Googling the keywords "beetroot cancer cure" will come up with many articles claiming that beetroot may cure cancer.

Beetroot is one of the many healthy RAW vegetables one should focus on according to this article, but it didn't mention anything about cancer.

But, for instance, this is what this article claimed:

In yet another clinical trial, 22 patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 ozs. of beet juice daily for 3 to 4 months. All but one of those patients showed dramatic improvements.

Does beetroot cures cancer?

1 Answer 1


That article doesn't provide references, and so is suspect. Any drug needs to have the effect replicated in multiple independent laboratories to verify efficacy.

We do have some experimental evidence that beetroot juice has some cytotoxicity for several tumour lines but the effect is much less than a standard chemotherapeutic drug such as Adriamycin [1]

Both doxorubicin and the beetroot extract exhibited a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect in the two cancer cell lines tested. Although the cytotoxicity of the beetroot extract was significantly lower when compared to doxorubicin, it continued to decrease the growth rate of the PC-3 cells (3.7% in 3 days vs. 12.5% in 7 days) when tested at the concentration of 29 µg/ml. In contrast, doxorubicin, at the same concentration level, completely inhibited the growth of the PC-3 cells in three days. Similarly, comparative studies in the normal human skin FC and liver HC cell lines showed that the beetroot extract had significantly lower cytotoxic effect than doxorubicin (8.6% vs. 100%, respectively, at 29 µg/ml concentration of each, three-day test period).

Animal experiments suggest that the anti-cancer effect is by inhibition of angiogenesis ( new blood vessel growth ) and induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death), and perhaps like many vegetables, they have a role in cancer prevention.

Betanin reduced the number of CD31+ endothelial microvessels and increased the expression of caspase-3, suggesting that the lung tumor inhibitory effects were through induction of apoptosis and inhibition of angiogenesis. Betanin also induced apoptosis through activated caspase-3, -7, -9, and PARP in human lung cancer cell lines. Our data show that betanin significantly inhibits lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice and merits investigation as a chemopreventive agent for human lung cancer. [2]


[1] Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Rao GS, [..], Tokuda H. Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Mar;11(3):280-4. PubMed PMID: 21434853.

[2] Zhang Q, Pan J, Wang Y, [..], You M. Beetroot red (betanin) inhibits vinyl carbamate- and benzo(a)pyrene-induced lung tumorigenesis through apoptosis. Mol. Carcinog. 2013 Sep;52(9):686-91. doi: 10.1002/mc.21907. PubMed PMID: 22456940.

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