A viral message is doing the rounds claiming that cancer is caused out of ignorance and can be prevented by stopping your sugar intake, drinking hot lemon water and having coconut oil.
This claim dates back to 2017, and has been spreading on email, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
True or False?
One of the ways we can debunk the message is by looking into who is being crested or quoted in the claim. One of the doctors mentioned is Dr. Guruprasad Reddy BV from Osh State Medical University in Russia. A quick google search shows that such a university exists, but it is in Kyrgyzstan not Russia.
Now, onto the medical claims.
FIT spoke to Dr Sidharth Sahni, oncologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, who said that any of these claim of cancer prevention are not true.
"“These are good health tips, but I do not endorse them for preventing cancer.”" - Dr Sidharth Sahni, oncologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
Let’s take this one at a time.
No, Eliminating Sugar Does Not Ensure a Cancer-Free Life
The claim is that we should 'cut all sugar from our body, without sugar cancer cell will die in the body.’
Cancer Research UK refuted this claim saying that cutting out sugar completely and eating dangerously low levels of carbohydrates would negatively affect overall health. They added that sugar is a form of energy for every cell in our body and eliminating it entirely is not advisable for health purposes and has no link to cancer prevention.
Dr Sahni said, “Eliminating sugar can never entirely prevent cancer or any disease, but it does cut out a huge risk factor. Sugar refers to white sugar specifically and not glucose or fructose which is naturally present in many fruits and vegetables.”
Hot Lemon Water Cures Cancer?
“I wish this were true,” said Dr Sahni, “This advice sounds purely anecdotal.”
"“There has been no randomised medical trial to prove a connection between hot lemon water and cancer.”" - Dr Sahni
He added that the advice is a good general health tip, saying, “Of course, drinking lemon water has many health benefits, it is a great alkalizer and adds to the water content in our body. Most diseases are a result of dehydration.”
The claim of lemon water being “1000 times better than chemotherapy” has been debunked by Snopes, although in an earlier version of the viral message it was claimed that this ‘fact’ was endorsed by Baltimore’s Health Sciences Institute and not Maryland College of Medicine.
The US’s National Center for Health Research has fact-checked this claim too adding that, “ no studies have ever been done that would compare the effectiveness of a lemon to chemotherapy.” However, certain chemicals (MCP and limonoids) present in the lemon peel may have anti-carcinogenic properties, although further research on the effects on humans is required.
No, Drinking Coconut Oil Will Not Make Your Cancer ‘Disappear’
“There are many benefits of coconut oil, but it cannot prevent cancer,” said Dr Sahni.
“If you mix coconut water with turmeric and black pepper and drink this, it can lubricate the gut and prevent leaky gut syndrome which leads to many diseases, not just cancer,” he added.
In fact, we had done a FIT WebQoof fact-check on an earlier claim of coconut water curing cancer, which too proved to be false.
Dr Sahni concluded saying, “None of these claims will harm you, but they won’t prevent cancer.”
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