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Posted on Mar 11, 2019, 9 p.m.

This favorite fruit, leading seller, and mainstay for slapstick comedy is more than meets the eye. Bananas have a relationship with humans going back thousands of years that affects both mind and body.

Bananas are a starch rich fruit, with a complex biochemistry and unique pharmacologically active ingredients that have been scientifically characterized. They contain dopamine and norepinephrine catecholamines adrenal hormones that are the same as the ones released in the body during fight or flight responses; it is believed the plant uses the biosynthetic pathway for catecholamines when under stress of attack to fend off infectious pathogens. Some varieties excrete a form of serotonin in their sap, and biomedical literature mentions discovery of the NSAID drug naproxen with banana cultivar Musa acuminate.

While in their green state bananas contain starches that are resistant to digestion that have been studied in combination with pectin to significantly reduce intestinal permeability and fluid loss in those with bouts of diarrhea; even without pectin green bananas have been found to hasten recovery of acute and prolonged childhood diarrhea managed at home in rural Bangladesh.

Banana powder has been studied for prevention of ulcer formation; banana powder treatment has been found to strengthen mucosal resistance against ulcerogens and promote healing by inducing cellular proliferation. Within the unripe banana the flavonoid leucocyanidin is an anti-ulcer compound that has been identified as particularly effective against aspirin induced erosion.

Peels have been found to suppress testosterone induced prostate gland enlargement. Bananas may also provide a protective effect against loss of skin elasticity, helping to reduced UV-B light skin damage.

In animal studies water extract of banana stem extract has been found to suppress formation of oxalate associated kidney stones; based on their findings researchers concluded it may be useful in treatment of patients with hyperoxaluric urolithiasis.

Flower extract has been found to have antioxidant and blood sugar lowering effects in type 1 diabetic models. Roots extracts have been found  to contain blood sugar lowering properties similar in efficacy to the drug glibenclamide. Green unripened bananas also contain starches resistant to hydrolysis beneficial to those who are diabetic.

Compounds within bananas have demonstrable anti-MRSA activity, anti-HIV replicative activity, and anti-leishmanicidal activity following metabolic transformation by fungi. Plant leaves are used in India during care of patients with toxic epidermal necrolysis and other blistering disorders that can result in sepsis in the absence of treatment.

Just as other foods grown in massive monocultures without crop rotation they are a pesticide intensive crop which concerns the body as to what agrochemicals the body is exposed to as well as the planet being carpet bombed with the toxicants as well. Eventually all the pesticides used in conventional farming will make it back up into the food chain whether you choose to eat organic or not.

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