Fact Check: Cancer IS A Disease And Is NOT Cured By A Sugar-Free Diet, Warm Lemon Water And Coconut Oil

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Cancer IS A Disease And Is NOT Cured By A Sugar-Free Diet, Warm Lemon Water And Coconut Oil Cancer Hoax

Is cancer not a disease and can it be cured by a sugar-free diet, warm lemon water and coconut oil, as the purported "Dr. Gubta" claims? No, that's not true. According to credible health and medical sources, cancer is considered a disease and there is no evidence that a sugar-free diet, warm lemon water and coconut oil can cure it.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on TikTok by @user4019382090922 on September 1, 2023, under the title "Cancer is not a disease." The caption continues:

Dr. Gubta says: No one should die because of cancer except by disregarding it. There are very simple steps:

1. Quitting the consumption of sugar entirely: for sugar is the feeder of cancer!

2. Drinking mixture of lemon with hot water, from one to three months, for lemon is 1000 times better than chemotherapy.

3. Drinking three tablespoons of organic coconut oil, both in the morning and in the evening. Cancer cells will die, God willing.

(Translated from Arabic by Lead Stories staff)

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-28 at 17.56.42.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Sep 28 15:56:55 2023 UTC)

The claim went viral on TikTok and was published by numerous accounts, for example here, here and here.

Lead Stories conducted a Google reverse image search on September 28, 2023, for the person's photo claiming to be "Dr. Gubta." Additionally, a Google News search index was conducted on the same date using the keywords "Dr. Gubta: cancer is not a disease." However, neither of these searches yielded any results from credible sources for a real doctor named Gubta who has made such claims regarding cancer. Furthermore, all the photos were sourced from different platforms, all making the same claims about the alleged Dr. Gubta, cancer and its alleged cures.

Apart from that, the video contains a few different claims, and they are:

Claim 1: Cancer is not a disease

While these videos claim that cancer is not a disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines cancer as "a large group of diseases:"

Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs. The latter process is called metastasizing and is a major cause of death from cancer. A neoplasm and malignant tumour are other common names for cancer.

Claim 2: Sugar-free diet cures cancer

The videos on TikTok claim that stopping the consumption of sugar cures cancer. However, an article by Cancer Research UK titled "Sugar and cancer - what you need to know," published on August 16, 2023, states that the idea that a sugar-free diet helps with cancer is "a common myth." The article also says:

There's no evidence that following a "sugar-free" diet lowers the risk of getting cancer, or that it boosts the chances of surviving if you are diagnosed.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the cells in the body utilize sugar for growth and division, but consumption of sugar does not make the cancer cells grow faster.

All cells require sugar (glucose) for energy. Your body can also store sugar to use as energy later. Your body needs this sugar to function normally. Canadians consume thousands of dietary components every day, so it's hard to pinpoint precise links between diet and cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society also adds that since overconsumption of sugar leads to obesity and research shows that obesity increases the risk of cancer, it is important to have a healthy diet, and healthy body weight is different for everyone; one should consult with their doctor regarding one's diet.

Claim 3: Warm lemon water cures cancer

The videos claim that one way to cure cancer is by consuming warm lemon water. However, many health experts state that this is inaccurate. For instance, in a piece titled "Do Lemons Prevent Cancer?" Caroline Novas from the National Center for Health Research wrote:

Although lemons have health benefits, the claims that "lemons are a proven remedy against cancer of all types" and "lemons are 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy" are certainly false. Furthermore, while a few studies have looked into the anti-carcinogenic properties of modified citrus pectin and limonoids and found some promising results, not enough research has been done to prove its effects on humans.

Claim 4: Organic coconut oil cures cancer

In an article titled, "No role for coconut oil in cancer treatment for humans - and it's not good for the heart," published by Africa Check, a fact-checking organization, on June 7, 2023, Dr. Atara Ntekim, an oncologist and a faculty member in the department of radiation oncology at the University College Hospital Ibadan, debunks the claim that coconut oil cures cancer:

Presently, only a few laboratory reports using cancer cells that are grown in the lab (cell lines) have been reported to be affected by coconut oil. This will still need more research to be able to translate it to humans. Before it can be applied to humans it has to be investigated that using it for treatment will not have additional serious side effects.

Dr. Ntekim also pointed out that 90% of coconut oil is saturated fat, and consuming too much saturated fat increases "bad" cholesterol levels, which might lead to heart disease.

According to Lead Stories' investigation, the assertion that "cancer is not a disease and can be remedied through a sugar-free diet, warm lemon water, and coconut oil" is misinformation. It is crucial to note that these practices may have severe adverse effects on an individual's health in certain instances. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek advice from a medical professional regarding cancer treatment.

  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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