We were recently doing some research on baking soda and stumbled across a “natural treatment of cancer” that involves combining lemons and baking soda. Clearly, cancer is a serious disease so any claim of a treatment needs to be taken with a grain of salt until proven by various academic studies. However, we will present you with data we found on the cancer environment, the alkaline diet, lemon juice, and baking soda. Please do whatever you wish with the information, but by no means are we promoting a cure for cancer by drinking lemon juice and baking powder.
The Cancer Environment
Research has shown that cancer cells routinely grow in an acidic (low pH) environment void of oxygen. This was first discovered by German physiologist, Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg in 1931, which resulted in a Noble Prize. Dr. Warburg stated the following about the cause of cancer:
Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation. All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes. From the standpoint of the physics and chemistry of life this difference between normal and cancer cells is so great that one can scarcely picture a greater difference. Oxygen gas, the donor of energy in plants and animals is dethroned in the cancer cells and replaced by an energy yielding reaction of the lowest living forms, namely, a fermentation of glucose.
Alkaline Diet and Cancer
Some believe that maintaining an alkaline diet and avoiding acidic foods or beverages can help prevent cancer. Foods and beverages can be acidic, neutral or alkaline. Acidic foods have a pH of less than 7 and include such products as meat, dairy, soda, juices, and eggs. Neutral foods with a 7 pH include products like water and natural fats. Finally, alkaline foods (above 7 pH) include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. An alkaline diet consists of foods that are neutral with a 7 pH up to alkaline 14 pH. The theory is to avoid acidic foods and as a result, reduce the acidic environment that cancer uses to grow. However, there has not been hard evidence to prove a relationship between an acidic diet and the formation of cancer. There is research though, that does show signs of potential anti-cancer properties of both lemons and baking soda.
Lemon, Baking Soda, and Cancer
Where do lemons and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) play into all of this? They are believed to give a one-two punch to potentially curing or preventing cancer by alkalizing the body and providing anti-cancer properties.
Let’s start with the baking soda. It is believed that once baking soda is ingested it can advance to the area near the tumors to create an alkalized environment around the acidic cancer area. By changing the cancer thriving acidic environment to a alkaline environment, the spread of cancer is believed to be prevent. Research is being completed at Arizona State that will look at the effectiveness of alkaline buffering (such as bicarbonate) as a treatment for metastatic (spreading) cancer. This research follows a previous study that found, “that oral NaHCO(3) (sodium bicarbonate) selectively increased the pH of tumors and reduced the formation of spontaneous metastases in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer”.
How about lemons as a cancer cure? There have been claims of lemons being “10,000 stronger than chemotherapy” and a “proven remedy against cancers of all types”. These statement just aren’t factual because academic research simply has not confirmed these claims through reliable studies. However, there have been studies to show that lemons (citrus) may help combat certain cancers. One study from the University of Florida found the following:
Recent research has focused on the biological activity of compounds found in citrus species, including compounds called flavanoids, carotenoids and limonoids, especially in terms of their effects on citrus palatability and anti-cancer activity.
Citrus flavonoids have potential antioxidant (prevents aging), anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activities, effects on capillarity, and cholesterol-lowering ability. The principal carotenoids in pink grapefruit are lycopene and beta-carotene. Lycopene-containing fruits and vegetables have been shown to contribute to a significant reduction in prostate and mammary cancer risk.
Recent studies have further shown that limonoids inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cancer cells as well as reducing cholesterol.
The believe is that you have two potentially strong cancer fighters in lemons and baking soda that work together to ward off and as some believe, fight existing cancer. While there is promising research for lemons and baking soda surrounding their anti-cancer properties, it is not correct to claim a “cure for cancer” or a “cancer cure all” for these products as some may suggest.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Preparation
Preparing lemon juice and baking soda is quite easy. Take a 12 ounce glass and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to it. This will be about one medium lemon. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the lemon juice and stir to create a fizz. Fill the glass with water, stir again, and drink. While many recommend drinking this daily on an empty stomach, there are precautions associated with consuming baking soda. See the bottom of the following article for the precautions. It is advised to consult a doctor if you plan on consuming baking soda for an excessive amount of time.