What should you look for in a diet? Some diets are based strictly on science while others are based on unique approaches to diet and nutrition. Another interesting approach is an alternative therapy like Gerson therapy. This particular type of diet is a cancer treatment that’s about boosting the immune system and getting rid of toxins. In theory, those sound like good goals to have when you’re trying to treat cancer. It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of debate about whether or not this approach should be used to treat cancer. In fact, some opponents argue that this diet could actually worsen a cancer patient’s condition.
Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases in the modern world. In 2018 there were an estimated 1.7+ million new cases in the US alone. People with this diagnosis are looking for effective treatments to deal with their disease. Some of the most popular treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, and medications. These treatments can be effective yet also tend to have serious side-effects due to strong chemicals. So, it might seem too good to be true that eating fruits and veggies will help your liver get rid of cancer cells. What are the facts about Max Gerson’s alternative therapy?
What Is Gerson Therapy?
This type of therapy is based on the work of a German doctor named Max Gerson. He developed his therapy during the 1920s and 1930s. Gerson claimed that his therapy helped him get rid of migraine headaches. He later used it to treat other diseases like cancer and tuberculosis. Gerson passed away in 1959.
What’s this therapy all about? It based on the theory that people with cancer have more salt in their bodies compared to potassium. Gerson therapists believe eating lots of fruits and vegetables will help to restore the sodium/potassium balance.
They also believe this step will help to clean the liver. Gerson therapy supporters believe that this therapy can treat or even cure cancer.
Does the therapy work? It’s important to note there’s no scientific evidence that this type of therapy can effectively treat cancer. One key issue is this therapy doesn’t use traditional cancer treatments. So, if the alternative therapy doesn’t work it could make the patient’s situation worse.
It’s always important to review the details of a particular therapy/diet to determine whether or not there’s any hard science to support it. A therapy shouldn’t be avoided just because it’s an “alternative” one. However, it’s quite another issue about whether or not any particular diet can kill cancer cells.
Let’s look at a few studies. A 2010 study by the National Cancer Institute found that Gerson’s therapy didn’t help cancer patients. Next, a UK study in 2007 found that Gerson therapy seemed to reduce cancer patients’ need for painkillers and boosted their emotions. However, there’s no evidence it helped improve their battle with cancer.
There’s no doubt some elements of this therapy’s diet can provide some health benefits. For example, the Gerson Institute gives its patients a coffee enema up to 5x daily. Black coffee can provide several benefits including detox. However, can it cure cancer?
The Gerson Therapy Diet
It’s important to know the therapy’s diet to have a better understanding of the approach. It can also help you decide whether or not this approach is right for you.
The Gerson diet is 100% vegetarian and organic. It’s full of natural nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and so on. It’s also very low in fat, salt, and protein. This diet focuses on food that’s fresh and pure.
The Gerson Institute stresses the importance of limiting the number of tweaks people make to their diets. In fact, they argue that this could negatively affect the results people get from the alternative therapy.
Some foods that are recommended in this therapy include:
- Fruit (raw)
- Romaine lettuce
- Green/Red bell peppers
- Rice (brown)
Gerson’s therapy allows certain foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, and popcorn to be eaten from time to time. Do you love popcorn? You could only eat it during holiday seasons.
This diet also prohibits certain foods all the time. They include animal fats, alcohol, berries, ice cream, seafood, spices, meat, and refined flour. So, if you enjoy those foods, you’ll be required to give them up completely if you want to follow Gerson’s therapy.
In theory, this approach will definitely improve your health. That’s because it focuses on food that’s natural, organic, and healthy.
This type of diet can definitely be effective in helping to prevent cancer. For example, it can prevent you from being exposed to synthetic chemicals used in some pesticides and fertilizers. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that processed meats are linked to cancer and red meat might be.
However, the debate about this diet is whether or not it can cure cancer. It’s a big question mark because even stronger treatments like chemotherapy and radiation sometimes aren’t able to get rid of all the cancer cells in a patient.
Does Gerson Therapy Diet Work?
This is the million-dollar question. As noted already there are no scientific studies that prove this diet can cure cancer. One of the main reasons is there haven’t been any big studies that reviewed how effective the diet was at curing cancer. This diet still raises questions.
Keep in mind it doesn’t mean this diet can’t improve people’s health and help with other illnesses and diseases. For example, it focuses on natural/organic foods that are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This fact alone means it could help to deal with various health conditions.
One of the main features of the diet is detox. That’s through foods like fruits, vegetables, and coffee. In fact, various studies show coffee contains powerful antioxidants that can improve the digestive system and even conditions related to certain organs involved in the process.
It’s also important to note that this therapy is strict and requires people to follow certain guidelines. For example, it includes vegetarian meals so you’ll have to give up meat and seafood. You’ll also be required to drink 13 glass of juice per day. Certain dietary supplements are also required like Vitamin B12 and potassium.
Another key feature of Gerson’s therapy diet is the coffee enema. While research has proven coffee can be effective in improving health, some experts warn that it’s important to avoid consuming too much coffee. It can cause some health issues like the jitters.
One X-factor to consider is this therapy can be quite expensive in terms of time, effort, and money. So, while it’s an alternative therapy it’s also somewhat extreme.
That’s because you’re required to consume certain foods, drinks, and supplements. Those costs can add up quickly. You can certainly get many health benefits from this diet. Make sure to do your homework before you treat conditions and disease using Gerson therapy.