Is the Budwig Diet a Cure for Cancer?

The Cottage Cheese Diet for Cancer

The Budwig diet, or ‘cottage cheese diet’ as it is sometimes called, was devised by German pharmacologist, chemist and physicist, Dr. Johanna Budwig. Originally developed in 1952, the diet is still popular today. Although it is often referred to as a treatment diet for people with cancer, it also claims to be beneficial for other conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, eczema, asthma and many more.

Nominated seven times for the Right Livelihood award (also known as the ‘alternative Nobel prize’), Dr. Budwig dedicated her life to assisting people with cancer and other illnesses, and is said to have successfully helped over 2,400 people over the course of her 50 year career.

The diet which Dr. Budwig developed involves grinding flaxseeds and mixing them with cottage cheese. The high fibre, vitamin and mineral content of the flaxseeds, plus the low fat, high protein content of the cottage cheese, is said to bring positive health benefits. The diet also includes lots of fruits and vegetables, and requires the elimination of unhealthy fats and sugars from the diet. Budwig also recommended regular exercise, fresh air and sunshine to aid recovery and promote wellness.

Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats

Dr. Budwig found that healthy people typically showed higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood than those who were ill. This is why she advocated the use of flaxseed oil for people with various health conditions, as flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Some research has backed up the idea that flaxseed oil may be beneficial for cancer patients; studies have shown that properties found in flaxseed may have qualities which inhibit the progression of cancer cells. Scientists have found that flaxseed can inhibit cancer growth in a laboratory setting, and that certain properties in flaxseed can also reduce the production of hormones, which can have a beneficial effect on hormone-related cancers such as prostate and breast cancers.

Dr. Budwig also strongly voiced her concerns over unhealthy fats. Having worked as a chief consultant at the Federal Institute of Fats Research in Münster, Germany, Budwig closely studied the harmful effects of highly processed fats on the body.

Because some oils, such as corn or sunflower, are extracted from the source by using extremely high temperatures or chemicals, the resulting oil is no longer alive. These dead oils are said to destroy the electrical charge within our cells, leading to the suffocation and death of those cells. Budwig wrote numerous books and papers on this subject, and strongly advised against consuming hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated and polyunsaturated fats.

As well as eliminating unhealthy fats from the diet, Budwig also recommended cutting out a number of other substances such as sugar, molasses, syrup, pork, seafood, dairy products, plus processed foods or any foods which contain chemicals or pesticides. She believed that these factors were responsible for a wide range of health conditions and illnesses.

Possible Side Effects of the Budwig Diet

Although eliminating processed oils, and consuming more healthy foods is unlikely to bring any negative effects to your health, a regular intake of flaxseed may not prove beneficial for everyone.

All of our bodies work slightly differently, and although flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3, not everyone can tolerate them. When taking flaxseed, some people experience side effects including gas, nausea or diarrhoea. The Budwig diet acknowledges that some people may feel nauseous from the flaxseed, and for this it recommends eating papaya after the cottage cheese and flaxseed combination.

However, some people may also experience allergic reactions to the seed, and if they are not taken with an adequate intake of water they may cause a blockage in the bowel.

On top of this, Budwig herself warned against following the diet in partnership with other cancer treatment therapies, as these would counteract any benefits from the diet plan.

Lack of Scientific Evidence?

Despite there being some research which shows the benefits of treating cancer cells with flaxseed oil, there has yet to be any substantial scientific evidence to show that the overall Budwig diet is an effective cancer treatment.

However, it must be acknowledged that adopting a diet high in fruits and vegetables, plus increasing protein intake with the cottage cheese, omega-3 from flaxseed oil, and the elimination of processed foods, is very likely to boost overall health and therefore prevent the development of cancer.

Many cancer diets involve a shift from eating unhealthy foods to a rigid healthy eating plan. This is quite often the reason why they are effective. So whilst there is no conclusive, scientifically recognised evidence to show that the Budwig diet in particular is beneficial to people with cancer, there is evidence which shows that a healthy diet can prevent cancer and improve chances of recovery significantly.

If you have questions or would like to speak to someone about cancer support, please contact the Cura Clinic at or phone +61-8-92844644

Scroll to Top