DRAGON FRUIT

OTHER NAME(S):

Belle de Nuit, Belle of the Night, Buah Naga, Cactus triangularis, Cardo-Ananas, Cato-Barse, Cereus guatemalensis, Cereus trianglaris, Cereus tricostatus, Cereus trigonus, Cereus undatus, Chaca, Chacam, Chak-Wob, Cierge-Lezard, Condorella Plant, Dachenfr Skogskatus, Distelbirn, Distelbirne, Distelbrin, Dragon Pearlfruit, Echte Stachelbrin, Echtestachelbrin, Flor de Calis, Flor de Caliz, Hylocereus guatemalensis, Hylocereus undatus, Junco, Junco Tapatio, Moonlight Cactus, Night Blooming Cereus, Noble Woman, Nopal, Orijona, Panani O Ka, Paniniokapunahou, Papipi Pua, Pitahaya, Pitahaya Dulce, Pitahaya Fruit, Pitahaya Orejona, Pitahaya Roja, Pitahaya Rouge, Pitajava, Pitajaya, Pitaya, Pitaya Fruit, Pithaya Orejona, Pithaya Roja, Pithaya Rouge, Pitjaya, Poire de Chardon, Queen of the Night, Red Pitahaya, Red Pitaya, Reina de la Noche, Rod Pitahaya, Rud Pitahaya, Strawberry Pear, Tasajo, Thanh Long, Tuna, Zacamb, Zunlongguo.

Overview

Overview Information

Dragon fruit is the fruit of a kind of cactus that grows in dry areas of South America. Usually the skin of the dragon fruit is red and the pulp is red or white. Dragon fruit is sometimes used as medicine. The fruit is also popular as a food.

Dragon fruit is used for diabetes, prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Dragon fruit can be eaten raw or made into wine, juice, spreads, or desserts. The flowers are sometimes eaten as a vegetable or made into a tea.

In manufacturing, the peel of the fruit is used as food coloring and as a thickener.

How does it work?

Dragon fruit contains chemicals which act as antioxidants. These compounds might help protect the body.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diabetes. Some early research shows that taking dragon fruit does not lower blood sugar levels in most people with type 2 diabetes. But more research is needed to see if higher doses might be beneficial.
  • Prediabetes. Early research shows that dragon fruit can lower blood sugar levels in most patients with prediabetes. Higher doses seem to be most effective.
  • Cancer.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Obesity.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other uses.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dragon fruit for these uses.
Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Dragon fruit is LIKELY SAFE when eaten as a food. There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking dragon fruit as medicine is safe or what the side effects might be. Some people might be allergic to dragon fruit.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if dragon fruit is safe when used in medicinal amounts when pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Diabetes: Dragon fruit might lower blood sugar levels. If you take dragon fruit, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Surgery: Dragon fruit might interfere with blood sugar control. Stop taking dragon fruit at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for DRAGON FRUIT Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of dragon fruit depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for dragon fruit. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Anand Swarup KR, Sattar MA, Abdullah NA, Abdulla MH, Salman IM, Rathore HA, Johns EJ. Effect of dragon fruit extract on oxidative stress and aortic stiffness in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Jan;2(1):31-5. View abstract.
  • Gregoris E, Pereira Lima GP, Fabris S, Bertelle M, Sicari M, Stevanato R. Antioxidant properties of Brazilian tropical fruits by correlation between different assays. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:132759. View abstract.
  • Gunasena HPM, Pushpakumara DKNG, and Kariyawasam M. Dragon Fruit Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) Britton and Rose. Underutilized fruit trees in Sri Lanka. New Delhi, World Agroforestry Centre (2007): 110-142.
  • Kleinheinz A, Lepp U, Hausen BM, Petersen A, Becker WM. Anaphylactic reaction to (mixed) fruit juice containing dragon fruit. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Oct;124(4):841-2. View abstract.
  • Luo H, Cai Y, Peng Z, Liu T, Yang S. Chemical composition and in vitro evaluation of the cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of supercritical carbon dioxide extracts of pitaya (dragon fruit) peel. Chem Cent J. 2014 Jan 3;8(1):1. View abstract.
  • Ortiz TA, Takahashi LS. Physical and chemical characteristics of pitaya fruits at physiological maturity. Genet Mol Res. 2015 Nov 19;14(4):14422-39. View abstract.
  • Ortiz-Hernández YD and Carrillo-Salazar JA. Pitahaya (Hylocereus spp.): a short review. Comunicata Scientiae 3.4 (2012): 220-237.
  • Perez G RM, Vargas S R, Ortiz H YD. Wound healing properties of Hylocereus undatus on diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 2005 Aug;19(8):665-8. View abstract.
  • Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Paw NJ. Effect of dragon fruit on glycemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017;12(9):e0184577. View abstract.
  • Song H, Chu Q, Xu D, Xu Y, Zheng X. Purified Betacyanins from Hylocereus undatus Peel Ameliorate Obesity and Insulin Resistance in High-Fat-Diet-Fed Mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Jan 13;64(1):236-44. View abstract.
  • Song H, Zheng Z, Wu J, Lai J, Chu Q, Zheng X. White Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus) Juice Attenuates Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 25;11(2):e0149670. View abstract.
  • Suh DH, Lee S, Heo do Y, Kim YS, Cho SK, Lee S, Lee CH. Metabolite profiling of red and white pitayas (Hylocereus polyrhizus and Hylocereus undatus) for comparing betalain biosynthesis and antioxidant activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 27;62(34):8764-71. View abstract.
  • Tel-Zur N, Abbo S, Bar-Zvi D, Mizrahi Y. Genetic relationships among Hylocereus and Selenicereus vine cacti (Cactaceae): evidence from hybridization and cytological studies. Ann Bot. 2004 Oct;94(4):527-34. View abstract.
  • Wybraniec S, Mizrahi Y. Fruit flesh betacyanin pigments in hylocereus cacti. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):6086-9. View abstract.
  • Xu L, Zhang Y, Wang L. Structure characteristics of a water-soluble polysaccharide purified from dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) pulp. Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Aug 1;146:224-30. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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