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reader comments: Gerson therapy

26 Oct 2012
Regarding Gersen Therapy - I appreciate your work and your thoughts. Large Pharmaceutical companies will not back research about this - why would they if it "cures", they would be out of business and pharmaceutical companies are billion dollar a year money makers! What I know is: it works.

Yes we were skeptical but when you are looking at death anyway, who cares? There are worse things than death, and chemo is one of them - so Let's try (please understand this is a second round with cancer - first cancer was in 1995 where we tried the 'medical' approach that was so caustic, the treatment almost killed mom.) It isn't a fly by night thing either - there are blood tests EVERY MONTH to monitor exactly what your body is doing - and verify healing (Ha! FACTS that can't be argued with!) Strict diet, yes, coffee enemas, yes, is it worth it, YES - especially when the blood tests (CA125 and others) confirm there is no longer cancer! Can't beat that!

Does it work for other illnesses? YES! Documented! My husband no longer has severe Lupus, no longer has high blood pressure (gone in 3 days!), no longer has excruciating pain (gone in 5 days). It's not quackery - it's alternative - thinking outside the USA duped American way of thinking about medicine.

Thank you for listening.

reply: I'm glad both you and your husband are feeling better. You might consider other possible explanations for how you feel, however. If the Gerson people told you that you that on the basis of a blood test you no longer have cancer, they are misleading you. The best any test can tell anyone is that there is no detectable cancer. Why you have no detectable cancer, I can't say, but it is unlikely that vegetable juices, coffee enemas, and the like did the job of killing cancer cells.

It is not unbelievable that your mother almost died from chemotherapy, since chemotherpy intentionally tries to kill cancer cells without damaging too many healthy cells. But the chemicals themselves are toxic.

As for Gerson therapy curing your husband of lupus and high blood pressure, I can only say that you can believe that if you want. A healthy diet can lower blood pressure in some people, just as an unhealthy diet can raise blood pressure. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. The likelihood that a diet and some enemas can get the immune system to lay off the body's healthy cells seems pretty remote. Who diagnosed him with lupus?

FYI, WebMD has a very nice page on lupus and nutrition. It is worth the read.


2 Aug 2012
I just read your article regarding the Gerson Therapy and it is extremely one-sided and subjective. I can personally tell you that I've had 5 family members diagnosed with cancer within the past 6 years and they ALL died. Each and every single one, has died after chemotherapy and surgery. I am a 2nd year medical student (will be entering my second year this Fall semester). I worked in Toxicology prior to attending medical school and I am the daughter of a woman who has a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry and worked as an organic chemist for over 12 years in one of the major pharmaceutical companies. Within Toxicology, I worked as a necropsy technician collecting tissues from rats and mice, at the end of studies and noting gross lesions, simultaneously. I can tell you personally, when treating rats in the lab with chemotherapeutic drugs, the rats in the control groups, that were treated with saline or a placebo, survived longer than the rats in the dosing groups. This happened in each an every single study conducted and we did many studies, for many Big Pharma companies in NJ. We would have to put down sometimes 100 rats in 1 day at the end of 2 year study. Each technician did about 10 to 12 necropsies per day. The rats treated with the chemo drugs had pale damaged livers (sometimes with masses), severely dilated pelvis in the kidneys, enlarged lymph nodes everywhere, hardened arteries and blood vessels, and many masses developed in many other parts and organs in the body. Whereas most of the untreated rats would have beautiful mahogany colored livers and almost no lesions, except for the initially grafted tumors. In fact, the joke in the lab was, that if you want to be done quickly just grab a control group rat, because you won't have to note many lesions if any, aside from the primary tumor.

reply: I assume you understand that the purpose of your experiments was to test various chemical substances. That most or all of them had nasty effects should have been known to you before you began the work. Chemotherapy is an attempt to kill cells, including healthy cells. The goal is to find chemicals that kill cancer cells without killing the patient. If all your experiments failed to find one chemical cocktail that worked, well, that is part of doing science and should not surprise you or anyone else.

There is mounting evidence supporting the principles that were proposed by Dr. Gerson.

reply: The reference to Gerson's "principles" is a non sequitur. However poorly your tests went they have no bearing on the worthiness of Gerson's treatments. To what "mounting evidence" are you alluding?

Including the research done in the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell [not so fast, check out Dr. Hall's comments on The China Study] and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn [see what Dr. Hall has to say about this character]. I personally know one person who was diagnosed with stage II melanoma who did not have medical insurance and used only the Gerson Therapy to treat herself and is now in remission and cancer free.

reply: If one of your relatives who died of cancer had survived after going to Lourdes would you credit the water at Lourdes or the chemotherapy? People do go into remission and people are misdiagnosed. I hope your friend is truly in remission, but nobody can guarantee that anybody is "cancer free." The best you can say is that there is no sign of the cancer from the tests that have been run. There is no reason to believe that the Gerson therapy would have any effect in eliminating melanoma. The evidence is not very strong that a vegan diet will cure melanoma or any other disease. No remission doesn't mean the diet has kept the cancer at bay. New research indicates cancer stem cells may be responsible for cancer recurrence.

Even Imus (the radio talk-show host) is treating his prostate cancer with diet alone and there has been studies released where PSA has been lowered by just a change of diet, a diet in fact very similar to Dr. Gerson's diet.

reply: Imus is not the brightest bulb on the planet, but even if he were, what treatment he chooses is his business. I haven't seen any evidence that diet can stop prostate cancer, which is a slow growing cancer in any case. Many men have prostate cancer and don't even know it. They'll die of other things before the cancer kills them. If he lives ten or more years he may well give undeserved credit to his diet. Also, PSA readings vary quite a bit. In any case, 75% of those with high PSA ratings who get biopsies don't get diagnosed with prostate cancer.

My own mother who suffers from arthritis, high blood pressure, and asthma has been following Gerson's dietary regimen (including the coffee enemas) and no longer needs any of her medication.

reply: Good for her. Those ailments rise and fall in severity. There is no plausible reason why the Gerson diet should help those disorders, but changes in her diet (things she's no longer eating and drinking) might affect her blood pressure. You'd have to have a pretty bad diet if your arthritis was affected by it. She might just be expressing her subjective evaluation of her pain level. If her mood has been enhanced by believing this diet is a wonder diet, then she may just be reporting mood change not change in arthritis. Or she may have lost weight on the vegan diet and less weight means less stress on some of her joints.

This happened only after one month. I suffered my entire life from hyperhydrosis and severe acne and they are all gone, and I have been following the therapy for about 5 months now. There was no Dermatologist that helped me as much as this therapy has and I have a tremendous amount of energy. I'm at the Gym at 5 a.m every morning and I run about 4 miles/day. I'm sure I will have plenty of energy when I start clinicals next year.

reply: Sounds like you've made quite a few lifestyle changes and they've been beneficial. Good for you. Your newfound health may be due more to what you've given up than with what you are now eating and drinking.

I was a major skeptic, but I have personally done my research on the Gerson Therapy and I even have transcripts of the senate hearings where Dr. Gerson brought a few of his cured cancer patients.

reply: The dead patients couldn't testify. Neither he nor anyone else could know that the patients who didn't die were cured by his treatments. The science does not support the plausibility of his treatments being effective in either preventing, slowing down, or curing cancer.

Every document they mention in their books or in their documentaries can be found. I think you really should take the time yourself, to maybe visit the clinic and talk to the actual patients and see for yourself. Maybe just give it a try yourself, like I did, and see how you feel. I certainly hope that if you or anyone you love is ever stricken with cancer or any serious degenerative disorder you would take a closer look at the Gerson therapy before hurting yourself further with these toxic drugs.

reply: There are even more testimonials from people whose cancers were stopped by toxic drugs, i.e., chemotherapy, than there are those who claim they were cured by coffee enemas and gallons of carrot juice. The testimonials are not as relevant as the science. We're a long way from curing every sort of cancer, but if the work is ever done, Gerson's name will not be mentioned as one who helped in any significant way. Since you are a medical student, you should read The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (2010). At the very least, as a medical student you should learn that genetic failure in the
normal cell-death mechanism is what causes cancer.

After personally seeing first hand what the amount damage these drugs can cause to organ systems, I am staying as far away from them as possible. I personally plan to become an internist and maybe persuade my patients to watch what they eat and avoid all this excessive medication. I am not the only medical student who is thinking like this. I think years from now the world will look back at our treatment of cancer patients and other patients with chronic diseases the same way we look at the procedure of bleeding that was commonly used years ago and the same way that we look at how surgeon's didn't wash their hands or clean tools when switching from patient to patient, years ago. It was even okay to smoke 50 years ago and it was outrageous to suggest that surgeons wash their hands or that smoking was not good for us. I think that eventually medicine will come to it's senses and start treating patients as a whole organism, once again (as hippocrates intended) and doctors will acknowledge the fact that treating symptoms does nothing to help the patient, in the long run, and that we definitely are what we eat.

Sincerely, Maria

reply: What we eat is important, of course, but you are deluding yourself if you think the science supports the notion that diet causes or prevents cancer. Believing such gives one the illusion of control, but the evidence does not support the dietary theory of cancer. No diet we know of either triggers a cascade of cell duplication or stops it. You'd do better to study genetics and try to discover what triggers a gene to set off a cascade of cell duplication than to study what diet a person eats when she has cancer.

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