Claim: A Facebook user recently claimed that the consumption of unripe pawpaw can cure ulcer and reduce blood sugar.
Verdict: the claim is false. Researches show that unripe pawpaw contains a chemical called papain which can cause harm to the oesophagus when eaten, as such it is not safe for consumption.
A Facebook user recently posted a video of himself sharing some benefits of unripe pawpaw.
The video was captioned ‘Breaking news, unbelievable cure for ulcer, BP’ garnered 322,000 views and 7,000 likes with 5,000 shares.
In the video, the man could be heard speaking in Pidgin English saying, “This pawpaw will cure your diabetes and ulcer as small as it looks.”
He said if anyone has ulcer or diabetes and can chew the unripe pawpaw morning and night for three to four days, then it would cure it.
He further claimed that all a person needs to do is eat the pawpaw for a few days then visit the hospital to check their blood sugar and they will discover a miracle.
“I won’t chew it in this video because I am not diabetic anymore with the help of this pawpaw. When I started taking it, it made my blood sugar level so low that it led to a collapse,” he added.
There were a lot of comments under the post and most of them seemed convinced with his revelation.
In a bid to verify the authenticity of the claim, Daily Trust on Sunday carried out a search of some of the benefits of pawpaw on google and the result showed that some of its nutritional benefits include breaking down of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
For unripe pawpaw, several medical journals show it contained papain which can cause harm to the oesophagus. It also contains antioxidants and potassium.
A health website, WebMD, in one of their publications stated that “people use papaya for cancer, diabetes, dengue fever, HPV, and many other conditions, but there’s no good scientific evidence to support these uses.”
Similarly, a pharmacist and a dietician, Aisha Wakili, confirmed that the extracts of unripe papaya contain terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, glycosides, saponins and steroids.
“The cytoprotective and antimotility properties of the extracts may account for the anti-ulcer property of the unripe fruit.”
“Papayas contain high levels of antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. Diets high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of heart disease. The antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol oxidizes, it’s more likely to create blockages that lead to heart disease.
Additionally, papaya’s high fibre content may reduce the risk of heart disease. High-fibre diets lower cholesterol levels,” she added.
From the foregoing, it is evident that the claim that unripe pawpaw could reduce blood sugar and cure ulcers is false and misleading.
This Fact Check is produced in Partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)