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The Thriving Legacy of Dr Nicholas Gonzalez

by The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 279 - June 2022


Nicholas J Gonzalez MD dreamed of a new paradigm of healthcare – a new medical model based on nutrition, psychology, and spirituality where prevention is even more important that treatment. He practiced The Gonzalez Protocol® in New York City for nearly 30 years, treating cancer and other degenerative diseases unconventionally through nutrition, supplementation, and detoxification.

When my [Mary Beth Gonzalez’s] healthy husband unexpectedly died in my arms in 2015, I inherited his medical practice, his papers, his research, and his unpublished books. I didn’t have many answers at the time, but I knew that I couldn’t keep his cure for cancer in a storage unit. With the help of devoted doctors and past patients, I founded The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation to secure his legacy and educate others in how to do The Gonzalez Protocol®.

Autonomic Nervous System 101 YouTube Video


Two Gonzalez Paths to Wellness

I’m pleased to announce that six years later, we can offer patients around the world two Gonzalez paths to wellness:

  1. Seven doctors have been educated in The Gonzalez Protocol® and are now seeing patients with cancer, degenerative diseases and for preventative wellness. Prospective patients can go to our website ( and apply to meet with a doctor who knows how to design a customized Gonzalez protocol for any disease.
  2. Anyone can take our online self-test to determine their metabolic type and receive a specialized nutritional plan for their type.

We refer to these seven doctors the Gonzalez Guardians because they are the keepers and protectors of Dr. Gonzalez's legacy. They are based across the US, Mexico, Europe and Jamaica, and they offer telemedicine as well as in-person treatment. We carefully, hand-selected this small group of medical doctors, osteopaths, and naturopaths as our faculty team reviewed more than 100 applications to attend the educational seminar and be certified in The Gonzalez Protocol®. We developed a 700+ page textbook/ how-to manual and prepared 70 hours of in-person instruction that was conducted in person in the U.S. over 10 days. After 15 months of study, the Gonzalez Guardians completed our Educational Seminar in October 2021.

The Gonzalez Protocol® is a completely non-toxic nutritional enzyme program. Dr Nicholas Gonzalez was a classically trained, Ivy-League educated Immunologist working at Sloan Kettering in NYC when he learned about the pioneering work of Dr John Beard and Dr William Donald Kelley (who cured his own pancreatic cancer with a special nutritional diet and supplements). Dr Kelley and Dr Gonzalez went on to treat thousands of patients for more than 40 years by balancing their patients’ autonomic nervous system through metabolically typing patients to determine the best diet and supplement plan for each individual so the body could fight off disease and achieve wellness. The protocol is rather simple in design with three key pillars:

  1. Individualized diet;
  2. Supplements (including pancreatic enzymes);
  3. Detoxification.

However, since everything is customized to the individual, the development of these custom protocols is quite complex.

Core Principle

One of the core principles of The Gonzalez Protocol® is that by nourishing your body with natural foods and supplements, your body can heal itself when in autonomic balance. It empowers you to take care of yourself versus expecting a doctor to do it for you. It starts by changing the way you think about healing because your body was designed to give you the ability to heal. The road to healing starts from inside of you, but you need the right road map, and Dr Gonzalez believed that it isn’t the same for everyone.

Dr Gonzalez knew that our autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its two branches, the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, run our bodies. Depending on the food that we ingest into our bodies, we can change our autonomic balance for better or for worse. He believed that the diseases we fear the most such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are not just the inevitable costs of just being human but are largely the result of poor food choices in our lives. Food is our fuel. He understood that people feel best when they provide the right fuel for their bodies (that is, the right food) and feel less well when they eat the wrong foods, take in the wrong fuel.

Through his studies of several great scientists, Dr Gonzalez realized that different people need different types of diets. This approach is grounded in the work of scientists such as Dr Weston Price, Dr Francis Pottenger Sr, Dr Ernest Gelhorn, and Dr Gonzalez’s mentor, Dr William Donald Kelley. We all know people who have thrived on today’s popular diets provided by experts such as Dr Atkins, Pritikin, Ornish and then more recently, the Ketogenic diet. But you also know people who have gotten very sick on these diets. Dr Gonzalez believed that this is because while these diets can work for some, they do not work for everyone. Based on your genetics, your medical condition, and your current diet, you need to consume different foods than other people – nutrition isn’t one size fits all.

The research scientist Dr Francis Pottenger, Sr suggested in his book, Symptoms of Visceral Disease (first published in 1919) that humans could be categorized by their state of autonomic balance. During the 1940s and 1950s, the physiologist Dr Ernst Gellhorn documented the same - that people fall into three general autonomic categories – Sympathetic, Parasympathetic and Balanced. Both Dr Pottenger and Dr Gellhorn believed that much, if not all disease occurs when the autonomic branches are not in balance, and health requires the equilibrium be restored. Dr Kelley took these pioneering ideas and outlined an entire system of disease and treatment based on autonomic imbalance. And he taught this system to Dr. Gonzalez.

Our Gonzalez Metabolic Type Test is a self-test that anyone can take online to learn their metabolic type and discover what foods are best for them. It utilizes seven basic metabolic diets ranging from more vegetarian to more carnivore and combinations in between of various animal protein, vegetables, and fruits. The Gonzalez Metabolic Types range from Sympathetic (Vegetarian) on the extreme left to Balanced in the middle to Parasympathetic (Carnivore) on the extreme right. We are looking at the acid to alkaline pH state where acid is sympathetic and alkaline is parasympathetic.

Dr Gonzalez said: “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. 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.”

Furthermore, Dr Gonzalez believed that we must not only eat the right foods for our metabolic type in order to be well but if we consume foods suitable for another metabolic type not our own metabolic type, we can actually get sick. For example, if a sympathetic dominant person eats red meat two or three times a day or a parasympathetic dominant person becomes a vegetarian, then their autonomic imbalance will only worsen. Their bodies will have excess amounts of those nutrients that support the strong system and further suppress the weaker system causing disease. The seven basic Gonzalez diets range from more carnivore to more vegetarian; however, none of Gonzalez’s diets are Vegan or Vegetarian and all include some form of animal protein.

The Gonzalez Metabolic Type Test takes the guesswork out of your diet and provides you with a road map based on your metabolic type. It enables you to learn exactly what foods are best for you to achieve your optimal wellness. It is a simple 96 question, multiple-choice, premium online test that anyone can take, and it auto-calculates your score. We recommend the self-test to anyone who is interested in not listening to the nutrition experts and want to listen to their own body. They can finally make sense of what they should be eating for their own best health and build a strong immune system. After one completes the self-test, they will find out their metabolic diet type and receive a beautifully designed, 18-page nutritional plan explaining exactly which foods are best for them and which are not and why. They will also receive instructions on the best way to prepare and cook these foods, what time of day to have their biggest meal, and a handy shopping list.

Dr Gonzalez specifically associated certain illness with specific metabolic types. Sympathetic dominant types suggest digestive diseases such as ulcer disease, colitis, or irritable bowel. Such people can be predisposed to anxiety, but rarely suffer from depression, and rarely report allergies. Parasympathetic dominant types, with their very efficient gut, typically escape most digestive problems, but are subject to allergies, asthma, chronic bronchitis, hypothyroidism, and chronic fatigue. Balanced types are in between and rarely get ill.

Originally Dr Gonzalez’s mentor, Dr. William Donald Kelley, had a 3,600 question self-test in the 196’s which evolved into Dr Kelley’s Self-Test for the Different Metabolic Types published for College Health Stores by Kettle Moraine Publishing. Dr Kelley came to believe that some people are born with an overly developed sympathetic, and a correspondingly weak parasympathetic nervous system. The organs normally stimulated by the sympathetic nerves, such as the heart and the skeletal muscles, along with the various endocrine glands, tend to be highly developed, even hyperactive, while those tissues normally prodded into action by the parasympathetic nervous system – such as those of the digestive system will be inherently weak, slow to act, inefficient.

On the other hand, others of us seem to be innately possessed of a hyperactive parasympathetic nervous system, and a weak sympathetic nervous system. In these people, all the tissues and glands normally activated by the parasympathetic nervous system – such as the organs of digestion – will be very efficient, while the heart, the skeletal muscles, and the various endocrine glands will be slow to respond, and physiologically clumsy.

For those who are balanced and fall in between with a balanced autonomic set of nerves, both the sympathetic and parasympathetic can fire as needed with equal efficiency, and all the tissues, organs, and glands each regulates will be equally developed and equally responsive.

Depending on one’s metabolic type, Dr Gonzalez would prescribe different supplements to help balance the ANS. For his sympathetic dominant patients, Dr Gonzalez generally recommended very large doses of magnesium, some potassium, but very little calcium, which he found stimulates the sympathetic nerves into action. His parasympathetics, in terms of supplements, usually do best with large amounts of calcium, but must avoid all but the smallest doses of magnesium and potassium.

Dr Gonzalez believed that the main anti-cancer component in The Gonzalez Protocol® is pancreatic enzymes that he specially formulated. He licensed these enzymes (as well as many other supplements that he designed) to Allergy Research Group and they can be found at Dr Gonzalez’s pancreas product is freeze-dried whole pancreas, minimally activated. It is closer to raw pancreas than the other forms of pancreatic enzymes on the market.

My dream is that more people will connect with this new paradigm of medicine. Those who just want to know the best metabolic diet for their type can take the self-test on our website ( Those who are looking for help in addressing a specific diagnosis or want a preventative program can apply to meet with one of our Gonzalez Guardians. These doctors have additional diagnostic tests that they can perform and then prescribe a customized diet, supplement, and detox plan.

Earlier this week, a colleague told me that she is one of the people for whom Dr Gonzalez remains alive. I believe that there are many people like her today. Ernest Hemingway, a classic parasympathetic dominant, once said “Every man has two deaths, when he is buried in the ground and the last time someone says his name. In some ways men can be immortal.” When the name of the person is said for the last time, that is the real death. When there is no more memory, no more spiritual connection to the person, that is the real death. For Dr Nicholas Gonzalez, I pray that with our Foundation’s work that second death is a very long time from now.


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About The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation

Nicholas Gonzalez MD  The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation continues Dr Gonzalez’s (December 28, 1947 – July 21, 2015) belief in a proactive pursuit of vitality and in the body’s natural self-healing ability. Since 1987 in his private practice in New York City, Dr Gonzalez provided individualized nutritional regimens for many types of cancer as well as other illnesses such as Lyme, allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue.

Nick’s wife, Mary Beth Gonzalez, founded The Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation; the Foundation Board consists of physicians, an award-winning marketer, an educational research professional, successful business executives and devoted patients of Dr Gonzalez. We will keep the brilliant, healing work of Dr Nicholas Gonzalez alive today and for generations to come and invite YOU to join us by becoming part of this movement.

We are designing a training program for practitioners in The Gonzalez Protocol® along with the tools to help them succeed. We are planning scientific studies to further test the protocol and are investigating several contemporary, diagnostic tools to determine metabolic typing for designing customized diet and supplement programs. For this important work, we seek your support to keep his legacy alive as we strive to spread his work to the international health community and medical schools. Please contact The Gonzalez Foundation via

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