Lemon + Garlic Shows Anti-Cancer Potential

You are what you eat, as the saying goes, but the truth is a little more complicated, as a growing body of research reveals. A medical research study showed that what you eat together can also have a big impact.

Specifically, a paper by a Jordanian researcher looked at using lemon and garlic extracts to combat cancer.

The study was published under the weighty name Consumption of garlic and lemon aqueous extracts combination reduces tumor burden by angiogenesis inhibition, apoptosis induction, and immune system modulation in the November-December 2017 issue of the journal Nutrition.

Cancer Prevention

As the Jordanian researcher who authored the study notes, using diet in cancer prevention is an appealing option for a couple of reasons. Foods are non-toxic, and there are few unforeseen side effects. Second, they’re not perceived as medicines, and as such, people may be more likely to follow dietary guidelines as opposed to seeking medical interventions or help.

It’s an important concept, particularly when rates of cancer are rising among younger women specifically. Dietary cancer prevention is a win-win situation.

The Study

Garlic and lemon were tested as water-based extracts in how they acted against breast cancer, both in a laboratory setting and in living subjects (mice, in this test).

  • Garlic and lemon extracts were tested separately as well as together,
  • The best results came from using both together.

80% of the mice were cured of their breast cancer tumors using the garlic and lemon combination.

  • The extracts worked together to inhibit the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting the development of the blood vessels required for tissue growth;
  • It killed cancer cells outright;
  • It activated the immune system in various ways to help the body fight back.


The study adds to a growing body of research that looks at the effects of consuming lemons along with other substances. It’s both interesting and important since, in practical terms, we most often eat lemon along with other foods as a flavoring. A 2016 study, for example, examined the potential for lowering cholesterol levels with lemon and garlic.

The results were encouraging, although it’s always best to be cautious about laboratory and test results. It’s definitely a combination with anti-cancer potential that should be studied further.

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