Fermented wheat germ extract

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Fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE), also called fermented wheat germ powder (FWGP), is a concentrated extract of wheat germ derived from the germ (endosperm, or seed) of the wheat plant. FWGE differs from ordinary wheat germ in that it is fermented with baker's yeast to concentrate biologically-active benzoquinones.

FWGE is available commercially and is sold under the trade name Avemar. In the U.S., the product is classified as a dietary supplement and is marketed as Awge. Avemar is manufactured in Hungary by Biropharma Ltd., where it is approved as a dietary food for medical purposes for cancer patients. FWGE is often falsely advertised as a cure for cancer.[1]

History and research[edit]

An industrial fermentation process for large-scale production of FWGE extract was patented in the 1990s by five Hungarian scientists: Rita Tömösközi-Farkas, Károly Lapis, Erzsébet Rásó, Béla Szende, and Mate Hidvegi.[2] They have conducted the majority of their research to date on FWGE, which includes studies in isolated cells in vitro and in animals, as well as some human clinical trials.

Andy Lewis of The Quackometer has described Avemar as a questionable, unproven treatment, "not unlike a marmite pill".[3]


According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, FWGE should not be taken by children or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It should not be taken by those who have undertaken organ or tissue transplants, or those who suffer from bleeding erosions or bleeding ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract, enteritis, colitis, or malabsorption syndrome. Patients taking prescription medicine should consult with their doctor before use.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A nagy rákbiznisz (The great cancer business) - Heti Válasz, 2011-12-16 (Hungarian)
  2. ^ "Immunostimulatory and metastasis inhibiting fermented vegetal material (WO/1999/008694)". World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  3. ^ Lewis, Andy (July 8, 2011). "Quack Aid – The Sunflower Jam". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Wheat germ extract". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 

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