Claim: Fruit extract kills cancer in 48 hours.
Verdict: Misleading. Although the aerial parts of soursop have proven to be effective against several types of cancer in laboratory and animal studies, it is yet to be tested on humans.
Cancer remains a leading cause of death worldwide, so its cure is an area of interest for misinformation/disinformation peddlers because they know people are eager to consume such information.
An Instagram user, rubbydaniel_official, recently shared a video clip from TikTok suggesting a fruit extract kills cancer in 48 hours.
“Finally, cancer has a new drug discovery, and it is good news,” part of the caption reads.
The two minutes and 13-second video, which seems to be from “7News”, shows one of the two broadcasters on the screen explaining how a berry extract found only in Australia’s far North cures cancer.
“A single injection of a berry found only in Australia’s far North is now thought to cure many types of cancer. It’s been tested on animals and now humans, making tumours disappear in just 48 hours,” part of the video transcript read.
The importance of the claim made by this Instagram user and its effect on public health prompted DUBAWA to verify the assertion.
Using the TikTok tag, which showed the video was shared on TikTok by @roytaylor719, we found the original video on TikTok.
We also found other videos on TikTok with similar narratives.
What is the relationship between Graviola and cancer
Graviola (Annona muricata), also called soursop, the popular name here in Nigeria, is a dark green, prickly, heart-shaped fruit that grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Other names given to the fruit are; guanabana, guyabano, Brazilian paw paw, and custard apple.
It is a rich source of annonaceous acetogenin compounds (AGEs), which inhibit nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is contained in the membranes of cancer cells.
Graviola has cytotoxic effects (the ability of a drug to kill cells) in cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also cytotoxic therapies.
A keyword search on Google showed this video had made it to Facebook. We also found fact-checks by Snopes in 2017 and PolitiFact in September 2022. Both verifications revealed that although the fruit has cancer-fighting properties, it is not a cure.
An article by Medical News Today in 2020 on the possibility of Graviola being a cancer treatment notes that although the fruit has a variety of phytochemicals which can help fight cancer, human studies are lacking.
Another article by WebMD in June 2022 highlights the benefits and risks of using Graviola as a cancer treatment.
In 2017 the Cancer Treatment Center of America also warned against the use of Graviola to fight cancer.
Although studies like this show Graviola has anti-cancer properties, there are still gaps in research on its safety and efficacy for human use.
An article reviewed in October 2022 by Cancer Research UK noted that claims Graviola cures cancer are not backed by research as there has not been any study on humans.
Although the aerial parts of soursop have proven to be effective against several types of cancer in laboratory and animal studies, it is yet to be tested on humans.