Does it really work to use lemon juice for cancer prevention and cure?
There is a lot of discussion about the use of various fruit juices for the prevention and treatment of cancer. One reported claim is that lemon juice is 10,000 times more potent than conventional anti-cancer drugs currently in use. Really?
Is this a fact or just a myth? As the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
First off, citrus fruits (examples include lime, orange, grapefruit and Noni juice) are a rich source of potent antioxidants. We know from cancer cell cultures and animal studies that the active chemicals found in a lemon have anti-cancer effects.
The second article Lemon for Cancer - Part II just talks about research studies done on humans.
But in this article, let's first look at studies conducted in lab cell cultures and animals models...
What chemicals are found in lemons and limes that give them such reported cancer cell killing power?
Limonoids and flavonoids. These two groups of chemicals have been shown to partially stop the growth of ovarian cancer cells and to cause breast cancer cells to die. This benefit was reported in a 2001 study.
In another study, extract of lime juice was tested on pancreatic cancer cells. The researchers showed that it was able to kill of the cancerous cells.
The researchers conclude that the anti-cancer effects come from the presence of these potent antioxidants.
Here's the reference to the study:
Is this anti-cancer benefit limited to just lemon juice? Not so. Indeed, it appears that many citrus fruits offer similar anti-cancer benefits as good as lemon juice.
In another lab study, citrus fruits extracts (over 34 were used) were shown to stop the growth of several types of cancer cells. Here's the reference to the study:
Noni juice (Morinda citrifolia) seems to show anticancer benefits in animal studies as well. Here's the reference to this study:
In the above study, the two researchers Wang and Su found that the chemicals in Noni juice worked in two ways to prevent cancer.
First, these chemicals are antioxidants so they reduce damage to DNA (the genetic material) caused by oxygen free radicals.
Second, they also prevent the DNA from attaching itself to cancer-causing substances (carcinogen-DNA adducts).
And even grapefruit juice is shown to prevent damage to the DNA molecules in mouse exposed to a conventional anticancer drugs.
Here's the reference to this particular study:
Many people focus on just using lemon juice for cancer prevention and treatment. However, from many scientific research studies done on cancer tissue samples and on animals induced with cancer, it seems that many types of citrus fruits possess anticancer benefits.
Even mandarin juice, a rich source of anti-cancer substances, reduced the number of the lung tumours in mice induced lung cancer. Here is the reference to this research study:
In another study done by the same group of researchers, mandarin juices also had the same anti-cancer benefits towards colon cancer cells in mice.
So for skeptics, there are a substantial amount of tissue culture experiments and animal studies to show that citrus juices contain useful anticancer chemicals that can help in the treatment of a variety of cancer. (See Lemon for Cancer - Part II for the studies done in humans.)
No doubt, all of the researchers in these studies do recommend for additional studies to be done in humans before a strong recommendation can be made for using lemon juice for cancer prevention or treatment.
OK, enough talk about research studies done in a test tube in a lab and in mouse induced with cancer.
Where are the real clinical studies done in men and women? The bad news is that there are absolutely none published.
Studies done in population are suggestive that a diet high in citrus fruits does reduce the risk of all types of cancer. But these studies cannot identify any specific fruits.
As one person commented, do you need to drink one glass or one hundred gallons of lemon juice a day to reap the benefits? This is why clinical studies are needed; to determine the correct dose to use.
This is where our second article Lemon for Cancer talks about such human research studies.
There are many herbs, vitamins and supplements around the world that people use for the treatment and prevention of cancer.
See the revealing article below for remedies for cancer that you may want to consider.