Gerson Therapy for Cancer

Gerson Therapy for Cancer
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Gerson Therapy is a largely diet-based alternative treatment for cancer. What have 65 years of medical research concluded about its efficacy and safety?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A number of recent documentaries have renewed interest in Gerson therapy, a largely diet-based alternative treatment for cancer—invented by the late Dr. Max Gerson about 80 years ago.

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,”—okay—“eliminating salt from the diet…” So far, so good. And, “taking supplements such as potassium, [vitamin] B12, thyroid hormone, pancreatic enzymes,” and, supposedly, “detoxifying [the] liver with coffee enemas to stimulate metabolism.” I do not dispute that coffee enemas would not be stimulating, but would not recommend them, due to the whole “they could kill you” thing.

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. After learning of the outbreak, staff at the Gerson Institute decided the policy of drinking blended liver was to be altered, and instead started injecting raw liver instead.

But, hey, conventional cancer treatments are no walk in the park, either, right? You do them in hopes that they’ll work. So, 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 about a dozen studies published in the scientific literature. And, most came to the same conclusion—that Gerson therapy is useless, or, worse. In tomorrow’s video, I’ll show you some of the data.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A number of recent documentaries have renewed interest in Gerson therapy, a largely diet-based alternative treatment for cancer—invented by the late Dr. Max Gerson about 80 years ago.

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,”—okay—“eliminating salt from the diet…” So far, so good. And, “taking supplements such as potassium, [vitamin] B12, thyroid hormone, pancreatic enzymes,” and, supposedly, “detoxifying [the] liver with coffee enemas to stimulate metabolism.” I do not dispute that coffee enemas would not be stimulating, but would not recommend them, due to the whole “they could kill you” thing.

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. After learning of the outbreak, staff at the Gerson Institute decided the policy of drinking blended liver was to be altered, and instead started injecting raw liver instead.

But, hey, conventional cancer treatments are no walk in the park, either, right? You do them in hopes that they’ll work. So, 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 about a dozen studies published in the scientific literature. And, most came to the same conclusion—that Gerson therapy is useless, or, worse. In tomorrow’s video, I’ll show you some of the data.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to: Pablo Kliksberg and earthNOW! Films

Doctor's Note

These negative reviews of Gerson Therapy were written before a head-to-head trial was published on the Gerson-style regime versus chemotherapy in terms of survival and quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients. What did it find? You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow’s video-of-the-day Gerson-style Therapy vs. Chemotherapy. I’ve also got dozens of other videos on alternative medicine—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Campylobacter in the raw liver smoothies is the same fecal bacteria in chicken, which I covered in Poultry and Paralysis. Is oral coffee okay for cancer patients? See Coffee and Cancer.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk and Gerson Therapy for Cancer?

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