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Sodium Ion Poisoning

The prime directive for pursuing optimal health regarding diet, is to observe Nature and see how she has designed our bodies and the corresponding food supply.  The food supply designed by Nature will be optimal for us because our bodies evolved over millions of years eating according to Nature’s plan. 

We were not able to depart from the plan until we developed technology to do so.  This development is a very recent occurrence – really within the last 100 years.  For the vast stretch of antiquity, there were no processed or refined foods.  There was little or no sugar, oil, salt, added chemicals or white flour.  From this we can conclude that a diet absent these will be closer to a diet for optimal health as it was designed by Nature.  This article focuses primarily on the consumption of salt and sodium and how this contributes to disease.

Dr. Freeman Cope, MD, was a remarkable physician, researcher and physicist.  He discovered that when the cells of our bodies are poisoned, there is a commonly occurring set of circumstances.  It makes no difference how the damage is inflicted whether by trauma, oxygen deprivation, chemical poisoning or lack of nutrition.

1.  The cells will lose potassium

2.  The cells will accept sodium to replace potassium

3.  The cells will undergo excessive swelling with water

This swelling is known as cellular edema.  It makes no difference what tissues in the body are afflicted.  The cause of injury doesn’t matter either.  There will always occur these three steps which lead to loss of cell energy production.

What happens when the cell becomes swollen with water? The environment inside the cell degrades and the cell’s ability to manufacture energy is reduced.  In medical terms, this has to do with ATP – adenosine triphosphate – which is produced by most cells in the body.  It is the energy storage bank of the body.

ATP is produced by burning sugar with oxygen.  It is made and dissolved, made again and dissolved again so as to produce bursts of energy.  In essence, it is an adenosine molecule bonded to three phosphates.  It is the “go to” source of energy for most functions which require energy at the cellular level.  Deprived of ATP, cells will die.  Without ATP we will most certainly die. 

And here is the problem:  When the cell has expanded and swollen with an excess of water, the burning of sugars in the cell is inhibited.  The ATP production is reduced and along with this is diminished protein syntheses and metabolism of fats. Within each cell there are small organelles which are like tiny factories.  These are microscopic filaments known as mitochondria.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer proclaimed that Dr. Max Gerson, MD, was the medical genius of their time.  He said this after Gerson had cured Schweitzer of diabetes and his daughter of tuberculosis of the bone which was thought to be incurable at the time.  Also, Gerson had been given a ward of over 400 tuberculosis patients as a clinical trial for his methods.  Gerson cured each and every one.  A 100% cure rate!  He went on to demonstrate remarkable success in curing cancers and a plethora of other diseases.

What Gerson did was low tech – no fancy machines or complicated, expensive medicines.  However, today, we have very high-tech methods to prove that Gerson’s treatment is doing what he said it was doing.  Gerson defined a protocol for damaged cells to have access to less sodium thus giving them the opportunity to bind with potassium. 

This reduces the cellular edema (swelling) thus improving the function of its tiny factories the mitochondria. In order to ensure that the factories would fire up, Gerson provided patients with thyroid hormones and he gave it in high doses.  When administered, it tells the cellular mitochondria to reproduce themselves.  This replicating is done independently of the cell because they have their own RNA and DNA.  The thyroid hormone also tells the mitochondria to produce more energy in the form of ATP by burning sugars more quickly.

What we find around every arthritic joint, around every tumor and in most every chronic viral condition is that our tissues have lost potassium and taken in sodium and that the cells have become swollen with too much water. 

As early as 1957, Albert Craig and Christine Waterhouse, working under a grant from the National Cancer Institute, were able to measure the retention of water in cancer patients.  This was a general system wide or systemic edema – it occurred throughout the entire body. 

It was not clearly visible or clinically discernable but it could be measured.  Here is a quote from the article Body-composition and Changes in Patients with Advanced Cancer that was published in the American Cancer Society’s journal Cancer, November-December 1957.  “Recent communications from this laboratory have emphasized that gross-weight changes in patients with advanced cancer may be minimal even when large amounts of body fat are being lost. Under these conditions it has been shown that there may be a great gain of total body water even though there may be no detectable edema.”

These are the symptomatic changes of damage to tissues resulting from advanced disease.  There is a large gain in total water in the body; a gain in intercellular water or cellular edema.  There are many who feel this process of sodium replacing potassium and subsequent cellular edema (swelling) is the source of many diseases.  What Gerson pioneered was a protocol for reversing this.
This article has been adapted from:


Salt and Water Management and Tissue Damage Syndrome from a Lecture by Gar Hildenbrand, 1990

To read the whole eight-page article and explore this concept in greater depth, go to:

There is a fascinating documentary about Dr. Gerson and his cure for cancer and other diseases titled Dying to Have Known.  It can be purchased, is available on Netflix® and can be viewed for free on YouTube®. 

Dying to Have Known on YouTube

The Gerson Institute has licensed two clinics – one in Mexico and one in Hungary.

There is also a very good “how to” book available titled The Gerson Therapy.  Do a search on Amazon® for the author, Dr. Gerson’s daughter – Charlotte Gerson.   

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