Cactus juice may help reduce risk for cancer, says Da-ming Zou, lead author for a study published in Nutrition Journal. It may someday be used as a natural alternative to chemoprevention of cancer, in which chemical agents are used to ward off cancer among high-risk populations. Chemical agents are expensive and have numerous undesirable side effects. Cactus juice may be a good alternative because it can inhibit cancer cell growth and slow tumor growth, says Zou. Cactus works just as well as a synthetic retinoid that’s being used in chemoprevention trials, Zou says, but he notes that more study is needed to confirm this benefit and the mechanism by which the cactus works.