Cancer Cannot Survive in an Oxygenated Alkaline Environment

Otto Warburg

Dr Otto Warburg

“The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation.”  Dr Otto Warburg

Healthy cells respirate by burning oxygen with a small amount of glucose in order to produce their energy; this is known as aerobic respiration, or “with oxygen.”  Back in the 1920’s, Dr Warburg discovered that cancerous cells respirate differently from healthy cells.  More specifically, he found that cancerous cells acquire their energy by breaking down large amounts of glucose through the process of fermentation; this is known as anaerobic respiration, or “without oxygen.”  This change in energy production occurs when the cellular oxygen levels drop below a certain level and the respiration process is forced to change over to the fermentation process, thus turning normal cells into cancerous cells.  Additionally, fermentation is a form of energy production that is 19 times less efficient than when using oxygen, and the process creates a lactic acid by-product that continues to make the body even more acidic.  The liver then takes up this lactic acid and converts it back into glucose, which then goes back to feed the cancer.  If this taxing cycle is not addressed it can eventually lead to cachexia, also known as wasting disease.

What reduces the oxygen levels of the cells?

  1. An acidic, low-oxygen environment in the body which is a result of eating diets that are heavy in sugars, dairy, meats, refined grains, soda, coffee, fast foods and processed foods. These foods are all lacking in essential micro-nutrients, they leave behind an acidic ash following digestion, and they make up such a large portion of our diets.
  2. A lack of the proper building blocks for the cellular membranes that don’t allow for the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cells. Cell membranes are made up of lipids (fats), and the body will use whatever form of fats that you are consuming, even if they are toxic and will clog the cells.
  3. This lack of permeability of the cell membrane will cause a buildup of cellular toxicity which further damages the respiratory mechanisms within the cells; not allowing the cell to breathe and remove waste as it had before, forcing the cell to switch over to the fermentation process of energy production in order to survive.
  4. Poor blood and lymph flow due to a lack of movement and exercise.

1. We can begin oxygenating the body by changing the diet:

  • Cancer thrives on sugar and the carbohydrates that are easily converted into glucose such as refined grains, breads, potatoes, white rice, corn, highly glycemic fruits, and all of the hidden sugars that are in the processed foods that you are eating.   Cancer cells have ten times more insulin receptors per cell than normal cells which means that they can suck up all of this glucose much faster than normal cells and use it to fuel their grow and spread. As they metabolize sugar they release a lactic acid by-product that furthers the acidity of the body.  Step one: take away the preferred fuel for cancer.   Read more about sugar and cancer
  • pH refers to “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of whether your body is in an acidic, balanced or alkaline state.  The pH scale runs from 1-14, with 7 being in the middle (or neutral).  Anything lower than 7 would be within the acidic range, anything above 7 is within the alkaline range.  The pH of the different bodily fluids will vary for many reasons. For example, your urine and vaginal fluid will measure slightly acidic because this helps to keep any unfriendly bacteria from colonizing in these areas;  the saliva normally measures slightly alkaline as this helps to prevent tooth decay; and the blood is slightly alkaline at 7.365- 7.4, with your bodies buffering systems working very hard to keep it within that tight range.
  • When you ingest foods and liquids, the end product after digestion and assimilation of nutrients will result in either an acidic or an alkaline-forming effect.  These end products are often referred to as an acidic-ash or alkaline-ash. All foods and beverages can then be considered either alkaline or acidic based on the ash that is created following digestion.   When we eat diets that are composed primarily of acid-forming foods such as dairy, meats, grains, sugar, processed foods, soda, coffee and alcoholic beverages the body must continually take steps to neutralize this excess acid by drawing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium from your bones, teeth, and organs in order to stay within the normal range.
  • Most of the foods that people are eating today fall into the acid-forming category.  One way to begin to normalize your pH is by stopping your consumption of the standard American diet and to begin eating a diet that is rich in fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and by juicing a variety of raw leafy greens such as kale, chard, spinach, watercress, and wheatgrass, along with other vegetables and fruits.
  • Drinking plenty of spring water with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice will also leave behind an alkaline ash following digestion.  
  • Make it your goal to eat 80% alkaline foods, with only 20% acidic. Use the food chart that is posted below to help guide your choices.
  • You can test the pH to get an idea of your level of acidity.  Your goal when testing is to be 7.2- 7.4 where cellular oxygen is plentiful and you are slightly more alkaline than acidic.  At this range you are naturally able to resist illness and disease, whereas people who are overly acidic or overly alkaline are more prone to sickness and disease.  You can read more about acid/alkaline balance and the method for testing with this link.
  • Enzymes are required for the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients, and the delivery of those nutrients throughout the body.  Try to eat most of your produce uncooked so that you can benefit from their natural enzymes.  When we consume foods that contain their own enzymes, the body can use them to assist in the digestive process, this will lessen the continual demand to reallocate enzymes for digestion.  Read more about enzymes.
  • Juicing and blending fresh fruits and vegetables are both excellent ways to increase your overall servings of these nutrient dense foods.
  • Avoid all chemically-laden processed and fast foods- consider these to be nutritionally dead foods.
  • Eat organically grown foods whenever possible – they contain more nutrients because they are grown in enriched soils without the toxic residues.
  • Minerals = alkalinity.  It is important to address any nutritional deficiencies that you may have with quality supplements.  I use this brand: Daily Advantage Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.

cell32. The proper building blocks for the cells (lipids):

  • Adding fats to our meals helps our bodies to feel satiated and allows for fat soluble vitamins to absorb, but it is essential that we are consuming healthy fats in their proper form and using them appropriately.
  • Remove the toxic fats that can clog our cells.  These include the trans fats that are found in processed foods, baked goods, shortening and margarine-type products and the refined polyunsaturated oils which are easily oxidized and can form toxic lipid peroxides which can cause cellular damage.  These oils can become rancid very easily when exposed to light, oxygen, and heat, so they must be manufactured, transported, and stored very carefully, but they are not.  They form carcinogens and mutagens when exposed to heat, yet we frequently use these same toxic oils in food manufacturing processes, fast food frying, and for high heat cooking at home.  These oils include corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sunflower, grape seed, and safflower.
  • For moderate cooking: only use oils that remain stable when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen. They include unrefined coconut oil, sustainably-harvested palm oil, ghee or organic butter.
  • Use extra virgin olive and avocado oil as finishing oils to top your vegetables at the end of cooking or for cold uses like  as a salad dressings.
  • Getting omega 3 fats from food. These essential fatty acids are involved in the development of the nervous system, as well as making cell membranes more flexible.  This gives cells their ability to transfer oxygen, nutrients, and expel their waste properly. These oils are also helpful in reducing inflammation within the body.  Food sources of omega 3’s include wild-caught salmon or other cold water fishes,  freshly-ground flax seeds, raw walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocados, as well as meat, eggs and milk products from animals that are allowed to graze on pastures instead of being fed grains.
  • You can also get the essential omega 3 fatty acids by including Hemp or Flax Seed Oils into your diet by making a homemade salad dressings or adding them into your smoothies.  These oils are cold pressed and unrefined and stored in specialized dark bottles that protect them from light and oxygen. They are to be used for cold uses only and must be stored in the refrigerator and used by their expiration date as they are very delicate oils.
  • Read more about healthy fats and removing the toxic fats
  • Consider supplementing with essential fatty acids, such as unrefined, cold-pressed omega 6 oil supplement along with an unrefined, cold-pressed omega 3 oil which are taken in a 2:1 ratio.  Once again, being used for the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cells and waste products out of the cells.
  • Read more about supplementing with essential fatty acids

3. Employ a variety of detoxification methods:

  • Juice fasting, sweating, skin brushing, herbal remedies, epson salt baths are all ways to detox the body.  Read more about various strategies to detoxify your body.
  • Coffee enemas, milk thistle, turmeric, dandelion tea, and cilantro are all good for detoxing the liver.  Read more about various strategies to detoxify your liver.
  • Organic Sulfur helps cells to detoxify, reduces inflammation,  and is helpful in transporting oxygen into the cells.
  • Remove chlorine compounds and fluoride from your drinking water as they are toxic to the body
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of filtered water that has fresh lemon juice added to it as this has a detoxifying effect on the liver and is alkalizing to the body at the same time.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products in the home- vinegar and baking soda works great for most tasks.
  • Remember that anything that you put onto your skin is going to be absorbed into your body; so look for non-toxic cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, etc.
  • Here are some ideas for non-toxic cleaning products and natural personal care products that you can make yourself.
  • Detox your mind and spirit with meditation, visualization, finding forgiveness and with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You can find notes on all of these with this link.

4. Ways to oxygenate the blood and increase the lymphatic flow:

  • Exercise- will help to improve circulation and oxygenate the cells.  Walking, stretching, yoga, swimming, biking, hiking,  jumping on a mini trampoline, etc. Read more about this.
  • Deep breathing- most people are shallow breathers.   Here is an exercise to help you become more conscious of your breath and this will assist your body in becoming better oxygenated, as well as relieve stress, and has the added benefit of releasing toxins through the lungs. Take a full breath, in through the nose and then expand the chest fully. When you think your lungs are full, then try sucking in just a little more air. Hold this for a few seconds and then breathe out through pursed lips to expel the air out slowly. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes at a time, and do this multiple times per day or when you need a boost of energy.

Use the chart below to make healthier options. Aim for 80% of your diet to be from the alkaline food list, with only 20% being from the acidic food list.


The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer

by Dr. Otto Warburg
Lecture delivered to Nobel Laureates on June 30, 1966

“There are prime and secondary causes of diseases. For example, the prime cause of the plague is the plague bacillus, but secondary causes of the plague are filth, rats, and the fleas that transfer the plague bacillus from rats to man. By the prime cause of a disease, I mean one that is found in every case of the disease.

Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. Almost anything can cause cancer. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by the fermentation of sugar.

All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation. All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes. From the standpoint of the physics and chemistry of life this difference between normal and cancer cells is so great that one can scarcely picture a greater difference. Oxygen gas, the donor of energy in plants and animals, is dethroned in the cancer cells and replaced by the energy yielding reaction of the lowest living forms, namely the fermentation of sugar.

In every case, during the cancer development, the oxygen respiration always falls, fermentation appears, and the highly differentiated cells are transformed into fermenting anaerobes, which have lost all their body functions and retain only the now useless property of growth and replication. Thus, when respiration disappears, life does not disappear, but the meaning of life disappears, and what remains are growing machines that destroy the body in which they grow.

All carcinogens impair respiration directly or indirectly by deranging capillary circulation, a statement that is proven by the fact that no cancer cell exists without exhibiting impaired respiration. Of course, respiration cannot be repaired if it is impaired at the same time by a carcinogen.

To prevent cancer it is therefore proposed first to keep the speed of the blood stream so high that the venous blood still contains sufficient oxygen; second, to keep high the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood; third, to add always to the food, even of healthy people, the active groups of the respiratory enzymes; and to increase the doses of these groups, if a precancerous state has already developed. If at the same time exogenous carcinogens are excluded rigorously, then much of the endogenous cancer may be prevented today.

These proposals are in no way utopian. On the contrary, they may be realized by everybody, everywhere, at any hour. Unlike the prevention of many other diseases, the prevention of cancer requires no government help, and not much money.

Many experts agree that one could prevent about 80% of all cancers in man, if one could keep away the known carcinogens from the normal body cells. But how can the remaining 20%, the so-called spontaneous cancers, be prevented? It is indisputable that all cancer could be prevented if the respiration of body cells were kept intact.

Nobody today can say that one does not know what the prime cause of cancer is. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse for avoiding measures for prevention. That the prevention of cancer will come there is no doubt. But how long prevention will be avoided depends on how long the prophets of agnosticism will succeed in inhibiting the application of scientific knowledge in the cancer field. In the meantime, millions of men and women must die of cancer unnecessarily.”

Cancer is the final and most desperate act of survival that the body has at its disposal, and it only takes control when all other measures of self-preservation have failed.

Instead of viewing cancer as a monolithic “disease,” it makes more sense to view cancer as a symptom of cellular and environmental conditions gone awry; in other words, the environment of the cell has become inhospitable to normal cell function, and in order to survive, the cell undergoes profound genetic changes, drawing ancient genetic pathways which we associate with the cancerous personality ( phenotype). This “ecological” view puts the center of focus back on the preventable and treatable causes of the “disease,” rather on some vague and out-dated concept of “defective genes” beyond our ability influence directly.

It also explains how the “disease” process may conceal an inherent logic, if not also healing impulse, insofar as it is an attempt of the body to find balance and survive in inherently unbalanced and dangerous conditions. Fundamentally, we need to shift our thinking away from the view that cancer is something unnatural that happens to us, to one where we see that cancer is something natural our body does to survive unnatural conditions. Change and improve those conditions, and you do more to change cancer than attacking it as if you were fighting a war against an enemy. Read more in this article-  Cancer is a survival mechanism that the body employs to survive in a low oxygen, acidic environment

Read more about acid/alkaline balance

Cancer thrives on sugar

Read more about healthy fats vs toxic fats

Read more about enzymes

Read more about essential fatty acids

Read more about detoxing your body.

Read more about detoxing your liver.

A hypothetical diet and supplement program

Read testimonials of healing cancer naturally

Read The Metabolism of Tumors, by Otto Warburg


Cancer Is Not A Disease – It’s A Survival Mechanism

Cancer Cannot Survive in an Oxygenated Alkaline Environment



  1. mice have already been cured of cancer by feeding them baking soda. The university of Arizona has givin a 2 million dollar grant to further research this new finding. So maybe eatin a bunch of tums could help. :)

  2. Well..that's interesting and informative. Guess I'm off sugar and therefore coffee. That will be hard..but obviously very important. Passed on to friend with cancer. Thanks for good info.

    • Chandra, Read the footnote at the bottom of the comparison chart. CCAR is correct, lemons, although an acidic fruit, leave behind an alkaline ash following digestion. Potatoes and rice are starchy, which after digestion turns to sugar. Japanese have followed this oxygenated alkaline practice for many years.

    • Lemons are alkaline. Potatoes turn to sugar when eaten and rice ferments. Most people have candida, which is a precursor to cancer, and this is fed by sugar and thrives in low oxygen conditions. On our eating program we help people heal from diseases such as candida, cancer and other chronic diseases. Our plan includes lemons every day, no potatoes and no grains, including rice. We get amazing results!

    • Chandra, you are correct…. and mistaken. Lemon juice becomes alkaline in the body. It is often recommended as an early morning cleanser, paired with a large drink of water first thing after rising.

  3. You are right, for me it is a complete change of eating. Avoiding the foods that make the body acidic is the key. Juicing the green veggies and some fruit is awesome have more energy and am happy to be avoiding the junk foods, and most of all I am not eating empty calories and staying away from restaurants. :)

  4. My uncle who has the uncurable cancer move in the country & planted all kinds of vegetables organic & fruits that all he ate got completely heal. Scientist was amazed out of over 20 patients he was the only one survive. I am a believer of organic vegebles.

  5. My cat has liver cancer and has never eaten sugar – only ever ate high-quality grain-free cat food. All cats must have meat protein – which is acidic – but all cats don’t get cancer. How is this cancer explained?

    • Are you referring to filtered or spring water? This is what I shared in another post.
      Spring water does not contain added fluoride or chlorine compounds and it has its natural minerals intact which makes this water more alkaline than standard tap water. Check out Find A Spring which is a national database to locate public access springs near you, or you can find spring water from your local store.

      Alkaline water recipes- Another option would be to drink water that has been filtered with a reverse osmosis mechanism and has the minerals added back into it. Reverse osmosis water is acidic unless it is equipped with a final mineralization filter such as this one
      Regular maintenance is required on this type of filtration system as the filters needing to be changed regularly. If you are not a mechanically inclined individual, many companies offer to rent similar systems for a monthly fee and then they come to your home and do all of the maintenance for you. Check your business pages for more information.

      Other ways to add minerals back into reverse osmosis water would be to slice up 2 organic lemons along with a tsp of Himalayan Sea Salt to one gallon of water and storing this in the refrigerator. You can add some stevia to this in order to make it more palatable.

      Water can also be made alkaline by adding 1/2 tsp of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to an 8 ounce glass of filtered water. This should be taken away from mealtimes as it will disrupt digestion, or taken at bedtime when you don’t have to worry about food intake. Limit sodium bicarbonate to 3 tsp per day. Dr Majalca mentions that 1 tsp of baking soda in a 4 ounce glass of water will also work to eliminate lactic acid and therefore could be used as a natural pain reliever.

    • It can be due to a combination of things but based on these same principals that are discussed in the article. An adult gets cancer due to nutritional deficiencies, and overly toxic body, and an overburdened immune system. All of this can be passed onto the developing fetus, allowing a child to be born already suffering from nutritional deficiencies, with toxicity that was passed on from parental exposure to a variety of chemicals, pesticides, drug use, radiation, mercury, etc, and because we choose to feed infants formulas that are not the ideal form of nutrition. It is kind of a firestorm of issues being placed onto an underdeveloped immune system.

  6. Measure the body’s ph with ph Litmus Strips. You can test the ph with your saliva or urine. Ph Litmus Strips are usually available in whole food stores, although some drug stores may also have them. I use them to personally check peoples ph level prior to embarking on a nutritional cleansing system with alkaline products. When people know their ph level, they begin to understand acidic vs alkaline, and how critical it is to get to the right balance.

  7. I have taken Baking Soda two teaspoons, canadian Syrup two teaspoons, plus Magnesium one Teaspoon, for 10 days 2 or 3 times a Day and your pH Runs up to 8,5, hold this for 4 days and all Cancer dies

    • I would much rather see people make changes to their diets, address their toxicity, and then supplement to meet any nutritional deficiencies that they are suffering from. I have read many testimonials from people who have healed cancers in this way, I have not had anyone share with me that they healed using food grade HP.

    • Potatoes, rice, white flour are easily broken down into glucose so that is the concern as glucose goes directly to feed cancer. The chart is telling you that they are an alkaline food.
      Sweet potatoes are more nutritious than white, so you could include some in your diet if you choose to do so.

  8. I have been utilizing the Macrobiotic diet and healthy-eating philosophy for 45 years and have seen/helped people be cured of cancer and other ailments by balancing their yin/yang foods and lifestyle. This is a great article.

  9. my dog was just diagnosed with cancer this morning any recommendations on what we should do as far as natural health remedies he has been eating grass pretty faithfully for the last 3 or 4 days please help we are going to start Romano zagos.

  10. I had an 11 yo Chocolate Lab who was biopsied and it confirmed cancer of her lymph nodes. I chose NOT to operate but instead (after researching it) gave her Wheatgrass juice. I got it from a source in Northern Vermont (google online as I don’t recalll the name) and they sent me 2 oz packs of frozen fresh wheatgrass. My dog got 2 oz a.m. and 2 oz p.m.. As it tastes like fresh grass, she loved it! I put it right on her food, which was also dried food with beets, greens, apples, etc. already in it. After several months (maybe 3-4) , we went back to the vets and he could not find ANY remaining cancer. She lived another 5 healthy years and died at the normal death for a Lab (14+). I consume Wheatgrass myself on a daily basis as I know it’s Super Alkaline and assists in keeping the body ph above 7.0. Hope this helps you!

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