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Did you know lemon has long been prescribed as a natural health remedy to cleanse and detox the body? Or perhaps you were one of the millions to receive a viral email that lemons are 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy at killing cancer cells?
For me, lemon has been an integral part of my diet long before receiving that email, but I must admit I stepped up my lemon use. I add lemon to my water in the morning. I always use lemon and olive oil for salad dressing and lemons are pretty much my condiment/marinade of choice. Other options include freezing lemons and grating them over salads or entrees for a zesty flavor and of course, I always use organic lemons and lemon juice. Remember if grating the skin/peel– you do not want your food contaminated by pesticides and when lemon juice is made, the entire lemon is thrown into the juicer so that whatever is sprayed on the skin ends up in the juice. The same goes for orange or any other type of juice!! However, do not judge me as obsessive because my over use of lemon is not all about cancer prevention. I happen to love the taste of lemons and lucky for me, they appear to be so healthy too!
Since the circulation of the infamous email, many have debunked the email’s exaggerated enthusiasm for lemons, but interestingly as most debunkers love to call anything naturally healthy a scam, (FYI even TEDx is now prohibiting anyone from lecturing on healing through food) the debunkers could only say there is no proof that lemons are 10,000 times stronger than chemo in fighting cancer. The debunkers like Snopes and Urban Legends or even The National Research Center for Women and Families acknowledged there is proof that Lemons and, in particular, limonoids, can kill cancer cells. Oh how I hope the doctor who rolled his eyes at me when I suggested lemons as a remedy for cancer reads this post! I am no way advocating ignoring any doctor given advice or cancer treatment, but adding lemons to the diet has ZERO downside and it seems tons of upside.
Here are various science based studies touting a lemon’s ability to kill cancer cells:
1. A research team from Texas A&M University just completed a study that investigated the anti-cancer properties of limonoids for the first time.
“Limonoids are special compounds found in lemons that are thought to be responsible for their healing benefits. The researchers found more than a dozen limonoids that they screened for their cytotoxicity (the quality of being toxic to cells) on human breast cancer cells.
Among the tested limonoids, 11 exhibited cytotoxicity on estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cells, whereas eight limonoids showed cytotoxicity against estrogen-receptor-negative cell lines.
There’s a test that can determine which type of cancer patients have. The test indicates whether cancer cells have receptors for the hormones estrogen or progesterone. The role of hormone receptors is to intercept hormone signals that tell cells to grow. If a cancer cell has receptors for estrogen, then these cells may receive signals from estrogen that could help them to grow. Conversely, if a cell has progesterone receptors, it could potentially grow by receiving signals from progesterone.
The role of hormone receptors is to intercept hormone signals that tell cells to grow. If a cancer cell has receptors for estrogen, then these cells may receive signals from estrogen that could help them to grow. Conversely, if a cell has progesterone receptors, it could potentially grow by receiving signals from progesterone.
The limonoids found in lemons were able to stop cancer growth in both estrogen-receptor-positive cells and estrogen-receptor-negative cells.”
2. A December 2004 Science Daily article reports:
“What Poulose found with the extracted limonoid was that the neuroblastoma cells died with relatively small amounts of concentrated limonoids and all in 48 hours or less.”
3. A May 2000 report out of University of California Davis about the potential of citrus limonoids as anticancer agents explains:
“The experimental results describe 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 . Although the initial studies are very promising , they have been conducted primarily with invitrocell culture and animal models. Thus , research is needed to determine whether the limonoids may be useful in preventing or treating cancer in humans .”
4. A report on the medicinal use of citrus published on the University of Florida EDIS website notes:
“Citrus flavonoids have potential antioxidant (prevents aging), anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activities, effects on capillarity, and cholesterol-lowering ability. The principal carotenoids in pink grapefruit are lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene-containing fruits and vegetables have been shown to contribute to a significant reduction in prostate and mammary cancer risk. Recent studies have further shown that limonoids inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cancer cells as well as reducing cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that, if ingested, limonoids may not be absorbed in the large intestine, and therefore could be distributed throughout the body, with beneficial effects.”
Lemons have been known for thousands of years to have many other benefits in addition to zapping cancer cells.
Check out this awesome list. I can’t verify each purported use, but bottomline, lemons are probably the most accessible fruit. Check your fridge. Chances are there is one at the bottom of your vegetable drawer. Why not integrate them into your diet and see how you feel? If you have cancer, seriously why not? And if you find them helpful for any reason, let us all know by leaving a comment. Do we really need a scientific study to prove to all of us something that we can decipher from our own trial and error?!!
16 Health Benefits of Lemons:
(an excerpt from Realfoodforlife.com)
1. Lemons are alkalizing for the body: Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.
2. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work against infections like colds and flues.
3. Your liver loves lemons: The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile” says Back to Eden Mr. Kloss. Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
4. Cleans your bowels: Lemons increase peristalsis in the bowels helping to create a bowel movement thus eliminating waste and bonus to help with being regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink after you Drink your two to three cups of Water First Thing in the Morning .
5. Scurvy is treated by giving one to two ounces of lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours. In 1747, a naval James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day. This is where the English got their nickname Limeys. Pirates used to eat Lemons to save them from the dreaded scurvy!http://youtu.be/2HYUaLiNPxE
6. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
7. Vitamin C in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.
8. The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
9. In India Ayurveda medicine values the lemon as a fruit and for its properties. It is sour, warm, promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent.
10. It destroys intestinal worms.
11. When there is insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing such as when mountain climbing lemons are very helpful. The first man, Edmund Hillary to reach the top of Mt. Everest, said that his success on Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemons.
12. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.
13. Blood vessels are strengthened by the Vitamin P in lemon thus prevents internal haemorrhage. Also, making it useful in treating high blood pressure.
14. The symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy have been shown in research to improve due to the Rutin, found in lemons.
15. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including naturally occurring limonene; oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals and flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.
16. According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory (RBTI), the lemon is the ONLY food in the world that is Anionic (it’s electron has a negative charge). All other foods are cationic (it’s outer electron has positive charge.) This makes it extremely useful to health as it is the interaction between anions and cations that ultimately provides all cell energy.
To read more, link here.