The following is the transcript from Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez’ lecture in 1990 to the World Research Foundation.
For Dr. Kelley cancer began with eye problems. He was riding down the road and noticed that he was having trouble reading street signs. At 35 years old he had always had 20/20 vision. Over the subsequent months his eyesight got progressively worse and he called his ophthalmologists. The ophthalmologist told him that at 35 he was just getting older and prescribed glasses for Dr. Kelley.
A few months later while he was with his patients (Dr. Kelley was an orthodontist) he noticed that he was having trouble seeing the patient’s teeth clearly. He went back to his ophthalmologist who said “this is interesting, you need bifocals”. That didn’t sit well on Kelley’s soul because he was only 35 years old he thought that was much too young to wear bifocals, but he wore the glasses anyway and they seemed to help.
After three months, he noticed that he could see far distances pretty well and he could read and work on his patients but the intermediate distances were getting fuzzy. This was unusual and he went back to his ophthalmologist who discovered that Kelley needed trifocals. The ophthalmologist was amazed, he had never had a patient who needed trifocals before. It was around this time that Kelley began having muscle cramps in his arms.
Initially, it wasn’t too bad and he figured that it was because he was spending so much time working, some days up to 12 hours. The cramps progressed to where they were like severe charlie horses and moved to his legs as well. Shortly afterwards he developed chest pains. These pains became so severe that he was taken to the hospital a total of three times thinking it was a heart attack but the EKGs were normal.
He went to his local doctor who told him that he was just working too hard and needed to take some time off. Kelley did take some time off, but the pains didn’t get any better. Just about the time he began having problems with the muscle pains he also noticed that his hair was falling out. He had a thick head of hair and thinning hair didn’t run in his family. At 35, he considered this pretty serious.
He went to his doctor again and his doctor said that it was just a symptom of stress and aging and there was nothing he could do about it. About the time his hair started falling out, he developed crippling depression. Dr. Kelley had never been depressed a day in his life. He worked 12 to 14 hours a day – loved his job, had 4 beautiful children (all adopted) that he adored, had a good wife who was active in community affairs that he loved.
Suddenly he was waking up with crying spells, was losing interest in his family, losing interest in his work and thinking of leaving it all and moving to the mountains of Colorado. He went to his doctor and begged for some anti-depressant drugs, but his doctor refused and told him to just take some more time off. Kelley took more time off but the depression got worst. Just when he was getting suicidal, his stomach expanded suddenly overnight.
His doctor put him in the hospital immediately. Being a well known orthodontist in the Texas community where he lived, all the local surgeons and gastrointestinal doctors were called in. The surgeon took one look at him said “this man has terminal cancer”. This was in 1964 and they didn’t have CT scans or sophisticated ultra-sound equipment. They just had x-ray machines and simple ultra-sound machines.
They did a series of x-rays that showed that he had lesions in his lungs, a huge tumor in his right hip, his liver was swollen to three times it’s normal size and it appeared that he had a pancreatic tumor that had metastasized very quickly. The surgeon said Kelley was too sick to operate and told Mrs. Kelley that he had 4 to 8 weeks to live. The news got worse.
His wife handled this sudden occurrence by leaving Dr. Kelley with 4 young children to raise and dying of cancer. Kelley did what any normal man would do in this situation, he called his mother. Kelley’s mother was an unusual character. You have to meet her to fully appreciate her. She raised three sons on a dirt poor Kansas farm, 80 acres, during the Depression. Her husband had died of a heart attack.
She got all three sons through college and graduate school. Kelley talked to his mother, told her that he was dying of cancer, his wife left him and he had 4 young children to raise and asked her what he should do. His mother got very angry with him and told him that he was just going to have to get over his cancer. He told her that was impossible, the finest doctors in Texas had examined him and told him that there was no hope.
Mrs. Kelley said “nonsense” and flew down to Texas to help him get better. The first thing she did was to walk into his kitchen and throw all his food away. Dr. Kelley was the preeminent connoisseur of junk food. He knew all the contents of every chocolate bar in the US He basically lived on chocolate bars and Fritos for years. It’s not very surprising that at 35 he was dying from terminal cancer.
After his mother threw out all the junk food in the house, she went out and bought fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds – no animal protein. From that day on she put her son a strict vegetarian diet of nothing but raw foods. Absolutely no animal protein, no fish, chicken, red meat of any kind.
This was a hard diet for Kelley to follow. He loved Big Macs and chocolate bars, but his mother wouldn’t allow any of those things in the house and he had no choice but to follow her diet. Then to his absolute astonishment he began to feel better – 4 weeks past, 6 weeks past, 8 weeks past and he was still alive. After three months had passed his mother walked into his bedroom and told him three months had passed it was time to go back to work.
He reminded her that he had terminal pancreatic cancer. She said “you have 4 kids to raise, your wife emptied out the bank account, you’re going to work whether you want to or not.” The next day he went back to work. He had to nap between patients but he was working. The miracle was first that he wasn’t dead and second that he was getting better. Kelley was a scientist. Scientists aren’t like the rest of us.
They ask questions that the rest of us are too lazy to research. Kelley couldn’t believe that his mother was the first person to figure out that a diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds can stabilize cancer. So, he went to his local library and luckily his local library had a copy of Max Gerson’s 1959 book called “50 Cases”. Gerson is an interesting character in medical history.
He was a very prominent physician from Germany who in the 1920s and 30s developed his own nutritional approach to degenerative diseases with a diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds and lots of fresh vegetable juices – 8 to 10 glasses a day. With this diet Gerson had very good success with a whole range of degenerative diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer.
During the 30s with the advent of Nazism, Gerson being Jewish, left the country and settled in New York City where he set up his own clinic. Over a 20 year period, he continued to have success with this diet. Gerson had hypothesized that meat was toxic body, toxic to the liver. Raw foods helped the body to clean out, stimulated the liver and enabled the immune system to work better.
He wasn’t sure of the science but he knew it worked. He published this in 1959. Kelley was excited about this because it confirmed that this diet had the possibility to work. He got progressively stronger for the next three to six months but he stabilized. Kelley was lucky in a very unlucky way.
He was lucky in that his cancer was such that it protruded through his liver and he could actually feel the tumors in his liver. He could monitor the progress of the diet. He knew that if he went off the diet, which would occasionally happen, that the tumors would start to grow within days and when he stuck to the diet religiously his tumors would regress.
About the six or seventh month the tumors stopped regressing and Kelley developed severe digestive problems. Of course, one of the problems with pancreatic cancer is that it destroys the pancreas which produces insulin and digestive enzymes. Without digestive enzymes you can’t digest your food.
One of the major problems with pancreatic disease, be it pancreatic cancer or pancreatisis, is severe digestive problems. Bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea – they just can’t digest their food correctly. Kelley thought that there had to be some simple solution to this, so he went to his local pharmacy. The pharmacist was a friend of his.
Since this was 1964, the pharmacist handed Kelley a large bottle of pancreative enzymes and told him that this would take care of the bloating etc. Kelley, being a man of excess, bought about 10 cases of the enzymes. He began taking 3 with meals, then 4 with meals – after about 3 days he was taking 50 capsules of enzymes with each meal.
He noticed that when he took a dose of enzymes something would happen. Every time he took a dose of enzymes there would be a twinge of pain in the areas of the tumor in the liver. The tumors began to feel different, they felt like they were getting softer. He could actually begin to feel them shrinking and dissolving after the stabilization on the diet. Kelley couldn’t figure out why this was happening.
He couldn’t figure out why pancreatic enzymes would cause his tumors to dissolve. Being a doctor and needing to find answers to his questions, he went back to his local library to research. He was fortunate enough to find the name of John Beard in his research. John Beard was an eminent embryologist working out of the University of Edinborough in Scotland during the 1890s.
Beard started out with no interest in cancer, he was an embryologist and his work concentrated on the placenta. After fertilization in a mammal the embryo produces the placenta which literally eats into the mother’s uterus. It serves as an anchor for the fetus and also serves as the connection to the blood supply of the mother which feeds the baby and is how the baby gets rid of it’s waste material.
Beard noticed that in every mammal there was one particular day in the gestation period that the placenta stops growing. In mice it was 10 days, humans it was 56 days. In virtually every human embryo, on the 56th day the placenta stops growing. Beard was particularly interested in this because he thought of the placenta as a type of tumor. It invades the uterus in much the same way a tumor would invade the uterus.
Usually, the placenta reaches a certain phase and stops, but in the women where the placenta doesn’t stop growing they develop a very serious cancer called cariocarcinoma which was once the most aggressive cancer around. Now we have a chemotherapeutic agent that knocks it out and today 80 to 90% of these women are cured. There is a tradition of the placenta acting as a tumor.
Beard thought that if he could find the reason why the placenta would stop growing, he might could find out how to stop cancerous tumors from growing. This lead to 10 years of research. Beard did a variety of animal studies where he would investigate the growth of every organ system, every tissue, every organ. Trying to find a connection to the cessation of the growth of the placenta. It took him 10 years before he hit on it.
The only connection that existed was that in every mammal the placenta stopped growing the day the embryonic pancreas began to work. This is interesting because the embryo doesn’t need the pancreas. It gets all the nutrients it needs from the mother’s blood supply, it doesn’t need digestive enzymes.
Beard deduced that the only reason the embryo needed digestive enzymes was to stop the growth of the placenta. If they indeed stopped the placenta from growing maybe they could stop tumors from growing. In 1904 Beard presented his hypothesis that pancreatic enzymes represent the main defense against cancer and not the immune system or any other system to the Edinborough Scientific Society.
He was nearly universally laughed at. Nearly because there was one bright army surgeon in the audience who was a cancer specialist and in 1904 there was no known cancer therapy except for surgery. This man had seen too many of his patients die and he was willing to try anything. After the lecture, his army captain went up to Beard and said that he’d like to try this therapy.
Over the next few months, the surgeon and Beard developed an injunctive form of pancreatic enzymes. The first case documented in medical history was a man with a huge tumor sitting in his throat. The army captain injected this man, with Beard’s assistance, over the next two weeks with pancreatic enzymes. After two weeks, this tumor was thrown up by this patient.
The tumor was there on the table in front of them. They analyzed the tumor and found that it was completely dead. This was the first case of a patient apparently being cured of cancer by pancreatic enzymes. It was published in the British Medical Journal and cause a lot of controversy. The usual controversy: the patient didn’t really have cancer, the results were faked, that wasn’t really a tumor, the same thing we hear today. A number of doctors did get interested in Beard’s work and over the years about 40 to 50 papers were published in various medical journals in the US and Europe documenting the regression of tumors and in fact some cures using injectable pancreatic enzymes. You may wonder why Beard’s work never took hold if it was so good. In fact, in 1911 Beard published a book called “The Enzyme Therapy of Cancer” and about 15 people ever bothered to read it.
The reason is that about the time Beard published his book Madame Curie announced that radiation was a safe, non-toxic cure for virtually all cancers. Madame Curie has a fabulous reputation. She was that brilliant Polish immigrant to Paris who had done wonderful work with radiation. She proposed that radiation was perfectly safe and it took a generation of radiation oncologists to die of leukemia before it was realized that it wasn’t safe.
She was also mistaken thinking that it was good for all cancers. There are very few cancers that are radiation sensitive for a prolonged period of time. However, Madame Curie was so well loved by the world’s press that this was presented as the answer to cancer. Beard’s work was ignored and by the time he died in 1920, he died in obscurity and enzyme therapy was forgotten until Dr. Kelley began to suspect that the enzymes given to him by his pharmacist was dissolving his tumors.
There was one problem – Beard said that pancreatic enzymes had to be injected or they would be destroyed in the gut. Every dental and medical school student is taught that orally ingested pancreatic enzymes are wonderful digestive aids but they are destroyed in the gut and they are not absorbed active and intact in the gut. That doesn’t happen.
Kelley was taking the enzymes orally and he knew something was happening, so he went back to the medical literature. In the 1930s and 1940s there are a whole series of documented experiments that orally ingested pancreatic enzymes in both animals and humans studies are absorbed active and intact in the gut and serve a variety physiological functions. The easiest way to document this is with a 24 hour check of the urine.
If you feed a patient a large amount of pancreatic enzymes and check their urine for 24 hours, you can see how much of the enzymes are excreted in the urine. Virtually 100% of what you take orally is found in the urine, not in the intestinal tract, which means that they have to be absorbed. With that problems resolved, Kelley began to focus on the diet itself. Remember Kelley’s therapy began with his mother’s diet.
Raw fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts – all raw and lot of juices. He began to wonder why the food had to be raw. Being intrigued by Beard’s theory of enzymes, he began to try and connect the enzymes with raw foods. He knew that raw foods were packed with vitamins and nutrients and when you cook food you don’t really destroy a lot of the vitamins and minerals and trace elements.
Heat doesn’t effect those, but heat does destroy enzymes. Raw food is packed with enzymes. When you cook food you get no enzymes at all. That’s a pretty important concept when you think about it. We’re the only species of animal that cooks it’s food. Every other animal eats raw food. Kelley was thinking about this and he couldn’t believe that he was the first person to make this connection.
He went back to the library and he found the work of Edward Howell. Howell was a doctor who graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1920. Howell was a brilliant doctor with a great career except for one thing. He was sick as a dog. Today he would be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. He was 24 years old and couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
No interest in his work, he was depressed with fevers, chills and sweats. When a doctor gets sick it’s pretty scary and he goes to the best doctors to find the best answers for what is troubling him. He went everywhere, from the Columbia Presbyterian to the Mayo Clinic. No one could diagnose him. They told him that nothing was wrong with him, just stress and he should probably see a psychiatrist.
Howell didn’t like that prognosis, he knew there was something wrong. He was 24 years old and he couldn’t function. Out of desperation (no one goes to a natural therapy as the first choice) he went to a spa run by a naturopath in Illinois. The naturopath took one look at Howell and told him that he was going to put him on a raw foods diet. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds – the Mama Kelley diet and the Gerson diet.
Howell was too sick to argue, too sick to think clearly, so he went on the diet and within 3 months he was a new man. He was virtually completely well. He asked the naturopath what it was about the raw foods that could cause such a dramatic effect and the naturopath said one word “enzymes”. In 1920 there wasn’t much known about enzyme but they knew some.
Enzymes are a catalyst they enable reactions to occur in both biological and non-biological systems with a minimum input of energy. There are reactions that occur in the normal human cells that if not for enzymes it would take 1,000 to 2,000 degrees centigrade – we would disappear in a puff of smoke. Enzymes allow reactions to occur with a minimum amount of heat and energy input.
They increase the efficiency of both biological and non-biological chemical reactions. When you cook food, this naturopath said, you don’t destroy the vitamins, the minerals and the trace elements. You don’t destroy the fats, the proteins. There is as much fat in a cooked McDonald’s Big Mac as in raw beef but you do destroy enzymes. He told Howell – even back then it was known – that all biological enzymes are inactivated above 118 degrees.
That struck Howell as a profound concept because he made the same connection that Kelley made 40 years later. We’re the only species of animal that cooks it’s food and we’re the only species of animal that are eating enzyme free food. The naturopath, Howell and Kelley realized that the enzymes in food may be the single most important nutrient in food, the nutrient required to repair and prevent damage in tissues, the nutrient for preventing disease.
Howell spent 50 years of his life documenting the effect of raw foods on human health. Since he was unorthodox, outside the norm, he was largely ignored. Kelley was doing well now. He had his diet down. He was getting his enzymes and feeling good. He was nine months into his therapy, working 8 hours a day seeing his patients, everything was going well. Then he got sick.
He woke up one day feeling tired, he canceled his patients and stayed in bed. The next day he felt worse. He thought he was getting the flu. The third he was sicker, he developed nausea and began vomiting. This was a bit scary because he would take the enzymes and would throw them up immediately. Kelley was a tough character, he’d take more enzymes and again throw them up.
By the end of the day, he gave up. He stayed off the pills for a few days and he felt better so he went back on the pills and did OK for the first two or three days. Then he got sick again, following the same pattern. Kelley looked at the enzymes as his life line so he would go off the enzymes for a few days and go back on when he felt better until he got sick again. He noticed by feeling the tumors in his stomach that when he went off the enzymes that his tumors would start to grow and when he went back on they would regress.
It seemed that it should have been the other way around. He should have felt better on the enzymes when the tumors were breaking up and worse when the tumors were growing. Kelley stayed up day after day trying to figure out why this was occurring. One night he suddenly came up with the answer. He was breaking down the tumors and the tumor material was making him sick – the tumor material was toxic. Kelley also realized that this was why people would get sick on chemotherapy.
The chemo was breaking up the tumors and the tumor material was making them sick. He had severe symptoms when he was sick on the pills – high fever, chills, sweats, like a severe case of flu. That lead to another investigation. He was looking for some way to alleviate this symptom to allow the program to work more efficiently. He went through a number of medical journals and a number of medical textbooks and the one thing that kept coming back to him was coffee enemas.
Nothing causes more controversy of Kelley’s program than coffee enemas. Kelley learned of coffee enemas, not from some alternative medical manual but from the Merck manual. The Merck manual included coffee enemas as a therapeutic tools from 1889 to 1977. It was documented during the 1920s and 30s that when you take coffee rectally the caffeine stimulates the liver to release toxins.
Caffeine is a metholzantin, it causes smooth muscle relaxation in the gut. Kelley wasn’t too thrilled by this prospect. He figured that he really didn’t have much choice – his life depended on it. He went to his local grocery store, bought the normal brand of coffee and went to his pharmacy for an enema bag. He went on the enzymes for about 4 or 5 days until he was feeling really sick.
He had a fever of 104, he had muscle aches, he was vomiting. He did this so he could see if the coffee enema really worked. After taking his first enema, within 30 minutes his fever went from 104 to 99, his muscle aches and pains resolved. From that day on he did coffee enemas daily and is still doing them today. That was the third element in the Kelley program. Diet, pancreatic enzymes and coffee enemas.
When he went back to work, word had spread about crazy Dr. Kelley who had cured himself of terminal cancer. People started coming to him for his cancer program and not for their teeth. He not only got calls from people with cancer but also people with MS and asthma from the local outlying towns. He developed such an international reputation that the local medical society had him thrown in jail in 1969.
Nothing offends the AMA like a dentist that cures cancer. Kelley was doing well with his program. He added some vitamins to make the enzymes work better and he was getting a good success rate, but not good enough. Kelley always said that you don’t learn from your successes. Successes make you feel all arrogant and wonderful, but you learn from your failures. By 1970, Kelley was getting about 50% of his patients well, but he was losing about 50%.
He couldn’t figure out any he was losing the 50%. He changed parts of the diet. He would increase the amounts of fruits, then decrease the fruits and increase the vegetables, change the ratio of beans to rice, give more juices, give less juices. There were some patients that no matter what he did they didn’t get any better. One of these patients was a woman who would become the second Mrs. Kelley.
Susie was a remarkable woman. She had the worse case of allergies in the history of medicine. She was so sensitive to iodine that she could not walk within 10 miles of the ocean or she would have an anaphylactic reaction. She had to carry Adeline around with her continually. Repeatedly about twice a week she would have anaphylactic reactions. Some bright allergist had treated her with dirty needles and she developed hepatitis.
So not only had severe allergies but she had chronic active hepatitis which in and of itself was a fatal disease in many cases. She was 24 and she was dying. There were about 4 things that she could eat. She figured that when she got down to distilled water it was over. She knew Kelley was a cancer doctor but she thought that if Kelley could cure cancer he could cure her allergies.
She arrived at his office very sick. Kelley put her on his diet and within 3 or 4 months she was doing very well and at 6 months she could eat fish. By 9 months she was doing so well that she married Dr. Kelley and began to run his office. Things were going really well until about 12 months when Susie began to get sick. Kelley thought what he had initially thought when he got sick, that she had the flu.
He told her to just stay on the program and she would get over it. She got progressively worse and what alarmed Dr. Kelley, and Susie too, was that she again developed allergies after about a year free of allergies. She began to react to any food that she took in. Even the raw fruits and vegetables. Kelley did a lot of manipulations, he increased the fruits, increased the vegetables, all the things that had worked before.
Susie got progressively worse and was almost comatose. Kelley was faced with a problem. If she got any worse he’d have to take her to the hospital and the papers would have a field day. Crazy, quack cancer doctor’s wife ends up in the hospital in a coma. He thought about this a lot and he didn’t want that to happen. He thought about all he had done and all he hadn’t done and the only thing he hadn’t tried was raw meat.
He rejected the idea at first – meat was toxic. Two days later, he knew that his wife was dying. He said that since the only thing he hadn’t given her was meat, he was going to try meat. He talked it over with her. She was delirious but she did hear meat and she said “NO, meat is not apart of the Kelley diet, you’re trying to kill me, Donald”. Kelley told her that she had to eat it whether she liked it or not.
He went to the market and bought the biggest prime rib he could find, ground it up and asked Susie to eat it raw. If it was cooked it would destroy the enzymes and she needed the enzymes. Within two hours, she was sitting up in bed, Kelley fed her raw meat for the next 24 hours and she got stronger and stronger. Within three days she was completely well.
Today Susie Kelley looks 20 years younger than she is, still eats raw red meat three times a day and is in perfect physical health. It was exhilarating and humiliating for Kelley to realize that his own wife was a meat eater because it went against everything that he believed in. Kelley couldn’t believe that he was the first person who found out that there was a subcategory of human being that not only did well on meats but had to have it or they would get sick.
Back at the library, Kelley read about the wonderful work of Stefenson. Stefenson was an American anthropologist who was trained at the Harvard. He got bored hanging around Cambridge trying to figure out what to do with his life, so he packed up and moved to one of the most remote regions of the Arctic Circle to study Eskimos. Up until that point, no white man had lived with the Eskimos.
Stefenson not only lived among them but took an Eskimo wife. He studied their way of life, their hunting techniques and particularly their diet. The Eskimo diet stunned Stefenson. It shouldn’t have when you think about the Eskimo way of life. The Eskimo diet is nothing but meat. Up in the Arctic Circle there is not much of a summer, only two months. There’s no fruits, no vegetables, there’s no soil only tundra.
All there is fatty red meat – seal, polar bear, whale, fish. Stefenson thought about this and he knew enough about biology to know that humans weren’t suppose to be able to live on meat. Even back then it was thought that red meat was one of the great evils of man. Stefenson looked at this very carefully. The Eskimos had no cancer, no diabetes, heart disease, they didn’t even have a word for depression because they didn’t know what it was.
They seemed to be very happy people, they lived a very rigorous climate and they were very strong. Stefenson discussed this diet with his biochemist friend at Harvard and it was realized that their diet as 80% saturated fat. There are executives at the American Heart Association that would drop dead of a heart attack if you suggested a diet of 80% saturated fat. The American diet is about 40%, the AHA recommends about 20 to 30% and here is this society of people thriving on 80% saturated fat.
Stefenson spent 10 years at the Arctic Circle and when he came back to the US he wrote a series of 10 books documenting his time with the Eskimos. Several of those books dealt with the Eskimo diet. When those books were published a controversy erupted. It was thought to be impossible for someone to live on meat. Meat was unhealthy and caused all kinds of toxic conditions.
Stefenson was called a fraud. Logically you have to think, what would they live on, but people didn’t realize the conditions of the Arctic. This controversy raged for five years, there were articles on the front page of the New York Times. Stefenson was a romantic figure at that time. Here was this man who disappeared for 10 years in the Arctic Circle and married an Eskimo. Finally, Stefenson dared the New York City Medical Society to lock him up in a ward at Bellevue for a year and feed him nothing but red meat. Professor Tolstoy of Cornell University said let’s do it. So Stefenson and a colleague lived in Bellevue for a year and lived on nothing but a diet of 80% saturated fat.
At the end of the year, Stefenson’s cholesterol level had dropped 70 points, he was in excellent health, his triglycerides were practically non-existent and no one could figure out what had happened. When Kelley read Stefenson’s work, he thought, “my wife’s not an Eskimo why would she need red meat”. Upon researching at the library he realized that about 20,000 years ago there was an ice age that came all the way down to New York City.
There were a lot of Northern Europeans who were living in Arctic Circle conditions around that time. If you’re from Northern Europe, your ancestors had nothing to eat but large fatty animals because the Arctic Circle had moved down several thousand miles. Kelley knew that Susie was of Northern European descent and her ancestors survived because they could live on 80% saturated fat.
You have to think about geological history when you make dietary selections. Kelley had his two diets now. The vegetarian diet and the carnivore and a third category of people who fell in between these two. This third category does well with some of both categories. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and some meats. Eventually he had 10 subtypes, 90 variations of the subtypes, etc. but he had basically three separate types of people.
The vegetarians who do very well with raw fruits, vegetables but terrible on meats, the carnivores who do extremely well with fatty meat and root vegetables but terrible with salad vegetables, and the balanced metabolizers who are somewhere in between. Kelley noticed while treating these different types of people that each type was susceptible to specific types of cancer. He was seeing thousands of patients with all types of cancer.
He noticed that the vegetarians types tended to get the hard tumors. The carnivores tended to get the blood tumors (leukemia, lymphoma and melanoma – while not a blood cancer seemed to be found mostly in carnivore types). Balanced people were in between seeming to be susceptible to both types of cancer. Kelley thought that this was a particularly important observation – that certain types of people who do well on certain types of diets get certain types of cancer and not other types.
He wondered if there was something physiological that could explain this and if he could figure it out he might understand something fundamental about cancer. He went through the thousands of records he had on his patients. It was there he discovered that there were certain qualities that were universally distinctive.
The vegetarian patients tended to have a fast pulse, they tended to need little sleep, they tended to be very irritable emotionally, they tended to do very well in the mornings and less well at night, they tended to have very lean faces. The carnivores were just the opposite, they tended to be more lethargic, they needed 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, they did terrible in the mornings and didn’t start waking up until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, they tended to have a low pulse and good digestion.
Balanced people were in between, a normal pulse, they tended to need 6 to 8 hours of sleep and did well at any time of day. Kelley thought that if he could find a something biological that would explain this, he would be able to understand cancer a bit better. Back at the library, Kelley found the work of Melvin Page. Page was an eccentric dentist who worked out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Page, like Kelley, had discovered that different types of people needed different diets.
His explanation was an autonomic physiology. The nervous system can be divided up on two basic ways. The easiest way to divide it is the conscience nervous system and the unconscious nervous system. The conscience nervous system is what you need when you drive a car, doing a crossword puzzle or do a math problem.
The unconscious nervous system is the system that controls physiological processes in which we don’t have to think: heart rate, secretion of enzymes, secretion of hormones, digestion. The unconscious nervous system is known as the autonomic nervous system. It’s kind of automatic and this is divided into two parts: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic and the parasympathetic tend to work in opposition.
The sympathetic nervous system tends to speed up heart rate and the parasympathetic nervous system tend to slow down heart rate. The sympathetic nervous system tends to block secretion of pancreatic enzymes and the parasympathetic nervous system tends to increase them. These two systems tend to work in opposition every second of our lives to keep our physiology exactly where it should be to do the process that is necessary for that moment. Melvin Page suggested that there were certain people whose sympathetic nervous system was overly developed and overly active.
In those people the parasympathetic nervous system was correspondingly weak. In order people the parasympathetic nervous system was strong and the sympathetic nervous system was correspondingly weak. In the third group the two systems were equally balanced. Kelley immediately recognized that there were his vegetarians, carnivores and balanced groups.
Vegetarians had a very strong sympathetic nervous system and a weak parasympathetic nervous system, carnivores had a strong parasympathetic nervous system and a weak sympathetic nervous system. Kelley realized the balance of these systems were related to three important minerals. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The vegetarian diet that his sympathetic system patients are on were loaded with potassium and magnesium. These are very alkalizing nutrients.
We now know through orthodox neurophysiology that potassium tends to stimulate the parasympathetic nerves and magnesium tends to block sympathetic functions. So, if you’re dealing with a vegetarian who has a very strong sympathetic system but a weak parasympathetic system, a vegetarian diet will tend to tone down the strong system and build up the weak system and bring them into balance.
Meat is a very acid forming, it’s loaded with phosphates and sulfates. In the body, phosphates turn into phosphoric acid and sulfates into sulfuric acid. There is an enormous load of free acid in every pieces of meat we eat. This has been measured and it’s an extraordinary load on the body. The quickest way to acidify the bloodstream is to eat red meat.
We now know from studies done in emergency rooms that sympathetic and parasympathetic functions is very keenly tied into pH. The acid base balance. The traditional medicine for a patient who walks in with a heart attack is to fill them up with calcium and bicarbonate. Heart attack patients go into acidosis, we thought to fill them up with bicarbonate to block the acidosis.
The only problem is that the patients we saw die from a heart attacks were dying because we were using too much bicarbonate. When you use too much bicarbonate you’re turning off the sympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system is the stress nervous system. The one system you want functioning during the stress of a heart attack is the sympathetic nervous system.
When you block it’s function, patients can go into fatal arrhythmia’s and die within seconds. It took thousands of patients to die from too much bicarbonate to realize that it isn’t an idea therapy. You want the pH slightly acid, if you get too alkaline the parasympathetic turns off and you lose your patient.
Carnivores have a strong parasympathetic system and a weak sympathetic system and if you give them red meat you turn the body acid, you stimulate sympathetic nervous system and tone down the parasympathetic nervous system in order to balance. Kelley began to realize after documenting and studying thousands of patients that when he got that autonomic nervous system into balance with his diet the tumors would go away. It was that simply.
When you tone down sympathetic system and build up the parasympathetic system in a hard tumor patient sometimes the tumor would go away in days. Similarly a patient with leukemia or lymphoma put on a red meat diet will acidify the blood stream, stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and tone down the parasympathetic nervous system and the tumors would go away.
He saw this in his own practice. Very often he’d treat patient for months and months and get no progress at all and then one day the tumors would start shrinking like it was melting away like an ice cube on a hot day. Calcium is probably the key element in all this. Calcium has a lot of applications to anybody practicing any kind of oncology. Calcium has a lot of functions.
We know it is the main cement for the bones, but it also is very metabolically active. It almost acts like a hormone in the body. It’s what’s called the second messenger in the cells, it’s the one way neurotransmitters translate their information into the nucleus. Calcium functions as a carrier of information, as a stimulator of information systems in the cell.
Calcium is also fundamentally the main cement of cellular membranes. When the sympathetic nervous system is very strong and active and producing lots of adrenaline which is one of it’s main hormones, some membranes tend to get very tight. If you give adrenaline to somebody their muscles tend to get very tense, their jaw will tense up. Cell membranes tighten in every tissue in the body.
What happens is that with sympathetic discharge calcium goes into the cell membranes and tightens them. With an alkaline environment, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off membranes get very weak and calcium leaches out and membranes leak out all kinds of junk. Kelley tried to relate this to cancer, and he began to realized that with hard tumor patients the sympathetic nervous system was too strong and the cell membrane was too tight.
The membranes of the tumor were too tight and the patient’s own immune system and the patient’s pancreatic enzymes couldn’t get to the tumor. On Kelley’s diet, the patient would turn a little more alkaline, the sympathetic system would weaken, calcium would leach out in the membrane, the membranes would get leaky and then the enzymes could get to the tumor very easily and the patient’s own immune system could get to the tumor easily.
Chemo-therapeutic drugs could get to the tumor easily. One of the most interesting things in oncology is that you can get two patients with the same type of tumor in the same location and one will respond to treatment beautifully while the other won’t respond at all. It’s pH autonomic balance – if you believe Kelley’s hypothesis.
One patient will have a strong sympathetic system and you give the chemotherapeutic agent to them and the cell membranes are so tight that the agents can’t get in. Enzymes won’t get into the tumors, chemo won’t get into the tumors, the immune system products won’t get into the tumors. Those patients die and the tumors grow. The parasympathetic tumors, the tumors of the blood, deal with the opposite situation.
These patient tend to be too alkaline and the cell membranes tend to be too leaky. When cell membranes are too leaky, this tend to stimulate cell reproduction. The problem with these tumors is that they reproduce so quickly that with whatever therapeutic agent you are using, you are running a race – whether you can break them down faster than they are reproducing.
When you use a red meat diet, it stimulates sympathetic function, tones down parasympathetic function, you get the body acidic, the cell membranes tighten and reproduction slows. The patients with leukemia have very aggressive tumors. The white blood cells can go from 10,000 to 1,000,000 in a matter of weeks. The reason for this is weakened cell membranes. You slow down the rate of tumor growth by tightening the cell membranes and you give these patients time to get the therapeutic agents time to work. When you treat a cancer patient you have to think about autonomic physiology – whether you are using nutrition or chemotherapy. Gonzalez spent 5 years going through 10,000 of Kelley’s records. He found that patients who followed the program closely and utilizing it properly – about 70% of them were getting well.
It didn’t matter what type of cancer or how far advanced they were. Since this was just a research of Kelley’s records and not a “controlled” study it is not accepted by the orthodox medical community. Gonzalez decided to track down all Kelley’s patients with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer being the most aggressive and the hardest to treat. In Kelley’s records from 1974 to 1982 Gonzalez found 23. He did extensive interviews with the patient’s family and the traditional doctors that they used.
He found that out of these 23, 10 went to Kelley once, thought he was a quack and never came back and the median survival time was 60 days after seeing Kelley which is normal for this type of cancer. The second group had 7 patients. This group consisted of those who went on the program partially, most gave it up due to pressure from traditional doctors. Even though they only partially completed the program they had significantly improved survival rates of 300 days on average.
The third group of 6 patients that completed the program had a median survival of 8 1/2 years and most are alive today. One died of Alzheimer’s and Gonzalez feels that if you have your pancreatic cancer patient’s dying of old age and Alzheimer’s you have succeeded as a physician. So, the median survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients who completed Kelley’s program had a median survival rate of 8 1/2 years and going.
The above text is from a lecture by Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez in 1990. Dr. Gonzalez treats cancer patients with a modified version of Dr. William Donald Kelley’s program. The text is not word for word. The transcriber omitted anecdotal sections, but kept all research and pertinent information.
~ The Author ~
Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D., graduated from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude with a degree in English Literature. He subsequently completed his premedical work as a postgraduate student at Columbia University, and received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1983. After his internship, he completed fellowship training in immunology under Robert A. Good, Ph.D., M.D., considered to be the father of modern immunology. Dr. Gonzalez began researching nutritional approaches to cancer treatment while a medical student, and completed an investigation of the enzyme therapy of cancer while an immunology fellow. His interest in such therapy seemed to be as a result of his studies of the 33,000 case files of Dr. Kelley’s patients.
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has been investigating nutritional approaches to cancer and other degenerative diseases since 1981, and has been in practice in New York since 1987.
Originally published on DrKelley.info, March 19, 2010. (Ed. 11.21.10)
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