Asparagus is a natural cure for cancer-Unproven!

Summary of the eRumor:
A forwarded email about the vegetable asparagus and how it was found to cure cancer.
 

The Truth:  
There is no clinical proof that asparagus cures various forms of cancer. 

Asparagus is a stalk like vegetable that grows in sandy soil and is part of the Lilly family along with garlic, onions and leeks.  The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board calls it "one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence" because it is high in content of folic acid, potassium, thiamin, and fiber.  Asparagus is a good source for vitamins A, B6 and C.  The stalks contains no cholesterol or fat, and is low in sodium.

The American Cancer Society has an information page on folic acid saying that it is a B vitamin that helps the body build healthy new cells and maintains DNA.

The American cancer society recommends moderation of the intake of the folic acid as high doses can interfere with the effectiveness of the cancer treatment with chemotherapy.

Fox News reported on June 5, 2007 that heavy doses in nutritional supplements, such as folic acid, could backfire and increase the risk of cancer:  Click for news story.

updated 04/14/09

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Asparagus for Cancer -

Three types of asparagus on a shop display, with white asparagus at the back and green asparagus in the middle. The plant at the front is Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, is commonly called wild asparagus,

Several years ago, I had a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a photocopied copy of an article, entitled, `Asparagus for cancer ' printed in Cancer News Journal, December 1979.

I will share it here, just as it was shared with me: 'I am a biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years.

Here are a few examples:

Case No. 1,
A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.
 

Case No. 2,
A successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.


Case No. 3,
A man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is back at his regular business routine. *


*Case No. 4,
A woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by asking specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus.

We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy. For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using, and therefore canned asparagus is just as good as fresh.

* * PROCEDURE::
1) Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator.

2) Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening.

Patients usually show some improvement in from 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent'. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold.

For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups.

The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink...

The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good.. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body's most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

Please spread the news....

...the most unselfish act one can ever do is paying forward all the kindness one has received even to the most undeserved person *