Asparagus Claims

Does asparagus cure cancer? It's one of the persistent rumors that we get asked about. Here's what the research shows.

The Claim: Taking a daily dose of pureed asparagus will cure cancer.

This story, which has spread on the Internet and via email, offers a few testimonials and is supposedly based on a "doctor’s" 1979 journal article.

The Research: No such article has been published in peer-reviewed research journals and our Internet searches uncovered no information on the origin of the article or the doctor.

However, if you enjoy asparagus, it can be a valuable part of a diet that reduces cancer risk. Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, it contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, and foods high in these nutrients may offer additional cancer protection.

What to do: The false hope of these "cancer cure" or "miracle food" claims may prevent some from pursuing more effective treatments. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian about these claims before pursuing them. As with most whole foods, however, you can enjoy asparagus roasted, grilled or lightly steamed as one part of a cancer-protective diet.