Prickly Pear Cactus Antioxidant Effects And Other Medical Benefits

1853 Words8 Pages
Crystal Farley
April 10, 2017
Desert Ecology
Prickly Pear Cactus Antioxidant Effects and Other medical benefits Prickly pear cactus is the common name of many different species in the genus Opuntia and the species within can be less than one foot tall up to seven feet tall. This cactus has large fleshy pads, and very large spines (2). These edible plants have potential health benefits that have been explored in some research. These plants have been shown to have antioxidant properties, and organ protective qualities, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of these properties can be beneficial for humans because these issues affect all people at some point in their life. The studies examined in this paper will examine the
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The fruits used to compare the compounds were different in color, one contained purple fruit, and the other contained orange fruit. Both fruits had similar antioxidant activity, but the purple variety had more active components. The active components in this fruit give prickly pear cactus the antioxidant qualities that can benefit the body in ways that other fruits can. Another study that was performed examined different prickly pear juices to examine potential antioxidant effects. The juices picked were the most frequently consumed varieties: red-purple, white-green, and yellow-orange. Methods used determined in vitro effects which only give a rough estimate of in vivo effects, but it was determined that the compounds and how they interact give a better idea of how much of an antioxidant the fruit is overall. In this study the researchers treated mice with a chemical that caused oxidative stress, and given prickly pear juice in order to counteract the effects of the oxidative stress. Blood analysis was used in order to examine the amount of protection the prickly pear juice had given to the mice. The results determined that the red-purple colored juice was a better antioxidant than the white-green and yellow-orange varieties indicating that the antioxidant properties may be due to the polyphenols the juices contain since the red-purple variety is

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