How Citrus Fruits can help in the Fight against Cancer

A brand new friend in the fight against cancer has been revealed by a study into limonoids – natural compounds present in citrus fruits. Limonoids have been shown to impede the growth of breast cancer cells, a finding which supports past research into how fruit can lower the risk of breast cancer. It’s another amazing discovery among the wonders of food cures within the field of complementary medicine.


The study in question showed that limonoids have cytotoxic and anti-aromatase effects. Cytotoxicity was proven to be a feature of several different limonoids when acting against both ER+ and ER- breast cancer cells. Additionally, the limonoid limonin glucoside was shown to induce the death of cancer cells – great news considering that it’s the most prevalent limonoid contained in citrus juices. The limonoids also proved effective in inhibiting aromatase – the effect of oestrogen in cancer cell growth. Once again, limonin glucoside was shown to be the lead agent in achieving this affect. The outcome of the study is clear: limonoids are directly toxic to breast cancer cells, and also limit their access to oestrogen, which they need for growth. The limonoids act not only on breast cancer; laboratory tests suggest effectiveness in the case of colon, pancreatic, and liver cancer, as well as leukaemia.
The results are promising, but what do they mean in real wellness terms? Well, it has been seen that significant protection from cancer can be achieved by eating a regular amount of citrus fruits. Another recent study showed that a minimum of four 150g portions per week decreases the risk of throat cancer by 58%, mouth cancer by 53% and colorectal cancer by 18%. That particular study didn’t prove a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, but another American study puts that benefit at a 22% risk decrease (in the case of women who’d never had hormone therapy). In both the studies in question, the recommended intake was the same (525-600g per week), so it seems fairly safe to take that as a minimum recommended amount for those seeking cancer-relieving effects.


Only one question remains: where exactly are limonoids to be found? The limonoids in the latest study were extracted from lemon seeds, which are exceedingly rich in them, containing up to 2% by weight of limonoids. However, they are found in the peel, pulp and juice of all citrus fruits. Orange juice has the highest content among the juices, but don’t neglect the pulp and peel, which contain up to 500mg/kg of limonoids. The nutritional benefits of citrus fruits are excellent, so include at least 75g of citrus fruit or juice in your daily diet to guard against cancer, as well as to ensure total wellbeing.

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