Pancreatic & Proteolytic Enzymes, Metabolic Typing & Coffee Enemas | Mary Swander, Author: The Maverick M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez & Ryan Sternagel

Mary Swander is an award-winning American author, dramatist, performer, speaker, and teacher. She is the former Poet Laureate of Iowa and a professor emerita Distinguished Professor of Iowa State University.

Mary is the Artistic Director of Swander Woman Productions, a theatre troupe that performs dramas about food, farming, and the wider rural environment. She is also the Executive Director of AgArts, a nonprofit designed to imagine and promote healthy food systems through the arts. Her latest book is The Maverick M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Treatment for Cancer (New Spring Press).

The Maverick M.D. is the story of how Dr. Nick Gonzalez perfected the scientific theory behind Dr. William Kelley’s work and put the protocol into practice in New York City. Gonzalez drew courage from his Christian faith, from Mexican-Italian-American family, and from key loved ones, colleagues and mentors. 

He spent years treating patients with the most serious conditions–from cancer to diabetes to lupus. But he wasn’t satisfied as an outlier in the medical community. He wanted his work put to the test with a clinical trial.

This book portrays a man who fought for the acceptance of a nutritional cancer treatment in the halls of some of the most established U.S. medical institutions. Against intense opposition, Nick Gonzalez’s determination held up until the end–a scientist who developed a therapy that saves lives and promotes the healing of the human mind, body and spirit.

***Resources Mentioned***

Mary Swander


Swander Woman Productions 


Agarts: Imagine a healthy food system

New Spring Press

Nutricology Pancreas Pork Natural Glandular Capsules

Nutricology ImmoPlex Natural Glandulars

The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation

The Maverick MD


In This Episode:

Ryan takes a candid look at Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez’s life and “the man behind the suit” in the discussion with his biographer, Mary Swander. You’ll learn about why Ryan thinks so highly of Dr. Gonzalez, his life and personality, the Gonzalez Protocol and the results it produced. Ryan and Mary delve into Dr. Gonzalez’s attempts to take his enzyme therapy protocol to clinical trials in the conventional medical arena. They also discuss Mary’s experience as a patient of Dr. Gonzalez for over 20 years. You’ll gain insight into the brilliant mind of Dr. Gonzalez, his spiritual life, his concept of balance, and his mysterious death. And speaking of brilliant minds…at the end, you’ll be treated to a special creation by Ryan’s son, Ryder! 


2:35  How Ryan learned about Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

  • Dr. Gonzalez was speaking at The Truth About Cancer conference
  • Smartest guy in the whole field – genius 
  • Didn’t consider himself an integrative medical practitioner
  • Helping people with cancer and other degenerative diseases
  • Ivy-league doctor, traditional medical training

5:15 What was the paradigm shift which caused Dr. Gonzalez to go into the realm of unconventional medicine?

  • His two loves : literature/arts and medicine
  • Accomplished investigative journalist – worked for Time, Inc.
  • Linus Pauling encouraged him to go to medical school after an interview
  • Sloan Kettering Medical School
  • When Dr. Gonzalez’s father got cancer, he stood beside his father’s death-bed and vowed he would find a cure for cancer.
  • Met dentist William Kelley who had cured himself from pancreatic cancer
  • Dr. Gonzalez wanted to know how Dr. Kelley cured himself and his patients – went to Texas to investigate how
  • Came back to Sloan Kettering and tried to prove Dr. Kelley’s method in the conventional setting
  • Wanted clinic trials but conventional medicine wasn’t cooperative
  • Dr. Gonzalez had family in Mexico and could have gone there to practice alternative medicine but wanted to stay in the US.

11:45 Mary Swander’s experience as a patient of Dr. Gonzalez


  • Dr. Gonzalez passed away in 2015


  • MaryBeth Gonzalez (widow) has worked hard to keep his legacy alive


  • Mary Swander was patient of Dr. Gonzalez for 20 years


  • Group of scientists with breast cancer wanted to work with Dr. Gonzalez to heal metastasis
  • On the advice of a friend, Mary worked with Dr. Gonzalez to clear up her fibrocystic tumors and to build up her depleted immune system


  • Mary didn’t want people to forget Dr. Gonzalez and his work. She felt a book needed to be written about his life and therapy. Dr. Gonzalez’s widow, Mary Beth, agreed.

17:00 What surprised Mary about Dr. Gonzalez’ life

  • During the time Dr. Gonzalez was a journalist, he used to read a book a day.


  • He researched and was fascinated with ecology
  • As a child, Dr. Gonzalez used to spend his summers camping at Lake George, NY. The rest of the year, his family lived in NYC.
  • Went to Brown University but transferred for a short time to Cornell to study agriculture
  • Read Sir Albert Howard and other sustainable agricultural teachers
  • Thinking holistically at a very young age

21:25 The experience of trying to explain unconventional healing to conventional medical practitioners

  • Dr. Gonzalez identified 12 different metabolic types
  • Dr. Gonzalez was very “balanced” on his own scale of metabolic types
  • Dr. Gonzalez’s grandparents were immigrants, exceptionally bright and accomplished. Mexican-Italian heritage. Ancestors helped lead the Revolution in Mexico and included accomplished musicians.
  • Story of how Dr. Gonzalez’s grandfather almost didn’t make it through customs at Ellis Island but succeeded by playing the cello in the customs building halls.
  • Anthropologist Margaret Mead said it takes 3 generations to create the super-accomplished person and Dr. Gonzalez was just that.

25:00 Combining the physical with the meta-physical/spiritual world

  • The archetype of the wounded healer – physical wounds and healing can lead to spiritual awareness, healing, transformation
  • Not only was Dr. Gonzalez incredibly bright and balanced, he was also very spiritual
  • Dr. Gonzalez spent a lot of time with his patients and always had a Bible nearby
  • Dr. Gonzalez grew up Catholic and became fascinated with the Bible during his first marriage 
  • He had a photographic memory and became a biblical scholar

29:00 Dr. Gonzalez’s personality and drive to develop his program

  • Small in stature, athlete, fighter, quick and motivated, driven
  • Part of the program is use of pancreatic enzymes


  • Dr. Gonzalez learned about enzymes from Dr. William Kelley
  • The enzymes are formulated in a precise way – Dr. Gonzalez worked on this for years
  • Pancreatic enzymes go back to the end of the 19th century with a biologist (embryologist) named John Beard, DSc in Scotland
  • Beard studied placental growth and embryonic development and theorized pancreatic enzymes might control tumor growth in the same way they control the growth of the placenta
  • At the turn of the 20th century, pancreatic enzymes were being used with modest success
  • Beard was forgotten about after Marie Curie’s discovery of radiation
  • Dr. Gonzalez’s enzymes are still in production through NutriCology
  • Dr. Gonzalez had to finance his own research
  • Number of enzymes and frequency taken varies with the type of condition
  • Everyone on the program does coffee enemas to help detox
  • Dr. Gonzalez asked the Merk Manual editors why they took coffee enemas out of the manual (lack of space)
  • Protocol uses liver and colon cleanses, some juicing
  • Dr. Gonzalez’s widow Mary Beth is working to formalize the Gonzalez program and train doctors in the protocol
  • Metabolic scale/typing determines which diet is used on the protocol

46:55 Balance is key 

  • Acid v. alkaline – don’t go off the scale in either direction
  • The genius of Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. William Kelley
  • Not possible to use same protocol for everyone because of unique metabolic types
  • 12 different diets with 99 variations


51:24 Metabolic typing

  • Testing and bloodwork
  • pH
  • Personality type
  • Physical characteristics
  • Ancestry
  • Geographical location

57:05 Dr. Gonzalez’s thoughts on meat

  • Didn’t look as much at individual (chemical) components of foods as he did using foods to bring the body back into balance


  • Eliminate the whole food dislikes- listen to your body


1:02:15 Clinical study of the Gonzalez protocol

  • Dr. Gonzalez worked most of his earlier career trying to find funding for his clinical trials (Nestle, Proctor and Gamble)
  • Nestle funded a study by Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Linda L. Isaacs on pancreatic cancer and enzymes published in medical literature
  • Encouraged by doctors at the NIH to do a clinical trial
  • Trial took place at Columbia University over course of 10 years
  • Dr. Gonzalez wrote a book called What Went Wrong  because so many procedures weren’t followed
  • In the end, researchers at Columbia published a paper which said the protocol didn’t work
  • Success of the protocol often depends on the compliance of the patient
  • Dr. Gonzalez didn’t cure everyone who walked through his doors


1:09:33 Mystery surrounding Dr. Gonzalez’s death

  • News articles are not definitive
  • Facts of the death (not conspiracies) are in the book
  • Autopsy and second round of tests were performed
  • Heart attack was ruled out
  • Died suddenly at age 67
  • Not much reliable information on the internet about Dr. Gonzalez

1:13:45 Book: The Maverick MD

  • Engaging book
  • Readers want to know when the movie is coming out
  • Book available on Amazon and New Spring Press
  • Gonzalez Foundation- widow Mary Beth working to bring into print all the books Dr. Gonzalez was writing
  • 5 books published so far

1:17:00 Picking up the torch where Dr. Gonzalez left off

1:19:30 Ryder’s first knitting project 🙂

If you have a question or comment about this episode let us know below!!


Keywords                                               Volume                  CPC          PPC             SCORE


Pancreatic enzymes                              27100                      1.3              .87                45

Enzyme therapy                                      1300                      1.11            .9                  41

Alt:pancreatic enzyme replacement        1000                      1.62          1.0                  42

Alt:enzyme treatment                                720                       1.07         1.0                  26


Proteolytic enzymes                                 9900                        .91           1                    48

Alt: Proteolytic                                         18100                      1.37          .02                 49

Alt: Enzymes proteolytic                           27100                      1.15         .96                 43

Alt: Enzyme supplements                           5400                      1.85         1                    49


Enzymes                                                165000                       .47           .78                 64

Digestive enzymes                                   90500                     1.39           1                    59


Gonzalez protocol                                          90                      1.1             .16                 37

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez                                  590                    1.13             .11                 37

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez death                        480                     3.36            .12                 24

Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation                      10                        .78            .04                 33                                 


Maverick MD                                                   0

Mary Swander                                                70                         0                .03                39

Mary Swander author                                      0


Metabolic typing                                         9900                          .67            .06                  37


Dr. William Kelley                                          90                           0                .04                 31


Nutritional cancer treatment                        110                        3.49             .45                  50

Nutritional therapy for cancer                       210                       1.45             .5                    44

Alternative cancer treatment                     4400                         7                 .03                  51


Dr. Linda Isaacs                                          290                         0                  .02                  25