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The Moerman Diet

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Cornelis Morman, M.D. (893-1988) was a Dutch physician who pacticed medicine for nearly 50 years. In the 1930s, he began experimenting with pigeons and claimed to have found "mysterious suppressors" of the cancer cell -- "eight essential substances" that can keep humans healthy. He also claimed:

The diet prohibited all meats, all fish and shellfish, alcohol, animal fats, artificial colorings, beans, peas, lentils, mushrooms, potatoes, red cabbage, saurkraut., cheeses with high fat and salt content, margerine and other hydrogenated oils, coffee, cocoa or caffeine containing teas, egg whites, sugar, salt, white flour, and tobacco.

Proponents claim that Moerman's diet was approved by the Dutch Ministry of Health in 1987 based on government-supported research. However, in 1988, the Swiss Cancer League's Study Group on Unproven Methods of Oncology investigated this claim and reported: "At the beginning of the 1980s the Dutch government supported a prospective trial to investigate the effectiveness of the Moerman therapy. After the study had begun, the Moerman doctors dropped out one after the other, and the study had to be terminated without any results being obtained." [1] The Study Group also concluded:


  1. Study Group on Unproven Methods of Oncology. Cancer cure by the Dr. Moerman diet and therapy. Swiss Cancer League File No. 24E, 1988.

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This article was posted on December 11, 2001.