By Alex Omari
The 21st century has got a lot of dynamics from a global health perspective. At the climax of ushering in the millennium, it also emerged that public health took a shift and bore the “double burden” of disease. Well, some may ask, ‘so what about double? Over a number of decades there has been a Communicable disease (CD) scourge ranging from HIV/AIDS to tuberculosis. Effective policy and program activities are being fostered at this side and while doing so, mammoth Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) are surging forward with their menace. It remains to be seen how integration can be done to curtail NCDs and keep the CDs within the scope.
With this in mind, it’s not by chance that even a small child as young as 8 years old utters the word Cancer not knowing what it is and what harm it does. Many individuals are aware that cancer is now the deadliest disease on the planet because it doesn’t understand the language of wealth nor background. People spend millions of money for therapeutic interventions, some seek medic aid in the so called developed nations but still the harm is beyond reach and even the rich. Its high time the world, nations, communities and individuals realized that the ‘greatest investment on earth is earth’ and by this I mean -what nature offers might be a solution to the eventualities.
For instance, Custard Apples from are a sub-tropical deciduous graviola tree belonging to the Annonaceae family are full of vitamin C anti-oxidants, which helps to combat many diseases and also enhances the immune system.
Custard apples are abundant with potassium, magnesium and contains vitamin A, calcium, copper, fiber and phosphorous. Eating custard apples will not only save you from many diseases and disorders but also they are good for heart, skin, and bone, and maintains blood pressure in addition to curing boils, ulcers and gum related problems.
The leaves of this fruits work against cancer and bark can be used in case of toothache and gum pain. It is believed by researchers that the fruit is a Cancer Killer 10,000 times Stronger than Chemotherapy. This is an area that needs more research and conclusive studies to unleash the so called “hidden power of the 21st Century”.
Medicinal Uses of Custard Apple
The anti-cancer properties of custard apple appear to be mainly due to a class of compounds called acetogenins and alkaloids that reduce the risk of cancer and renal failure. The compounds act against cancer cells, without adversely affecting healthy cells.
Behaviour of Cancerous Cells
Tumor cells grow and replicate more rapidly than normal cells. This is because they are better equipped to receive glucose, a good source of energy for fast replication. Also, cancer cells quickly develop a network of blood vessels (angiogenesis) to ensure an efficient supply of nutrients and oxygen. This is partly why cancer patients lose weight; the cancer cells rapidly take up nutrients meant for normal cells.
Furthermore, with chemotherapy the cancer cells develop resistance to the drugs, rendering chemotherapy futile after a long period of exposure.
Cancer cells smartly find a way of protecting themselves from the damaging effects of drugs. They generate what is called the ABC transporter superfamily, which transports a variety of substrates including amino acids, sugars, inorganic ions, polysaccharides, peptides, and proteins into the
In cancer cells, a member of this superfamily, called the multidrug resistant (MDR) protein, is overexpressed and helps to pump drugs out of the cancer cells, making the cancer cells simultaneously resistant to a variety of drugs. Thus, the cancer cells are protected from the toxic effects of drug combinations.
One might ask, for every good deed, there is also a shortfall somewhere? Well, leaving no vacuum for doubts, it’s advised that diabetic patients should keep off the fruit because of its high glucose levels which might lead to hyperglycemia (excess glucose) in the bloodstream if not monitored well.
Vision 2030 should be geared towards discovering and tapping unforeseen potentials for proper international development. And for the therapeutic interventions, the spirit of prevention mechanisms should surpass the urge for curatives.
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