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Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy (FoodMatters)

I've been watching the documentary FoodMatters. It seems like quackery to me! It makes the very suspicious claim that eating a proper diet will not only prevent all illness but can cure all current illness. A proper diet is defined as: raw, organic, low sugar, low sodium, vegetarian.

Certainly it seems as a obvious statement that an improved diet will result in improved health, but their claim seems to go a bit overboard. They claimed to have cured cancer with Nutrition Therapy alone (100g of vitamin C). Also claimed to cure a persons depression with 11g of Niacin a day.

They also state that doctors receive almost no training in nutrition.

One of the main speakers is Charlotte Gerson from the Gerson Institute. A well known institution with a gray reputation.

Are we too dependent on medications? Could we be doing more with food and supplements? What are your thoughts on the Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy?
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It's quackery. The human body cannot break down the cells in many raw foods, therefor humans cannot absorb the nutrients.

There is so much that is wrong, I don't know where to start.

 His book, A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases, first published shortly after his death, is the acknowledged "bible" of the Gerson Therapy. The fifth edition of the book in cludes the following statements. "In man, there are electrical potentials outstanding in the life of the cells. They are especially accumulated in the nervous system, which is ultimately our spiritual organ'." (p. 12) "In the nutritional field, observations for centuries have shown that people who live according to natural methods in which plants, animals and human beings are only fragments of the eternal cycle of Nature do not get cancer." (p. 14) "[N]ot one factor alone or a combination of single factors is [therapeutically] decisive, but what is decisive is how they influence the whole body, mind and soul in their entirety." (p. 18) "Above all we must realize that there is nothing in heaven or on earth that does not exist in man himself. We can say, therefore, that the system which governs the human being itself is Great Nature.'" (p. 49) "In order to deal with the harmful things which we have to use to our disadvantage, the Lord gave us an alchemist (stomach) not to absorb the poisons that we eat together with the good nourishing food, but to separate it from the favorable substances." (p. 49) "For the things that one does for the prolongation of one's life are ordained by Great Nature." (p. 49)
http://www.quackwatch.com/01Quackery...nary/mdfg.html

 Between 1980 and 1986 at least 13 patients treated with Gerson therapy were admitted to San Diego area hospitals with Campylobacter fetus sepsis attributable to the liver injections [18]. None of the patients was cancer-free, and one died of his malignancy within a week. Five were comatose due to low serum sodium levels, presumably as a result of the "no sodium" Gerson dietary regimen. As a result, Gerson personnel modified their techniques for handling raw liver products and biologicals. However, the Gerson approach still has considerable potential for harm. Deaths also have been attributed to the coffee enemas administered at the Tijuana clinic. Charlotte Gerson claims that treatment at the clinic has produced high cure rates for many cancers. In 1986, however, investigators learned that patients were not monitored after they left the facility [19]. Although clinic personnel later said they would follow their patients systematically, there is no published evidence that they have done so. A naturopath who visited the Gerson Clinic in 1983 was able to track 21 patients over a 5-year period (or until death) through annual letters or phone calls. At the 5-year mark, only one was still alive (but not cancer-free); the rest had succumbed to their cancer [20].
see Gerson Method http://www.quackwatch.com/01Quackery...cs/cancer.html

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More...
 Controversy about the efficacy of the Gerson therapy continued throughout Gerson’s life. In 1946 and 1949, two articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the treatment was of no value.[9,10] The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed Gerson’s data from ten case histories in 1947 and 50 case histories in 1959. NCI concluded that in most cases, basic criteria for evaluating clinical benefit were not met. NCI concluded that the data demonstrated no benefit.[2] In 1972, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published a statement summarizing the negative assessments of Gerson’s treatment.[11] Another statement published by ACS in 1991 concerned various “ metabolic therapies” (defined as treatments that depend on changing metabolism through diet, enemas, and supplements given at clinics in Tijuana, Mexico) and reemphasized the lack of scientific evidence on the efficacy of the Gerson regimen.[12] Gerson died in 1959, leaving behind no systematic way to continue offering his treatment. His malpractice insurance had been canceled in 1953, and in 1958 he was suspended for 2 years from the New York County Medical Society.[11] In 1977, his daughter, Charlotte Gerson Straus, who had continued to lecture widely about the Gerson therapy, cofounded the Gerson Institute with Norman Fritz. Located in San Diego, the Gerson Institute does not own or operate treatment facilities but maintains a licensing program for treatment centers such as the Centro Hospitalario Internacional Pacifico and Mexico’s Center for Integrative Medicine and the Gerson Hospital (CHIPSA) in Baja California, Mexico. CHIPSA refers to Max Gerson as the founder of “immunonutrition,” their term for Gerson’s idea of cleansing the body while building up the immune system through diet and supplementation.
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/p...essional/page3

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Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy (FoodMatters)

 Quote by Greg Bernhardt I've been watching the documentary FoodMatters. It seems like quackery to me! It makes the very suspicious claim that eating a proper diet will not only prevent all illness but can cure all current illness. A proper diet is defined as: raw, organic, low sugar, low sodium, vegetarian. Certainly it seems as a obvious statement that an improved diet will result in improved health, but their claim seems to go a bit overboard. They claimed to have cured cancer with Nutrition Therapy alone (100g of vitamin C). Also claimed to cure a persons depression with 11g of Niacin a day. They also state that doctors receive almost no training in nutrition. One of the main speakers is Charlotte Gerson from the Gerson Institute. A well known institution with a gray reputation. Are we too dependent on medications? Could we be doing more with food and supplements? What are your thoughts on the Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy?
I know the medical school I attend has had a full class devoted to nutrition since 1995. I know from talking to friends at other medical schools they get nutrition covered between biochemistry and their clinical reasoning/skills type classes. Most medical schools also offer elective rotations during 3rd or 4th year 2-4 weeks through nutritional medicine.

I think it was really recognized back in the 90's that physicians needed more nutrition as part of their core learning and this has been a curriculum requirement for medical school certification since. Regardless it seems, people are still oft to repeat the cliche that "physicians don't get enough nutrition".

As to the claims? Sure a healthier diet certainly leads to better physical and mental health, curing cancer though? No, just more of this "naturo/homeopathic" bunk that seems to be permeating our culture at a cost to the patient.

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 Quote by Greg Bernhardt I've been watching the documentary FoodMatters. It seems like quackery to me! It makes the very suspicious claim that eating a proper diet will not only prevent all illness but can cure all current illness. A proper diet is defined as: raw, organic, low sugar, low sodium, vegetarian. Certainly it seems as a obvious statement that an improved diet will result in improved health, but their claim seems to go a bit overboard. They claimed to have cured cancer with Nutrition Therapy alone (100g of vitamin C). Also claimed to cure a persons depression with 11g of Niacin a day. They also state that doctors receive almost no training in nutrition. One of the main speakers is Charlotte Gerson from the Gerson Institute. A well known institution with a gray reputation. Are we too dependent on medications? Could we be doing more with food and supplements? What are your thoughts on the Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy?
you can't take 100g of vitamin C without s*!tting yourself. just won't happen, diarrhea takes over and washes it out. some people have injected it, tho. i think it was Linus Pauling himself that started the vitamin C nuttery. but no, it's never been proven to work.

not sure about the niacin thing. but there are a few metabolic diseases where specific nutrients may make a difference. a few people seem to get better remission from epilepsy with B-6 for example. and a very specific form of folate (5-MTHF) may help with some people that have resistant depression. there are even some supplements that may help with liver damage. but, except for treating deficiencies, i think most results are pretty modest. for example, fish oil doesn't cure depression, but it tends to improve scores.

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 Quote by bobze I know the medical school I attend has had a full class devoted to nutrition since 1995.
Good to know! I think we can safely call this movie bunk! I wish NetFlix would drop it from their library. We'll keep this thread open for it's exposure.

 Quote by Proton Soup you can't take 100g of vitamin C without s*!tting yourself. just won't happen, diarrhea takes over and washes it out. some people have injected it, tho. i think it was Linus Pauling himself that started the vitamin C nuttery. but no, it's never been proven to work.
Yeah I believe they were talking about injections and claimed no side effects.

 Quote by Proton Soup for example, fish oil doesn't cure depression, but it tends to improve scores.
Speaking of fish oil. I take several capsules after a hard workout to battle inflammation instead of ibuprofen. Seems to help.

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 Quote by Greg Bernhardt Speaking of fish oil. I take several capsules after a hard workout to battle inflammation instead of ibuprofen. Seems to help.
after is good. just keep in mind that some inflammation is key to generating an adaptive response to exercise, so avoid taking anti-inflammatories before your workout. same for anti-oxidants.

i have taken fish oil for treating inflammation before, but the results i was getting came from using quite a lot (3 TBSP). perhaps too much. also, the fish oil activates a prostaglandin pathway that is supposed to be healthier than the ones typically activated by NSAIDS.
 This is quackery, but complementary medicine is something for which I am very much a proponent. Eating well, controlling stress, exercising, and other unconventional means to wellness are well-researched and do not take the place of, but rather complement, real medical care. If people did eat better and exercise, maybe the United States of America wouldn't suffer from such an epidemic of cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Doctors today do not teach prevention. It is not enough to avoid smoking and occasionally get off the couch. A plant-based, low-glycemic diet can certainly prevent cancer and other diseases. Researchers are experimenting with a tertiary class of nutrients: those several thousand phytonutrients which are naturally contained in fruits, vegetables, herbs/spices, and tea. This goes far beyond simple calorie management and believing everything is about gluttony which leads to obesity which heightens risk for the common diseases Americans face. Avoiding the bad (trans fat, processed sugar, cigarette smoke, red meat, alcohol, toxins, unsafe food additives) is an excellent measure, but it is also about what you do for prevention and well-being throughout your entire life.

 Quote by ETOPS This is quackery, but complementary medicine is something for which I am very much a proponent. Eating well, controlling stress, exercising, and other unconventional means to wellness are well-researched and do not take the place of, but rather complement, real medical care. If people did eat better and exercise, maybe the United States of America wouldn't suffer from such an epidemic of cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Doctors today do not teach prevention. It is not enough to avoid smoking and occasionally get off the couch. A plant-based, low-glycemic diet can certainly prevent cancer and other diseases. Researchers are experimenting with a tertiary class of nutrients: those several thousand phytonutrients which are naturally contained in fruits, vegetables, herbs/spices, and tea. This goes far beyond simple calorie management and believing everything is about gluttony which leads to obesity which heightens risk for the common diseases Americans face. Avoiding the bad (trans fat, processed sugar, cigarette smoke, red meat, alcohol, toxins, unsafe food additives) is an excellent measure, but it is also about what you do for prevention and well-being throughout your entire life.
You start off so skeptical, then end with such certainty. Tell me, which plants are most beneficial, and which are balanced by carcinogens? Any studies to share?...

Sorry, this is quackery and the usual snake-oil sales, but of an IP instead of a bottle of laudanum. You should eat and exercise in a manner that properly influences your CBC & Lipid Count... no other measure for you unless you fall back on fancy.

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 Quote by ETOPS A plant-based, low-glycemic diet can certainly prevent cancer and other diseases. Researchers are experimenting with a tertiary class of nutrients: those several thousand phytonutrients which are naturally contained in fruits, vegetables, herbs/spices, and tea. This goes far beyond simple calorie management and believing everything is about gluttony which leads to obesity which heightens risk for the common diseases Americans face. Avoiding the bad (trans fat, processed sugar, cigarette smoke, red meat, alcohol, toxins, unsafe food additives) is an excellent measure, but it is also about what you do for prevention and well-being throughout your entire life.
Per the forum rules, you need to provide some links to peer-reviewed mainstream articles that support the claims you are making.

 Quote by nismaratwork You start off so skeptical, then end with such certainty. Tell me, which plants are most beneficial, and which are balanced by carcinogens? Any studies to share?... Sorry, this is quackery and the usual snake-oil sales, but of an IP instead of a bottle of laudanum. You should eat and exercise in a manner that properly influences your CBC & Lipid Count... no other measure for you unless you fall back on fancy.
I began by stating my disapproval of alternative "therapies" like the subject of this discussion, the Gerson Method. I then proceeded with a statement of endorsement for complementary measures, namely proper nutrition, exercise, stress management, toxin avoidance, etc. You must be a speed-reader. Alternative therapies take the place of proper medical attention. They are unscientific, potentially-lethal diversions for skeptics of medicine and people who know no better. Complementary medicine is a field that combines conventional medical care with nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, meditation, and anything else that doesn't fall under conventional medicine's domain or menu of services.

Those of you calling for evidence first need an understanding of physiology and pathology. If you cannot define inflammation, insulin, angiogenesis, or neoplasm, go educate yourself by reading reliable sources. The understanding that lifestyle choices determine cancer risk necessarily follows if you have a solid understanding of the aforementioned concepts.

Now, instead of citing the thousands of studies that affirm my statements, I will present only one comprehensive one and let you do as much additional digging as you like:
• World Cancer Research Fund, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective (London: World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Research on Cancer, 2007). [500,000 studies were screened down to a mere 7,000 meeting strict criteria - 10 recommendations were published for reducing the risk of cancer. Let's see if they support or refute my statements. Read the Wikipedia page or visit the report's website for further information.]

For those of you who are still wedded to the grand theory of genetic predestination, here are some studies proving that your environment, not your genes, determines ~85% of your disease risk:
• Sorensen, T.I.A., G.G. Nielsen, P.K. Andersen, et. al., "Genetic and Environmental Influences on Premature Death in Adult Adoptees," New England Journal of Medicine 318 (1988): 727-32.
• Lichtenstein, P.N.V Holm, P.K. Verkasalo, et al. "Environmental and Heritable Factors in the Causation of Cancer - Analyses of Cohorts of Twins from Sweden, Denmark, and Finland," New England Journal of Medicine 343, no. 2 (2000): 78-85.

I'd love to stay and educate, but I have to go prepare a cauliflower soup with curry and other spices. I regularly eat Brassica family vegetables for their indole-3-carbinol and cauliflower goes great with curry powder, containing turmeric (active component curcumin), one of the most potent anti-inflammatories that can be consumed. For those of you in denial, so be it. My mission is not to combat nutritional myths. I just thought I'd make some of you aware of the benefits of taking care of your body. Who could've conjectured that fruits and vegetables are good for us?
 nismaratwork, your jargon makes no sense. Which vegetables are balanced by carcinogens? Are you asking which vegetables contain the most carcinogens? I'd avoid genus Agaricus mushrooms, aka the common white or button mushrooms, which contain a carcinogenic hydrazine-derivative called agaritine. Which plants are most nutritious? As I stated above, I like the Brassica family for several reason. It's important, however, to vary your diet and eat across the color spectrum. Red meat (red), potatoes (white), diet Coke (brown), and french fries (yellow) don't count. I'm talking about natural colors, like the cyanidins in beets and blueberries, or the carotenoids in carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. Oh, and nismaratwork, don't be so attached to your blood results. You may want to tag some broccoli along with your triple-patty burger.

 Quote by bobze I know the medical school I attend has had a full class devoted to nutrition since 1995. I know from talking to friends at other medical schools they get nutrition covered between biochemistry and their clinical reasoning/skills type classes. Most medical schools also offer elective rotations during 3rd or 4th year 2-4 weeks through nutritional medicine. I think it was really recognized back in the 90's that physicians needed more nutrition as part of their core learning and this has been a curriculum requirement for medical school certification since. Regardless it seems, people are still oft to repeat the cliche that "physicians don't get enough nutrition". As to the claims? Sure a healthier diet certainly leads to better physical and mental health, curing cancer though? No, just more of this "naturo/homeopathic" bunk that seems to be permeating our culture at a cost to the patient.
Those who say physicians don't learn nutrition are foolish. MD and DO students do, but certainly not much. They come out knowing what a thiamine deficiency is called, or what signs of rickets are, but they usually eat like every other soda-chugging American. Prevention is cheaper than midnight cardiac catheterizations at the level I trauma center. I'd say it's about time doctors lead by example and take up healthy lifestyles themselves.

 Quote by Greg Bernhardt I've been watching the documentary FoodMatters. It seems like quackery to me! It makes the very suspicious claim that eating a proper diet will not only prevent all illness but can cure all current illness. A proper diet is defined as: raw, organic, low sugar, low sodium, vegetarian. Certainly it seems as a obvious statement that an improved diet will result in improved health, but their claim seems to go a bit overboard. They claimed to have cured cancer with Nutrition Therapy alone (100g of vitamin C). Also claimed to cure a persons depression with 11g of Niacin a day. They also state that doctors receive almost no training in nutrition. One of the main speakers is Charlotte Gerson from the Gerson Institute. A well known institution with a gray reputation. Are we too dependent on medications? Could we be doing more with food and supplements? What are your thoughts on the Gerson Method and Nutrition Therapy?
hi greg,

it is my opinion that our environment has much more to do with our health than our genetics, so i agree with the statement that etops made, in this regard.

we have not discovered how to live forever, so our bodies do degenerate. but we have a lot of control regarding the speed at which this happens.

as a general rule, our bodies are quite sophisticated, and will heal ourselves whenever possible. in order for our bodies to do what they are designed to do, they need the proper ingredients.

i think many illnesses are curable, but there are also instances in which our bodies have degenerated too much for us to cure. there are also some things that we may not know how to cure, such as ridding ourselves of various viruses.

regarding cancer - most people are not aware that we create cancerous cells within our body as a natural part of living. our immune system gets rid of them.

cancer is actually a grouping of cancer cells that have grown together, and now can act as one unit. so as a general statement, we should never get cancer if we are doing what our bodies want us to do.

this is true of diabetes, and most of the diseases that are prevalent in the first world countries, where our problems are based on excesses - as opposed to third world countries, whose health problems have to do mainly with deficiencies.

while doctors may receive some education on nutrition, the medical community, like most other communities is first about making money. pharmacies cant sell you sweet potatoes. they sell you drugs. and still the most common methods that physicians use is prescribing medicines for you to take.

just look at a person's medicine cabinet, and you get a good idea of his age. most older people are taking all sorts of various medicines to "cure" problems. unfortunately, most of it actually accomplishes the "temporary deletion of symptoms", until new problems occur, which causes the doctor to prescribe more medicines.

these symptoms are what the body uses to tell us it is unhappy with us, and these medicines remove the only method our body has of letting us know. to really cure these problems requires us to give the body what it wants.

we know to put gas in our gas tank, oil in our oil tank, water in our radiator, brake fluid in its reservoir, etc. why do we do this ? because this is how our car is designed to work.

likewise, we need to supply our body with what it was designed with, to work efficiently. proper food intake, exercise, sleep, etc.

the secret to good health is not so much about the knowledge of what to do, BUT RATHER THE DISCIPLINE TO DO IT.

 Quote by ETOPS nismaratwork, your jargon makes no sense. Which vegetables are balanced by carcinogens? Are you asking which vegetables contain the most carcinogens? I'd avoid genus Agaricus mushrooms, aka the common white or button mushrooms, which contain a carcinogenic hydrazine-derivative called agaritine. Which plants are most nutritious? As I stated above, I like the Brassica family for several reason. It's important, however, to vary your diet and eat across the color spectrum. Red meat (red), potatoes (white), diet Coke (brown), and french fries (yellow) don't count. I'm talking about natural colors, like the cyanidins in beets and blueberries, or the carotenoids in carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. Oh, and nismaratwork, don't be so attached to your blood results. You may want to tag some broccoli along with your triple-patty burger.
Triple patty burger? Tell me, did you say that because you think I'm Indian-Hindu, and therefore cows would be sacred, or was it merely a silly assumption made without any knowledge? Beyond that, I can't believe you actually asked which plants are NOT nutrititious... TONS OF THEM!... for humans.

Then again, if you'd like to eat a holly bush, any number of grasses, or a fistful of poison sumac, be my guest. I'm not seeing anything in your posts that isn't an attempt at bluster, and again, you've slid back into pseudoscience with your offer of studies... or rather, the absolute conclusions you draw.

@Physics-Learner: How to seperate "health and genetics"?! Science has made it abundantly clear that it's nature AND nurture, not one or the other.

 Quote by Evo It's quackery. The human body cannot break down the cells in many raw foods, therefor humans cannot absorb the nutrients.
Many is fuzzy language. Some foods are better digested raw and some are better digested cooked. Heating meat, for example, decreases protein digestibility. Conversely, raw rice is not as digestible as cooked rice because heating will disrupt the cellulose. It all depends on the food. Raw is a great state for some vegetables in a salad. Cooking something until it's mush will deplete nutritional value. Cooking tomatoes, though, will make them bright red and more lycopene bioavailable.

 Quote by ETOPS Many is fuzzy language. Some foods are better digested raw and some are better digested cooked. Heating meat, for example, decreases protein digestibility. Conversely, raw rice is not as digestible as cooked rice because heating will disrupt the cellulose. It all depends on the food. Raw is a great state for some vegetables in a salad. Cooking something until it's mush will deplete nutritional value. Cooking tomatoes, though, will make them bright red and more lycopene bioavailable.
Citations... Studies... please cite. For instance, cooking mustard greens to death is obviously destroying valuable phytosterols, and other delightful compounds. On the other hand, cooking method and the item being cooked can in fact allow us to more efficiently extract nutrition. Without specifics, you've made a meanignless statement. Please read the S&D guidelines.

edit: I would add, the consumption of raw products is also a matter of sanitation, which varies greatly by region; you need to see a greater benefit from raw consumption than the potential risks. In addition, cooking tomatoes does what you say, but is best achieved through a slow process without exceeding a given temperature.

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