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Lemons cure Cancer: One of the most viral health claims; some truth, some exaggerations

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Quick Take

“Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is stronger than chemotherapy” – this is one particular claim that keeps on resurfacing from multiple sources after every few months. While there were similar earlier claims credited to one ‘Dr. Gupta’ from ‘Maryland College of Medicine’, this particular post claims the same cure of cancer from ‘Institute of Health Sciences’. Similar messages have been shared by emails, forum posts and whatsapp messages at various point in time.
We investigated and found that while researches have shown that lemons (citrus juices) have beneficial effect on cancer, claims to chemotherapy with lemon juice is grossly exaggerated. We term it as mostly false.

The Claim

A section of the claim reads as below:
“Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.” A snapshot of the claim is given below and an archived version can be seen here.

A claim of similar nature, with credits given to some other doctor/research institute is also popular on social media. Archived version of one such post is here.

Fact Check

Does ‘Institute of Health Sciences’ exist in Baltimore? Have they issued such a statement?

There exist a Health Sciences Institute of Baltimore (We are assuming that this was the same organization referred to in the message since no other similar named organization exist in the region).

They have NOT issued the statement.

In a mailed response to multiple media houses, the Institute clarifies, “The email and information in question did not come from the Health Sciences Institute. Whoever started this scam email did use some of our published material – which had nothing to do with lemons in any way – and inserted the information about lemons. It is erroneous and has caused us a great deal of trouble. However, most troubling is that it is giving false or un-tested medical advice to people suffering with cancer. Perhaps citrus fruits have some anti-cancer properties or perhaps they don’t (I’m not qualified to speak on that), but the one thing I know for certain is the provided “source” of this information – the Health Sciences Institute – did NOT publish this information. We had nothing to do with this email or the information it contains.

Can Lemon water or hot lemon water cure cancer?

Dr. Manish Singhal, Senior Oncologist from Delhi and also a part of THIP’s review team puts it across as “It is a good habit to drink lemon juice with hot water. But if simply drinking lemon water can cure cancer or replace chemotherapy treatments, we would not have been required to spent so much on cancer research at all.” Listen to Dr. Singhal in the video below:

Are there medical researches on lemon and its effect on Cancer?

There are number of researches across the world have found anti-carcinogenic properties (elements that care prevent cancer) in lemon juice.

“The experimental results described above indicate that citrus limonoids may provide substantial anticancer actions. The compounds have been shown to be free of toxic effects in animal models so potential exists for use of limonoids against human cancer in either the natural fruit, in citrus fortified with limonoids, or in purified forms of specific limonoids,” reads the inference of one such research (Source)

There are similar researches done on Orange Juice (Source) and Medicinal Use of Citrus (Source) and initial results have shown some positive results.

However, most such researches are yet non-conclusive on human cells. As Dr. Manish Singhal puts it, “drinking lemon water is a good habit. It cannot hurt your body. But thinking that it can replace chemotherapy treatments or cure cancer completely is a dangerous exaggeration”

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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