Oxygen and Cancer - What Warburg Actually Discovered
by Tony Isaacs
(The Best Years in Life) The web and various books and product advertisements continue to be awash in disinformation about what Nobel Laureate Dr. Otto Warburg found about cancer and oxygen. Lack of oxygen is NOT the prime cause of cancer and that is not what Warburg found. Neither did he find that increasing oxygen was a cure for cancer, though at one time he postulated that it might be.
Cancer cells are low in oxygen primarily because they have changed from taking in and utilizing oxygen for respiration to a more primitive form of respiration which utilizes sugar instead of oxygen. It is the cancer process itself which causes most of the lack of oxygen, not the lack of oxygen which causes the cancer process.
Warburg made some groundbreaking discoveries about the mechanisms of cancer, especially as regards respiration and mitochondrial malfunction. Instead of the widely spread disinformation that Warburg discovered that lack of oxygen was the prime cause of cancer and that he discovered that oxygen was a cure for cancer, what Warburg actually discovered was that cancer cells were low in oxygen due to a change in cellular respiration from using oxygen to using fermentation of sugar. In his own words:
"Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar."*
—Otto H. Warburg
Regardless of what Warburg postulated and wrote earlier, in his later years he became convinced that illness resulted from pollution. In that, he came much closer to the true primary cause of cancer and other illness as had been postulated half a century earlier by the late great French scientist Antoine Bechamp: a combination of toxins and unhealthy cellular terrain.