The Budwig Protocol for Cancer (and my experience 10 years later…)
The Budwig Protocol is the common name for the diet and lifestyle developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig in the 1950’s to help restore otherwise hopeless, advanced cancer patients back to health.
Note: “The Budwig Protocol for Cancer” was originally published on January 26, 2011 and has been updated in 2018.
The Budwig Protocol For Cancer
Dr. Johanna Budwig has been referred to as a top European cancer research scientist, biochemist, blood specialist, German pharmacologist, and physicist. She is known and highly respected around the world, even still today as Germany’s premier biochemist.
Dr. Johanna Budwig
In the 1940’s, she discovered a new process of analyzing the composition of fats using chromatography paper. She used this to distinguish unsaturated fats from saturated fats which led to her further study of polyunsaturated fats and eventually her discovery of the danger of trans-fats. (I’ll get more into this below.)
Her discovery of the effect of fats in the overall health of the body led Dr. Budwig to become interested in understanding anything that could interfere with the natural process of cellular oxygen uptake in healthy cells and eventually cancer cells.
Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg
Dr. Warburg and the Metabolic Cancer Theory
Following the work of Dr. Otto Warburg (himself a Nobel Prize winner,) Dr. Budwig studied how cancer cells are anaerobic- this means that they thrive in a low-oxygen environment. Instead, they rely primarily on GLUCOSE (sugar) to survive.
This is the reason that people with cancer should avoid processed sugar as much as absolutely possible – because isolated sugar fuels cancer cell replication through aerobic glycolysis, or sugar fermented into lactic acid.
Even though Dr. Warburg discovered this and studied it further, he passed away before he was able to find a way to restore the anaerobic cancer cell to its original aerobic, healthy function and metabolism. This is where Dr. Budwig came in.
Dr. Budwig developed her “Oil-Protein Diet” to combat cancer in the 1950’s in post-war Germany when the use of chemotherapy for cancer was in its infancy. Picking up where Dr. Warburg left off, Dr. Budwig believed she discovered the reason why our healthy cells become anaerobic in the first place.
According to her, it is quite simple:
In order for our bodies’ cells to process oxygen as fuel, they need certain enzymes to be present in the fat content of the foods we eat. However, because so much of the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) consists of chemically-treated, processed, sugar-laden, denatured foods, the necessary enzymes our bodies require for cellular respiration have been destroyed and in some cases even replaced by manufactured fats (i.e. trans fats) which are completely useless to the body.
Over time, this sets up a whole host of problems from heart disease, to skin and lung problems, to brain and liver problems, to diabetes and immune deficiency syndromes, to cancer. Simply put, to remain HEALTHY, our cells NEED to be able to process oxygen and use it efficiently, and the Budwig diet provides this.
The “Oil Protein Diet” and Cancer
Dr. Budwig discovered that when she combined sulfur-rich proteins like quark (common in Europe) or cottage cheese (U.S. equivalent) with highly unsaturated essential fatty acids, like those rich in omega-3’s found in flaxseed oil, the unsaturated fatty acids bonded molecularly with the sulphuric proteins.
This bond made the flaxseed oil water-soluble, enabling it to be absorbed instantly and effortlessly through the cellular membrane. In turn, the instant flood of vital nutrients, energy-rich electrons, and essential enzymes to all cells (remember, the enzymes were what was missing in the first place) acted as a spark that re-ignited their ability to burn oxygen, thus encouraging restoration of ALL cells to a healthy aerobic state.
Skeptical of this, in 1990, Dr. Budwig’s findings were re-examined by Dr. Dan C. Roehm M.D. FACP (oncologist and former cardiologist). After his own testing, Dr. Roehm concluded:
“This diet is far and away the most successful anti-cancer diet in the world. What she (Dr. Johanna Budwig) has demonstrated to my initial disbelief but lately, to my complete satisfaction in my practice is: CANCER IS EASILY CURABLE, the treatment is dietary/ lifestyle, the response is immediate; the cancer cell is weak and vulnerable; the precise biochemical breakdown point was identified by her in 1951 and is specifically correctable, in vitro (test-tube) as well as in vivo (real)…” _Dr. Dan C. Roehm M.D. FACP, oncologist & former cardiologist, in “Townsend Letter for Doctors”, July 1990
Dr. Roehm added: “I only wish that all my patients had a PhD in Biochemistry and Quantum Physics to enable them to see how with such consummate skill this diet was put together. It is a wonder.”
As Dr. Roehm mentions, it is important to note that even though the cottage cheese-flaxseed oil mixture is the cornerstone of the Budwig’s diet, it is NOT the entirety of her lifestyle protocol. Dr. Budwig also emphasized the importance of raw foods, a vegetarian diet, low stress levels, and healthy amounts of sun exposure. More detailed information on the science behind CCFO as well as how to implement Dr. Budwig’s full protocol can be found in her two books: Flax Oil As a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases, and The Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook.
Drink 8 ounces of pure vegetable-fruit juice combo with 1-2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed oil.
Should be light and early, around 6pm.
Cooked rice, buckwheat, or oats paired with vegetable soup and Oleolox (read more about how to prepare in Dr. Budwig’s cookbook. I haven’t personally eaten it.)
My Thoughts: 10 Years After Cancer
It has been seven years since I originally wrote this post, and I have learned a lot about Dr. Budwig’s findings since then. Most importantly (and kind of surprising,) was that once I really dug into her cookbooks, I realized that the cottage cheese-flaxseed oil recipe I had been following from Bill Henderson’s book for many years was not at all what Dr. Budwig had her patients doing.
Whereas Bill Henderson’s “mixture” was a full dose of cottage cheese (2/3 cup) and flaxseed oil (6 Tbsp) once a day WITHOUT the ground flaxseeds, Dr. Budwig instructed her patients to eat a smaller dose (3.5 ounces of cottage cheese + 3 Tbsp flaxseed oil then add 2 Tbsp freshly ground flaxseeds) several times a day along with fruits, vegetables and their juices.
Even with Bill Henderson’s deviation from Dr. Budwig’s ratio, I ate his version of the Budwig mixture below for seven years and my cancer was in remission after six months and has been in remission since.
Here’s the recipe I used:
Simple Budwig Mixture Recipe: (from Bill Henderson’s “Cancer Free” book)
2/3 cup organic cottage cheese (I like Nancy’s brand since it does not have carrageenan or other additives.)
6 tbsp flaxseed oil
optional: add berries, bananas, or nuts to taste and also stevia
Directions: Mix by hand first and then blend it with an immersion hand blender until the oil is completely mixed with the cottage cheese. A large coffee cup or soup bowl (see picture above) has worked best to mix it in. Then add other ingredients if you would like. A great video demonstrating this can be found here. Note: It is very important to mix just the cottage cheese and flaxseed oil FIRST! Wait 5 minutes after blending, then add the other ingredients.
It’s crazy how much can change in ten years. In revising this article, I realized how much I have learned over a decade and how much scientifically has changed in the acceptance of the metabolic cancer theory. Here are just a few studies still looking into Dr. Warburg’s research:
Current Published Discussions About Dr. Warburg’s Metabolic Cancer Theory:
Since 2008, I have also had some really challenging and well-informed questions from you guys, so I’m going to go over some of those here as well.
I ate the Budwig mixture (from Bill Henderson’s book Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Nontoxic Healing) along with my mostly raw vegan, organic diet for SEVEN straight years with VERY little deviation. In 2015 (seven years after my cancer diagnosis) my third daughter was bornand after careful consideration, I began transitioning to a mostly plant-based, still low sugar diet due to some postpartum problems with my gallbladder and digestion. I remember reading many years ago that Dr. Budwig recommended staying on her diet for at least FIVE years after remission, so I felt like seven years was sufficient, especially because I was still laser-focused on staying away from processed sugar, striving for gut health, and eating a mostly plant-based diet.
Now at the 10 year mark, I feel confident in my transition off of the Budwig mixture. I’ve also realized that I never was actually on Dr. Budwig’s Protocol, something readers clued me into over the years with questions, mainly about whether I used ground flaxseed on my cottage cheese-flaxseed oil mixture. (I didn’t.)
The late Bill Henderson (whose book and protocol I used to heal,) in his quest to simplify an anti-cancer healing protocol that anyone could afford and complete at home, simplified Dr. Budwig’s protocol down to a mixture that could be eaten everyday. For me, I had no problem eating the full amount in one sitting (2/3 cup cottage cheese with 6 Tbsp flaxseed oil)- something Dr. Budwig spread throughout the day, but for others it was problematic or too filling.
I sympathized with this after I had my third baby, because for some reason (I blame the lack of sleep, stress, overwhelm, and lack of self-care,) my body began rejecting the mixture and it made me sick!
With that said, I believe that even though I did not use Dr. Budwig’s exact protocol, the amount of oxygen and electron rich flaxseed oil combined with the sulfuric protein in the cottage cheese made a HUGE difference in my recovery and ten year remission from NLP Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience, too! Feel free to leave a comment below.