by Dr. Andrew Dickens, NMD
The Budwig protocol focuses on a root cause of cancer: cells are starved of oxygen. The diet was designed to give them more oxygen.
Dr. Johanna Budwig was a leading researcher of fats and oils in the 1950s. It was a time when the food industry’s marketing was convincing many people to turn their backs on time-honored fats like butter and lard. Margarine was better, the public was told. People had begun eating the new “vegetable” oils – the commercially processed, partially hydrogenated corn, soy, canola and cottonseed oils which are full of trans fats.
Dr. Budwig found that chemical processing of these fats destroys their natural electron field. Fats are the primary component in the makeup of a cell membrane. Trans fats struggle to carry an electrical charge, so cells start to suffocate due to a lack of oxygen.
Meanwhile, Dr. Budwig was also seeing that successful cancer drugs contained sulfur compounds. And she suspected there was a connection between sulfur compounds, good fats, and healthy cell membranes.
She proved that the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid are vital interaction partners to the sulfur amino acids for oxygen uptake in the cell. Their enormous electron potential is the key. The negative charge of these omega-3 fatty acids makes them an optimal binding partner for positively charged sulfur-containing amino acids. Together they form the battery of our cells.
Dr. Budwig created an oil-sulfur diet. The centerpiece was a mixture of pure flaxseed oil (rich in electrons) with cottage cheese (what the Germans call quark). The sulfur-protein component found in cottage cheese makes the oil water soluble so it can pass through the cell membrane. She also used juices fermented with lactic acid supplemented with freshly ground flax seed several times a day.
Dr. Budwig documented that cancer patients who followed her strict diet protocol for three months were indeed able to carry more oxygen in their blood. She was able to treat many forms of cancer with great success.
A Modern-day Look At Flax
There is a big BUT to this story:
- Seed oils are notoriously fragile. Unrefined seed oils go rancid quickly. That is why food manufacturers put them through the processes of hydrogenation and deodorization to create longer shelf life. But those chemical changes make these oils unnatural; they do harm to the human body. To obtain good quality flax oil that has not gone rancid, you pretty much have to grind whole seeds yourself just before you use them – and Budwig actually recommended this. But most people in today’s hectic world want to buy a bottle of oil, not grind the seeds.
- Flax seeds are 20 times more estrogenic than soy. Since 80% of breast cancers are estrogen positive – estrogen feeds their growth – flax is not something the modern human being wants to regularly have in the diet. Experts in the field of environmental estrogenic exposure surmise that if Budwig were alive today, she would pick a different oil.
- Finding organic cottage cheese that has not been through a commercial process is also challenging. In Budwig’s day, most Germans made yogurt and cottage cheese – quark – at home with milk from local cows and goats. Quark was a bland, cultured, soft cottage cheese of about 12-14% protein. Today, purchasing anything less than a high-quality cottage cheese inhibits the chemical reaction from occurring. Added preservatives and hormones in lower grade cheeses coupled with high heat pasteurization processes ruin the quality of the sulfur containing protein. Are you willing to make your own cottage cheese?
So, let’s take a second look at this. The whole point of this diet is to get oxygen to cells because a low oxygen environment encourages cancer cell growth. There are easier ways to get oxygen to the cells than the Budwig diet.
But first, let’s be clear: Budwig was absolutely right about the dangers of industrially processed fats and oils. The partial hydrogenation process interferes with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer. So first, you have to stop eating those – corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed are the worst offenders. Just say “NO!”
Choose unadulterated fats and oils (liquid fats) that nourish the body like grassfed butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, avocado oil, black cumin oil, and extra virgin olive oil (but be aware that about 75% of the EVOO on the market has been mixed with other oils to cut costs). Two places to find good oils on line:
In Scottsdale, you should have success at:
In fish oils, you want a triglyceride, not a monoglyceride. Among those I like:
- “Finest Pure Fish Oil” by Pharmax
- “Artic Cod Liver Oil” by Nordic Naturals
- And sometimes “Ecomer Shark Liver Oil” by American Nutriceuticals
You probably didn’t think about your cell membranes when you ate a hamburger bun or chips made with soybean or canola oil, but your cells were on the receiving end and they said “yuk, we can’t make good membranes with this.” You need a healthy cell membrane that can hold onto electrons, to hold an electrical charge. Read labels and put healthy fats and oils in your diet.
Next, it’s time to rev up the oxygen to your cells. We have a couple of options.
EWOT – Exercise With Oxygen Therapy
We can thank the brilliant German physicist Manfred von Ardenne (1907-1997) for teaching all of us how to exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT for short).
The basic tools for EWOT are an oxygen tank and face mask, a large bag to store the oxygen, and a mode of exercise. You ride a bicycle, or treadmill, or whatever your wheelchair will allow.
As you exercise, you will alternate between flooding your body with 90% oxygen, and starving it with just 10%. (The air in a normal room is about 21% oxygen.) This constant pulsing of rich oxygen followed by weak oxygen opens the venous end of the capillary bed for better oxygenation and therapy penetration.
In medical parlance, Manfred von Ardenne discovered that, physiologically, oxygen deprivation triggers capillary-venous inflammation as a healing reflex, which continues until switched off by an oxygen flood.
This is why we really like this simple but brilliant therapy. It creates a long-lasting physiological change that will increase blood flow and the opportunity for more oxygen in the body. Specifically, the goal is a physiologic change to the venous end of the capillary bed.
Some people use hyperbaric chambers where oxygen is forced into the blood by adjusting the air pressure. There is lots of good science behind that, and it is all fine and good, but compared to EWOT, hyperbaric is a relatively passive system. Yes, hyperbaric will increase the oxygen content in the blood today, but tomorrow’s physiological changes are incremental – much slower than what can be achieved with EWOT. Also, EWOT is much simpler than hyperbaric and sessions take less time. What’s not to like?
It’s All About the Oxygen
Manfred von Ardenne recognized that the body’s ability to produce energy (create cellular ATP) is limited by the transport of oxygen to the tissues. The more oxygen gets in, the more energy we have. He observed that with age, cells tend to be oxygen deficient and therefore energy deficient. He also observed that health is associated with youth and a high level of energy, while disease and old age are associated with what he termed energy deficiency. He developed EWOT to restore the diminished blood microcirculation of the endothelium (cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels) and capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body – they convey blood between the arterioles and venules). A capillary that has been narrowed by oxygen deficiency through disease can be re-enlarged by EWOT.
Some of the effects of EWOT:
- Increase in energy
- Increase in immune system function
- Better ability to clear lactic acid, a metabolic end-product created by cancer cells to nurture their environment
- Improved microcirculation within the endothelium decreases dangerous inflammation, present in almost all major chronic diseases
- Increased circulation, especially to the legs and feet for diabetics
- Helps to decrease the toxic effects of chemo and radiation
- Improved alkalinity in the body
- There are anti-aging effects by improving the function of cellular enzymes and cell metabolism
- Improve weight loss and help the body to burn fat
Sessions are 15 to 30 minutes. The most common side effect is some minor drying of the sinuses and throat from the oxygen air that can be remedied by drinking more water and staying well hydrated.
The Bemer Bed
This is a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy device that also increases oxygen uptake by increasing circulation.
At its heart of this Swiss made machine is a patented, complex cascading sine wave pulse-train signal developed by Dr. Wolf A Kafka.
Like all PEMF devices, BEMER helps to enhance microcirculation by sending an electromagnetic pulse through the body, triggering a pumping motion in the microvessels (vasomotion).
If we open up the vascularity into the cancer, we can get our therapy into the cancer cells more effectively. But if the inside of the tumor has reduced blood flow (is hypoxic), therapy substances will flow around it and not get into it. We want to override that with BEMER.
If a cancer patient is in a constant state of “fight or flight,” many changes in the central nervous system take place. Long periods of time in this state are highly draining to the body, and healing cannot take place when you are in such a heightened state of distress. BEMER sessions tend to bring on a state of relaxation.
Treatment sessions are 8-10 minutes long, usually once a day. You lie on the BEMER mat, plug it into a mini-computer, and adjust the programmed amount of time and the frequency of the pulse. There are different frequencies to target different systems in the body.
 von Ardenne, M. Oxygen Multistep Therapy-Physiological and Technical Foundations. 1990