Prostate Cancer, Stage 4, Healed with Sodium Bicarbonate (Vernon Johnston)

Vernon (Vito) Johnston heals from stage 4 prostate cancer with sodium bicarbonate, supplements and diet changes

Before I jump into the details of Vernon’s use of sodium bicarbonate, let me first fill you in on why this appears to have initially healed his cancer.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in meats, dairy, soda, coffee, alcohol, processed foods, fast foods, poor quality fats, sugars, chemical additives, sodium, and is generally very low in nutrients.  When we consume the SAD diet, we are setting ourselves up for disease by creating an ideal low-oxygen, acidic environment for cancer to grow.

vernon johnston

Vernon Johnston

Dr Otto Warburg stated this in the 1920’s regarding the respiration of normal cells vs cancerous. “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.”

Normal, healthy cells respirate by burning oxygen with a small amount of glucose in order to produce their energy;  this is aerobic respiration, or “with oxygen.”  Warburg found that cancerous cells acquire their energy by breaking down large amounts of glucose through a process known as fermentation; this is anaerobically, or “without oxygen.”  This change in energy production occurs when the cellular oxygen levels drops below a certain level, and the respiration process of energy production is forced to make the switch over to the fermentation process in order for the cells to survive. It is a survival mechanism that the body employs when all other means of survival have failed.

How can we create a healthy environment for our cells?  By changing the cellular environment to one that is alkaline and oxygenated.  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 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.

Acid vs alkaline–  Acidic foods will add hydrogen molecules to the body, therefore making your body more acidic, alkaline foods will remove hydrogen molecules from the body, thus making you more alkaline.  When you ingest foods and liquids, the end product after digestion and assimilation of nutrients will result in either an acid or an alkaline-forming effect.  These end products are often referred to as an acid-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, 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.  So when we eat, we are either providing the body with the abundance of nutrients that it needs to maintain optimal health or we are continually drawing upon our mineral reserves until the delicate system can no longer sustain health.

Acidic cells create an acidic body and an acidic body is a precursor for disease-  A diet composed primarily of acid-forming foods inhibits nerve function, damages cells, and creates a low-oxygen environment for disease to thrive.  Some signs of excess acidity will include fatigue with general aches and pains. Acidosis is especially problematic because it interferes with normal cell function. An example of this is in the production of white blood cells which are essential for a strong immune system. Poor functioning white blood cells are produced in acidic environments, thus making it easy for infections and diseases to take hold.  People with a balanced pH are able to resist sickness and diseases because their body is naturally able to fight them off, while those who are overly acidic or overly alkaline will be more prone to illness.

Most of the foods that people are eating today fall into the acid-forming category,  they include grains, meats, soda, coffee, alcohol, dairy products, sugars, fast and and processed foods.  One way to begin to normalize your pH score would be to stop your consumption of the standard American diet and start eating a diet 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.  In addition to juicing you can drink plenty of spring water with fresh squeezed lemon juice which leaves behind an alkaline ash following digestion.  Make it your goal to eat 80% alkaline foods, with only 20% acidic.

It is possible to test the pH of your saliva, and you will find instructions below on how to do so.  Your goal when testing your pH is to be around 7.2- 7.4,  this is the range 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.  A common statement in regards to cancer and pH is that “most people who have cancer have an overly-acidic pH,” often measuring around 5.0.

How sodium bicarbonate reacts around cancer

Malignant tumors represent masses of rapidly growing cells. The rapid growth rate experienced by these cells means that cellular metabolism proceeds at a very high rate.  To fuel this growth, cancer cells are using a lot more glucose to generate their energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).  Some of the compounds that are formed from this high rate of energy production include lactic acid and pyruvic acid.

Under normal circumstances, these compounds are cleared and utilized as soon as they are produced. But cancer cells are experiencing metabolism at a much faster rate.  Therefore, these organic acids accumulate in the immediate surroundings of the tumor.  The high level of extracellular acidity around the tumor is one of the chief driving forces behind the metastasis of cancer tumors as the cancerous cells prefer an acidic environment which allows them to grow and spread rapidly.  Some alternative cancer experts believe that buffering the micro-environment around the tumor with an alkalizing compound then the pH of tumors can be raised enough to begin to starve them, therefore stopping their growth and spread.

Vernon’s story

Vernon Johnston received his diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer on Mar 17, 2008, after a biopsy and a CT scan confirmed the presence of a carcinoma of a high grade with the addition of skeletal metastasis in the sacrum, the left illium, and a number of other smaller sclerotic lesions within the pelvis.  Vernon met with an oncologist to discuss his treatment options and was told that chemotherapy would not be an effective for this stage of cancer and that he was terminal.  He was prescribed Finasteride which is used to shrink an enlarged prostate, and Casodex  which is a hormone therapy that is prescribed when there is no metastasis  (cancer spread), and he was scheduled to have another bone scan on June 13th.

On the advice of his son Jai, Vernon looked into ways to raise his pH since he had read that cancer could not survive in an alkaline environment.  Vernon decided to try cesium chloride, which is an alternative remedy that works very quickly to raise the pH and is said to be especially effective for bone cancers.  This particular remedy can be expensive but he went ahead and ordered it anyways.  The cesium never arrived as expected, apparently having been lost in the mail, so Vernon did some more research and happened upon information regarding the use of  baking soda and maple syrup to raise the pH.  Since he didn’t have any maple syrup on hand, he decided to use blackstrap molasses instead, as he describes in the video below. Blackstrap Molasses is  a good source of iron, is high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin b6, and selenium.

In this video, Vernon uses 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of the molasses, mixed with 1 cup of room temperature water.   He stirs the mixture together and then drinks it quickly on an empty stomach.   A second recipe that he mentions is to warm the 1 cup of water on the stove with the baking soda until fully dissolved, then add the molasses and allow the mixture to cool before drinking.  He then drinks the mixture very quickly on an empty stomach.  

    • According to his blog, his goal was to maintain a pH of 8.0 or above for about 4 to 5 days.
    • Vernon started his baking soda therapy on June 2 and it ran for 10 days.
    • He began drinking a mixture of water that contained 1 tsp of molasses mixed with 1 tsp of baking soda.  This was taken once per day for 4 days in a row.  On the 4th day his saliva pH measured at 7.
    • He then used 1 tsp of molasses and 1 tsp of sodium bicarbonate that was taken twice per day, for a total of 2 tsp of baking soda per day on days 5 – 7.  On day 6 his saliva pH measured 7.25 and he reports feeling a little bit nauseous, a slight headache, and that is bowel movements had a yellowish tint to them.  On day 7 he reported that his lips were tingling and that he felt what he describes as an “oxygen euphoria.”
    • He then raised that amount to 2 tsp of molasses and 2 tsp of baking soda and drank this mixture three times per day, for a total of 6 tsp of baking soda.  He did this on days 8-9.   By day 9 he reports that his headache had gotten much worse and he was having night sweats and diarrhea.  He learned then that sodium bicarbonate depletes potassium and felt that that might be why he was feeling so badly. So he decided to cut down on the sodium bicarbonate on day ten.
    • On the 10th day Vernon cut back to 2 tsp of baking soda, taken twice per day for a total of 4 tsp of baking soda.
    • He did this protocol by slowly increasing the dose for a total of 10 days only and monitored his urine and saliva pH in order to reach his goal.
    • Vernon also incorporated a good basic diet, lots of sun exposure, and deep breathing exercises along with strong emotional support by family members.
    • Vernon says that he would repeat this complete protocol every so often to prevent cancer from coming back.

Vernon used the following supplements along with the baking soda/molasses therapy:

  1. Coral Calcium
  2. 10,000 IU Vitamin D3
  3. 100 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid
  4. 200 mg CoQ10
  5. 1000 mg Milk Thistle
  6. 500 mg Echinacea
  7. and 200 mg of Potassium.

His results-  Vernon had a second bone scan on June 13, 2008 that confirmed there was no evidence of the original cancer or the bone metastasis.

Update-  Vernon passed away in June of 2014, six years after being told that he was terminal.  I do not know the details of his passing, but I do have an idea as to why this therapy may not have worked for the long term (if his death was due to a relapse of the cancer, which I do not know).  You can read more about that theory with this post.

Perhaps his protocol was too extreme. I am aware of some people who have only taken 1 tsp of baking soda per day as a small part of their overall protocol and have done well, however if doing this protocol makes you feel ill then this is not the right protocol for you.  There are many other ways to raise the pH that do not require the use of baking soda, they can be found in this post.


  • Do not use this protocol if you have leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, brain cancer, or soft tissue sarcomas as they are all alkaline-based tumors. Further alkalizing the body is not what you want to do.  You can read more about these cancers and how to treat them with this post.
  • It is important to note that sodium bicarbonate depletes potassium, folate, and b12 levels, so be sure to supplement with both if you are going to take this as part of your protocol.
  • Only use sodium bicarbonate for the short term to make an adjustment to the pH and then discontinue use. There are better ways to alkalize the body such as drinking lemon water, juicing fresh veggies, juicing wheatgrass, taking minerals, and deep breathing. You want strong stomach acids to properly break down and absorb nutrients, baking soda has the potential to alter the stomach pH and this can cause more health problems for you.   You can read more about them with this post:  Acid/alkaline balance.
  • It is important not to drink the baking soda mixture with food or within 2 hours of eating food or taking supplements as it will interfere with digestion and your ability to break down nutrients.  Perhaps taking 1 tsp at night when the stomach is empty is the best time.
  • Excessive intake of baking soda can cause high sodium levels in the body (hypernatremia) and hypertension, metabolic alkalosis, congestive heart failure and edema triggered by high blood levels of sodium.   Read more contradictions with this link.
  • Do not combine baking soda with graviola, paw paw, MMS, DMSO, and some other protocols as it will render them ineffective.
  • Do not use if you are on a sodium restricted diet or have high blood pressure
  • Do not combine with the use of antacids
  • Ideally, you should consult a doctor before taking this.
  • If  sodium bicarbonate does not offer you relief from pain but only intensifies it then please read this post.

How to test the pH

Vernon also tested his pH regularly. You can test your pH levels using pH Test Strips that are made for saliva. They can be purchased from health food stores or online and can be used as a measurement of what is going on inside of the body. The proper strip to purchase is a narrow or short range, which will measure from 5.0 to 9.5 or so.

The goal with pH is 7.2-7.4

To test the saliva:  The first test of the day is immediately upon waking before eating or drinking anything, otherwise you must wait at least two hours after eating or drinking to ensure that the food that you have  consumed does not alter your test results.  First cleanse the mouth by filling it with saliva and then swallowing or spitting it out. Fill the mouth again with saliva and spit it onto a spoon, then place the test strip into the saliva for 10-15 seconds. The strip will change colors based on the results.  Use the insert from the package to determine your results.  You can perform this test 4 times per day to get a clearer picture of what is going on inside of your body.  You may find that your pH fluctuates throughout the day, this is normal.  Your goal is to register slightly more alkaline than acidic, around 7.2 to 7.4 for saliva, as it is at this level that oxygen is plentiful.  Do not try to over-alkalize your body as this can be just as detrimental as being overly acidic.  Going from one extreme to the other is not a good strategy.

How to test urine and saliva pH

Those with cancer are generally acidic, registering around a 5.5 or lower.  If you are extremely acidic, you may not even be registering at all depending on how low the calibration of the strip is compared to your level of acidity.  Additionally, it takes time to raise the pH from an acidic state to an alkaline range, sometimes taking weeks to even begin to register on the tape and then up to 12 weeks before you can reach your goal of 7.2- 7.4 for saliva.  It is at this level that oxygen is plentiful and cancer cells become inactive and begin to die.  Once this level is reached, you must hold yourself there until the cancer is completely gone.  Also, please be aware that you cannot return to your old habits after having cancer.  Make changes to your diet and lifestyle and plan on sticking with them for the long term.  Read more about acid/alkaline balance

Source Materials:

Read more about sodium bicarbonate for cancer

Cancer creates an acidic, low oxygen cellular environment

Read more about acid/alkaline balance

ph kills cancer (this is the website of Vernon Johnston)

Bicarbonate increases tumor pH and inhibits spontaneous metastases.

  pH PERFECT pH Test Strips – pH Test Kit

Sodium Bicarbonate – Full Medical Review

Related Articles
Cancer is a wake up call which needs to be addressed on multiple fronts.  It is the result of an overly toxic body with an overwhelmed and collapsed immune system due to eating nutritionally depleted diets, exposure to toxins, and having poor lifestyle habits. Research an anticancer diet, adding supplements, detoxing the body, and making lifestyle changes so you can address a cancerous situation with a multifaceted approach.


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