Studies have not established the effect of pineapple on breast cancer


Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a good source of vitamin C and manganese and also contains some thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, copper and fiber. Pineapple also contains quercetin, and various flavone-3-ols, flavones, and cinnamic acids. Pineapple has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antithrombotic properties. Pineapple has a relatively low micronutrient content compared to most other fruits and for the most part contains only low levels of compounds that have been associated with lower risk of breast cancer. However, pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, a mixture of proteolytic enzymes, which has been reported to have anti-cancer activities.

Cancer-related effects of eating pineapple

Bromelain, which is found both in the fruit and the stem of the pineapple plant, has been shown to have proapoptic, anti-invasive and anti-metastatic properties. Most of the bromelain used in studies has been extracted from the stem, which may have somewhat different chemical characteristics than the bromelain found in pineapple flesh. Bromelain has been shown to inhibit the growth of human melanoma cells in the laboratory. Bromelain treatment has also been found to inhibit mouse skin cancer development, apparently by modulating cancer-related cell signaling cascades. In one experiment in which mice were implanted with various types of human tumor cells, bromelain administration was found to increase survival of mice with leukemia, Ehrlich ascitic tumor, lung cancer, and breast cancer, but not melanoma. Feeding with bromelain as part of the diet has been shown to reduce lung metastasis in mice implanted with lung cancer cells. Bromelain has also been shown to reduce glioma cell adhesion, migration, and invasion.

There have been no population studies that show an association between pineapple consumption (which is high in some countries) and risk of breast cancer.

Additional comments

Pineapple-drug interactions, especially cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated interactions, may cause an enhancement or reduction in the efficacy of prescription drugs. Pineapple should not be consumed during chemotherapy.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on pineapple.

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Selected breast cancer studies

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