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Gerson Therapy for Cancer?

Gerson Therapy is a largely diet-based alternative treatment for cancer invented by the late Dr. Max Gerson. What have 65 years of medical research concluded about its efficacy and safety?

According to a recent review out of Sloan-Kettering in the journal Oncology, for about $16,000 you can fly to a clinic in Mexico and spend three weeks “consuming fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices” and “eliminating salt from the diet.” Sounds pretty benign. Patients are also given a number of supplements including pancreatic enzymes as well as coffee enemas to “stimulate metabolism.” I do not deny that coffee enemas would be stimulating, but I don’t recommend them given the case reports I note in my 2-min. video Gerson Therapy For Cancer where they’ve killed people. Is oral coffee okay? See my video Coffee and Cancer.

To their credit, modern Gerson practitioners have moved away from the original tenets of the plan, which included feeding people raw calf liver smoothies, after too many people died from systemic blood infections. (These infections were from the same fecal bacteria in chicken I cover in my video Poultry and Paralysis). After learning of the outbreak, staff at the Gerson Institute decided the policy of drinking blended liver was to be altered and they apparently started injecting raw liver instead.

But hey, conventional cancer treatments are no walk in the park either! The reason people choose them is in hopes that they work. How does the Gerson therapy compare? The first formal investigation into the treatment was back in 1947, and in the 65 years since there’s been over a dozen studies published. Most came to the same conclusion: Gerson therapy is useless or worse.

These negative reviews of Gerson Therapy were written before a head-to-head trial was published of a Gerson-style (Gonzalez) regime versus chemotherapy in terms of survival and quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients. That’s the study I profile in the video above. You can read the study for yourself here (you’ll note that I always list links to all of the papers I cover in my videos in the “Sources Cited” section beneath each video on NutritionFacts.org).

How do you prevent pancreatic cancer in the first place? See my video Largest Study Ever.

Dietary strategies associated with prolonged cancer survival can be found in my videos:

I’ve got 47 other videos on Alternative Medicine in which I do my best to relay the balance of evidence. Just because it may be the best available science, though, doesn’t mean the science is particularly good (as this chemo trial demonstrated). But how else can we make decisions except with the best evidence available?

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Sigurdas / Wikimedia Commons

Related:
Eating Green to Prevent Cancer
Less Cancer in Vegan Men Despite More Testosterone
Treating an Enlarged Prostate With Diet

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

31 comments

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9:48PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

i am hesitant with this article. I don't believe gerson is given all the credit him and now his daughter deserve.

12:56PM PST on Jan 3, 2013

I want to know what that fox is eating? I think he needs to cut back on the mushrooms!

12:54PM PST on Jan 3, 2013

Yes eat lots of Pampas Grass and dock leaves and you wont need to buy a lawn mower!

6:43PM PST on Dec 13, 2012

Thank you Dr, Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

6:22AM PST on Dec 8, 2012

Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

4:54AM PST on Dec 8, 2012

Raw liver? Yuk!

6:15AM PST on Dec 7, 2012

The TRUTH about alternative cancer therapies:

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez on Alternative Cancer Therapies
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/23/dr-nicholas-gonzalez-on-alternative-cancer-treatments.aspx

Living Proof: Vitamin C - Miracle Cure?
http://www.3news.co.nz/Living-Proof/tabid/371/articleID/171328/Default.aspx

1:36PM PST on Dec 6, 2012

amazing that chemo gave a better quality of life. Thanks for the video.

5:59PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

ty!

12:33AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Thanks for the article

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