Dubious-sounding health tips go viral on social media every other day. But could some of them actually be true?
Dubious health tips gone viral – which of them are true? (Photo: Monika Mlynek / www.123rf.com)
Racking up “shares” and “likes” on online social networks: Random health tips, like eating soursop and bananas to prevent cancer, or recovering from dengue fever after drinking papaya leaf juice. We ask the experts if there is any truth to these dubious-sounding health tips and miracle fruits.
1. CAN SOURSOP CURE CANCER AND ARTHRITIS?
Can soursop cure cancer and arthitis? (Photo: Chad Zuber / www.123rf.com)
Hearsay Soursop leaves are 10,000 times more powerful than chemotherapy in treating cancer. They can also be used as a remedy for ailments such as arthritis and leg cramps.
The experts say The tart tropical fruit is certainly full of beneficial compounds, but it isn’t a cure-all. Also known as graviola, soursop contains 66 kcal, 0.3g fat, 17g carbs, 1g protein, 3.3g dietary fibre, 21mg vitamin C and 278 mg potassium per 100g of its flesh, making it a highly nutritious addition to the diet. But does it live up to its hype as a superfood? Yes, says Jaclyn Reutens, clinical dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.
Thanks to its high potassium content, this juicy fruit can alleviate leg cramps, which tend to set in when the body runs low on the mineral after a hard workout, says Jaclyn. Research has also confirmed that graviola extract can help to treat a variety of ailments including infections, rheumatism, arthritis and depression, reports Cancer Research UK, the leading cancer research charity in the world. The best way to reap the full benefits is to eat the flesh on its own, suggests Jaclyn.
But more research needs to be done on its cancer-fighting claims. While laboratory tests show that graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to certain chemotherapy drugs, no large scale studies have been conducted on humans. According to Cancer Research UK, there is no hard evidence to suggest that popping graviola supplements can cure cancer. And be warned: Graviola extract pills could have the side effect of causing nerve changes, which bring on symptoms similar to that of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system.
Next: Can bananas cure cancer?