There was a story spreading on the internet about Dr. Cynthia Jayasuriya from Sri Lanka. According to the story, she suffered bladder cancer stage 2. And she was healed because she consumed steamed cassava (Manihot esculenta). She also mentioned that cassava could cure cancer because vitamin B17 in the tubes. So, was the story true? Can cassava cure cancer?
According to a professor in Pharmacology and clinical pharmacy at University Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta, Indonesia, Zullies Ikawati, there was no scientific research that proved cassava could cure cancer.
Prof Zullies said that in the 1970s, cassava was promoted as anticancer. Sadly, it was not supported by strong evidence.
Some research tried to examine the benefits of vitamin B17 that was called as amygdalin or laetrile in cassava. However, they couldn’t find the evidence that it could heal cancer.
“There was an animal study, the first research claimed that amygdalin could slow cancer, but when it’s repeated the results were different. This prove that it could not cure cancer,” she told Liputan 6.
Then, according to the National Cancer Institute, there were only two published research on cassava and cancer. The first research was in the 1970s and it involved six patients. They were not healed and one patient was poisoned by cyanide in cassava.
The second was in 1982. It involved 175 patients. Only one who claimed that she or he was getting better and that the amygdalin could reduce cancer.
Until now, there’s no research yet that can prove that cassava can cure cancer. “According to the systematic review there are no benefits yet that B17 cure cancer because it isn’t supported by strong research,” Prof Zullies added.