A lack of cellular oxygen = cancerous cells.
Dr Otto Warburg stated that ‘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.’ He also hypothesized that cancer occurs when there is hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen at the cellular level, and stated that if a cell is deprived of 35% of its oxygen requirement for 48 hours then that cell could turn cancerous.
Only 5-10% of cancers are linked to genetic inheritance while the other 90-95% are directly related to many other factors including poor diet, toxic overload, exposure to radiation, asbestos, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, a lack of exercise, a few viruses, chronic inflammation, and chronic stress, all of which have the ability to compromise the immune system.
Our bodies are continually developing cancerous cells throughout our lives. Nutrition expert and author of the book Beating Cancer with Nutrition, Patrick Quillin, Ph.D., says that the average person will manifest a cancerous situation about six times over their lifetime, yet only one in three people will go on to develop a detectable tumor. This is because a healthy immune system is able to identify and destroy these cells before they can grow further. It is only when the immune system becomes overwhelmed and fails at this most basic function that cancerous cells are allowed to grow and spread.
With that in mind, it is time that we look at cancer as a symptom of an already sick body, not as the main problem that the body may be suffering from at the time of diagnosis. If we took this approach first, then we would understand that we can make some immediate changes that will address the toxic cellular environment that created the cancerous condition in the first place, and then get to work building up the immune system (which is the key to surviving a cancer diagnosis). Some methods to do this will include addressing nutritional deficiencies with an anti-cancer diet and supplementation plan, consuming healthy fats that make up a properly functioning cellular membrane, employing detoxification remedies that can clear the cells and the body of its toxic overload, moving the body to increase the lymphatic circulation as well as to bring necessary oxygen into the cells, and adopting a suitable program that can manage toxic stress.
Healthy cells are aerobic- meaning that they burn oxygen and glucose (blood sugar) in order to produce APT (or adenosine triphosphate, which is the energy currency of the cells). The process is referred to as aerobic respiration, and the cycle of creating energy is called the Krebs cycle.
Disruption of the Krebs cycle can occur when:
- the amount of oxygen in the blood is lower than normal (hypoxia related to breathing issues),
- or when the blood’s ability to transport that oxygen becomes inhibited (circulatory issues),
- or when something prohibits the cells from absorbing the oxygen from the blood (changes to the cellular membrane),
- or if damage occurs that inhibits the mitochondria from producing ATP (energy).
Whenever one of these disruptions occur, there is not enough oxygen for the cells to respirate properly and so they are forced to stop metabolizing oxygen and glucose for their energy and they begin to ferment glucose instead. Fermentation is a much less efficient form of energy production and this process also creates a lactic acid by-product that acidifies the surrounding tissues.
Cancer from a Lack of Oxygen.
The interior of a cancerous cell is a hostile environment with very little oxygen, a low pH, and a lack of nutrients. There are several reasons why normal cells will turn cancerous:
- A lack of nutrients in our diet: We are eating toxic diets that are heavy in processed foods sugars, dairy, meats, refined grains, soda, coffee, fast foods, and chemical laden foods. These are all lacking in essential micro-nutrients that the body requires to function properly and they leave behind an acidic ash following digestion, creating overly acidic bodies.
- A lack of essential fatty acids: these are the proper building blocks for cellular membranes. A deficiency in the proper lipids can restrict the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cells and waste products out of the cells, not allowing the cell to breathe and remove waste as it had before. Cellular membranes are made up of lipids (fats), and the body will use whatever form of fats that you are consuming, even if they are the toxic kind that will clog the cells.
- Toxic overload – the lack of permeability of the cell membrane will cause a further buildup of cellular toxicity/acidity which damages the cell’s respiratory mechanisms, forcing the cell to switch over to the fermentation process of energy production in order to survive, and then it becomes malignant.
- Poor blood and lymph flow due to a lack of movement and exercise.
1. By addressing our dietary shortfalls:
- The Standard American Diet (SAD)– is high in meats, dairy, soda, coffee, alcohol, grains, processed foods, fast foods, poor quality fats, sugars, chemical additives, sodium, and is generally very low in the essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires to stay healthy. When we consume the SAD diet, we are setting ourselves up for disease by creating the ideal low-oxygen, acidic environment for cancer cells to thrive that is known as chronic metabolic acidosis.
- 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 we are eating. Cancer cells have ten times more insulin receptors per cell than normal cells do, which means that they can suck up all of the glucose much faster than normal cells and use it to fuel their grow and spread. And as they metabolize all of that sugar they release a lactic acid by-product that further increases the acidity of the body.
- Step one: take away the preferred fuel source for cancer. Read more about sugar and cancer
- Acid vs alkaline– 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; 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 the nutrients will result in either an acidic or an alkaline-forming effect. These end products are often referred to as 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 their digestion. When we eat diets that are composed primarily of acid-forming foods such as dairy, meats, refined 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 keep the body within the normal range. Acidity and illness is what happens when this delicate system can no longer maintain a healthy balance.
- 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.
- If your body is acidic then make it your goal to eat 80% alkaline foods and only 20% acidic. Use the food chart that is posted below to help guide your choices.
- 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. Women should eat at least 8 cups of fresh vegetables and fruits while men should eat 10 cups of fresh vegetables and fruits every day.
- Fresh vegetables- are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Some cancer-fighters include bok choy, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, onion, peppers, radish, scallions, mustard greens, Swiss chard, tomatoes, summer squash, mushrooms, etc. Read an article on nutrient density.
- Raw fruits -specifically target and cleanse the lymphatic fluids, which is extremely important if you are fighting cancer. Some beneficial fruits are: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, watermelon, lemons, limes, and oranges.
- Juicing and blending fresh fruits and vegetables are both excellent ways to increase your overall servings of raw, nutrient dense foods. Rule of thumb- juice the veggies and blend the fruits so that you have fiber to go along with the natural sugars in the fruits.
- Enzymes- are required for the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients, and the delivery of those nutrients throughout the body. Try to eat about 80% 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.
- 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 a bio-available, whole food supplement
2. Consuming the proper building blocks for the cells (healthy lipids):
- Adding fats to our meals helps the body to feel satiated and allows for the fat soluble vitamins to absorb.
- 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, palm oil (Nutiva is a sustainably harvested brand), 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 salad dressings.
- Read more about healthy fats and removing the toxic fats
- Essential fatty acids- you can fight cellular inflammation, which is another significant driving force behind the development of cancer, by supplementing with essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are involved in the development of the nervous system as well as making cell membranes more flexible. They give our cells the ability to transfer oxygen, nutrients, and expel their waste properly.
- Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in sunflower, safflower, sesame, soy and corn oils (although you should avoid consuming these highly processed polyunsaturated oils)
- Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from eating wild-caught salmon or other cold water fish, eating freshly ground flax seeds and flax oils, raw walnuts, hemp seeds and hemp oils, chia seeds, avocados, and meat, eggs and milk products from animals that allowed to graze on pastures instead of being fed grains.
- Omega 6 vs Omega 3 – We are consuming far too much omega 6 fatty acids without enough omega-3’s to balance them out and this appears to promote a variety of health ills which include insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and cell-damaging oxidation that is associated with premature aging and DNA damage. Scientists say that our ancestor’s diets probably had a more balanced ratio of 2:1 of omega-6 to omega-3, but our current diet is estimated to be 30:1. This imbalance could eventually open the door to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
- Supplementing with the right oils– the body needs to have access to an organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, omega-6 oils such as found in Evening Primrose Oil, Sunflower Oil, or Safflower Oil along with an omega-3 oil such as found in unrefined flax seed or hemp seed oils, taken in a 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. These are different from the processed oils mentioned above because they are cold-pressed and unrefined and have their nutritional integrity intact. You can buy these unprocessed omega 6 and omega 3 oils separately and take them in 2:1 ratio or find a product that is already mixed, such as Udo’s Oil Blend.
- You can read more about supplementing with essential fatty acids with this link.
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.
- Remove chlorine compounds and fluoride from your drinking water as they are toxic to the body
- Water- your body needs a minimum of 50 ounces of water per 100 pounds of body weight per day in order to flush toxins out of the body and to stay well hydrated. This water should have minerals– such as found in spring water, or water that has been filtered. I use a Reverse Osmosis machine that adds some minerals back into the water after filtration like this one. I then take one gallon of this water and add 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, the juice of 4 lemons or limes (and toss in the fruit too), 1 tbsp of raw organic honey or some stevia, and I drink this water first thing in the morning and throughout the day. It is an alkalizing beverage that will help to cleanse the liver too.
- 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.
- Detoxify your emotions- constant emotional conflicts including resentment, jealousy, bitterness, guilt, and shame can easily suppress the body’s immune system, inhibit the digestive function, create an acidic internal environment, and disrupt basic metabolic processes thereby creating the conditions for the occurrence of a cancerous tumor. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit by incorporating meditation, visualization, forgiveness exercises, and 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.
- Supplement with Herbs to cleanse and move the lymphatic system.
Acid/alkaline food chart
Use the chart to make healthier options. If your body is acidic, then make it your goal to obtain 80% of your diet from the alkaline food list, with only 20% being from the acidic food list. Eat real food! Get rid of all the processed foods, fast foods, refined grains, white flour, breads, sugar, soda, coffee, dairy, etc.
Cancer specific diets
In general, most people who eat the standard American diet that is heavy in meats, dairy, refined wheat, sugar, processed foods, fast foods, soda, coffee, alcohol, etc. are going to be suffering from an acidic imbalance. Additionally, certain tumors are acid-based, these include the solid tumors such as those found in the breast, lung, stomach, pancreas, colon, liver, uterus, ovary, prostate, as well as skin cancers. People with solid tumors tend to do better when they adhere to eating an alkaline-based diet that consists of lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, juicing lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit smoothies, complex carbohydrates, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans. A minimal amount of healthy fats and animal proteins can be added if desired, but no red meats or dairy products are allowed.
Other cancers are alkaline-based, these include most brain cancers, myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. A person with an alkaline-based cancer should not use an overly alkaline diet or therapy such as sodium bicarbonate or cesium chloride as these may worsen their situation. These people tend to do better when they follow a diet that is more balanced and can include a minimal to moderate amount of clean animal proteins, along with healthy fats, lots of fresh non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens, fresh vegetable juices, with lesser amounts of fresh fruits, and complex carbohydrates, similar to that of a ketogenic diet.
- Fresh vegetables- are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Some cancer-fighters include bok choy, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, onion, peppers, radish, scallions, mustard greens, Swiss chard, tomatoes, summer squash, mushrooms, etc.
- Fresh fruits -work to specifically target and cleanse the lymphatic fluids which is extremely important if you are fighting cancer. Some good fruits to include are: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, watermelon, lemons, limes, and oranges.
- Fruits are very easily digested and should be eaten separately from other foods or blended into green smoothies.
- Complex carbohydrates for this diet can include barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, farro, spelt, bulgur, quinoa, kamut,millet, amaranth, legumes, beans, lentils, parsnips, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, green peas
- Acceptable animal proteins for this diet include organic chicken, wild-caught fish and pastured eggs.
- Acceptable fats include unrefined coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, and unrefined lard for cooking purposes, and olive, sesame, avocado, hemp and flax for cold uses.
- Read an article about juicing
- Read an article about making nutrient dense smoothies
- Read an article on nutrient density.
- You can read more about cancer specific diets with this post: Cancer, why it happens and how to address it
The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer
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