Andrew W. Saul Interviewed by Nancy Desjardins

Andrew W. Saul: How Vitamins Fight Disease


Click here to watch a video of Andrew Saul discussing vitamin C therapy for cancer on Youtube in an excerpt from the movie FOODMATTERS.


Andrew W. Saul Interviewed by Nancy Desjardins

Thursday, March 18, 2010



I’m really excited because I have the privilege to have on the call Dr. Andrew Saul. We’re going to talk about what you can do to get well using vitamins, not drugs. We’re going to talk about supplementation to optimize the body’s immune defenses. Dr. Andrew Saul has 34 years’ experience in natural health education with an amazing website with lots of information, Dr. Saul is the author of the popular books, Doctor Yourself and Fire Your Doctor!, and also co-author of The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism, Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone; Vitamin C: The Real Story, and I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? Dr. Saul has been awarded the Citizens for Health Outstanding Health Freedom Activist Award, was named one of seven natural health pioneers by Psychology Today, and is featured in the movie “Food Matters.””



   Nancy Desjardins:  Dr. Saul, what first attracted you to natural healing and inspired you to write Doctor Yourself and Fire Your Doctor!, and especially, I Have Cancer: What Should I Do?


   Andrew Saul:  Probably the thing that made the biggest impact on me was when my first child was born. I was the old age of 22. They put the baby in my care and said, “Here, Dad.” Looking at that child and then watching the hospital mishandle him for the next day or so convinced me that I had to do something. In fact, I took my wife and son out of the hospital after just a day—which at the time was short—in a raging blizzard against the nurses’ and the doctors’ orders because they were making my child sick; and my wife, too.


I knew something was wrong. I could see that. They were feverish. They were fretting. They weren’t eating. They were getting ill. I took them home, and then I was faced with the question, “Now what?” You can’t just say no to medical care. You have to say yes to an alternative. The alternative has to be at least as effective, and certainly had better be a lot safer.


My reading and my experience over the last 34 years has taught me that orthomolecular medicine, or nutritional medicine, is the safest and most effective way to prevent and treat illness. Most people would agree that nutrition is good. Most doctors agree that vitamins are good, but what they don’t tell you is that very high doses of vitamins are curative.


You mentioned cancer. The biggest motivators behind the cancer book, which is called I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? are my co-authors. My co-authors are Michael Gonzalez and Jorge Miranda-Massari. They’re both professors at the University of Puerto Rico Health Sciences campus. Jorge and Michael both worked with Dr. Hugh Riordan, a specialist in orthomolecular medicine.


Dr. Hugh Riordan was also a colleague of mine on the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. We all got together and were taking a very close look at what Dr. Riordan had been doing. He’d been treating cancer patients with extremely high doses of vitamin C orally and intravenously. Dr. Riordan started doing this in the late 1960s. That is quite a long time ago.


Dr. Riordan found that up to 100,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day, given intravenously to guarantee absorption, is selectively toxic to cancer cells. Jorge and Michael have confirmed this. This is the kind of news that I think people need to know. If there’s somebody in your family with cancer, or if you’re fighting this dread disease, you need to know that very high doses of vitamin C kills cancer cells, just like chemotherapy.


You can imagine that it is much safer, and you’re right. Vitamin C does not harm good healthy cells. It only kills cancer cells. This is tremendously important, and that’s why the book was written.


   Nancy Desjardins:  How much vitamin C is needed to achieve the results?


   Andrew Saul:  More than you ever thought. I mentioned Dr. Riordan used as much as 100,000 milligrams a day. Dr. Ian Brighthope in Australia has used 200,000 milligrams. These are enormous amounts. Other researchers have used as little as 10,000 milligrams a day, but again, this is intravenously. For most of us, we’re thinking, “Gee, an IV. That means I have to find a doctor and a hospital—or certainly a doctor—who will administer that.”


That’s a problem. One good thing we do in the cancer book, I Have Cancer: What Should I Do?, is to outline how you also can take very high oral doses. Absorption is not as good orally. The fact is that intravenously it’s guaranteed that 100% of the vitamin C goes into the bloodstream. It can fight the cancer. It can build the body’s immune system. Then you excrete it over time, and then you add more.


With oral doses of vitamin C you have to get the vitamin C into the body. The body is very good at absorbing vitamin C. The sicker you are, the more you hold. People are always asking, “Exactly how much?” and that’s a good question. The answer is that it depends from person to person on your age, your weight and, especially, if you’re sick or not.


The way you can tell with oral doses is that you look at what Dr. Robert Cathcart called ‘bowel tolerance’. That’s exactly what you think it is. Bowel tolerance means you take as much C as you possibly can until you get loose stools. This is an indicator of saturation. It’s a very important point. If you want to know how much C you should take, you can read about it, you can think about it, or you can do what works.


You can take the amount of C that gets the job done. How do you know you’re taking enough C? You feel better. People who are in pain will have less pain. People who have nausea will have less nausea. People who have radiation burns or chemo side effects will have fewer of them. People who have had surgery will find they have quicker wound healing. People who have lost their appetite will find that their appetite is normalized.


How do you know if you took too much C? You’ll have loose stools. The jingle I tell people is, “Take enough C to be symptom-free, whatever the amount might be.” It’s corny, but it works. There are two ways you can do this. You can either do the IV, which is ideal, or you can do oral doses to bowel tolerance.


   Nancy Desjardins:  Is there any specific vitamin C that you recommend, Dr. Saul?


   Andrew Saul:  Nope. You just need a lot of it. This gets me in trouble. A lot of people think you should use a certain brand, you should use a natural C, or you should get your vitamin C entirely from foods. Those are not bad ideas, but they dodge the point. The point is the cancer research that shows that vitamin C works has all used ascorbic acid; the cheapest form there is.


It’s the same stuff that Grandma would use when she canned peaches. You can buy ascorbic acid for around $25 a pound on the Internet; it’s non-prescription. A pound is 454 grams, and a gram is a quarter teaspoon. You get 454 quarter-teaspoon doses of 1,000 milligrams each for $25, which explains right away why the pharmaceutical industry is not promoting this.


It explains also why you don’t hear about it on television, in newspapers or magazines. There is no money in a $25-a-pound therapy. Good health makes sense, but good health doesn’t make a lot of dollars.


   Nancy Desjardins:  That’s why we are responsible for our health. Going back to the orthomolecular medicine, not everyone understands the term. Can you explain this field of study?


   Andrew Saul:  Yes. Orthomolecular is a big word, but it basically means ‘the right molecule’. The right molecule means the nutrients and substances that the body is made up of. Orthomolecular medicine is giving more of what your body needs, things that your body knows what to use and knows what to do with. We have millions of years of practice using them.


The other type of medicine—allopathic, toximolecular, or modern medicine—gives drugs. Many of these drugs, unfortunately, have side effects. Sometimes the side effects are serious. Every year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 100,000 people die of drug side effects. These are people just in hospitals who took the drug as directed. The drug was correctly prescribed. This does not include mistakes.


If we’re killing over 100,000 people a year with drugs taken as directed and correctly prescribed, the next question everybody has is, “What about vitamins? Are they safe?” Orthomolecular medicine uses mega-doses of vitamins, and people think, “There has to be a catch here somewhere.” Let’s take a look. If we look at the recent report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, we find that all across the United States 61 poison control centers provide data on who dies from what.


In 2008, the most recent year for which there is reporting, not one person died from a vitamin. Not one person died from an herb. Not one person died from an amino acid. Not one person died from a dietary mineral supplement, not one. Whenever someone says to you—and it might even be your doctor—“Vitamins are good, but those high doses could be toxic,” you have to answer this question: “Where are the bodies?”


Nobody dies from these substances. It doesn’t mean that you should use them carelessly, because if you take too much of certain vitamins you can have a side effect. Of course, but the margin for error with vitamins is enormous. With vitamin C the side effect is loose stools. For some people another side effect of taking too much vitamin C orally might be stomach upset.


This is partly because vitamin C is ascorbic acid, and ascorbic acid is a weak acid. It’s not as bad as you think. If you can eat three oranges, if you can drink a glass of Coca-Cola, or if you can add vinegar on your fish fry or on your salad, you can handle ascorbic acid because ascorbic acid is a very weak acid. In fact, your normal natural stomach acid is over 50 times stronger than vitamin C.


Your stomach is designed to handle acid. Have you ever noticed when someone throws up? It’s a gross thought, but what can I say? When someone vomits they can feel the burn in their throat, can’t they? That’s stomach acid. People who have a lot of problems with hiatal hernias or reflux can actually regurgitate enough acid over a period of months where they damage and scar the throat.


Vitamin C could not do that on a bet. It’s impossible. It’s the same way that you couldn’t put vinegar in your automobile’s battery and work your car. Your car battery requires sulfuric acid. It’s a very strong acid. Your stomach acid is only slightly weaker than car-battery acid. Vitamin C is about the same as a cola soft drink. There’s a huge difference. Nevertheless, some people are sensitive to vitamin C because of the acidity.


The good news is they can take a buffered form of vitamin C. I’m going to assume your listeners would like to know about that. Here are the different ways you buffer vitamin C. One way you can buffer vitamin C is to take it with food or with liquid. When you take ibuprofen, for instance, you know that you have to take ibuprofen with food and water; one or the other, but preferably both.


If you don’t, it can sit funny and can even cause some damage to your stomach. You’re advised to take many drugs with food or water to relieve the side effects of that particular medicine. One way to buffer is by taking vitamin C with food, water, juice, a snack, or with a meal. Another way to buffer vitamin C is to take it along with a calcium supplement, any calcium supplement.


I would recommend using a calcium magnesium supplement because Americans tend to be low on magnesium, especially teenaged and young women. A little extra magnesium can help relieve cramping, and that’s a very common problem that women have who are in the child-bearing years. Another way you can buffer vitamin C is to buy buffered vitamin C. There are several forms.


One form, which is not common, is called ascorbyl palmitate. That’s neutral and is actually a precursor of C. That’s kind of expensive. Another way is to buy calcium ascorbate. That’s a non-acidic vitamin C that’s linked chemically with calcium. Calcium ascorbate is more expensive than ascorbic acid, but it’s still cheaper than a lot of other forms.


Another way you can buffer vitamin C would be to do what Linus Pauling used to suggest. When you take your vitamin C, take about a quarter teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate. That’s just plain old baking soda in the orange box that you might use as an antacid. Any of these will work as buffers. If you receive intravenous vitamin C, the doctor will not be putting ascorbic acid in you. Don’t worry about that.


They don’t use ascorbic acid for an IV because, obviously, it would be an irritant. Instead, when you have an IV they use sodium ascorbate. The sodium salt of ascorbate is non-acidic. Can you buy sodium ascorbate? The answer is yes. Is it buffered? The answer is yes. It has a slightly salty taste because of the sodium. Most people try to avoid excess sodium.


That’s why I recommend calcium ascorbate for those with very sensitive stomachs, because most people are a little low on calcium; again, women in particular. This all sounds a little complicated but actually it’s not. I’ve given you enough information right now such that if you were to read more about this in my book, I Have Cancer: What Should I Do?, it’s all going to start coming together. The striking thing about this is how well-tested it is.


Vitamin C for cancer has been tested for 40 years. We don’t think; we know it’s helpful. There have been a lot of studies and they all show that high doses—I’m not talking about 150 milligrams; I’m not talking about a glass of orange juice; I’m not talking about 500 milligrams or a ‘mega-dose’ of 1,000—I’m talking about 10,000 or more intravenously, 100,000 perhaps orally, or perhaps intravenously for a seriously ill person.


This has been tested and here’s what we know: very high doses of vitamin C intravenously have been used by Dr. Riordan. I have information about him at my website at It’s also in the book, of course. Dr. Riordans’s people out in Wichita, Kansas, have actually had cures of bowel, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. These are very difficult to treat.


Indeed, most of the times when people have these cancers doctors are unable to say that chemotherapy is really going to help them. While we’re at it, chemotherapy does have some value. Radiation has some value. Surgery has some value. Drugs, to relieve pain and to provide other benefits, have some value. When we talk about nutrition we’re not saying you don’t use your doctor, you don’t use technology, you don’t use modern science or drugs, or these techniques.


What we’re saying is to use them in a fair and balanced way. We use the whole-team approach. We don’t say no to anything. If you’re going into the ring and you’re fighting the world champion, you do not want one hand tied behind your back. Here’s what we have to say about chemotherapy: although it has some value in some cancers, it is disappointing in most cancers.


There was a study that reviewed chemotherapy’s effectiveness as recorded by doctors using their own scale of whether it was helping or not. It was found that in the United States the effectiveness of chemotherapy is less than 3%. Ninety-seven percent of the time chemo does not work by the doctors’ own admissions. When we hear that it makes us worry.


However, when we hear that vitamin C is better than chemo because it selectively kills cancer cells without causing toxic side effects, then we’re happy. High doses of vitamin C will not cause you to lose your hair. It will not cause you to lose your appetite. There’s a tremendous amount of good news here. This is the big reason why we wrote that book and why doctors Miranda-Massari and Gonzalez have my admiration. These are very bright gentlemen. They have had a lot of experience.


We put our own experience in there. We even talk about our own experiences with cancer. We’re not know-it-alls. We don’t have the sure answer, but I think we’ve got a piece of it. It’s a very important part of the puzzle. If you haven’t gotten high-dose vitamin C therapy, you’re missing out on something that could really make a difference.


Quality of life and length of life; this is what we want. To do that, you need good nutrition. Bad nutrition never cured anything.


   Nancy Desjardins:  Exactly. Going back to the chemotherapy, doctors advise that nutritional supplements should not be taken along with chemotherapy. You’re saying the opposite. 


   Andrew Saul:  Yes, I am. The funny thing is, if the doctors take a close look, they’ll find that some of the drugs they give actually function as antioxidants, and they give those antioxidants right along with chemo with no problem. Then they’ll say that vitamin E or vitamin C should not be given because they’re antioxidants. That just doesn’t make any sense.


If a doctor says you are not to take vitamins while you’re under chemo, that doctor is poorly informed. Ask for proof. Ask for evidence. Don’t take anyone’s word for anything, and that includes me. Check and see for yourself. You can’t afford to get half the story. This is too important. This is one of the reasons why in I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? we provide all of our scientific references.


If you want to, you can check and see for yourself the research that’s been done. Vitamins do not interfere with chemotherapy. One of my colleagues, Dr. Abram Hoffer, who recently died at the age of 91, was in practice for 55 years. Dr. Hoffer was an MD, a PhD, and a very famous psychiatrist, who started getting referrals for nutritional therapy for people with psychiatric problems.


Dr. Hoffer, in fact, was the first physician to ever run double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on vitamin and nutritional treatment for psychiatric problems. He was getting referrals for people who needed psychiatric help and some of them also happened to be fighting cancer. Dr. Hoffer found that when he gave them nutrients and vitamins in high doses, not only did their mental outlook improve but their physical body improved.


He started seeing that people were getting better from cancer. Of course, word got around and he started getting more referrals for people with cancer. In his lifetime Dr. Hoffer treated well over 1,500 patients who had cancer. He gave them high doses of nutrients, including vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals such as selenium. Dr. Hoffer absolutely and emphatically stated that these nutrients did not interfere with chemo.


In fact, if anything, they reduced the side effects. I had a lady as a client many years ago. In fact, it’s close to 25 years ago. This woman had cancer. By the way, she’s still alive. She decided that she would have chemo and radiation and nutrition. I said, “That makes sense to me. Do everything you can.” She said, “You got that right!” She started taking massive doses of vitamins and chemo and radiation, and she did not lose her hair.


She did not get nauseous. She did not lose her appetite. If you’ve ever been with folks who are undergoing chemo, they are not happy campers. They don’t like the appearance change when they have the hair loss. They don’t like how they can’t eat. They feel rotten all the time. Here’s another side benefit: doctors who give chemo and have patients with side effects, they have to cut the dose.


They have to reduce the dose to reduce the nausea. Think about that. If chemo is going to work at all, obviously, a lower dose won’t work as well. If people take more nutrients and they don’t have nausea, the doctors can give the full amount of chemo. It’s a win-win. There’s no wrong way to have good nutrition. The only thing that’s wrong is to walk away and not look into it. Any doctor who will not give this a fair trial is doing their patients a disservice.


   Nancy Desjardins:  You mentioned there’s a 3% success with chemotherapy. That’s something to think about. If you just joined the call, we have Dr. Andrew Saul with us this evening. We’re talking about cancer and also supplementation to optimize the body’s immune defense. This is very interesting, Dr. Saul. It’s good information. Again, you can visit his website at


You’ve talked about specific vitamins that target cancer cells, which are high doses of vitamin C. You did mention selenium and calcium supplements with magnesium. What else would you recommend as far as supplementation?


   Andrew Saul:  Those are definitely good ones to start with. In addition to that, Dr. Hoffer mentioned that niacin seems to help reduce cancer. In fact, Dr. Hoffer was giving niacin as his primary psychiatric therapy. Dr. Hoffer and I co-authored two books, by the way. One, which has a lot of information in it, is called Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone.


This is about 385 pages of lots of details on how mega-doses of vitamins cure disease. Dr. Hoffer’s studies are in there. Dr. Hoffer gave a lot of niacin. He would give about 3,000 milligrams a day. He found that in all of his time in practice he treated thousands and thousands of patients. Of them, I think only five died of cancer, which is much lower than normal.


Dr. Hoffer thought that niacin had something to do with it. In addition to that, vitamin A, particularly as carotene, seems to help fight cancer. The best way to get vitamin A, and the safest way, is through green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables, and especially, vegetable juices. You cannot overdose on vitamin A if you take it as carotene, because carotene is harmless.


The worst thing that can happen if you drink a gallon or two of carrot juice a day—and I’ve done it—is that you’ll turn orange. You will. This happened when my son was about two-and-a-half. He really liked orange, cooked squash, winter squash like butternut squash and hubbard squash. He really liked squash a lot. He also liked sweet potatoes. When you have a two-and-a-half-year-old toddler who likes vegetables, you kind of want to go with that!


You don’t want to discourage them. My son would eat a considerably larger amount of these foods than most people. When you consider how little he was, he was getting an awful lot of squash and sweet potatoes. We even gave him canned pumpkin. He loved it.

As a result, one day, my father-in-law, his grandfather, said to me, “Your boy is orange.” I said, “No, he’s not.” I was used to it; it looked normal to me.


My father-in-law said, “No, he’s orange. Look. Come over here and look at him under the light.” I did, and he was. I had an orange two-and-a-half-year-old child. He was never sick. You have to understand this. This was a healthy little kid, but he was orange. I thought, “I’m back to the drawing board.” This really happened. I called up a professor I knew, a professor of biology, and I said to him, “I have an orange child here.”


He said, “That’s perfectly harmless. That’s called hyper-carotenosis.” It’s just an excess of the orange carotene, the pigment, in the skin. It’s just like sticking your finger in beet juice or spilling tomato juice on a white shirt. It’s just the coloring, a natural coloring. Indeed, carotene is actually used as a coloring in industry. If you want a natural orange color for food, you sometimes use that type of coloring.


He said, “All you have to do is not feed him any of the orange vegetables for a couple of weeks, and it will go away.” It did. I looked into that to see if I’d done any harm, because as a normal parent you don’t want to hurt your own kids. You do the best you can, and you’re learning all the time. I was a young man. I looked it up in the Merck Manual, which is the authoritative summary of medical school.


Just about every doctor has a Merck Manual in their office. It’s sort of the Cliffs Notes of medical school. It’s everything doctors learn in medical school condensed to about 3,000 pages. I looked up hyper-carotenosis, and The Merck Manual said—and still says; you can check online and see—that it is harmless. USA Today once described it as an artificial suntan. I thought that was rather charming.


Carotene is harmless. If you take the vitamin A as fish oil and you’re possibly pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, that could be a problem. You don’t want to take too much vitamin A as fish oil, especially the ladies who might be having a child, whether they know it or not. The way to avoid it is to use the carotenes. That’s a safe way to go. Once in a while, a doctor will say, “No, you can’t take carotenes because there was a study in Finland that shows that carotene increased lung cancer.”


Let’s settle this one. Dr. Abram Hoffer, the world expert on nutrition, did a nice summary explaining this. It’s at my website at Just do a search there, which is the quick way, for “Hoffer carotene.” You’ll find that in that study, they were using people who were heavy smokers. When we have a confounding factor like that, we can hardly blame the carrots for something I think cigarettes do. If you’re wondering what causes cancer, is it carrots or Camels?


I’m pretty sure the cigarettes are the cancer risk and the carrots are not. Don’t let anybody put you off carotene. Carotene is good for you. It’s a very strong antioxidant. Grandma said to eat your vegetables. I’m saying to eat your vegetables, except I suggest you put them through a juicer. By the way, I have no financial connection with anyone who sells or manufactures juicers.


I also have no connection with anyone in the natural products or food supplement industries, and I have no connection with any vitamin company. This is information that I’d like to keep as unbiased and clear-cut as I can.


   Nancy Desjardins:  For our listeners, I’m so big into juicing. This is something that I’ve been promoting for several years for everyone. Again, if you just joined in our call tonight, we have Dr. Andrew Saul. This is interesting. Like with juicing, it’s such a part of my daily routine because I’ve been juicing for many years now first thing in the morning. This is my breakfast. I juice my vegetables.


It’s green, leafy vegetables, and I add some carrots, apple, ginger, kale, and Swiss chard, and I feel amazing. It’s great. Also, this is going to be a protocol that I’ll be using in my seven-day detox program. I was very happy to see, Dr. Saul, that you have an article on juicing as well.


   Andrew Saul:  There are several of them, absolutely. I’m a big juicing fan. At, do a search for ‘juicing’, and there are several articles. It tells you what to juice and how to juice it. It sets out a way that you can encourage your family to do juicing. You’ve seen those infomercials on TV. They don’t really do much for me, but the fact is that they’re basically right. Fresh, raw vegetables are good for you.


Is this news? When you juice them, you have to understand what you’re actually doing. When you juice vegetables, you’re only doing two things: first of all, you’re taking that vegetable and grinding it up so that, without cooking it, you’re able to get all the nutrients out of the cells. Pick up a carrot sometime. If you were to get hit by a carrot, it would hurt. It’s woody and hard. It has cellulose walls in there. These things are very strong.


It’s the same with a parsnip, beet, or whatever. When you juice, you’re breaking down all the cell walls and releasing all the nutrients, and you’re doing that without cooking. Juicing gets you better absorption. You could eat five pounds of carrots, I suppose, if you took long enough. You’d be doing nothing else. You could run five pounds of carrots through a juicer in about 15 minutes and get a quart and a half of juice.


Then you could drink it, which is what I do. You get better absorption because it’s been liquefied. The second thing you get with juicing is you get quantity. I don’t think I would eat five pounds of carrots, quite frankly. I just don’t think I would do it. I think I’d get tired. My teeth would get tired. I’d get bored, and the taste buds would say, “Come on. Let’s have something else.”


When you juice, you can drink that quart and a half of juice down in no time. Juicing gives you more absorption, and you tend to have higher quantity. This means you get better results. Better absorption and higher quantity means better results, whether it’s vitamin C or carrot juice. Don’t let anybody dissuade you from juicing. Vegetable juicing is a tremendous help. In fact, the Gerson Cancer Therapy is based on juicing.


Dr. Max Gerson was a German physician who fled Nazi Germany right before the Holocaust. By the way, all of his brothers and sisters died in the Holocaust. Gerson came over to the United States, fortunately, and began practicing in the Long Island area of New York. Dr. Gerson was known as a migraine doctor. He had terrible migraines himself. He tried everything. He tried all kinds of drugs and other therapies.


Being a doctor, of course, he would have access to them. Nothing helped. Finally, Dr. Gerson decided to try nutrition. Nutrition was the last thing he tried because, quite frankly, it’s the last thing they teach in medical school. More correctly, they usually don’t even bother to teach it in medical school. Most doctors have never had a proper course in nutrition. Only a few have had even one course.


I used to teach nutrition at a chiropractic college, and a chiropractic college requires two courses. I wouldn’t say that two courses makes you an expert either, but most doctors haven’t even had one course in nutrition. Dr. Gerson had to find something that would deal with his migraines. He tried everything else, so nutrition was the only thing he hadn’t tried. By golly, when he started eating organic, fresh, unprocessed, natural, good foods from the garden, he found his migraines were relieved a great deal.


When he started putting these vegetables through a juicer and increasing absorption and quantity, he got rid of his migraines. People started coming to see Dr. Gerson to get rid of their migraines, and he became rather popular. Gerson noticed that his patients were not only getting over their migraines, but they were getting over other illnesses as well, including tuberculosis and several other very serious illnesses that he writes about in his books.


If you go to and search for ‘Gerson’, you’ll have all kinds of information to look at there. There were people who came to Dr. Gerson and said, “Dr. Gerson, would you please treat my sister? She has cancer.” Gerson said, “No, I will not. I am not going to get in trouble with the authorities. I’m not going to be known as one of those quacks who treats cancer. I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” They pleaded with him, and somehow they got into his heart.


Gerson realized that it was wrong not to do what you know might help. In fact, it’s an axiom of medicine that you’re supposed to do all that you can for the benefit of your patient. If a doctor does not do all they can, they’re really not living up to their oath. Gerson decided to take the chance, and he started having cancer patients eat a whole-, organic-, unprocessed-foods diet with no salt, virtually no sugar, reduced protein, and up to 12 glasses of vegetable juice a day.


If a glass is eight ounces, what is that? That’s a lot of juice. It’s a glass every hour. What he found was that the juices detoxified the body and helped the liver to recover. He believed the liver was the key organ to fight cancer in the body. Gerson was getting a very good cure rate. In fact, using juices and nutrients, Gerson’s cure rate for terminal cancer was around 50%, which is extremely high.


For malignant melanoma, his cure rate was spectacular. Dr. Gerson went before the US Congress in 1946. They were talking about fighting cancer and what should be employed. Gerson said, “In addition to the other things, you want to consider nutrition.” Gerson, unfortunately, was disregarded. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation were accepted and, more importantly, funded, whereas nutrition was put on the back burner.


We’ve been suffering ever since. We have to change that right away. We have to get everybody juicing and eating right because this is what the body wants, and this is what brings you health.


   Nancy Desjardins:  Going back to how many ounces, it’s 96 ounces per day. That might sound crazy to drink 96 ounces of vegetable juice, but it’s really doable.


   Andrew Saul:  I’ve done it!


   Nancy Desjardins:  Absolutely. I’ve done it too, and I know for many of my clients and participants, that’s what they do when they do a juice fast or a juice cleanse, especially if you’re going to do a seven-day or 14-day juice cleanse. By the second day you just feel amazing. On the third day, you have a lot of energy. Actually, with Dr. Gerson, it’s Dr. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte, who’s one of the experts.


   Andrew Saul:  Charlotte will be a very healthy 88 this month.


   Nancy Desjardins:  I was very impressed with the interview, as well. That’s amazing. Going back, you mentioned sugar and vitamins. Would you say vitamin C would help with any addiction?


   Andrew Saul:  Yes. In another book that Dr. Abram Hoffer and I wrote, called The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism, we discussed addictions in addition to alcoholism, including addiction to street drugs, to cigarettes and, believe it or not, even addiction to a stimulant as common as caffeine. What we find is that addiction, to use Dr. Hoffer’s work and words, is malnutrition. Dr. Hoffer said well-nourished people do not become addicted.


That’s a very, very powerful statement, and you can prove it. I’ve taught in two state prisons in New York state—not as an inmate, but I have taught in two state prisons—and I’ve worked with addicts and people who are in the slammer because they were hooked on cocaine. Some people had the center part of their nose missing inside. The septum was gone because they’d snorted so much cocaine.


They had lung problems because of crack. There were all kinds of problems. What we found is that if we could improve their nutrition even a little, the odds of them stopping smoking, doing cocaine, or drinking alcohol were higher. Alcoholics Anonymous has done a wonderful job encouraging people to get off alcohol and to do it through a 12-step program, support of others, reliance on higher power, and a lot of very, very good methods.


AA has been conspicuously silent on nutrition. Are you ready for this one? The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W, was a patient of my colleague, Dr. Abram Hoffer. Bill W, who had gotten off of alcohol, still had a problem with depression. He came to see Dr. Hoffer, and Dr. Hoffer had him take niacin. Bill W’s depression that he suffered with for many, many years vanished.


Bill W then got his friends to take niacin, and he found that it helped them. Then Bill W wrote two formal papers, which he circulated to the Alcoholics Anonymous membership, advising them to take vitamins, specifically niacin. Bill W was in favor of mega-doses of vitamins for alcoholics. Unfortunately, AA International has a different view, and they, to the best of my knowledge, still do not recommend it.


I think AA is good. I think AA with nutrition is far better. What about other drugs? There was a study done out in LA where they took people who were on heroin. They gave them high doses of vitamin C, and they came off heroin. Here’s a very interesting story. When cancer research was being done in Scotland at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Dr. Ewen Cameron, a colleague of Linus Pauling, was giving high doses of vitamin C to people with terminal cancer who were in terrible pain.


Back in the ‘70s in England, you could give any pain relief you wanted to a person who was dying. Doctors could prescribe as much morphine as they wanted and even prescribe heroin for pain. The theory was that if someone was in terrible pain, you just couldn’t let them suffer. Many of these terminally ill cancer patients were on huge doses of narcotics for their pain.


When they got intravenous vitamin C, they stopped asking for pain relievers in about a week. Somehow, vitamin C was relieving their pain. More interesting, perhaps, is that they had no withdrawal symptoms at all. They came off of narcotics, including heroin, without any withdrawal symptoms. What this suggests to me is that Dr. Hoffer knows what he’s talking about. Healthy people do not become addicts.


Addiction is a sign of malnutrition. Orthomolecular medicine says when in doubt, use nutrition first. We don’t have a sure cure for cancer. Obviously, we don’t have a sure cure for alcoholism. Obviously, there are other problems that are still plaguing us. One of the reasons these problems are as bad as they are is that doctors are using everything but high doses of vitamins.


What we need to do is fix that. High doses of vitamins are safe and effective, and there are decades of research showing that they are. That research is posted on my website at Doctors today are using this and getting good results, and we talk about that in the I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? book. It pretty much makes it clear what we need to do next.


   Nancy Desjardins:  Kristy, I hope you are on the call tonight because Dr. Saul did answer your question, “What would you recommend for chronic depression?” This is great. Did you want to add something?


   Andrew Saul:  I just wanted to add that in addition to niacin for chronic depression, I have other suggestions posted at the website. In fact, depression is the number one reason people come to We know that because we can check the search statistics, and that is the most frequently searched for topic. If you go to and search for ‘depression’, it will bring up quickly and easily all that we have to say on this important problem.


Depression is relieved by niacin, but it also is relieved by taking other nutrients, including vitamin C and several other vitamins. Obviously, the best thing to do is use the team approach. Don’t forget your juicing.


   Nancy Desjardins:  That’s right. Our next question is from Joyce in Nashville. “Are all cancers the same, and can they be treated the same? For example, blood cancers, lymphomas, and tumor-growing cancers.”


   Andrew Saul:  It’s a good question, and the answer is no and yes. Are they all the same? No, otherwise oncologists would always do the same thing for everybody and textbooks would only be short pamphlets. Are they all the same? The answer is yes in that, according to Dr. Max Gerson, they’re all a product of a toxic body that needs more nutrition. We have undernourished, overfed bodies. In some cases, there’s exposure to chemicals.


In any event, the Gerson approach, and in many ways mine, would be to say that we’re not really treating cancer. We’re treating a person who has cancer. We’re treating the person, and when we treat the person, we want to basically do two things. We want to build up the person’s immune system so their own body can fight the cancer. That’s ideal. The other thing we can do with high doses of vitamin C is we can send the vitamin C in and actually take out the cancer cells themselves.


That’s a good one-two approach. Unfortunately, modern medicine doesn’t do that. Modern medicine tends to go in and remove the cancer surgically, which isn’t a bad idea; it’s just incomplete. They also zap it with radiation. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s just incomplete. They could also give chemo drugs that are poisonous to cancer. That’s not a bad idea, but it has terrible side effects, and it’s only 3% effective (Morgan, Ward and Barton. Clinical Oncology, 2004. 16:549-560).


What modern medicine doesn’t do is use aggressive, high-dose nutritional therapy. That’s what we need to do. All hospitals need to do this right away, and I’m here to tell you they’re not going to. You have to fight for this. Fortunately, you can because if you really push hard, you can get your hospital and doctor to give an IV of vitamin C. I even have tactics on how to do that posted at


We talk about this in I Have Cancer: What Should I Do? That’s what you’re thinking: what should I do? It’s a really scary situation. The good news is that there’s more than you know. There are more choices. It isn’t just cancer therapy with radiation, chemo, or surgery. You have more options. You can use nutrition. I think, at least in my 34 years, every cancer patient I’ve worked with has had increased quality of life and increased length of life.


   Nancy Desjardins:  Absolutely. Our next question is from Bridget: “My husband has prostate cancer. He had his prostate out three years ago. Two years ago, he had 33 radiation treatments, and last year he started on hormone shots. He has hot and cold flashes. I’m looking for a natural cure without the ugly side effect.”


   Andrew Saul:  There are many things you can do. One thing that sometimes isn’t mentioned is lycopene. Lycopene is the red stuff in tomatoes. It’s basically what makes tomatoes or watermelon red. Lycopene is a very strong antioxidant. It’s even stronger than carotene. There have been a number of studies in Italy, which isn’t terribly surprising, where they found that men who eat 10 or 12 fresh tomatoes a day had a much lower chance of getting prostate cancer.


There have been other similar studies done. In Japan, for instance, they found that eating sea vegetables, seaweeds, fish, and tofu, avoiding red meat, and having more of a low-fat, healthy diet reduces risk of prostate cancer. The Japanese have much lower rates of prostate cancer than we do. If the Italians and the Japanese can do it, so can we. It’s a broad approach. There’s no easy answer here, and certainly not in a few moments on the phone.


I think you need to understand that nutrition is probably the part of the therapy that has not been looked into by your oncology team. It’s up to you to read about it. Go to and type in ‘prostate’. Then you want to check the Internet. I have sites that I recommend on my website’s links page. Many of these address these different issues.


We also have access to free archives of articles that you can read. There’s no shortage of information. You just have to get out there and take a look. There’s a lot of good news. There are no easy answers, but there are answers, I think.


   Nancy Desjardins:  That’s right. This is our last question. It’s from Dennis. I had to share this one. “My wife passed away four years ago after three years and eight months of battling inflammatory breast cancer. She went through 16 different protocols of chemo, 38 radiation treatments, and four surgeries. Why didn’t any of many clinics and doctors say anything about diet and nutrition?” You answered that question.


   Andrew Saul:  It’s very powerful. I want to remind everyone listening that the wife of one of my coauthors died of cancer. Another one of my coauthors had a couple of grandparents die of cancer. I had two cousins, both younger than me, and one a lot younger, die of cancer. We have all felt the pain of this disease. That’s why we wrote the book.


For you and I and everyone listening, we have to get out there and change this. We can’t wait anymore. People are suffering, and it’s time to put an end to it. Nutrition does help. Is it the total, 100% answer? No. Is it a big part of the solution? I think it is. You have to use enough, and you have to be sure it happens. You can’t just assume that the hospital is going to provide vitamins.


They won’t. You can’t assume the hospital is going to provide good, healthy food. They won’t. The hospital is not going to provide juices. The hospital is not going to provide an IV of C unless you make it happen. If I’ve done that much, if I’ve motivated you to get in there and make sure that the nutrition is better, I would like to think we spent a good hour together.


   Nancy Desjardins:  You’ve often said that we need education, not medication. I have just one last question here. Why did you decide to be involved in the “Food Matters” movie? Everyone should have a copy at home.


   Andrew Saul:  It’s nice of you to say that. I think the number one reason I decided to be in “Food Matters” is because I have an ego the size of Texas. The other reason I was in “Food Matters” is I was really impressed with the wonderful work that was being done and the other folks who were involved with the film. They all shared my passion for getting this information out there.


“Food Matters” on DVD has sold 100,000 copies. It’s shown on airline flights now, which is really neat. Teenagers see this movie. I have a nephew who’s 14. Do you know how hard it is to get a 14-year-old to eat right? He saw “Food Matters,” and this was a kid who just lived on junk food. He saw “Food Matters,” and my brother, his father, told me that he heard him out in the kitchen after the movie saying, “You are what you eat. You are what you eat.” He started eating good food and lots of salads. I think it’s wonderful. (Click here to see Andrew Saul on Youtube in an excerpt from the movie FOODMATTERS.)


   Nancy Desjardins:  This is amazing. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we end this call, Dr. Saul?


   Andrew Saul:  What I’d like to say is what Linus Pauling said many years ago. Linus Pauling, the only person in history who has won two unshared Nobel Prizes, is the scientist who named orthomolecular medicine back in 1968. Linus Pauling said, “Don’t let anyone make up your mind for you. Check and see for yourself.”


   Nancy Desjardins:  You’ve been listening to Dr. Andrew Saul. You can visit his website at Also, view the “Food Matters” trailer on Until next time, I’m Nancy Desjardins, and thanks for listening.




Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

Contact information will be found at .



Andrew W. Saul


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