Abstract and key points
- The Budwig diet is a lacto-vegetarian regimen featuring flaxseed combined with cottage cheese or quark.
- No clinical trials or case reports on the Budwig diet are available in the scientific literature.
- No safety issues have been reported in the scientific literature but fat and protein contents are well above the recommended amounts.
The Budwig diet consists of a special lacto-vegetarian regimen that focuses on a particular blend of oil and protein, i.e. flaxseed oil and cottage cheese or quark.
The general guidelines of the diet emphasise foods in their natural state, plenty of fat in the form of cold-pressed flaxseed oil and a spreadable fat based on flaxseed oil, and protein in the form of quark or cottage cheese. Freshly pressed juices and herbal teas are also an integral part.
Budwig recommended this diet for all kinds of diseases, and her approach is also said to have a preventive health effect in healthy people, especially eating flaxseed oil and quark on a regular basis. Dr J Budwig (1908-2003), a licensed pharmacist, stated that consuming processed fats was the primary cause of the majority of diseases, most notably cancer. According to her theory, combining polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from flaxseed with sulfhydryl-containing proteins from cottage cheese or quark has an effect on the growth and progression of malignant tumours. However, this theory is not borne out by current scientific evidence in the fields of nutrition research and cancer prevention.
No clinical trials or documented case reports on the Budwig diet are available in the published scientific literature.
Since the relevant research has not been conducted, it cannot be stated with certainty that this kind of diet is at least not harmful. From the perspective of nutritional scientists, the main point of contention about the Budwig diet is that the protein and fat content are both well above the amounts recommended by medical associations.
CitationLuc Geeraert, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Budwig diet [online document]. http://www.cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Dietary-approaches/Budwig-diet. February 8, 2017.
Assessed as up to date in February 2017 by Barbara Wider.
Fully revised and updated in January 2016 by Markus Horneber.
Assessed as up to date in January 2015 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in August 2013 by Barbara Wider.
Summary first published in May 2012 by Luc Geeraert.
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