Ask the Diva: Can a Macrobiotic Diet Help Treat Cancer?

Miracle cures for cancer are everywhere - how does this one measure up? Nutrition Diva explains.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
2-minute read

Ask the Diva: Can a Macrobiotic Diet Help Treat Cancer?

by Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.

There are some miracle stories out there about people who cured themselves of incurable, end-stage cancer with a macrobiotic diet. Not surprisingly, people facing cancer often find these stories very compelling. One of the many things that makes cancer so difficult is the feeling of helplessness that this disease can engender in patients and loved ones. Diet and nutrition is something we can take control of—but we need to be realistic about the role that nutrition plays in cancer treatment.

Although a well-balanced and nutritious diet of wholesome foods would benefit any cancer patient, there is no credible evidence that a macrobiotic regime has any miraculous powers to cure cancer. Believe me, if there were, I’d be the first to tell you. Like so many of you, I’ve lost too many people I love to this disease and I, too, have felt desperate enough to believe or try just about anything.


If you or someone you love is struggling with cancer, my advice is to follow a diet that supports both body and soul. By all means, take care of yourself by eating healthful, nourishing foods. But don’t add unnecessary deprivation and suffering (or risk nutritional imbalances) by trying to follow a restrictive or unpleasant regimen. It’s also extremely important for cancer patients to avoid excessive weight loss. If adhering to a macrobiotic diet—or any other regimen--makes it difficult to get enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight, it’s definitely not a good choice.

To learn more, chck out Pros and Cons of a Macrobiotic Diet.

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Macrobiotic foods photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.