I received one of those forwarded emails the other day from a friend. You know the type – it's usually a hoax. This was a new one I had not seen, so I went to Snopes.com to see if it was real or not. Snopes is a great place to find the truth behind these hard-to-believe emails. The email stated that lemons are 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy. Now that's powerful! But is it true?
Well, according to Snopes, that's quite the exaggeration. Yes, lemons have some anti-cancer abilities. Most citrus fruits do. But 10,000 times more powerful than chemo? The evidence isn't there to back it up. The email that makes this claim offers a study from an unnamed major drug manufacturer as evidence. Why leave out the name of the company?
I went looking for a study that proves the claim. I can't find it. I found a bunch of studies that compare lemon peel and orange peel to chemotherapy. But none that say it's 10,000 times stronger.
The email goes on to say 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." This was easier to prove. There are plenty of studies showing how effective these citrus fruits are in treating cancer. It's not surprising since high-dose intravenous vitamin C is a powerful cancer treatment. And these fruits are packed with vitamin C.
However, vitamin C isn't the only nutrient in citrus peels that work against cancer. One study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer
showed the power of citrus peel to prevent cancer. It said the peels are a major source of dietary d-limonene, which is a known cancer fighter. This oil has loads of science behind it (and not just for cancer) - which I'll tell you about in future issues of Nutrient Insider
For now, know that eating citrus fruit and taking supplements with citrus compounds is a great way to prevent cancer - but we don't know if it's 10,000 times more powerful than chemo.
Not sure how to eat the lemon peel? The email on Snopes had a great suggestion. All you have to do is freeze the lemon. Then grate or shred the lemon and add it to your foods (salads, fish, etc.). It's easy (especially if you have a food processor), tastes great, and extremely good for you.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
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