Though not a miracle cure for cancer or digestion problems, the herbal supplement called Okra Pepsin E3 is marketed to cleanse your bowels and even treat some cancers. However, the research to support these claims is nonexistent, and the health benefits of the supplement are unclear. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplement to treat any condition.
As a plant, okra has many health benefits. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber may lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, while insoluble fiber keeps your intestinal tract healthy, which may decrease your risk of colorectal and other cancers. Okra contains essential vitamin B-6, folic acid, vitamin A, calcium and potassium. However, by taking okra powder in a capsule form, you are missing out on the dietary fiber benefits of whole okra as well as the small amount of protein it contains.
Okra Pepsin E3 caplets contain pepsin, a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins in food. Although some believe that taking Okra Pepsin E3 will help break down excessive food waste in their systems, taking pepsin could actually be dangerous, as it is a component that forms gastric ulcers. According to The New York Times Health Guide, pepsin reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to form ulcers. Having too much of this powerful enzyme in your digestive system could spell trouble.
In 2008, the Federal Trade Commission cracked down on companies offering alternative cancer therapy products, charging them with making unsupported claims that their products cure or treat cancer. One of the companies charged with bogus marketing was Jim Clark’s All Natural Cancer Therapy, which promoted Okra Pepsin E3 as a cancer treatment. No evidence exists to support the theory that Okra Pepsin E3 or other herbal supplements can treat cancer.