Metabolic Therapy and the Causes of Cancers

Originally published in September 2003 icon

Confused cartoon

"What did your consultant say was the cause of your cancer?"
"He didn’t say"

"Do you think he knows?"

"I don’t think so"

"Did he advise you on nutrition?"


"Did he suggest any supplements or stress management?"


"If he doesn’t know what causes cancers, how come he’s giving you all these powerful drugs, and burning radiation, with all the possible side effects?"
"When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound very rational"


If this upsets you, then you may not want to read further. It upsets me as a doctor working outside the NHS. Also all male gender pronouns can be considered to be female pronouns too, and most singulars as multiples. Not forgetting that none of this may be construed as medical advice and, as always, you can make your own investigations and do what you feel drawn to, rather than what a relative or even a medical professional tells you is the "only way".

Dr Paul Layman

By Dr Paul Layman

Metabolic Therapy

Moving away from these abstracts, "Metabolic Therapy" was coined apparently by Dr Ernesto Contreras, the father of Dr Francisco Contreras at the Oasis of Hope Hospital in Mexico, many years ago. Metabolic comes from Metabolism, which describes the turnover of foods, hormones and all the molecules of the body. Cata-bolism is the breaking down of body tissues in illness, for example. Ana-bolism is the term for building up, as in Anabolic Steroids, which some ill-advised athletes have used to put on muscle bulk.

So, it is becoming recognised that cancer like most other illnesses is a metabolic disease. In other words it is not caused by one bacteria or one virus or one poison. It is the result of a gradual deterioration of the body’s metabolism until the immune system can no longer re-cycle the abnormal cells.

Secrets Revealed

Here’s a well kept secret, that could make the difference between life and death. We’re all getting cancer cells all the time! Of the hundreds of thousands of cells created by our body every day some will be malformed, won’t mature, won’t die when they are supposed to, and will multiply without stopping. These are all the characteristics of cancer cells.

Open quotesThese hits are visualised as little bombs damaging our cells, particularly the young
onesClose quotes

A recent BBC Horizon programme showed brilliant graphics of how antioxidants prevented the damage of free radical "hits". These hits are visualised as little bombs damaging our cells, particularly the young ones. They come from radiation, poisons in the blood and other stresses, and are happening all the time in our modern society. As the body becomes more damaged, so the free radical activity becomes insufficient and the immune system suffers. Abnormal cells are not recycled and tumours develop.

Charlotte Gerson, daughter of the famous Dr Max Gerson, said that Liver Function Tests do not show abnormality until at least 70% of the liver is damaged. So, many of us could be walking around sub-optimally healthy, only just able to get out of bed, do a day’s work etc, repeating this spiral for days and weeks, until we develop a specific illness.

Accumulating Damage

The next well kept secret is that cancer, like other diseases, is a build up of damage to the immune system and the metabolic processes, from many causes. For each person it will be different, and some causes may be more obvious than others.

"I think my cancer may have developed after my husband died, because of the stress"

"Nonsense, stress has nothing to do with cancer - it’s the genes"

Open quotesAnything, including stress that damages the immune system is harmful to our cellsClose quotes

The metabolic processes are not rocket science. Anything, including stress that damages the immune system is harmful to our cells. A build up of harmful effects leads to cancer and other diseases.

"Do you suggest any particular diet?"

"No, eat what you like, and my dietician recommends ’Wotsits’ to put on weight (true story), and my oncology nurse advises to avoid fruit and veg, and eat white bread". (True story, to avoid fibre that can aggravate radiation or chemo induced diarrhoea, she said).

"But the cancer help centres are recommending an organic vegan diet"

"Diet has nothing to do with cancers" or >"I know that breast cancer is caused partly by the hormone effects of pesticides and weed killers, but the patients are not ready to be told that!" (true story)

In a well planned Metabolic Therapy, all the causes of the immune system deterioration, are recognised and reversed as far as possible.

A Rational Programme

Open quotesThe first stage is often to take a range of nutritional
supplementsClose quotes

The first stage is often to take a range of nutritional supplements, that have been missing from or low in our diets for decades. This is easy-peasy.The second is to change dramatically the way we eat, moving away from fats, greasy chemicalised foods to fresh healthy organic produce. This is more of a challenge. There are so many preservatives in our food that undertakers are noticing bodies are taking twice as long to decompose!

Stresses of Modern Days

The most difficult area people generally find to deal with is emotion.

"I’m not stressed in any way"

"Yes, you are - you’re always grumpy, you’ve been biting your nails ever since I met you, and you drink far too much!"

This is a common scenario, which is another good reason why the family or partner/friend can usefully be included in the consultation.

Fortunately in these busy times, there are modern techniques that are relatively quick and painless. Believe it or not thousands of well qualified therapists of all sorts are just waiting for us to give them a call to bring in their skills.

Hugging - The Way of the Future

Open quotesWe find our patients and staff like hugsClose quotes

We find our patients and staff like hugs. It’s said that four hugs a day are a basic need, and twelve a day are necessary for growth. Isn’t it strange how we have developed into a nation of non-touchers. There is a craving for getting back to natural touch and communication. It takes a little courage, but there are a few helpful guidelines:

If you feel you want to hug someone, ask first if they would like a hug, otherwise the shock for mother-in-law when she is suddenly grappled may be too much.

Looking someone gently and directly into the eyes is a way to ease the inevitable hug.

Giving a little gift of a flower or sweetie is a way to help others appreciate themselves and give us a hug.

If it all goes wrong and you bang heads or get caught up in jewellery, just have a good laugh - it’s just as therapeutic.

B17 & Pancreatic Enzymes


A crucial part of the re-cycling of abnormal cells has to do with the natural destructive function of cyanide. Fortunately, nature built in protective mechanisms when designing the immune system. The B17 molecule, variously called amygdalin (which is detailed in the doctor’s pharmacopoeia) or laetrile, contains a carbon and nitrogen atom linked to form the cyanide radical. These cyanide radicals are very common in our foodstuffs from broccoli (isoth io-cyan-ates), to vitamin B12 (cyano-cobalamin), and as amygdalin in apple pips, pear pips, tapioca, millet, buckwheat and hundreds of other foods.

The only time this cyanide becomes active is when it comes into contact with cancer cells, which, because they are abnormally functioning, have an abnormal enzyme B-glucosidase, and this breaks the molecule.

Pharmaceutical companies are well aware of this and have produced a synthetic drug called AGENT (Antibody guided enzyme nitrile therapy) to have a very similar effect. As yet it has been only tested on mice, and exactly how much resemblance has a mouse to a man?

Pancreatic Enzymes

Two of the biggest scourges of the Western world involve the pancreas. Sugar diabetes, as we know, is a disorder of the hormone function of the pancreas, largely due to the over-consumption of refined sugars, but also linked to mineral deficiencies and long-term emotional issues.

Cancers also involve the pancreas, this time the digestive enzymes. Over the last century, as the incidence of cancers has gone up from one in a hundred of the population to the epidemic of one in two that we have now, the meat consumption of the western world has exploded. Could these be linked perhaps? Remembering that all diseases are multi-factorial and involve a build up of many poisons, radiation and stresses, still animal products have a huge part to play in the damage to the pancreas.

Junk food

The science suggests that enzymes from our pancreas such as Trypsin and Chymotrypsin have several actions. As well as digesting our steak and chips, caf latte and fish fingers, part of them is designed to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Too much animal protein over too many years cuts down the amount absorbed into the blood. Cancer cells seem to be protected by a protein coating, and eating through this protection by the enzymes allows access to the B17, and thence the killing effect of cyanide. The addition of pancreatic enzymes, in between meals, appears to be effective in helping the Metabolic Therapy.

Minerals & Vitamins

A huge number of nutritional companies have a bewildering variety of supplements on the market and all of them have a good line in persuasion - how does one choose? You can use a pin and blindfold, or use some common sense!

Minerals and micro-minerals needed in our diet number around 65, so buying the odd selenium or calcium doesn’t make much sense. We should look at the way nature provides these items - in small quantities and all jumbled up. In addition they are in food; it is not so natural to eat ground up rocks or iron filings to get the minerals.

Open quotesIt is not so important which variety we choose as to get on and start supplementingClose quotes

We feel that liquid colloidal minerals are a good and safe source of supplements, as are some of the "superfoods" and "food state" varieties. Each clinic and advisor will have their own preferences, based on their understanding and experience. It is not so important which variety we choose as to get on and start supplementing. Some of you will be tuned in enough to know what food and supplements are doing your body good and what is passing through without any effect -that’s the best way to be, but it takes practice to tune in and some are more skilled than others at this.

Coffee Enemas

That’s right, upside down coffee -without milk and sugar! Enemas are nothing new and have been done for thousands of years to cleanse the bowel. Using organic coffee is a remarkable technique practised extensively in the Gerson Therapy. The liver is stimulated to produce more bile outflow, carrying with it toxins and poisons. Telling people about this causes more laughs than any of our other techniques, so it must be good medicine.


This is a human hormone that balances and counteracts the effects of oestrogens, and was covered in a recent icon (July). There is a good scientific database about progesterone, but also much confusion about this natural hormone and its unnatural synthetic relatives found in HRT.

Open quotesThere is a good scientific database about progesteroneClose quotes

Progesterone, glyconutrients and other anticancer agents, have the ability to regulate cell growth, to persuade cells to die at their allotted time, and also to encourage naughty adolescent cells to mature into fully functioning members of society!

As you can see, there is an amazing amount that can be done to help yourself or your loved ones, at whatever stage. Also remember, like in the song, "There is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time for every purpose under heaven." There is a time for striving and a time for letting go, and we’re all here to help each other to that end.

Quick - hug someone before the feeling wears off!

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