A Brief Overview

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Dr Johanna Budwig: a Leading 20th Century Dietary Fats Scientist 

Dr Johanna Budwig (30 September 1908 – 19 May 2003) was a German biochemist. She worked on dietary fats and was one of first to discover how different fatty acids worked in the body and the effects they had on people’s health. She was the first to identify the part omega-3 played in protecting the body from cancer and other diseases. In the 1950s she was also one of the very first to recognise the damage done to health by trans fats in industrially-produced foods.

From the early 1950s she developed a protocol for generally improving health and treating a wide verity of serious conditions, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hormonal imbalance and multiple sclerosis. The Budwig Diet has maintained and possibly increased in popularity since. It is probably best known as an alternative treatment for cancer though some people prefer to use it in combination with some conventional treatments.

The Budwig Protocol

The Budwig Protocol is gentle and pleasant. It aims at helping the body cure its own cancer and other diseases from by providing what it needs for good health. Dr Johanna Budwig was a brilliant scientist but also a really sensible, caring, practical lady. Much of the protocol is similar to the good old-fashioned common sense caring for someone the unwell;  insisting on plenty of rest, absence of stress, warm drinks, gentle exercise, sunshine, fresh air, a nutritious diet and healthy bowels and so on; much as our great grandparents would have done. Recent scientific research has shown every aspect of the Budwig protocol to have proven benefits for aiding recovery from serious disease.

The Budwig Diet

In many ways the Budwig Diet looks similar to the sort of sensible diet our grandparents would have recommended for those who were ill or convalescing; a balanced diet but with linseed and cottage cheese.  The Budwig Diet is divided into two main areas:

Foods you must eat: cold-pressed linseed (flax) oil blended with low fat/fat-free quark, a German cottage cheese, ground linseed, warm drinks, juices, sauerkraut juice,  plenty of fruit and  lots of veg. The diet is carefully designed to include both probiotic and prebiotic foods, so lots of leafy, fibrous, raw and fermented foods for a healthy digestive system and to develop a good gut flora which benefits the whole body.

Foods you can include: these include whole grains, rice, pulses, seeds, nuts, potatoes, root veg and even a little hard cheese.  A little raw, natural honey for sweetening.  Sugar-free lacto-fermented “pickles” are allowed.  You can even have a certain amount of chocolate and wine.

Foods you must avoid: the diet completely avoids all other fats, sugars, refined and processed foods. Meat and fish are not actually forbidden but are certainlynot included and the Budwig Diet has to be considered a meat-free diet. (Recent research consistently shows meat/animal protein as promoting cancer.)

The full daily Budwig diet:  at first the diet may prohibit a lot of your usual foods but it can be made rich, interesting and delicious when you tailor-make it to your own palate.  The daily diet is based on regular meals of  the listed foods and can be eaten in soups, stews, curries, sandwiches and more. You can vary the daily make-up considerably to suit your personal lifestyle.


"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" – Hippocrates