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Can Superfruits Ward Off Cancer?

A LITTLE SWEET TALK

What, if anything, can be done to prevent cancer in terms of diet? Dr. Euhus says to stay away from simple sugars that can raise insulin levels, which have been linked to increased breast cancer rates.

As for fruit, which most people lump into a “healthy” category, Dr. Euhus warns that fruits are still loaded with natural sugar, so limit your intake. “I think of fruit as a dessert and not as a medicine,” he says.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, can drinking noni or pomegranate juice, popping acai palm berry supplements, or munching on wolfberries ward off cancer?

Probably not, says David Euhus, M.D., Professor of Surgical Oncology and Co-Director of the Mary L. Brown Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Program at UT Southwestern. So-called “superfruits” marketed by companies for their supposedly high nutritional and antioxidant content really have no documented impact on keeping cancer at bay in humans.

“There’s really no superfood that’s been proven to reduce the risk of cancer,” Dr. Euhus says.

Some animal studies have linked eating certain foods with cancer reduction, but those results have not been seen in human trials, Dr. Euhus says.

Certain vegetables, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, have nutritional content that Dr. Euhus finds “intriguing” in terms of potential disease-fighting properties, but study results in those remain inconclusive as well.