Raw Onions: Alleviating the Misery of Chemotherapy and More

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Simple, inexpensive foods like onion may hold surprising power to improve conventional cancer treatment experience and outcomes

The often excruciating side effects of chemotherapy exact a mighty toll beyond the intended targets of the cancer cells themselves. But emerging research reveals a simple, inexpensive food that could relieve patients' suffering, and therefore improve overall treatment outcomes as a result. In a new clinical trial, breast cancer patients eating raw yellow onions suffered fewer chemotherapy side effects and enjoyed stable blood sugar levels. Given onions' near-universal accessibility and low cost, these findings challenge the notion that there isn't more we can do now to improve conventional cancer treatment outcomes, which leave much to be desired given their terrible and sometimes even lethal side effects. Learn more about cancer stem cells to better understand chemotherapy's dark side here. They also underscore how proper nutrition reinforces overall health resilience even amid extreme medical interventions.  

The study followed women receiving chemotherapy containing doxorubicin, an agent which animal research indicates may trigger systemic insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. One group consumed 100-160 grams daily of fresh onion, while controls ate just 30-40 grams. After 8 weeks, significant differences emerged. The group consuming higher amounts of onion maintained healthy blood sugar despite chemotherapy's well known harms. Medication side effects dropped 23% compared to controls experiencing more frequent, severe reactions. The higher onion consuming group also reported better appetite, weight and pain levels.

The researchers attributed these benefits to onions' sulfur compounds and antioxidants. Earlier studies found onion extracts combatted human liver, colon and blood cancers in the lab. But this trial uniquely demonstrated onions' power to mitigate collateral damage from necessary chemo. Highlighting this human study's relevance, author Dr. Pirouzpanah concluded: 

"The present study demonstrated the effectiveness of onion to ameliorate hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in BC [breast cancer] during doxorubicin-based chemotherapy...The common use of fresh and raw onion in...diet renders this study important in terms of establishing the possible effects of regular onion consumption associated with DOX [doxorubicin] among BC survivors."

Rather than an either/or approach of using only conventional or alternative medicine, the implications suggest integrative or complementary support strategies for those patients who elect to use conventional chemotherapy as their primary strategy. Nutritional interventions like the consumption of onions cannot replace necessary medical interventions, but fortifying the foundation of health through simple, inexpensive food-based strategies like onion intake could make all the difference for quality of life. This aligns with growing recognition that food is powerful medicine - especially when the body faces extreme stressors. While more research is needed, updating conventional cancer treatment recommendations to include onions alongside conventional chemotherapy appears sensible for mitigating harm.

To learn more about the profound health benefits of onions, and its primary studied phytocompound quercetin, view the database on the subject here.

Also, view research on natural approaches to increasing the efficacy of conventional treatment outcomes here.

Finally, view the research on other chemotherapeutic compounds that are natural in origin here.

NOTE: This article is intended to effectuate change in the way that conventional oncologists practice their standard of care, given that few are aware or have been educated to the fact that there are a wide range of integrative or complementary approaches that will mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, and improve outcomes for those electing to use these approaches. That said, the founder of Greenmedinfo.com Sayer Ji's work, as extensively documented on his website, along with his international best-selling book REGENERATE: Unlocking Your Body's Radical Resilience Through The New Biology, focuses mostly on the subject of prevention and alternative treatment of cancer, through the lens of the critical role that cancer stem cells play in both carcinogenesis and the failure of conventional approaches to produce satisfactory outcomes. For alternative, natural approaches to cancer treatment, consult www.Greenmedinfo.com's largest database on the subject -- CANCERS: ALL -- which presently contains over 13,000 studies across over 1,000 natural substances.


1. Jafarpour-Sadegh, Farnaz, et al. "Consumption of fresh yellow onion ameliorates hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in breast cancer patients during doxorubicin-based chemotherapy: a randomized controlled clinical trial." Integrative Cancer Therapies 16.3 (2017): 276-289.

2. Pirouzpanah, Saeed, et al. "The effect of modifiable potentials on hypermethylation status of retinoic acid receptor-beta2 and estrogen receptor-alpha genes in primary breast cancer." Cancer Causes & Control 21.12 (2010): 2101-2111.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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