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People With These Medical Conditions Should Avoid Eating Papaya

Papaya is a well-known fruit available worldwide, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. The fruit is loaded with vitamins like A, C, B and E; minerals like potassium and magnesium; phenolic compounds like beta-carotene, glucosinolates and tocopherols; along with folate, dietary fibres and pantothenic acid. [1]

All these compounds provide an abundance of health benefits. Also, not only the papaya fruit, but papaya seeds, raw papaya, papaya leaves, papaya oil and papaya powder benefits people in many ways. However, this superfood is not healthy or 'SAFE' for all people. Some people like pregnant women or those with ailments related to the kidney, liver or skin can experience certain side effects due to some phenolic compounds present in the fruit.

In this article, we will discuss who should avoid consuming papaya. Take a look.

1. Pregnant women

Papaya, especially ripe or semi-ripe papaya, when consumed in excess could cause unwanted abortion. Raw papaya has an abundance of latex, which is known to trigger uterine contractions, which in turn, can lead to miscarriage. However, a minimal or small amount of the papaya may not do any harm, as said by experts. [2]

2. People with liver impairment

Studies say that papaya helps recovery from toxic effects on the liver caused due to certain drugs and reduce damage to the organ. However, some studies have also mentioned that papaya leaves can increase the levels of GGT, ALP and bilirubin enzymes that usually indicates active liver diseases due to haemorrhage and inflammation. Therefore, people with liver impairment should avoid or reduce the intake of papaya or consult a medical expert about its consumption. [3]

3. People with irregular heartbeat

People with irregular heartbeat conditions such as tachycardia can experience worsening of their condition due to papaya consumption. A study has shown that papaya contains low amounts of cyanogenic glycosides, an amino acid that can produce hydrogen cyanide in the human digestive system. [4] Though a small amount of the compound is quite unharming to people with heart diseases, excess of it can be harmful. [5]

4. People with hypothyroidism

Cyanogenic glycosides not only affects the heartbeat but may also interfere with iodine organification in the body and cause worsening of symptoms in people with hypothyroidism. However, this was observed only in people who have had excess papaya consumption. [6]

5. People with allergies

The health benefits of papaya are mainly known for its active enzymes papain and chymopapain. However, some studies mention that papain can cause allergic sensitisation and lead to allergic symptoms, especially in people who are exposed to the dust of papain due to their occupational which is related to the same. Some of the symptoms due to papain allergy include rhinitis and eye itching. [7] Therefore, if you are already suffering from any kind of allegies, papaya can aggravate the condition.

6. People with kidney stones

Papaya has an abundance of Vitamin C. According to the USDA, 100 g of papaya contains 60.9 mg of vitamin C. Though vitamin C is a great antioxidant and plays a vital role in maintaining the robustness of the immune system, too much vitamin C can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones or worsen the symptoms in people already with the condition. [8]

7. People with diarrhoeal problems

Papaya is a great laxative and a rich source of fibre which is excellent for gastrointestinal health. However, excess laxative and fibre may have adverse effects on the stomach and instead of treating stomach problems like constipation and indigestion, it may lead to diarrhoea and bloating.

8. People with urticaria

Also known as hives, urticaria is a type of allergy triggered due to certain foods, medicines or irritants that result in symptoms like itching, inflammation or more severe reactions. Papaya contains latex proteins, a potent allergen that could trigger urticaria by releasing histamines and other inflammatory cytokines in the body. Therefore, people with urticaria should avoid its consumption. [9]

9. Men who want to have children

Papaya is a well-known natural contraceptive for women, however, in males too, papaya can cause certain contraceptive issues. A study has shown that papaya, especially papaya seeds have spermicidal properties that can cause reduced sperm motility and quality, if consumed in excess amount. It can also decrease the sperm count in men. Therefore, men whose partners are trying to get pregnant should refrain from having papayas. [3]

10. People with hypoglycemia

People with hypoglycemia or low blood sugar should avoid eating papaya. This is because papaya has anti-hypoglycemic or glucose-lowering effects and is tend to benefit people with diabetes. However, when consumed by people who already have low blood sugar, the fruit tends to reduce glucose levels extensively and can lead them to symptoms like confusion, shakiness and a fast heartbeat.

11. People with anaphylaxis

Some anecdotal studies say that active enzymes like papain and chymopapain in papaya can induce certain reactions like anaphylaxis occasionally in people. Therefore, people who have this condition or have already experienced anaphylaxis due to o other allergens must avoid consuming papaya as papain, along with latex in the fruit can trigger the same reaction. [10].

To Conclude

If you really like the fruit and if you have any of the aforementioned conditions, it is good to consult a medical expert to know more about how to include papaya in your diet.

Read more about: papaya latex allergy papain
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