Papaya importer touting health benefits of the fruit
by | March 22, 2010
HLB Tropical Food USA Inc. is using a recent study by the University of Florida
to promote the health benefits of papayas.
HLB, which is based in Plantation, FL, and is among the bigger U.S. importers
of Brazilian papayas, is citing a study published March 9 in the Journal of
Ethnopharmacology titled "Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves exhibit
anti-tumor activity and immunomodulatory effects" to raise the awareness of
the fruit's health benefits, specifically the cancer-fighting properties of
A team of researchers led by Nam H. Dang found that the papaya leaf
concentrate and tea made of that extract inhibited the growth of tumors in
the lung, breast, pancreas, cervix and liver. The study even suggested that in
addition to its anti-cancer effects, the papaya leaf extract may contribute to
the treatment of several immune disorders.
"We are very excited about Dr. Dang's findings because they complement the
numerous existing studies that confirm the powerful health benefits of the
papaya - be it the leaf or pulp," Melissa Hartmann de Barros, director of
communications for HLB Tropical Food, said in a March 16 press release.
Dr. Dang's study shows that the papaya leaf extract increases the production
of Th1-type cytokines, which are molecules that help regulate the body's
immune system and which, as shown in the study, result in enhanced anti-
tumor benefits. Unlike conventional cancer treatments, the papaya extract
shows no toxic effects on normal cells and is therefore a possible future
treatment for certain types of cancer.
"It is very rewarding to receive confirmation of what we have been
emphasizing since we started working with papayas in 1992, that papayas
are not only delicious but also extremely healthy," Homero Levy de Barros,
president of HLB Tropical Food, added in the press release. "More and more
people are adding papayas to their diet in order to prevent ailments and stay
healthy, especially to balance out the effects of the processed foods we ingest