Quick Navigation

Prickly Pear Fruit

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.

Our evidence-based analysis on prickly pear fruit features 15 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Prickly Pear Fruit

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

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.

Get trusted answers to health questions that matter to you

Getting an Examine.com subscription makes it easy for you to stay informed and understand the latest nutrition research.

If you’re overwhelmed by all the possibilities of supplementation and want step-by-step instructions on what supplements to take (how much, when, and in what combinations), then the Examine.com Supplement Guides are perfect for you.

Your support keeps us 100% independent, so that we never have a conflict of interest.


How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

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.

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Other Functions:

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Opuntia ficus-indica, Cactus Pear Fruit, Sicilian Prickly Pear, Prickly pear, Nopal cactus

  • Prickly pear supplementation may be underdosed, as benefits in studies are typically seen with the fruit measured in 'grams'. If a capsule gives a milligram dosage, it may be too small to matter

  • Prickly pear supplementation seems to have very different effects depending on whether you are healthy versus diabetic/hyperlipidemic

Get our free 5-day course on the essentials of supplementation.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. That's why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who have learned about effective versus overrated supplements, tips for buying supplements, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 15 references.