Johanna Budwig (30 September 1908 – 19 May 2003) was a German biochemist and author. Budwig was a pharmacist and held doctorate degrees in physics and chemistry. Based on her research on fatty acids she developed a diet that she believed was useful in the treatment of cancer.
While working as a researcher at the German Federal Health Office she noted many cancer drugs being evaluated in the 1950s contained sulphydryl groups. Budwig believed sulphydryl compounds were important to cellular metabolism and cellular respiration.Budwig researched the theory that a low oxygen environment would develop in the absence of sulphydryl groups and/or fatty acid partners that would encourage the proliferation of cancerous cells. With H.P. Kaufmann she developed paper chromatography techniques to identify and quantify fatty acids. Budwig used these techniques to compare the fatty acid profiles of sick and healthy individuals. This made her one of the first scientists to consider the health implications of fat consumption, according to Mannion et al. in a 2010 paper in the journal Nutrients. Contrary to the often misquoted belief, Budwig was not nominated for the Nobel prize in medicine 6 times for her work with cancer patients, but rather nominated for the Right Livelihood Award (colloquially called the Alternative Nobel Prize)