Dr Linus Pauling

The Late, Great Linus Pauling

"I believe that by taking some simple and inexpensive measures you can live a longer life and extend your years of well-being. My most important recommendation is that you take vitamins every day in optimum amounts to supplement the vitamins that you receive in your food."

Linus Pauling, PhD

Dr Linus Pauling died at his ranch in Big Sur, California on August 19 1994. He was 93. He followed his own good advice and took vitamins every day, extending his life and years of well-being well above the expected three score and 10. His personal biography lists 72 productive years of research, teaching, authorship, awards and doctorate degrees, all of which culminated in two unshared Nobel prizes, one for Science and the other for Peace. He was regarded as the greatest chemist of the 20th century.

Dr Pauling had a long association with alive Magazine. It began in 1983 when then editor Rebecca Clarkes interviewed the man she called "the thinking leprechaun", describing him as having "tufts of snow white hair, bright eyes and a fleeting, essentially shy smile."

Later Stephen Carter also interviewed the great Pauling and in subsequent issues of alive the American scientist was profiled often, principally for his advocacy of multivitamin use.

It was Pauling who coined the phrase "orthomolecular medicine" to describe the branch of medicine that he researched and found effective: "The preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally present and are required for good health." Those substances are vitamins.

Despite his extensive scientific research, his recognition and awards, however, Pauling's discoveries never received acceptance by the medical profession. Many 20th century doctors advise patients not to take vitamins and say that large doses of vitamin C simply means "very expensive urine."

Pauling described himself as a scientist, a chemist, a physicist, a crystallographer, a molecular biologist and a researcher. He says he became interested in vitamins in 1965 when he discovered that the science of nutrition had stopped developing.

"The old professors of nutrition who had helped develop this science seemed to be so well satisfied with their accomplishments that they ignored the new discoveries that were being made in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicine, including vitamins and other nutrients," he said.

Pauling's accusation was that poor teaching in medical schools resulted in doctors, nutritionists and dietitians being taught "the old nutrition", which was still not old enough to be the whole food nutrition of our grandparents. His concept of old, outdated nutritional ideas came from a period in post World War I history when food processing had become big business and the North American public became the victim of refined, denatured foods. Pauling became so interested in the subject of nutrition that from that time on he devoted most of his scientific effort to nutritional research, writing and education.

His "new nutrition" was based on what he called "new and better understanding" of the role of vitamin C and other nutrients. Pauling insisted that vitamins are not drugs and he promised that an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals could extend life span and years of well-being by 25 to 35 years!

"A benefit of increasing the length of the period of well-being," he said, "is that the fractions of one's life during which one is happy become greater."

He believed that, in general, youth is a time of stress when young people strive to find their places in the world. The deterioration of health in old age is another period of unhappiness and he argued that it is sensible to take measures to increase the length of that period of well-being that makes for happiness and accomplishment. And those "measures" are vitamins -- especially vitamin C.

"One gram a day improves the health quite a bit," he said in 1983. "But most people need more. Anyone with a serious infection may need as much as 100 to 200 grams per day! You can be free of colds if you take enough vitamin C."

Pauling considered vitamin C to be the most important supplement and absolutely essential for daily use, "Particularly when you are hospitalized. Don't let your doctor talk you out of it because that is when you have the greatest need of them."

In 1970 he asked Dr Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Russian scientist who first separated ascorbic acid from plant and animals tissues, what his opinion of vitamin C was in relation to optimum intake. Dr Szent-Gyorgyi replied that in his opinion the medical profession had misled the public about the importance of vitamin C.

"The medical profession said that if you don't get scurvy you are all right. I think that is a grave error. Scurvy is not the first sign of vitamin C deficiency, but a premortal syndrome. For full health you need much more."

Pauling's own recommended regimen was from six to 18 grams per day.

"Do not miss a single day!" he warned.

"Take vitamin E every day, from 400 to 1,600 international units; one or two super-B tablets every day; a 25,000 IU vitamin A tablet per day; a multimineral supplement; and keep your intake of sugar (sucrose, raw sugar, brown sugar, honey) to 50 pounds per day, which is half the present North American average!"

No soft drinks, plenty of water and an active lifestyle are also part of his regimen for low stress and happiness at any age.

"Work at a job you like," he advised, "and be happy with your family."

Dr Pauling followed his own advice in all these things. He was happily married to his wife, Ava Helen, whom he married in 1923 and who pre-deceased him in 1981. He had four children, one of whom, Dr Linus Pauling Jr, is following in his father's scientific footsteps but has not filled his shoes! He has 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

The Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in Palo Alto has established a memorial fund in memory of the man who fought for recognition of the value of vitamins in the treatment of cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. Today scientists credit Pauling with creating the most illuminating body of work in structural chemistry in the history of that discipline. But be wary of drugs," he cautioned. "That is, the over-the-counter drugs and drugs prescribed by a physician. You should, of course, also be wary of claims made for vitamins. Find out what the facts are and make the best decisions you can."

That's worthwhile advice for any generation and agrees with alive's philosophy of self-help nutritional information and education to enable each of us to take charge of our own lives. We are happy to honor the life and testimony of this great man and are grateful for his contribution to healthy living in this century.

Recommended reading;

How to Live Longer and Feel Better,


by Linus Pauling PhD (pb) 413pp $6.99

Article copyright Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.


By Rhody Lake

Dr Linus Pauling

Ted Goertzel & Ben Goertzd
Linus Pauling: A L'lfe in Science and Politics.
Basic Books, 300 pages, $27.50

Thomas Hager Force of Nature:
The Life of Linus Pauling.
Simon & Schuster, 721 pages, $35

Barbara Marinacci, editor
Linus Pauling in His Own Words:
Selected Writings, Speeches,
and Interviews. Touchstone/
Simon & Schuster, 320 pages,
$27.50; $15 paper
Looking back over Linus Pauling's life--a long one (1901-1994), blessed with huge success and every public honor--one can't avoid his aphorisms. He was a polished public speaker, a famous aphorist, more so as he grew older and broadened his range from mere solver of deep scientific problems-such as the three-dimensional structure of molecules--to international instructor on the abolition of war and disease. In his last decades, the aphorisms became vacuous. Let me illustrate.

During the 1960s, microbiologist Sol Spiegelman epitomized, in a good aphorism, the new developmental biology, formerly embryology, which was being transformed by molecular genetics. "Synthesize the right proteins in the right place, at the right time, and everything else follows." This was sure to infuriate anti-reductionists, but it could nevertheless be tested; and it proved fruitful. If, for example, you stop the right protein being made at the right place, etc., or cause the wrong one to be made, development stops or goes wrong. The role of genes was correctly implied. It didn't have to be that way: early development could in principle have needed no protein synthesis. But the advance of biomedical science since then testifies to Spiegelman's prescience.

By contrast: Barbara Marinacci's devoted editing of Linus Pauling's words offers, as epigraph to its eleventh chapter (entitled "Vitamin Crusader"), the following "favorite maxim of LP in his later, orthomolecular years";

Having the right molecules in the right amounts in the right place in the human body at the right time is a necessary condition for good health.

A bad aphorism; a tautology. It cannot be false; it cannot be tested. Anybody who defined good health as the wrong molecules in the wrong/amounts, etc., would be a fool. Yet this statement, from the greatest chemist of the twentieth century, the only winner of two unshared Nobel prizes, was a cornerstone of his late attempt to revolutionize healing, the rule of his "orthomolecular medicine:' Of course it resonates with millions of natural-foods and alternative-healing zealots, who believe that with it the specter of disease can be laid low.

Nor was Pauling, in his later years, loath to encourage such fantasies in popular books and speeches. As Ted and Ben Goertzel report in their sympathetic biography,

He did not hesitate to say that he believed that vitamin C and megavitamins, in the amounts he took and advised others to take, could cure or alleviate not only the common cold and cancer, but mental illness, viral pneumonia, hepatitis, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, chicken pox, viral orchitis, viral meningitis, shingles, fever blisters, cold sores, canker sores, and warts. A paradox: no other single scientist has so brilliantly used modern physics and the facts of chemistry (of which he was a living encyclopedia) to deduce molecular structures --and to illuminate biological functions. Speculative as it may appear to outsiders, in structural chemistry scientists come close to the ideal of objectivity. The data force it. The young Pauling was obdurate in his insistence upon full review of all the evidence, in recognizing the constraints of nature and of logic. He denounced competitors (for example Dorothy Wrinch, in the race for the polypeptide structure) who let mere plausibility outrun the evidence.

No other public figure, moreover, has so courageously faced political enemies (as Pauling faced Senator Thomas Dodd and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee), or so shamed them in public by his calm recitation of all the facts. He was, as Tom Hager has it, a force of nature. Yet in middle age and after, his energy undiminished, he was increasingly a maker of aphorisms and an advocate of nostrums that violated his exalted evidentiary standards. His pronouncements on vitamin C, as the Goertzels observe, "were not backed up by clinical studies but were based on theories he had developed to explain why vitamin C was so potent in helping the body to resist disease:' His public declarations embarrassed many friends and admirers. Hager admits that in his final years, Pauling's "scientific image changed from brilliant individualist to monomaniacal crank."

How could this happen to a humanitarian and a scientific genius? The reflex response, from those who never knew Pauling, is--a nice, ordinary. senility. But that won't do. For one thing, Pauling's wholehearted adoption of the counterculture and its shibboleths began in the prime of life. For another, the evidence of those close to him, and from his continued work in pure chemistry, is that he remained a powerful intelligence. These two engrossing biographies, agreeing remarkably on the facts but different in style and emphasis, do not address the paradox directly, although it was clearly on the minds of the authors.

Hagers is the bigger and more comprehensive work, the more literary in its effort to create and sustain suspense, to develop character beyond that of the protagonist, and to relate Pauling's story to that of academic science in America. Pauling's family background and childhood are painstakingly explored. All his scientific works are touched upon; but mainly via the relevant human relationships and very little through the substance of the science itself. This may have an unintended consequence. Social-constructivists will attribute too much of Pauling's success to his powerful sponsors-of whom there were several including the most influential chemists in the country, G. N. Lewis and A. A. Noyes--and not enough of it to the beauty and extraordinary. utility of his results.

The Goertzels do it differently. Theirs is a tersely factual account, adequately but not exhaustively documented; but it does make some effort to convey the scientific substance, hence the reasons beyond sponsors, energy, and brains, of Pauling's meteoric rise to international acclaim. His first Nobel Prize was a rare tribute to a career of superb science, rather than to a single discovery. The Goertzel volume offers explanation, within a few pages, aided by some desultory diagrams, of what exactly it was the young Pauling accomplished by producing, from then-new quantum mechanics (which worked well for simple atoms but not for molecules) and the chemistry of atoms in molecules and crystals (their "valencies"), the first adequate theory of the chemical bond. It is hard to guess what insight the Goertzels' explanatory effort will give readers who have little physics and chemistry. Probably not much. Also, given today's computer-drawn pictures of real proteins, it is strange that the Goertzels did not select appropriate graphics to illustrate Pauling's remarkable discovery of the alpha helix structure of polypeptides.

Still, the Goertzels are more realistic than Hager about Pauling's politics (including his politics of health and disease) as those emerged in his maturity (he had no politics to speak of before World War II). And the Goertzels are closer to examining the paradox of a great mind moving away from its own high standards. In fact Linus Pauling: A Lip in Science and Politics appends a personality assessment, based upon Rorschach tests, that will, depending upon one's level of respect for psychological theory, amuse or horrify, for the tests were interpreted blind-without identification of the subject --by authorities in the field.

According to Pauling, who saw it completed shortly before his death in 1994, the Marinacci volume is the closest thing to his memoirs. Assembling selected speeches, occasional writings for lay readers, and extracts from his best-selling books, with Marinacci's connectives interspersed, it will be a tool for scholars and a delight to Pauling fans; but it offers no help in understanding the paradox. Marinacci, a long-time Pauling associate, works for the Linus Pauling Institute in Alto: the book is a celebration of its founder. It cannot be expected to identify Pauling's less justifiable acts--there were those even in connection with this institute--much less to examine failings.

But failings, of course, there were. Who, even among the saints, is without them? Son of a father often absent and soon dead, fatherless as a small boy, Linus had to learn self-sufficiency. The Paulings were left, if not destitute, then in marginal circumstances. Belle Pauling, unable to make a living otherwise, used her husband's small death benefit to establish a boarding house. She was a complainer, disabled by her anemia, who made heavy demands upon her children and especially the boy. Linus worked for pay; growing up was a constant struggle for freedom and against Belle. She wanted him simply to have a well-paying job; he, recognizing his advantages, wanted escape and an education. The lonely young man was resolute to succeed, as nobody in his family had done. Thus he was a distant son and later a distant father. The one close relationship was with his wife, Ava Helen. Those two were inseparable and their division of labor was absolute. Despite her political radicalism and her activity in good works, Ava Helen's real job was family caretaker. She managed their lives; he did science. Ava Helen strove to be the perfect mother. They saw Pauling's work as too important for him to bother with domestic involvement.

He knew his own worth and learned how to maximize its yield. His sponsors at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley were masters of the social side of academic science; Pauling soon played the game as skillfully as any. The substance of his work, however, was, at least up to the time of his first defeat--Watson and Crick got first to the DNA structure--quite separate from these academic games. It was on a higher plane than that of his colleagues, and not just at Caltech. Those around him knew it. He got the support he needed because the science was indisputably the best of its kind. It required certain characteristics of mind: high intelligence, skill in mathematics, a powerful memory,, the courage to simplify --even to oversimplify--to make a problem accessible to modeling, and a heroic work ethic. When Pauling had worried a problem long enough, an answer came. It was usually right; and he knew it. He was immensely self-confident. Thereafter he simply pushed his solution. Addressing one of the many investigative boards before which he had, later, to defend himself against charges of Communist affiliation, Pauling once said, eschewing false modesty, "I have, I think, a broader grasp of science as a whole--mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology,, and geology (mineralogy) -- than any other man in the United States."

A self-assured genius, then, is confronted, in mid-life, first with the menacing facts of nuclear bomb testing, and second by the left-wing activism of his beloved and admirable wife. He reads some of the literature, thinks the problem through, and decides--that testing must stop. It makes sense! Already a hero, he gets to work and is soon the most famous crusader for a test-ban. Outside the usa, this gets him an avalanche of thanks and love. To the lecture halls packed with admiring scientists are now added public amphitheaters filled with wildly-cheering crowds. His speeches become simpler, even simplistic. There is no place for the nuances, the assessments of all the evidence, upon which his work in chemistry had stood. Being right comes first. And his political enemies lose, in the end, not only for good reasons of science (there is danger in adding fallout to the background radiation, by definition, however trivial the increment) but for complex political ones of which he is probably unaware. A treaty is signed. Pauling receives for this fight his second Nobel--the Peace Prize.

He had overstated the consequences of fallout, and ignored the serious politics of the arms race; but the other side, led by Edward Teller and others, had understated the consequences of fallout and been obsessed with the (real) deceptions of the Soviet Union.

What does such a man do then, when in the course of fighting he discovers that (I) he can sway multitudes; (2) enemies have conspired against him; (3) those enemies are members of elites; and (4) morality and politics are easy, after all? Why, he sees a problem, thinks it through, gathers facts (especially as they come from sources he can trust, e.g., a wonderful wife); he applies his powers of modeling, makes a theory, and then--goes for it! Needed are only self-confidence, an unquenchable thirst for recognition, and a ready audience. All those Pauling had. Thus, Goertzel:

There is a striking contrast between Pauling's scientific thinking, which was innovative and highly complex, and his political thought, which was simple and predictable. His political speeches were similar to those being given by thousands of other New Left radicals at the same time . . . . In his scientific work, he sought out difficult unresolved problems. In his political rhetoric, he avoided the difficult issues, such as how to reconcile revolutionary egalitarianism with the need for economic incentives and human rights.

In the final period, vitamin-time, Pauling's politics were fully integrated with his scientific thinking. Hubris and adulation, however much the latter was deserved, drove him; the desire to make more dazzling discoveries, to be once more the winner, was not to be denied. Taking from a biochemist, Irwin Stone, certain plausible but unproven ideas on the role of vitamin C in the maintenance of bodily functions, Paulfling ran with them. No longer did he examine all the evidence, as had been his iron rule in the past. He made a theory based upon a theory, incorporated in it his new abhorrence of elites (in this case, the medical profession), his radical-egalitarian politics, and his genuinely humanitarian instincts. He was convinced that disease, like war, could be ended if people would just look at the logic of things, his way.

Humans cannot make vitamin C--that's why it is a "vitamin": it needs to be taken with food Most other life-forms can make it. How could this have happened? By a gene mutation, somewhere on the synthetic pathway for vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It probably didn't matter among our remote ancestors: their frugivorous diet provided huge quantifies of C. What happens in C deficiency? Scurvy, which, at various stages presents the stigmata of many other diseases! How much C, then, should humans really take in? Well, much more than the government's minimum daily requirement, more than is needed just to hold off scurvy!

This was the beginning of the mega-vitamin craze, toward the end of which Pauling treated his wife's cancer with mega-doses of C (she died of cancer) and his own (he died of cancer). In the arguments that occupied his final days, disinterested use of all the evidence, which had so distinguished his early science, had vanished. Pauling's praxis reverted to the epistemology of politics: put the best possible spin on all results; give opposing claims, but not your own, the most skeptical review; take credit for good happenings; blame the other side for bad ones: that's the truth.

It may yet turn out, not only that eating large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidant vitamins, does lower a bit the probability of developing some cancers-or a cold--but also that megadoses of C should be everybody's daily. Given present evidence, however, it does not look that way. For one thing, megadoses have potential dangers. There was and is no unequivocal evidence for large protective effects, much less of cures for any disease--except scurvy. Like his early speculations on immunity, Pauling's "orthomolecular" medicine is a set of plausible but rather naive proposals. His war against the Solons of medicine was primarily an emotional and political war. In most of it, there was no sign of that lucid, self-critical, scientific intelligence by which he had become the emperor of chemistry.


reviewed by Paul R. Gross

Orthomolecular Treatment of Cancer

For 25 years I have been involved with cancer -- having treated over 20,000 patients whose malignancies have covered the entire spectrum of types, grades and involved organs. And I have learned an important lesson: Aside from specific compounds and treatment protocols, nutrition and whole foods are not only important for support but they are in fact, essential in overcoming a condition like cancer.

"Orthomolecular medicine" is the key phrase to describe the above.

My knowledge of nutritional therapy began with Dr. Bernard Jensen in 1964-67. I was able to spend a good deal of time with this pioneer of nutrition and bowel cleansing while visiting his Hidden Valley Health Ranch. There, I saw some cancer patients who were improving simply by including raw vegetable juices and goat milk in their diets, along with supplements. I asked myself, "How is it possible that natural food can heal?"

We know the answer now -- but during those early years nutrition was always neglected, particularly at the therapeutic level. Several decades and much pioneering research later, we realize that both the regression of cancer and even the extension of lite can be greatly influenced by proper nutrition.

Even today, hospitalized cancer patients usually are eating the wrong foods and receive no dietary advice for their followup treatments.

In research over the past several decades it was found that significant numbers of people were lacking adequate levels of various nutrients -- which almost immediately focused attention on cancer and dietary connections.

In Nutrition and Cancer: State of the Art, Dr. Sandra Goodman succinctly condensed more than 5,000 scientific and medical reports on the nutritional/cancer connection.( 1)

And Drs. Stephen Levine and Parris Kidd suggested that cancer might primarily develop from genetically-damaged cells which were deficient in antioxidant nutrients and thus susceptible to mutation.( 2) Recent research has shown that cells treated with radiation, which produces reactive oxygen species (ROS), or exposed directly to oxidants, can be transformed into cancer cells.( 3)

Administration of Vitamin C or E with selenium prior to radiation markedly reduces rates of malignant cellular transformation. We know that DNA damage caused by ROS and certain lipid peroxides produces a large array of altered molecules.

Hydroxy radicals or singlet oxygen can convert a guanine base to 8-hydroxyguanine which, if not managed by DNA repair enzymes, results in a specific mutation when a cell divides. According to such scientists as Carmina Borek, ROS cause genetic damage, but supplemental antioxidant vitamins are key factors in protecting against this process at an early stage.( 4)

Metabolic activity in cellular mitochondria also produces ROS called superoxides, negatively charged oxygen molecules which normally are converted into hydrogen peroxide by the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Normally, the potentially dangerous hydrogen peroxide is deactivated by another enzyme in cellular peroxysomes and converted into harmless oxygen and waste by the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. But as cells age (or are genetically damaged) the necessary conversion enzymes are not produced fast enough. So superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide begin to accumulate, an activity which may force a cell to switch from an aerobic to an anaerobic state.

Health and disease, then, may be connected to cellular mitochondria. Various lines of research and experience( 5) suggest that the health of a cancer patient improves stepwise through enhancement of cellular respiration, since through such stimulation regulating systems and endogenous synthesis mechanisms -- hormone synthesis, for example -- are starting up again.

Animal research has shown that intoxication of cellular respiration leads to the inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation in healthy specimens. A condition of toxic cell respiration results in a substantial drop in respiration centers (mitochondria count). Subsequent generations demonstrate disturbed mitochondria and a considerable loss thereof, just as is evident in malignant cells.

Dr. Paul Seeger's significant discovery was that the inactivation and destruction of the most important enzyme in the mitochondrial respiratory chain -- cytochrome oxidase (cytochrome a/a3) -- may be the prime cause of cancer.( 6) More recently, researchers have found that there is a 15% decrease in cytochrome oxidase activity in Alzheimer's disease.( 7)

In some diseases there are factors which affect mitochondrial functions in a similar way which may lead to somatic mutation through free radical activation. These include genetic elements which act as if they were oxidative enzymes and antioxidant-rich diets.

Too, since cytochrome oxidase a/a3 is the enzyme responsible for transferring hydrogen (derived from foods in the diet) to the oxygen delivered by hemoglobin, hydrogen accumulates in cancer cells, forcing them to derive energy by switching from the aerobic to the phylogenetically older and less efficient fermentation mode.

These vital scientific facts are completely overlooked by present-day "orthodox" approaches to cancer -- yet they are absolutely essential to an understanding of the malignant process. Only with an intact cellular respiration apparatus can all nutritive substances be "breathed in" to the mitochondria, a process which provides the energy for synthesizing mechanisms of metabolism, genetics and the immune system. Hence, recovery from disease is only possible with an intact metabolism.

My personal approach to cancer, developed over almost three decades, includes the restoration of cellular respiration through the use of specific "redox" substances. There is no doubt that the physical condition of the cancer patient improves step by step through strengthening cellular respiration -- itself a pre-condition for human health in general.

The level of intestinal flora is also vital in maintaining the body's equilibrium, since such flora are both barriers to colonization by pathogenic germs and primary components of the human immune system.

Recently, extensive immunological studies carried out with a variety of microorganisms showed that preparations of the whole cells or cell-wall components of several bacteria and fungi are effective in provoking immune responses when parenterally administered to animals and humans and work as biological response modifiers.( 8)

Since mucosal surfaces constitute some 200-300 m( 3) of the body it is obvious that they are primary contact points with the environment.

Most of my cancer patients suffer from nutritional deficiencies before diagnosis and even more so during the earlier treatment of their disease since chemotherapeutic agents negatively affect levels of such nutrients as Vitamins E, B6, beta carotene, SOD and glutathione, hence exacerbating the inflammatory process.

Inappropriate foods consumed during the course of the disease may linger in the body longer since they are improperly digested, absorbed and excreted. The rule of thumb here is -- the greater the body's intoxication the lower the immune response. Patients need to know that elements of what is eaten may remain in the intestinal tract for a week or more as the body struggles to detoxify itself.

We must understand that many inappropriate foods produce waste products which are deposited in the transit passages of mesenchymes, which not only interferes with oxygen transfer but also impairs the reticuloendothelial cells needed to help fight cancer.

In a lecture I delivered at the University of Urbino Institute of Holistic Medicine in Italy I pointed out that diets must contain as much natural food as possible.( 9) Some recent medical research has proved that the more fresh and unprocessed food we eat, the better chance of staying healthy and being protected against disease but there also is a better chance to make cancer therapy more effective.( 10)

Research also shows that natural foods contain a wide range of antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic compounds including anthocyanidins, catechins, resveratrol, flavonoid polypherols, isoflavones, and histidine, to name only a few of the more prominent.

Since so much food is now industrially processed and natural ingredients are often removed it has become difficult for patients to have access to organic food -- the reason why dietary supplements have become so important.

The Health Status of Cancer Patients

In most cancer cases, we find evidence of degenerative processes and organic dysfunction. The malignant process involves general organic dysfunction, deregulation of the immune system, tissue intoxication and, in virtually every case, some damage to the intestines and liver. Indeed, the gastrointestinal and liver problems which lead to constipation are responsible for many disturbances in the body including those of the nervous system. Since excess toxins from microbial invasion are poisoning the blood, there is less oxygen and cell respiration is affected.

In a survey of 1,000 patients from our files monitored by various kinds of diagnostics and questionnaires over more than two decades, we found the following results:

Percentage of Chronic Organic Dysfunctions





Nervous system




Circulatory disorders 80%



Venous congestion



Endogenous toxins


Exogenous drugs




Several diagnostic and monitoring techniques, including peripheral blood analysis, which can detect more than 30 blood morphologies,( 10) provide evidence of nutritional and metabolic deficiencies, including oxidative stress, in these patients.

High-resolution microscopic evaluation of red blood cells is one of the best methods for determining oxidative stress, nutrient deficiency and membrane damage caused by intracellular oxygen starvation. The latter is a result of the accumulation and leakage of non-oxidized end products of glycolysis due to reduced mitochondrial function.

Red cells contain various enzymes necessary for their function and defense such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (G.Px), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PH), and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Deficiencies of these enzymes render red cells more sensitive to membrane alterations.

A G6PH deficiency, for example, makes the membrane protein spectrine particularly sensitive to oxidative stress, which not only alters the membrane but renders it so tight it blocks the cell's ability to enter tiny blood vessels.

We have demonstrated clearly that degenerative processes and a precancerous condition may be detected through the microscopic evaluation of red cell morphology and physiology. This observation is one of the most important developments in metabolic medicine.

Staging the Nutritional Approach to Cancer

The biological approach to cancer treatment takes into account such important elements as the age of the patient, location of the tumor and its physical condition.

While we cannot fully detail individual cancer protocols here, we have classified the varying cancer stages into four categories:

Evolution stage
Critical stage
Irreversible stage
Death stage
Live Yeast Oxygen Cell Preparation

The bedrock of my method is the live yeast oxygen cell preparation, a combination of natural ingredients for nutritional support, detoxification, increase in cellular respiration and lowering of tumor virulence. The preparation includes enzymes and molecules of Krebs Cycle substrates for the restoration of enzyme activity encoded by the mitochondrial DNA.

Zell-Oxygen, developed by the late Dr. S. Wolz of Germany, once a collaborator of the late Dr. Otto Warburg, who was a pioneer in nutritional approaches to cancer, contains live yeast cells and intact mitochondria, whose billions of enzymes immediately pass from the intestine to the bloodstream to assist in the biological regeneration of the body.

Zell-Oxygen is prepared from apple, lemon and grapefruit juices and essential fatty acids from germ oil extract. It is developed over a 55-day culturing process in the presence of oxygen to enhance the formation of Krebs Cycle substrates and mitochondrial respiratory chains.

The preparation consists of nutrients -- live young oxygen cells -- which are virtually identical to various biological substances in the human body, including identical repair mechanisms.

Live yeast cells prepared without heat contain intact all the enzymes of the Krebs Cycle and redox system such as glutathione. The latter is the major enzymatic defense against cellular peroxide accumulation, and may be genetically depleted. In vitro glutathione-depleted cells are highly susceptible to cytotoxicity by fluorouracil because their detoxification abilities have been compromised.

Live yeast cells contain: Protein -- 46.5g per 100g of dried yeast; Vitamin B complex -- 10g of live yeast cells covers the daily requirement of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12; Amino acids -- contains all, including methionine, essential for detoxification; Nucleic acids -- adenine nucleic, ribonucleic acid; Polysaccharides -- Includes glucan and mannon, since they are particualrly useful in immune function; Antioxidants -- Vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc.

Live yeast cells provide substances essential for the regeneration of enzymatic respiration such as cytochrome, cysteine, methionine and choline, all of which raise membrane potential, which may fall by a tenth as the result of toxins. They also have a detoxifying effect which prevents mutagenic and carcinogenic changes.

Live yeast cells also contain coenzyme A, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) at a high level, cytochrome and SOD. It should be noted that Zell-Oxygen is also the richest source of glutathione.

Biochemically, Zell-oxygen (young yeast cells) regenerates the mitochondrial respiratory fermentation process. Electro-chemical measurement of the respiration of cancer cells (100 animals tested by Seeger and Schacht, 1957) showed that the proliferation rate, or virulence, of cancer cells is inversely proportional to their respiratory intensity.( 11)

Thus, if the respiration of the cancer cell is reactivated by cell respiration activators or hydrogen accepters, CoQ10 levels will increase and virulence will be lowered.

According to Dutch physician Cornelius Moerman several substances, particularly yeast cells with a high enzyme content, the Vitamin B complex, Vitamins A, C, E, and iodine, citric acid, sulfur and iron must be added to the diet to overcome functional disturbances and metabolic disease.

The biological compound Zell-Oxygen contains all of the above -- all necessary to cancer recovery. To quote another thinker: "By healing the human being in its entirety by means of integrative treatment -- and not just the externally visible tumor symptoms -- there is a chance to get the disease under control."

Zell-Oxygen also has a role to play in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The blood of CFS patients reveals the following characteristics in microscopic analysis:

Abnormally shaped red cells partially infected with fungi.
Bacterial growth in blood plasma.
Following administration of Zell-Oxygen, red cells begin to demonstrate normal morphology and there is decreased bacterial growth.

Since Zell-Oxygen increases oxygen levels and cellular respiration, there is an increase in ATP production. It is interesting to observe how cancer patients increase both their psychological and energy levels with this product.

Among other actions, Zell-Oxygen detoxifies the liver, blood and intestines by restoring the membrane stimulation of microflora and destroying fungi, which in time promotes bowel movement.

Our experience with Zell-Oxygen during the past 25 years has clearly shown that by administering it before surgery and radiation there is a decreased chance of metastasis, as in breast cancer.

Since, as stated, Zell-oxygen acts as dietary supplementation to treat nutritional deficiency, we have seen that within one to three months, depending on the case, administration of this product helps stabilize blood components. The widespread positive results from Zell-Oxygen prove the utter necessity of sound nutritional supplementation in cancer cases.


The second most important anti-cancer compound I have been using, since 1973, is organic germanium (biscarboethyl germanium sesquioxide), also called GE-132 or Geoxy 132.

Germanium has demonstrated significant efficacy against tumor growth, metastasis and advanced cancer. Considerable research has shown that germanium, as GE 132, is a regulator of immunity and stimulates interferon.12 It stimulates NK cells, known to be a key component of the body's natural defense against metastasis.

Most importantly, germanium is an energy stimulator and oxygen catalyst. Because of its electronic structure, the metal not only functions as an "electron sink" during energy regeneration but also acts directly on tumor membrane cells.

In addition, germanium is an antioxidant and antiviral and, overall, a life enhancer.

We have used germanium on all kinds of tumors and on several thousand cases with doses up to 500 mg daily without side effects. Remarkable results are obtained particularly when it is accompanied by Zell-Oxygen.

We have even seen 100% elimination of breast tumors.

Our records include numerous 15-year survivors with this protocol.

Daily Protocol and Nutritional Supplementation


preparation (liquid) 15-30 ml in red beet juice

Organic germanium


300-500 mg

Bamboo leaf extract

25 drops in water X 3


(oxidative agent)

15 drops in water X 3 or 4


19-20 capsules


1 tbsp. in 1 cup

(dimethyl sulfoxide)

tomato juice X 3

Other products we use include:

Chitin (polysaccharide)

SGES (an energy stone which allegedly produces a "growth ray" radiation level vital for all living things. Since we began using SGES we have seen remarkable results in breast and larynx cancer, particularly when the primary tumor has not been removed.)

Condurango (bark extract from an African tree, used as drops in stomach cancer.)

Pau d'arco (500 mg; herbal tea)

Additional injectable therapy (AIT) for breast, colon, lung cancer:

Combination of GE132 ( 2-3cc), glutathione (1 cc), taurine (1 cc)

(This additional therapy works well in reducing aggressive tumors prior to surgery and may be used in other conditions, including liver involvement. We often include DMSO when the tumor is unusually resistant. We have seen even highly resistant tumors decrease by as much as 2 cm in one week.)

Clinical Cases

Pancreatic (stage 3) in a 71-year-old male. He first saw me in June 1989 following surgery the month prior. He was weak and had lost 55 kg of weight. Since doctors found his case hopeless, his family refused even palliative chemotherapy. He began the protocol, including 300 mg daily of germanium. In a month's time he had regained six pounds and felt much stronger. He continued treatment with nutritional support, including raw vegetable juices, until April 1990, consistently showing remarkable improvement. He continues to visit me three times a year and has returned to a normal life.

Colon (stage 2) in a 32-year-old male. Suffering as well from liver metastasis and with a very weakened condition and without appetite, he first saw me in 1978 following colon surgery. He began the protocol including 400 mg of germanium. A month later he had gained 8 pounds and his bowels regained normal function. He continued the treatment for six months and gained another 8 pounds. At that point scans showed his liver to be free of metastasis.

Lung (stage 3) in a 54-year-old male. He was extremely weak following radiation therapy and had lost weight. He decided against continued orthodox treatment and began our protocol, including 400 mg germanium per day and 30 ml of Zell-Oxygen three times per day. The primary tumor disappeared after three months.

Breast (stage 3) in a 31-year-old female. She had had a mastectomy of her left breast in 1988 followed by 50 cobalt treatments. Some three months later she felt pain in her spine, whereupon her medical doctor diagnosed rheumatism. Since pain persisted she underwent further testing in a hospital, where a bone metastasis was discovered. She began our protocol including 300 mg of germanium daily and Zell-Oxygen. At five months she was free of metastasis and continued to take germanium 200 mg per day and Zell-Oxygen for another year. She has a normal life and is cancer-free today.

Brain (stage 3) in an 11-year-old boy. Surgery was performed in 1988 following diagnosis, with partial ablation noted. Followup radiation was unable to destroy the remaining tumor tissue. Following two more surgeries the boy's condition was judged desperate. His parents referred him to me January 19, 1989, after learning from medical doctors that he probably did not have another year to live. His case was considered irreversible and I explained to his parents I might not be able to save him. They persisted, so I decided to experiment a couple of months with germanium (250 mg/day) and capsules of a complex of thymus extract, enzymes and vitamins. After a month there was overall improvement, he had recovered his appetite and had gained weight. I increased the germanium to 400 mg daily for two weeks and then 300 mg daily together with my herbal combination formula Apizellin. Throughout 1989 he followed this protocol, including nutritional support and a raw vegetable diet. MRI scans in 1990 found no trace of tumor. He continued treatments and visits to my office. Today he is 20 years old and studying medicine at Lisbon University.

Ovarian (stage 3) in a 42-year-old female. She had been on chemotherapy and had suffered serious side effects and severe deterioration. We treated her from 1989 to 1992 with a protocol including germanium (300 mg daily), Zell-Oxygen, Squalene, and the Xian-Tian Chinese herbal combination. She discontinued chemotherapy. Despite good and bad periods, by 1993 she was tumor-free and by her 1997 checkup she remained in stable condition.

Stomach (stage 3) in a 56-year-old female. She underwent a partial gastrectomy on August 23, 1994, followed by chemotherapy. She had a prior history of liver and lung cysts with cancer diagnosed six months later. Suffering severe side effects from chemotherapy, after 36 treatments she discontinued the latter and opted for alternative therapy. She followed a strict diet together with our protocol. From 1994 to 1996, seeing some relief from her general physical condition, stomach pain and poor appetite. With care, huge quantities of fresh vegetables and natural foods, she overcome her condition. By early 1997 scans detected no sign of tumor activity. By late 1997 she remained stable and tumor-free and continues to take condurango.

Breast (stage 3) in a 56-year-old female. This was a situation in which the primary tumor could not be removed. She had earlier refused chemotherapy as a treatment for possible tumor reduction prior to surgery. During her first consultation a peripheral blood test revealed a huge, highly inflammatory tumor. We began a protocol including GE132, Zell-Oxygen, DMSO, Squalene and bamboo extract. After a month the inflammation had lessened and there was less pain. She followed a strict diet including fresh vegetable juices. In 1995 we began energy-stone therapy (SGES) together with DMSO, Squalene and Zell-Oxygen. Both the tumor and inflammation continue to diminish. (In July 1997 her sister, who also developed breast carcinoma, but followed only orthodox medical protocols, died. This had a negative psychological effect on my patient and she developed severe anemia, which we were able to bring under control. Hospital evaluations continue to show no trace of metastasis to her liver, lungs or bones.)

Brain (stage 2) in a 19-year-old male. He had undergone two unsuccessful surgeries followed by radiation. He developed hemiplegia, walked with great difficulty and had lost the use of his right hand. We started him on a protocol including 300 mg daily of GE 132. Although he had improved after a month, due to earlier radiation damage we decided to include injectable germanium (3 cc three times per week) along with the 200 mg oral. In two months he had greatly improved his walking capacity and could again use his right hand. There was no further need for corticosteroids. We decided to experiment with SGES and Zell-Oxygen, but after two months his orthodox medical doctors decided to initiate chemotherapy, with which I disagreed. Three months later he felt so poorly he decided to discontinue chemotherapy; his parents agreed. We continued treatments with Zell-Oxygen and SGES. He began showing significant improvement in 1997 and by the end of the year he was stable. He began swimming to recover his mobility. He continues to take germanium and Zell-Oxygen.


These are only a few samples from thousands of cases treated over the course of 25 years. But from them we may draw some interesting conclusions:

In 80% of cases, cancer patients improve their physical condition between 15 and 60 days.
Significant survival rates are achievable even in late-stage cancer. In 30% of these there may actually be disease reversal, as in breast or prostate cancer with bone or liver metastases. Some of the late-stage breast and larynx cancer cases first seen by us in 1982, and some never having had surgery, died only recently (1994-1996), demonstrating that survival time extension with good quality of life is always possible.

In breast cancer, these protocols reduce by 80% to 100% metastases subsequent to surgery in 35% of cases; they reduce tumors in 30% of cases without metastases; and another third who develop metastases consequent to chemotherapy will recover completely.

We can inhibit tumor growth and metastases by increasing each individual's total host defense system or resistance -- meaning the nervous, genetic and immune systems and cellular respiration. There is widespread evidence of the prevention of metastasis, and in many cases we have found chemotherapy and radiation to be of no benefit. In fact, they may enhance both tumor growth and metastasis.

We can monitor the results of our protocols step by step though peripheral blood tests (detecting morphological changes in red cells, observing immune cell activity, etc.), serum protein profiles and other useful evaluations.

Dr. Serge Jurasunas

Natiris Centro Dietetico LDA

Rua de San Antonio A Estrella 31-B

1350 Lisbon, Portugal

Fax: 011-351-1390-3908

(1.) Goodman, Sandra, Nutrition: State of the Art and Cancer. 1995.

(2.) Levine, Stephen A., and Kidd, Parris M., Antioxidant Adaptation: Its Role in Free Radical Pathology. San Leandro C: Allergy Research Group (USA), 1986.

(3.) Borek, Carmina, Science/Medicine, Nov./Dec. 1997.

(4.) Ibid.

(5.) Douglas, C. Wallace, Scientific American. Aug. 1997.

(6.) Wolz, S., Zell-Hefepraparate. Buist publishers. 1995.

(7.) Parker, W. Davis and Davis, Robert E., The Hypothesis of Mitochondrions. La Reserche, 1997.

(8.) Yamaguchi, Hideo, Potential usefulness of microbial products as beneficial biological response modifiers. Tokyo: Teikyo University School of Medicine, 1992.

(9.) Jurasunas Serge, A Biological Answer to the Treatment of Degenerative Diseases, Aging and Cancer Through Live Yeast Oxygen Cells. Lisbon: Natiris, 1997.

(10.) Bradford, RW, and Allen, HW, Oxidology. Chula Vista CA: The Bradford Foundation (USA), 1997.

(11.) Wolz, op. cit.

(12.) GE 132 induces interferon and activates Mo and NK cells. Report from St. Marianna University, Tokyo.

(13.) Jurasunas, Serge, Germanium -- An Answer to Cancer and AIDS. Lisbon: Natiris, 1989.

Article copyright Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients.


By Serge Jurasunas

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