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A Healthy Diet Will Slow and/or Stop Most Cancers. Why Not?

Updated February 28, 2015

More than 30 years ago, I (John McDougall, MD) performed and published the first study on the dietary treatment of breast cancer. Although it was a small study circulated by an obscure journal, this was an important beginning for the current medical thinking that a healthy diet should be fundamental therapy recommended by physicians for all cancer patients.


Research at that time (before the 1980s) had shown that overweight women with high levels of cholesterol, estrogen, and prolactin in their blood died sooner from their breast cancer than women with lower values. This study demonstrated that the McDougall Diet improves all of these prognostic factors without costs or side effects. The ultimate benefits are predicted to be a reduced risk for recurrence of the cancer and a longer life. “Cure” is the proper word to use for patients who live out their normal life expectancy: See the story of one of my study’s original participants, Ruth Heidrich, below.

The McDougall Diet is based on common starches, like beans, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice with some green and yellow vegetables and fruits. No vegetable oils. No supplements.

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