Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and northern South America, primarily Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela. Soursop is also produced in all tropical parts of Africa, especially in Eastern Nigeria, The Plateau and The Democratic Republic of Congo, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It is in the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya and is in the Annonaceae family.

Alternative cancer treatment
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center lists cancer treatment as one of the “purported uses” of soursop. According to Cancer Research UK, “Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as a cancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancer organisations” and “there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer” and consequently they do not support its use as a treatment for cancer.

In 2008 a court case relating to the sale in the UK of Triamazon, a soursop product, resulted in the criminal conviction of a man under the terms of the UK Cancer Act for offering to treat people for cancer. A spokesman for the council that instigated the action stated, “it is as important now as it ever was that people are protected from those peddling unproven products with spurious claims as to their effects.”

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States determined that there was “no credible scientific evidence” that the extract of soursop sold by Bioque Technologies “can prevent, cure, or treat cancer of any kind.”

Cancer Research UK also released a statement about the alleged cancer “cure” that included these sentences: “Overall, there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer. In laboratory studies, graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. But there haven’t been any large scale studies in humans. So we don’t know yet whether it can work as a cancer treatment or not. Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as a cancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancer organisations. We do not support the use of graviola to treat cancer.”

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