Note to researchers: Additional work should be done in salt and water biophysics, with special attention to the groundbreaking work by Gilbert Ning Ling, Ph.D., and Freeman W. Cope,M.D., two biophysics researchers.

Max Gerson did what worked, and over the decades kept improving on it. He believed that natural foods rather than chemicals were the solution to mankind’s ills—and this led him along paths of practical, clinical discovery which had eluded others.

However, after his death in 1959, microbiology and microbiophysics research came into their own—and verified the accuracy of Max Gerson’s findings.

Here is a brief summary of some of the most important of the more recent discoveries, as they relate to the function of the cell.

The following information consists primarily of a brief summary of a somewhat technical 15-page, December 1990, report by Gar Hildenbrand, now on pages 20-34 of the latest(4th) edition of The Gerson Primer.

Cancer has been a mystery for thousands of years. We are now coming closer to an understanding of cause, nature, and remedy. Here is a brief overview.

Every living creature is made up of cells. Within each cell are hundreds of complicated structures,and thousands of activities and interactions.

Cell pathology is the study of what happens when a living cell becomes damaged in some way.A new field of biophysics research explains what happens when our cells are injured or hurt.

The cellular damage may be caused by oxygen starvation, trauma, poisoning, etc., but the effects are always the same.As you may know, potassium and sodium are continually in a balancing act within the body. Potassium is primarily in the cells, and sodium is primarily in the blood.

When cell damage occurs, first, the cell loses potassium. Second, the damaged cell, is willing to accept sodium. Third, the cell begins swelling with an excess of water. The result is cellular edema.When this happens, the cell can no longer produce enough energy. And what is the source of that energy?

Free energy is primarily produced by ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is a chemical compound produced by the burning of sugar through oxidation. ATP has the ability to be broken in the process of making energy, and then reform and be broken again and again. The compound consists of a linking of three phosphate bonds, linked to an adenosine protein molecule. It is the phosphate which produces the energy.

Nearly all energy produced in your body comes from ATP. Without it, life would immediately cease.But when the cell becomes swollen with water,the energy-producing process is crippled—because the mitochondria are flooded. These are shaped like small circular batteries, and that is what they are! They contain the ATP; and, because they have their own DNA and RNA, are able to produce ATP whenever the signal arrives to do so.

But when the mitochondria are water soaked, they cease functioning properly. If the situation is not reversed, they soon stop entirely.As the body becomes filled with toxins, drugs,heavy metals, and excess food wastes, more and more cells are damaged and begin filling with water.Eventually degenerative diseases occur.

The Gerson therapy works to remove sodium from the cell and replace it with potassium. This is done by (1) heavily restricting sodium and salt products in the diet, (2) flooding the body with an excess of potassium-rich foods, and (3) removing toxins from the bloodstream.

As this is done, the sodium and water begins leaving the damaged cells, to be replaced by potassium and more normal conditions.In order to accelerate this process, the Gerson therapy gives the patient higher doses of iodine in two different forms.

We earlier mentioned that the mitochondria,the batteries in the cells, are able to make more ATP and get them working faster—when a special signal comes to do so.It is the arrival of iodine-rich thyroxine, a hormone from the thyroid, which is the signal.

In and around every tumor and arthritic joint in the body are cells, swollen with water which no longer function properly. Sodium always attracts water, and it has entered the damaged cells, taking the place of the potassium which left when the damage occurred.

It is an intriguing fact that people who are debilitated and in bad condition—have an excess of water in their cells. Yet the edema may not be outwardly detectable.This excess of water exists not only in fat people, but also in thin people who are debilitated.

Those in an advanced stage of cancer have this cellular edema, even though they may appear to be extremely emaciated.The emaciation is caused by the lack of normal cellular activity. They are no longer properly producing energy, digesting food, making blood, producing harmones, or anything else.

A normal, healthy cell will always have more potassium in it. Only damage to that cell can cause the sodium to enter and take over. The structure of the entire body is a miracle of God, and all of it points to His marvelous working.You are 55% water; yet all that water within you is actually structured, held in place, inside or outside of the cells by electric ion charges. There are dynamic energies in cells which hold water in an organized pattern.

Within each cell is an electronic current which,as it flows, attracts paramagnetic ions (in this case,the hydrogen) in the water. This attraction causes the hydrogen to line up and point toward the current.

The result is a layer of polarized water around that electrical charge. Beyond it, in the cell, are additional layers of polarized water. No water floats freely. Thus, under normal conditions, all the water in the cell is controlled. It cannot leave the cell and no other water can enter without permission.

Yet this organizing function only occurs when potassium is in the cell. When potassium leaves the damaged cell, this water structure is lost and the cell begins swelling with water as sodium enters.

Many of the findings in this article were determined by Freeman W. Cope, M.D., a biophysicist physician who, working with Raymond Damadian,M.D., invented the magnetic imager (which can take the equivalent of X-rays, yet without harmful    radiation).

Gilbert Ning Ling, Ph.D., another biophysicist researcher, discovered that every molecule of ATP in the cell will have 20 “association sites” for potassium to attach to. Ling’s research led Dr. Cope to search for some medical therapy, somewhere in the world, which might be already using high potassium, low sodium diets to correct cell imbalances and restore health. He found it in the Gerson therapy.

Let us look again inside those cell batteries.The mitochondria take sugar given them by other cellular components, and burn it. In a marvelous way, doing so produces ATP, the body’s energy molecules.The ATP helps the potassium to bind to those association sites, and the potassium structures the water and controls how much of it is in the cell.

All this means that, when you have been injured,are sick, or have degenerate problems of any kind, you need to expel the excess sodium (by heavy salt and sodium product restriction) and greatly increase your intake of potassium foods.

And if you want to remain in good health, you ought to remain on, very nearly, that same diet.Now, when you permit your body to become damaged, the cell no longer operates properly. The potassium leaves and sodium and excess water begins entering. Several things immediately begin happening: Not enough oxygen reaches the cell.The protein and lipid structures within the cell become disorganized. ATP is no longer adequately made, and normal cellular operations break down.

What ATP sites remain now accept either potassium or sodium (both have the same chemical valence), and trouble is ahead.But actually, the cell prefers potassium. So when you eat a low sodium and high potassium diet, the damaged conditions in your body begin correcting themselves more quickly.

Ling made the intriguing discovery that when potassium begins binding again at one ATP site—the other sites are triggered to begin accepting potassium again also! This greatly speeds up the restoration process—if the potassium-sodium ratio is fairly good, and there is enough potassium in the system.

When the cell flips back to a high potassium load, interactive cellular activity returns to normal,the water content normalizes, and everything begins working right again.

At this point, we have found the formula for good health and healing to be low sodium,high potassium, and high iodine.It is an intriguing fact that, when a person is placed on a high potassium, low sodium diet for the first time, large amounts of sodium begin to be excreted into the urine. —This is because he had been storing up sodium for years while all the time losing essential potassium! Whatever might be his condition (asthma, arthritis, etc.), he begins making improvements as sodium leaves the damaged cells.

Gerson wanted to increase this effect, and he found that, by heavily restricting protein intake for a time,—even more of the sodium was excreted!So we need to restrict sodium (a person always obtains enough in natural food) and increase potassium intake. Yet the protein foods need to be reduced also.

Gerson would severely restrict his patients’protein intake for about the first six to eight weeks,in order to help the sodium leave the cells. He found that, for some reason, the sodium seemed to be trapped in the body with the protein. Somehow the two were hooked together. Ling’s later work verified that fact.

However, there is a problem with protein. On one hand, extreme protein restriction can only be continued for a rather short time. This is because a certain intake is needed to help the immunity system function properly. Science has long known that protein is necessary for good immunity, but has not known how much.

Unfortunately, several earlier researchers, such as Voit, declared that high-protein diets were the best. For decades since then, the 20th century diet of the Western World has been geared to that error.But an excess of protein increases disease and reduces lifespan.

Robert Good, M.D., director of Sloan Kettering Institute for a number of years, did extensive work into protein and human needs. He found that a heavily protein-restricted diet for a short time—actually stimulates cellular immunity! Dr. Alice Chase and Dr. L.D. Bulkley would have been thrilled to know that such confirmation would later be made of their natural, but restricted, diets for patients.

In his initial protein experiment, Dr. Good fed a no-protein diet to one group of guinea pigs and normal chow to another. According to the traditional view, the no-protein group should lose their immunity;—but, instead, he found that their immunity levels remain stable while the crucial Tlymphocyte levels became extremely active. Those thymus lymphocytes became like angry dogs in a house, searching for something to devour. Dr. Good found that this non-specific, aggressive behavior continued for quite some time after the diet was relaxed.

Good had actually stimulated overall immunity by restricting protein intake! This led to a lengthy series of research projects, not only in his laboratory but elsewhere.Dr. Good repeatedly found that test animals,genetically predetermined to various diseases,could better resist those diseases on a low-protein diet. Some of those diseases had direct analogs to human diseases.

So far, our formula is reduced sodium, increased potassium, increased iodine, and reduced protein.But there was yet another way to reduce sodium levels in the body: calorie restriction.At first thought, one would imagine that patients on the required Gerson diet would have a high-calory intake—since they drank 13 cups of juice a day, plus three meals, and sometimes more at night. But they are not.

The key here is fat restriction. The only appreciable fat intake of a typical Gerson patient is the 1.5% fat in his oatmeal, the two tablespoons of daily flaxseed oil, and a rather small amount in the fruits, vegetables, and a few white potatoes and a little yeast. (The strict level of the Gerson diet totals about 90 calories a day; whereas U.S. soldiers sitting around awaiting action during the Gulf War were being given up to 9,000 calories a day.

That provided an excellent foundation upon which sickness could be built. And, for many, other circumstances caused that to occur.)Eliminating the fats from the diet greatly reduces the calorie intake. This is because, while a tablespoon of carbohydrate and a tablespoon of protein yield approximately the same number of calories, a tablespoon of fat provides more than double that number of calories. To reduce the calories,you reduce the fat intake—and, in the process,you greatly help your heart and blood vessels.

Thus we find that a modified, ongoing Gerson diet not only helps prevent cancer from getting started, it also helps prevent the various forms of cardiovascular disease.It is unfortunate that salt and fat are everywhere in the Western diet, and there is lots of protein in it also. So a more healthful diet requires careful thought and planning.

It should be mentioned that, after six to eight weeks on a heavy protein restricted diet, Gerson patients are given some protein foods.Before continuing, the reader might be interested in knowing what that later added protein is.Because it has to be a low sodium, low fat protein,the Gerson Institute found that non-fat cow (not goat) yogurt was the best. But, of course, vegans might substitute something else. Those on the Gerson diet lose about 40 grams of protein each day in stool evacuations. That is normal and cannot be avoided. When the yogurt is added, those patients receive a total of about 30-40 grams a day, which is the correct amount, agreeing with the Chittendon standard, and a “positive nitrogen balance.” (The Voit theory that you need 70-80 grams a day is a recipe for an early, painful death from disease.)

In one research report, we find this statement:“Thus the animal’s immune resistance could be either increased or depressed, depending on the timing and the severity of the nutritional deprivation. Similar inhibitory effects upon the incidence and growth of malignant tumors have been reported in animals fed diets imbalanced or deficient in the essential amino acids.”—Robert Good, M.D., and David Jose, M.D., Journal of Experimental Medicine, 137, 1973.

Unfortunately, Dr. Good lost favor at Sloan-Kettering in the 1970s, when he suggested in print that high protein diets might cause cancer and heart disease. So he went to the University of South Florida, in Tampa, to continue his research.In a book written in German, published in the 1930s, Gerson first reported on the same kind of changes that Good found 40 year later. Gerson had found that his protein-restricted patients showed increased white cell counts, plus increased lymphocyte activity and nonspecific immune activity.

At this juncture, our formula for health and healing is up to five points: reduced sodium,increased potassium, increased iodine, reduced calories, and reduced protein.

On a high potassium, low sodium diet, all the cells in your better do better, and damaged ones are greatly helped. Cellular water quantity and structure improves.

Increasing the iodine intake (and do not try to get it from iodized salt!) increases ATP production,so you have more energy. Thyroxin from the thyroid signals the cell batteries (the mitochondria)to make more ATP and get it to working harder. In addition, some of the idodine goes directly to the cells and stimulates them.

Restricting the protein intake causes large numbers of T-lymphocytes to be made. These then wander around the body searching for bad things to gobble up—including cancer cells. T-lymphocytes have the capability of penetrating tumors and,if there is enough of them, destroying the tumors.

They do this by ingesting them. Then resultant waste is carried to the liver where these toxic particles must be sent out in the bile through the gallbladder,into bowel for evacuation.

The cancer tumor needs lots of sugar and protein,but it does not know how to handle protein properly. In the morass of water around the tumor,the waste protein builds up and produces toxic results on nearby cells. As they weaken, cancer extends into them.

A sphere of damaged tissue (called a “sodium ring”) several times the volume of the tumor, will surround a typical melanoma. That entire tissue area is in poor shape: It is waterlogged, clogged with metabolic waste from the tumor, has poor immunity, lacks electrical resistance, has poor blood circulation, and inadequate drainage. It is remarkably like a clogged sewer.

It is for such reasons that cancer patients, in the very late stages, emit such strong odors. Tumors have poor waste disposal facilities, and the body keeps filling with waste products.Depending on the extent of the tumors, when the Gerson therapy is applied, that sodium ring will disappear within weeks. This is because of the intense tumor attack, waste removal, and rebuilding nutrition the patient is given.

At this juncture, it would be well to mention the problem of waste removal.Max Gerson had a problem when it came towaste disposal. His nutritional program produced such excellent effects in rebuilding cells and destroying tumors—that an immense amount of waste material was being sent over to the liver for disposal.

But Gerson found that the liver could not handle the load. The body was trying to cast off a great deal of toxic waste, and the liver was on the verge of collapsing under the load. We will let Dr. Gerson explain the problem and the only efficient way he was able to solve it. Today, the Gerson Institute still has not found a better way:

“These ripe [cancer] cells take it up so fast and they perhaps grow a little faster but they soak in more with great greed—as much as they can—together with a little bit of sodium, probably.But then there isn’t much sodium left [in the cell, as a result of the Gerson program]. So then these cells pick up potassium and oxidizing enzymes and die by themselves. You have to realize that cancer cells live essentially on fermentation but potassium and oxidizing enzymes introduce oxidation. And that is the point at which we can kill cancer cells, because we take away the conditions which they need to continue to live.

“But now we have to deal with a mass of dead cells in the body, in the blood stream—and they have to be eliminated wherever they may be.And that is not so easy! The ripe [cancer] cells,the mature cells are very abnormal. These are much more easily killed than the other cells which are unripe, not yet mature, and not so well developed. And there are other cancer cells in lymph vessels. These are clogged at both ends by cancer cells. No blood and no lymph can reach them. There are cancer cells in the glands.

They are hidden there, protected from regular circulation. So it isn’t easy to reach these. At first it is only the big mass which is killed. But this dead mass now has to be absorbed wherever it is—perhaps in the uterus, perhaps in the kidney, or in the lung, or in the brain—this has to be absorbed. This absorption is only possible through the blood stream. I call this‘parenteral digestion.’

Enteral digestion is in the intestinal tract. Parenteral digestion takes place outside of the digestive tract, through the blood stream. It becomes important then to continually carry on detoxification day and night in order to bring the parenteral digestion to the highest point, even to a ‘hyperfunction.’ How can this [expelling of waste by the body] be done? . .

“First, we gave some different enemas. I found out that the best enema is the coffee enema,as it was first used by Prof. O.A. Meyer in Goettingen. This idea occurred to him when . .he observed that the bile ducts were opened and more bile could flow. I felt that this was very important and I worked out coffee enemas. We took three heaping tablespoons of ground coffee for one quart of water, let boil for three minutes,then simmer 10 to 20 minutes, and then gave it at body temperature.

“The patients reported that this was doing them good. The pain disappeared even though in order to carry through the detoxification, we had to take away all sedation. [!] I realized that Gerson Therapy it is impossible to detoxify the body on the one hand and put in drugs and poisons on the other, such as sedation medication—demerol, codeine,morphine, scopolamine, etc. So we had to put the medication aside which again was a very difficult problem. One patient told me that he had one grain of codeine very two hours and that he got morphine injections. How can you take these away? I told him that the best sedation is a coffee enema. After a very short time he had to agree with that. Some of the patients who had been in severe pain didn’t take coffee enemas every four hours as I prescribed—they took them every two hours. But no more sedation.

After just a few days there was very little pain, almost none . .“These patients who absorb the big tumor masses are awakened with an alarm clock every night because they are otherwise poisoned by the absorption of these [broken-up tumor]masses. If I give them only one or two or three enemas, they die of poisoning. I did not have the right as a physician to cause the body to absorb all the cancer masses and then not to detoxify enough. With two or three enemas they were not detoxified enough. They went into a coma hepaticum (liver coma). Autopsies showed that the liver was poisoned. I learned from these disasters that you can’t give these patients too much detoxification . . When I didn’t give these patients the night enemas, they were drowsy and almost semi-conscious in the morning.

The nurses confirmed this and told me that it takes a couple of enemas till they are free of this toxic state again. I cannot stress the detoxification enough. Even so with all these enemas,this was not enough! I had to give them also castor oil by mouth and by enema every other day, at least for the first week or so.

“After these two weeks you wouldn’t recognize these patents any more! They had arrivedon a stretcher and now they walked around.They had appetite. They gained weight and the tumors went down.”—Max Gerson, lecture given in Escondido, California in 1956, reprinted in Appendix 2 of the 2nd through 5th editions of A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases, 409-410, 407-408. [It is not in the original edition.]

Coffee is something that no health-minded person wants to have anything to do with; yet, if dying of cancer, he would do well to consider it. In such a crisis, it becomes an emergency need.In the years since Gerson’s death, informationalhas come to light on how coffee enemas helpthe body rid itself of those terrible toxic substances.

First, a coffee enema can dilate the bile ducts better than any other known substance, because of palmitates in the coffee. Experiments on rats with these palmitate acid salts produced strong ejection of bile by the liver.

Second, research at the University of Minnesota has revealed that coffee stimulates an enzyme system in the liver. Called glutathione-S-transferase,it is able to remove a large variety of electrophiles from the bloodstream. The more common name for electrophiles is free radicals.These are charged particles which damage cell membranes if not eliminated as soon as possible.

The free radicals are adsorbed by the glutathione-S-transferase, which makes them inert.The above-named enzyme also triggers the enzyme system in the liver which is responsible for eliminating free radicals (called the ligandine enzymes),to increase in activity up to 700% above normal. No other substance but coffee can trigger such intense activity.

These various poisons are made into bile salts which are ejected vigorously from the liver.The water in the enema stimulates the visceral nervous system, producing peristalsis. This helps the small intestines rush the waste products to the large bowel, where they are carried out of the body.

So, in summary, the basic aspects of the Gerson therapy are greatly improved and increased nutrition; restricted sodium, protein, and calorie intake; increased potassium and iodine intake; elimination of free radicals from the bloodstream;and cleansing of the bloodstream, liver, and intestines.

The result is that the sodium ring around the tumors disappears, the tumor is penetrated by potassium, the tumor is eaten by the T-lymphocytes, the toxic waste is taken out of the body, and the entire system is nutritionally rebuilt.


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