Diluted Thinking

in Australian healthcare

CNTF: Promoting Diets to Treat & Prevent Cancer

Background

There are many diets promoted as being beneficial in the treatment and/or prevention of cancer. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, "There is no evidence to show that anti-cancer diets such as the Gerson diet or a macrobiotic diet can prevent, treat or control any type of cancer."[1]

CNTF Promoting Diets for Cancer

The feature article "Natural and Organic Food - Your future health insurance"[2] published in the December 2014 CNTF newsletter states:
"It is through the 'nutrient richness' and strong 'life force' energy of organically grown fruit and vegetables, that we have learnt about numerous remarkable healings documents using nutritional therapies, such as those advocated by Ann Wigmore, Max Gerson and Rudolf Breuss."

Gerson Therapy has been infamously linked to many premature deaths from cancer, most notable recently being the popular "Wellness Warrior", Jessica Ainscough.[3]

Rudolf Breuss advocated a diet of only vegetable juices and tea for 42 days, claiming to have cured thousands of people of a wide range of cancers that had defied conventional treatment.[4]

Ann Wigmore is the founder of the "Natural Health Institute" and the "Ann Wigmore Foundation". Wigmore claims to have cured and successfully treated cancer with wheatgrass (excerpt):

"A few weeks after I started chewing and juicing young blades of fresh wheatgrass, and eating fresh sprouts and greens, a festering case of cancer that I suffered with for years improved in a few months. The problem, which is particularly difficult to remedy with conventional treatments, eventually cleared up entirely."

"I have personally witnessed thousands of lives transformed due to the healing properties of wheatgrass."

The feature article in the June 2014 issue of CNTF's newsletter, Natural Pathways, was about wheatgrass and Ann Wigmore.[5] In the newsletter section titled "Sandra's Letter" (p. 2) Maqueda states:

"Ann Wigmore, a proponent of wheatgrass proved the miraculous healing power of wheatgrass through her thousands of testimonials."

The article states (original emphases):

"The amazing health properties in wheatgrass reveal anti tumour effects, immune support, detoxification function, antiseptic qualities, and ability to stimulate production of red blood cells, as well as reduce effects of radiation."

The section in this newsletter titled "About Ann Wigmore" (p. 3) states (excerpt):

"Over the many years, Ann helped cure thousands of people from numerous health problems and illnesses such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia and so on."

The Health Articles & Information section on CNTF's website has the article "Wheatgrass, Growth Factors and Cancer", written by Queensland G.P., Dr Chris Reynolds.
Here are some highlights from this article (excerpts):

"Wheatgrass is without doubt a powerful healing agent both for the body as a whole, and when applied to the skin. This is nothing new. History tells us that the grasses in general have been known to have healing properties going back several thousands years. Ann Wigmore in the 70's gave many with terminal cancer and other chronic illnesses renewed hope using freshly juiced wheatgrass."

"But, Kohler and his team discovered something more important something they could not explain. They found that cereal grasses greatly enhanced fertility, growth and the general health of laboratory animals. This could not be explained by any of the known bioactive substances in the grass, and although they were able to determine some of it's physical properties, to this day, it remains unidentified. To simplify things, they called it the 'Grass Juice Factor'.

This Factor is known to exist not only in cereal grasses (i.e. wheat, rye, oats, barley etc), - but in green peas, cabbage and many other plants. However, the highest concentrations (determined by observing growth and fertility rates in hens and guinea pigs) appeared to be in the cereal grasses. These simple observations I believe account for the quite amazing, broad-spectrum healing properties of wheatgrass including anti-cancer effects."

"So what is this 'Factor' that seemingly has such powerful properties? What molecule or molecules could be responsible for such a broad spectrum of biological activity? Anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, blood regeneration, topical pain relief, moderation of autoimmune conditions, anti-cancer effects and so on.

Since 1995, I have used a wheatgrass extract successfully in thousands of patients for treatment of numerous ailments from ingrown toenails to wound healing to burns and skin cancers."

"This, I believe, is how wheatgrass heals wounds and burns quickly, stimulates production of blood elements, removes many skin cancers and creates a plethora of healing scenarios. It is not a panacea, but it certainly makes a big difference to this doctor's average working day. As a GP I would be lost without it, and not a day passes without taking my daily wheatgrass shot."

"Wheatgrass, in some conditions at least, is clearly a better healing agent than anything the pharmaceutical industry has to offer."

"My wheatgrass extract has similar properties to Echinacea which is also a natural and powerful immune-stimulant. However the latter lacks stability, has an unpleasant taste and can be quite toxic if accidentally taken in high doses."

This article goes onto explain "Wheatgrass in Cancer Prevention and Treatment" and it concludes with providing Reynolds's email address and links to his website (site no longer online; change of domain name and new content).

CNTF selling Wheatgrass

CNTF sell a wheatgrass product on its website, though as at June 2015 it shows product not currently available. This product was first added to the CNTF Products page around the time the wheatgrass article was published.

Summary

Promoting the idea that diet can cure, treat or prevent cancer is irresponsible, unethical and potentially dangerous. In the case of CNTF, a registered health charity, such promotion amounts to unconscionable conduct.


1. [http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/UC-Complementary-Therapies-CAN1141.pdf]
2. [CNTF 2014, 'Natural and Organic Food - Your future health insurance', Natural Pathways, December 2014, pp. 1, 3, 5]
3. [http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/cancer-death-of-wellness-warrior-jess-ainscough--brings-focus-onto-alternative-treatments-20150306-13vp0z.html]
4. [http://www.theguardian.com/education/2002/sep/10/science.highereducation]
5. [CNTF 2014, 'Liquid Sunlight Living Food', Natural Pathways, June 2014, pp. 1, 3-4]