Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotic Diet


Environmental Medicine: Macrobiotic Diet Proven to Improve Cancer Survival

Over the decades, numerous people have written their own autobiographies on how they turned around irreversible end-stage cancers with the macrobiotic diet. Anthony Satillaro, M.D. wrote about his metastatic prostate cancer in Recalled by Life. Hugh Faulkner, M.D. reversed his cancer of the pancreas six years ago when he was 74 and wrote about it in Physician Heal Thyself.

Elaine Nussbaum described her incredible siege with metastatic cancer of the ovaries in her 30's which spread to the liver, lungs and the backbones. The backbones collapsed and after two years of failed surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she was given three weeks to live with her pneumonia. In fact, she was told that antibiotics could not be used for the pneumonia because she was so weak from the vicious spread of the cancer that the antibiotics might shorten her three weeks. It was at this point that she turned to macrobiotics and wrote the story of her cure in Recovery. That was over eight years ago, and I delight in lecturing with her each year as I see her vivaciously returning from jogging.

Other people wrote their own stories in The Cure Is In the Kitchen which is the only book to give in detail what it is that people ate and did day-to-day to turn irreversible end-stage incurable cancers around with a diet and lifestyle change. This information is not limited to just cancers. Dr. Dean Ornish published his work in the prestigious British medical journal Lancet in 1990. He demonstrated that people with end-stage cardiovascular disease could also reverse their PET scans when high-tech cardiovascular bypass surgery and modern-day cholesterol-lowering drugs failed.

Recently, 6 researchers published a study showing that a macrobiotic diet, even if not done perfectly, increased the one-year survival for cancer of the pancreas from 10% to 52%. Likewise, they have shown that with cancer of the prostate the median survival can be improved from 72 months to 228 months (Carter, J.P., Saxe, G.P., Newbold, V., Peres, C.E., Campeau, R.J., and Bernal-Green, L., Hypothesis: Dietary management may improve survival from nutritionally linked cancers based on analysis of representative cases. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 12, no. 3, 209-226, 1993).

As increasingly more research points out that the causes of most cancers are dietary, it seems only logical that the improvement in survival should also have a bearing on dietary intake. One of the biggest problems we have seen, however, is compliance. In other words, it is very difficult for people to figure out how to do the diet and do it as carefully as they need to in order to have long-term survival and actually reverse cancer. That is why we took the time to spell out the directions in The Cure Is In the Kitchen. For there are scores of books telling how to prepare the food and the philosophy of macrobiotics, but no one has ever actually spelled out in detail what it is that cancer survivors did day-to-day to make their dietary changes such a success. But, everything is not for everyone and that includes this therapy.

But what about the stories of long-time macrobiotic-using people who have actually gotten cancer? How can we reconcile this? Many people become disheartened when they hear of someone who has been on a macrobiotic diet for a long time who has just developed a cancer. But they needn't be disenchanted with the diet, but rather they need to understand that we are in a different era now.

First of all, we are the first generation of humans ever to be exposed to such a high number of chemicals in our daily work, home, and traffic environments. The average person is exposed to over 500 chemicals a day and this does not include someone who works in a particularly overloaded chemical environment such as a factory. These chemicals have wide potential for causing cancers and many of the mechanisms are known and have been spelled out in the scientific research for years.

For example, did you ever wonder how they produce animals with cancer to do research on cancer drugs? They can give the animals one dose of a chemical in order to cause a cancer. Yes, one solitary dose. So, you can imagine what the total cumulative effect of our daily exposures can be. For example, an average carpet can outgas benzene, toluene, xylene, tricholorethylene, and formaldehyde, all of which are cancer potentiators and some can actually induce it by themselves. But no one has studied the total effect of this load on the body. Remember the TV program where the researchers found the mice in the jar with the new carpeting were dead in the morning? Suffice it to say that with such an unprecedented load of chemicals each day to detoxify, we are constantly in more danger of initiating cancer than ever before.

The other problem that goes hand in hand with this unprecedented exposure to chemicals is that every time we detoxify a chemical we use up, lose, throw away forever, a certain amount of nutrients. For example, if you walk into a grocery store, you don't even have to be aware of the smell of a pesticide, but for every molecule of pesticide that your body detoxifies, you throw away or use up forever, a molecule of glutathione, magnesium and more.

Your body used nutrients to make this glutathione and it uses up energy as well. Glutathione is a tripeptide synthesized from your body's amino acids, glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine; it then uses this tripeptide to conjugate, or hook on te the chemical to make it a heavier molecular weight. In this way, it becomes more polar and is easily dragged out of the liver into the bile ducts and into the gut where the body disposes of the chemical in the stool.

But you have lost the tripeptide conjugate, glutathione, in the process. Now you have a reduced store of detoxifiers with which to meet your daily chemical challenges. So now some chemicals have a chance of sneaking into your body, but your body is unable to detoxify them. So instead they initiate the chemistry to start a cancer.

If these two reasons weren't enough, there is yet another reason why there is so much more cancer than there used to be: we are the first generation to eat so many processed foods. Up to 25-75% of the nutritional value has been removed from processed foods so that they will have a longer shelf life. This is a vast experiment in what the human body can endure. For example, vitamins B6 and E are removed from oils and grains so they will last longer. But these vitamins are necessary to prevent cardiovascular disease, which is now the number one cause of death.

Twenty-five years ago when I was in medical school, it was rare to know anybody with cancer and the cancer rate was about 1 in 11 people. Now, it is the second most common cause of death and rather than being restricted mainly to people over 55 as it was back then, it's not at all unusual now to see people in our offices with cancers at 21, 29, and 31.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Read Tired or Toxic? which has references for all of the statements here as well as instructions for your physician to assay your blood for the most common mineral deficiencies that occur today and find out what is missing so that you will have a healthier detoxification system and more protection. For starters I would suggest an rbc zinc, rbc copper, and rbc manganese, for these are crucial for function of superoxide dismutase which is a family of enzymes necessary to neutralize the toxic and carcinogenic effects of chemicals that get into our bodies. And you would need to do the magnesium loading test (described in the book) since magnesium is crucial for these pathways.

For example, government surveys show that the average American diet provides only 40% or less than half of the magnesium you need in a day. Unfortunately, another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (June 13, 1990) showed that when 1,033 patients who were hospitalized were studied, over 54% were low in magnesium. The worst part of the study showed that 90% of the doctors never even thought of ordering a magnesium test. So in essence, what is "usual and customary" in the practice of medicine in the U.S. today is pretty poor in terms of what we know about the prevalence of nutrient deficiencies. And it is even more disheartening when research confirms that it is these very deficiencies that allow a chemical to become a carcinogen in an individual.

Multiple studies throughout the scientific literature show that a vast number of the populace has deficiencies in intracellular copper, zinc, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, magnesium, and much more. These are crucial in the workings of the chemical detoxification pathways in the body, to protect us from the cancer-promoting effects of everyday chemical overload. If the body does not properly detoxify chemicals then they back up and damage the genetic structure and can tum on the message to produce cancers.

Nowadays in our office, it is not unusual for patients to come from Canada or England, Jordan, or California. But it is unusual to see anyone anymore with all of their detox nutrients at normal levels...even if they have been macrobiotic counselors for 15 years as two recent examples showed us.

One of the most common clues that you have nutrient deficiencies is if you have cravings. For cravings are a natural symptom that you are eating out of balance and/or have nutrient deficiencies. It is an animal instinct. The only problem is that animals gnaw on the bark of some tree for the missing nutrients, and we forage in the refrigerator for Hagen Daz. Actually, if you have any symptoms at all, don't feel peppy most of the time, or require any medications, you most likely have biochemical abnormalities that can be identified.

So, when you read about someone who has been a long time macrobiotic practitioner who suddenly has cancer, don't be disheartened or give up on the program; for indeed it is a very healthful lifestyle for the majority of people. But it does need to be modified in this century in view of our daily unprecedented chemical overloads and prevalent nutrient deficiencies. The macrobiotic diet could stand alone and heal cancers 40 years ago but no longer is that the case. Now we need to pay more attention to the rampant nutrient deficiencies as well as to the total load of stressors to the body. For the diet is only one part of the package of total modalities that can help bring about wellness.

For a list of nutrient tests your doctor should check, other parts of the total load, and over 33 biochemical reasons why macrobiotics are able to heal cancer, read Tired or Toxic? Then for the first book to spell out the explicit healing steps of the macrobiotic diet read The Cure Is In the Kitchen. These are available from Prestige Publishing, Box 3161, Syracuse NY 13220, 800-846-ONUS.

Correspondence Address

Box 2716

Syracuse, NY 13220-2716

Article copyright Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients.


By Sherry A. Rogers

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Complete Remission of Advanced Medically Incurable Cancer in Six Patients Following a Macrobiotic Approach to Healing


Five patients with advanced, medically incurable cancer achieved complete remission for five years or more after beginning a macrobiotic diet. These remissions cannot be explained by any medical treatment the patients received. One additional patient obtained remission after trying macrobiotics, failed to continue on the diet, and died when the cancer recurred. The findings suggest that macrobiotics, by strengthening the patient's immune system and eliminating toxins from the diet, may aid patients with advanced stages of cancer who cannot be helped by medical means.


Presented in this article are six case histories of patients with advanced, medically incurable cancer who used the macrobiotic approach and who experienced total regression of their cancers. In each case the regression could not be accounted for on the basis of conventional medical treatment the patient received. These cases and others like them raise questions which the medical community should investigate and consider seriously. In particular, can macrobiotics be of benefit to patients with cancer when medical treatment cannot help? What is the basis for the changes occurring with the macrobiotic approach, and how can these be utilized to help the greatest number of patients?

Macrobiotics involves both dietary and psychologic-spiritual dimensions. It is based on principles of Oriental medicine, which views nature as consisting of opposing forces. The more balanced these forces are, the higher the person's state of health. The goal of macrobiotics is to bring every aspect of life - including exercise, work, environment, and especially diet -into harmony and balance.

Briefly, in macrobiotics disease is viewed as the result of an imbalance in the body. Although minor imbalances occur normally, the body makes use of the natural processes of elimination (urination, breathing, sweating, etc.) in attempting to re store balance by relieving excesses. When these systems for elimination become overloaded, disease develops. The type of disease that results depends on a variety of factors, including the patient's constitution, ways of thinking, or attitudes about life, diet, and other aspects. Macrobiotics views the patient as master of his or her own destiny. When patients gain an understanding of the underlying causes of the imbalance (and hence of the disease), they have the opportunity to change and restore harmony and balance to their lives.

Basically, the macrobiotic diet is a toxin-free diet that also contains many substances that enhance the effective working of the body, especially the immune system. It also contains nutrients that assist in the elimination of accumulated toxins from the body. The diet consists of 50 to 60% whole cereal grains, 5% soups, 25 to 30% vegetables, and 5 to 10% beans and seaweeds, plus other foods, such as fish and seafood, seasonal fruits, and nuts and seeds, which are eaten as the diet recommends. Chemically treated or highly processed foods are generally avoided, as is cooking with electricity. This bare outline in no way reflects the immense diversity that is found in macrobiotic diets. There is no such thing as a single, all-purpose macrobiotic diet; indeed, the entire macrobiotic approach is based on a philosophy that each day's food and also the manner of cooking must change according to the season, the immediate weather conditions, and the individual changing moods and needs of the persons eating it. People who have been working out in the garden have totally different needs from people who have been sitting quietly all day; similarly, those with terminal illnesses have very special requirements and need enormous variety in their meals. It is very rare to ever have the same menu for dinner.

Patients with terminal illnesses need to see a macrobiotic counselor, who evaluates the patient's condition on the basis of traditional Oriental methods of diagnosis. The patient is usually given a very precise diet - unique to that person -which frequently excludes many of the foods normally found in a macrobiotic diet and adds a number of specially prepared foods. Typically the patient is evaluated every 4 to 6 weeks, and adjustments are made to the diet as needed. Macrobiotics does not include the use of vitamin supplementation, and none of the patients in this report took vitamin supplements. All the patients reported here adhered to their prescribed diets without any deviation. Because each patient's diet was formulated especially for that person, the individual diet plans have not been included in the case histories, which would have made them prohibitively long.

Despite the controversy that has surrounded macrobiotics in Western countries, otherwise unexplained remissions of cancer continue to occur in patients who follow this diet. In fairness to our patients, and in the hope of helping terminal cancer patients who cannot be aided by medical therapy, the medical community would do well to determine the basis of these regressions so that all might benefit from this knowledge.

The case histories presented here were chosen from records supplied by macrobiotic centers. The following criteria were used for inclusion in the group: ( 1) the patient must have had biopsy-proved, advanced, medically incurable cancer; ( 2) after using the macrobiotic approach, the patient must have had no detectable sign of cancer; and ( 3) the regression of the cancer could not have been attributable to any conventional medical therapy the patient received.

Case Histories

Case N.A.: Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas

Patient N.A., now 58 years old, is a white male who complained of increasingly severe epigastric discomfort and underwent surgery at Providence Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina, on July 28, 1982, for suspected chronic cholecystitis and cholelithiasis. At surgery, he was found to have an adenocarcinoma of the head of the pancreas with metastases to the iliac node and an isolated 1.2 cm metastasis to the liver. Biopsy specimens of the lymph node and a wedge biopsy of the liver lesion were taken and both confirmed the diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.

Preoperative chest X-ray and CT scan of the brain were normal. Barium enema with air contrast, upper gastrointestinal series, and CT scan of the abdomen, done in May of 1982, were all normal; however, a postoperative abdominal CT scan revealed a 1 cm lesion in the dome of the right lobe of the liver and a 3 mm lesion adjacent to it. The head of the pancreas was enlarged with a 2 cm area of decreased attenuation.

Several forms of therapy were then tried.

1. The patient began a macrobiotic diet on August 7, 1982.
2. Beginning on August 18, 1982, he received a single course of chemotherapy consisting of FAM ( 5-fluorouracil [ 5-FU], doxorubicin [Adriamycin], and mitomycin C), five treatments over five weeks at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown University.
3. On September 23, 1982, he received a single dose of mouse monoclonal antibodies, which were developed by Dr. Hilary Koprowski of the Wistar Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, and given by Dr. Henry Sears, of American Oncologic Hospital in Philadelphia. Physicians at both the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center and the American Oncologic Hospital reviewed the biopsy slides and medical records and concurred in the diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.

The patient found the chemotherapy debilitating and felt it was not helping him; therefore, after the initial course of chemotherapy the patient chose to discontinue all forms of conventional medical therapy. However, he remained on the macrobiotic diet.

An abdominal CT scan done on December 29, 1982, showed no enlargement of the hepatic metastasis. The pancreas was difficult to define owing to the almost total absence of retroperitoneal fat planes. On June 24, 1983, CT scan revealed no definite evidence of metastatic disease of the liver; furthermore, no mass could be defined in the pancreas. On December 21, 1983, the CT scan showed no measurable disease. As of this writing, six years from his surgery, the patient is very active and in excellent health. He remains on the macrobiotic diet.

This remission is especially noteworthy, as pancreatic cancers are usually rapidly fatal; 80% of patients die within six months. It is therefore important that macrobiotics be considered as a possible reason for regression in this case.

Case H.B.: Malignant Melanoma, Stage IV

This 51-year-old white male was diagnosed as having malignant melanoma, Stage I, in 1973, at the age of 36 years, which was widely excised, including axillary and groin nodes. The patient had no further evidence of disease from 1973 until November, 1981, when a round lesion 1.5 cm in diameter developed 4 inches from the primary site on the right upper chest. The area was widely excised, and the lesion was determined to be a subcutaneous nodule of malignant melanoma consistent with metastatic growth. The patient began a one-year course of immunotherapy. In February, 1982, a suspicious-appearing spot was found on the primary site scar, which was again confirmed as melanoma and again excised. In November, 1983, a routine follow-up chest X-ray revealed a spot on the right lung. On November 28, 1983, the patient underwent a thoracotomy and, at surgery, was found to have multiple tumor implants in all three lobes of the right lung, as well as on the diaphragm and chest wall in multiple areas. A wedge biopsy was taken of one of the diaphragmatic lesions, and the diagnosis of metastatic malignant melanoma was confirmed.

On January 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1984, the patient received a single five-day course of the BOLD regimen of chemotherapy, consisting of bleomycin, DTIC, CCNU, and vincristine. Four weeks later the patient elected to discontinue all medical therapy and began macrobiotics. A chest X-ray approximately 3 weeks later showed a decrease in the size of the lesion compared to the previous chest X-ray of December 6, 1983. The chest X-ray also showed pleural diaphragmatic adhesions, which were doubtlessly due to scarring in the region of the biopsy. On March 27, 1985, no evidence of disease and no nodule could be seen on chest X-ray; an X-ray taken on September 9, 1985, duplicates these findings.

Now, almost five years since his thoracotomy, and still adhering closely to macrobiotics, this patient reports experiencing the best health he can remember.

As with other cancers, spontaneous regression of melanoma is known to occur; however, the frequency is extremely rare.

Case E.N.: Anaplastic, Highly Malignant Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma of the Uterus with Metastases to Bone and Lungs

This is a 48-year-old white female who, in April of 1980, underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy at the age of 40 years for uterine tumor. Definitive diagnosis of the tumor was reached by light and electron microscopy, and it was determined to be an anaplastic, highly malignant endometrial stromal sarcoma. Bone scan and chest X-rays at this time were normal.

Postoperatively, the patient received 20 radiation treatments, a radium implant, and chemotherapy in the form of cytoxan and Megace.


By May, 1982, the patient was complaining increasingly of backache, and bone scan revealed a compression fracture of L2. Chest X-rays taken on September 28, 1982, showed metastases to the lungs as well as to T9 and L2. At this time, the patient's chemotherapy was increased to include CCNU, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), 5-fluorouracil, and Megace. She also received an additional 10 radiation treatments. The patient was experiencing increasingly severe pain and could walk only with great difficulty. By January, 1983, the patient's X-rays revealed complete collapse of the body of L2, and the chest X-ray showed multiple pulmonary metastases bilaterally.

In the same month, the patient sustained a paper cut injury to the thumb, which became infected, and she was hospitalized for intravenous antibiotic therapy in view of her degree of immunosuppression. She also received four units of packed cells as her hemoglobin level had dropped to 5.7 gm.

Upon discharge from the hospital, the patient was told that her chemotherapy would be continued at a lower dose. At that time she elected to try an alternative form of therapy and, in February of 1983, began macrobiotics. The patient was unable to walk, was confined to a wheelchair, and was on high doses of narcotic analgesics for constant pain. Once the patient began macrobiotics, she discontinued all medical therapy, including all analgesics. Within one month of beginning macrobiotics, the patient's pain had subsided. By March 27, 1983, the patient was able to walk without assistance. On February 19, 1985, a followup chest X-ray showed total regression of all the metastases except for one questionable lesion.

At present, five years later, this patient is very active and in excellent health. She continues to follow a macrobiotic approach to her life.

Case D.N.: Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Colon

D.N. is a 41-year-old white male who, at the age of 36, was admitted to the hospital on May 12, 1983, for a right colectomy with a preoperative diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the ascending colon. The patient had involvement of the most proximal lymph node (Dukes C-1 classification). Preoperative liver-spleen scan was normal other than the minimal bone marrow uptake seen with anemia, which this patient had owing to chronic, severe rectal bleeding. At surgery, the liver and abdominal cavity were inspected carefully, and no metastases were found. The patient did not receive any postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This patient has a strong family history of carcinoma. His father died at age 46 of carcinoma of the large bowel, as did his father's mother, at the age of 32. His paternal grandmother's sister had three primary carcinomas - of the breast, uterus, and large bowel; she died from the colonic cancer.

On December 8, 1983, the patient had a follow-up liver-spleen scan, which revealed multiple filling defects. CT scan of the abdomen was then done, and it revealed multiple irregular focal lesions within the liver, compatible with multiple metastases. Hepatic angiography indicated that only the right lobe of the liver appeared to be involved. Therefore, the patient was transferred to the care of a specialist in Pittsburgh, in the hope of resecting the right lobe of the liver.

At exploratory laparotomy, the right lobe was found to have multiple palpable metastatic lesions, several of which were visible grossly. As revealed by palpation, the left lobe had at least three sizable lesions. The remainder of the abdominal findings were normal.. An extremely small needle biopsy specimen was taken from the most accessible of the visible lesions. The surgeon stated that there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that this was a case of metastatic adenocarcinoma to the liver, and that he had taken the biopsy specimen for academic purposes only.

The pathologic report stated that the specimen consisted of two fragments of soft, yellow tissue which were friable and measured 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.1 cm in aggregate. No normal hepatic tissue was seen. Fibrosis and necrosis with calcifications were prominent. A small collection of nondiagnostic epithelial cells was present on one end of the specimen.

The biopsy specimen was suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, carcinoma.

Postoperatively, as soon as food could be tolerated, the patient began macrobiotics and received no further medical therapy in any form. On June 29, 1984, the patient had a follow-up CT scan. This showed a decrease in size and perhaps also in the number of liver lesions. At least three of the lesions had become calcified. A further follow-up study on November 29, 1985, revealed a disappearance of some of the lesions; the remaining multiple hepatic metastases had become densely calcified.

As of this writing, nearly five years since the patient's surgery, he enjoys excellent health and remains on a macrobiotic diet.

For the purposes of this paper, it is unfortunate that the biopsy in this case was not diagnostic of metastatic adenocarcinoma; however, given the patient's history, the CT scans, and the observations of an experienced surgeon, the very significant possibility that this represents a case of regression of advanced metastatic adenocarcinoma of the colon must be considered.

Case W.S.:

Inoperable Leiomyosarcoma

This 58-year-old white male first came to medical attention when he complained of increasing abdominal discomfort and fullness over a period of six months. Palpation revealed a large, slightly tender tumor encompassing the entire right side of the abdomen. CT scan performed on March 9, 1983, showed a large multilobular, irregular mass within the abdomen, causing displacement of the urinary bladder to the left. The greatest transverse measurement of the mass was 16.5 cm, and it contained small loops of bowel within it. On fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy, the tumor was found to be causing extraluminal pressure and narrowing of the bowel.

On March 11, 1983, the patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy, at which time the tumor was found to be inoperable owing to multiple loops of small bowel embedded within the tumor. Two biopsy specimens were taken.

Light microscopy of the specimen revealed multiple mitotic figures in most high power fields. Definitive diagnosis was reached through electron microscopy, and the tumor was determined to be a leiomyosarcoma; however, the possibility that this tumor was a hemangiopericytoma could not be excluded.

On March 23, 1983, the patient elected to try macrobiotics. Between March, 1983, and July, 1983, the patient received four courses of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) to a total dose of 560 mg. On July 29, 1983, the patient chose to discontinue all chemotherapy as he did not feel the chemotherapy was helping him. Earlier that month, on July 1, 1983, an abdominal CT scan showed a considerable decrease in the size of the mass to 10 cm at its maximum diameter. At the present time, 5 years from his exploratory laparotomy, the patient remains on a macrobiotic diet and reports feeling in excellent health. His most recent CT scan, performed on May 1, 1985, showed no evidence of tumor.

Case S.K.:

Malignant Astrocytoma, Grade IV

S.K. was a 26-year-old woman who was admitted to the New York Hospital on August 10, 1982, complaining of severe headaches. She was noted to have a left homonymous hemianopsia on visual field testing. CT examination revealed a largely hypodense mass occupying major portions of the right temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes. On August 12, 1982, the patient underwent a right parieto-occipital craniotomy with gross resection of the tumor. Microscopic examination of the specimen revealed a Grade IV malignant astrocytoma.

The patient then received two 3-day courses of BCNU and radiation to 6750 rad. This failed to improve the patient's condition, and on September 9, 1982, CT scan revealed the tumor had recurred in the right parietal lobe. A repeat CT scan on December 13, 1982, showed continued enlargement of the tumor. By January 13, 1983, the CT scan showed marked irregular contrast enhancement with multiple focal lucent lesions and extensive perifocal edema. An increased mass effect was observed, with forward and lateral displacement of the right ventricle.

The patient then began the macrobiotic diet and also turned to faith healing and intensive prayer. By March 23, 1983, the CT scan revealed a marked decrease in the size of the tumor and in the collar of edema. The compression on the right ventricle was also decreased.

In 1985, two years after achieving remission of her cancer, the patient began to eat many foods that are not eaten regularly in macrobiotics and change d from gas to electric cooking, which is not used in macrobiotics. Her tumor then recurred, and the patient became markedly symptomatic. In December, 1986, the tumor was again resected. The patient was having difficulty with her vision and balance and had to be placed on steroids, phenobarbital, and analgesics. Although she attempted to try the macrobiotic approach again, she had difficulty cooking owing to her symptoms and the advanced state of her disease, and was unable to discontinue her medications. The patient later succumbed to her cancer.

This case is prototypical of many cases of advanced cancer in which the patient used the macrobiotic approach, achieved remission, and then lapsed from the diet, only to have the cancer recur, this time with fatal consequences.


When a medically incurable cancer regresses, the logical question to ask is why the regression occurred. Although so-called spontaneous regressions have long been reported, Cole[ 1] has pointed out that the term is misleading because obviously there is a cause for the phenomenon. The frequency of such regressions in cancer is not yet known[ 1]; however, it is generally accepted that they are extremely rare.

In an effort to identify the factors that might be at work in spontaneous remissions, Everson and Cole[ 2] reviewed 176 cases of cancer that regressed without treatment; this study consisted of cases reported in the literature from 1900 to 1964 and additional cases referred by other physicians. Everson and Cole used strict criteria, which excluded all cases in which there was inadequate proof of diagnosis or in which the patient received treatment that may have been effective.

In only 77 of Everson and Cole's 176 cases did the regression last five years or longer. In the present author's group, five of the patients have had a regression of their cancers lasting five years or more. These patients had at least one major point in common: they all used macrobiotics after discontinuing conventional medical therapy. It is appropriate to question, therefore, whether macrobiotics was responsible for the remissions.

Although five of the six patients had received some form of traditional medical treatment, all of the cancers reported here are known not to respond to any form of conventional medical therapy. Because of this, it is reasonable to examine other possible causes of regression in these cases.

At this point a word about the meanings of the terms "regression," "remission," and "cure" seem s warranted. Cole[ 1] emphasize s that regression is not synonymous with cure, and O'Regan[ 3] notes that many physicians believe that it is only a matter of time before any neoplastic disease will recur. Indeed, dictionaries define regression as a subsidence of symptoms of a disease or process; remission refers to a diminution or abatement of symptoms of a disease. In neither case does the term necessarily imply that the disease itself is no longer present (or cure). With this understanding, it would seem that the author's cases better fit the definition of cure rather than regression or remission. Whether or not this is indeed the case remains to be determined.

Many hypotheses have been advanced to explain regressions of cancer. It has long been known, for example, that operative trauma (including such minor procedures as biopsy) and minor infections have in very rare instances been followed by regression of cancer. These cases remain unexplained, but Cole[ 1] suggests that such events cause stimulation of the immune system to mobilize defenses and overcome the cancerous process. However, Thomas[ 4] points out that if the immune system is indeed responsible for such remissions, it is perplexing why the system does not work more frequently and more effectively.

There are many indications that the macrobiotic diet may be of benefit to patients with cancer. It is particularly intriguing to note that a number of components of the diet have been found to have either a strong or a possible anti-tumor effect. This alone makes macrobiotics worth investigating for its possible benefit for cancer patients. For example, shiitake mushrooms, which are consumed frequently on the macrobiotic diet, have been shown to have a strong antitumor effect in mice.[ 5] Miso soup, eaten daily, has been found to significantly reduce the frequency of stomach cancer in Japan.[ 6] Certain seaweeds may have an antitumor effect in mice[ 7, 8] and rats.[ 9, 10] Seaweeds may also inhibit the intestinal absorption of radioactive products and possibly help decontaminate the body after exposure to radioactive materials; investigators have reported that seaweeds contain a polysaccharide that selectively binds radioactive strontium and helps eliminate it from the body.[ 11, 12] Such findings provide promising avenues for further investigation.

Animal studies have shown that the removal of cholesterol from the diets of rats with colonic cancer reduced the frequency of metastases and improved survival rates compared with those of animals fed the standard diet containing cholesterol.[ 13] Tartter has noted that obese women with breast cancer consuming a diet high in cholesterol have a 32% five year survival, compared with a 68% five year survival for slim women on a low cholesterol diet.[ 14] Although Willett and colleagues found no difference in the incidence of breast cancer in patients on a low fat diet, the percentage of fat in their "low fat" diet was 30% of the total calories, which is considerably higher than the 22% fat consumed in the standard macrobiotic diet.[ 15] However, patients with cancer who choose the macrobiotic approach generally are advised to eat a diet that is probably about 10% fat.

In addition, the macrobiotic diet avoids chemically treated, highly processed, and heavily salted foods; it is very low in fats (22%), high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and high in folic acid, selenium, and vitamins A and C. Many of the component foods are known to decrease cancer risk; therefore, the diet may be said to be double-pronged, acting both to reduce the person's chances of developing cancer and possibly to cause regression of neoplasms that may already have developed.

For various reasons, macrobiotics has not been well accepted by the Western medical community. A great deal of this hesitation may have resulted from a serious misunderstanding about the nature of this alternative approach to healing. Many of the original analyses of the diet were based on methods used by persons who attempted to practice macrobiotics without a clear understanding of its teachings. The macrobiotic dietary approach in the United States has adapted itself to the environment, climate, activity levels, and personal needs of North Americans. As investigation will reveal, the standard macrobiotic diet is entirely consistent with guidelines issued by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, which emphasize whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits and limit fatty animal products, sugars, and artificial additives. By minimizing intake of dietary fats, simple sugars, cow's milk proteins (which are extremely antigenic), and food additives (of which approximately 3,000 are found in our food supply, including pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, colorings, flavorings, texturizers, and others), people may also be reducing their risks of developing not only cancer but also heart disease, diabetes, obesity, renal failure, gastrointestinal disease, and allergies. Some foods included in the macrobiotic diet (for example, soy products high in lecithin, seaweeds rich in minerals, and green leafy vegetables high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and calcium) are immunoenhancing, and by limiting intake of such highly antigenic foods as dairy products and artificial additives, it may be possible to substantially reduce stress on the immune system, notably the intestinal IgA system.

Among the foods that are known to enhance the effectiveness of the immune system are the B complex vitamins,[ 17] of which nearly 80% are lost in the modern diet through the process of refining whole grains to white flour.[ 18] B vitamins are found in large amounts in the whole cereal grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and vegetables consumed on a macrobiotic diet.[ 19] Vitamin B6 for example, has been shown to increase lymphocyte proliferation and the numbers of T3 and T4 cells when added to the diets of elderly persons.[ 20]

The richest sources of beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) are carrots, winter squash, broccoli, and seaweeds), and again these are eaten in large amounts in the macrobiotic diet. Alexander and associates suggest that oral beta-carotene treatment may be a clinically effective means of enhancing the number of T4+ lymphocytes.[ 21] Furthermore, beta-carotene is now widely recognized as an important nutrient for the prevention of various cancers, notably lung cancer.[ 22]

Vitamin C is abundant in leafy green vegetables, which are eaten daily on a macrobiotic diet. This vitamin has been shown to enhance and sustain cellular immune responsiveness, especially neutrophil motility and antimicrobial activity, as well as lymphocyte responsiveness to antigens and mitogens.[ 23]

It is thought that vitamin E, found in whole raw seeds, nuts, soybeans, and whole cereal grains, may stimulate the helper activity of T lymphocytes.[ 24]

Finally, zinc deficiency has also been found to result in profound immunodeficiencies in patients.[ 25] Zinc is found in sea vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, whole grains, and vegetables.

It should also be emphasized that macrobiotic practitioners cooperate with the medical profession as much as possible and when necessary will recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other appropriate medical intervention. In addition, Kushi[ 26] addresses the issue of modifying the macrobiotic dietary approach for patients receiving medical treatment; adjustments are made as the patient's changing condition warrants. These dietary alterations may include proportionately increasing the volume of food consumed, especially protein, complex carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, or saturated fat of vegetable or animal quality.

Although isolated cases of vitamin B12 deficiency have been known to occur in children following a macrobiotic diet, the author knows of no cases of vitamin B12 deficiency in adults attempting to overcome cancer with macrobiotics. Vitamin B12 does occur in minuscule amounts in certain foods eaten on the macrobiotic diet, such as fish, fermented bean products, including tempeh and miso, and some sea vegetables such as kelp. Because none of the patients reported here used vitamin B12 supplementation or took supplements of any other vitamin or mineral, it would appear reasonable to simply monitor the patients' serum vitamin B12 levels. The author cannot at this point recommend altering the diet by the addition of meat because she is familiar with many cases of cancer that improved with macrobiotics until, at the physician's insistence, the patient added meat to the diet, subsequently suffered deterioration, and died.

Other reservations about macrobiotics on the part of the medical community may relate to the nonphysical aspects of macrobiotics, which are difficult for the Western mind to acknowledge. Centuries of tradition have dictated that medicine and healing are almost totally dependent on the physical; indeed, to some extent it is true to say that anything beyond purely physical methods is automatically viewed with suspicion. It should be remembered, however, that there is an increasingly recognized area of study that focuses on the relationship of mind and body in all areas of life, including healing. As these studies have demonstrated, the power that people gain from taking control of their own lives and healing, and from having strong confidence in their methods of treatment, cannot be denied. In this respect, Stoll mentions the greater awareness among physicians of the emotional aspects of cancer on the patient and notes that the state of mind of the patient may have an influence on survival time.[ 27] As mentioned earlier, in macrobiotics the psychological and spiritual dimensions are viewed as equally important in the healing process. The patient learns to take control of his or her own healing, and the power of such an approach must be witnessed to be believed. A detailed discussion of this area of the macrobiotic approach is out of place here, but it suffices to say that both diet and mental state are viewed as essential elements in healing.

In summary, macrobiotics has been shown to be eminently respectable and nutritionally sound; in view of the many remissions of cancer and other serious diseases that have occurred in connection with this alternative approach, the medical community would serve itself well to investigate these phenomena seriously.


Vivien Newbold, M.D., F.A.C.E.P. 4139 Apalogen Road Philadelphia, PA 19144 215 -848-8888

Vivien Newbold, M.D. received her medical degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1974. She specialized in emergency medicine at a suburban Philadelphia hospital. In 1984, Dr. Newbold became a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. She is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and Vice President of the Macrobiotic Physicians Association. She lectures extensively on those alternative approaches that her patients have proven most successful.

This paper was previously submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and the Journal of the American Medical Association for publication. The journals refused to publish the paper because it would not meet the interest of their readership.

Consideration for further study of macrobiotics in the treatment of cancer was proposed to the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Neither institution/society were interested.

1. Cole, W.H.: Efforts to explain spontaneous regression of cancer. J. Surg. Oncol. 17:201-209, 1981.

2. Everson, T.C., and Cole, W.H.: Spontaneous Regression of Cancer. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Company, 1966.

3. O'Regan, B.: Healing, remission and miracle cures. Special report, Washington Committee of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, American University, December 5, 1986. c 1987, The Institute of Noetic Sciences.

4. Thomas, L.: Possible mechanisms in regression. Natl. Cancer Inst. Monographs 44:137-139, 1976.

5. Chihara, G., Hamuro, J., Maeda, Y.Y., et al.: Fractionation and purification of polysaccharides with marked anti-tumor activity, especially lentinan, from Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Sing. (an edible mushroom). Cancer Res. 30:2776-2781, 1970.

6. Hirayama, T.: Relationship of soybean paste soup intake to gastric cancer risk. J. Nutr. Cancer 3:223-233, 1982.

7. Akizuki, T.: How we survived Nagasaki. East-West J., December 1980, pp. 10-12.

8. Yamamoto, I., Nagumo, T., Yagi, K, et al.: Antitumor effects of seaweeds. I. Antitumor effect of extracts from Sargassum and Laminaria. Jpn. J. Exp. Meal., 44:543-546, 1974.

9. Akizuki, T.: Nagasaki 1945. London, Quartet Books, 1981.

10. Teas, J., Harbison, M.L., and Gelman, R.S.: Dietary seaweed (Laminaria) and mammary carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Res. 44:2758-2761, 1984.

11. Skoryna, S.C. et al.: Studies on the inhibition of intestinal absorption of radioactive strontium. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 91:285-288, 1964.

12. Tanaka, Y., Waldron-Edward, D., and Skoryna, S.C.: Studies on inhibition of intestinal absorption of radioactive strontium. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 99:169-175, 1968.

13. Cruse, P., Lewin, M.R., and Clark, C.G.: Dietary cholesterol deprivation improves survival rates and reduces incidence of metastatic colon cancer in dimethylhydrazine-pretreated rats. Gut 23:594-599, 1982.

14. Tartter, P.I., Papatestas, A.E., Ioannovich, J., et al.: Cholesterol and obesity as prognostic factors in breast cancer. Cancer 47:2222-2227, 1981.

15. Willett, W.C., Stampfer, M.J., Colditz, G.A., et al.: Dietary fat and the risk of breast cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 316:22-28, 1987.

16. Kushi, L.H., Samonds, K.W., Lacey, J.M., et al.: The association of dietary fat with serum cholesterol in vegetarians: The effect of dietary assessment on the correlation coefficient. Am. J. Epidemiol. 128: 1054-1064, 1988.

17. Panush, R.S., and Delafuente, J.C.: Vitamins and immunocompetence. World Rev. Nutr. Diet. 45:97-132, 1985.

18. Schroeder, H.A.: Losses of vitamins and trace minerals resulting from processing and preservation of foods. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 24:562-573, 1971.

19. Kutsky, R.V.: Handbook of Vitamins, Minerals and Hormones. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981.

20. Talbott, M., Miller, L.T., Kerkvliet, N.I.: Pyridoxine supplementation: Effect on lymphocyte responses in elderly persons. Am. J. Clin, Nutr. 46:659-664, 1987.

21. Alexander, M., Newmark, H., Miller, R.G., et al.: Oral beta-carotene can increase the number of OKT4+cells in human blood. Immunol. Lett. 9:221-224, 1985.

22. Menkes, M.S., Constock, G.W., Vuillemier, J.P., et al.: Serum beta-carotene, vitamins A and E, selenium, and the risk of lung cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 315:1250-1254, 1986.

23. Anderson, R.: The immunostimulatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties of ascorbate. Adv. Nutr. Res. 6:19-45, 1984.

24. Tanaka, J., Fujiwara, H., and Torisu, M.: Vitamin E and immune response. I. Enhancement of helper T cell activity by dietary supplementation of vitamin E in mice. Immunology 38:727-734, 1979.

25. Good, R.A., and Lorenz, E.: Nutrition, immunity, aging, and cancer: Zinc and immunocompetence. Nutr. Rev. 46:62-67, 1988.

26. Kushi, M., and Jack, A.: The Cancer Prevention Diet. Revised edition. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1985.

27. Stoll, B.A.: Will to survive and survival time in cancer. In Stoll, B.A. (ed.): Prolonged Arrest of Cancer. New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1982, p. 177.


By Vivien Newbold


Macrobiotic View of Cancer

Basically, cancer is a cell sickness. Infectious illnesses take place outside of the cell, cancer happens inside the cell. When a normal cell changes to a malignant cell, cancer has started. In my opinion, the malignant cell is caused by a too-acidic condition of the body fluid. This acidic condition is caused by carcinogens, chemicals in food, environmental factors, and emotional conditions.

When life started in the ocean a billion years ago, ocean water was acidic. There was more carbon dioxide than oxygen in the water. Under this acidic condition, primitive unicellular organisms lived. Then, the ocean gradually changed to an alkaline condition, and the cells living there changed to the kind of cells that comprise our human body. Our body cells live and function best when the body fluids are in a slightly alkaline state. If body fluids become too acidic, cells die. However, if the body fluids become slightly acidic, the conditions are not such that the cells die, but the cells' DNA changes in order to allow them to survive under the slightly acidic conditions. This, in my opinion, is the beginning of malignancy, the initiation of cancer.

There are two bodily causes of the initiation of cancer: one is eating too much fatty foods which blocks the capillaries and the other is weak kidneys which cannot completely clean up the acidic wastes of body metabolism. Initiated cancer cells can remain in the body without growing unless they are fed the substances which make them grow. You might have malignant cells but if they don't grow, you don't notice them. You can carry malignant cells for twenty-five years without their growing. What makes initiated malignant cells grow?

There are three factors that make malignant cells grow. First, eating too much protein, especially animal protein. Animal protein provides cell building material, so if you eat excess animal protein, malignant cells grow more easily. Second, eating sugar, sweeteners, or fruit which give cells energy to grow. Third, eating too much fat -- fat gives energy for cells to grow also. This is why macrobiotic dietary recommendations for individuals who have cancer suggest a low- but sufficient-protein and low-fat diet with no simple sugar.

Once cancer has started, be very careful of sugar and fruit. This includes organic fruits and juices, barley malt syrup, rice syrup, maple syrup, and amasake. Once, at Vega, there was a student with cancer who had been very careful for two months. She had almost recovered from cancer. Then, one day she ate watermelon. The cancer growth began immediately, and the next day she was swollen and in pain. She had heard many people say, "Don't worry about fruit, fruit is OK, fruit is natural, it's good for you." She tried it because she liked it, and the cancer grew back again because fruits have fruit sugar. Fruit sugar, fructose, is a very simple sugar like glucose. It immediately gives energy to cancer cells. It supplies energy to cancer cells even faster than white sugar. Only alter one is in a very strong and healthy condition and the doctor has given a "no more cancer" diagnosis, can a little fruit be taken.

In my opinion, malignant cells never return to normal. However, they do die out and leave the body. So one must continue to eat very carefully, even after cancer has been cured. This gives the body a chance to have all malignant cells die out and leave the body. This takes seven to eight years. There are many reports of individuals who ate a macrobiotic diet for several years and whose cancer disappeared according to medical tests. Unfortunately, many of these people assumed that their cancer was completely gone and they returned to their former way of eating, eating in restaurants, or they began eating plenty of gourmet-style natural food thinking that they could eat rich food again. Quite a few discovered that their cancer returned after eating this way for awhile. Some were able to return to a healthy condition by eating simple macrobiotic food again, others were not so fortunate.

Macrobiotic Dietary Recommendations for Cancer Conditions

I have developed the following adjustments of the general macrobiotic diet to make it more appropriate for someone who has cancer:

1. Take low, but adequate mounts of protein. About 15-20 grams per day are available from whole grains, vegetables, and miso soup. Because excess protein can make cancer grow, I suggest the monthly diet contain aduki (azuki) beans only, and those only twice per month. All other beans, tofu, and tempeh should be avoided. If the person becomes weak or tired, a small amount of fish may be consumed once a week. All other animal food, including all dairy food and eggs, should be strictly avoided. Seitan may be used one time per week, if desired.
2. Consume a small amount of fat (one teaspoonful of sesame oil per day).
3. Eat plenty of high-complex-carbohydrate foods (50-60percent of total energy). This will come mainly from whole grains.
4. Eat whole natural foods. The macrobiotic diet supplies plenty of vitamins from whole grains, vegetables, and sea vegetables. The macrobiotic way does not support the use of dietary supplements. They do not contain all of the necessary ingredients to properly metabolize protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Only natural whole foods contain the right proportion of vitamins to support healthy digestion and metabolism.
5. Make sea vegetables a regular part of your diet. Sea vegetables provide many alkaline-forming elements such as calcium and magnesium. Since minerals such as these are the main factors which determine whether a food is yin or yang or acid-forming or alkaline-forming, the macrobiotic diet, which contains many minerals, will make it easy to balance these factors.
6. Use special foods such as gomashio (sesame salt), umeboshi pickles, rice bran pickles, tekka, miso, soy sauce (shoyu, tamari), and good quality sea salt in order to alkalize and yangize the body fluids. It is important to maintain alkalinity of the body fluids for proper cell function and health maintenance.

It is important to use these condiments regularly without using them excessively. Excess use will create strong cravings for excess liquid, fruits, sweets, protein, fats, and overeating. Sea salt, miso, and soy sauce should be used in cooking rather than put on cooked food at the table. In cooking, they are used to bring out the naturally sweet flavors of grains, vegetables, and sea vegetables, rather than to create a salty taste. If your grain, vegetable, and sea vegetable dishes taste salty, you are probably using too much of these seasonings or you are using too much of the other condiments listed above. Miso soup is the one dish which should taste a little salty.

7. Drink as little as possible. Drink warm kukicha tea mainly, rather than plain water, iced, or cold drinks. Most doctors commonly advise their patients to drink as much as possible. I suggest just the opposite. This difference comes from the fact that most Americans consume a diet with about 43 percent fat. This high-fat diet makes the blood plasma sticky, which tends to raise the blood pressure. In order to reduce blood pressure, doctors recommend drinking a lot of water. The macrobiotic diet contains about 15 percent fat, so eating a macrobiotic diet, the blood does not require thinning in order to properly run through the arteries, veins, and capillaries.

Not drinking much liquid concentrates nutrients and oxygen in the blood plasma so that less circulation is required to supply these substances to the body's 60 trillion cells. This takes a burden off the heart and kidneys.

* 8. Eat cooked food primarily. Cooking has three purposes: One is to change raw foods and render them more digestible, especially whole grains. Secondly, cooking ionizes minerals in the foods, especially sodium chloride, so that minerals can be absorbed into the cell and intercellular fluids. Without cooking, the minerals present in the foods and seasonings will not be absorbed by the kidneys. Thirdly, cooked food makes the body fluids more yang, which increases the ability to attract oxygen. This allows for proper blood/cell production by making possible the transmutation of magnesium found in chlorophyll into iron.
* 9. Use an appropriate amount of salt. One of the biggest differences between macrobiotic dietary principles and most dietary suggestions is the recommendation and use of salt in the macrobiotic diet. This difference comes from the misunderstanding that salt causes heart disease and high blood pressure. Salt does not cause heart disease and high blood pressure if one does not consume much fat (more than 30 percent of energy intake). The basic cause of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure is a high consumption of fat. Fat molecules clog up the tiny capillaries and make cholesterol deposits in the artery wall. This is the basic cause of heart disease. When such fat clogging happens, salt may cause increased pressure, but if there is no high-fat intake, this will not happen. Therefore, salt reduction without fat reduction does not cure heart troubles.

The main reason I recommend salt in the diet is that sodium is the most yang alkaline-forming element and it will strengthen the immune system and prevent further complication of infection such as candida, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, AIDS, etc.

When one has cancer cells, one tends to have a weak immune system and become easily infected by bacteria and viruses. These infections weaken the body and cancer will be more likely to develop. Therefore, one must keep the immune system strong. However, most cancer patients have weak kidneys and cannot `maintain sufficient sodium in the body fluids to keep a naturally alkaline condition of 0.85 percent sodium concentration. If the sodium concentration is under the 0.85 percent level, microbes grow more and steal the body cells' glucose and oxygen and that makes the normal cells weak. If such a person takes salt, the weak kidneys just reject it through urination. Therefore, it is most important that a person with weak kidneys increases the salt concentration of the body fluids. This has to be done without taking more salt in the diet (which might further weaken the kidneys). I recommend the following routines for people who have cancer, especially if they have weak kidneys:

Strengthening the Kidneys

A. Apply ginger compresses over the kidneys, 2-3 times per week.

B. Walk barefoot, when weather allows, in the early morning on dew-covered grass.

C. Reduce salt intake.

D. Take a sauna daily except in cases of weakness or tiredness. Remain in the sauna until sweat comes. Saunas melt fat and wash it out through sweat. When excess fat is melted, the skin can better aid the body in removal of waste products. This will help the kidney function by giving the kidneys a little rest and allowing them to gradually restore their strength.

E. Take a bath in a 1 percent salt solution (1 pound of salt for every 12 gallons of water). Stay there for 20-30 minutes every other day. The water should not be too hot. You can use water-softener salt which is available in 50-pound bags in most supermarkets at a low price. Macrobiotic cooking salt is too expensive for salt baths. Epsom salts cannot be used for this salt bath because they do not contain sodium chloride.

George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation.


By Herman Aihara