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Are lemons good for cancer?

It's no secret that lemon is a popular ingredient in many national cuisines. But it is no less in demand for medical purposes. Let's explore how beneficial this product is in preventing and treating cancer.

Why are lemons good for you?

Lemons are a low-calorie fruit that are low in carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals. Their super-healthiness is ensured by the presence of a huge amount of phytonutrients - plant compounds that improve health. One of the key components is vitamin C. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the pulp of one lemon contains 34 milligrams of this vital component. That is 1/3 of the daily norm.

The benefits of ascorbic acid have long been proven many times over. First, it is a powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage to human cells and DNA from free radicals (harmful molecules that are formed both inside the body and come from outside). Secondly, ascorbate is involved in tissue regeneration, the formation of collagen and other compounds needed by the body.
But lemon is not only useful for vitamin C. According to a review study published in January 2020 in the journal Plants, all parts of citrus fruits (pulp, juice, seeds, peel) are a source of many other antioxidants, such as:

Flavonoids (naringin, hesperidin and quercetin, etc.).
Phenolic compounds such as ferulic and sinapic acid.
Laboratory tests of these compounds show that they have excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Benefits of lemon for cancer

What is the connection between lemon and the fight against cancer? In laboratory studies, scientists studied the effects of various compounds found in lemons on cancer cells. It was found that some components of citrus fruits can inhibit the growth of certain types of tumor cells and even induce their apoptosis (death).

In particular, lemon contains two of the most studied antioxidants - naringin and hesperidin. According to a November 2016 study published in the journal Nutrients, they act as anti-cancer agents against cancers of the prostate, breast, stomach, liver, cervix, pancreas and colon.

It is important to note that these results come from controlled studies of cancer cells in the laboratory. There is no direct evidence that drinking lemons or lemon juice can kill or suppress tumor growth in the human body. Because, as a rule, the dietary patterns of large groups of people are studied to determine the connection between food and cancer risk. And as it turns out, those who frequently eat citrus fruits actually have a reduced risk of developing several types of cancer.

Another good example is a policy brief published in the May 2018 issue of the journal Pharmacological Research. It was compiled based on a comprehensive analysis of the results of 17 small studies examining the effect of citrus fruits on the risk of developing oral cancer. The conclusion is clear: those who ate citrus fruits in large quantities had a 50% reduced risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. But unfortunately, population studies do not show cause and effect, only association. Therefore, it is unclear what exactly influenced the reduction in the risk of morbidity: the fruit or some other factors.

Lemons and anti-cancer diets

The US National Cancer Institute warns that no food can prevent or cure cancer. But a combination of proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing the disease. Most oncologists recommend a diet high in fruits, vegetables and greens.

The founder of the Cancer Nutrition Center of America (CNA), Kim Dalzell, argues that plant-based foods are beneficial not only for cancer patients, but for anyone who wants to reduce the risk of developing cancer. According to him, “citrus fruits are rich in bioflavonoids, which help repair DNA, support immunity and reduce inflammation.”

However, for the sake of diet, you do not need to eat whole lemons or drink their juice. Citrus fruits can damage teeth or irritate the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat. The best way to include fruit in an anti-cancer diet is to add it to other dishes. For example, you can pour lemon juice over fish, add a little pulp to smoothies, and use the zest in baked goods, sauces or salads. It is not only tasty and beautiful, but also very healthy.


Lemons are really good for cancer, but they need to be used wisely. Better yet, consult a doctor for advice and to create the right diet. OncoCare Clinic 308 specialists are always ready to help you!

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Author of the article:

Aleksanyan Aleksan Zavenovich

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