We hear more and more about fermented foods: created to meet conservation needs and spread all around the world, this kind of foods, especially in the East, are considered a real natural remedy to support the body.
However, this is not a way of treating food that is so far from European gastronomic culture: foods treated in this way are, for example, yogurt, table olives and sourdough. Today a renewed interest is dedicated to fermented foods precisely by virtue of their properties.
In phytotherapy the queen is certainly the fermented Papaya. Papaya is native to central areas of South America. Its beneficial properties are many: in particular, it contains an enzyme, papain, which promotes digestive process. It is also rich in Vitamin C and a lot of antioxidants, such as Selenium, flavonoids, carotenoids. These compounds protect cells from free radicals, responsible for tissue aging.
In addition to fresh fruit, the traditional use of papaya as a fermented extract is now consolidated. It is obtained from ripe green fruits since, in this state of ripeness, Papaya contains more active ingredients. The fermentation process contributes to increasing the content in antioxidant principles, thus obtaining an even more effective mix in fighting cellular aging induced by free radicals.
Several scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate fermented Papaya efficacy on immune system and antioxidant properties. Although the compounds responsible for these actions have not yet been identified, it is known that a daily intake of fermented papaya brings numerous benefits to the body.
Some of these studies have demonstrated a strengthening of the immune system and a decrease in some inflammatory factors (e.g. TNF-α), as well as an improvement of some systems dedicated to the protection from oxidizing agents (free radicals).
Marotta F, Chui DH, Jain S, et al. Effect of a fermented nutraceutical on thioredoxin level and TNF-alpha signalling in cirrhotic patients. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents 2011; 25(1): 37-45.
Marotta F, Weksler M, Naito Y, et al. (2006). Nutraceutical supplementation: effect of a fermented papaya preparation on redox status and DNA damage in healthy elderly individuals and relationship with GSTM1 genotype: a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1067, 400-407.
Murakami S, Eikawa S, Kaya S, Imao M, Aji T. Antitumor and immunoregulatory effects of fermented papaya preparation (FPP: SAIDOPS501). Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2016; 17(7): 3077-84. [PMID: 27509932]