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Budwig Diet Protocol

At Utopia Wellness, I tell patients that cancer is a multifactorial chronic illness, which includes a lack of cellular oxygenation resulting in excessive intracellular acidity, a compromised immune system, systemic toxicity from poorly functioning detoxifying organs (liver, colon, kidneys), emotional issues and poor nutritional sources, especially once cancer has taken hold.

Budwig history

Johanna Budwig, Ph.D., was a German biochemist and author. She also was a pharmacist and held doctorate degrees in physics and chemistry [1]. Based on her research on fatty acids, she developed a diet that she believed was useful in the treatment of cancer.

Dr. 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. [7] 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. [8, 9, 10]

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. [1] 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). [11] 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. [12] 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. [13] Dr. Budwig began comparing blood fat composition between healthy individuals and those afflicted with a variety of illnesses. [1]

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). [1] 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. [14] 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. [1]  Aerobic respiration — a chemical reaction that transfers energy to cells — generates 36 ATP per glucoseA type of sugar; the chief source of energy for living organisms. molecule. Anaerobic respiration generates 2 ATP per glucose molecule. [15]

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). [1] 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). [1]

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.


At Utopia Wellness, we only use the Budwig cream mixture as part of our protocol. We explain to patients that the Budwig cream mixture must be consumed during the day with a 2-hour window between the Budwig cream mixture ingestion and the consumption of any other dietary substance. The reason being, Dr. Budwig felt using synthetic antioxidantsProtects cells from damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of aging. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, Vitamins A, C, and E, and other natural and manufactured substances. would block the restoring effect she believed flaxseed oil had on cellular respiration. [1] The 2-hour window allows for the election of the Budwig cream mixture, its delivery to the cellular membrane and for its action.

Processed food of any kind is not good for you, especially if you have cancer. When it comes to process fats such as hydrogenated margarine fats these are definitely not recommended. [17] Dr. Budwig believed that solid fats are inert of oxygen. [1] She also believed that supplemented nutrients do not function well within the body.

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. [1] Errors in replication may result in cellular death or alteration in cellular function and appearance. [19] 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 tumors 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. [1,13]

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.

At Utopia Wellness we believe numerous variables are necessary in order for cancer to establish itself within a healthy individual. In fact, we tell our patients that cancer is not the problem, but the symptom. [20] About 85% of all cancers have their etiology rooted in emotional issues, dental toxemia, and/or combination of both. [20] According to research by Dr. Royal Rife, all cancers are a viral infection. [21,22]

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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  1. Budwig J. Cancer: The Problem and the Solution. Nexus; Kernen, Germany: 2005.
  2. Budwig J. Remarks on Homann and Otto’s, Treatment of cancer patients with positive-pressure ether. Hippokrates. 1953;24:600–601
  3. Budwig J. Cytostatic or cytodynamic control of cancer? Hippokrates. 1956;27:605–612.
  4. Budwig J. Photo-elements of life as an anti-carcinoma factor, successful as a preventive and in the progressive state of the illness. Minerva Ginecol. 1971;23:115–117.
  8. Warburg O. The Chemical Constitution of Respiration Ferment. Science. 1928;68:437–443.
  9. Warburg O. On respiratory impairment in cancer cells. Science. 1956;124:269–270.
  10. Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science. 1956;123:309-314
  11. Citric Acid Cycle or Krebs Cycle is used by anaerobic cells and organisms to formulate energy, ATP, from sugars, fats and proteins
  13. Budwig J. Flax Oil as a True Aid against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases. Apple Publishing Company; Vancouver, BC, Canada: 1994
  14. Gonzalez C.A., Riboli E. Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Eur. J. Cancer. 2010;46:2555–2562
  17. Henderson B. Garcia C Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle Non-Toxic Healing. 3nd.; Bangor, ME, USA: 2007
  18. Budwig J. Flax Oil as a True Aid against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases. Apple Publishing Company; Vancouver, BC, Canada: 1994
  20. Garcia, C Cancer is the Symptom, 2012
  21. Lynes, B: The Cancer Cure that Worked! Years of Suppression, 1987
  23. Utopia Wellness Protocol:

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