Her Research

Her Scientific Career

The scientist Dr. Johanna Budwig

A researcher of fats, a pioneer in nutrition, a healer- Dr. Johanna Budwig (1908-2003), who was nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize in 1979, was a versatile character. She was a strong woman who has dedicated her life to studying flaxseed oil and its healing effects. We have to thank her for our current understanding of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids.

Dr. Johanna Budwig studied physics, chemistry, medicine, biology, botany, and received her doctorate in physics under Professor Kaufmann - a recognized expert in the chemistry of fats in the 1950s. At that time, Dr. Johanna Budwig had also long since successfully passed her state examination in pharmacy and been awarded her diploma in chemistry. Just as many previous colleagues had been with him, Professor Kaufmann was convinced of her brilliant mind through the scientist’s outstanding analytical abilities. And he was right.

Paper Chromatography

The foundation of lipid science- the development of paper chromatography

In the late 1940s, Dr. Johanna Budwig succeeded in developing a process by which fats could be broken down and analyzed based on their smallest components. A great achievement for both Dr. Johanna Budwig as well as for the entire scientific community.

“It was through the development of paper chromatography in the field of lipid research- in other words, through novel examination of fatty substances on paper- which I (Dr. Budwig) initially carried out in 1949 without any idea of how great an impact it would have on the entire field of medicine, which allowed a thousandth of a milligram of fat to be analyzed on paper. One thousandth of a milligram of fat, taken from approximately one drop of blood, could now be separated into its various constituents and could accurately characterized according to its various fatty acid components. “ - Dr. Johanna Budwig

A New Understanding of Lipids

The breakthrough - evidence of polyunsaturated fatty acids

With this new analysis method came innovative, reliable understanding regarding fatty acids. The scientist was now also able to differentiate between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. As a result, Dr. Johanna Budwig was able to identify flaxseed as a significant source of highly unsaturated fatty acids. In the following years, she devoted herself passionately researching its properties. This came as a revolutionary innovation for the lipid research industry as well as for Dr. Johanna Budwig’s first scientific breakthrough. After extensive research, in 1950 she was able to present these groundbreaking results together with Dr. Kaufmann- which had been published in the same year under the title ‘New methods of lipid analysis’ in the journal ‘Fats and Soaps’- at the Munich Lipid Researchers Conference. In fact, our current understanding of the components and the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids is in large part based on her findings.

Proof of Trans fats

Evidence of the harmfulness of trans fats

In 1951, she was appointed as the expert consultant with regard to pharmaceutical products and fatty acids at the Federal Institute for Lipid Research. Simultaneously, she began researching commercial fats, and had thus- without even knowing it- engaged a powerful opponent. Post-war Germany was experiencing an economic revival. Gone were the times of rations and butter substitutes- people were finally able to indulge themselves again. Rich and plentiful food was what the people sought after. The German food industry reported record profits. It was not an ideal time to be a fatty acid researcher whose studies in 1952 confirmed the harmfulness of trans fats. These findings were met by an outcry from the young, but powerful margarine industry, whose claims she refuted with meticulously kept statistical records. For her- a scientist first and foremost- publishing results was obviously top priority. Dr. Johanna Budwig reflected upon these circumstances in her renowned, scientific books. From this point on she found herself unable to ignore the obvious relationship between diet and disease progression. She continued to immerse herself in the relevant subject matter. Using animal models in 1957, she was able to demonstrate the different effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the body. By 1969, she alone registered eight processes for the manufacture of non-hazardous food products with a long shelf-life.

The History of Lipid Research

A look back at the history of lipid research

One of the central issues driving Dr. Johanna Budwig was her interest in the regulation of cellular oxygen uptake, along with any factors which might interfere with the process.  Researchers such as Otto Warburg had already recognized that the sulfhydryl-containing amino acid cysteine- an important protein building block- played a critical role in cellular respiration.  Otto Warburg suspected that fatty acids were another important factor for the oxygen uptake of the cell. He conducted his experiments using saturated fatty acids such as butyric acid, stearic acid, or palmitic acid. Yet this did not lead to the results he had hoped for. It was not until the 1950s, when Dr. Johanna Budwig developed her technique of paper chromatography, that answers to these predominant questions could be found through the identification and quantification of lipids and fatty acids. Subsequent research confirmed Dr. Johanna Budwig’s hypothesis. She proved that the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid are of vital importance as interaction partners to the sulfur amino acids for oxygen uptake in the cell. The significant feature of these polyunsaturated fatty acids is their enormous electron potential. The energy contained in the double bonds of fatty acids is freely available for electro-physical processes in the cell. The negative charge of these fatty acids makes them an optimal binding partner for the positively charged sulfur-containing amino acids. Together they form the battery of our cells and control their energy potential.

Current Findings

Current scientific results

In the meantime, the physicist and lipid researcher Dr. Johanna Budwig’s approach has been confirmed. Where there Nobel Laureate, Otto Heinrich Warburg, was unable to report results, Dr. Budwig continued her investigations into cell respiration. Dr. Warburg, a physician and biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1931, had already discovered in the 1920s that cancer cells possess a unique metabolism. While healthy cells convert sugar from food into carbon dioxide and water while consuming oxygen during so-called cellular respiration, tumor cells obtain their energy by fermenting the sugar to lactic acid. This process takes place even when sufficient oxygen is available.

In 2006, a collaborative research team under the direction of Prof. Dr. Michael Ristow from the Universities of Jena and Potsdam was able to confirm the over 80 year old hypothesis of the Nobel Prize winner, Otto Warburg. Using the example of colon cancer in animal models, the team of scientists demonstrated the process of oxidation in tumor cells. The suppressed cellular respiration in these cancer cells could be stimulated again through treatment with a certain protein. The result showed that the cells of the animals tested had lost the ability to form malignant tumors. This served as proof that the rate of tumor growth depends on certain metabolic processes and that these can be manipulated successfully.

US biologists, specifically a research team led by Michael and Thomas Seyfried Kiebish from Boston College, re-investigated the Warburg hypothesis in 2009. They concentrated intensely on the structure and function of the mitochondrial membrane in mice with different brain tumors. Mitochondria are cellular organelles called- in other words constituents of the cell- and the actual site of cellular respiration. In their observations, particular attention was given to a substance called cardiolipin- a phospholipid which stabilizes the mitochondrial membrane. There were significant differences in the membrane structure between healthy and diseased mice. The cardiolipins of the diseased mice were composed differently, resulting in a disruption of one of the most vital aspects of metabolism- namely electron transport- and thus to interfering with the entire energy production process. These results support the Warburg hypothesis.

The Quark-Flax Seed Combination

A special combination: quark with flax seed oil

A dietary imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can lead to an increase of inflammatory substances in the body to which the development of many diseases affecting civilization have been attributed. The relationship between good health and the consumption of essential fatty acids was already clear to Dr. Johanna Budwig as early as the 1950s. "The absence of these highly unsaturated fatty acids causes many vital functions to weaken," was a statement often made by the scientist.

In Dr. Johanna Budwig’s opinion, the wrong kinds of fatty acids were the greatest evil in increasingly industrialized food. Following the discovery of trans fats- fats stripped of their electric charges- in margarine and in other high-heat fats, the presence of these fatty acids was detected integrated in human cells. Dr. Johanna Budwig saw a clear relationship between impaired oxygen uptake and the synthesis and/or structure of cell membranes. These membranes lacked polyunsaturated fatty acids- the regulating, energy-rich, and, thus, life-giving and driving force behind normal cellular function. But omega-3 fatty acids are not only necessary for good oxygenation of the cell. Harmonic metabolic processes, a strong immune system, and mental balance are also facilitated via communication between the cell membrane and the cell interior. The fluidity (fluidity / flexibility) of the cell membrane affects its properties and, therefore, functions. It is the location of information exchange and substance transportation. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the proper fluidity of the membrane and, thus, have a decisive influence on its function.

The Oil-Protein Diet

The development of the oil-protein diet

Dr. Johanna Budwig’s extensive knowledge of oils and fats along with the results from her research led her to develop the oil-protein diet. In this nutrition concept, natural and energy-dense foods play the leading role. Essential fatty acids, in particular omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid, and sulfur containing amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine, are paramount. In flax seed oil, a vegetable oil which contains nearly 60 % omega-3 fatty acids, and quark with a high content of sulfur containing amino acids, Dr. Johanna Budwig found the perfect pairing to form the foundation of her diet. The consumption of amino acids which include a sulfur group promotes healthy digestion of as well as tolerance of fatty acids.  The bond generated between these two components allows them to form lipoproteins (lipos = fat / protein = protein), which increases their shared solubility. It is in this form that sulfurous amino acids are able to aid in the transport of long chain fatty acids. Co-administration of fatty acids and amino acids in a homogeneous mixture as in quark with flax seed oil ensures a timely incorporation of valuable nutrients into the body.

A New Approach to Health

Insights into the health concept of naturopath Dr. Johanna Budwig

Dr. Johanna Budwig’s longstanding research, experience, and knowledge led her to develop a holistic health concept which considered first and foremost the individual patient and their lifestyle. As a healer, Johanna Budwig observed a variety of diseases whose causes she believed to be rooted in the improper metabolism of fatty acids. When consulting with a patient, Dr. Johanna Budwig first looked critically at their diet before prescribing a personalized nutrition plan based on the oil-protein diet developed by her. For her, food was one of the most critical factors for maintaining health.

However, a lack of social acceptance, disharmonious relationships, or unhappy family or career situations can have substantially long term effects on quality of life or make a person ill. Dr. Johanna Budwig stated this in no uncertain terms.

"It is very important that a person is seen as a unity of body, soul, and spirit. Which contributing factor requires priority at the moment, can be very different. I am still convinced that if a woman is in a very unhealthy marriage, in which she must endure daily oppression and taunting from her husband, then I cannot help her even with quark flax seed oil. Human beings require all three factors together."

Dr. Johanna Budwig

As a physicist, Dr. Johanna Budwig also always kept in mind the electromagnetic fields surrounding people. She rejected synthetic clothes and foam mattresses on the basis that these acted as energy thieves. Instead she advocated mattresses made of natural materials, such as coconut fiber, horsehair, wool, and cotton. In addition to materials that promote a healthy, restful sleep, Dr. Johanna Budwig attached great importance to the notion of bedtime and a correspondingly long sleep duration to promote relaxation and regeneration.

Dr. Johanna Budwig endorsed the beneficial effects of exercise and recreation, as well. In this case too, she always customized her advice to the individual patient before her.

Dr. Johanna Budwig was of the firm belief that most chronic illnesses resulted from energy-depleting conditions. Especially in the case of cancer, the energy deficiency in cells and the compensation thereof lead to abnormal and disorderly growth processes. In order to activate self-healing powers and promote orderly, healthy growth processes, the human organism must be attuned to the energy absorption of the sun. It was to this end that Dr. Johanna Budwig prescribed regular, short sunbaths using Eldi oils developed by her.

The Quality Concept

The Dr. Johanna Budwig Quality Concept

Owing to her many years of research, Dr. Johanna Budwig was certain of one thing: flax seed oil, a highly reactive product due to its enormous energy potential, must have special standards applied to its manufacture. Her goal was to promote this reactivity and harness it for human consumption. Dr. Johanna Budwig developed a quality concept to ensure that energetic potential of flax seed oil would not be lost. And that was not all. She carried her quality concept beyond the production and storage of flax seed oil. This way the essential electron-rich unsaturated fatty acids can form compounds with Sulphur containing proteins, for example from dairy products, reinforcing the energy potential contained in omega-3 fatty acids. This was the main principle which Dr. Johanna Budwig adhered to when she developed her oil-protein diet. The greatest pool of electrons can be found, according to the fat researcher, in the combination of linoleic-linolenic fatty acids as they exist in flax seed oil.

Eldi Oils

Eldi Oils - light is the driving force

According to the physicist Dr. Johanna Budwig light was the driving force which activated all the functions that we need to live. Light is the elixir of life for plants. The "antennae" through which they harness this includes a light-absorbing molecule, the green plant pigment chlorophyll. In the human body, essential fatty acids assume this roll in the cell membranes of skin cells. Highly unsaturated fatty acids have the ability to absorb and store photons from light. Dr. Johanna Budwig had already drawn attention to the regulatory power of sunlight over biological systems at the beginning of the 1950s. Light is the source of all life and is required to maintain balance in vital human processes.

Still, a reduction in the quality of nutrition/life has led to a steady increase in the many diseases affecting modern civilization. Society lacks the highly unsaturated, electron-rich compounds which are stimulated through specific wavelengths of light; attracting, absorbing, and storing photons from the sun like magnets. Dr. Johanna Budwig recognized this relationship as early as the middle of the last century.

"During my scientific work in the field of lipid chemistry, I discovered that the electron-rich, highly unsaturated fatty acids are critical in stimulating the respiratory function, oxygen uptake, oxygen utilization, and, in the course of further work, I learned that the uptake of the electron from solar energy also depends on these fats."

Dr. Johanna Budwig

Based on her own quantum physical measurements, Dr. Johanna Budwig created the Eldi Oils. The term Eldi Oils derived from the oils’ ability to absorb light of a certain wavelength. Dr. Johanna Budwig coined the term as “electron differentiation oils”- abbreviated as Eldi Oils. In addition to their already high electron charge, Eldi Oils have the ability to absorb, store, and conduct additional photons from sunlight.

Eldi Oils should not be confused with sunscreen. They do not block the vital energy of the sun’s rays, but support the skin in incorporating and storing the electron-rich compounds of the omega-3 fatty acids. When necessary, this stored energy can be successively transferred to other cells. An omega-3 rich and natural diet supports these vital processes, because the body needs essential fatty acids in the skin cells to absorb and transmit solar energy to the essential fatty acids in the skin cells.

"Fats are manifestations of life-regulating substances (...) because they draw in the power of solar energy and pass it on to drive vital processes."

Dr. Johanna Budwig


Oleolux - The natural energy booster

Through the process of making food less perishable, their natural structures are often altered. The commercial processing of highly unsaturated omega-3 fats converts them into fats which are electrically neutral. Their impressive ability to absorb energy is lost through these processes. According to Dr. Budwig, many modern refinement procedures used in the food production industry are accompanied by the loss of electrons. Consequently, the inventor used her scientific knowledge in developing non-hazardous, yet lasting products. She developed Oleolux using a formula based on flaxseed oil and coconut oil as a healthy alternative to butter and margarine.

"One thing is certain: for the restoration of health in patients suffering from cancer, rheumatism,  diabetes, and/or at risk for heart attacks, the consumption of potent, highly unsaturated flax seed oil in the form of oils or newly fashionable fatty spreads, called 'Oleolux', are extremely important. These new spreadable fats I refer to as 'Oleolux,' because the oil is present in them in a form which absorbs, stores, and, when necessary, transfers energy from light (= MC) from solar energy. Each and every person requires this energy intake. Especially cancer patients are in need of it."

Dr. Johanna Budwig

Oleolux contains polyunsaturated fatty acids from flax seed oil combined with sulfur-containing protein components from garlic and onions which function as a protective binding partner by helping the fatty acids to enter the cell undamaged. Combining these compounds with coconut oil creates a spreadable and energy-rich fat. Dr. Johanna Budwig recommended Oleolux in recipes from her oil-protein diet either as a spread or to season and/or refine meals. By binding the fragile, polyunsaturated fatty acids from flax seed oil to the sulfur-containing protein components from garlic, Oleolux can even be used in recipes from the oil-protein diet which call for the ingredients for be heated.

"The method I designed for producing spreadable fats without the aid of water ensures the preservation of a large complex of biologically valuable substances such as lipoproteins, the fat-soluble vitamins A, vitamin E and D, and lecithin, a phosphoric compound which includes highly unsaturated fatty acids. Essential, highly unsaturated fatty acids with their freely moving energy in cis-electron systems are not destroyed, but conserved by this method. (...) The highly unsaturated oils remain preserved, as is required for commercial goods. They retain their functions – even once they enter the human body – the uptake of oxygen, activation of cellular respiration, and lead to an increased energy yield from fatty foods."

Dr. Johanna Budwig


Fermentgold - vital ingredients for digestion

Juices fermented with lactic acid along with unrefined juices rich in vital substances were integral components of the oil-protein diet developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig. She encouraged her patients to consume these juices supplemented with freshly ground flax seed several times a day. Following observations she had made advising patients in her practice, Dr. Johanna Budwig developed ‘fermented gold,’ a fresh juice made from papaya and apple, as vital element rich substitute for freshly squeezed juices. The recipe which used whole fruit papaya puree and apple juice was seelected by Dr. Johanna Budwig specifically as part of the oil-protein diet due to its proteolytic properties. She reasoned that these would improve the digestibility of large quantities of quark with flax seed oil which were often prescribed to critically ill patients especially.


Literature cited

Michael A. Kiebish,* Xianlin Han,† Hua Cheng,† Jeffrey H. Chuang,* and Thomas N. Seyfried1,*Cardiolipin and electron transport chain abnormalities in mouse brain tumor mitochondria: lipidomic evidence supporting the Warburg theory of cancer, Journal of Lipid research, August 13, 2008

Tim J. Schulz, René Thierbach, Anja Voigt, Gunnar Drewes, Brun Mietzner, Pablo Steinberg, Andreas F. H. Pfeiffer und Michael Ristow: „Induction of  Oxidative Metabolism by Mitochondrial Frataxin  Inhibts Cancer Growth: Otto Warburg Revisited“, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 281, Nr. 2, 13.01.2006, S. 977-981.

René Thierbach, Tim J. Schulz, Frank Isken, Anja Voigt, Brun Mietzner, Gunnar Drewes, Jürgen-Christoph von Kleist-Retzow, Rudolf J. Wiesner, Mark A. Magnuson, Hélčne Puccio, Andreas F.H. Pfeiffer, Pablo Steinberg und Michael Ristow: „Targeted Disruption of Hepatic Frataxin Expression Causes Impaired Mitochondrial Function, Decreased Life Span and Tumor Growth in Mice“, Human Molecular Genetics, Vol. 14, Nr. 24, 15.12.2005, S. 3857-3864