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Quick Fact
While it is true that lemon juice contains some nutrients which can prevent cancer, it is not as good an anticancer food source as some other fruits such as strawberries and purple grapes.
Since January 2011, an email, allegedly forwarded by the Institute of Health Sciences, Baltimore, Maryland, has been in circulation throughout the world. It claims that lemon plant is a proven remedy against all kinds of cancer, and also that the consumption of lemon juice helps in curing tumors and cysts. Furthermore, one of the most exaggerated claims made in the email is that lemon not only kills cancer cells, but is also 10,000 times more effective in doing so, than chemotherapy.

Owing to the wide circulation of the email and some people actually believing in the information that it gave, the Institute of Health Sciences denied to have published any such text, and said that it did not make any extravagant claims with respect to the effects of lemon plant and/or juice in curing cancer.

Does Lemon Juice have Anti-Carcinogenic Properties?

The lemon fruit and its juice certainly possess numerous health and nutritional benefits. They improve immunity and rate of metabolism, aid in digestion, and also control blood pressure. Added to this, some substantial researches which have been conducted on the fruit and its juice have suggested that some of its contents possess strong anti-carcinogenic properties.

➨ According to the 'Encyclopedia of Healing Foods' by Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno, limonene, one of the phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemical compounds in plants), has been used in various clinical trials to dissolve gallstones. The results of these trials have shown that limonene indeed possesses some anticancer properties, however, only further in-depth researches may shed light on the degree to which limonene can help fight cancer.

➨ On 9 April 2005, Science Daily published a report on a research conducted by the scientists of the Agricultural Research Service in Northern California. Laboratory experiments revealed that limonoids, the phytochemicals present in citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, etc., help fight cancers of the mouth, lung, breast, skin, colon, and stomach.

➨ In 2000, the University of California, Davis, published a research paper titled, 'The Potential of Citrus Limonoids as Anticancer Agents'. Apart from stressing on the anticancer activities of the limonoids, the paper also spoke of vitamin C and flavonoids present in lemon and citrus juices as antioxidants, and mentioned how these can neutralize reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules that have high oxygen content), which can damage cells in the body and cause cancer and other chronic ailments.

It is important to note that though several studies are being conducted the world over, with respect to the properties of lemon and its juice to fight cancer, most of them are still in process with very few breakthroughs. There is no doubt about the fact that lemon juice has numerous medicinal properties, however, the research regarding whether or not it can actually fight cancer is still in its preliminary stages.

Lemon Juice and Cancer

Lemon juice with its antioxidant properties can definitely help prevent cancer to a certain extent if consumed on a regular basis. This, however, does not mean that its consumption would kill cancer cells which are already present in the body.

The actual effect of lemon juice on cancerous cells can only be understood when it is directly applied on them. Otherwise, when the lemon juice is consumed orally, it straightaway goes into the stomach and gets digested. In such cases, more often than not, it does not even come in contact with cancer cells, especially if they are not located in the stomach. Owing to this, there will be no effect, whatsoever, of lemon juice on the cancer cells.

In the absence of proven facts regarding how and to what extent lemon juice can fight cancer, it is definitely not feasible to completely discard traditional and more established treatments such as chemotherapy. While lemon juice can be a healthy addition to one's diet, it is always advisable to consult an expert medical practitioner, rather than depending on claims that do not possess a solid support.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a medical professional.