|James Metz, MD|
|Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Various dietary regimens have been promoted for both the prevention and treatment of cancer. The macrobiotic diet was first described by George Ohsawa (1893-1966). He developed a diet consisting of 10 stages, with each stage more restrictive than the previous stage. The final stage consisted of only rice and water. The American Medical Association and various governmental health agencies opposed the macrobiotic diet due to its restrictive nature. In fact, there were a number of reports of health problems and even deaths.
The diet has subsequently been modified and is regaining popularity in the United States. It generally consists of 50-60% whole grains, 20-25% vegetables, 5-10% beans and sea vegetables, and 5% soups. Some variations of the diet allow small amounts of fish. There may be variations on the diet depending on the disease process.
The Kushi Institute is a strong proponent of the macrobiotic diet. The Institute is based in Massachusetts and teaches the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle. It recommends specific foods for the individual cancer patient. There have been numerous testimonials supporting the effectiveness of the macrobiotic diet in battling cancer. However, there have not been any controlled studies evaluating the Kushi Institutes' methods. The basic cost of the one week program is $1495 which includes the program, meals, and a room. Private counseling sessions are $225 each.
Here are some cautions for the cancer patient regarding the macrobiotic diet: