health-related fact checks

Doc Atoie’s Guyabano wine isn’t treatment for cancer

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Doc Atoie’s Guyabano wine isn’t treatment for cancer
Consuming large doses of guyabano extract can be toxic. Too much intake might cause symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease.

Claim: Drinking 60 ml of Doc Atoie’s Guyabano wine before bedtime can treat cancer.

A lengthy Facebook post by Health Forum-Zynergia Cebu City Wellness Center claims that drinking 60 ml of Doc Atoie’s Guyabano wine by Zynergia For A Healthier Body each time before bedtime can help treat several illnesses, including cancer. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: Despite an advisory from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many Facebook pages are still selling this product and claiming its treatment benefits. A Facebook page named “Health Forum with Doc Atoie” is legitimizing the sales of this product. Last August 11, 2021, a Facebook video with more than 20,000 views was posted claiming its effects.

The bottom line: Although studies have found that guyabano has potential to kill cancer cells, depending only on an alternative herbal medicine and not consulting legitimate medical experts may lead to further health risks.

What the health experts say: Guyabano, called soursop in other places, is rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals. It is also a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from heart diseases or cancer. However, consuming large doses of guyabano or soursop extract can be toxic, according to registered dietician Alexis Supan.

Too much intake of guyabano extract “might cause symptoms resembling those of Parkinson’s disease,” according to Supan. These can include rigid muscles, personality changes, slowness of movement, problems with eye movement, and problems with gait and balance.

  • Guyabano as treatment for cancer: Evidence shows that extracts from guyabano leaves can kill cancer cells or fight inflammation. But according to Supan, these findings came from test-tube and animal studies, which often involved huge doses of extracts. Supan added that “there haven’t been any human studies” regarding the effects of guyabano in treating cancer on humans.
  • Types of treatment: According to the US CDC, cancer treatment may vary based on the stage of the cancer. Some common types of cancer treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant.

What the government says: Advisory No. 2019-439, issued last 2019 by the Philippine Food and Drug Association (FDA), said Doc Atoie’s Guyabano wine is not a registered food product and did not go through quality and safety evaluation. FDA warns the public against purchasing and consuming this product. – Erick Prynze Sazon/

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