Johanna Budwig, Ph.D., was a German biochemist and author. She also was a pharmacist and held doctorate degrees in physics and chemistry. Based on her research on fatty acids, she developed a diet that she believed was useful in the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Johanna Budwig was a researcher and was regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils. She was well aware of the importance of oxygenation, or the lack thereof, in cancer. Dr. Budwig researched anti-cancer treatment medications of her day, most of which contained sulphydryl groups. The sulphydryl groups were being investigated for their importance in cellular metabolism and cellular respiration and were scrutinized mainly due to Otto Warburg’s research published in mainstream mediums.
This observation involving sulphydryl groups, fatty acids and oxygenation would be the keystone for the Budwig diet. In a nutshell, her hypothesis is that cancer results from a resource shortage imposed cellular respiratory change, involving greatly reduced or the absence of the sulphydryl groups and or fatty acids. This change would facilitate anaerobic metabolism, the generation of energy in the absence or excluding the use of oxygen, resulting in lactic acid (Citric Acid Cycle). Fermentation resulting in lactic acid lowers the intracellular pH making that environment acidic. This acid change or pH drop also affects intracellular physiologic reaction execution.
For the discovery of the citric acid cycle, Hans Krebs, M.D. was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1953. This alteration in the intracellular physiology results in an environment conducive to the anaplastic cellular development within an organ, i.e. lung, liver or tissue, i.e. skin, muscle. An anaplastic cell is a cell whose original design and physiological function are altered and a new morphology (appearance) along with altered physiological function. We refer to these as cancer cells.
Dr. Budwig did not believe in the use of growth-inhibiting treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. She was quoted as saying, “I flat declare that the usual hospital treatments today, in a case of tumorous growth, most certainly leads to worsening of the disease or a speedier death, and in healthy people, quickly causes cancer.”
The advent of new diagnostic techniques developed in part by Dr. Budwig, more extensive research in blood content, specifically lipid blood composition began. Dr. Budwig began comparing blood fat composition between healthy individuals and those afflicted with a variety of illnesses.
Theory and function
Dr. Budwig believed cancer is an unsaturated fat deficiency — specifically, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Both are required for healthy cell membrane formation and aerobic respiration (oxygen-requiring energy generation system). Thus, people with unsaturated fatty acid poor diets were more susceptible to develop cancer. Flaxseed oil with ~19% linoleic acid and about ~59% linolenic acid is integral to the Budwig cream mixture. Dr. Budwig’s hypothesis was that the unsaturated fatty acids found in the flaxseed oil would interact with the sulfhydryl groups in the cottage cheese. This chemical reaction would liberate the stored energy within the fatty acids. Aerobic respiration — a chemical reaction that transfers energy to cells — generates 36 ATP per glucose molecule. Anaerobic respiration generates 2 ATP per glucose molecule.
Fats are not water-soluble …
You’re right, water and oil do not mix. Since our bloodstream is basically a water-based medium, how do we get the flaxseed components delivered to our cells? Dr. Budwig hypothesized that sulphydryl groups in the cysteine and methionine amino acids within the cottage cheese made both the linolenic acid and linoleic acid more hydrophilic (water-soluble). Her hypothesis was confirmed by the use of paper chromatography. This research tool confirmed that when flaxseed oil is combined with cottage cheese, the unsaturated fatty acids became more water-soluble. However, saturated fatty acids remained unchanged and totally hydrophobic (water repellent).
Dr. Budwig’s hypothesis is founded on the belief that the bond created by the union of the flaxseed oil and cottage cheese generated a path through the cell membrane for fast and focused electron transportation. In other words, Dr. Budwig discovered that when she combined flaxseed oil, with its powerful healing nature of essential electron-rich unsaturated fats and cottage cheese, which is rich in sulfur protein, the chemical reaction produced makes the oil water-soluble and easily absorbed into the cell membrane. What no one realized is that there is more than one membrane within all cells and that this mixture works on all membranes. Without the proper metabolism of fats in our body, every vital function and every organ is affected.
College biochemistry teaches that lipoproteins are an integral resource for every cell’s phospholipid bilayer, which we refer to as a cell’s outer membrane. Research done many decades later, confirmed that Dr. Budwig’s original concept is just part of the overall picture. She was absolutely correct in her belief that the cellular outer membrane is crucial for cellular integrity and function.
Budwig cream mixture and cancer
Mainstream medicine believes that cancer is a disease involving rapidly dividing cells, which have difficulty dying. However, Dr Budwig believed that cancer results from an incomplete cellular division due to a lack of resources allowing for the completion of mitosis. Errors in replication may result in cellular death or alteration in cellular function and appearance. Her thoughts may account for the observation that cancer cells have different physical appearances and produced different proteins.
The presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in cancer cells is common and Dr. Budwig’s hypothesis is a very plausible explanation for this observation. The regulatory mechanisms within these aberrant cells are at best challenged and often absent. This fact may explain the extraordinarily fast replication that cancerous tumours have. Dr. Budwig further claimed that the biochemical activity of highly unsaturated fatty acids would accelerate the rate of cell division resulting in the self-destruction of formed tumors.
Dr. Budwig noted, “The formation of tumors usually happens as follows. In those body areas which normally host many growth processes, such as in the skin and membranes, the glandular organs, for example, the liver and pancreas or the glands in the stomach and intestinal tract — it is here that the growth processes are brought to a standstill. Because the polarity is missing, due to lack of electron-rich highly unsaturated fat, the course of growth is disturbed — the surface-active fats are not present; the substance becomes inactive before maturing and shedding process of the cells ever take place, which results in the formation of tumors.” She pointed out that this can be reversed by providing simple foods, cottage cheese and flaxseed oil, which revises the stagnated growth process.
We also understand that cancer has a physical component, which requires nutritional changes, oxygenation, detoxification, immune enhancement, and customization of a treatment plan, and we address all components simultaneously.
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How it works
What Research Says
Clinical studies have not been conducted to determine the effects of the Budwig diet.
Johanna Budwig, a German biochemist, developed the Budwig diet in the 1950s. The diet involves eating flaxseed oil mixed with cottage cheese and milk.
Dr. Budwig believed that the combination of cottage cheese and flaxseed oil made omega-3 fatty acids more available to the body's cells. She also thought that the oil could stop cancers from growing.
How To use
The Budwig is a mixture of cottage cheese, flaxseed oil, and low-fat milk.
The muesli is made from ground or whole flax seeds, and some people also add some fruit, nuts, and honey to the seeds.
The mixture should be eaten within 20 minutes of making it.
What to Do
Risks / Side Effects
The use of coffee enemas can result in electrolyte imbalance, infections, inflammation of the rectum and colon, and burns.
In addition, high levels of sun exposure can result in an increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Flaxseed supplementation can cause gastrointestinal discomforts such as gas, bloating, constipation, stomach ache, and frequent bowel movements.
Flaxseed may interact with some medications and stop the absorption of some drugs.
You may want to talk to your physician if you have bleeding disorders, diabetes, or irritable bowel syndrome before adding the diet to your regimen.
Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids have some effect on cancer cells. This is because omega-3 reduces the levels of certain chemicals associated with cancer.
Flaxseeds also contain substances called lignans and phytoestrogens, which have been known to have anti-cancer and hormonal effects.
In Dr. Budwigs books and papers, she gave evidence of people treated with her diet and also explained how the diet works to kill cancer cells. However, researchers are still investigating this, and there is not enough evidence to say that this diet can prevent or treat cancer in humans.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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