Durian fruit found to possess cancer-fighting properties

Durian is known as the “king of fruit” in Southeast Asia, despite its notorious odor. Because of this quality, passengers on Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit are prohibited from carrying the fruit while on the system – with fines awaiting violators.

Even though durian is shunned because of its strong scent, this spiky fruit with sweet, custard-like seeds inside is packed with nutrients. A cup of durian pulp provides 83 percent of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of vitamin B1 and 64 percent of vitamin C for adult women. The same amount provides 76 percent of the RDA of vitamin B1 and 53 percent of vitamin C for adult men.

Moreover, this stinky fruit is rich in nutrients such as beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), vitamin C and various B vitamins like folate (vitamin B9), niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and thiamine (vitamin B1). Incidentally, thiamine and other compounds in durian that contain volatile sulfur compounds are to blame for its smell that often turns off many.

Research has shown that this notorious fruit, said to “smell like hell and taste like heaven,” can fight the Big C. A recent study published in Nutrients expounded on the effects of durian pulp extract on the HL-60 cancer cell line, with the latter often linked to leukemia.

The researchers from India, Saudi Arabia and Portugal noted in the May 2023 paper that durian pulp extract induced apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. They attributed this to the presence of flavonoids, which show strong anti-cancer properties, in the extract that induces DNA damage. According to the authors, durian pulp extract causes the caspase-3 and caspase-9 enzymes, and the Bax protein, to be produced at high levels in the leukemia cells – subsequently triggering cancer cell death. (Related: A superfood most people have never heard of: Jujube fruit programs cancer cells to kill themselves.)

The study authors wrote that durian pulp extract and other plant-based compounds “have the advantage of being effective at different phases of cancer and acting on multiple molecular targets, thereby activating multiple cellular pathways.”

Durian fruit also good for the heart

Aside from fighting the Big C, durian also helps keep the heart healthy. Dr. Jingduan Yang, CEO of the Northern Medical Center in New York State, shared three reasons why.

According to him, durian contains healthy fats – including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids – and fiber, most especially the insoluble kind. Eating fiber-rich durian helps prevent constipation and regulate blood sugar. The fruit’s fiber and fat content also helps slow the absorption of glucose, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

Moreover, durian has a low glycemic index (GI) – lower than watermelon, papaya and pineapple. Given its low GI, Yang pointed out that durian is a suitable choice for insulin-resistant individuals and those looking to prevent or manage diabetes.

Durian also contains plant compounds such as carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids that protect the lining of the blood vessels from free radicals and reduce inflammation. This contributes to a lower risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

Durian is also rich in potassium, an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and maintain cardiovascular health. It contains 436 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams of fruit pulp, more than the potassium content of bananas and other fruits high in this nutrient.

But as the saying goes, “anything in excess is bad” – and Yang warned of the risks of eating too much durian. The fruit is calorie-dense, containing 147 calories per 100 grams, and can be difficult to digest. People with poor digestion should moderate their intake of this fruit.

Those with kidney disease would do well to avoid eating durian in large quantities. Given durian’s high potassium content, over-consumption could lead to hyperkalemia, a condition where the kidneys are unable to effectively excrete potassium.

Head over to Fruits.news for more stories about durian and other cancer-fighting fruits.

Watch this clip about 10 amazing health benefits of durian.

This video is from the Health with benefits channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Natural citrus fruit extract can activate cancer-killing cells.

The mighty BLUEBERRY, a superfruit with anticancer properties.

Calamansi fruit from the Philippines found to be a powerful anticancer food.

Eat more fruits: These 12 nutrition powerhouses are high in health benefits and low in calories.

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