Ask the Doctor: Food Allergies, Probiotics and Doing the Therapy Without a Gallbladder

Ask the Doctor: Gallbladder Removal, Food Allergies and ProbioticsAsk the Doctor is a regular column in the Gerson Institute’s bimonthly newsletter, the Healing News. Our staff collects questions that we receive about the Gerson Therapy, and pose them to the Gerson Institute’s medical director, Dr. Kayla Smith, ND.

Q: What do I do if I am allergic to foods on the Gerson diet?

A:  It does occasionally happen that some people have allergies or sensitivities to some of the staple foods on the Gerson diet, such as potatoes, apples, tomatoes or carrots, though it is quite rare as these are not common allergens. We have found that once people have been on the Therapy for a short time and have become more nourished and detoxified, these foods will cease to cause a reaction. The specific food may need to be avoided for a short while at the beginning, but usually it can be re-introduced slowly without a problem. If there is an allergy to more than one food, then re-introduce only one food at a time.

There are also some good techniques for desensitizing one to an allergen. These include the NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).


Q: Can I do the Gerson Therapy if I’ve had my gallbladder removed?

A:   Yes, the lack of a gallbladder does not affect the ability to do the Gerson Therapy.

The main function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate the bile that comes from the liver. Bile is a substance that helps in digesting fat. The liver produces the bile, then stores it in the gallbladder until the body needs to digest fat. When this happens, the gallbladder starts to let the bile flow down into the duodenum, the section of the small intestine where the fat is digested. Without the gallbladder, the bile will not be so concentrated and will flow from the liver from the bile duct directly into the duodenum. Bile also neutralizes some of the acids that are found in certain foods.

Without a gallbladder, one must be careful about the quantity of fat that is eaten because without the gallbladder, the body can’t handle the fat substance as well. On the Gerson Therapy, fats are strictly limited and only flax oil is allowed.

If one is not on the Gerson Therapy, it would still be recommended to minimize the consumption of fats (even healthy ones) and take a good digestive enzyme. Adding ox bile as a digestive aid can also be helpful.

Q: Can I take probiotics on the Gerson Therapy?

A:   Probiotics are not part of the Gerson Therapy, but they are not contraindicated and will not interfere. Ultimately, once the body, including the intestinal tract is cleansed and nourished properly, healthy gut flora will be restored. However, there are many conditions that can contribute to dysbiosis (unhealthy balance of gut flora) such as severe Candida albicans, parasites, heavy metal toxicity and use of chemotherapy, antibiotics and other drugs. Supplementing with probiotics can assist in restoring a normal balance more quickly while the Therapy will eventually create the ideal conditions for sustaining a healthy gut. In choosing a probiotic supplement, a multi-strain product is recommended. Although Lactobacillus and Bifidus are the main players, many other strains inhabit the GI tract and provide synergistic activity.

Yogurt is introduced to many Gerson patients after the first 6-8 weeks on the Therapy. Yogurt does contain healthy cultures of bacteria to support the gastrointestinal tract, but the number of friendly organisms is in the millions, whereas a good probiotic supplement should contain 20 to 40 billion organisms. The yogurt should not be ultra-pasteurized and should say “contains live active cultures” on the label–and of course, should be organic and fat-free.

Since there are at least 100 trillion microorganisms weighing about 1.5 kilograms inhabiting the human gut, we need to keep them friendly!

About the Author
DrKaylaSmithDr. Kayla Smith is a licensed naturopathic physician who has been affiliated with the Gerson Institute since 1997. She was the former director of the Gerson Wellness Center in Sedona, Arizona and continued to provide consulting services to clients doing the home program for many years. She is currently the Director of Medical Services at the Gerson Institute, where she provides medical consulting support for the Gerson Institute staff. She also oversees the clients at the Charlotte Gerson Health Restoration Center and is an instructor for the Gerson Practitioner Training and Gerson Basics Workshop classes.

Her outside interests include spending time in nature, gardening and practicing and teaching Qi gong.


12 Responses to “Ask the Doctor: Food Allergies, Probiotics and Doing the Therapy Without a Gallbladder”
  1. I would like to know if we can use frozen organic food with the diet? Fresh organic food is really hard to find in my area. Thank you.

  2. Henry Banks says:

    What effect does the therapy have on Prostate Cancer? I’m now in treatment, and have started radio. and chemo therapy for same, because of the agressiveness of the cancer. Do you have any tips to offer?

  3. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi Henry! For questions regarding personal medical or health situations, please get in contact with our office directly, our staff would be happy to speak to you! You can find all of our contact information here:

  4. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi everyone! A quick note regarding how we handle comments around here.

    I’ve been receiving a lot of comments on this post with questions of a personal medical nature.

    It is my firm belief that commenting on a blog is not the best way to seek personal guidance for individual health concerns, so when we receive these types of comments, we do not publish them out of respect for your privacy. Our Education Team responds privately by email, not in the public comments section.

    If you would like to speak to someone about your health or have questions pertaining to a specific health problem, please contact our Education Team directly–they would be happy to help! You can find all of our contact information here:

    Thank you!

  5. Alan Gorg says:

    Please give an opinion on a new product GOOD KARMA FLAX MILK DAIRY FREE PROTEIN with plant-based protein. Ingredients are flax milk, , pea protein, tapioca, sunflower lecithin, gums, vitamins. May have some soy.
    Thank you.

  6. GersonInstitute says:

    Hi Alan! We don’t use that kind of product on the Gerson Therapy–the diet is low-protein, so protein powders aren’t permitted for Gerson patients, regardless of the ingredients. You can learn more about the guidelines for the Gerson diet here:

  7. Tersia Harmse says:

    I have fibromalgia and also becoming seriously overweight….will the Gerson diet help me? Tersia

  8. Brigitte Price says:

    Can persons on the Gerson Therapy use ionic foot baths?

  9. Sana Kris says:

    Hi how is one fulfilling the other nutritional benefits meat provides and why is it not allowed?

  10. Criss Cabrera says:

    Can you start out doing warm water enemas, before starting the coffee enemas? How many enemas are to be used in a day?

  11. sandra says:

    Is immunocal allowed on the therapy? Thank you

  12. Kristina says:

    I have question about flax seed. I read, that best way is to mix it with cottage cheese at least 10 percent of fat. Your therapy says no dairy… s what helps flax seed to be absorb, otherwise it goes just throught body.

    My mom has osteoporosis and she should take calcium, but she cant eat or drink any diary products Would it be ok to drink instead poppy milk? But there is also lot of fat, but good one or any fat is bad? do you have other natural suplement for calcium? Can I use Chia?

    Another one is about organic honey, raw sugar, maple sugar allowed I read so many times, that cancer ces need sugar, why do you allowed it? I am only asking, so I will understand

    Also chlorella, she is taking it for long time, does it really dangerous or why is not allowed?
    Fresh beans and peas are allowed?


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