Mad Cowboy Interview 09: Dr. Alan Goldhammer

MC: "You've published two landmark studies on water fasting. Can you tell us what they were and how this all came about?"

AG: "Our first paper was "Medically Supervised Water-only Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension," and we took 174 consecutive patients with high blood pressure and put them through a period of fasting that ranged from 5 to 23 days, and re-feeding them a vegan SOS-free diet. "SOS" stands for sugar, oils, and salt, which is also of course the international symbol of danger. Then we evaluated what happened to their blood pressure, and what we found is that in Stage 3 hypertensive patients, that is people who have blood pressure high enough to justify medication or average systolic blood pressure exceeded 180 mm Hg, these individuals were able to reduce their blood pressure and average of over 60 points."

MC: "That's amazing."

AG: "That is the largest effect size that's ever been shown in the scientific literature in treating high blood pressure in humans. And of the 174 people, all of them, all 174, were able to lower their blood pressure enough to eliminate the need for medication. And the vast majority were able to achieve entirely normal tensive state. So, we know, that if you take hypertensive patients and put them through a period of water fasting that's sufficiently long in duration, the vast majority will be able to overcome their hypertension and those that adopt a vegan SOS-free diet are able to sustain those results."


MC: "What's the biggest surprise or surprises you had, having supervised thousands of fasts for over 30 years?"

AG: "I have to admit I'm a bit of a skeptic and a cynic, and I don't believe in anything, including what I do, and so I'm constantly, even 30 years into it and thousands of patients, I'm constantly amazed it keeps working. Because it is just a little mind boggling that you can take people that are sick, suffering, and dying, and basically just get out of the way and the body just heals itself. To me, that is the coolest trick in the books."

"Dr. Goldhamer is the founder of TrueNorth Health Center, a state-of-the-art facility that provides medical and chiropractic services, psychotherapy and counseling, as well as massage and body work. He is also director of the Center's groundbreaking residential health education program and has supervised the fasts of thousands of patients.


Dr. Goldhamer was the principal investigator in two landmark studies. The first, "Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Hypertension" appeared in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Its publication marked a turning point in the evolution of evidence supporting the benefits of water-only fasting. The second study, "Medically Supervised Water-Only Fasting in the Treatment of Borderline Hypertension," appeared in the October 2002 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine."

NOTE: water-fasting should not be undertaken without medical supervision.

This interview combined from two phone sessions in late fourth quarter 2013 and has been transcribed/edited by...

--- Mark Sutton, Mad Cowboy Webmaster/Editor