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Gerson Therapy

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The Gerson Therapy or Gerson Method is a particularly dangerous form of cancer quackery invented by Dr. Max Gerson (1881-1959) which continues to be peddled by his daughter Charlotte. The Gersons claim that cancer is caused by "toxins" in food that create an imbalance of potassium and sodium in the body. The alleged method for "curing" this problem is an extremely low sodium-high potassium diet including lots of juiced raw and/or organic fruits and vegetables, massive amounts of vitamin supplements, and enemas of coffee, castor oil, hydrogen peroxide, or ozone.[1][2] This treatment is supposed to flush out the "toxins" and "repair" the liver. Most of the "research" supporting the therapy is in the form of case studies by Max Gerson. The National Cancer Institute reviewed some of his case studies and found the method to be ineffective.[3] Furthermore, the American Cancer Society has issued warnings that the method can be harmful and there have been reports of comas, seizures, and death resulting from extremely low sodium levels and imbalance of electrolytes in the patients undergoing the "therapy."[4]

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  1. Alternative nutritional cancer therapies by Sheila Weitzman (1998) Int. J. Cancer Supp. 11:69–72.
  2. Questionable Cancer Therapies by Stephen Barrett (revised on July 24, 2015) Quackwatch.
  3. Gerson FAQ at the National Cancer Institute
  4. American Cancer Society on Gerson therapy