Pearls can now be of help in treating cancer

Cyril Roger Brossard

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2012
As seen here.

Published: Thursday, Jul 19, 2012, 18:07 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Pearls rich in essential minerals can help treat killer diseases like cancer, a leading scientist has claimed.

In a series of experiments by Ajai Kumar Sonkar at the Pearl Aquaculture Research Foundation in Port Blair, pearls produced through special culture technique have been found to contain traces of several metals and minerals which are known to have major health benefits.

"We have produced the pearls in a controlled environment in the lab in most aseptic conditions. They are found to contain traces of metal and minerals such as zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium and potassium," Sonkar said.

"These micro-nutrients are essential for various body functions such as metabolism, growth and immunity. Of them, zinc has been found to be playing a major role in preventing fatal diseases like cancer," he told PTI.

A study, published recently in the British Journal of Cancer, has also established zinc's anti-tumour role that prevents the growth of cancer cells.

Other studies have also found that zinc deficiency in the body causes delayed healing of wounds. It is also found to play a leading role in weight loss, help decrease the severity and duration of cold and several other illnesses.

According to Sonkar, they have produced pearls from four different species of pearl oysters. "The bio availability of zinc in the pearls can be exploited to help treat several diseases."

For scientific analysis, the scientist had sent samples of pearl powder to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's Central Institute of Fisheries Technology in Cochin, which established the pearls do contain all the mentioned metals and minerals.

Now, Sonkar wanted to carry out a comprehensive clinical test to find out health benefits of the specially cultured pearls.

"I have already been approached by some prestigious laboratories from abroad and a workout process is going on," he said and hoped that "some miraculous result to counter the notorious diseases could be found, if a comprehensive clinical analysis is conducted".

In the pearl culturing operation, one to three-years-old oysters undergo surgical implantation, known as seeding, in which mantle issue is taken from the donor oyster and grafted in the recipient oyster along with the nucleus.

Then these oysters are kept in laboratory condition for healing, after which they are transferred to the sea placed in the cages where they remain six months to two year for pearl formation. The oyster can produce more than one pearl in its life time by taking good care of it, including regular cleaning of the outer shell to remove seaweed.

Additional information:

Dr. Ajai Kumar Sonkar is a Researcher/Scientist and the the Principal Investigator of the research mission in the field, he initiated activity with freshwater pearl culture, and transited activities to marine pearl culture with high success that astonished the world science community.
Dr. Sonkar has been awarded with Honorary Doctor of Science of Poorvanchal University, Jaunpur by the Governor U. P.

Appointed as a life time Honorary Professor in ?Dr. J. C. Bose Institute of Life Sciences?, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi.
Well, pearl powder or Chen Chu Fen, in chinese has always been used as tonic/medicine by the chinese. Though most of their pearl powders are fresh water pearl oysters. The article doesn;t state which species of oyster, does it make a difference? I bet it does, their nacre looks different meaning it should be different types of minerals contained.
Yes you are correct the species would matter, further more either an ion chromatography for the most common (Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Ammonium, Lithium…) or a spectrophotometric analysis (for the trace metals) would provide an accurate image of the composition of either continental or seawater.

I feel that the concentration of certain metal may affect the color and luster of the pearls, this is after all purely optical and mainly governed by the layers of conchiolin, some metal may affect the wavelength thus effecting the visual appearance of the pearl itself.

Kindly remember that whatever trace metal found in a pearl is also found in the medium may it be seawater or freshwater.
So if you farm pearls near a mining site, chances are that the water may be unbalanced and ipso facto would be whatever lives in said waters.

What may be of interest is to clarify if they are referring to MOP powder or Pearl Powder, those are two different things… Although the composition may be close, the density of a pearl is lower that the density of MOP, hence ∆ of [conchiolin].

Let’s once again be reminded that the accuracy of the report is affected by the comprehension of the writer. Claims of “legendary benefits of pearls for promoting health, beauty and even reversal of aging” isn’t new.
This is snake oil version 2.0 -Even if there was conclusive proof that zinc prevented cancer, pearls are hardly the most efficient method of supplementing the body.Zinc is found in a lot of very common foods and pure zinc is dirty cheap at any health food store. Notice they also state the pearls contain "traces" of essential minerals, in other words, very little.
Sometimes things have to appear here in order to debunk them. Ground pearls providing health and beauty treatments abound. I think it is just financial incentive hype to get rid of the really bad pearls instead of letting them rot.

Remember the "feed a pearl to a chicken to polish it up", thing? Chicken do have crops with little stones that grind corn into a powder, but one would have to kill the chicken and remove the pearl from the gullet as it will never pass through the chicken until it is ground to a powder. Theoretically it might have ground the surface layer off the pearl, but it would be a highly inconsistent way to polish a pearl.

Also, one could theoretically feed chickens scores of little pearls instead of oyster shell. It would probably provide about the same amount of calcium to the chicken's egg shells as the oyster shells do.
Sometimes things have to appear here in order to debunk them. Ground pearls providing health and beauty treatments abound. I think it is just financial incentive hype to get rid of the really bad pearls instead of letting them rot...
Powdered nacre holds infinitesimal components that may be beneficial (for specific ailments that is, and NOT proven medically), this said it is a long way to say that it is a cure-it-all and production cost would be astronomical as well.