Episode 5 Gar Hildenbrand on the Gerson Therapy
The following is one of my favorite interviews I've done so far!! Do you ever experience how friendships get sweeter over time? Well, it rings true for me and Gar Hildenbrand! 😊 I first "met" Gar on the phone in February 2011, 2-3 weeks after getting my diagnosis of stage 4 melanoma.
My mom had been researching melanoma cures and found out about Coley's Toxins and the Gerson Therapy, which had 60% and 39% 5-year survival rates, respectively, in people with stage 4 melanoma. Both were promoted by Gar on his website, gerson-research.org, and my mom called him and found his reasoning logical and hopeful. After hearing my mom's take on his approach I wanted to speak with him as well. My mom called him back with me on the phone and I remember agreeing with his logic as well, though I couldn't keep up and had to let my mom take over the conversation for me! 😅 Things haven't changed too much in that area... Gar's wisdom and understanding surpass mine and I had to press "pause" many times to record the show notes from the interview. (Which, by the way, turned out to be 6.5 pages long, single-spaced!!)
After much anticipation, here is one of my most popular interviews, with Gar Hildenbrand on the Gerson Therapy (and a bit about Coley's Toxins and the Danger Theory)! In this interview and Q&A session, Gar clarified the different versions of the Gerson Therapy, including that which was used by 61% of those in Gerson's book A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases. He also explains why the Gerson diet is helpful in COVID-19!!
Here are the show notes:
1:55 How Gar got into the Gerson Therapy and was healed of Lupus erythematosus!
5:08 How he transitioned from theater to science
7:05 Gar explains the evolution of the Gerson Therapy for cancer
7:44 The Gerson Therapy is not specific to the tumor
7:55 The GT stood alone for infectious disease treatment of the Tuberculosis microbe
9:41 Relating COVID-19 and the Gerson Therapy
11:35 The similarities between tuberculosis and cancer
12:35 What triggers an immune response
13:15 Why cancer goes undetected by the immune system
13:45 Which types of cancer have a tendency to self-destruct in pockets (“pre-cari-ous” cancers – see also
16:50 and 18:05; think dental caries)
14:30 A dead or dying cell is a danger signal
14:45 The 2 immune system responses: to pathological bacteria or wounds
15:30 ATP as a danger signal when outside the cell membrane
17:55 Gar started collecting charts from 1978
18:35 What to do if you’re not getting results with the diet therapy alone
21:10 The GT sets the stage for damaging the cancer
21:37 Recommended COVID-19 diet
22:40 Why to do “intermittent” fasting and switching from glucose utilization into ketosis; it’s biological dynamite
23:33 The main source of protein in the GT is the potato which is a complete protein
(Nathan Pritikin pointed out that our nutrition research had been done on rats, disproving that eggs needed to be combined with potatoes to give complete protein)
24:23 Other aspects of the Gerson Therapy – coffee enemas
26:12 The Merck Manual included coffee enemas
26:50 Coffee enemas can help with water retention in ankles and feet
27:15 Are coffee enemas safe in liver and kidney failure?
28:08 CEs produce more bile, which bind with radicals
28:42 Glutathione S-transferase is accelerated by CEs via cafestol and kahweol in coffee
29:17 “Crude form of dialysis through the gut wall”
29:30 How we know coffee enemas work? 2 studies done concurrently with rats and humans – funneled bile from rats into ostomy pouches that could be measured; demonstrated it was possible to get 1g cafestol diacetate (for enzyme detox) out of a boiled quart of coffee (using Neil Stein’s chemistry manual? inaudible)
PAIN management in cancer patients: Cafestol was the stimulant for bile production and at the same time a matched paired human pain experiment was done… 1 person doing juices and foods and 2 CEs per day, vs; the people getting the GT left their pain meds on the night stand (75% reduction in use of NSAIDS in WHO ladder of pain step 1 and 67% reduction in WHO ladder of pain step 2 pain levels)
28% increased bile flow in the rats
Quality of life data from 40 years of charts
35:00 Ernst Winder connected smoking and lung cancer; lectured at a methodology conference at NIH at the same time as Gar; was treated by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez for thyroid cancer; tried to get large organizations to get funding for coffee enema research
36:15 POMS conference (methodology conference)
37:45 Bias can attract or repel data
39:00 The American Academy for Anti-Aging – Gar will send PowerPoint on the rat and human study and more
40:00 Addressing the concern of CEs causing resorption of toxins
42:26 The best way to activate macrophages is to cut back on non-vegan protein and legumes (temporarily)
44:00 Dairy and cancer
45:00 Gerson’s use of dairy and egg yoke
45:30 “The proof is in the pudding” – the Mediterranean diet – dairy, olive oil
46:00 Oleic acid combined with sugar protein molecule called lactalbumin in milk, transforms into selective cancer cell killer (research by Caterina Svanborg: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28212731/) Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells. (And BAMLET – bovine complement) - Require oleic acid to kill tumors
48:15 Aflatoxins caused cancer, not protein (China Study)
49:45 Gar aims at 5-8% protein
51:20 The best way to reduce sodium in cottage cheese – rinse it
52:15 The REAL Gerson cancer diet
53:10 How to take steps into the Gerson Therapy; the version in the book was the “mail order” version, “one size fits all”
54:50 GT is not a cancer therapy in itself; it’s a distinct and essential part of cancer management; also of the ills of aging and opulence
55:30 70% of COVID patients who have been admitted had comorbidities
55:55 Gar’s advice for a person with cancer – start with his research on Gerson-research.org
Start with low-hanging fruit, be flexible; don’t need to have all 13 juices right away or do the strict vegetarian diet right away
58:15 Gar’s wife and research partner Christeene says hello! 😊
59:00 How to start with a modified diet; make a goal for juicing, see if you can do that; juicing is a way of hyperalimentary and getting tons of micronutrients into the body
1:00:30 Replace water and tea with juice
1:01:05 How to build up tolerance to 13 juices per day
1:01:35 How to start if you’ve been on conventional treatments for an extended period of time
1:02:20 The liver is the most important organ to support… healing?
1:03:00 The Therapy doesn’t have to be done perfectly
1:03:40 Don’t give up before you start!!
1:04:30 The diet is easier than you may think: Dietary Considerations in Malignant Neoplastic Diseases; A
Preliminary Report by Dr. Max Gerson
1:05:00 Juice recipes and do ingredients need to be exact? Also mentioned, Dr. Omar Arabia from the Philippines (Paracelsus Integrative Medical Clinic)
1:07:40 Use any veggie, just don’t eat alfalfa sprouts! Study - Systemic lupus erythematosus-like syndrome in monkeys fed alfalfa sprouts: role of a nonprotein amino acid https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7071589
Shut down helper T cells.
1:09:02 Mature alfalfa is ok for cows but not for humans. In seed and sprout form, taken in quantity, will trigger in some people an autoimmune suppression of T helper cells and deregulates the immune system through canavanine. Not all plants are meant for human consumption. All other sprouts and seeds should be ok (besides common allergenic foods).
1:12:15 6 years after Gerson died, in 1965 the American version of A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases was published. There was a great deal put in the book by Gerson’s daughters. Cucumbers and celery don’t have too much sodium – don’t need to avoid, as Charlotte said. Gerson used it in his TB diet between 1928-1951, which he used on cancer patients. Gar thinks it’s very good in carrot juice.
1:14:50 Gar doesn’t use the potassium powder in juices anymore. Still uses iodine. Carmen __ at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has done excellent work with epidemiology and physiology... Iodine does have a definite anticancer effect; when used with other material it can be helpful.
1:16:00 Potassium salts are a hassle, it’s expensive and there’s not enough substantive evidence that it makes a difference; there are grams of potassium and miniscule amounts of sodium in apple-potato days section of Gerson diet. Would have to test the salts idea in a good animal model if possible. Acetate, glutamate and mono-phosphate look appealing because they’re part of the Krebs cycle. But the diet and juices also provide so much more potassium than the compounds. Re-emphasizing the food; it was always the food.
1:19:05 Q) I have issues with pancreatin; when I re-introduce it back in the regimen I get sore kidneys and shooting in the abdomen area. A) Pancreatin or acidoll pepsin – one should only do so for a short period of time otherwise it’ll overstimulate the organs. Chronic usage was part of the “mail order” regimen for those who were very sick, end stage. Coming out of the stomach flu, when food/things aren’t sitting well, pancreatin, betaine hydrochloride & pepsin could be helpful to make the stomach and intestines work. But Gerson would be adamant that you have to stop it to help keep balance. Don’t think you have to continue it; do it for limited period of days.
1:21:30 Q) How do you address Circulating Tumor Cells that remain after tumors are removed; does the Danger Model play into that? A) Is the tumor removed or have we just removed an aggregated group of cells but we still have the disease? Cancer is like a mushroom. A mycelial mat that lives under the dirt from which muschrooms spring is the real mushroom; the mycelial mat is capable of extending fiber networks and creating enzymes to digest what’s around it. I tend to see Tumors as the fruits of the mycelial mat. The signaling disturbances that stimulate result in a tendency to make tumors. CTC are evidence of an incomplete eradication of malignant cells. The only way to stop tumor formation is to eliminate every malignant cell. One would have to ask… could they make a vaccine against CTCs to pick off new CTCs as soon as they’re launched. We need to wound the tumor have an autoimmune response to a tumor cells because they look like our own cells; if we could catch a bunch and put them back in the body with an adjuvant so the IS could take them up and present them to lymphocytes then we could get a lymphocyte effector response against CTCs.
1:25:00 Surgery itself stimulates the Immune System – the IS goes wherever the surgeon cuts. Gerson’s first case (a wonderful one as well) – the woman had cholangial carcinoma – incompletely operated bile duct cancer; had fever and jaundice – bacterial, surgical wound danger signals. Gave her a list of diet to follow – she was a socialite – 6 months later had a big soiree he was invited to and she had radiant health. Cholangiocarcinoma is not a precarious cancer (that would fold in on itself). It’s relentlessly progressive even on diet therapy alone. She had a bacterial infection caused her white count to expand enormously – causing IS response like a bunch of bees to the flowers to the surgical wounds and in clearing the wounds picked up the antigen for the cancer and cleared it too. Can see over and over again in the record, the role of the surgeon whether or not it was understood by the practitioner and/or patient. Surgery is associated with better outcomes.
1:28:30 Q) Concern of metastasis after surgery. A) It’s all about preparation. One would never want to go into surgery immunosuppressed because that would be inviting disaster. The IS will go to the surgery site – the antitumor immunity will result - the wound is full of tumor antigens – the IS doesn’t care, it just cleans up whatever is in the mess. It develops anti-malignant cell memory.
If going to do surgery – get started on the diet therapy and Coley’s toxins – not everyone will have a post-surgical infection. But Coley’s simulates a bacterial infection and gives you the second behavior of the IS (bacterial response). When a bacterial infection hits the white count amplifies bc the IS assumes there’s a battle.
Don’t go in unprepared. Do Gerson a couple of weeks, get yourself cleaned out and pumped out. Get your WBC count up through subcutaneous Coley’s.
1:31:13 Q) Is fever therapy a good way to stimulate the IS and damage the tumor? A) We need to de-emphasize fever as a concept, and ask, can we stimulate the IS w/agents that are known to provoke fevers? Yes. Are fevers required to alter the IS’s function? Maybe not. Maybe the signaling environment that leads to the fever is really what we have to do. Thomas Klein – 10 Year Follow Up with RA Patients treated with Coley’s. Was very very cautious to never give the patients a dose that would cause a bad reaction because he wanted them to keep doing it. They didn’t get fevers but their RA went away.
THE USE OF COLEY'S MIXED TOXINS IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC ARTHRITIS. BY THOMAS KLEIN, M.D.
1:32:50 Caution against thinking that hyperthermia devices can provoke anti-cancer immunity – they’re standing on shaky ground (using heat by itself). Difference between immune response and fever which is just one face of the immune response.
1:34:17 There’s a big difference between hyperthermia and diathermia. Read a Russian lecture which was quite firm that diathermia (using a focused magnetic field, which causes the migration of heat shock proteins in tumor membranes to be recognized as danger signals) is quite different from hyperthermia and it has a better track record.
1:36:10 Q) Kidney filtration rate is 12% (from Dense Deposit Disease, an autoimmune kidney disease), what to do? A) There have been efforts to feed ketoacids versus proteins, didn’t pan out. At that point a kidney donation looks good.
1:37:20 Q) Microcurrent technology for reversing scarring? A) That’s uncharted territory but there’s a lot there. Try it, what do you have to lose?
1:38:51 Q) Is voltage part of the Gerson Therapy? You’re moving ions across the cell membrane. A) Currents – Donald Cone did a lot of work with transmembrane electrical potential and contact inhibition in malignant mitosis. It’s clear that cancer cells have an abborent transmembrane potential which makes sense because they’re so full of salt and water. However a healthy cell will have a recognizable bandwidth. (?)
1:40:10 The Germans knew they could do low chloride diets to prevent cardio-renal insufficiency (congestive heart disease and kidney failure). Dr. Gerson was able to take the work of Dr. Keller and show that sodium is the lead iion that penetrates the cell first, then extra chloride. Chloride is larger than sodium. It’s the one you’ll recognize (by smell) when eliminating cancer rather than sodium but that is coming out as well.
1:41:59 Q) Does sugar really feed cancer? What about potatoes on the Gerson Therapy? A) “Eating a banana will not grow your tumors” video - ? (Can’t find it but there is a video on FB Gar/CHIPSA did that has over 700,000 views: https://www.facebook.com/chipsahospital/videos/2553926701559207/)
The idea that sugar fuels cancer isn’t false, but the sugar you eat isn’t the only source of sugar in your blood stream – protein and fat get converted to sugar also. The Inuit consume about 60% fat in their diet. While their livers are a little big larger, their blood sugar is normal. It’s impossible not to have blood sugar without starving. You won’t last long because you’ll be eating your own muscles. Cancer eats from the same table as your body. There’s no way you can avoid what it needs and stay alive. Gerson had a slight anti-cancer effect by improving the tissue in the tumor microenvironment – the sodium, water-logged tissue was transmineralized – reloaded potassium and got it to extrude water – would create enough new immunity that wound healing would be called into play and tumors would shrink.
(Why Gerson Therapy patients see tumor shrinkage within the first week or month, though it doesn’t last, due to the adapted mechanism of the tumor, etc.)
1:45:40 Where the danger model comes in (once the cells go back to normal content of sodium, potassium and water)
1:46:10 Q) What is the most important supplement to take? A) Combination of CoQ10, acetyl-L carnitine and alpha lipoic acid – Bruce Ames marketed it – Rejuvenon – to prevent the unraveling of telomeres, to keep free radical damage down; to cellular and mitochondria damage by oxidation. They had a drop in survival when they stopped raw liver juice – in raw liver is B vitamins, brewer’s yeast, liver; ubiquinion is available in Brewer’s yeast – also available in liver juice (had contamination problems) – then added CoQ10 in the 1980s.
Karl Folkers, Lockwood and Moesgaard published research in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications Journal – they induced regressions in existing breast cancers with a vegetarian diet and CoQ10 supplementation. Lockwood was an oncologist – said he had never seen anything like it.
(Study - Partial and complete regression of breast cancer in patients in relation to dosage of coenzyme Q10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7908519)
1:50:44 Q) What is your opinion on fish protein? A) Generally good. When we’re trying to get the IS to battle infectious disease we’ll want protein restriction so it has less of a role to play but I think it’s a wonderful protein for the healthy individual to have in the amount of the size of a pack of playing cards 1-2x per week. One needs to not eat too much protein. We were raised to think that protein builds muscle but protein is a nitrogen donor, we measure protein restriction by nitrogen balance (BUN) and the role of protein is overfertilization – NPK fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) – people who follow a high protein diet with cancer have poorer outcomes because it’s immune-suppressing. The origins of cancer and the brilliant father of western pathology – Rudolf Virchow (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2679044) The tissue field of irritation – the field of tissue is going to be prone to stem cell replacement errors – if you feed it a lot of protein/nitrogen, the fields of tissue disturbance are much more likely to host a stem cell that goes through malignant/oncogenesis. It’s about a wound healing error by stem cells. I think that the stem cell already possesses malignant cell properties. The ridiculous mutagenesis model of mutation says that 20 mutagenic effects must occur in the correct sequence in order for an adult cell to youthen to become a malignant stem cell. Why start there when you can start with a stem cell that migrates into a wounded field and mistakenly clones a mutated cell, that already has genetic damage and mutation from the wound itself. There you have a cell that has all kinds of mutations to look at for genetic testing that has retained its immortality, its ability to move through tissue and organize the behavior of other cells in its own support. I think the real model for cancer is mistaken or an error in wound healing.
1:55:35 What do you do with fields of tissue disturbance like infections that don’t clear? The best nutrient inputs and supporting your liver and kidneys.
1:57:10 Q) What Gar is working on? A) Translating Gerson’s monograph (619 pages in German) – to help people understand how on point Gerson was and how ahead of his time he was with metabolic switching, protein restriction, plant food diet, caloric restriction. It’s what the modern researchers are talking about as if it’s the first discovery of it. One of the greatest losses of the conflagration of WWII and Diaspora of Europe was Gerson’s standing in the academic community - he should have been a professor at a university and has graduate students and post-docs to do his work. We lost a lot of time, but he established in the clinical setting (with hundreds and hundreds of his own patients and lots of authors testing with their own patient groups) that what you eat can be your medicine. It doesn’t need to be questioned.
1:59:50 Q) How Gar will share his work? A) He will share it with Bailey and she will share it! :)