Can Lemons Cure Cancer?

Netlore Archive: Is lemon a proven cancer remedy?

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A forwarded email circulating since 2011 claims the humble lemon is a "miraculous product" that kills cancer cells and has been proven "10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy."

Email text contributed by P.B., March 14, 2011:

Lemon - kills Cancer Cells

A must-read - The surprising benefits of lemon! I remain perplexed!

Institute of Health Sciences
819 N. L.L.C. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 1201.

This is the latest in medicine, effective for cancer!

Read carefully & you be the judge.

Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.

Why do we not know about that? Because there are laboratories interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge profits. You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon juice is beneficial in preventing the disease. Its taste is pleasant and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy. How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so as not to jeopardize the beneficial multimillionaires large corporations? As you know, the lemon tree is known for its varieties of lemons and limes. You can eat the fruit in different ways: you can eat the pulp, juice press, prepare drinks, sorbets, pastries, etc... It is credited with many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on cysts and tumors. This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types. Some say it is very useful in all variants of cancer. It is considered also as an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world, says that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that: It destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas ... The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better than the product Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world, slowing the growth of cancer cells. And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect healthy cells.

Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Cause Street, Baltimore, MD 1201

SEND TO EVERYONE ... ! ! ! ! !


While it's true that recent scientific studies have shown that lemons and other citrus fruits contain compounds which may have anti-carcinogenic properties, I've found nothing in the medical literature to support the wildly exaggerated claims above — the claim that lemons are "a proven remedy against cancers of all types," for example, or the claim that lemons are "10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy."

Nor have I found evidence to support the statement that these claims originated from "one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world."

A representative of the Institute of Health Sciences told me the organization did not publish the text, was not the source of the claims, and indeed, as an allied health school isn't in the business of providing medical information to the general public.

What the Actual Research Says

Several substances occurring naturally in citrus fruits have been found to have cancer-fighting potential in scientific studies, of which the two most promising appear to be limonoids and pectin.

Limonoids, a class of natural compounds found mainly in the skin and seeds of citrus fruits, are being studied as both a preventative and a treatment for cancer. For example, research has shown that particular limonoids can inhibit the spread of breast cancer cells in vitro. Further research is needed to determine their clinical effectiveness in human beings.

Modified citrus pectin, derived from the natural pectin found in the pulp and peel of citrus fruits, has been shown in animal and in vitro studies to reduce the metastasization of cancer cells. Again, further research is needed to prove their clinical effectiveness in humans.

It goes without saying that lemons and other citrus fruits are nutritious and health-promoting in myriad ways, so while the jury may still be out on exactly how and to what extent they're effective in preventing and treating cancer, they should certainly be regarded as an essential component of a healthy diet.

See also: Can Asparagus Cure Cancer?

Sources and further reading:

Modified Citrus Pectin Anti-Metastatic Properties
Carbohydrate Research, 28 September 2009

A&M Professor Focuses on Citrus for Cancer Prevention
The Battalion, 6 July 2005

The Potential of Citrus Limonoids as Anticancer Agents
Perishables Handling Quarterly, May 2000

Modified Citrus Pectin
Nutrition Review (date unknown)

The Citrus Cancer Beaters
BBC News, 23 March 1999

Lemon - Pharmacological Uses, 2009

Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk
Stanford Cancer Center, 2011