Metabolic Typing and Cancer: The Legacy of Nicholas Gonzalez


“Your only job is to love the truth every day.” – Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

In the world of natural health and cancer, nobody compares to the late Nicholas Gonzalez. He was a total visionary who was often called the “guru of integrative medicine.” I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Gonzalez’s widow, Mary Beth (Pryor) Gonzalez. We discussed his work, continuing his legacy through The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation and a new, exciting autobiography about his life. In this article, we’ll dive into the nutritional tool that he was known for best. It is called metabolic typing. We’ll learn what it’s all about and how you may be able to use it on your healing journey.

The Legacy Lives On

Mary Beth Gonzalez
Mary Beth herself has been on The Gonzalez Protocol® for preventative health since her third date with Dr. Gonzalez back in 2000.

It was an absolute delight to touch base with Mary Beth Gonzalez the other day. Be sure to check out this latest Wellness Warrior podcast HERE.  In our discussion, Mary Beth talked about the work she has done over the last five years to preserve the legacy of this incredible physician (who was also her husband of fifteen years).

A lot of Dr. Gonzalez’s research and work with clients culminated in the release of four books during his lifetime. Since his death five years ago, Mary Beth has also published five more. These later titles are packed with evidence-based research and case studies, but they also present the information in a way that is more user friendly for the lay audience.  

Mary Beth is a digital marketing executive with decades of experience in the advertising industry. During their marriage, she was her husband’s “coach” (as she explains it) for this aspect of his career, helping him with his well-known, information-packed presentations and the marketing of his message, services, and products in general. Currently, she runs the Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, whose mission is to preserve the legacy and continue the work of this great natural health pioneer.

Her latest project is a recently published new book, The Maverick. M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Treatment for Cancer (New Spring Press). This title is different than the others because it is about Dr. Gonzalez the person and his life’s journey.

The Maverick M.D.
The Maverick M.D. is an authorized biography of Dr. Gonzalez and is a great beginning read for those interested in the Gonzalez Protocol.

The authorized biography was created with the help of award-winning author and nutritional advocate Mary Swander. Swander is the former Poet Laureate of Iowa and artistic director of Swander Woman Productions.  She is also the Executive Director of AgArts, a non-profit that helps promote healthy food systems through the arts. Swander was also a 20-year patient of Dr. Gonzalez for chronic fatigue.  

“When Mary Swander…approached me about writing his biography…I agreed to have her write it because I knew she could tell his story in a way that would be much easier to digest for the masses,” Mary Beth said during our interview. “It is a really good beginner’s course in the Gonzalez Protocol as well as the story of this brilliant man who gave his life for science.”

Mitochondrial Health and Cancer

So what exactly were the discoveries that made Dr. Gonzalez’s work so successful?

In a nutshell, Dr. Gonzalez promoted the concept that cancer is really a metabolic disease. This means that cancer happens because of imbalance at the mitochondria level.

It is within the mitochondria where metabolism happens at the cellular level since mitochondria are responsible for cellular respiration. When they are healthy, the cells are healthy too and are able to adapt to any kind of stress.

I can say with 100% certainty that whenever you have cancer growth, you are going to have some kind of damage at the level of the mitochondria!

The connection between cellular metabolism and cancer growth is simple yet profound.  It indicates that, just like many other chronic diseases such as diabetes and autoimmune conditions, cancer can be managed and, in many cases, reversed. All it takes is the right diet, lifestyle, and supplement protocol.

Metabolic Typing

This is what the “Gonzalez Protocol” is all about. To date, the Protocol has helped thousands with cancer and other serious illnesses. Some well-known patients include Suzanne Summers and Carol Alt.

Dr. Gonzalez was a strong advocate of “food as fuel.” He felt strongly that by eating the right foods and taking the right supplements, the body can achieve “autonomic balance.”  As Dr. Gonzalez explains in his other book, Nutrition, and the Autonomic Nervous System: The Scientific Foundations of the Gonzalez Protocol (which I highly suggest as well), it is really the two branches of the autonomic nervous system – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic- that run our bodies. What we ingest absolutely affects how these two systems function.

Dr. Gonzalez was also a firm believer in using a method called metabolic typing for finding ways of eating that are best for each person. Of course, we all know of the stuff that everyone needs to stay away from. These include trans fats, simple sugars preservatives, processed foods, and the like. But what about otherwise healthy foods that may cause inflammation and stress in one person yet not another?

“As long as we put the right fuel into our bodies by eating the right food for our metabolic type, the autonomic system will be in balance, both branches and the associated organs and glands will function efficiently, the body will work beautifully, and our health will be ideal,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “However, with the wrong fuel, the autonomic system will go out of balance, it will function less efficiently, the organs and glands will not work well together and disease follows.”

Putting it simply, metabolic typing takes a look at the particular “style” in which your body may produce and process energy. Armed with this information, a natural health professional trained in the protocol can help you create a diet that suits your unique biochemistry and health situation.  Always the goal is healing the disease and achieving optimum health.

Dr. William Kelley and the Birth of Metabolic Typing 

Metabolic typing was not the brainchild of Dr. Gonzalez, although he was the physician most responsible for putting the concept on the map. Metabolic typing was originally created by Dr. William Kelley, an American dentist who believed that each of us has a unique “metabolic code.” Dr. Kelley used the method to help hundreds of cancer patients during the many decades he was in practice.

The intricacies of metabolic typing can be confusing, especially since there have been several other natural health practitioners over the years who have used it as the basis for their own programs besides Dr. Gonzalez. In a nutshell, however, metabolic typing can be summed up with the following points: 

#1 The “style” through which your body both produces and processed energy determines your metabolic type; 

#2 To determine this “style, ” a person is assessed based on two things: the pH of their body (the ideal being mildly alkaline (7.46)) and how fast they burn fuel;

#3 Another major factor that determines a person’s metabolic type is “fundamental homeostatic controls,” or FHCs. These are the handful of biochemical reactions which the body relies on primarily, amongst a list of thousands;

#4 FHCs play out to influence an individual’s health in one of two ways: through the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and through the Oxidative System (OS);

#5 Dr. Kelley originally broke metabolic types down into two categories: carnivores and vegetarians. In subsequent models, there are 9 different metabolic types: Sympathetic Fast, Sympathetic Mixed, Sympathetic Slow, Balanced Fast, Balanced Mixed, Balanced Slow, Parasympathetic Fast, Parasympathetic Mixed, and Parasympathetic Slow. 

Each person, based on their metabolic type, will react to the same foods slightly differently. For example, fast oxidizers (those who burn energy quickly) may do better with increasing healthy fats and proteins. Slow oxidizers can gain vitality by including more healthy, whole foods-based carbohydrates in their diet.

Whether you use metabolic typing or some other ways of determining it, fine-tuning what kind of diet works for you is key in achieving optimal health and healing!

The Gonzalez Protocol 

Dr. Gonzalez studied Dr. Kelley’s concepts thoroughly during the 1980s when he was just starting out in oncology.  By the time he was done with his research, he was convinced that it worked. Throughout his career, Dr. Gonzalez took metabolic typing to the next level with his own patients. He expanded on Dr. Kelley’s work extensively to discover a total of 10 different diet types as well as 99 different diet variations.  

 As Mary Beth explains, the Gonzalez Protocol  “is not just about the different foods to eat, but also the different nutrients and supplements to take. The whole goal is to balance one’s autonomic nervous system so that your body can fight truly any disease.”

Coffee Enema
Here I am at our Healing Diva Retreat in Cancun getting ready for my Coffee Enema!

For those on the Gonzalez Protocol, a key supplement often includes high doses of pancreatic enzymes. During both of my healing journeys, I ingested many pancreatic enzymes every hour on the hour and as my health improved, I cut back to 5 times per day.

While I am not going to go into detail about pancreatic enzymes and Breast Cancer, I encourage you to head to this blog to understand why pancreatic enzymes are so important in creating vibrant health. Utilizing them is absolutely vital for slowing down Breast Cancer metastasis. 

Another important factor within the Gonzalez Protocol is using coffee enemas for detoxification. If you have been reading my blogs for a while, then you know that I am a big fan of this method and have used it for years myself! Be sure to get the basics about coffee enemas HERE.

Is Metabolic Typing For You?

Whether you are on a healing journey with Breast Cancer, want to prevent cancer, or are healing from another disease, learning about your metabolic type can be life-changing. Over the course of his career, Dr. Gonzalez worked with patients who had many kinds of cancer, including Breast Cancer. His protocol also proved helpful for people who suffer from the following:

Viruses and Hepatitis C

Severe Allergies/Environmental Illness


Back and Neck Pain

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

How to Deal with Stress



Heart Disease


Bell’s palsy




To get started with the Gonzalez Protocol, I suggest checking out the latest book from Mary Beth and The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation, The Maverick. M.D.: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and His Fight for a New Treatment for Cancer by Mary Swander. If you are looking for a Gonzalez trained doctor, reach out HERE to get more information. 

Dr. Gonzalez was a true pioneer in the field of cancer research, bringing to light a whole new way of looking at the disease as a function of an imbalanced metabolism at the cellular level. His legacy as well as his work lives on!

For more information on the Gonzalez Protocol in general and to find out about their new Metabolic Questionnaire (coming soon), click HERE.

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