Part of my sudden interest in Gerson Therapy concerns a book I am writing about living better lives with cancer. Nutrition is about one third of the content. Now I’m not “plugging” or promoting the book—it won’t be out until this time next year. But the thrust of the book is that better nutrition can make a difference in how long and how well a cancer patient lives. Without spending any more time on the specifics of Gerson Therapy, it seems to me one needs to temper criticism of his protocol with the knowledge that Dr. Gerson was one of the first “hard core,” raw diet nutritionalists.

The government’s National Cancer Institue stresses: “The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved the Gerson therapy for the treatment of cancer or other diseases.”

I was surprised to discover that there aren’t as many “news and views” postings, pro or con, from credible sources I found on Google. Sure, you read lots about how everyone hates “coffee enemas–and how dangerous they are.” There are claims and counter-claims. Detractors point to lack of support by traditional medical institutions and the FDA. Gerson supporters point to informal study after study which show improved post cancer survivorship among advanced cancer patients who used Gerson Therapy. There are even some cross or mixed studies, where patients used traditional chemotherapy and Gerson at the same time. Here is a link to an excellent, balanced review from Masonic Cancer Center and the University of Minnesota: University of Minnesota/Gerson Therapy.This site doesn’t “bash” Gerson. It simply lays out facts in a detailed, systematic way.

I understand desperate times call for desperate measures. Trouble is, by the time conventional medicine gives up on an advanced cancer patient, is it fair to expect a nutritional/detox program like Gerson to do much, if anything? The fact it helps some patients tells me there may be some truth mixed-in with the unconventional methods and claims.

The Bottom line: I believe good nutrition can help improve–and extend a cancer patient’s life. But the million dollar question remains… Which nutritional program works best and why? Gerson Therapy is a bit to far “out there” for me. But it is hard to criticise juicing, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and even maintaining a vegetarian diet as a way to help our body heal. (I do share some of the standard concerns about balance and protein for patients switching to a vegetarian diet–but that is another topic–one worthy of in-depth investigation in my upcoming book!) Seems to me, Dr. Gerson was ahead of his time.

Feel good, keep smiling and keep eating your (raw) fruits and vegetables! Pat

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