Papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya plant, native to Central and South America. Papaya is traditionally used as a remedy, in fact, the fruit is rich in polyphenols, lycopene and tocopherol, powerful antioxidant substances, and exhibits anticancer, immunostimulating, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. All these properties are enhanced in fermented papaya, a food that counteracts the damage of free radicals (Logozzi et al, Cancers, 2019). So let's try to understand what exactly fermented papaya is, how it is obtained and its properties.
Fermented papaya, preparation
Fermented papaya is produced by following a long process that can last up to ten months. During this time, papaya undergoes fermentation by some types of fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae (Fujita et al, PLoS One, 2017).
Fermented papaya, properties
This preparation increases the properties of fresh papaya, especially as regards its antioxidant and digestive action, since compounds like vitamins, such as vitamins of group B, A and C, mineral salts, such as calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium, and antioxidants are more concentrated and the presence of proteolytic enzymes such as papain increases. These enzymes degrade proteins so that they can be digested (Logozzi et al, Cancers, 2019). Fermented papaya fights free radicals and modulates the action of the immune system. Not only that, this supplement is also a powerful anti-aging, it acts by protecting the brain and can help in case of digestive tract problems but also in case of diseases in which oxidative stress plays an important role, such as neurodegenerative diseases, hypertension, and diabetes (Logozzi et al, Cancers, 2019 - Murakami et al, Nutr Neurosci, 2018). In fact, a study was conducted on patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a degenerative disease associated with an increased production of free radicals and a reduced ability to repair tissue damage. What emerged after 6 months of taking fermented papaya was that oxidative stress, and therefore the risk of cell damage, had been significantly reduced (Barbagallo et al, Mediators Inflamm, 2015). It was also shown that after ten months of taking fermented papaya the length of the telomeres of the bone marrow had increased (Lagozzi et al, Antioxidants, 2020). Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes and protect genes from erosion following DNA replication. However, a shortening of telomeres occurs with each cycle. This is the normal cellular aging process. Therefore, it is clear that longer telomeres also mean a higher longevity for the cell and therefore for the body.
Fermented papaya, intake, warnings and risks
Fermented papaya is considered generally safe and well tolerated, even in the elderly (Mankowski et al, J Frailty Aging, 2018). You can purchase fermented papaya as a supplement in sachets, capsules, or tablets. However, the most common form are the sachets whose content is poured into the mouth under the tongue in order to maximize assimilation. Fermented papaya supplements can be found in herbalist’s and chemist’s shops and online. Although fermented papaya has no particular side effects, do not take this supplement if you have an allergy to the fruit. Not only that, also pay attention if you have to keep your blood sugar under control and / or are taking hypoglycemic drugs as fermented papaya results in a reduction in blood sugar, especially in the evening, and this therefore could cause interactions with medicines (Danese et al , Clin Ter, 2006).