Siraitia grosvenorii, better known as monk fruit, has been used as a natural sweetener for quite some time. Now, this all natural sugar substitute is being touted as a powerful anti-cancer agent as well as having immense anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, and anti-allergic properties. Monk fruit studies have also yielded impressive results in regards to the treatment of additional serious and potentially life-threatening diseases and disorders including Epstein-Barr syndrome.
Unlike sugar, which actually encourages cancer growth, a substance found in monk fruit – triterpenoid glycoside – has been proven to prevent cancer, reduce the size of existing cancerous tumors, and inhibit metastasis. In fact, in a study regarding its impact on colorectal and throat cancer, scientists found that monk fruit was effective in triggering apoptosis – the spontaneous death of cancer cells.
Numerous researchers have concluded that triterpenoid glycosides regulate gene activity, reduce oxidative stress, and scavenge for free radicals, whereby controlling whether or not cancer is allowed to develop, grow, and/or spread.
Similar findings were revealed in a 2015 study, which concluded that the triterpenoid glycoside in monk fruit could be used, with great success, to treat leukemia. This is exciting news, considering that leukemia patients have only one other option – chemotherapy, which comes with a host of negative side effects. Scientists also note that leukemia patients are apt to develop a resistance to chemotherapy drugs, making them ineffective in the long run.
What Is Monk Fruit
On the outside, monk fruit looks similar to a brown-colored mango. It’s native to Southern China and North Thailand, and has been used in Asian countries for centuries, to improve health and for the treatment of a cold and flu symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, and fever.
While most fruit is sweet due to the fructose it contains, monk fruit derives its sweetness from mogrosides – a substance that is reported to be 300 times sweeter than processed sugar – yet it contains zero calories and has a score of zero on glycemic index, making it the ideal choice for those with blood sugar issues, such as diabetics.
The best thing about monk fruit, however, is the fact that there are no negative side effects to the consumption of this fruit or its derivatives.
The Perfect Sugar Substitute
Monk fruit sweeteners can be found just about everywhere nowadays, but beware of products that contain additional ingredients which have been found to be detrimental to your health, primarily dextrose.
Most other monk fruit sweeteners contain the safe alternative, erythritol – a natural sugar alcohol which is fermented, and is naturally found grapes, pears, and mushrooms. Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol does not appear to cause diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Some believe that this is due to the fermentation process.
Just as with sugar, there are white and brown monk fruit sweeteners available. The white product yields a flavor that is extremely similar to white sugar, while the brown product provides a taste akin to brown sugar or molasses. Both can be used for the same purposes as sugar – for baking and to sweeten foods and beverages.