Is Celery Juice The New Miracle Cure?
All over the internet we find claims that celery juice “cures” all kind of diseases varying from digestive complaints such as IBS to pain, adrenal fatigue, sinusitis, skin diseases, chronic arthritis and many more.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a single food or drink which could guarantee wellness and make all our ailments magically go away?
The vast amount of dreamlike claims found online may be unfounded but we cannot deny that celery is an extremely healthy plant. Celery contains bioactive phytonutrients which demonstrate therapeutic properties as well as contain vitamins A, K, B2, B6, C, folate, potassium and manganese.
The components that make celery a healthy food source are flavonoids such as apigenin and luteolin.
Flavonoids especially apigenin is known for its anti-cancer and chemo preventive properties. Studies have shown that apigenin could be a useful compound to prevent proliferation and migration of cancer cells as well as cancer stem cells. In melanoma it was found to suppress cell proliferation and tissue invasion as well as induce cell suicide in melanoma cells.
Luteolin and apigenin may also offer protection against certain brain diseases. A 2005 review study (on rats) found that that apigenin limits damage to a variety of brain processes, thereby delaying and slowing the progression of Alzheimer.
Chronic inflammatory processes are beneficially influenced by apigenin. This includes auto-immune diseases, arthritis and MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
Celery leaf extract has proven in a 2014 study to show a significant decrease in low density (LDL) or bad cholesterol in rats after 30 days.
But all of the therapeutic benefits including its potency as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering effect are not exclusive to celery. Many plants contain these properties, such as: oranges, parsley, onions, celeriac and sweet red pepper.
Furthermore, there is also a specific downside to celery juice. By juicing any plant, we consume an amount which is normally not achieved by eating the plant whole.
Therefore, compounds within the category of “furanocoumarin phytoalexins”, called bergapten and xanthotoxin can cause photosensitization and are also photomutagenic and photocarcingogenic. In other words, after consuming large amounts of celery juice a toxic dermal skin reaction can occur with exposure to sunlight (UVA rays) which results in cellular damage of the skin and increases mutation of DNA.
Animal studies have also exemplified that the juices from both celery and parsley downregulate cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes, which is important to Phase 1 liver detoxification.
During the phase 1 pathway, toxic metabolites and metals (from food, water, air and drugs) are converted into less harmful chemicals through many chemical reactions induced by CYP-450 enzymes.
In general, we don’t want to slow down phase 1 detoxification as it could lead to recirculation of toxins.
Additionally, it could prolong the half-life of drugs metabolized by these enzymes and therefore prolonging their action, possibly leading to increased side effects.
So depending on your liver function (especially if Phase 1 is already slow) too much celery juice could be bad for your detoxification.
What can we do?
I believe everything in moderation is the way to go. Our health cannot be fixed with one magic product or one magic plant as awesome as that would be. Vegetable or celery juice in combination with a holistic approach can be a powerful addition to any treatment or health journey. Nonetheless, on a final note, no matter how many health benefits a product may possess, anything in excess can cause problems.
Please share your thoughts below!
Kooti, W., & Daraei, N. (2017). A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery ( Apium graveolens L ), 22(4), 1029–1034. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587217717415
Jakovljevic, V., Raskovic, A., & Popovic, M. (2002). The effect of celery and parsley juices on pharmacodynamic activity of drugs involving cytochrome P450 in their metabolism : s, 27(3), 153–156.
Venigalla, M., Gyengesi, E., & Münch, G. (2015). Curcumin and Apigenin – novel and promising therapeutics against chronic neuroinflammation in Alzheimer ’ s disease, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.162686
Zhao, G., Han, X., Cheng, W. E. I., & Ni, J. (2017). Apigenin inhibits proliferation and invasion , and induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human melanoma cells, (19), 2277–2285. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2017.5450
Finkelstein, E. V. E., Afek, U. Z. I., Gross, E., Aharoni, N., Rosenberg, L., & Halevy, S. (1994). AN OUTBREAK OE PHYTOPHOTODERMATITIS, 3(2).
Venigalla, M., Gyengesi, E., Sharman, M. J., & Münch, G. (2015). Novel promising therapeutics against chronic neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurochemistry International, 95, 63–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2015.10.011