Lemons and cancer
Numerous people have asked me about an email going around purporting that lemons can cure for cancer. Let's forget about the outrageous grammar and concentrate on the "science." Ahhh...well...there isn't any. The "Institute of Health Sciences," in spite of its seductive and pompous name, is nothing more than a marketing center for flim-flam. The people who run this operation capitalize on public gullibility and desperation to promote a sickening blend of claptrap. Lemon is great for making lemonade and would be a fine choice if you were looking to prevent scurvy on sailing vessels that take months to cross the ocean and carry no fruits or vegetables. Any claim of cancer treatment is absolute nonsense.
It is even hard to trace from where such bunk arises. Perhaps it is the vitamin C content. Indeed lemons contain a few milligrams of vitamin C, which is enough to prevent scurvy, but cancer? Linus Pauling, perhaps the greatest chemist of the last century, believed that vitamin C had such a potential role despite a lack of any evidence. He regularly took 18 grams of the stuff every day. Unfortunately it didn't prevent him from succumbing to prostate cancer. But because of Pauling's fame, a number of researchers explored the possible use of vitamin C in cancer treatment, even using intravenous doses up to fifty grams a day! Nada! Nothing! It is also curious that the Institute of Health Sciences makes the same claim for "soursop," even using some of the same language. P.T. Barnum famously claimed that there is a sucker born every minute. He was wrong, they are born much more often than that. And they grow up to be great targets for the snake oil salesmen at the Institute of Health Sciences. In fact the “Institute” gives snake oil a bad name because that may actually have some physiologically useful compounds.