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Carrots are gaining prominence as an anti-cancer food.  Many of the cancer survivors I spoke with have made daily consumption of carrot juice a part of routine.  I also found many scientific studies exploring the key compounds of carrots and their anti-cancer effects.  Here are my notes 

What are the key anti-cancer compounds in Carrots

  1. Carotenoids: Available in the form of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, lycopene etc., they act as anti-oxidants and protect against cell damage. 
  2. Falcarinol: A naturally occurring anti-fungal compound present in carrots and in other Apiaceae plant species. {like parsley (ajmood in hindi)}     [ More about Falcarinol ]

For Which types of Cancer will Carrots help

  • colon and colorectal cancer – Yes

  Multiple studies and survivor experiences have indicated a high potential to arrest growth and even reverse colon and colorectal cancers.  A survivor story from Chris-Beats-Cancer talks about how daily consumption of carrot juice helped the patient become free from colon cancer.  One thing to note from the survivor story is that the patient persisted with the daily intake of juice for 8 months. Persistence and regular check on outcomes is important. There is no magic pill. Scientific studies attribute Falcarinol as the key anti-cancer compound here.

Reference Links

Inhibitory effects of feeding with carrots or (-)-falcarinol on development of azoxymethane-induced preneoplastic lesions in the rat colon.
Dietary polyacetylenes, falcarinol and falcarindiol, isolated from carrots prevents the formation of neoplastic lesions in the colon of azoxymethane-induced rats.
Ann Cameron Cured Her Stage 4 Cancer with Carrot Juice, Nothing Else

Leukemia- Yes

An interesting case study has showcased a significant reduction in leukocytes and lymphocytes count and a partial remission in one and a half months after putting the patient on a daily consumption of beetroot-carrot juice. This reduction was achieved standalone as well as in conjunction with Chlorambucil drug treatment. In this particular case, the given dose was 330 ml of fresh raw beetroot- carrot juice blend and was administered orally (beetroot 200 g. + carrots 250 g.) two hours before breakfast. The study also notes that the toxic side effects of the drug were minimized (renal function improved, damage to gastrointestinal tract lessened) when administered with beetroot-carrot juice.   Read the full case study here.  You’ll note that the patient was not persistent with the juice on a regular basis, otherwise the results could have been even better.

Reference Links

Effects of bioactive compounds from carrots (Daucus carota L.), polyacetylenes, beta-carotene and lutein on human lymphoid leukaemia cells.
Beetroot-Carrot Juice Intake either Alone or in Combination with Antileukemic Drug ‘Chlorambucil’ As A Potential Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Breast Cancer – Inconclusive

One of the breast cancer survivors I interviewed some time back credits daily intake of carrot juice as one of the key elements of her recovery and good health.  She had opted to NOT  go for chemotherapy but go completely natural. Read her story here.  One of the stories reported by showcases how a 33 year old got free of cancer by juicing 2 kgs of carrots a day.  One of the studies has established that consumption of about 250 ml of carrot juice increases plasma total carotenoid concentrations to levels shown to be associated with reduced breast risk of recurrence in breast cancer survivors.

However, I could not find studies which directly correlate carotenoids or other compounds in carrots with reversing breast cancer cell growth.  Anti-oxidant properties of carotenoids definitely reduce risk but will they aid cure … we don’t know.  Anecdotal evidences from patients exist but we don’t know what caused those results and how to make them repeatable with predictable outcomes for others.

Reference Links

Carrot Component Reduces Cancer Risk
Effects of a carrot juice intervention on plasma carotenoids, oxidative stress, and inflammation in overweight breast cancer survivors.

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