An increasing number of firms within the dietary supplement industry have become associated with practices that exhibit somewhat questionable approaches. Often times, these practices include the use of ambiguous and sometimes dangerous ingredients. However, recent transgressions committed by the dietary supplement industry include the use of ingredients in which companies are all too familiar with. Subsequently, several firms are using graviola extract, otherwise known as soursop or Annona muricata, even though it has a well established association with the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Graviola has been of interest to the scientific community since the middle of the 20th century. Subsequently, a number of lab tests have confirmed several benefits to taking the extract. A study published in 2001 suggested that graviola extract might curb the development of the herpes simplex virus, while another from 2000, demonstrates that it can be effective against certain parasites.
Most impressive, perhaps, was a 1997 study performed at Purdue University that suggested graviola extract possesses a cytotoxic, or cell-killing, effect. The compounds that seem to be responsible for this ability are Annonaceous ancetogenins, byproducts of graviola’s cell metabolism. Because this study appeared to indicate that graviola extract is selective about the cells it kills, sparing healthy cells and going after damaged ones, it suggested great possibilities for graviola extract as a cancer treatment.
As a result, graviola has become a trending ingredient within the dietary supplement industry. Many developers are including the ingredient in their products and branding them as an anti-cancer solution. However, the inclusion of graviola extract is not condoned by everyone. A prominent toxicology expert has expressed his disbelief in the use of graviola extract in dietary supplements.
Dr. Alex Schauss, a senior research director at AIBMR Life Sciences, let his discontent be known once he was made aware that certain dietary supplement manufacturers were including extracts from the fruit and leaves of graviola. According to Schauss, these extracts contain a neurotoxin called annonacin. He added: “What worries me is the appearance of the fruit in products of late given that it contains isoquinoline alkaloids that have been linked to the development of atypical Parkinson’s disease.”
As a toxicology expert, Schauss has conducted several studies and tests regarding the effects of graviola extract. Epidemiological, in vitro and animal data, all indicate that chronic consumption could be risky. “I did nutrition research in Guam in the early 1980s on behalf of a legislative committee on the island over a span of three years and we found an association between chronic fruit consumption and atypical Parkinson’s disease that was shocking. 67% of Parkinson’s cases were of the atypical form, compared to less than 5% in Europe.”
While the side effects of graviola extract remain ambiguous to the medical community, Schauss published a book describing his findings in 2009. The book, titled Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health, explains in detail the side effects of this fruit extract. According to chapter 39, “The aqueous extract of leaves and the extract of the root bark of Annona muricata and infusions and decoctions of the fruit have been shown in both in vitro and in vivo experiments to be a potentially toxic inhibitor of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.”
Furthermore, “Experimental studies have confirmed annonacin, an isoquinoline derivative, the major ace togenin found in soursop, as the toxic agent responsible for this effect.”
Even more disturbing, are the neurotoxins association with the development of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. However, while tremors may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. In early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression, or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.
Do I Have a Graviola Extract Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in graviola extract lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been injured by graviola extract, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.