Pao pereira is an Amazonian tree native to northern part of South America, especially in Brazil, and belongs to the family Apocyanaceae. Decoctions, both aqueous and alcoholic, prepared from the stem bark are used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments including malaria, digestive disorders, constipation, fever, liver pain and cancer, and as sexual stimulants.
Studies done in vitro and in animal models using the bark extracts indicate antimalarial (1) and anti-nociceptive (2) effects, as well as anticholinesterase activity resulting in reversal of cognitive defects (3). This property is being explored as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (4).
The anticancer potential of P. pereira has also been investigated. In preclinical studies, the bark extracts demonstrated antitumor activity and also enhanced the effects of carboplatin in ovarian cancer cells (5); suppressed the growth of prostate cancer (6) (7); and pancreatic cancer cells along with potentiating the effects of gemcitabine (8). Clinical trials have not yet been conducted.
“P. pereira is marketed in supplemental form as an alternative anticancer treatment. However, the safety and efficacy have not been determined.” -Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
For more detailed, up-to-date information and research, it is suggested that you review the work of The Beljanksi Foundation. See below.
Over the last 20 years, The Beljanski Foundation has developed a research program with several high profile institutions to rigorously assess the anti-cancer potential of identified natural compounds, such as flavopereirine found in Pao Pereira.
Here are just some examples of their research publications.
November 2013 – “Pao pereira Extract Suppresses Castration- Resistant Prostate Cancer Cell Growth, Survival and Invasion Through Inhibition of NFkB Signaling”
by Cunjie Chang, BS, Wei Zhao, MS, Bingxian Xie, BS, Yongming Deng, BS, Tao Han, BM, Yangyan Cui, BS, Yundong Dai, BS, Zhen Zhang, BS, Jimin Gao, MD, PhD, Hongqian Guo, MD, PhD, and Jun Yan, PhD. Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 May;13(3):249-58. Doi: 10.1177/1534735413510557. Epub 2013 Nov 27 (University of Nanjing, China).
March 2013 – “Inhibition of Pancreatic Cancer and Potentiation of Gemcitabine Effects by the Extract of Pao Pereira”
by JUN YU, JEANNE DRISKO and QI CHEN
Oncology Reports Journal (doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2461)
(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Spring 2009 – “β-Carboline Alkaloid-Enriched Extract from the Amazonian Rain Forest Tree Pao Pereira Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cells”
by Debra L. Bemis, PhD, Jillian L. Capodice, LAc, MS, Manisha Desai, PhD, Aaron E. Katz, MD, Ralph Buttyan, PhD – Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, Vol 7, No2.
September 2013 – “The Plant Extract of Pao Pereira Potentiates Carboplatin Effects Against Ovarian Cancer” published by Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
Jun Yu, PhD, Qi Chen, PhD. – ISSN 1388-0209 print/ISSN 1744-5116 –
(University of Kansas Medical Center)
For additional research publications, click here.
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Morton Walker, D.P.M., is the author of 2000 clinical articles and 92 published books, 14 of which are bestsellers. Dr. Walker is the recipient of 23 medical journalism awards. His books are published in 14 languages among 28 countries.
Designated as “The World’s Leading Medical Journalist on Holistic Medicine,” he was presented with Humanitarian Awards by The American College for the Advancement in Medicine, The American Cancer Control Society, and The Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine.
In the book, we came across the following information that was quite intriguing:
“Pao Pereira fights all cancer cells. It, additionally, has no uncomfortable secondary side effect. The rain-forest grown Pao Pereira may be ingested both as a treatment and as a preventative measure. Since this botanical crosses the blood-brain barrier, Pao Pereira may increase the beneficial treatments for brain cancer or certain viruses. Beyond its anticancer activity, Pao Pereira strongly inhibits viruses.”
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The following references are provided by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on a webpage Last Updated Monday, December 8, 2014.
1. Mbeunkui F, Grace MH, Lategan C, et al. In vitro antiplasmodial activity of indole alkaloids from the stem bark of Geissospermum vellosii. J Ethnopharmacol. Jan 31 2012;139(2):471-477.
2. Werner JA, Oliveira SM, Martins DF, et al. Evidence for a role of 5-HT(1A) receptor on antinociceptive action from Geissospermum vellosii. J Ethnopharmacol. Aug 17 2009;125(1):163-169.
3. Lima JA, Costa RS, Epifanio RA, et al. Geissospermum vellosii stembark: anticholinesterase activity and improvement of scopolamine-induced memory deficits. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. May 2009;92(3):508-513.
4. Araujo JQ, Lima JA, Pinto Ada C, de Alencastro RB, Albuquerque MG. Docking of the alkaloid geissospermine into acetylcholinesterase: a natural scaffold targeting the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. J Mol Model. Jun 2011;17(6):1401-1412.
5. Yu J, Chen Q. The plant extract of Pao pereira potentiates carboplatin effects against ovarian cancer. Pharm Biol. Jan 2014;52(1):36-43.
6. Bemis DL, Capodice JL, Desai M, Katz AE, Buttyan R. beta-carboline alkaloid-enriched extract from the amazonian rain forest tree pao pereira suppresses prostate cancer cells. J Soc Integr Oncol. Spring 2009;7(2):59-65.
7. Chang C, Zhao W, Xie B, et al. Pao Pereira Extract Suppresses Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cell Growth, Survival, and Invasion Through Inhibition of NFkappaB Signaling. Integr Cancer Ther. Nov 27 2013;13(3):249-258.
8. Yu J, Drisko J, Chen Q. Inhibition of pancreatic cancer and potentiation of gemcitabine effects by the extract of Pao Pereira. Oncol Rep. Jul 2013;30(1):149-156.
9. Mbeunkui F, Grace MH, Lila MA. Isolation and structural elucidation of indole alkaloids from Geissospermum vellosii by mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. Feb 15 2012;885-886:83-89.
10. Hughes NA, Rapaport H. Flavopereirine, an Alkaloid from Geissospevrnurn oellosii. JACS. 1957;80:1604 – 1609.
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