The Science Behind the Budwig Diet

The Budwig Diet: Flaxseed Oil & Cottage Cheese Heals Cancer??

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we are always trying to hammer in that in fighting cancer, and especially in preventing cancer for that matter, there’s likely nothing more important than what you eat. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the science behind The Budwig Diet and the thousands of testimonials floating around out there to back it up.

Traditionally trained oncologist and former cardiologist Dr. Dan Roehm, M.D., FACP summed it up quite nicely back in 1990 in an article in The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients when he said “The diet (Budwig Protocol) is far and away the most successful anti-cancer diet in the world. What she (Dr. Johanna Budwig) has demonstrated to my initial disbelief but lately, to my complete satisfaction in my practice is: CANCER IS EASILY CURABLE. The treatment is dietary/lifestyle, the response is immediate; the cancer cell is weak and vulnerable; the precise biochemical breakdowns point was identified by her in 1951 and is specifically correctable, in vitro (test tube) as well as in vivo (real). I only wish that all my patients had a PhD in Biochemistry and Quantum Physics to enable them to see how with such consummate skill this diet was put together. It is a wonder.”

I usually make a point not to include quotes about treatments that in my opinion are already very well used in the alternative cancer research world as this one certainly is, but in this case I couldn’t resist as Dr. Roehm lays out the basic argument for this protocol so succinctly. As Dr. Roehm and just about every other cancer researcher note about The Budwig Protocol, due to what the main element of what the diet actually is (flaxseed oil and cottage cheese blended together), they initially brush it off until a preponderance of testimonials make them take another look. It’s at that point they read the science behind the diet and become true believers. That being said, as this food is so easy to implement in your child’s daily routine and provides such a powerful benefit, do yourself a favor and keep reading.

Now I certainly don’t have a PhD in Biochemistry and Quantum Physics, but that’s probably a good thing as I try to lay out what I’ve learned about how this mixture works in a way that parents just wanting to know what’s best for their kid will understand. That being said, bear with me!

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The History & Science

Dr. Johanna Budwig had a doctorate in physics and PhD in natural science, and was also a chemist and qualified pharmacologist. Read those credentials a few more times and really let them sink in, and then compare them to those who might tell you that this is all “woo-woo.” In the 1950’s, she was the chief expert consultant for drugs and fats at the Bundesanstalt fur Fettforschung, or Federal Institute for Fats Research, in Germany. Yes, apparently that was actually a thing, although I can think of quite a few worse ways that governments choose to spend taxpayer money. It was here she did her major work on the differences between good and bad fats and their role in disease.

Budwig began analyzing the blood of thousands of cancer patients, and found two striking common themes throughout the samples she took. The first was that almost all very ill cancer patients were extremely deficient in phosphatides and lipoproteins. Without going into too much detail, these are two types of fat molecules produced in the body that are essential for NORMAL cell division. She also noticed that whereas a healthy person’s blood would contain red, oxygen-carrying hemoglobin, in its place the cancer patients’ blood contained a “greenish-yellow substance.”

A couple items to note here. When you break the human body down far enough, basically what you get is electricity (which is why you may want to think twice about having a wi-fi router in the house, letting your kid play with a cell phone or tablet that isn’t at least on airplane mode, living near a cell phone tower or in apartments and condos, etc. but that is a topic for another article which I assure you is coming soon). Many of our cells fire (communicate) electrically.

Surrounding normal, healthy, God-given fats is a cloud of electrons. These electrons are what enables the fat to bind with oxygen. Oxygenated fats are then able to bind with protein and achieve water solubility, gliding through the fluids of the body to where they are needed. As Ty Bollinger puts it in Cancer: Step Outside the Box, “this water solubility is vital to all growth processes, cell damage restoration, cell renewal, brain and nerve functions, sensory nerve functions, and energy development. In fact, the entire basis of our energy production is lipid (author’s note: lipids are molecules that are the building blocks of cells, of which fats are a major component) metabolism.”

Speaking of oxygen and electrons, another point to consider. As we know, oxygen is part of the life cycle and our cells’ respiration process in burning fuels and creating energy. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer cells thrive in a low oxygen environment. So “oxidation” can be a good thing, but also a bad thing. Active oxygen around our tissues can cause damage, in this sense, it’s what we know as a free radical. Oxidation literally “takes” electrons. Our own bodies’ immune systems actually create and use free radicals to kill pathogens and even cancer cells (taking this bad thing and turning it into a good thing), this is actually the same process by which chemotherapy kills cancer cells (and healthy cells alike). The opposite process is reduction, GIVING electrons. So in a healthy state of being, as soon as these weapons have been used for their purpose, a fresh supply of electrons are delivered to neutralize them, what we know as anti-oxidants (which on a side note is why, as mentioned in our article on vitamin C, taking anti-oxidants during chemotherapy has been shown in at least 280 peer-reviewed studies to both enhance cancer killing and protect healthy cells). To quote Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby in Cancer Research Secrets, “So good oxidation sources need to have readily available electrons. Movement of electrons, especially across cell membranes, is crucial to oxygen enrichment – and therefore fighting cancer.”

Bad Fats Kill!

NOW, knowing what we know about fats, oxygen, and how important electrons are to the whole metabolism process, guess what happens to fats when they are hydrogenated to make commercial oils used to make most processed foods, in most restaurant kitchens, and even in your own kitchen if you don’t know any better… THEY’RE COMPLETELY STRIPPED OF THEIR ELECTRONS!!! This means they’re no longer able to bind with oxygen, and therefore no longer to bind with protein, and therefore no longer able to achieve water solubility. This is a recipe to block circulation of both blood and the lymph system, damage the heart, and likely worst of all, disrupt normal cell renewal and division. As cancer researcher Mike Vrentas puts it in an article in Cancer Tutor, “During cell division the cell and new daughter cell must contain enough electron rich fatty acids in the cells’ surface area to divide off completely from the old cell. When this process is interrupted the body begins to die. In essence, these commercially processed fats and oils are shutting down the electrical field of the cells allowing chronic and terminal diseases to take hold of our bodies.” These “trans” fats are named as such because on top of the lack of electrons, they’re bent in the complete opposite direction as a healthy fat, so the body wouldn’t know what to do with them even if they did have the electrons.

Dr. Budwig came to the determination that cancer was the result not necessarily of too much cell growth, but of defective cell growth, stating that “The formation of tumors usually happens as follows. In those body areas which normally host many growth processes, such as in the skin and membranes, the glandular organs, for example, the liver and pancreas or the glands in the stomach and intestinal tract—it is here that the growth processes are brought to a stand-still. Because the dipolarity is missing, due to the lack of electron rich highly unsaturated fat, the course of growth is disturbed—the surface-active fats are not present; the substance becomes inactive before the maturing and shedding process of the cells ever takes place, which results in the formation of tumors.” She also made the analogy that “the battery is dead because the electrons in these fats and oils recharge it.”

On top of all of this, a lack of “good” fats can lead to a buildup of oxidase, which is a group of enzymes that can catalyze oxidation.

I don’t know how much clearer of an example you can get of how what you eat can cause cancer, and/or prevent existing cancer from being healed for that matter.

Now this is easy to see for adults who have been eating this way for years, but what about children? Well, what if these are the fats that babies are taking in DURING THEIR VERY FORMATION, and continue to receive after they’re born. DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT CAUSE A PROBLEM? Give this article to your oncologist next time he tells you “it’s all bad luck, there’s nothing else you can be doing” and recommends getting your child a fast food burger and fries to reward them for their last round of chemo and see what he has to say for himself.

The Remedy… And More Science

Fortunately, not only did Dr. Budwig discover this cause for cancer and chronic disease, she also formulated a way to reverse it. Now I can’t include a quote at the beginning about quantum physics without at least making an attempt to unpack it at the most basic level. Most people leave this part out but I like as much explanation as I can get, so I’m going to write about it. To very crudely paraphrase Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby’s explanation of how quantum physics ties into this in his book, Cancer Research Secrets:

The energy given off when an electron falls to a lower orbit around an atom is in the form of a little packet of energy called a quantum (plural quanta). This instant relocation is what’s referred to as a quantum leap. Electrons can also gain energy and “leap” to higher orbits. The photons continuously beamed down from the sun are actually light quanta that can interact with electrons here on earth and boost their energy, which can be stored and released later for the benefit of living organisms. As it applies to biology, plants are harnessing this energy from the sun and turning it into food, and animals are eating the plants and absorbing this energy that way.

Some fats retain the sun’s energy in the form of special double bond electrons called “pi electrons” which are very oxygen friendly. When this double bond is on the third position of the carbon chain, we call them “omega-3.” Now you know where the term comes from, sort of. There are two plant oils that store energy in this way very well – linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic (omega-6) acids.

Tying this back to Dr. Budwig, she was looking for the richest source of pi electrons and found it to be flaxseed oil, whose two main ingredients are in fact linolenic and linoleic acids. She knew that combining the oil with sulfur-rich proteins would actually make it water soluble allowing the fats, and therefore oxygen and electrons, to be distributed to all the cells in the body. She decided on quark (cottage cheese’s European cousin) as the optimal source of these sulfur-rich proteins.

Bringing this all together, as Dr. Scott-Mumby puts it, “It is, in effect, pulling down the sun’s energy to heal your reluctant cancer cells!” These electron rich fatty acids combine with sulfur-rich proteins to become water soluble and be absorbed directly into cell walls, pulling oxygen inside along with them. This mixture directly reverses the process leading to defective cell growth described above.

Once in place, Budwig began to test this logic on cancer patients and it was almost immediately confirmed. The phosphatides and hemoglobin once severely lacking in their blood began to miraculously reappear, the strange greenish-yellow substance was replaced with healthy, red, oxygenated hemoglobin, and most importantly, tumors began to shrink.

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Why Haven’t I Heard Of the Budwig Diet??

Like so many other well-meaning doctors, researchers, and scientists that stumble onto an effective way to heal cancer, I imagine Dr. Budwig initially thought her discovery would be celebrated worldwide, only to be greeted with a reality that was basically just the opposite. The already dominant allopathic (better known as conventional these days) medical community didn’t want any competition to their treatments. In addition, the oils industry couldn’t just have her running around proving their products were causing cancer now could they? So they teamed up to suppress her work and marginalize her at every opportunity, including every time she was nominated for a Nobel Prize (seven in total). It’s a familiar story. Just look at all the uses for hemp and it’s easy to see why the paper, cotton, tobacco, and medical industries all joined forces to get it outlawed.

As our long-time friend Bob Wright puts it in Killing Cancer – Not People, “This one formula has probably helped (and healed) more suffering cancer patients than any other food, supplement, or anti-cancer protocol – or any combinations thereof.” That’s a powerful statement, but when you start looking through the countless testimonials found anywhere you look, it becomes very apparent The Budwig Diet has helped a whole lot of people. The following are just a couple I found relating specifically to children.

Real Life Examples

From Cancer-Free by long time cancer researcher Bill Henderson – Timmy G: “Ten years ago Timmy G was diagnosed as having Hodgkins disease. The child was operated on and underwent 24 radiation treatments, plus some experimental therapies that the experts hoped would be of some small help. When Timmy failed to respond to these heroic measures, he was discharged as incurable and given six months to live and sent home to die… In just five days, (on the Budwig Diet regimen) Timmy’s breathing became normal for the first time in over two years… At age 21 Timmy is showing great promise in his university work. He knows he owes his life to Dr. Budwig…”

From – Annette: Jodee wrote about her daughter, Annette, who had been diagnosed with advanced lymphoma & bone cancer. On Sept. 30, 2007, Jodee wrote: “Got the P.E.T. Infusion reports on Annette… The tumors on her liver, in her chest, stomach, all gone. Dead. Her bone cancer is still decreasing but also still there. Dr Suarez said…he has never seen a patient with advanced cancer react like this, from a diet. All of her blood work is normal. This is the first time in 4 years that this has happened. I again thank Dr. Budwig for everything as well as everyone on this site… Remember M.D. Anderson. A cancer hospital in Houston, Texas sent her home in April to die. To anyone, keep doing the protocol. It works.” Update, Jan. 12, 2008, Jodee wrote: “Annette’s newest test shows even more improvement. Dr Suarez said even some of the lesions on the bones are disappearing. She still has some active cancer in the center of the bones but he said it is still dying out. No lymph nodes are active. We are still doing the same things, nothing different.”

Back to Bill Henderson, I love how he summarizes in his book what a cancer patient’s (or parent’s!) attitude toward the Budwig Diet should be: “Don’t quibble. Don’t put this off. Don’t ‘wait to tell you doctor.’ In short, just do it!! It’s food, it costs nothing. It replaces one to two meals a day. It can’t hurt you, unless the oil is rancid, which is pretty obvious. It’ll smell. If it smells or tastes awful, don’t use it. Take it back and get some fresh oil.” Bill himself has coached well over a thousand people through beating cancer naturally and the Budwig Diet is the centerpiece of his protocol. His book was a key resource for me in designing my son Ryder’s protocols, his podcast even more so. It ran for several years. I believe it’s discontinued now but you can still find all past timeless episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, etc. I listened to every episode he ever made and I strongly recommend anyone looking into this type of information do the same.

Making The “Budwig Diet”

Making the mixture is incredibly simple and takes less time to prepare than just about any other meal you could think of. The basic Budwig diet formula is a two to one ratio of cottage cheese to flaxseed oil mixed for about a minute with an immersion blender. That’s it. For bonus flax points, have a bag of organic whole flax seeds (don’t buy the pre-ground ones as they’re likely rancid before you even open the bag) on hand and grind up another half part for every one of the oil (a coffee grinder works very well). The cancer patient’s dose that Bill recommends in his book is around six tablespoons of cottage cheese and three tablespoons of flaxseed oil, every day. If your target dose is too filling for one meal, it’s alright to divide it out into two. The mixture needs to be made fresh with every sitting however.

Ryder’s Budwig Diet breakfast is actually 4-2-1 tablespoons cottage cheese/ flaxseed oil/ flax seeds, and he’s two and a half. He loves it, and it’s a good thing it doesn’t take long to make because he gets quite impatient not long after I start making it every morning. I will point out that all Ryder has ever known is extremely healthy food and cancer fighting formulas. If your child isn’t quite as excited about the mixture as Ryder is, AFTER you’ve initially mixed the flaxseed oil and cottage cheese with the immersion blender, you can then put that mixture into a regular blender along with berries (organic and not pre-washed but washed by you with a natural solution like apple cider vinegar) or nuts (raw, organic, preferably soaked in filtered [by something like a ProPur or Big Berkey, not what you get for $30 at a box store] water overnight beforehand, and not peanuts) of choice, or even a little stevia (organic, whole leaf) and liquefy to make a little tastier smoothie out of it. Teddy and I like topping the mixture with a handful of organic grapes when we eat it for ourselves. Any other Budwig aficionados reading? Let everyone know how you like your Budwig Diet in the comments!

Here’s a video of Teddy making the Budwig Diet for Ryder in literally under two minutes. If you’re not already, make sure you subscribe to our youtube channel.

A few more technical notes to keep in mind. It’s usually recommended in the Budwig Diet that the cottage cheese be low-fat (either 1% or 2%) because it mixes slightly better with the oil, but if whole milk is all that’s available that’s certainly fine as well. Everything we eat and feed Ryder is organic. The cottage cheese is no exception. Also, milk from grass-fed cows is exponentially healthier than grain-fed, so that’s what he gets. We usually get Kalona SuperNatural brand, although I don’t know if it’s available nation-wide. Raw milk is also much better than pasteurized but we have yet to be able to find anyone selling raw milk cottage cheese so we’re looking into making it for ourselves… Kalona is minimally processed and made from non-homogenized milk though on that note, another couple catch phrases you’ll want to look for in choosing a brand.

After being mixed initially the cottage cheese and flaxseed oil should be allowed to sit for about five minutes to allow the chemical reaction to take place. This is usually when I grind the flax seeds so they’re fresh. After that, the mixture should be consumed as quickly as possible, as the flaxseed oil can oxidize and begin to go rancid sitting out for too long.

As for the type of flaxseed oil itself, the key attributes to be looking for are cold-pressed, virgin, unrefined, organic, liquid, and refrigerated. We use Activation Flax Oil because it is cold pressed, comes in a glass bottle (unlike other popular brands of flax oil), and has been extensively lab tested.

One last item to note on the flaxseed oil. After spending a bit of time researching the formula, one will inevitably come across the debate of “high lignan” versus regular flaxseed oil. Barlean’s (which comes in plastic bottles) and other manufacturers offer both varieties. Some say that high lignan has added health benefits and cancer fighting properties, others say it doesn’t, and/or goes bad quicker. At the end of the day, it’s probably not a make or break type of issue either way, we go back and forth. As Cancer Tutor puts it: “The answer really depends on what you are using it for. For example, if you are using it for stomach cancer, and are on the Cellect-Bugwig protocol or Bill Henderson protocol, then you definitely need the “high lignan” version. This is because the stomach needs the fiber. On the other hand, Mike Vrentas recommends no lignan varieties for other types of cancer patients. However, his reason is that it is hard to tell when the lignan version becomes rancid. This is generally not an issue in high volume health food stores. What you use is up to you and your research.”

Another question that may arise in the Budwig Diet is the issue of the dairy itself. For those that are lactose intolerant, according to Bill Henderson in his book, the cottage cheese actually loses its dairy properties when mixed with the flaxseed oil. I certainly can’t prove that one way or the other, but he does also note that he’s coached countless lactose intolerant people through his plan using the protocol and almost all of them have not had a problem. Only one way to find out! Dairy can also be counterintuitive to advice you might hear that a raw, vegan diet is best for cancer or that dairy in general is bad for health. Without wading too far into either of those debates, for us, we try not to be too dogmatic about any one particular way of eating (except for clean organic food, and in the case of dairy grass-fed and raw whenever possible) and just go with what’s been proven to work, such as this.

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Total Change

Lastly, it needs to be stated that the Budwig Diet isn’t a magic pill that doesn’t require any other changes to be made. If you or your child are still taking in the bad hydrogenated fats from processed foods and most cooking oils, then you’re not going to get any results. Avoiding this is easy: Eat real, whole (organic) foods that you make for yourself. It does involve a bit more thought about what to eat and how to eat it (and packing of food when you go places), but once you get in the swing of it you’ll never want to go back, I promise.

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats you get also needs to be taken into consideration. In short, they’re both important but a diet too high in omega 6 vs. 3 can cause health problems, including contributing to cancer. The only place this is really an issue to be concerned about is in oils. Even most otherwise healthy oils that do not have the bad hydrogenated fats still have skyrocketing omega 6 levels and hardly any omega 3. For this reason, the only oils we use for cooking are coconut or palm, and olive oil for topping but not cooking as it doesn’t hold up in heat (all organic, cold pressed, virgin, and unrefined).

And that, as they say, is about it. In parting, I’ll leave you one more time with Bill Henderson’s sage-like advice: It’s food. Just do it!!



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Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

References used in this article:

Advanced Lymphoma and Bone Cancer – Budwig Videos – Flax Seed Oil Recipes for a Healing Diet. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Bollinger, Ty. “Non-Toxic Treatments” Cancer – Step Outside the Box. 6th ed. N.p.: Infinity 510 Partners, 2013,2014. 162-164. Print.

Henderson, Bill, and Carlos M. Garcia. “Cancer Self-Treatments that We Recommend” Cancer-free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing. Fourth ed. N.p.: n.p., 2011. 136-152. Print.

Jenkins, L. (n.d.). Dr Johanna Budwig Biography. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Kehr, W. (2015, July 7). How to Make the Budwig Diet Mixture – Cancer Tutor. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Scott-Mumby, Keith, MD, PHD. “Sunlight and Magic Electrons (pi-electrons).” Cancer Research Secrets. Reno: Mother Whale, 2007. 65-68. Print.

The Budwig Diet – Flaxseed Oil And Cottage Cheese Quark Diet. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Vrentas, M. (2015, September 30). The Budwig Diet – Flaxseed Oil and Cottage Cheese. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from

Wright, R. (2014). CHAPTER FOUR: The Cancer Diet: Oxygen Rich and Alkaline. In Killing Cancer – Not People (3rd ed., pp. 119-121).