Saturday, June 16, 2012
Green Papaya for Uric Acid Problem (with Comments from Dr JB Lim)
The blogger received the following email from a friend offering a cure for uric acid or gout problem:
Just try it if you've got uric acid after all no harm done. This is a really effective, just mix green papaya cubes to the ordinary green tea, my cousin-brother tried and found it very effective.
I have also shared with a friend with gout to try this (his "toe joints" started to deform), after a week of drinking this formula there is significant improvement, and after two weeks the toe joints heal and revert to normal state.
It is almost three years now, the joint pain is gone, but he maintains the intake between 1-3 times monthly to avoid relapse. Other friends suffering from years of gout problem have also recovered.
It is good for all, even those without gout. Good formula! Do share with the people in need!
An improved sequence by Professor Lai from the China School of Pharmacy:
place into the water,
bring to boil,
then add tea leaves, similar to the tea-making process.
Clinical tests show that this brings better effects for treatment of gout, subject to frequent drinking of this formula.
Mr. Liu Qing, Chief of the Rende Town in Tainan, was suffering for years from severe stomach pain around the posterior wall of stomach.
He used green papaya *as a tea pot* to prepare the family tea daily, after a month, his chronic disease condition was much improved. His family members with high uric acid were also healed by the same papaya tea.
For this Mr. Liu planted a lot of papaya to share with relatives and friends with similar sickness.
According to Mr. Liu, in selecting the green papaya as tea pot, pick those the shape of which is fat and short, with larger capacity.
Cut off the top part of the papaya, clear away the seeds, open a small hole at the upper side wall to facilitate pouring of tea.
Create a small ventilation hole at top cover, put in the tea leaves, pour in boiling water, place the top cover back onto the papaya, you may also use the toothpicks to secure the top cover.
Similar to normal process of preparing tea.
He was pleasantly surprised that the stomach pains he suffered for many years was healed after a month of drinking tea from the green papaya pot, without taking any other medication.
He passed some green papaya leaves to a friend who worked at a Medical Center to test and analyse the content.
The tests confirmed that the healthy enzyme present in papaya is beneficial to human health.
Now as papaya in Mr. Liu's orchard is yielding suitable size fruits, he would share the fruits with family and friends. Xu Fuchang, an experienced papaya farmer, said green papaya means unripe papaya, where the skin is still green in colour.
Generally, the papaya takes about four months to fully mature and ripen, but the healing effect would be lost after it is fully ripe.
Green papaya should be harvested when the papaya is approximately three months old, when the fruit is still firm, and the "papaya milk" contains high papaya enzyme and other healthy ingredients. Not only the green papaya can be used in tea drinking, you may also cut them into cubes, and boil with the ribs, or even slicing the green papaya into fine long pieces and fried with garlic, very tasty, and no adverse effects on the human body.
(Courtesy of forwarded mail from Khor Kean Kar)
The blogger found a similar report in Chinese from the internet as follows:
Another report is found in the investigation on the claim of Green Papaya boiled with tea leaves being able to cure uric acid problem as reproduced below:
對於前面提及傳統觀念認為青木瓜能健胃的說法，我們也找到一些現代資料作佐證。農委會「木瓜主題館」網站資料中，顯示木瓜有清理腸胃、減少胃腸病發生的作用；聯合新聞網「青木瓜／豬腳同燉 有助泌乳 未必豐胸」一文裡，台北醫學大學附設醫院營養師李青蓉也表示，從營養學角度來看青木瓜富的白色乳汁，含有膠質與纖維質，膳食纖維有助健胃整腸，而青木瓜本身含有的纖維也有助排便，對胃腸吸收有所幫助。
I do not say the action of papaya against gout is rubbish. I only wish to say I do not know. I have no knowledge about this. Theoretically there may be a possibility because I notice the words ‘green papaya’ were used.
The latex contains a substance called ‘papaya proteinase’ or ‘papain’ which can also tenderize meat because of its proteolytic action against proteins in softening and digesting it.
It is the high levels of uric acid in the blood, clinically called ‘hyperuricemia’ depositing usually into the joints of big toes (but not always necessary) and other joints in the fingers and elsewhere, that gives rise to pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the clinical presentation of gouty arthritis.
Proteolytic Enzyme in Raw Papaya:
Papain in green, raw papaya, in the latex and seeds may help to reduce the ‘clinical effect’ of hyperuricemia, namely tenderness, swelling redness and pain. But this does not imply that it has reduced the levels of uric acid in the blood which is the real cause.
Treating a symptom is not a cure:
In short, raw papaya may have treated ‘the effect’ (symptoms) of hyperuricemia, but it still may not have treated the ‘root causes ’ which normally is the result of eating purine-rich foods like ikan bilis, sardines, organ meat, beans, peas, bayam and spinach, mushrooms, etc.
So a patient with gout may still have high uric acid in his blood even after consuming raw papaya even though he may not suffer from pain.
Masking a warning symptom is a danger:
Hiding the swelling and pain with any drug or with green papaya is a real hidden danger to a patient because suppressing the pain rather than getting rid of the real root causes caused by eating the wrong foods (briefly listed above), being overweight, being a male, and on certain medication like aspirin that blocks the normal excretion of uric acid through the urine.
If a patient merely suppresses the symptoms of gout with pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and green papayas, he is actually putting himself in danger. This is because without the pain as a warning symptom, his uric acid continues to rise without control and he does not realize it because there is no more pain.
The accumulated and rising uric acid not just get deposited in the joints, but also into the muscles and other organs as well, the worse of which, it gets deposited into the kidneys and block its function, and damage the kidneys.
This is a real danger if we suppress the cause (the pain) with drugs and green papaya without wanting to treat the root causes such as bad nutrition and eating habits.
Only research can tell:
The only way to find out is by investigation through medical research. If green papaya is really effective in removing the cause (high uric acid), then we need to conduct a study on this over a large population on those with clinical gout and hyperuricemia.
We divide a population with gout into two groups – the test and control groups. We standardize them by age, gender, body weight, ethnic groups, dietary and food intake, medical history and current medications, and all other confronting factors, etc, etc.
We then give one group green papaya and / or with green tea, and the other group without any green papaya. We then monitor their response by looking at their serum uric acids levels over time, and also their clinical dose-related response to papaya. We can also do a switch-over (cross-over) study on the two groups without compromising the numbers and study design. It may be a short, random cross-sectional study, or even a very long term longitudinal cohort study.
After the data has been collected, the researchers give them to a biomedical statistician to analyze and interpret the results. But the most important thing is not the data collected, but the study design which must be flawless from the very beginning itself so that there is no criticism in the study such as the selection of the study group, the population size, how we divide them, etc, etc.
Only using a well-designed study over a very large population (the larger, the better) can we know whether or not green papaya has any therapeutic effect on gouty arthritis? At the moment we (I, especially) do not know.
Biochemical parameters, not just clinical:
We need to look at the biochemical levels of serum uric acid most importantly, and not just the clinical signs and symptoms. I have already explained that papaya enzymes like all other analgesic drugs (pain suppression drugs) may have pain suppressing actions on the symptoms, but this does not mean papaya has ‘cured’ the patient. The uric acid may still be high even with high consumption of green papaya.
Normally for the treatment of acute gout, we start off with cocochine (actually a herbal medicine) every hourly or 2-hourly initially until diarrhea set in. We then follow cocochine up with 50 – 100 mg of Allopurinol. Giving Allopurinol straight away may cause the gout and pain to suddenly flare up even more. Start off with cocochine first, then only gives Allopurinol for maintenance.
It may be necessary to take Allopurinol for a year or so until no symptoms (or signs) of gout appear within that year of treatment. A lot of water has to be drunk with allopurinol to ensure the uric acid is flashed out in the urine, and not get stuck inside the meshwork of tubules inside the kidneys as urate stones.
Even with this treatment regime, we cannot guarantee the gout will not flare up again. The only way is to control purine rich, and uric acid-rich foods. It is part of a nutrition therapeutic program. This regime is the best way, and not just swallowing synthetic Allopurinol or eating natural green papayas or drink its papaya juice. Take care of your food first, not swallow drugs. Food is your medicine.
No knowledge again:
Again, I have no knowledge on the effects of green papayas on gout without research findings. Other than what I have explained here, I really do not know if green papaya can ‘cure’ gout. Only a well-designed and un-bias study can tell.
In short, high uric acid, and the disease is still there even if we take green papaya plus green tea. It has not gone away, except the warning symptoms.
This is a serious warning from me never to mask the symptoms of any underlying disease, but always treat the root causes. Once the root causes are removed, the disease automatically disappears as the body begins its natural process of healing, and is permanent short of dying of other causes.
This is the only way.
Nutritionist, Physician and former Medical Researcher