Papaya Fruit (Carica papaya) is a fruit native to eastern Central America and was cultivated long before the arrival of the Europeans. Since the 1800s, papaya has been grown in all tropical regions, with Hawaii and South Africa now the main exporters.1 An excellent source of antioxidants, papayas also contain not only vitamin E, but also more vitamin A than carrots and more vitamin C than oranges. Papaya fruit is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and proteins. Along with these nutrients, what makes papaya useful medicinally is papain, an enzyme that assists in chemically transforming proteins into various amino acids, including arginine which influences the human growth hormone to increase muscle tone and decrease body fat.2 Papaya fruit is also used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and inflammatory bowel disorders.3
Research Highlights: Research has shown that papain can be effective in fighting cancer as it breaks down a protein substance called fibrin, found on all cancer cells, and thus preventing metastasis, including inhibiting the growth of human breast cancer cells.4 Patients taking papaya enzymes have shown to recover faster from surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.5 Research has also demonstrated that papaya fruit stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.6
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As with any medical information on health, it is always best to check with your personal physician who knows your medical history best since they are more qualified in giving you the best recommendation. Our information, advice or recommendation is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.
3. Balch, P. & Balch, J. (2000). Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed., Avery Publishing, pg. 105.
6. Balch, P. & Balch, J. (2000). Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd ed., Avery Publishing, pg. 105.