What is Papaya Fruit Extract?
The papaya fruit was first cultivated in southern Mexico (x). It can be eaten raw or cooked and contains antibacterial properties. It’s sweet to taste, but it’s also great for supplementation. The papaya fruit extract is made from pure papaya.
In addition to being tasty, the fruit is highly nutritious for humans. Papaya contains a number of antioxidants, flavonoids and enzymes that are extremely beneficial to the body. It’s rich in choline, lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, copper, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, B (folate), E and K. It’s easier for our bodies to absorb both lycopene and beta-carotene from papayas than from other food sources (x).
Technically, vitamin E is a collection of eight different fat-soluble vitamins, including tocopherols and tocotrienols (x). Vitamin E is a key antioxidant and is involved in numerous bodily functions, including heart and immune system health (x). Vitamin A is also known as retinol, and retinoids (popular for various skin conditions) are vitamin A derivatives.
Benefits of Papaya Fruit
Due to the vast amount of minerals and vitamins in the fruit, papaya powder has many different uses.
Papayas are high in fibers, which expedite digestion. Fiber also binds to toxins that may cause cancer in the colon. It transports them away from healthy colon cells, thus possibly reducing the risk for colon cancer (x).
The enzyme papain, which is also known as a skin exfoliant, also aids digestion (x). The fruit has mild laxative properties and helps stimulate the bowels. Traditionally it effectively treats gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (x).
Since antiquity, papaya has been used for many different types of skin conditions. Mashing the fruit helps heal wounds and prevents infection on burned skin. It’s among the power plants that can be used to promote wound healing (x, x).
The vitamin A in papaya extract keeps hair healthy, as it’s necessary for the production of sebum, a substance that keeps the hair and skin moisturized (x). Inadequate amounts of vitamin A can cause sweat to accumulate in skin follicles, which causes acne (x). In addition, vitamin C promotes adequate collagen, which helps maintain the structure of our skin cells (x).
Two of the compounds in papaya — lutein and lycopene — reduce the amount of UV damage to the skin from the sun (x). These compounds keep skin vibrant and healthy. Folate (a B vitamin) is plentiful in papayas. It helps skin health and maintenance, in addition to supporting mental and emotional health (x, x).
Vitamin K in papayas also helps blood vessels maintain elasticity (x), further assisting in the treatment for rosacea and stretch marks. Copper also has antioxidant properties that can help maintain skin health and reduce skin aging (x).
Papaya supplements are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help prevent or reduce inflammation (x). Why is this important?
The body’s immune system activates in the presence of foreign substances. If the conditions persist, inflammation can lead to diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Anti-inflammatory compounds help reduce inflammation and decrease risks for diseases (x).
In some cases, chronic inflammation is associated with certain nutrient deficiencies. For example, inadequate levels of magnesium is often a major factor for chronic inflammatory diseases (x). Papaya fruit extract to the rescue! The fruit contains plenty of magnesium (x).
Papayas contain choline, which is an important nutrient for our bodies. It plays a vital role in muscle function and brain and nerve development, similar to magnesium. Without enough choline in the system, the body is at risk for fatty liver and other liver diseases (x). It benefits muscles, cells and nerve transmission, as well as reduces chronic inflammation. One study concluded that choline can help treat asthma, an immune inflammatory disease (x).
Because it has a high level of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, papaya shows promise for benefiting the immune system to fight cancer and other diseases (x).
Papaya is also an excellent source of copper (x), which is important for white blood cells. A copper deficiency can lead to more infectious diseases due to the body’s inability to fight off invaders (x).
Along with reducing stress and anxiety, papaya can help the body’s tissues function properly, assist in wound healing and strengthen the immune system (thanks largely in part to its vitamin C content) (x).
Papaya fruit extract can keep your ticker strong. Folate is a B vitamin and thanks to its heart-healthy properties, it can also reduce the risk of stroke (x). Supplements such as papaya powder rich in carotenoids (e.g., lycopene) help boost the antioxidant properties of the “good” cholesterol HDL, which can also help support heart health.
Potassium is another mineral in papayas that helps keep hearts healthy and builds and maintains muscle (x, x). In addition, it’s necessary for nerves to function correctly. It’s known to lower blood pressure, especially when it is balanced with sodium levels (x). Research also associates higher magnesium intake with lower risk for heart disease (x).
Age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s are characterized by memory deterioration, often triggered by oxidative stress and free radicals (x). Antioxidants can help fight free radicals in the body and may prevent or reduce oxidative stress and keep the brain healthy, fighting declination of gene expression (x). Vitamins E and K help neutralize these free radicals and research associates low levels of vitamins E and K with cognitive impairment (x, x). In addition to Alzheimer’s, it may also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease (x, x).
In addition to mental function, the vitamins in papayas can help support the body physically as it ages. According to research, vitamin E can also help slow down the progression of osteoarthritis (x).
Lycopene supplements may reduce tumor growth and reduce the risk of contracting various types of cancer, as well as protect patients from negative side effects from radiotherapy treatments (x). The antioxidant also lowers the risk of prostate cancer in young men (x, x).
Vitamin A, among other antioxidants in papaya extract, may possibly prevent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (x), according to a study. Another research project tested the ability of 14 fruits to prevent breast cancer cell growth and only papayas were significantly effective (x).
Other Benefits of Papaya
- PMS (x)
- Depression (x)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (AML) (x)
- Migraines (x)
- Reproductive health (x)
- Anxiety (x)
- Bone health (x)
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Papaya Fruit Side Effects
Papayas also contain enzymes called chitinases, which can cause a cross-reaction to latex in food. People with an allergy to latex may be allergic to papaya as well and it could trigger a dangerous reaction (x).
Unripe papaya may be harmful for pregnant women because it contains high concentrations of latex, which can trigger contractions and can induce labor (x).
Papaya Fruit Extract Dosage
Dosage for papaya powder is 1,000 mg (about ½ teaspoon) once or twice a day. The recommended dosage for papaya seed powder is 450 mg (¼ teaspoon) twice a day. To avoid digestive issues, take papaya seed powder in two-week cycles.
The Bottom Line
Papayas are rich in a number of nutrients that the human body needs to function at its best. It has choline, lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, copper, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, B, E and K.
Because there are so many different beneficial compounds, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that papaya helps protect the body from. Papaya fruit expedites wound healing, enriches the skin and heart and helps promotes mental health. Since the fruit or seed extracts are made from the pure fruit, they contain all the benefits in a supplement that may be easier to take — in a shake, smoothie or other types of food to eat on the go.