Lemon Cure for Cancer - Exaggerated claims or does it really work?
There is a widely circulated message on the internet that the use of lemons can kill cancer cells and that it is 10,000 more potent than chemotherapy. It claims that it is a proven remedy against all types of cancer.
It appears to originate from the Institute of Health Sciences located in Baltimore, MD. However, a spokesperson from the Health Science Institute of Baltimore (and not the Institute of Health Sciences) said that it did not come from them.
We have revealed some of the laboratory and animals research studies on the effectiveness of citrus fruits (which include lemons) in killing cancer cells. See the article Lemon Juice for Cancer.
As well, some population studies show that a diet high in citrus fruits seem to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. See the article Lemon for Cancer for that particular discussion.
Read on below for just a quick summary on the research discoveries on what the active ingredients found in lemons (and other citrus fruits) could do to cancer cells.
And also as important, we will outline what we don't know yet about using lemon for cancer prevention or treatment.
Here is a list of some statements made by health organizations and research groups on the benefits of lemon for cancer treatment or prevention.
All of the results come from studies done in cancerous tissue cultures in lab settings and some small animal studies.
It is difficult to translate these results to potential benefits on human subjects. In other words, positive benefits seen in animals studies does not always translate to similar positive results in humans.
But here's what is known so far...
Research done by Texas Agriculture Experiment Station researchers show that limonoids found in citrus fruits can kill cancerous neuroblastoma cells in a culture in 48 hours.
A report from the University of Florida EDIS website reports that flavonoids from citrus fruits show antiviral and anti-cancer effects. It also has reduces inflammation on blood vessels and seem to lower high cholesterol.
Limonoids in low concentrations seem to be effective in stopping cancer cells from growing, including human breast cancer cells.
Limonoids seem to cause apoptosis, a process by which the body's own system causes the cancer cell to commit suicide in order to protect the entire organism.
These limonoids have antioxidant properties to stop the damaging effects of oxygen free radicals. These highly reactive substances are very harmful to healthy cells and can cause damage that may make them cancerous.
No organization could claim that lemons, which contain limonoids and flavonoids, could be used to prevent or cure cancer in humans. The clinical studies are just not currently available to show this.
Here are some unanswered questions that researchers are working on to find out:
A very important question is how much lemon, or more specifically the active substance limonoids are needed to treat (or prevent cancer) in humans? Do you need to eat a lemon a day or one hundred to get the required active cancer-killing substance to the cancer cells?
Also, since there are many different forms of limonoids, which form should we use? Or do we need to use all of them at the same time?
Does the limonoids that are absorbed into our bloodstream actually get to the cancer cells in sufficient quantity for it to kill the cancer cells?
It's easy to soak the cancerous cells in a solution containing limonoids in a lab setting. You can't do that for a mass of cancer cells inside of a person.
Researchers have suggested that the body can absorb limonoids from the citrus fruits that we eat but studies will need to be done to confirm this.
Perhaps to get the needed amount of limonoids to the cancer site, we may need to inject it directly into the tumour mass?
The lab and animal studies are very promising. This will encourage research organization to consider clinical trials to verify this benefit in patients with different types of cancer.
There are many herbs, vitamins and supplements around the world that people use for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
See the article below for a comprehensive list of natural remedies for cancer that you may want to consider and investigate more.
Current lab and animal studies show that the active ingredients in lemons seem to cause certain types of cancer cell to die. (See Lemon Juice for Cancer.)
Population studies showed a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer in people who have a diet high in citrus fruits and vegetables. (See Lemon for Cancer.)
However, the studies don't show which specific types of citrus fruits but rather refers to the entire group as a whole.
There is no evidence that using lemon can cure cancer.
Is Lemon 10,000 stronger than conventional chemotherapy?
There is no evidence anywhere to suggest that this is true. Someone just made it up. It is a hoax.
Would we suggest using lemon for cancer prevention or treatment?
No. We will recommend focusing instead on a diet high in all types of citrus fruits. If drinking lemon juice is what you like, that's just fine but don't expect it to help.
How much lemon juice or lemons will I need to eat?
No one really knows. Our best guess is that it is unlikely to make any difference with just several glasses of this citrus juice daily, even if it is over decades.
Eat as much as you can tolerate and enjoy. After all, this will become a new lifestyle. Like exercise, you don't just do it once and it's done with. You'll be doing this for the rest of your life.
Do you have any other recommendations on cancer prevention?
See Cancer Prevention Tips for ideas on cutting your risk of cancer down.
Also check out article Natural Remedies for Cancer to find many other supplements can be used to battle this disease. Some have small clinical trials done while most of them are results from lab and animal studies.
Revised: April 5, 2012