No, scientific studies don't support ‘hot pineapple water cure’ for cancer

By: Nabeela Khan
September 11 2023

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No, scientific studies don't support ‘hot pineapple water cure’ for cancer

Screenshot of Facebook claim saying that hot pineapple and hot pineapple water can kill cancer cells


The Verdict False

There is insufficient evidence to show that pineapple or pineapple water can kill cancer cells.

Claim ID fc0e082c

What's the claim?

A claim is circulating on Facebook that hot pineapple water can kill cancer cells. A post on Facebook reads, "Hot pineapple can kill cancer cells. Cut 2 to 3 pieces of pineapple thinner in a cup, add hot water, it will be "alkaline water", drink every day, it is good for anyone. Hot pineapple releases anti-cancer substances, which are the latest advances in effective cancer treatment in medicine (sic)."

The internet keeps coming up with a new "miraculous" cure for cancer every now and then. However, this claim, which is being widely circulated in Sri Lanka, has no scientific basis.  

What are the facts? 

The message looks like a modified version of a 2018 claim that promoted “hot lemon water” instead of pineapple water as a possible cure for cancer. Several fact-checking organizations had debunked this claim then

The claim has reappeared, replacing lemon water with pineapple water. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim either. The Cancer Research U.K., the world's largest independent cancer research organization, highlighted that "there's no scientific evidence that eating pineapples, or large amounts of fruit, can cure cancer."

The article also highlighted that "eating any one specific food is unlikely to have a major impact on preventing cancer and so-called 'superfoods' don’t have any scientific backing."

The viral message had also suggested consuming hot water mixed with pieces of pineapple as it becomes "alkaline.", an initiative that focuses on spreading knowledge about cancer, has explained all about the popularity of alkaline water trend and how it doesn’t help with cancer. 

“To date, no studies have shown that drinking alkaline water prevents or treats cancer.” It also explains that the “idea gained attention in 2002 with the publication of a series of pH Miracle books by Robert O. Young, who promoted the theory of an alkaline, or high pH, diet to treat and prevent disease, including cancer.” This harmed someone living with cancer who chose not to receive standard cancer treatment and instead followed the alkaline diet. Young was ordered to pay over $105 million to this person and later served time in jail. 

But why pineapple? Is there any science behind it?

There are conversations on the internet that a substance called 'bromelain,' which is promoted as a dietary supplement for reducing pain and swelling, is found in pineapple and may cure cancer. However, there is no scientific evidence that eating pineapple or drinking pineapple water can reduce or kill cancer cells. 

Research on the pineapple's effect on cancer cells is based on test tube studies only; there are not enough human-based studies to make any conclusions both on the effectiveness of bromelin on cancer or whether eating raw pineapple can provide enough bromelain to the human body.

Dr. Biswarup Basu, Senior Scientific Officer at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, says, "A lab-based study that proposes pineapple vinegar has anti-cancer efficacy in cells as well as in mice was conducted in a lab and in a controlled lab environment without many complex variables. They do not necessarily replicate human physiology with cancer growth and there are no human clinical trials undertaken to support with evidences."

Dr. Basu also explained that "hot pineapple juice makes it alkaline, is beyond understanding, and  till date no studies have shown that drinking alkaline juice can prevent/treat cancer." Without reproducible clinical evidence in this area, it can be safely said that this is a myth, and clinicians, patients, and patient advocates should refrain from believing these ideas and instead keep the belief in evidence-based medicines.


Pineapple, or pineapple water, is not a proven cure for cancer; therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

(With inputs from Sandun Arosha Fernando)

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before