Prickly Pear Fruit

Last Updated: September 28 2022

Pricky Pear is a pear from the cactus family, and the fruit has been used traditionally in South American and Mexico for treating high cholesterol and diabetes; limited studies at this moment in time suggest it may have therapeutic, but not preventative, potential.

Prickly Pear Fruit is most often used for


Prickly Pear, or Cactus Pear fruit, is a fruit of the Cactaceae (Cactus) family that is commonly used in Southern America, Mexico, and Spain as an edible plant.

It seems to show benefit in usage against the state of diabetes and high blood cholesterol, but its benefits seem only therapeutic. Interventions with healthy persons do not show the same benefit as with diabetics, suggesting that usage of prickly pear as preventative medicine may be misguided.

What else is Prickly Pear Fruit known as?
Note that Prickly Pear Fruit is also known as:
  • Opuntia ficus-indica
  • Cactus Pear Fruit
  • Sicilian Prickly Pear
  • Prickly pear
  • Nopal cactus
Dosage information

Recommended dosage of Prickly Pear Fruit is the whole fruit, typically 200g or above. It is unsure what dosage of prickly pear supplements should be at this moment in time.

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1.^Butera D, Tesoriere L, Di Gaudio F, Bongiorno A, Allegra M, Pintaudi AM, Kohen R, Livrea MAAntioxidant activities of sicilian prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) fruit extracts and reducing properties of its betalains: betanin and indicaxanthinJ Agric Food Chem.(2002 Nov 6)
3.^Stintzing FC, Herbach KM, Mosshammer MR, Carle R, Yi W, Sellappan S, Akoh CC, Bunch R, Felker PColor, betalain pattern, and antioxidant properties of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) clonesJ Agric Food Chem.(2005 Jan 26)
5.^Ibañez-Camacho R, Meckes-Lozoya M, Mellado-Campos VThe hypoglucemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha studied in different animal experimental modelsJ Ethnopharmacol.(1983 Mar)
7.^Andrade-Cetto A, Wiedenfeld HAnti-hyperglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha LemJ Ethnopharmacol.(2011 Jan 27)
8.^Frati-Munari AC, Gordillo BE, Altamirano P, Ariza CRHypoglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire in NIDDMDiabetes Care.(1988 Jan)
9.^Frati AC, Xilotl Díaz N, Altamirano P, Ariza R, López-Ledesma RThe effect of two sequential doses of Opuntia streptacantha upon glycemiaArch Invest Med (Mex).(1991 Jul-Dec)
10.^Frati AC, Gordillo BE, Altamirano P, Ariza CR, Cortés-Franco R, Chávez-Negrete A, Islas-Andrade SInfluence of nopal intake upon fasting glycemia in type II diabetics and healthy subjectsArch Invest Med (Mex).(1991 Jan-Mar)
15.^Ahmad A, Davies J, Randall S, Skinner GRAntiviral properties of extract of Opuntia streptacanthaAntiviral Res.(1996 May)