English, Fake News

No scientific basis for claims of curing cancer with a sugar-free diet, drinking hot lemon water, and organic coconut oil


A post is being shared on Facebook with a claim that Dr. Gupta has suggested a diet to cure cancer. Let’s try to analyze the claims made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: Drinking hot lemon water or three spoons of organic coconut oil daily in addition to not taking sugar can cure cancer.

Fact: No research studies were found to substantiate the claims (curing cancer with sugar-free diet, drinking hot lemon water, and organic coconut oil) made in the post. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.   

When searched for the doctor with the name ‘Dr Guru Prasad Reddy B.V.” at the Osh State Medical University, no such person was found on the internet. Also, the Osh State Medical Facility was found to be in Kyrgyzstan, not in Russia.

In the post, there are majorly three specific diets prescribed to cure/prevent cancer.

1. Avoiding sugar intake will lead to the death of cancer cells?

When searched on Google with the keywords ‘without sugar cancer cells die’, some articles related to the claim can be found in the search results. According to Cancer Research UK, ‘there’s no evidence that following a “sugar-free” diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed.’ The CEO of Cancer Council Australia, Professor Sanchia Aranda in an interview to ABC News says, “Stopping sugar getting to cancer cells would also mean that your body’s healthy cells get starved of necessary sugars. I think that would make you lose weight, [and]would make your immune system less efficient and more likely that a cancer would progress.” So, avoiding sugar totally might sometimes affect negatively too. A similar article by American Institute for Cancer Research can be read here.

There is some research done by a few scientists from Singapore and Austria which found that only some cancer cells could be killed by sugar starvation under the conditions of elevated calcium. But, according to Asian Scientist article, ‘the team aims to further their research to develop a new cancer treatment in the future.’ The research article can be read here.

2. Drinking hot lemon water can prevent cancer?

When looked for any information on this claim, it was found that the ‘National Centre for Health Research’ published an article with the title, ‘Do Lemons Prevent Cancer?’ on its website. According to the article, “the claims that ‘lemons are a proven remedy against cancer of all types’ and ‘lemons are 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy’ are certainly false.” Also, a fact-check article by Snopes, back in 2011, rating the claim as false can be found in the search results. Some more articles on this issue by medical organizations can be read here and here.

3. Drinking 3 spoons full of organic coconut oil daily, at morning and night, can cure cancer?

When searched Google with the keywords ‘Coconut oil cures cancer’, no proper research on this specific issue was found on the internet. Some articles reporting that few components of coconut oil had an effect on some forms of cancer can be read here and here. But, even those articles pushed for further studies on the topic. The Harvard School of Public Health on its website writes, ‘Many of the health claims for coconut oil refer to research that used a special formulation of coconut oil made of 100% medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), not the commercial coconut oil most available on supermarket shelves.’ So, even if some research studies claim that the coconut can cure cancer, then they may not be based on coconut oil readily available in the market for consumers.

Some more myths on Cancer debunked by Cancer Research – UK can be read here.

To sum it up, there is no scientific basis for claims of curing cancer with a sugar-free diet, drinking hot lemon water, and organic coconut oil.

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