Relative to supporters of the Gerson therapy method and other treatments, how & why do these actually work? Why don’t more clients utilize the methods? How might nutrition and the health sciences work together to treat disease? What role do health-related industries (including medical, drug, and insurance companies) play in these issues? Why may patients and families be hesitant in trying alternative approaches of healing?

Expert Answers

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According to the webpage with the link provided, “the Gerson Therapy...treats the causes of most degenerative diseases: toxicity and nutritional deficiency.” The approach of this therapy contrasts to those that treat “only the symptoms of a particular disease.” The Gerson Therapy “reactivates” the body’s natural healing ability, as it “boosts the body’s own immune system," according to its own website. In addition to cancer, this therapy has been applied to arthritis, heart disease, and allergies. The therapeutic approach emphasizes “detoxification” through a regimen that “eliminates these toxins from the body.” These toxins are carcinogens and other pollutants that enter the body through the air, water, food, and even other medicines.

The detoxification occurs as the therapy “regenerates the body.” A key element is the consumption of large amounts of organic fruits and vegetables, especially in juice form. The daily consumption of up to twenty pounds of these foods and juices is called “flooding the body." The main contribution of such consumption—ideally one glass of juice per hour—is oxygenation, according to the website. In addition, the person undergoing treatment consumes biological supplements, particularly thyroid hormone and potassium, to stimulate their metabolism, and avoids most animal products.

The webpage also points to the importance of eliminating wastes from the body, as degenerative diseases interfere with the body’s ability to do so. Results may include liver and kidney failure. The Gerson Therapy’s detoxification approach of intensive detoxification is claimed to help

eliminate wastes, regenerate the liver, reactivate the immune system and restore the body’s essential defenses—enzyme, mineral and hormone systems.

The body’s cells benefit from the combination of improved nutrition, increase in oxygen, detoxification, and improved metabolism. This combination enables the body’s cells to regenerate, for improved current health and the prevention of illness in future.

The US National Cancer Institute website provides additional information on the therapy, including the shortage of clinical studies and that it is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. In other words, this is not a proven therapy and is in the realm of alternative medicine.

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