Can Asparagus Cure Cancer?

Posted on Apr 13, 2013 in Research

I often get asked this question. There are some personal reports online of cancer cures from eating asparagus.

Dr Jacob Schor, President of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, shared this helpful advice in his newsletter.

“We continue to  be questioned about whether eating asparagus can act as a cure for cancer.  This idea has been floating around via viral internet messages for 2-3 years.  The messages being forwarded are not particularly credible according to a Snopes evaluation:

At the same time I am not ready to throw the idea into the compost bin.  Checking PubMed for peer reviewed articles on asparagus and cancer produces a list of some two dozen published studies suggesting that there are chemicals in asparagus that have anti-cancer effect.

For example, a paper published this past April tells us that a chemical found in asparagus kills liver cancer cells.

Asparagus is a seasonal food.  We tend to eat it only in the Spring and early Summer.  If it has cumulative effect from eating it daily, we would be unlikely to notice it as hardly anybody eats it regularly.  I’ve not heard of anyone ever getting sick from eating too much asparagus so at this point I am not trying to dissuade anyone from following the ‘asparagus eating guidelines for treating cancer’ that are appearing on the internet.

Will it work?  We don’t have enough data to make a decision.  Will it hurt?  Probably not.  There is no data showing it does not work.”

Dr Jacob Schor practices in Denver, Colorado at Denver Naturopathic Clinic. He also writes an informative health newsletter that is free to subscribe to.