Prickly Pears Process Anti-Cancer Activity

By Kyle J. Norton

Cancer is a group of diseases caused by the alternation of a group of cells DNA.

Most cases of cancer begin in the cells on the surface of the inner lining of the tissue of an organ. At early, most people with cancer are asymptomatic.

At the later stage, patients may experience general cancer symptoms such as unintended weight loss, fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort and loss of appetite and localized symptoms such as severe pain and bleeding.

The exact causes of cancer are not identified. However, most prevalent factors associated with the cancer onset include age, family history, long-term exposure to certain cancer-induced chemicals, use of tobacco and excessive alcohol drinking,….. the list goes on and on, depending on the types of cancer.

Some researchers suggested that the most common risk factor that causes cancer in the Western world may be associated with widespread obesity.

Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist, in the evaluation of obesity risk of cancer, said, “In the United States, approximately 85,000 new cancer cases per year are related to obesity. Recent research has found that as the body mass index increases by 5 kg/m2, cancer mortality increases by 10%”.

And, “High priorities for future research involve additional work on the underlying mechanisms, and trials to examine the effect of lifestyle behavior change and weight loss interventions on cancer and intermediate biomarkers”.

The findings strong indicated the risk of cancer is increased substantially in obese.

Prickly pear, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae belongings to the Kingdom Plantae native to Australia.

According to the Mayo Clinic, prickly pear processes prickly pear anti-type 2 diabetes and anti-inflammatory activity.

On finding a potent ingredient for the treatment of cancer, researchers examined the effects of Juices of nine prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) in vitro against four cancer cell lines.

Based on the tested assays, betaxanthins and other chemical compound found in the juices of nine prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) exerted an anti cytotoxic activity ranging from 22 to 226 microg gallic acid eq/g, 95 to 374 microg quercetin eq/g, 3 to 189 microg/g, 1.6 to 300 microg/g and 17 to 25 micromoles Trolox eq./mL.

Furthermore, the juices showed strong anti-cancer effects, particularly in prostate and colon cell lines.
without affecting mammary or hepatic cancer cells. 

In other words, the efficacy of prickly pears in the induction of antioxidant and inhibition of cancer is totally depending on the juice properties and phytochemicals that could prevent oxidative stress and cancer.

Taken altogether, prickly pear may be considered a functional remedy for the prevention of cancer, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Phenolic composition, antioxidant capacity and in vitro cancer cell cytotoxicity of nine prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) juices by Chavez-Santoscoy RA1, Gutierrez-Uribe JA, Serna-Saldívar SO. (PubMed)