Lemon May Have Some Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

It’s important to use whole lemons, and to chose organic ones if possible to avoid having to disinfect them to remove any traces of pesticides.
Lemon May Have Some Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Lemons are among the most famous foods around the world. They are known not only for their many uses in the kitchen but also their excellent medicinal powers.  Lemon and other citrus fruit may have some potential anti-cancer properties.

For centuries people have used the juice from lemons in hundreds of recipes as well as remedies, because of its unique flavor and the concentration of nutrients and antioxidants that are essential for the proper function of the human body.

Some studies suggest that lemon juice helps to detox the body, supporting the function of organs that purify your blood (liver, kidneys, etc.).

It may also strengthen your immune system and slow the action of free radicals that can lead to the development of various diseases.

But very few people know that one of the most important parts of a lemon when it comes to nutrients is the peel.  Most people usually throw it away.

Lemon peel alone contains a higher concentration of antioxidants and essential oils than any other part. In addition, according to recent studies, it could harbor some potential anti-cancer properties.

Lemon may contain certain potential anti-cancer properties

It’s common knowledge that lemons contain antibiotic and antiviral properties. 

These may help slow down various microorganisms that can cause infections and diseases.

Lemon may also help in the treatment for intestinal parasites and worms, high blood pressure, and various disorders of the nervous system. However, recent studies suggest that lemon also has a potential of anti-cancer properties.

Lemon may contain potential anti-cancer properties

The findings from more than 20 research studies demonstrate that this citrus fruit contains large quantities of “limonoids”. These limonoids are responsible for its potential benefit against cancer. This potential is said to help in the fight against breast cancer cells, however, it has yet to be proven clinically.

In fact, some suggest that this fruit is up to 10,000 times more effective than Adriamycin. Adriamycin is a drug used around the world in chemotherapy treatments to stop cancer from spreading. However, further studies are needed to confirm this claim clinically.

The remedy: grated frozen lemon

Frozen lemon or orange peel may help your health
To take advantage of the potential anti-cancer properties of lemons, you should have this fruit on a regular basis. However, you should consume it without extracting the juice or throwing out the peel.
The correct way to do this is by grating the zest of the peel from a frozen lemon:
  • To begin, wash your lemon thoroughly with a little water and baking soda or apple cider vinegar. This is an important step, especially when you don’t know if your fruit is organic or not.
  • Once it’s clean, store it in the freezer until it is very hard.
  • When you’re ready, remove it from the freezer and use a cheese grater to reduce the peel to a frozen pulp.

You can add this lemon zest to many recipes or even specialty drinks like juices and cocktails.

Is this method as effective as drinking lemon juice?

Lemon juice with zest to help your health
Of course not. Lemon juice has its own amazing properties that are far more beneficial when it comes to other aspects of your health.

Most of the limonoids and other antioxidants that may harbor some potential properties to help reduce malignant tumors are found in the peel.

In fact, some estimate that an entire lemon may contain up to 22 different compounds that may have potential anti-cancer properties, among which are:

  • Limonene
  • Pectin
  • Flavonol glycosides
  • Vitamin C

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For prevention, specialists recommend that you consume at least 150 grams of this citrus fruit every week.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Clark M. J, Slavin J. L. The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: a systematic review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2013. 32 (3): 200-11.
  • Ferrari N. Making one change -getting more fiber- can help with weight loss. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. Febrero 2015.
  • Fukuchi Y, Hiramitsu M, et al. Lemon polyphenols superas diet-induced obesity by up-regulation of mRNA levels of the enzymes involved in beta-oxidation in mouse white adipose tissue. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. Noviembre 2008. 43 (3): 201-209.
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  • González-Molina, E., Domínguez-Perles, R., Moreno, D. A., & García-Viguera, C. (2010). Natural bioactive compounds of Citrus limon for food and health. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2009.07.027.
  • Nair Ajikumaran S., Kurup Rajani Sr., Akhila Nair S., Sabulal B., Citrus peles prevent cáncer. Phytomedicine, 2018. 50: 231-237.
  • Rockman J. C, Barrett D. M, et al. Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B phenolic compounds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Marzo 2007. 87 (6): 930-944.
  • Wood M. Health benefits of citrus limonoids explored. Febrero 2005. Agricultural Research Service. U. S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Yazgan H., Ozogul Y., Kuley E., Antimicrobial influence of nanoemulsified lemon essential oil and pure lemon essential oil on food- borne pathogens and fish spoilage bacteria. Int J Food Microbiol, 2019.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.