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Citrus: A hidden cure for cancer?

By Afra Naushad | ArabNews | 24 Mar 2012

In what could turn out to be the biggest medical breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment, this article intends to discuss the profile of a fruit that has long exhibited amazing healing potential, yet has remained largely ignored.

Lemons! Yes, those sunny, California-calling tart citruses.

This multipurpose, indispensable fruit, found in most house-holds, has been in use for ages in all shapes, forms and ways: in salads, curries, juices, deodorizers and cleaning agents; in grandma’s recipes as a tan-remover, astringent and zit-zapper; for treating heartburn, nausea and nose bleeds and for weight loss.

Lemons’ serious health benefits were also propagated in earlier times by prominent scholars and physicians like Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Masawayh in the treatment of diarrhea, hemorrhoids and depression and were even used as an antidote for poisons.

Lemon balms are also widely in use today to ease menstrual cramps, enhance moods, cure headaches, high blood pressure and to treat coughs and colds.

An article published in Clinical Nutrition by Department of Food and Nutrition Technology at Catholic University of San Antonio in Spain discussed the significantly improved lipid profile in patients who were put on a clinical trial for six months on citrus-based juices.

Recently, published data not only indicates lemons’ therapeutic effects in the treatment of high lipid profile/cholesterol and high blood pressure, but note this: Cancer!

Lemons are excellent sources of vitamin C in addition to vitamin B, folic acid, potassium, flavonoids and limonoids (currently researched in clinical trials for exhibiting tremendous anti-cancer properties.)

The outer skin of lemons, or zest, is composed of essential oils and limonoids and the inner layer, or flesh, contains flavonoids.

Laboratory results have indicated strong antioxidant properties of citrus flavonoids contained in lemon juice and peel extracts that knock off free radicals known to cause aging, arthritis and inflammation that may sometimes lead to cancer.

On the other hand, limonoids, like limonene, are showing remarkable effects by halting cell multiplication in breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancer cells in animal trials.

Large bodies of research data that have been published by the medical industry are shockingly proving results beyond belief.

A study published recently in the Journal of Nutritional Bio-Chemistry by the School of Life Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong has revealed that the fruit exhibits features of a preventive chemotherapeutic agent against breast cancer.

This has enhanced and encouraged views about the possibilities of breast cancer prevention in humans while animal testing is already yielding promising results.

Gyeongsang University in Korea also recently published their findings in the Journal of Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, demonstrating lemons' chemo-preventive properties in gastric cancer cells.

A study on the effect of lemon seed extracts was published in the Journal of Food Chemistry and Toxicology by Texas A&M University, conducted by the Department of Horticultural Sciences, USA. This study also has recorded the chemopreventive effects on breast cancer cells.

Limonoids that are essentially phytochemicals and found in various citrus fruits, have been identified as the prime agents that increase the number of enzymes in the body and perform detoxification of cancer producing substances.

This has been suggested as a possible pathway by which it combats the proliferation of cancerous cells, thereby halting the aggressive growth and development of cancer.

While studies are suggesting the anti-neoplastic properties of lemons and its possible chemotherapeutic effects, how the medical fraternity that is hounded by the synthetic drug industry will facilitate its incorporation in traditional treatment regimes remains an area that may hold the key to an entirely new methodology of treatment approach for cancer — a global epidemic that has been claiming lives by the millions.

Introducing this wonderful superfruit in the daily diet chart — as a pressed juice or in mocktails, grated zest on tarts and pies or as a healthy pickle — would be the best way to take advantage of the wondrous benefits this fruit has to offer today.

 

 

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