There is no scientific evidence that the Gerson regimen is effective at treating cancer or any other conditions it purports to treat, such as allergies, infertility, multiple sclerosis and migraines, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Its use can also cause dangerous electrolyte imbalances.
The American Cancer Society is another organization that warns of the health hazards inherent in using the Gerson regimen, reports Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The regimen involves consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices while eliminating sodium, fat and most animal protein from the diet. People also commonly use coffee enemas and digestive enzymes while following the strict dietary guidelines.
The claim is that the regimen cures cancer by removing toxic buildup from the body, but there is no scientific basis for the idea that a buildup of toxins is the root cause of cancer, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In addition to the danger of electrolyte imbalance from heavy coffee enema use, the diet can produce nutritional deficiencies because cancer patients with gastrointestinal issues may not be able to digest raw fruits and vegetables as readily as cooked foods.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the National Cancer Institute investigated 60 patients Dr. Max Gerson treated and determined it could not conclude his therapy was effective based on the available information, reports the National Cancer Institute. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not support the use of the therapy for any medical purpose as of 2015.