Papaya is high in essential nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. In addition, the sweet, fleshy fruit contains papain, an enzyme that may help treat and prevent certain health conditions. Fermented green papaya has been the focus of research on treating chronic disease, such as diabetes and cancer.
Fermented Papaya Preparation
Most of the research on papaya uses fermented papaya preparation, or FPP. To make FPP, fresh papaya leaves and fruit are aged slowly over a few months, describes the Heart Spring website. The fermented substance is then dried and ground into a fine powder, which can be consumed by itself or added to food. The powder dissolves quickly when taken orally. Japanese scientists created FPP after noticing that people who consumed high amounts of papaya realized potential health benefits.
Free Radical Fighter
Fermented green papaya is high in antioxidants, according to the Heart Spring website. Antioxidants help to prevent damage done to cells by free radicals. Antioxidants donate an extra electron to the free radical, which helps stop the domino effect and prevent further free radical damage. Free radicals contribute to the aging process and the development of many different diseases. Eating a diet high in antioxidants, including fermented green papaya, can help to prevent or slow down free radical damage.
Fermented papaya may help to prevent diabetes mellitus. A study published in “Preventive Medicine” in 2012 examined the role of fermented papaya in the management of diabetes. Previous research had suggested that plant-based diets lower oxidative stress, which can contribute to diabetes or to complications of diabetes. Researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial in which they gave subjects FPP for 14 weeks. Those who consumed the fermented papaya had lower levels of C-reactive protein and uric acid, both of which are biomarkers of diabetes.
Researchers have examined papaya leaf extract as a substance with the potential for preventing cancer and tumor growth. Although researchers have not specifically tested fermented papaya, fermented papaya includes papaya leaves and has the same properties. In a study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology" in 2010, researchers found that papaya leaf extract inhibits the growth of tumor cell lines. Researchers used human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to determine how papaya affects tumor growth.
Fermented papaya preparation may have other potential health benefits. The study published in “Preventive Medicine” found that FPP may help those at risk of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as other conditions that are made worse by oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, notes the Heart Spring website, FPP may increase the production of interleukin, a protein that plays an important role in healing wounds and minor infections. FPP also helps the macrophage, a type of white blood cell, work faster to destroy bacteria, viral infections and free radical fragments.
- Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship: Effect of Proteolytic Enzyme and Fiber of Papaya Fruit on Human Digestive Health
- Heart Spring: Papaya - A Fountain of Youth
- Organic Authority: The Health Benefits of Antioxidants
- Preventive Medicine: Effects of a Short-term Supplementation of a Fermented Papaya Preparation on Biomarkers of Diabetes Mellitus in a Randomized Mauritian Population
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Aqueous Extract of Carica Papaya Leaves Exhibits Anti-tumor Activity and Immunomodulatory Effects