Lemon for Cancer Treatment - Useful or not?
Anytime someone reports some amazing facts about something that can cure cancer, we tend to ask more questions.
Some have claimed that the active chemicals found in lemon can cure cancer.
But killing cancer cells in a test tube with lemon extract does not directly translate to a cure in a human suffering from cancer.
Hardly. As much as we wish that this is always the case, this is rarely the case.
Read on to find out what we know about the active anti-cancer substances found in lemon...
There is some preliminary evidence through research studies to show that citrus juice (such as orange and lemon juice) may be useful in cancer treatment.
Studies completed at the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station showed that many citrus fruits contain active substances called limonoids that are able to stop certain types of cancer cells (neuroblastoma) from growing.
Dr. Harris, who did the research with Dr. Patil, showed that one of the major benefit of citrus compounds is that there are no side effects. Dr. Harris was quoted to have said that, "unlike other anti-cancer drugs that are toxic, limonoids apparently do not hurt a person. That's the beautiful potential."
Dr. Patil considers citrus fruits to hold potential to act as "anti-carcinogens" in stopping cancer cells in their track. He has successfully isolated and purified several of these limonoids for scientists to study further.
How fast did limonoids worked to cause the neuroblastoma cells to die? Within 48 hours.
And this was achieved with just a very low concentration (5 micromoles) of the limonoids.
What is the challenge right now? Limonoids are not in high concentrations in these citrus fruits so a way needs to be found to concentrate them.
It's not just limonoids that works. Flavonoids found in citrus fruits are shown to stop cancer cells as well.
Scientists are determined to find out exactly how these active substances work against cancerous cells.
There are three known ways to prevent or cure cancer.
First, and perhaps the easiest (in theory) is to prevent the cancer cells from forming.
This is the ideal situation since then you will never have to worry about needing a cure.
Second, we can slow down the growth of the cancer cells that exist in our body. This will extend a person's life significantly and perhaps allow the person to eventually pass away due to old age instead of cancer!
Third, and the best way for a complete cure, is to kill all the cancer cells completely without ever harming any of the healthy cells in our body.
Here's what they found out about how certain limonoids found in citrus fruits work:
Antioxidant properties - Limonoids seem to possess antioxidant properties to stop the damage caused by oxygen free radicals. Some studies show that it is as effective as using vitamin C. This is why experts suggest using antioxidants for everything from stopping cancer to slowing down the aging process.
Apotosis - Limonoids seem to cause cell death via apotosis, a type of programmed cell death designed to protect the entire organism. Think of it as a suicide mechanism. Cells exposed to limonoids undergo apotosis rapidly.
It's far too early to suggest focusing on eating lemon for cancer treatment.
There are no clinical studies to suggest that it would help.
No doubt, drinking one or more glasses of citrus juice daily is good for your overall health but to say that it could cure cancer is taking too far a leap of faith.
Further studies will be needed to find out exactly how much a person really needs to drink to get all the cancer prevention benefits from limonoids and flavonoids.
Following a diet high in citrus fruits and citrus juices, such as lemon juice, may prove to be useful in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
But it's better to increase your intake of citrus fruits as a group and not just take lemon in excess.
Other recommendations on cancer prevention?
Cancer Prevention Tips is a quick article that gives you some useful and simple tips for reducing your chances of developing cancer.
In addition, the article Natural Remedies for Cancer outlines many supplements used by herbalists and naturopathic doctors in the treatment and prevention of cancer.
Indeed, there are quite a few herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements used by people around the world for the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer.
See the article below for a comprehensive list of natural remedies for cancer that you may want to consider using.