Neutropenia: When Juicing Is a Bad Idea 1


Juicing may support recovery and extend remission in many different kinds of cancer. One of the most common complications of cancer, however, is a red flag warning that juicing is a bad idea.

Neutropenia is shortage of white blood cells. More specifically, it is a shortage of neutrophils, the white blood cells that release chemicals that destroy bacterial and parasitic infections. Chemotherapy and radiation sometimes wipe out the production of neutrophils so that infection is a greater problem than cancer itself.

Cancer patients who have neutropenia generally should not have home-squeezed juice. There are too many opportunities for bacteria to grow on produce. Fruits and vegetables that are left out in the car in hot weather grow bacteria at an accelerated rate—up to 100 times faster in the car than in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables that are stored together in the refrigerator can become cross-contaminated.

Holding produce up the tap isn't enough. Fruits and vegetables have to be rinsed top and bottom, and preferably agitated in a clean sink of basin of water and then rinsed again under the tap, spun dry before cool or cold storage.

Certain kinds of fruits and vegetables just can't be disinfected with certainty. Cantaloupe rinds, for example, have webbing that traps germs. Grapefruit and avocados can be contaminated between the bumps on their peels. And just a few seconds of contact with a housefly can deposit deadly bacteria from wherever the fly has traveled. The housefly regurgitates every time it feeds.

When the neutrophil count is below 1000 cells per microliter, drink pasteurized juice. The benefits of raw foods don't cancel out the dangers of low white blood cells counts when cancer treatment has caused neutropenia. It's safe to drink homemade juices again when the neutrophil count is back over 1500.

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About Andy Williams

In a processed food culture, simply eating may not be enough. Andy Williams, B.SC., Ph.D. is a scientist with a strong interest in Juicing and how it can supply the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive in modern society. You can subscribe to his free daily paper called Juicing The Rainbow and follow him on Facebook orTwitter. You can also follow me on Google +


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One thought on “Neutropenia: When Juicing Is a Bad Idea

  • Samantha Rowan

    What about when no cancer has been found? My daughter has a low wbc and neutrophils at 0.8, is juicing dangerous for her or just cancer patients?