Researchers need to conduct more studies with human subjects to obtain definitive data, but guanabana nectar, also known as soursop, may slow cancer cell growth, decrease resistance to cancer-fighting drugs and suppress inflammation, according to SFGate. Other potential benefits include inhibiting growth of viruses, such as the herpes virus, and combating parasites. The nectar's component that scientists have studied most is annonacin. One can of guanabana nectar provides about 36 milligrams of the fatty compound.
Results of a 1997 study of compounds from guanabana showed they were up to 250 times more effective than certain chemotherapy drugs in destroying laboratory-cultured breast cancer cells. In another laboratory study, guanabana fruit extract inhibited the herpes virus, explains SFGate. People should not consume large amounts of guanabana nectar as science has not developed recommended dosages of the plant extract. People who ingest excessive amounts may experience neurological symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease due to the reticuline and coreximine content in the fruit and extract.
Soursop fruit, from the graviola tree, is a fleshy, sweet, high-carbohydrate fruit covered in a bitter green rind, notes SFGate. Popular in South America, guanabana is rich in vitamin C; several B vitamins, including thiamin; phosphorus; calcium; and iron. Herbalists use graviola tree leaves and fruit as a fever, pain and stomach distress reliever and to treat breathing problems. Other people use the fruit to make ice cream.