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Are juicing good or bad for cancer patients?

Miza_73 Member Posts: 12
edited January 2022 in Recipe Swap for Healthy Living

Hi everyone,

I really hope you can assist me with some of my queries.

I have come across many articles that promote carrots as a good source of cancer fighting food which is best consumed through juicing. Many testimonials of carrot juicing are also available on the web where those with terminal stage metastasis are able to control and recover from spread of their tumor.

The issue that I am faced with now are mainly on conflicting facts on the sugar effects to cancer. Primary understanding, cancer feeds on sugar. But the contradicting matter comes in where foods that are claimed to be anti-cancer are also heavy with sugar content.

I have been juicing carrots for my wife for several weeks now. Each day, she will consume 1 liter of carrot juice in the hope to manage and contain the spread of the disease. However, I came across some scary facts on carrots from a website called sugarstacks . It says there that 100g carrots contains 4.7g sugar. That is a lot of sugar, especially when in comparison, a 20 oz of Coca Cola has same sugar content of 1.4KG of carrots (1 Liter of juice is equivalent to 2.5KG of carrots).

Will you be able to share with me your thoughts on the effects of the sugar from the fruits and vegetables that we consume against manufactured sugar? Is there a difference? And is the sugar from fruits and vegetables feed cancer cells to an adverse effect?

I am getting very confused now with all these facts and really need some clarification on the matter.

I am a caregiver for my wife who is currently in treatment for her BC. She had undergone 6 chemo cycles and 30 radiation sessions.


  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929

    It is an over-simplification to say that "cancer feeds on sugar." All of our cells feed on carbohydrates. It has been shown to be beneficial to maintain a healthy weight and healthy blood glucose levels. Juicing is just mainlining tons of carbohydrates without any of the healthy fiber in whole fruits or vegetables to slow down the blood sugar spike. I don't understand how juicing is supposed to be healthy, when like you said, it can be the equivalent blood-sugar wise of drinking soft drinks.

  • jaboo
    jaboo Member Posts: 368

    I agree with what is said above. I can't see anything healthy in juicing - you are removing the important and healthy part of the fruit/vegetable which is fibre. you are consuming large quantities of fructose in a very short time without the benefit of feeling full due to fibre. fructose goes directly to the liver and behaves exactly like alcohol (yes, alcohol). the only difference being it doesn't go into your head. the sugar spike from drinking such fructose amounts is overwhelming for your system.

    theres nothing wrong with carrots, at least as far as I know. but I believe that removing the fibre creates just an oversweetened drink with some vitamins in it.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    I agree that the cancer feeds on sugar thing is an oversimplification because our bodies convert everything to glucose anyway.

    I have two concerns about juicing:

    a) it strips the fiber & thus alters the sugar/fiber ratio considerably. In addition to insoluble fiber being lost, I believe nutrients are lost as well in juicing versus making a smoothie or eating the vegetable. For those who like to drink their veg, a smoothie (made in a high power blender like a vitamix) is, in my opinion, a better option. See "Why smoothies are better than juicing"

    I'm a big green smoothie fan (raw kale or spinach etc blended with blueberries, apples, lemon for example) but during chemo I've stopped having those because of point b .

    b) if on chemotherapy, it is IMO important to be aware of your neutrophil levels. When I'm neutropenic on chemo, I stop eating raw veg - lightly steam or broil everything. The only raw fruit I consume is fruit that you peel such as oranges and bananas. Even though it's berry season here, no raw berries for me as my neutrophils are still barely hovering around 1 right now. Instead, I thoroughly wash gently heat the berries until they start to burst and softe and it makes like a chunky warm syrup/compote and then have them over my oats or just eat them with a spoon. I was hospitalized twice for febrile neutropenia and getting a GI infection is not something I wanted to risk. For more on neutropenic diets:

  • ksusan
    ksusan Member Posts: 461

    Tamoxifen is now being shown to promote type 2 diabetes, so people with ER+ cancers who do or might take it should be very careful about consuming that much sugar consistently.

  • Miza_73
    Miza_73 Member Posts: 12

    Thanks Melissa, I am still new and trying to understand the whole concept of healthy diet and food intake.

    I am a caretaker for my wife and I am oblivious to many things about good food, carb intake and even blood sugar. I am only aware of these since she was diagnosed and I need to make her healthy again.

    Thank you for your insight.

  • Miza_73
    Miza_73 Member Posts: 12

    Thanks everyone for the input.

    I am still new and trying to understand the whole concept of healthy diet and food intake. And as I learn, there are many contradicting facts discovered.

    I am a caretaker for my wife and I am oblivious to many things about good food, carb intake and even blood sugar. I am only aware of these since she was diagnosed and I need to make her healthy again.

    Thank you for your insights, I am learning more from all your comments.

    And @Moth... now that you mentioned the tamoxifen effect, my wife's sugar level seems to be high these days. She started Tamoxifen a month ago, will keep a check on this too.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    Miza - I would suggest for you to read through a thread called Diet and Lifestyle where several of us have been posting evidence based recommendations for improving outcomes. (the top of the first page of the thread is a bit messy as an old version of this thread got deleted so we're talking about that instead of the actual topic.... later pages have actual recommendations and suggestions.

    This link will take you to my first post on that thread, on the single biggest lifestyle modification proven to improve outcomes : exercise

    best wishes to you & your wife ~

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658

    I am by no means an expert on this but consuming a lot of fruit juice to combat cancer never made sense to me because it's a lot of sugar, mainly fructose, in a small period of time, which spikes blood sugar.

    Modern orange carrots, while not a fruit, are a result of fairly modern selective breeding and were bred specifically for their high sugar content.

    They also contain a lot if beta carotene, which might be beneficial, but I really couldn't say if any benefit out weighs the cons.

    I have never heard any dietician or nutritionist recommend a lot of juicing. They are more likely to recommend eating fruit in moderation.

  • Miza_73
    Miza_73 Member Posts: 12

    Hi Moth,

    Thank you for your kind wish and the link.

    I agree with you on exercising.

    My wife, to my admiration.. is very strong willed. She had started exercising once she could raise her hand after the lymph node removal surgery. On a daily basis, she does 3 - 4 KM walk/jog. She was weak in the beginning, but over time had improved on strength - very positive outcome.

  • snowday123
    snowday123 Member Posts: 15

    I’m currently doing 5-7 cups of unpeeled carrot juice daily after reading of the success of Ann Cameron using 5 cups of characters a day to cure colon cancer metastasized to her lungs.

    She encourages people to write her with their success or failure and is adamant that while not foolproof it seems to help most people at least somewhat - occasionally there's a knock your socks off win which is what she (and Ralph Cole - metastatic squamous cell carcinoma) experienced. Don’t know if it translates to a breast cancer diagnosis

    She wrote a book called carrots cure cancer - and the reviews are interesting. Also, research in mice found chemicals in carrot juice that seem to eliminate tumors. The research was only preliminary as obviously carrots are not a profitable treatment and will not elicit an expensive phase 3 clinical trial.

    Lots of substances out there with anti-cancer activity that will just never be studied. I use a cheap juicer and plenty of pulp left to mitigate sugar spike. She can test her blood sugar after juicing if she’s concerned. Research flaxseed and flaxseed oil too! And muscadine grape extract. Easy, delicious additions to diet

  • Blinx
    Blinx Member Posts: 82

    I came on the foods topic looking for juicing info. After my surgeon gave me my biopsy results, she said "Let's get you healthy. Do you have a juicer or blender?". She advised me to make berry smoothies since they are rich in antioxidants (and/or add berries to oatmeal). The other food mentioned was kale -- eat lots of it! This was all to prepare me for my eventual treatment.

    A friend of mine stocks his freezer with frozen berries -- I have to look up if they are just as good as fresh, and hopefully already very clean!

    In looking up antioxidant foods, carrots are right up there! I don't see how they can be harmful, but maybe there's a limit?

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    There is a limit with carrots and too much will actually turn your skin orange. I buy organic blueberries in the summer and freeze them for use all winter. They do retain almost all their nutrients.

    A blender is way better than a juicer imo. you want all the pulp and fiber. I have a vitamix. I don't like cold things during the winter so I tend to incorporate the fruit and veg into hot meals rather than doing a green smoothie like I'd do in the summer

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404

    hi, I was scrolling and came across this thread. I personally am an "everything in moderation" person ( except cancer treatment. Give me all you got!) I do love fresh juice of various kinds every once in a while, but mostly we eat TONS of Vegis and legumes cooked millions of different ways (last night was chicken peas and cauliflower in curry; salad with mixed greens, spinach, peppers, olives, onions, tomatoes; string beans sautéed with garlic; sautéed spinach with red pepper flakes; some rice and a piece of chicken)

    My only experience with juicing was as a child. My godmother brought her kids to the Dr with jaundice, couldn't figure out what was wrong with the whole family. Turns out they had recently bought a juicer and all turned ORANGE from too much carrot juice. True story.