has been heavily documented.

Prostate cancer was the subject of a study in Australia that looked at 130 prostate cancer patients and 274 hospitalized controls. The scientists found that men who consumed the most lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables such as papaya were 82% less likely to have prostate cancer.  

Organo-sulfur compounds known as isothiocyanates are also found in papaya. Isothiocyanates have shown themselves capable of inhibiting both the formation and development of cancer cells through multiple pathways and mechanisms. In animal experiments, isothiocyanates protected against cancers of the breast, lung, colon, pancreas, and prostate, as well as leukemia, and they have shown the potential to prevent those cancers in humans.

Researchers in Japan clarified the mechanisms of action in a type of isothiocyanate found in papaya known as BITC, that underlies the relationship between cell cycle regulation and appropriate cell death. The researchers established that BITC exerted cancer cell killing effects that were greater in proliferating cells than in quiescent cells. Cancer cells that are proliferating are much more dangerous than cancer cells that are in a state of quiescence.

Dark grapes – Resveratrol is a recently discovered natural cancer medicine found in red and purple grapes.  In early 2014, researchers in France found that one of the ways resveratrol works against cancer is by destroying tetraploid cells, fairly common but abnormal cells with two extra chromosomes, which are usually targeted by the immune system. If they escape that targeting, they wind up playing a part in several cancers, including breast and prostate.

The research team used mice bred for high risk of developing intestinal cancer, and who had more tetraploid cells than other mice.  When resveratol was given, the number of tetraploid cells decreased, and with it the chances of developing cancer.

Studies at Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson have shown that resveratrol completely turns off the COX-2 driver of inflammation, the driving force for most cancers.  It also works directly as an anti-cancer compound.  Since its discovery a decade ago, resveratrol has been found to:

*Stop the re-growth of cancer stem cells
*Show anti-tumor effects with several kinds of cancers
*Inhibit human pancreatic stem cells
*Show efficacy for prostate cancer treatment
*Inhibit cancer cell growth and gene expression
*Work with the immune system to inhibit blood supply to cancer cells
*Inhibit both estrogen positive and negative breast cancer cells
*Show efficacy at preventing breast cancer progression
*Increase glutathione levels
*Improve survival in gliomas
*Repair the cancer fighting p53 gene
*Repair DNA
*Work in synergy with curcumin and quercetin

Pomegranate – Another recently discovered cancer fighting medicine is ellagic acid found in pomegranates. This fruit has been shown to inhibit both cancer-causing compounds and inhibit cancer cell development and growth. 

Recent research has shown that pomegranate selectively inhibits the growth of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer cells in culture. In preclinical animal studies, oral consumption of pomegranate extract inhibited growth of lung, skin, colon and prostate tumors.

An initial phase II clinical trial of pomegranate juice in patients with prostate cancer reported significant prolongation of prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling time. PSA is considered a marker for prostate cancer.

Pomegranate is cytotoxic to cancer cells, meaning it kills them. This has been demonstrated in lab tests on several different cell lines.  Ten new clinical trials aiming to evaluate pomegranate as a cancer treatment have been registered with the National Institutes of Health.  One of particular interest will focus on follicular lymphoma.

A new study of the ability of pomegranate to inhibit breast cancer metastases yielded such upbeat results that the researchers concluded pomegranate may be effective as a general cancer treatment. Researchers applied different concentrations of pomegranate to two separate breast cancer cell lines.  One percent juice concentration stopped the growth of cancer cells in both cell lines, while a five percent concentration actually killed a large portion of the cancer cells. Both concentrations suppressed metastasis while not harming normal breast cells.

Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are legendary against cancer.  Each of these is loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds, and they are some of the most nutritionally dense foods known.  Like dark grapes, berries are able to decrease the ability of the COX enzyme that powers inflammation, which in turn powers cancer.  Among the phenols in berries are anthocyanins, strong antioxidants that protect cell structures from free radical damage.  Berries also contain ellagitannins, which have been found in studies to decrease rates of death from cancer. 

The blend of beneficial compounds in these berries has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells with no specific correlation to antioxidant levels, indicating that we have as yet to discover their full actions.  
Among the most recent research findings in regard to berries and cancer are:

*Blueberry anthocyanins suppresses the proliferation of oral cancer cells
*Blueberries inhibits metastasis of triple negative breast cancer
*Black raspberries contain phytochemicals that affect immune processes relevant to carcinogensis and immunotherapy
*Ellagitannins have the ability to block metabolic pathways that lead to promotion of cancer
*Stawberries induce intrinsic pathways for death of cancer cells and inhibit tumor progression
*Berries have the ability to mediate, counteract, reduce, and repair damage from oxidative stress that leads to cancer

If you are battling cancer, a good idea would be to add several of these fruits to your daily diet.

See also:

The Best Cancer Fighting and Immune Boosting Food Choices for Beating and Avoiding Cancer

How to Kitchen Farm Mighty Cancer Fighting Broccoli Sprouts

The Best Years in Life Cancer Alternatives Resource Page


About the Author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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