The Budwig Protocol - What the FOCC??? - April 3, 2009

Last December I got a comment from someone recommending the Budwig Protocol. I dismissed it at the time, having researched it briefly some time ago. Lately I've been reading a book recommended by Ed B. in Washington State. The author also speaks highly of the Budwig Protcol's central recommendation - a combination of Flaxseed Oil with Cottage Cheese that's supposed to give the body a super zap of linolenic Omega 3 fatty acids. We've all heard that these Omega-3s are good for you, and that they are found chiefly in wild fish, while linoleic Omega-6s found in red meat are supposedly the root of all evil. So eat more fish and less red meat is the mantra of the modern day dieter. Pre-dating all of this we have Dr. Johanna Budwig, a German physician and (accounts vary) a six or seven time Nobel nominee. In the 1950s she pioneered a vegetarian diet whose mainstay was quark mixed with cold pressed flax seed oil (same thing as linseed oil). All of her works are in German, and there appears to be only one or two translated to English and somewhat available - check out the Amazon Budwig Link or the link to her Diet Book (currently unavailable). Websites praising the good Doctor and her work are legion, and all have two things in common:

1) A staggering number of text, photo, and video testimonials of how this protocol cured cancer or other horrible maladies
2) Opinions, misdirections, and outright lies presented as facts

I do not think it's unfair to say the Budwig phenomenon has reached cult status.

So one might wonder - just because her followers play fast and loose with the facts and exhibit cult-like behavior, does that mean it's all meaningless? Originally I thought so, but the presence of such a volume of anecdotal data is nearly unprecedented. So I began picking through all the bullshit to see if I could find any kernels of truth. Dr. Budwig found that blood samples from cancer patients and victims of several other serious diseases were consistently low in phospholipids and lipoproteins. Adding fish oil to the diet in any reasonable amounts did not seem to improve the blood work. Dr. Budwig wrote, "Solid fats are not water-soluble and cannot associate with protein. They are not capable of circulating through the fine capillary networks. The blood thickens and circulation problems arise. In various studies the only substance which characterized the cancerous cells, as opposed to healthy ones, was isolated fat. When living tissue rejects some fats, the body isolates them and deposits them in places where fats are not normally found." She also added later in the text, "I succeeded in proving that those protein substances...found in quark or cottage cheese...are able to make water soluble the biological highly unsaturated flaxseed oil." The kernel of reason in the Budwig cult is that combining oil with high-sulfur proteins makes it water-soluble and enables its transport by the bloodstream and penetration through cell walls. Cells low in these oils are cancer and pre-cancerous cells,so that's where the soluble oil matrix will be drawn osmotically. Once there they promote oxygen respiration in the cells rather than fermentation - creating a toxic environment for cancer. This is the well documented Warburg Hypothesis. Thus healthy Omega-3 fats can be leveraged into the human system to where they are useful rather than sliding straight through the digestive system and forming expensive and slightly oily poop. In addition to this mechanical and metabolic (oxygen respiration) model, Dr. Budwig also postulated an electrical model - but it's not worth describing here. If true, it adds another reason that putting the right fatty acids in pre-cancerous cells is a good thing to do. Given all of this, it seems that hidden in the legend and ritual of the Budwig-ites there is a logical model that makes sense from a bio-engineering standpoint, even if the peer-reviewed evidence (if any) may be lost in history.

While I cannot claim to have done an exhaustive search, there is one place on the Internet that has a higher fact to bullshit ratio than all the others. It's the Yahoo Group for Flax Seed Oil, and you must join the group (free of charge) to access any data there. Check it out at: Even this site is not fully free from highly emotional inputs and pedantic pronouncements (e.g. drink sauerkraut juice first thing every morning, avoid antioxidants ?!!, never eat animal protein of any type, ect.) By and large it's pretty good.

I personally know of several folks who were near terminal with stage 5 metatstatized cancer whose situations improved immediately upon ingesting the FOCC mixture. Whether it was because the Budwig model is correct, or because they were getting needed calories since chemo or radiation robbed them of appetite is unknown. And again, it's only more anecdotal evidence. I experimented with making FOCC. The flaxseed oil is very thick and viscous - as much like motor oil as anything edible. Blending it thoroghly with cottage cheese makes somthing thick and gooey, but not greasy or oily in any way. Supposedly this is water soluble? I added some plain water, and the results were shocking - keep adding and mixing, and the FOCC disappears into solution. This is a simple experiment, but it quickly proves the basic tenet of the protocol. Still skeptical? Try the same with motor oil, and the results will be very different. And you will likely be banned from the kitchen for life...

If you are more of a bottom-line person, you will just want to know what to do. For the basic treatment, consume 1 serving (or more, if you are very sick) of the basic Flax Oil / Cottage Cheese (FOCC) mixture daily. Here's the recipe for one serving of FOCC (which tastes better than it sounds):

Add 6 tablespoons of low fat (1% or 2%) organic cottage cheese to 3 tablespoons of cold pressed flax seed oil. Blend with a stick type blender (regular blenders may overheat the mixture) until no oil can be seen - the result will be something like a heavy whipped cream or mousse consistency. Take 2 tablespoons of whole flax seeds (black or gold does not matter) and grind them in an inexpensive coffee grinder. Stir them into the FOCC mixture. The mixture will be slightly salty from the cottage cheese and slightly gritty from the flax seed hulls, but not unpleasant. Too thick for you? Stir in a splash or two of milk. Add
stevia extract (no longer using organic agave nectar) to taste, and mix in fresh berries for flavor. One could also make a savory mix and add in onion or garlic powder and use as a veggie dip. Toss in red or green chili powder for a little zip. There are dozens of recipes on the Yahoo group above. This mixture is quite rich in calories - the jury is still out whether it causes weight gain on me. For those who prefer visuals, there's a mildly helpful video here:

I have decided to add a serving of the FOCC to my daily diet, substituting for eggs and toast most mornings, or providing a fairly hefty afternoon snack. With my judgment day only 7 weeks away, I need all the extra help I can get!

Associated with the basic FOCC mixture is a fairly complex diet of vegetables, juice, and other sources of natural enzymes. You can read a short summary of that diet at: I have not chosen to follow the whole protocol because it's potentially overkill for me, and my other dietary precautions address many of the same factors. Plus the fact that it's a nuisance, and appears to be more ritual than science. It certainly won't hurt you (except for the avoid antioxidants mantra).

In other news, we should all celebrate that Robert S. in New York got the "all clear" from his second TUR (with the 6-BCG ordeal in between #1 and #2). He has a cystoscopy in 3 months, and no idea if he's in for maintenance BCG or not.


Mom said...

What's the purpose of adding the ground flax seeds to the FOCC mixture?

Steve Kelley said...

Good question - not addressed in the post. The FOCC by itself is simply a mechanism to drive Omega-3 fatty acids into the bloodstream and throughout the body. The raw flax seeds contain additional fiber, trace elements, and vitamins not often found in Western diets. One potentially helpful compound is amygdalin, also known as laetrile or Vitamin B17. So I recommend including the flax seeds in the FOCC, just in case these additional compounds are helpful. Even if not, there's nothing harmful, and more fiber is always a good thing!

Anonymous said...

There are some who joined the FlaxseedOil2 group whose cancers got worse, despite doing the diet. I was on that group for over a year. My cancer got worse. When I brought this up, I was banned from the group. Bringing it up once is ok, but if you bring it up more often, they ban you. If you were helped by the diet thought, they love it when you always mention it. The lady moderating the group has no scientific background. She actually told everyone not to eat corn, then "about-faced" saying, "now that I have new information on corn, it's ok to eat corn. I seen 1 guy start the diet, his lung cancer exploded in him and he was dead in 3 weeks. His wife wrote in. The moderator said, "he must have been depressed". Please, try the diet if you have cancer, but DO NOT just rely on this group. They ARE a cult.

Steve Kelley said...

As for the diet, the only element I chose to adopt from the entire Budwig protocol is the routine ingestion of the FOCC mixture. I think there is a much wider choice of dietary alternatives (as well as issues to deal with in the food supply) that have proven to be helpful in fighting cancer since Dr. Budwig's work was completed. I have found FOCC to be generally helpful (once or twice a week, max). Surprisingly, it also triggers an acidic biochemistry for me, and there is a legion of evidence that alkaline environments are better to combat cancer. Diet must be managed to mitigate this factor.

I am not familiar with the dynamics of the aforementioned group, so I shall let the comment stand on its own in that regard.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what was the grade and stage of your cancer and how are you doing now? My mother was diagnosed in December with stage 1(possible invasive) grade 3 bladder cancer and urologist is consulting with oncologist re. bone scan and CT scan to check for metastasis, but urologist personally recommends aggressive treatment ie. bladder removal.

My mother is feeling okay right now but is scared, and I am worried too. I got her reading on the Budwig protocol, she's bought an exercise gym, and I will have her start juicing, and she's committed to changing everything she does to beat this. My dad just died less than a year ago from kidney cancer only 3.5 weeks after he was diagnosed.

Praying to God above all of course. What's happened with you?


Steve Kelley said...

If you wish to contact me, check out the photo-link at the bottom of the left side.

My cancer was T1G3, or Stage 1 and Grade 3. Bladder removal in this case is overly conservative (aggressive). It is, sad to say, more profitable for the doctor as well.

I am alive and well and cancer-free for more than 5 years as of this writing. Continue reading the blog for more tips on beating cancer.