Dr. William D. Kelly's Nutritional-Metabolic Therapy

Over a twenty-five year period, Dr. William Donald Kelley, a dentist by training, developed a complex approach to treating many chronic and degenerative diseases, including cancer. The three main elements of his metabolic program are nutrition, detoxification, and supplements of pancreatic enzymes.

William Kelley held that a root cause of cancer is the body's inability to metabolise (digest and utilise) protein. "The person gets cancer because he's not properly metabolising the protein in his diet," said Dr. Kelley. "Then, to make matters worse, the tumour has such a high metabolism that it uses up much of the food which is eaten." If a person's disordered protein metabolism is not corrected, Kelley continued, "it will give rise to more tumours in the future, even if the first one is successfully removed.

Albumin levels in the serum give a good indication on how well protein is utilised by the body.

Dr. Kelley linked faulty metabolism to a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, which he regarded as a fundamental cause of cancer. He believed that certain pancreatic enzymes, especially those that are proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes, are the body's first line of defense against malignancy. This theory stands in marked contrast to conventional medicine, which holds that the immune system, with its natural killer cells, protects people against cancer.

The pancreas releases enzymes directly into the small intestine to aid digestion but Kelly believed that the pancreas also secretes enzymes into the bloodstream where they circulate, reaching all body tissues and killing cancer cells by digesting them.

Imbalance of mineral metabolism is another condition that allows malignancy to occur, according to Dr. Kelley. He identified mineral imbalance as a root cause of the breakdown of the immune system.

The Kelley anti-cancer program combines:

  •  Therapeutic nutrition
  • Supplements intended to destroy cancer cells
  • Vigorous detoxification of the body.

Kelley adjusted every cancer patients’ diet to the metabolic character of each patient, taking into account his or her physiology, neurological and physical make-up, basic metabolic rate, and personality. Some common threads ran through the diets however. The consumption of raw, organic fruits and vegetables was emphasised, while protein intake was reduced considerably in order to preserve the enzymes needed to digest the fruits and vegetables.

In addition to following a diet, Kelley's patients also took up to 150 supplement pills per day, including pancreatic enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and concentrates of raw beef or organs and glands believed by Kelley to contain tissue-specific growth factors, hormones, natural stimulants, and ‘protective’ molecules.

Embarking on his regime, tumour destruction can happen very quickly. The breakdown products from cancer cells are foreign to the normal body and can be very toxic. Even though the liver and kidney can filter these substances out of the bloodstream, the body's normal detoxification processes may become overloaded. To assist their bodies in detoxification, Kelley's patients periodically discontinued their enzymes and other supplements for several days. This rest period, Kelley believed, allows the liver and kidneys to catch up with the body's load of tumour by-products.

As a second aid in detoxification, Kelley advised all his patients to take at least one coffee enema daily. His reasoning was that coffee enemas clean out the liver and gallbladder and help the body get rid of the toxins produced during tumour breakdown. During a coffee enema, claimed Kelley, the caffeine that is rapidly absorbed in the large intestine flows quickly into the liver. He held that in high enough concentrations, caffeine causes the liver and gallbladder to contract vigorously, releasing large amounts of stored wastes into the intestinal tract and greatly aiding elimination. Kelley also believed that enemas are important in stimulating the immune system, since most waste products eliminated by detoxification are enzyme inhibitors. Frequent enemas prevent the suppression of protein-digesting enzymes. These enzymes can break down the cancer cells' fibrin (protein) coats, making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the immune system.

The original Kelley program also included purges to cleanse the liver, gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, and lungs. Like many other metabolic therapists, Kelley believed that the functioning of these organs is severely impaired in the cancer patient. Colonic irrigations, liver and gallbladder flushes, and controlled sweating accomplished the cleansing tasks. Kelley also often recommended some form of manipulative therapy, such as chiropractic adjustment or osteopathic manipulation, to stimulate enervated nerves.

A frequently overlooked aspect of the Kelley system is its spiritual component. Kelley called his approach ‘metabolic ecology’, taking into account the cancer patient's total environment-physical; mental, emotional, and spiritual. He urged the patient to ‘accept the fact that you are afflicted with a symptom (malignant cancer) and that recovery is possible. Establish a faith in a power greater than yourself and know that with His help you can regain health and harmony.’ Patients were encouraged to conduct a searching self-analysis and to eliminate negative behavioural patterns and emotions.

In 1971, the American Cancer Society put Kelley's therapy on its "Unproven Methods" blacklist, where it remains. To this day, no ACS scientist has ever attempted a direct, objective evaluation of Kelley's methods and results.

Dr. Gonzalez in New York treats advanced cancer patients with a Kelley-derived program. He keeps careful records of his own patients and also monitors many of Kelley's patients who have survived ten years or more. He claims that approximately 80 percent of his patients are doing well on his therapy. Most of his patients have already been heavily treated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy and, having failed these modalities, come to him with a prognosis of two to three months to live.


Budwig Protocoll

The Budwig diet was originally proposed in 1951 by Dr. Johanna Budwig, a German biochemist and expert on fats and oils.

The diet consists of combining flaxseed oil and cottage cheese/quark.

Dr. Budwig found that the blood of seriously ill cancer patients was deficient in certain important essential ingredients which included substances called phosphatides and lipoproteins, while the blood of a healthy person always contains sufficient quantities of these essential ingredients.

She found that when these natural ingredients where replaced over approximately a three month period, tumours gradually receded, weakness and anemia disappeared and life energy was restored. Symptoms of cancer, liver dysfunction and diabetes were alleviated.

The combination of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese promotes bio- oxygenation and also changes the oil to a water-soluble form, which makes it absorbable for the body.

Lipids are only water-soluble and free-flowing when bound to protein; thus the importance of protein-rich cottage cheese. When high quality, electron-rich fats are combined with proteins, the electrons are protected until the body requires energy. This energy source is then fully and immediately available to the body on demand, as nature intended.Dr. Budwig developed her diet based on the hypothesis that cancer is caused by reduced uptake of oxygen by cell membranes in the absence of omega-3 fatty acids (O3FAs) such as linolenic acid. She believed by combining cottage cheese and flaxseed oil better availability of essential fatty acids through the plasma membrane is achieved, allowing for improved aerobic cellular respiration. The role of O3FAs in the pathogenesis and treatment of cancer is still under investigation. Nevertheless we know that the polyunsaturated O3FAs in flaxseed oil have been shown to decrease levels of proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and Interleukin-1 beta as well as demonstrated antineoplastic properties by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species and decreasing protumorigenic prostaglandins. Dr. Budwig claims that the diet is both a preventative and a curative. 

The Budwig Protocol incorporated not only her flaxseed oil and cottage cheese but also a strict diet regime. Unfortunately, many patients do not strictly follow the program; and therefore, do not have the expected success with treating their cancer.

The Budwig Cancer Centre in Spain was directly authorised by Dr. Johanna Budwig to continue with her treatments. The centre teaches her diet approach as the basis of their program.

As cancers are much more aggressive today, they require additional measures to fight it; therefore, patients in their centre receive multiple treatments.

These treatments include supplementation, far infrared saunas, exercise, PEMF, detoxification, addressing microbes, parasites, candida, pancreatic enzymes, sodium bicarbonate/DMSO, tumour control, hyperthermia, reflexology, natural oxygen therapies, lymph drainage and more.

Even the Body-Mind Connection is addressed in the complete Budwig protocol.

Things to be aware of:

The flaxseed oil must be cold-pressed, virgin, unrefined and raw. It is vital that the flaxseed oil is kept refrigerated and way from sunlight since the oil oxidizes rapidly. This means that it should be in a dark bottle and in the refrigerator of your health food store.

Always check the due date of the bottle. Don’t buy oil that is overdue or that has been standing in the fridge for months.

For those who can't eat dairy products, there are substitutes available on the market which claim to contain dried sulfurated proteins and enzymes which activate the essential fatty acids. But so far, no real success with any substitutes has been reported.

Dr. Budwig said: ‘Due to the change of components through making a mixture out of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese, it is easier to tolerate’. She also claimed that she has never had a patient who couldn't tolerate quark (cottage cheese) as part of her oil-protein diet

How to make the recipe:

The mixing ratio is two tablespoons of cottage cheese to one tablespoon of oil. Mix only the amount you are consuming at one time so it is mixed fresh each and every time. One example would be to mix 6 tablespoons of organic cottage cheese (1 to 2% fat) to 3 tablespoons of flax oil, consumed twice daily or more, depending on the severity of the health condition one is attempting to address. One should probably start slowly with the oil, maybe just once a day and work their way up letting the body adjust to the protocol. The oil and the cottage cheese must be thoroughly mixed with a blender.

The mixture needs to be consumed immediately.


Gerson Protocol

The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.

An abundance of nutrients from copious amounts of fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a super-dose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while coffee enemas aid in eliminating toxins from the liver.

The Gerson Therapy regenerates the body to health, supporting each important metabolic requirement by flooding the body with nutrients from about 15- 20 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables daily. Most is used to make fresh raw juice, up to one glass every hour, up to 13 times per day. Raw and cooked solid foods are generously consumed. Oxygenation is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood contributes to many degenerative diseases. The metabolism is also stimulated through the addition of thyroid, potassium and other supplements, and by avoiding heavy animal fats, excess protein, sodium and other toxins.

A typical patient on the Gerson Therapy for cancer consumes up to thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot/apple and green-leaf juices a day. These juices are prepared hourly from fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, using a two-step juicer or a masticating juicer used with a separate hydraulic press.

The Gerson diet is entirely organic and vegetarian. The diet is naturally high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micro-nutrients, and extremely low in sodium, fats, and proteins. The following is a typical daily diet for a Gerson patient on the full therapy regimen:

Thirteen glasses of fresh, raw carrot/apple and green-leaf juices prepared hourly from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.

Three full vegetarian meals, freshly prepared from organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A typical meal will include salad, cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, Hippocrates soup and juice.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are available at all hours for snacking in addition to the regular diet.

Although its philosophy of cleansing and reactivating the body is simple, the Gerson Therapy is a complex method of treatment requiring significant attention to detail. While many patients have made full recoveries practising the Gerson Therapy, many patients had no success at all.

The Gerson diet is very high on carbohydrates, low in protein and low in fat. Patients who have diabetes, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance will suffer under the Gerson diet.

Let us repeat . . . NO diet fits all!!!!!!! We are all different and the diet should fit our genetic make-up.

To demonstrate how strict the Gerson diet is we included a list of prohibited foods.

Foods on the prohibited list of the Gerson diet:

Salt and sodium

Salt and sodium in all forms, including table salt, sea salt, celery salt, vegetable salt, Bragg Aminos, tamari, soy sauce, ‘little salt’, baking soda, Epsom salts, sodium based baking powders, and anything with ‘sodium’ in its name, as well as salt substitutes.

Oils and fats

Oils and fats, and any foods that contain them. This includes corn oils, olive oils, canola oils, and all other vegetable oils except flaxseed oil as specifically prescribed; butter, cheese, cream and other dairy fats, all animal fats, all margarines or oil - based spreads, coconuts and avocado, all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, Olean, Olestra or other ‘fat substitutes’, nut butters and any other source of dietary fats, except as naturally occurring in allowed foods.

Proteins and high protein foods

Proteins and high protein foods, such as meats, seafood, and other animal proteins, nuts and seeds, soy or other legume-based food products, all protein powders or supplements including barley or spirulina and chlorella, unless specifically used when prescribed for protein supplementation.

General prohibitions

All manufactured (processed) foods: bottled, canned, frozen, preserved, refined, salted, smoked and sulfured.

Dairy products

All milk and milk products (including goat’s milk), such as cheese, cream, ice cream, iced milk, butter or buttermilk, except as specifically allowed under proteins. Dairy products are generally extremely high in fat; an 8 oz. Serving of 2% milk contains more fat than two strips of bacon! Cheeses can be as much as 65% fat, and are usually very high in sodium. Even ‘fat free’ cheeses usually have undesirable additives and are high in sodium. Buttermilk is prohibited because the commercial buttermilk now available is 'cultured', rather than churned and is high in fat and sodium. Only plain, organic, non-fat yogurt after 6 - 8 weeks.


Alcohol is prohibited because it limits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, places additional strain on the liver to detoxify and remove it from the body and is, in general, toxic.

Pineapples and berries

Max Gerson found that a number of his patients were experiencing allergic reactions apparently to the aromatic acids present in pineapple and berries. Dr. Gerson felt that the aromatics interfere with healing. For this reason, pineapples and berries are prohibited.


Avocados are too high in fats.


Cucumbers, in combination with the juices, are difficult to digest and are high in sodium.


Spices (black pepper, paprika, basil, oregano, and others not specifically permitted) are prohibited because of their high content of aromatic acids.

Soy beans and products

Soy beans and products, including tofu, tempeh, miso, tamari, and other soy sauces, Bragg’s Aminos, textured vegetable protein, soy milk and all other soy-based products. These are prohibited for a variety of reasons including high fat, sodium and/or protein content, and the presence of toxic inhibitors to nutrient absorption.

Dried beans and legumes

Lentils are introduced if patient is doing well at about six months, once every two weeks. Soak overnight and sprout for one day before cooking.

Sprouted alfalfa and other bean or seed sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts have been found to be high in l-canavanine, an immature amino acid that can cause immune suppression. Patients without a prior history who have used sprouts in juices have reported sudden onset of arthritic - like joint pains and other undesirable side-effects. This has only been studied in alfalfa; we do not know if this effect applies to other sprouts, but we recommend caution.

Oils and fats

With the exception of fresh raw flaxseed oil, no oils or fats of any kind are permitted.

Beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, and all other meat or animal flesh products

These are high in protein, difficult to digest, often high in fat, and make additional work for the liver and excretory systems.

Black tea and other non-herbal or caffeine-containing teas

Black tea and other non-herbal teas are prohibited because they contain caffeine, which is undesirable when introduced by mouth, and because they often contain undesirable aromatic acids (see discussion under ‘berries’ above).

Candy, cakes, muffins, pastries and other refined sweets

Candy, cakes, muffins, pastries, and other refined sweets are prohibited because they almost always contain one or more prohibited ingredients such as fats, oils, refined sugars or flours, salt, soda, baking powder, or dairy products.

Drinking water

Contrary to the commonly heard recommendation to ‘drink eight glasses of water a day’, Gerson strongly believed that a Gerson patient should not drink water so as to avoid diluting the stomach acid, and to allow maximum capacity for nutrition from fresh foods and juices. If the patient is taking less than 13 juices, he/she may need to augment with tea or other fluid.


Standard white mushrooms are not a vegetable, but a fungus. They are difficult to digest, and provide little nutrition.

Coffee and coffee substitutes by mouth

Coffee and coffee substitutes by mouth, both with and without caffeine. Taken by mouth, coffee effects undesirable stimulation of the digestive system, and the caffeine acts as an undesirable stimulant to the central nervous system. Coffee is also virtually devoid of nutrients. However, when taken rectally it has an entirely different, and desirable effect on the body.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds, including almonds, apricot kernels, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, peanuts, cashews, and all other nuts and seeds, are prohibited because they are high in protein, generally high in fat, often salted, difficult to digest and abundant in enzyme inhibitors.

Commercial beverages, juices, sodas of all types

Commercial beverages, juices and sodas of all types almost always have refined sugars, carbonation, or other undesirable additives, and are all but devoid of essential nutrients. In addition, consumption of these beverages reduces capacity for desirable fresh, organic foods and juices.

Hot peppers

Hot peppers (jalapeños, etc) contain the same strong aromatics found in prohibited spices. These may inhibit healing responses and should be avoided. Green, yellow, and sweet red peppers may be used without limitation.

Baking powder and baking soda

Almost all baking powders contain alum (aluminum), which is believed to be toxic. Those that are aluminum-free and also sodium-free may occasionally be used with the consent of your doctor.

Other prohibited items

Fluoride in water, toothpaste, gargles, hair dyes, permanents, cosmetic, underarm deodorants, lipstick, lotions.


Further studying but not required: 

Book: Healing the Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson

Book: The Budwig Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Diet by Johanna Budwig

Book: The Doctor who cures Cancer by William Kelley Eidem (Biography and theory of Dr. William Kelly)