Dehydration & cancer formation: 4 critical factors

The link between dehydration and cancer formation in the body is undeniable, according to scientific research and the findings of F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., as published in the October 1987 Journal of Anticancer Research.

The main purpose of this article is to summarize Batmanghelidj’s findings in my own words and from my personal knowledge base.

Apart from scientific validation, when we understand the importance of water in the human body and know the underlying causes of cancer, I believe common sense also tells us that the link between dehydration and cancer formation is real.

In order to understand the connection between dehydration and cancer formation, we have to first look at what causes cancer.

What Causes Cancer?

The primary cause of cancer was discovered (or at least scientifically recorded) in the early 1930s by Dr. Otto Warburg.

In fact, in 1931 he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his findings!

In essence, Dr. Warburg found that the cause of cancer was primarily caused by a lack of oxygen and other nutrients to the cells due to toxic accumulation and acidosis in the body.

Warburg wrote: “All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen, a rule without exception. . . .

“Deprive a cell 35 percent of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.”

So, what is the link here between dehydration and cancer formation?

Water is the primary transport of oxygen to the cells! Water is also the primary transport for the removal of toxins out of the cells and out of the body.

Lack of oxygenation and toxin accumulation also make the body much more vulnerable to systemic proliferation of microbes, such as certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are associated with cancer.

In fact, some experts believe that the microbes themselves can cause cancer. I guess it’s the old analogy of the chicken and the egg. Which comes first — problems with the cellular environment (perhaps beginning with dehydration) or an excess of certain microbes in the body?

And here is at least part of the problem: Millions of people are chronically dehydrated and don’t even realize it because the human body is so adept at managing the drought condition.

The dehydrated body will pull water from less critical areas of the body to preserve the function of critical organs. However, there are serious consequences of prolonged drought in the body.

In fact, according to Dr. Batmanghelidj, cancer is the final outcome of prolonged water shortage in the body.

4 Critical Factors of Dehydration Can Lead to Cancer Formation

Remember that most adults are about 70 percent water and water is involved in EVERY function of the body. Thus, when there is a chronic lack of water in the body, every cell, organ and system in the body is significantly impaired.

Four critical factors of dehydration that can lead to cancer formation (of any type) include the following:

  1. DNA Damage. Adequate water circulating in the body is needed to flush out the toxic wastes and acidic by-products of cellular metabolism. When toxins and acidic wastes accumulate, the cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients and cellular communication is disrupted, both of which can cause severe damage to the DNA structure of the cells. DNA damage can lead to mutant (cancerous) cells. When DNA damage happens repeatedly, over time the cells’ DNA repair systems become inefficient or even ineffective.
  2. Acid-Alkaline Balance. A healthy body maintains a slightly alkaline pH in the interior of the cells. Blood is regulated at about 7.3 to 7.4 pH. The kidneys are key regulators for the acid-alkaline state of body fluids. When dehydrated and urine output is diminished, acid waste accumulates in weak or vulnerable areas of the body. It is well known that a cancerous body is acidic.
  3. Cell Receptor Damage. Healthy cells have protein receptors on their membranes that receive information from other parts of the body. Chronic dehydration causes enzymatic changes that lead to numerous problems with cellular communication and hormonal balance. Many of the cell receptors are gradually destroyed, leaving the cell isolated. The potential for isolated cells to become cancer cells is significant.
  4. Immune System Suppression. Dehydration suppresses the immune system in many different ways. Just to name a few: first, histamine production in the body is increased, which also increases the production of a chemical called vasopressin, a strong suppressor of the immune system. Second, excess histamine also causes the shutdown of interferon, a critical anticancer chemical that is present in a hydrated body. And third, histamine suppresses immune activity in the bone marrow, which is the central production center of the white blood cells—the immune cells that can destroy and digest cancer cells.

Hydrate Your Body for Cancer Prevention and Recovery

Dehydration and cancer formation are integrally linked for all of the reasons mentioned above (and there are many more).

Keeping the body well hydrated is a key lifestyle factor in cancer prevention.

I believe drinking filtered water is the single most important element in any cancer treatment program.

This is not to say, of course, that water alone can prevent or cure every cancer. I am saying that without proper hydration, every form of treatment (conventional or alternative) will be far less effective.

The type of water you drink is also important. The water must be filtered of most contaminants without removing the natural occurring minerals.


For more details on the connection between dehydration and cancer, read Dr. Batmanghelidj’s book Obesity, Cancer, & Depression: Their Common Cause & Natural Cure.

Click here to read more articles about the role of UCD (unintentional chronic dehydration) in disease.

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