Fruit salads may cause cancer, top Latvian scientists have found. The study, published in Eat My Carcinoma, has sent shockwaves through fruit communities and undermines the long-held belief that this ancient food can help prevent the disease.

Researchers at the University of Ventspils were originally carrying out tests to see if rhubarb injected directly into the brains of baby gorillas slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s, but they all went on to develop aggressive tumours.

‘The more rhubarb we injected, the more tumours we saw,’ said head researcher Professor Andris Bartulis.

‘We then discovered that small traces of peach and sea grape had contaminated the rhubarb serum, so we force-fed orangutans a variety of fruit medleys, and the effects were rather disquieting.

‘All apes given cocktails containing three or more fruits went on to develop unpleasant cancers.’

Smoothies are thought to be particularly deadly as the fruit is pulverized and blended, which is thought could ‘activate’ the cancer-causing enzymes, which are then fed and nurtured by the high quantities of sugar found in these popular breakfast drinks.

Bartulis warned, ‘If your five-a-day is all together, say in a salad, smoothie or tinned cocktail in syrup, then you are at risk of developing cancer of the teeth, oesophagus, stomach, bowel and rectum. In fact potentially anywhere the deadly fruit farrago has touched.

‘We don’t want to cause undue alarm, but we are urging all pregnant women to sleep upside down until more is known.’

But the professor was keen to stress that individual items of fruit should still form part of a healthy diet and that not all fruit jumbles are hazardous.

‘Eating up to two fruits at any given time, evenly spaced throughout the day has been shown to have health benefits, including the prevention of cancer and we would ask everyone to carry on doing this,’ he said.

The team advised timing your daily fruit intake in incremental fruit-bursts, taking care not to mix more than two fruits together. They also found that if you do consume more than two at once, then it may be possible to offset the risk by covering your legs with roasting flannels and rubbing blackberries into your scalp.

There is also some evidence that clinically-steamed bramble fruits mixed with one, six and fourteen-seed tropical fruits could be consumed together with most of the segmented fruits providing you have no allergies to kumquats.

‘But we don’t know why,’ they admitted.