Dr. McLaughlin continues telling his story about his life’s work on cancer research and the Paw Paw tree. He also said that Graviola, or Brazilian paw paw are other names for Paw Paw.
He said that Graviola extracts can vary widely in potency. He also said that Graviola is not really standardized in most commercially available products. Dr. McLaughlin also stated that Graviola is not as potent as the Paw Paw.
He spoke about the high number of active compounds in plants. He also spoke about the major complexity of the acetogenin molecules. He said that they have approximately 8 chiral centers, which leads to the fact that they can have up to 256 isomers (similar molecules differing only in their configurations).
Big Pharma companies only want to use one chemical because of the much simpler process of identifying plasma levels of one, as opposed to trying to identify 50 or more molecules from the Paw Paw plant. So just from a simple projection, 50 molecules times 256 possible isomers per molecule leads to about 12,800 possible molecules that would have to be analyzed, quantified and identified per test. This is simply too complex for modern studies.
My opinion is that it would appear that the different isomers and other less active molecules in the plant may have a synergistic effect, whereby the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” This means that the less active molecules may have some sort of action that improves the effects from the major active components. These interactions are probably not straightforward, and may be easily missed by researchers.