Fact-check: Hot water + pineapple ≠ cancer cure

Fact-check: Hot water + pineapple ≠ cancer cure

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Hot water + pineapple

Bromelain could be a promising therapy for colorectal cancer. However, further research is essential to confirm its efficacy. 

A social media post titled ‘Defeated Cancer’ claims that hot water infused with pineapple can cure any type of cancer, Since the post first went viral in August 2019, it has resurfaced in multiple languages, including English and Hindi, on various social media platforms.

According to the social media post, adding a few slices of pineapple to hot water and drinking the concoction every day is the remedy for cancer as well as several other health conditions. The WhatsApp message in Hindi was shared with the First Check team by a reader to check its veracity.

Here’s what we found after investigating the claim and talking to a medical expert. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claim. Also, the doctor who has made the claim – Dr Gilbert A Kwake, supposedly a professor at ICBS General Hospital – could not be found on any social media platforms, despite our best efforts.

Dr Jayesh D Patel, Professor at Regional Cancer Center BJ Medical College and consultant oncologist at Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, India, warns that such misleading claims can be dangerous as they prevent patients from seeking timely medical care. “Although pineapples are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, they cannot cure cancer. The fruit is known to boost general health and immunity,” he says.

Pineapples have flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. While some animal-based studies have demonstrated the potential health benefits of these antioxidants, further investigation is needed to confirm these findings in humans.

Pineapple also contains bromelain, an enzyme found in its stem and in small amounts in the fruit, which is being studied for its potential to prevent cancer. While early findings suggest that bromelain could be a promising therapy for colorectal cancer, further research is essential to confirm its efficacy.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) puts it, the most effective cancer treatment programmes are those that are linked to early detection and accurate diagnosis and staging; adhere to evidence-based standards of care; and are provided in an equitable and sustainable way.

Drinking hot water infused with pineapple does not qualify as a treatment for cancer. It’s advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before trying any home remedies or cures you find on social media.

To fact-check any health-related information, you can mail us at hello@firstcheck.in or WhatsApp us on +91 9311 223145.