No, cassava doesn’t cure cancer – and could make it worse

Latsa nan don karanta wannan rohoton da Hausa. Click here to read this report in Hausa.

The vegetable cassava cures cancer, claims a Facebook post shared in Nigeria in November 2019.

It reads: “I ate 10 grams of cassava three times a day. After eating cassava for one month, my doctor checked my bladder for cancer. He was surprised because my bladder was completely clean and normal.”

Cassava is a root vegetable – like potatoes and carrots – grown by smallholder farmers in more than 100 countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The FAO describes it as the “food of the poor” that “responds to the priorities of developing countries”.

And it’s a good source of carbohydrates, calcium, essential minerals and vitamins B and C.

“As long as I kept eating cassava, I felt very fit and very healthy,” the post reads. “Since then, I only ate cassava and did not continue other cancer medications.”

The post says cassava contains “vitamin B17”. When eaten, it claims, the “vitamin” converts into an acid in the body that “kills cancer cells locally”. It goes on to give more examples of cancer patients who saw a dramatic turnaround in their health after eating cassava for weeks. 

Vitamin B17 isn’t a vitamin – and contains cyanide

Africa Check has debunked the cancer-curing properties of “vitamin B17” before.

First, it isn’t a vitamin. The substance – also known as laetrile and amygdalin – is found in apricot kernels and apple seeds, and often hyped as an “alternative” cure for cancer.

But “there is no evidence that laetrile or amygdalin can treat tumours”, according to a Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) factsheet.

People shouldn’t “replace conventional cancer treatment with any type of alternative cancer therapy, such as laetrile”, Cansa says.

“Laetrile can cause serious side effects in some people because of its cyanide content.”

Cyanide is a poison.

Cassava could fuel cancer

Africa Check asked Prof Adeniyi Adenipekun, a radiation oncology specialist at Nigeria’s University of Ibadan Clinical Sciences faculty, about the claim.

“Cassava does not cure cancer or eliminate cancer cells,” he said.

“Cassava is a source of carbohydrates, which can be broken down into sugar. Sugar is fuel for cancer cells. We do not advise our patients to take in excess carbohydrate.

“The claim is not scientifically proven nor medically approved.” – Jennifer Ojugbeli


Rogo baya maganin ciwon daji – sai dai ma ya sa cutar tayi muni

Rogo na maganin ciwon daji, abun da ke dauke cikin wani rubutu da rarraba a Facebook a watan Nuwamba 2019.

Rubutun na cewa: “Ina cin  giram 10 na rogo sau uku a rana. Bayan na yi wata guda ina ci, likitana ya yi mun gwajin cutar daji a mafitsara ta. Ya yi mamakin ganin mafitsara ta daidai kuma a tsaftace.”

Rogo na daga cikin kayan lambun da ke fitowa a cikin kasa – kamar dankali da karas – kuma kananan manoma ke noma su a kasashe kusan 100 a duniya, kungiyar abinci da manoma ta majalisar dinkin duniya ta bayyana rogo a matsayin “abincin talakawa” da ke cikin “muhimman abinci a kasashe masu tasowa”.

Rogo na daga cikin manyan abincin da ke samar da ababen gina jiki, kalsiyum, minaral da bitamin A da C.

Mai rubutun ya cigaba da ikirarin cewa, “matukar zan cigaba da cin rogo, zan kara samun lafiya da kuzari. Tun daga lokacin na cigaba da cin rogo, yanzu ma ko magungunan ciwon daji ba na sha.”

Ya kara cewa “rogo na dauke da sinadarin bitamin B17 wanda bayan anci zai koma wani sinadrin da ke yakar cutar daji”. Rubutun ya cigaba da zayyano wasu misalan masu ciwon dajin da rogon ya warkar cikin gaggawa bayan sun yi makonni suna cin rogo.

Bitamin B17 da aka ambata baya cikin rukunan bitamin – rogo na dauke da sinadarin siyanadin

Africa Check ta taba karyata batun cewa sinadarin bitamin B17 na maganin ciwon daji.

Da farko dai ba sinadarin bitamin ba ne kunshe a cikin rogo. Wasu sinadarai ne guda biyu da ake samun su a jikin bawon efirikot da kwallon tufa, wanda lokuta da dama ake ta kwakwazon cewa suna maganin ciwon daji.

Takardun bayanan da kungiyar ciwon daji ta Africa ta kudu (Cansa) ta fitar, sun ce babu wata hujja da ta tabbatar wadannan sinadarai guda biyu na maganin ciwon daji.

“Mutane su dai na amfani da magunguna gida a maimakon na asibiti, sinadrin laetrile ka iya yin mummunar illa ga jikin dan adam,” a cewar kungiyar Cansa.

Rogo zai iya assasa cutar daji

Africa Check ta tuntubi farfesa Adeniyi Adenipekun, kwararre likita a tsangayar kimiyar kiwon lafiya ta jami’ar Ibadan, Najeriya. Ya kuma shaida mana cewa “rogo baya maganin cutar daji ko kashe kwayoyin cutar”.

Farfesan ya kara da cewa “rogo abinci ne mai dauke da sinadaran gina jiki wanda jiki ke mayar da su suga, suga kuma kamar taki ya ke zama ga kwayoyin cutar daji. Ba ma shawartar masu ciwon su yawaita cin abinci mai gina jiki”.

Wannan da’awar bata da wata hujja a kimiyance ko likitance. – Jennifer Ojugbeli

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