MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

How Jackfruit Kills Cancer… This title hardly left any doubt that jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam) is effective in curing cancer. The website continued in this vein:

“Jackfruit contains phytonutrients like lignans, saponins, and isoflavones, which have anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-ulcer, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties (2).

Lignans are tissue-selective phytoestrogens that have anti-estrogenic effects in reproductive tissues that can be beneficial in preventing the hormone-associated cancers of the breast, uterus, ovary, and prostate. It may also help maintain bone density (3).

Isoflavones are also beneficial phytoestrogens that have been proven to reduce the risk of breast, endometrial, and prostate cancers (4,5).

Saponins, on the other hand, kill cancer cells by directly binding to cells as well as boosting white blood cell activity and preventing cell differentiation and proliferation (6,7).

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Lastly, the cancer-preventing abilities of the fruit are due in part to dietary TF-binding lectins (8). The pulp has the ability to reduce the mutagenicity of carcinogens and combat the proliferation of cancer cells (9).

In addition, the fruit contains carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols that lower blood pressure, fight stomach ulcers, boost metabolism, support nerve function, and play a role in hormone synthesis. They also contain polysaccharides that boost immunity by interacting with white blood cells, including T cells, monocytes, macrophages, and polymorphonuclear lymphocytes (10).

Each part of the fruit and tree can be used: the flowers help stop bleeding in open wounds, prevent ringworm infestations, and heal cracks in dry feet while the root is used to treat skin diseases, asthma, and diarrhea. Additionally, the wood has a sedative and abortifacient effect…”

END OF QUOTE

To many desperate cancer patients, this would sound convincing, not least because the references provided by the author look sophisticated and seem to back up most of the claims made.

But where are the references to clinical trials showing that jackfruit does cure this or that type of cancer? Where is the evidence that it does “lower blood pressure, fight stomach ulcers, boost metabolism, support nerve function, and play a role in hormone synthesis”? Where are the data to prove that it does “boost immunity”?

I did conduct a ‘rough and ready’ Medline search and found precisely nothing; not a single clinical trial that would confirm the multiple claims made above.

You are not surprised?

Neither am I!

But what about the desperate cancer patients?

How many fell for the scam? How many gave up their conventional cancer treatments and used jackfruit instead? How many consumers know that it is not unusual for plants to contain lignans, saponins, isoflavones and many other ingredients that have amazing effects in vitro? How many know that this rarely translates into meaningful health effects in human patients?

We will never know.

One thing we do know, however, is that articles like this one can cost lives, and that alternative cancer cures are and always will be a myth.

24 Responses to Jackfruit: an effective anti-cancer remedy? [How bogus information can cost lives]

  • So this magical jackfruit is available in candies, baby food,etc. Certainly Whole Foods, pharmacies and other fake Health Food stores will or have already made it into a pill to sell, like Juice Plus and the other rip-off products pushed to consumers.

  • Where is the evidence that anyone has discontinued cancer treatment and replaced it with Jackfruit? Where is the numerical data which would justify Edzard’s concerns that such is happening? Where is the research countenance that significant(any?) numbers of cancer patients view informational articles such as this as anything more than supplementary to their physicians’ recommendations?

    I didn’t read in this article anywhere that it was stated that cancer patients should cease formal therapy in lieu of using Jackfruit. Perhaps a disclaimer relative to same could have been included, however; predicatbly, Edzard jumped at the chance to suggest a mythical scenario in which patients are ditching their chemo for Jackfruit

    It appears as though Edzard is trying to stoke the flames of a fire which doesn’t exist, at least relative to this article. This is nothing new, as long as the flame-stoking paints non-medical literature in a bad light. I also performed a Google/literature search and found exactly nothing regarding “desperate cancer patients'” falling for “the scam” and giving up their conventional cancer treatments despite their doctors’ contrarian opinions. Where did Edzard get his information regarding this dire situation? One can only wonder.

    • You’re missing three important points:

      1. You need to read between the lines.
      2. There’s probably someone, somewhere, who discontinued cancer treatment in favor of jackfruit. But they didn’t report it. Prove me wrong.
      3. The article is dangerous. It could lead to dancing.

      Plus, have you seen the size of those things? You would need an enormous capsule if you wanted to take it as a pill. Definitely a choking hazard.

    • So you need dead and dying patients and desperate relatives? And oncologists telling they had encountered patients with generally easily curable, but very advanced cancers, advanced, because they had wasted time on jackfruit treatment?
      No, any claims about any effects of anything on cancer must be substantiated by evidence. Especially statements like the one about TF-binding lectins because it clearly attributes properties of medicine to a food, and any medicine must undergo 3 phases of randomizes clinical trials.
      That’s also because cancer is scary, so scary that far from all will do research about current treatment options and having read about magic foods may very likely choose them instead of treatment with proven efficacy.

      • @Ieva

        You wrote, “So you need dead and dying patients and desperate relatives? And oncologists telling they had encountered patients with generally easily curable, but very advanced cancers, advanced, because they had wasted time on jackfruit treatment?”

        I simply asked for(hopefully statistically significant) evidence that such was occurring and I haven’t received any yet. Edzard’s appeal to the hypothetical, sans evidence, appears to be much ado about nothing realistic.

        • Reminds me conversation with a journalist about whether or not articles about aspirin probably preventing cancer should be published in media for general public (and claims about jackfruit are equal to that of a medicine). She insisted that humans would never use aspiring in unwise way. Of course, they only usewhole range of completely magic crap starting from homeopathy in unwise way. There is no need to go to the oncology wards, world is full of patients who delay with going straight to the oncologist, and waste time on everything including magic diets and magic foods they have read about in news. And there are patients messing with their legitimate treatments by using all kind of supplements (it is confirmed).

          • I don’t disagree with your opinion. I simply asked for statistically significant evidence to support it. I couldn’t find any. Perhaps you or Edzard might conduct a more fruitful search for it…and then post it?

    • Jackfruit: an effective anti-cancer remedy? is a prime example of creating Strawman to beat up, and put natural health practitioners on the defensive: we don’t say this!

      Defense and denial is not a good position to be in.

      The old adage is: to defend the regime, go on the offensive. Attack the enemy, and if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bullshit.

      This is not science investigation, it is an economic and ideological battle to maintain medical hegemony that involves the expenditure allocation of billions of dollars/euro/pound/etc

      • oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
        Greg, are you trying to convince us that you have understood nothing at all?
        for starters: this is a blog, not a ‘science investigation’. if you want to read my research papers, go on Medline and look them up.

      • But where are studies supporting the claims made about jackfruit? And, since there are none, why should anyone publish anything, except that there is such fruit with such and such chemical composition? You yourself are speaking about battle, though nobody has said anything against consuming jackfruit as food. So it looks like you want to present them as something more, likely medicine, and thus critic makes you angry.

    • Logus: one has to be very immoral to support the lies and misinformation in this promotion for such a fake remedy. Many cancer patients have either chosen fake treatments for their cancer over proven therapies or have agreed to waste time and money after they became terminal. Your documentation is easily accessible. Just google Steve Jobs and his regrets of refusing proven cancer treatments (although not likely cures, since he was given honest information about risks and benefits) , but instead he tried to cure himself through acupuncture , drinking special fruit juices, visiting spiritualists and using other treatments he found on the internet. Some real cancer experts have said he may have extended his life or even survived if he had promptly used scientifically proven medical treatments instead. Jackfruit, seriously??

      • @Cox

        I don’t disagree with your opinion. I didn’t state that I was supportive of misleading ads. I simply asked for statistically significant evidence to support that people are discontinuing treatments with their cancer specialists(of circumventing medical cancer treatment entirely) in lieu of “jackfruit treatment.” I couldn’t find any. Edzard didn’t produce any. Perhaps you, Edzard, or any other CAMEDICS might conduct a more fruitful search for it…and then post it?

        • try to make some sense for once: someone advertises a bogus treatment for a life-threatening disease, I disclose this fact … and you ask “for statistically significant evidence to support that people are discontinuing treatments with their cancer specialists…”
          who is bonkers here???

          • The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not evidence. I simply asked for statistically significant evidence to support that people are discontinuing treatments with their cancer specialists(of circumventing medical cancer treatment entirely) in lieu of “jackfruit treatment.” I couldn’t find any and Edzard certainly hasn’t produced any. Edzard thinks I should “try to make some sense for once”?

            BONKERS!

          • your demand for ‘statistical evidence’ for something that is nowhere quantified shows who is the one that is bonkers.

          • Got it, Edzard…you have no evidence, only an expedient, alarmist opinion that “articles like this can cost lives.” Of course with you, almost everything about paramedical, nutraceutical, chiropractic, etc. articles are major causes of human suffering via misinformation. If you had read my previous comments, you would have seen that I agreed that informational articles should be written so that even the most gullible patients won’t be misled into discontinuing medical cancer treatment. Your “fire siren” rhetorical question as to how many people (your post implied many) gave up proper treatment for jackfruit has now been demonstrated to have been purposely sensationalized: you could produce no quantified data regarding your implication. Surprise, surprise!

          • you have made your point many times now – alas, repetition does not make sense out of nonsense, sorry.

        • Edzard –

          “This demonstrates just how important it is to try to prevent colorectal cancer.”
          “Lastly, the cancer-preventing abilities of the fruit are due in part to dietary TF-binding lectins. The pulp has the ability to reduce the mutagenicity of carcinogens and combat the proliferation of cancer cells.”

          There is absolutely no mention of using jackfruit as a treatment on the page you referenced.

          • except, of course, in the title

          • jm has a long history of somehow missing the obvious, let alone the evidence. The title, for those who haven’t seen it, is:
            Scientists Discover Jackfruit To Be A Powerful Cancer Killer

            Its text starts with:

            “Colorectal cancer is no walk in the park.

            This form of cancer affects the large intestine and is hard to detect until it’s too far gone to cure. It’s also very difficult to treat. Unfortunately, nearly half of all patients diagnosed with the disease will die from it.

            Unfortunately, nearly half of all patients diagnosed with the disease will die from it.

            This demonstrates just how important it is to try to prevent colorectal cancer(1).

            How Jackfruit Kills Cancer
            Jackfruit contains phytonutrients like lignans, saponins, and isoflavones, which have anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-ulcer, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties (2).
            …”

            jm wrote:

            There is absolutely no mention of using jackfruit as a treatment on the page you referenced.

            Very true!

          • Oh please. With that title, you know the page is going to be about how scary cancer is, and you better eat more jackfruit cuz it’s ding dang full of healthy stuff. The only surprise is that it didn’t include a smoothie recipe.

  • Wow,: neither opinion – in support of the notion that jackfruit is beneficial in “curing” cancer and against that notion – is scientifically supported; and merely a debatable blog-filler…

    Any respected cancer specialist would have no need to “tackle” this story and neither is there a need for a respected TCM practitioner to defuse this hyped up claim.

    Because no educated mind would ever claim to “cure” or have a singular item be the “solution” of a science challenged research. Cancer is not cancer… neither is a jackfruit grown in Mexico equal to one harvested in Australia… one single method is not sufficient to “cure” a whole body and mind.

    However it is factual that cancer can be treated; that jackfruit is super healthy and we all should approach life with a sense of “preventative” wisdom. Just randomly single out one totem and creating a blog-frenzy without offering a solution is just that: a blog-filler…

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