How Paw Paw Works Against Cancer Cells
In order to understand how paw paw works, it is helpful to be familiar with a little biology on human cells. It is also recommended that you watch the video animation on paw paw if you have not already done so. It may take a couple of times watching it to catch everything, but it should help your comprehension of the material.
Simple Cell Biology and ATP Production
Simply put, cells need energy to live, survive, and multiply–no real surprise. After all, we know that we must give our bodies energy in the form of food in order to live. During the digestion process, the food begins to be broken down and put into a form that eventually can be utilized by the cells in our body. One result of this process is the formation of blood sugar, or glucose. As blood travels throughout the body, the cells absorb the life-sustaining glucose. All cells need it, but some need more than others and are thus “high-users.”
The cell has some special molecules on its exterior that transport glucose from the blood into the cell–appropriately called “glucose transporters.” However, at this point, the process is not done. The cell must then convert the glucose into usable electrons–in other words, usable energy. There are a couple of different processes that the cells use to accomplish this, but the vast majority of the metabolism (energy conversion) that takes place is through the mitochondria of the cell.
The mitochondria resides on the interior of each cell. Actually, each cell has hundreds or thousands of them. (On the picture, the mitochondria are the “sausage-shaped” structures on the interior of the cell walls.) As noted earlier, their primary purpose is to take glucose and oxygen and use it to produce the energy that the cell needs. The energy that is produced is called adenosine tryphosphate, or ATPfor short.
In general, cancer cells fit the profile of “high users” of ATP. In fact, some studies indicate that they need anywhere from 10-17 times as much ATP as a normal cell in order to survive and multiply. Thus, if the ATP that is produced by the mitochondria of the cancer cells can be somehow controlled or reduced significantly, those cells can be negatively impacted, hopefully making them die off.