Passion fruit juice contains many phytochemicals including carotenoids (zeta-carotene, prolycopene, violaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene) and polyphenols (p-hydroxybenzoic acid, syringic acid, chlorogenic acid, p-coumaric acid, flavonoid glycosides). The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-cancer effects of phytochemicals found in passion fruit juice. The anti-carcinogenic affect of passion fruit juice was tested with the BALB-c 3T3 cells.
In one test the cells were treated with the carcinogen benzo[alpha]pyrene, washed with sterile buffer and then cultivated in medium to which passion fruit juice extract was added. Only levels of passion fruit juice extract which showed no cytotoxicity were used (0.05% and 0.005% passion fruit juice extract). When passion fruit juice extract (0.05%) was added there were significantly fewer foci and the size of the foci were smaller.This could have been caused by the increased rate of cell death or a reduction in cell proliferation.
Another test was carried out with MOLT-4 cells. Passion fruit juice extract did not change the cell cycle kinetics but was able to increasing the activity of caspase-3, an enzyme that causes cell apoptosis. These beneficial effects were observed at levels of phytochemicals which could be obtained in the plasma after consumption of passion fruit juice.
Source: Rowe CA, Nantz MP, Deniera C, Green K, Talcott ST, Percival SS. Inhibition of neoplastic transformation of benzo(alpha)pyrene-treated BALB-c 3T3 murine cells by a phytochemical extract of passionfruit juice.. J Med Food. 2004 Winter;7(4):402-7