C LeBeau / M Konlee
In this issue, the Sooty Mangobey, a long tailed monkey infected with SIV, gives up its secrets and profoundly changes our understanding of the current HIV to AIDS disease model.
This special edition summarizes the 6 past issues of JOI (2005/06) plus the latest updated news on immune-based medicine in the treatment of HIV, cancer and other conditions. The full unedited versions of JOI can be found online at keephopealive.org.
This edition also introduces the Keep Hope Alive Forum, where local and international issues that adversely affect the human race will be discussed and proposed solutions offered. Our first topic is Iraq. We offer a detailed plan to bring stability and peace to Iraq and American troops home. We hope that our plan for peace and stability becomes part of the national dialogue about ending the violence in this troubled land. If you agree with our proposals, tear off the last page of this newsletter and mail it to your Congressman or Senator with a note asking them to support these proposals or make copies for distribution.
Other issues that will be addressed in the future will include plans for low cost health care that will require the federal government to test and approve hundreds of new and old low-cost medical treatments from any and all sources including dietary supplements, botanicals, oxidative medicine, folk medicine, alternative meds and drugs whose patents have expired.
Other topics will include environmental issues, clean and renewable energy, wind, solar and geothermal plus monetary and banking reform, interest rate and debt reduction.
(See related article on page 3)
We have constructed a new disease model for AIDS that turns the old disease model of the past 25 years on its head. The widespread belief that HIV-1 (referred to usually as HIV) is a virus that attacks and destroys the immune system is simply wrong. Say what?
Scientific research finds that HIV-1 is not a pathogenic immune deficiency virus and AIDS is not an immune deficiency disease, but rather, is one of dysfunction. HIV-1 is actually a harmless virus in-vitro but causes immune dysfunction in-vivo (in a person) by being there and provoking an antibody response.If there were no antibody response to HIV, there would be no disease called AIDS. In a few words, what people with HIV-1 need is an immune system tranquilizer - one that specifically slows down the part of the immune system that is overactive and ineffective - the HIV antibodies.
In the Sooty Mangobeys infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), the virus from which HIV-2 evolved does not cause immune dysfunction due to down-regulation of the immune response by its nef gene. This occurs in spite of viral loads in the hundreds of thousands. HIV-2, like SIV in Sooty Mangobeys, is not pathogenic.
HIV-1 causes AIDS in humans because it over-stimulates the TH2 arm of the immune system. TH2 B-cell activity then suppresses TH1 immunity that is effective.
HIV-1 provokes an antibody immune response by inflammatory cytokines (protein immune modulators) interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a) and Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-KappaB).
This overactive antibody response is also called humoral immunity or TH2 type immunity. HIV should be renamed Humoral Overactivity Virus (HOV) and AIDS should be renamed Acquired Immune Dysfunction (not deficiency) Syndrome.
This revised disease model provides the rational basis for using anti-inflammatory treatments and drugs (glucocorticoids - cortisol, prednisolone et al) that help balance the TH1 and TH2 arms of the immune system by suppressing TH2 type cytokines that drive humoral immunity. Lowering the TH2 arm of the immune system has the teeter-tooter effect of raising the TH1 arm that is cell-mediated immunity that is effective against the disease process in AIDS and cancer.
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The branch of the immune system called TH1 or cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is the effective one against cancer and AIDS. CMI is stimulated in part by the cytokines IL-2, IL-12 and gamma interferon. CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes and Natural Killer cells are white blood cells that provide immunity against cancer and AIDS. In practice, stimulating TH1 cytokines has failed to restore normal immune function because of over expressed TH2 cytokine activity.
The immunological shift from TH1 to TH2 substantially weakens the immune response against AIDS, cancer and other health related conditions like Autism while strengthening the antibody immune response against the common cold and seasonal flu. Other cytokines are cross-regulatory and affect both branches of the immune system. The key to normalcy and immune restoration is immune balance.
To stop HIV progression to AIDS, we needed to find a way to suppress and control the inflammatory cytokines that drive the TH2 arm of the immune system. The inflammatory cytokines we know about today are NF-Kappa B, TNF-a and IL-6 but there could be more that will be discovered in due time. It was not only Alfred Plechner, DVM, whose 30 plus years of treating over 35,000 dogs, cats and other pets with prednisolone and thyroid that finally opened our eyes to scrapping the disease model of the past 25 years that HIV is pathogenic and directly causes immune deficiency but also the research in Germany of Albrecht Ulmer et al in a controlled study that demonstrated that even a low dose of just 5 mg daily of prednisolone could single handedly keep the CD4 counts high and AIDS at bay over a 2 year period.
Ulmer, who has published over 166 articles in peer reviewed medical journals, did not hype the results of his study, but we are and for good cause. (See the abstract from his research a few pages in this newsletter).
Just one headline story about the amazing benefits of immunotherapy (low-dose glucocorticoids) in treating AIDS in any one of our major media (CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC etc) would have a worldwide impact and could open minds globally on new treatment options that could save millions of lives. The 1980s motto of ACT-UP that "Silence = death" is true.
There are the studies of the National Institute of Health in the 1990's that short term use of high dose prednisone could more than double the CD4 counts in as little as 3 weeks. Unfortunately, research with low cost immunotherapy using glucocorticoids stopped and research with low dose glucocorticoids never started.
We are trying to present a new disease model because someone has to do it. So many people, including ourselves got it wrong in the past 25 years. We thought HIV was pathogenic, that is it would attack and destroy CD4 cells, the Generals of the immune system. We thought HIV was an immunodeficiency virus and AIDS were an immunodeficiency disease. We were wrong but we learned to evolve our understanding of this illness by having an open mind and searching for definitive cause and effect relationships.
HIV is not an immunodeficiency virus, it is a Humoral Overactivity Virus or abbreviated as HOV. The tragic mistake today is that doctors and the pharmaceutical drugs they use to treat AIDS is not to treat AIDS as a disease of the immune system, but as a viral infection.
After 10 years of HAART with protease inhibitors used in combination with reverse transcriptase inhibitors and NNRTIs, nearly half of all patients now believe that the side effects of the drugs are as bad if not worse than the HIV virus. Today a very noticeable effect of long-term drug combos for AIDS is wasting syndrome - loss of lean muscle mass. Low dose glucocorticoids like cortisol could help reverse this and stimulate weight gain and help in immune restoration, if only the doctors and the patients knew.
HIV causes AIDS by simply being in the body as a foreign presence. HIV is not pathogenic; that is, it does not directly kill any cells. It presence is like a red flag in front of a bull. It drives an antibody response (TH2) by just being there as well as constantly mutating. The T cell type 2 response (TH2) strongly activates inflammatory cytokines including nuclear factor kappa B (NF-Kappa B), tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). This leads to the continuous overworking of the CD4 helper cells and thus shortens their life span. If the immune system could be taught to ignore HIV, this virus would never cause AIDS and would in and of itself cause no illness.
This is a profound concept and is the basis for using anti-inflammatory immune-based therapies that reduce and even suppress TH2 type immune activity. AIDS is not a disease of immune deficiency, but rather one of immune exhaustion. In a few words, the CD4 helper cells and other white blood cells literally work themselves to death to remove this foreign entity called HIV that is perceived as a threat. The evolving realities of what AIDS really is calls for an immune-based therapy that is a tranquilizer for the immune system to give it a rest and stop the apoptosis (death) of the T cells.
AIDS is not caused directly by HIV, but rather by the immune systems reaction to the presence of HIV, a virus that is actually benign and "harmless in a laboratory."
Today's faulty disease model implies that HIV destroys the immune system single-handedly and causes AIDS. Nothing could be further from the truth. This flawed disease model feeds the sales of patented drugs that continue their relentless attack against this harmless virus while patients continue to die from immune dysfunction or the side effects of the drugs they have been told they must take all their life or until death do they part. For many, these words are all too true.
For pulsed therapy or short-term use, the strictly ant-viral drugs for HIV are beneficial as they reduce the foreign presence or stimulus that drives the inflammatory immune reaction.
Why are patients with CD4 counts above 350 being told to take their antiviral meds when the government guidelines only recommend to start using the anti-HIV meds when the CD4 count drop below 350? This is a contradiction. When a person is first diagnosed with HIV and the CD4 counts is above 350, the person is not required to take the meds. Note: Current NIH guidelines do not recommend anti-viral HIV drugs when the CD4 count is above 350 unless the viral load is over 100,000. The NIH guidelines suggest that the CD4 count is more important than the viral load. On this point we agree whole heartedly with the NIH. Pharmaceutical salesmen have misled medical doctors into believing that keeping an HIV viral load non-detectable is a primary therapeutic goal for patient survival. Clinical research finds that keeping CD4 counts above 200 and especially above 300 is the key to a symptom free life, survivial and normal immune function. Today, many long term survivors with non-detectable viral loads have falling CD4 cell counts and loss of lean muscle mass subjecting them to life threatenting opportunistic infections. With the loss of lean muscle mass associated with elevated levels of il-6 and TNF-a, these patients also have higher than average outbreak of various types of cancer.
Another argument promoted by big Pharma is that stopping the use of the anti-viral meds for several months will promote viral resistance. It is impossible to develop resistance to a drug you are not using. In fact, clinical experience shows that an extended drug vacation restores sensitivity to the anti-viral drugs that you previously used. One recent study claims that pulsing the drugs use - one week on and one week off was not as effective after a year as using them continuously. This study does not prove that the anti-viral meds are the only option available to patients. There is the alternative of immunotherapy that continues to be ignored by the mass media and most of the media that reaches the HIV+ audience. This newsletter single handedly addresses the issue of "immune restoration" that continues to be ignored by the other media (GMHC, POZ magazine and Project Inform etc) organizations that are funded by pharmacuetical companies and/or advertisements for the anti-viral drugs. It may seem ironic here that the following article comes from AIDSmeds.com but the nef gene in SIV found in monkeys supports the hypothesis of using glucocorticoids to down regulate the immune response and stopping HIV (HOV) progression to AIDS in humans.
by Tim Horn, Senior Writer & Editor, AIDSmeds.com
HIV's ability to damage the human immune system might amount to an accident of evolution, notably the loss of the protective function of a viral protein called Nef. Like HIV in humans, related strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) are rampant among many species of monkeys. Unlike HIV in humans, many primates infected with SIV don't experience immune suppression or suffer the symptoms associated with AIDS.
The evidence, published by an international team of researchers in the June 2006 issue of Cell, is the first to offer an explanation for this striking difference.
The group found that a viral protein known to help the virus evade the immune system, thereby allowing the SIVs that infect monkeys to persist and multiply with high efficiency, also has a protective role in the host immune system. The SIV Nef protein ratchets down the activation of T-cells following infection in primates, thereby limiting the harmful effects that can be caused by chronically strong immune activation.
While chronically strong immune activation may seem like a good thing when it comes to fighting HIV infection, it ends up causing the death of many T-cells and ultimately exhausts the immune system - two factors that can lead to AIDS.
The HIV Nef protein, and those of its closest related simian viruses, however, lack this protective function, leaving those infected susceptible to the heightened immune activation associated with progression to AIDS, according to the new research.
"Nef-mediated suppression of T-cell activation is a fundamental property of primate lentiviruses that likely evolved to maintain viral persistence in the context of an intact host immune system," Dr. Frank Kirchhoff of the University of Ulm in Germany said. "The findings suggest that the gene function was lost during viral evolution in a lineage that gave rise to HIV-1 and may have predisposed the simian precursor of HIV-1 for greater pathogenicity in humans."
"Heightened immune activation is the only clear-cut difference between pathogenic and non-pathogenic infections with the immunodeficiency viruses," Dr. Kirchhoff added. "The observed difference in Nef function may provide, for the first time, a mechanism to explain why many monkey species naturally infected with SIV do not develop disease."
Study coauthor Dr. Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama has previously shown that the two forms of HIV that infect humans originated from related SIVs found in different species of African.
HIV-1 - most closely related to an SIV strain found in chimpanzees - is the more virulent of the two human strains and the source of the majority of HIV infections throughout the world. The less pathogenic HIV-2 evolved from a virus that infects long-tailed relatives of baboons called sooty mangabeys. While HIV and SIV strains all infect T-cells that are critical for a functional immune response, SIV usually does so without causing serious damage in their natural primate hosts.
Of more than 30 SIVs that have been molecularly characterized, all encode a Nef gene. However, information about the gene's function has come from studies involving the HIV-1 version of Nef. In turn, Dr. Kirchhoff and his group examined Nef genes taken from a variety of SIV types.
According to the research conducted by Dr. Kirchhoff's group, Nef variants from the great majority of primate SIVs, including the less virulent human strain HIV-2, suppress the expression of a receptor normally found on the surface of T-cells, making the immune cells less responsive to activation. In contrast, the Nef gene of HIV-1 and a subset of closely related SIVs failed to limit T-cell activation and death.
"Intriguingly, this loss of Nef-mediated suppression of T cell activation appears to have occurred twice, once in the ancestor of a group of viruses infecting Cercopithecus monkeys, and once in SIVcpz, the ancestor of HIV-1 which infects chimpanzees," noted study coauthor Dr. Paul Sharp, of the University of Nottingham, who is a leading expert in HIV and SIV evolution.
"What these viruses have in common is a Vpu gene, not found in other SIVs, and so it's tempting to speculate that the presence of Vpu is somehow causally related to the change in Nef function," Dr. Sharp added.
The findings expand on previous studies that found that Nef-deficient SIV failed to cause symptoms in a monkey species normally susceptible to disease.
Other researchers have reported in the past that rhesus macaques infected with the Nef-deficient virus had extremely low viral loads and limited evidence of disease progression. Similarly, humans infected with Nef-defective HIV progress to disease symptoms slowly, if at all.
While altering HIV's Nef gene may not be a therapeutic possibility for those infected with the virus, these results - along with research conducted by several other teams - suggest the use of treatments that could carefully limit immune system activation in humans. This, Dr. Kirchhoff says, would mimic the tight immune system-virus balance seen in non-human primates.
"A strong immune response can be good in the short term, but if sustained for a long time as in those with HIV, it can exhaust the immune system," Dr, Kirchhoff said. "If you could somehow dampen the response, it might effectively convert the condition to the more chronic, asymptomatic infection seen in monkeys."
I could not agree more with Dr. Kirchhoff statement that "Heightened immune activation is the only clear-cut difference between pathogenic and non-pathogenic infections with the immunodeficiency viruses,"
The implications of this latest published research are profound. Will doctors now appreciate the benefits of using low dose immuno-suppressive drugs to stop HIV progression to AIDS in humans? Clearly low dose glucocorticoids (prednisolone, hydrocortisone) can mimic the effects of the SIV nef gene in monkeys who remain healthy in spite of their high viral loads.
Bob - WA: Bob has been on a antiviral drug cocktail for HIV for over 10 years with a non detectable viral load and CD4's consistently in the low 200 range. After applying 1/2 teaspoon of a 1% hydrocortisone cream daily for 2 months (Oct- Nov 2006) and continuing with the same drug cocktail, Bob reports an increase in CD4 counts from 235 to 268 and a 6 lb weight gain. White blood cell count increased from 4100 to 5900. Note: about 1/2 teaspoon was applied on his skin once a day in the morning. He continues on the same protocol hoping for higher CD4 increases in the future.
Karen - MA: After her liver enzymes became extremely elevated, she went off the antiviral drugs for HIV for several months and started tanking CM4, an extract of Siberian ginseng and used hydrocortisone cream topically each day. After 2 months Karen reports her CD4 count increased from 700 to 1006 and her viral load declined from about 400K to about 80K even though she remained off the antiviral meds. Her liver enzymes still remained elevated possibly due to other drugs she was taking for her bipolar condition.
Bob- WI: He has been using a drug cocktail consistently for HIV for several years, but in the past year has been losing lean body mass and is about 20 lbs underweight even though his viral load for HIV in non-detectable. In 2 weeks time since adding hydrocortisone cream as a daily treatment, he says he has gained 4 lbs.
Eliot from CA: He has been off HIV meds for 5 years. Early in 2006, he started on Sustiva and Combivir for HIV and his physician also prescribed him hydrocortisone tablets 10 mg each which he took twice a day (20 mg total per day). In 6 weeks he reports his CD4 counts increased from 250 (his baseline) to 425 which is the biggest increase in CD4 counts he has had in this short span of time. His viral load quickly became non-detectable which does not do anything to support the theory of some Pharmaceutical companies that to stop using their drugs you will develop viral resistance. Eliot then added 4.5 mg of Naltrexone once a day and his CD4's increased further to 700. No weight gain reported in this case as Eliot uses a Rebounder daily (jump4health.com)
Daniel - PA: Used the HIV antiviral combo called Atripla along with 5 mg Cortef (cortisol) twice a day for 6 months - reported an increase in CD4s from 100 to 300 and a non-detectable viral load. He is pleased with his results.
West Allis, WI: by the Editor - Conrad LeBeau. My 8 yr old fox terrier, named Coska, developed a tumor under his right leg a few years ago that gradually grew to about the size of a quarter and showed signs of irritating the dog. Early in November, I began applying hydrocortisone cream on or near the tumor. After about a month, it shrink to about the size of a small pea and has stayed at this size for several weeks. I recently started adding 1/4 teaspoon of bee propolis to his daily feed based on research of its anticancer properties and promotion of intestinal health (increases IGA). The bee propolis seems to have improved the appearance of the stools and the dog acts more energetic and playful. It is too early to determine if this combination will lead to a complete remission of the growth. This is a scaled down version of Alfred Plechner's protocol that he used on dogs and cats for several years to treat cancer and other health conditions.
Kari - CA: Kari was referred to Keep Hope Alive by a reader who contacted me for information. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and has refused chemotherapy. She used black salve last year that caused most of the breast tumor to fallout leaving a hole in her breast that would not heal up. She has been getting low dose radiation and hyperthermia treatments to overheat the parts of her body where the cancer has grown as it has spread to the pelvis and other bone areas She was in pain until she started taking Iodoral iodine tablets - 6 a day, then the pain disappeared.
When she started applying hydrocortisone cream daily, the open wound in her breast began to close up and heal. About a week later, she broke out with a cold and sore throat, something she had not had in years. She got over the cold in about 10 days. I told her the hydrocortisone cream suppressed the inflammatory cytokines being produced by the cancer and this allowed for the cold to break out and that is a good sign - namely that the Th1 and Th2 branches of her immune system are coming back into balance which means her immune system will now more effectively fight the cancer.
She told me that in her breast cancer support group, no one gets a cold or flu. I told her that in cancer, AIDS and Autism, researchers have found a shift from a balanced immune system to dominant TH2 (humoral) antibody immunity along with depressed Natural Killer cell function and cell-mediated immunity.
Kari recently had a CT scan and is awaiting the results anxiously as is a breast cancer support group that is watching her experiment. The big question is will her malignant tumors shrink like the tumors did on my dog after I applied the hydrocortisone cream. You can call her in Los Angeles at 323-857-1383 for more information and updates.
Note on hydrocortisone and other glucocorticoids:
Hydrocortisone supplies cortisol, the natural form that is also produced by the adrenal glands. The other glucorticoids, prednisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone are synthetic pharmaceutical drugs that have also have a cortisol-like effect.
Many health care professionals and patients prefer hydrocortisone over the other glucocorticoids because it is a natural hormone and not a synthetic version.
Some persons are using hydrocortisone cream topically because their physicians are refusing to prescribe the tablets.
From John Hopkins website www.hopkins-hivguide.org/
Tablets of Hydrocortisone come in 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg. Tablets of Prednisone come in 1, 2.5, 5, 10 or 20 mg. Tablets of Methylprednisolone come in 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg and 16 mg.
FDA approved uses for glucocorticoids are - adrenal insufficiency, TB meningitis, ITP, Cerebral edema and allergic, inflammatory and immuno-suppressive conditions.
Non-FDA approved uses for glucocorticoids are Immune Reconstitution, nephropathy, PCP and bacterial meningitis. Most physicians use FDA approved drugs for their approved uses but also for non-FDA approved uses, if based on their training and experience, it will benefit the patient.
More information on glucocorticoids can be found at the John Hopkins website. www.hopkins-hivguide.org/
The practice of medicine is controlled by the states and has never been limited solely to drugs approved by employees of the federal government who work at the NIH or the FDA.
However, some large HMOs owned by investment bankers that run hospitals also own stock in drug companies and limit their physician employees to only choices that are FDA approved. This conflict of interest is the same as Coco-Cola buying out a chain of restaurants that have been serving Pepsi and throwing their soda out and replacing it with Coca-Cola. This is the marketing advantages of monopolies and is the reason why the United States has the highest health care costs in the world but ranks behind in quality as well.
Lower cost medicine will not require endlessly squeezing the pocketbooks of taxpayers, employers and employees. Instead, end the monopolies on patented drugs and allow competition. Curb the power of the FDA to stop the sale of low cost medications by shifting the responsibility for health claims, efficacy and safety to the manufacturers of low cost medications and exempting from FDA approval any medicine that costs less than $100 a month.
Allow the importation of lower cost meds from other countries and from freedom of choice in medicine for both the patient and the physician.
Persons who may benefit from the use of glucocorticoids like hydrocortisone are those whose immune response to a disease process is dominated by TH2 type cytokines. HIV/AIDS, cancer and autism are three conditions where the paradigm shift from cell-mediated immunity (TH1) to antibody immunity (TH2) is an established scientific reality and a significant part of the reason for an ineffective immune response against the disease. Persons with these conditions may stop further disease progression, find symptomatic relief from using immune balancing medications and sometimes even a reversal of the disease process.
HIV+ persons with CD4 counts below 200 should use anti-viral drug combinations along with hydrocortisone and/or other immune modulators (Naltrexone, Comp A, DMG, TMG (beets), CM4 (ginseng), raw mushrooms like reishi, shiitake and maitake, bee propolis and garlic etc) until CD4 counts stabilize at 350 or above before interrupting the anti-viral meds and taking a drug vacation that could last several months or years. While on Immunotherapy, it is recommended that persons monitor T cell counts with lab tests every 3 months for the first yr.
It is not true that you will develop resistance to drugs that you are not using. The person who is on the drugs continuously is more likely to develop viral resistance to the HIV meds he is using, pharmaceutical scary talk to the contrary notwithstanding.
Increasing and stabilizing CD4 counts in patients with HIV/AIDS allowing some of them with CD4 counts above 300 to take a vacation of several months or even years from the use of drug cocktails; stopping the growth of cancers and leukemia, reducing or stopping pain associated with cancer and even shrinking malignant tumors without surgery. In Autism, the use of hydrocortisone can help stop an autoimmune disease processes that destroys brain cells in a child allowing for some progress toward normal growth and development.
On the downside, more normal illnesses like the seasonal flu and the common cold will occasionally return to persons using glucocorticoids.
When anyone uses hydrocortisone or other glucocorticoids and comes down with the flu or a common cold, they will need to stop using the hydrocortisone and allow their antibody immunity to rebound until they have recovered.
Aspirin and other similar OTC products are also immuno-suppressive and should be avoided when a cold or flu is ongoing. This is because the flu and common cold require antibody immunity for an effective immune response while HIV/AIDS, cancer and autism require cell-mediated immunity for an effective immune response. For this reason, antibody immune responses are not effective against HIV, cancer and autism and in fact are a big part of the problem. TH1 and TH2 type immune responses are like opposite ends of a teeter-totter. When one end goes up the other end goes down.
It is unfortunate that most practicing physicians get the bulk of their ongoing education from pharmaceutical salesmen. Pharmaceutical reps promote the most expensive and profitable patented drugs. There is no financial incentive for drug companies to research or promote low cost treatments like hydrocortisone for the treatment of HIV, AIDS, Cancer and Autism. $10 a month treatments do not support a drug companies stock value and dividends or the salaries of the reps. That is why little attention is being paid to drugs whose patents have expired, dietary supplements, diet as medicine, holistic, energetic, bio-oxidative and other low cost medicines.
For these reasons, practicing physicians are largely ignorant of the value of glucocorticoids in immune reconstitution and immune balancing. In the past 2 years, we have found that physicians can be persuaded more easily to prescribe hydrocortisone than low dose prednisone or methylprednisolone.
Therefore, in this Summary edition of the Journal of Immunity we have revised our Immuno-therapy recommendations around hydrocortisone instead of prednisolone or prednisone. Besides glucocorticoids, there are botanicals and other natural products that can help balance and normalize immune function.
Jim Harris, 1304 Howard Ave Berkeley, ILL 60163
(It is OK to write or phone days)
In the last issue of JOI, we wrote about one person's long term experience with Composition A for his HIV. An analysis of Composition A and a similar product called "Resist" by Pacific Biologicals indicates that the first two ingredients in both formulas are Reishi mushrooms and the herb Astragalus.
Reishi is considered one of the most therapeutic mushrooms in Chinese medicine and Astragalus is widely used to improve the functioning of the white blood cells in their scavenging capacity to kill off foreign intruders as well as to increase the number of WBCs. Reishi supports adrenal function. Both Reishi and Cordyceps are anti-inflammatory and increase strength and endurance.
Some people prefer to take Chinese herbs like Reishi, Astragalus and Cordyceps separately to measure their effects instead of in premixed formulas.
Astragalus is used in formulas to treat hepatitis and other viral infections while Reishi has been used with success in cancer treatments. Reishi and Astragalus should benefit and help balance immune function in persons with cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease and candidiasis.
In contrast, echinacea which improves humoral immunity and is beneficial for colds and flu's is contraindicated for use in HIV, cancer and other conditions where humoral immunity is already overactive.
HAART - Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy - This is usually a combination of 3 or more drugs to treat HIV infection.
CD4 - A type of white blood cell that is a master control cell of the immune system. Activated CD4 helper cells are targeted by the HIV virus.
Prednisolone - and Prednisone are synthetic hormones that act in the body like natural cortisol (hydrocortisone) produced by the adrenal glands. They are anti-inflammatory, normalizes overactive components of the immune system like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor that feed HIV progression to AIDS and cancer progression as well.
STI - Structured Treatment Interruptions. Not to be confused with drug holidays that are taken at random, STI's are planned by doctors and patients to test the patients immune response to HIV without the intervention of anti-viral drugs. STI's are also used to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs and as interim periods to consider other treatment options.
Immune-based therapies do not target the virus directly, therefore, no viral resistance ever occurs. Immune-based therapies seek to balance the immune response in AIDS by reducing overactive humoral (antibody) response and promoting cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses that target infected cells.
The HIV virus actually promotes an ineffective humoral immune response to its presence and eventually wears out the immune system. Deficiency of immune response in not the problem in early stages of AIDS; dysfunction and imbalance of the immune system are the problem. You could say that immune based therapies seek to quiet an overactive and ineffective immune response and put the virus in a state of low activity or dormancy.
June 22, 2005 Eur J Med Res
Albrecht Ulmer, Bertisch-Mollenhoff, Frietsch B, Muller M., Eur J Med Res.Ê2005 Jun 22;10(6):227-32. BACKGROUND: A favorable development of CD4+ T cells was firstly noticed in therapy-naive HIV-patients without antiretroviral therapy (ART) taking 5 mg prednisolone daily. This observation led to the prescription of prednisolone during structured therapy interruptions (STI).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of low dose prednisolone on pre-treated patients during STI.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis including all pre-treated patients with prednisolone therapy for > or =6 months during STI has been conducted. The patients with prednisolone onset right at the beginning of STI (n = 95) were compared with all patients without Prednisolone therapy during their first 6 months of STI (n = 49). Patients with prednisolone were divided into two subgroups: the ongoing STI-group and the patients with ART-restart.
Additionally, the development of all 33 patients from the control group having started prednisolone later during STI was documented. Irrespective of the time of initiation of prednisolone therapy during STI, the development of CD4+ T cells in all patients with prednisolone for >12 months during STI was analyzed (n = 108).
RESULTS: The mean daily CD4+ T cell decrease during STI was significantly less pronounced in the prednisolone-group (-0.50 vs. -0.74 cells/day; p = 0.0361). The daily CD4+ T cell decline of the 33 patients from the control subgroup including patients with a later onset of prednisolone therapy was only -0.11 during a mean time of 715 days under prednisolone.
The CD4+ T cell count of the STI-patients treated with prednisolone for >12 months (n = 108; mean: 837 days +/- 64.6 (366-1,756 days)) decreased from 677/microl to 504/microl. - 51 of 81 patients (63%) included in 2-year-analysis showed stable CD4+ T cell counts (mean daily CD4+ T cell decrease: 0.08) and continued ART interruption.
CONCLUSION: This retrospective evaluation provides evidence that low dose corticosteroids are associated with less decrease of CD4+ T cell count in pre-treated HIV patients resulting in prolongation of the potential time of structured treatment interruptions for many HIV patients.
Albrecht Ulmer, Bertisch-Mollenhoff, Frietsch B, Muller M., Eur J Med Res.Ê2005 Mar 29;10(3):105-9. Stuttgart, Germany. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: A favorable development of CD4+ T cells was noticed in therapy-naive HIV-patients without antiretroviral therapy (ART) taking 5 mg prednisolone daily. Based on these encouraging observations, prednisolone therapy in further HIV-patients without antiretroviral therapy was initiated.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of low dose prednisolone on therapy-naive HIV patients without antiretroviral therapy.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis has been conducted comparing the development of CD4+ T cells, viral load and clinical outcome in all therapy-naive HIV-patients with (n = 65; CD4 > or =300/microl) or without (n = 136; CD4 > or =300/microl) prednisolone treatment for > or =6 months.
RESULTS: After 3 years, therapy-naive patients on prednisolone therapy showed a CD4+ T cell increase of +50.1/microl whereas in the untreated group a decrease of -186.1/microl (p = 0.0021) was noted. After 12 months, nearly twice as much untreated patients experienced a first-time CD4+ T cell loss of >100/microl or initiation of HAART due to clinical development compared to prednisolone-treated patients (64.1% vs. 35.0%).
CD4+ T cell increase was associated with viral load at baseline: Patients with lower viral loads at baseline (<30,000 copies/ml) showed a favorable development with statistically significant less drop-outs (defined as HAART-onset and/or prednisolone discontinuation for the prednisolone group) than patients with higher viral loads at baseline in the first 3 years in the prednisolone group.
Conclusion: Low dose prednisolone seems to be associated with a stabilization of CD4+ T cell count in therapy-naive HIV patients resulting in a pronounced prolongation of the potential time without HAART for many HIV patients.
Last fall after testing positive for HIV my viral load was 33,600 (PCR). Four months ago it dropped to 7,180. Recently, it is down again to 3,850. My CD4's have gone from 370 to 687. I am on no HIV meds. My work and much expense has apparently paid off. I was so elated at the news. My doc wanted to know what I'm doing and said half jokingly that it should be patented. I told him what I do is complex and varies, and that I'm not really sure what is primarily responsible for the improvement. But he wanted me to tell him what I'm taking so I said mushrooms and selenium. He was in a hurry as usual so I left it at that.
I have been on a journey to improve my health for many years. Long story - short version, I have another chronic illness, genetic, that I battle on a daily basis, similar to Cystic Fibrosis. I am prone to severe lung infections and lowered immunity. Though not as lethal as HIV can be, it is an immense daily struggle. That is why the results of the recent testing is nothing short of miraculous. I think there is a cross over effect with the supplements I take it improves immunity therefore it helps both conditions. Excuse me for going on, but I felt I should give some relevant background info.
How I (seemingly) stopped the progression of HIV: Mushrooms, many kinds, but primarily Maitake, Shitake, Reishi, Royal Agaricus. I take so many other things but let me highlight a few- NAC, plant based selenium, large doses of Vitamin A and Beta carotene, 5 mg of prednisone, oxygen supplements, including ozone, hydrogen peroxide, etc., probiotics, lots of vitamin C in the form of Rosehips powder and fresh fruits and veggies.
I often take herbs such as licorice, heal-all (prunella vulgaricus) lots of cayenne and fresh, raw ginger, ginseng, oregano, eleuthero. That is just some of the things I have tried consistently. I tend to rotate things and eat as much fresh, organic food as possible. My gut feeling is that the mushrooms were probably the biggest boost to my immune system, but I really can't be certain. I have worked hard, prayed, studied, spent so much money, but I made up my mind that I was going to beat this virus without meds! ( Well, maybe a little prednisone)
Thanks to all of you for sharing and thanks especially to Mark. You have helped me more than you will ever know. Dan
Note: To access the posting and Dan's email go to the Message Board at keephopealive.org
Lu, S Y;Chen, W J;Eng, H L. Lu SY, Chen WJ,ÊEng HL et al Oral Radiol Endod. 1998 Oct;86(4):438-45. Department of Dentistry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this open clinical trial and follow-up study was to evaluate the short-term and long-term clinical efficacy of levamisole used with low-dose prednisolone in 30 patients with oral lichen planus, 6 patients with erythema multiforme, 3 patients with mucous membrane pemphigoid, and 2 patients with early pemphigus vulgaris.
STUDY DESIGN: All patients were given 150 mg/day of levamisole and 15 mg/day of prednisolone for 3 consecutive days each week, along with topically applied dexamethasone orobase (dexaltin).
RESULTS: Twenty-three patients showed dramatic remission of signs and symptoms within 2 weeks; 18 patients experienced partial remission. Forty patients reported significant pain relief, and almost none showed evidence of oral ulcerative lesions after 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.
In contrast, 1 patient with oral lichen planus with allergy to levamisole reported a partial response from prednisolone alone. All 29 patients with oral lichen planus remained free from symptoms for more than 6 months. All 6 patients with erythema multiforme, all 3 patients with mucous membrane pemphigoid, and both patients with pemphigus vulgaris also remained free from symptoms for 2 to 3 years.
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of levamisole to prednisolone may produce improved results in the management of erosive lichen planus, erythema multiforme, mucous membrane pemphigoid, and early pemphigus vulgaris.
An article dated August 2004 and published by www.amfar.org (American Foundation for AIDS Research) by Gunjan Sinha is titled "A Place in the Sun for Immuno suppressants. "
The article discusses the past 14 years experiences of Albrecht Ulmer in using prednisone or prednisolone to treat persons with HIV or AIDS. His first experience with prednisone was in 1990 when an HIV positive patient with recurrent fevers and fatigue could barely get out of bed although using AZT for HIV at the time. In desperation, he tried an anti-inflammatory drug - prednisione - that he added to his regimen. The patient quickly improved and that was Ulmer's first clue that Prednisone might help people with HIV.
Sinha reports that 7 years later, an HIV-positive Rwandan women walked into Ulmer's large Stuttgart practice complaining of fatigue and depression. Her CD4 count was not low enough to start her on HIV meds, so he prescribed prednisone. She began to feel better and her CD4 counts inched higher. In a few years, they had nearly doubled.
Since 1997, Ulmer has prescribed prednisone to over 200 of his HIV patients, some not yet on the HIV meds and some no longer taking the HAART medications. Ulmer reports that CD4 counts have stabilized or increased in up to 70% of his patients. He states he has had the best success in persons with CD4 counts of 300 of higher and viral loads of 30000 or less.
For several years, his colleagues at J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt have ignored him. Now with two published studies in the European Journal of Med Research in 2005, the time is overdue for the both the media and the medical establishment to start paying attention to his work.
With growing numbers of deaths from heart attacks in persons using protease inhibitors and drug cocktails, the time is overdue for new non toxic treatments that prevent opportunistic infections and HIV progression to AIDS.
The following article is reprinted with permission of the author and can be found online at http://www.acria.org/treatment/treatment_edu_winterupdate2001_2002_wondering.html
Speculation abounds as to what makes a long-term non-progressor (LTNP), as do definitions of exactly what a LTNP is. Some have looked at the maintenance of HIV-specific CD4 cells, others at cytokines like IL-10, and still others hope to create LTNPs by using therapeutic vaccines.
In my own case, I've wondered for years if I may have stumbled on a way to slow disease progression by the use of a simple, cheap and non-intuitive treatment.
I trace my infection back to 1981 or earlier, based on frozen blood from 1984 and a CD4 count below 500 in March of 1982. Though I'm still healthy twenty years later and have never taken antiretrovirals, I don't really fit into the category of LTNPs, who have normal CD4 counts around 1,000. My CD4 count has hovered around 300 for years, and my only clear-cut symptom of HIV disease has been occasional thrush (though I do struggle to maintain my pre-HIV bodyweight).
My personal theory has to do with a fortunate hospitalization in 1985. After months of flu-like symptoms and a drop in weight of thirty pounds, I was hospitalized due to extremely high calcium levels. I was finally diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder not associated with AIDS in which the immune system attacks one's own tissues.
Prednisone, a corticol steroid, cleared up my symptoms immediately. A year later I stopped the prednisone, but I eventually went back on it when my symptoms returned. The trick was moving to alternate-day dosing, which eliminated all side effects but still controlled the sarcoidosis.
I thought my body was controlling HIV on its own, but I was surprised to learn years later that there was some evidence the prednisone might actually be the cause of my good health. HIV chronically stimulates the immune system, causing the over-production of a number of immune system components such as immunoglobulins, tumor necrosis factor and alpha-interferon. It also increases activation of T-cells, which leads to greater HIV replication.
Using immune-suppressants to dampen some of this over-stimulation has been proposed, and some small studies have shown benefits for prednisone in people with HIV, but the data is far too sketchy to suggest using this approach in clinical practice.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) began a study in 1999 to specifically look at the benefits of prednisone in people with HIV. Unfortunately, they took the "more is better" approach, using 40 mg a day - far too high to take on a long-term basis (I'm currently on 15 mg every other day). When pre-clinical indications of bone loss were found, the study was stopped. Since the NIH rarely re-visits failed hypotheses, we'll most likely never find the answer as to whether a drug like prednisone could be beneficial if started early in disease.
Now, my lack of progression could be due to the sarcoidosis itself - the theory being that the sarcoidosis is creating excess CD4 cells and HIV is killing them off, leading to a steady state. But since my sarcoidosis is so well-controlled by the prednisone, I don't think that's the case. One could also say that I'm just a very slow progressor, but whenever I stop the prednisone I feel far less healthy, and HIV-related symptoms like sinusitis and rash start appearing.
It bothers me that I may have chanced on an effective way to slow HIV disease, but that no one else will benefit. If low-dose prednisone actually works to slow progression, it would be the answer for people who don't have advanced HIV disease, particularly for those in developing nations who can't afford combination therapy which costs over $10,000 a year. Prednisone is one of the cheapest drugs in the world, and a regimen of one pill every other day is feasible in even the most resource-poor settings.
Of course, the very fact that prednisone is cheap and off-patent makes it extremely difficult to find funding for the controlled studies needed to prove its benefit. And the necessary trial would be considered unethical by many, since it would need to randomize people to either prednisone or placebo, with no other antiretrovirals to mask disease progression. But with the new U.S. recommendations that treatment can be delayed until CD4 counts drop below 350, and with the British recommending people wait until 200, a trial could be designed for those with higher CD4 counts.
So here I sit, wondering if it is the prednisone that's keeping me healthy, wondering if there will ever be a way to prove it, wondering what would have happened to me if I hadn't started the drug sixteen years ago, and wondering if we aren't missing entirely different ways to control HIV disease, since almost all research focuses on antiretrovirals and not on treatments that support the immune system.
Mark Milano is a treatment educator at ACRIA and a longtime AIDS activist. He can be reached at ACRIA, 230 W 38th St, 17th Flr, NY, NY 10018 212-924-3934 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
POZ magazine reports in August, 2005, in an article called "haart-less and healthy" about New Yorker Mark Milano who began using prednisone to treat Sarcoidosis in 1985. Mark Milano is a New York HIV-Treatment educator who has never used anti-viral HIV drugs to treat his condition.
The Prednisone cleared up the Sarcoidosis in 1985 and he found that as long as he used the prednisone, his CD4 counts also held up.
Milano states he was first infected with HIV in 1982 and that his CD4 count was as low as 74 at one point. Since 1985, he has kept his CD4 count up using a low dose of Prednisone. The dose he currently uses is 15 mg every other day which averages out to 7.5 mg daily.
His current stats are CD4's - 400 and viral load 475K. He has and continues to remain free of opportunistic infections.
He states: "Dosing is the key.....I take 15 mg every other day, with only minor muscle loss and fat gain (which may be just be my age). "
His theory is that HIV needs activated CD4 cells to reproduce, and low dose prednisone reduces immune activity just enough to slow down HIV. He adds that if his CD4's drop to 200 or less he would go on the HIV meds.
What makes Milano's case interesting is that in spite of the high viral load, his CD4 counts stay up high enough to prevent the opportunistic infections that are the hallmark of AIDS. That this happens in spite of a viral load of 475,000 is amazing. What this suggests is that the viral load is neutered or made ineffective by the presence of the low dose prednisone.
Prednisone, like its counterparts, methyl prednisolone and hydrocortisone, lower interleukin 6 and TNF levels, two TH2 cytokines that are overactive in both cancer and AIDS progression. Normalizing these two cytokines holds great promise in stopping both HIV progression to AIDS and cancer progression.
Unfortunately, development of low cost treatments for HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life long illnesses are not top priorities for pharmaceutical companies where Wall Street stockholders looks at the bottom line of profits as the essential priority. Nor has the US Congress or the White House directed the National Institute of Health to use its resources to find low cost treatments for AIDS and cancer. The time for change is long overdue.
It appears from the published research of Ulmer A et al in Germany that low dose prednisolone could eliminate the need for protease inhibitors and drug cocktails in about two-thirds of the HIV + population taking drug cocktails. This would not only save taxpayers billons of dollars it would reduce and eliminate the side effects of drugs that affect a significant number of persons taking using them - effects including heart disease and osteoporosis.
Taking one pill a day (5 mg of prednisolone) most likely in the morning but with no rigorous or strict dosing schedule will also reduce a lot of stress on the population affected with HIV. Based on current published research the best candidates are those with viral loads of 30000 or less and a CD4 count of 300 or more.
These candidates could opt to try low dose prednisolone alone or in combination with other immune modulators like low dose Naltrexone (3 mg taken before bedtime once a day), raw mushrooms, garlic, plant based selenium, licorice root tea (increases adrenal cortisol output) and fish oil supplements and to consider thymic proteins if an increase in platelet counts is desired.
Persons with HIV should do their own online research at the National Library of Medicine, medical libraries and bring these articles to their physicians attention. Discuss with your doctor the merits of a strategic treatment change using an immune-based treatment for HIV like 20 mg hydrocortisone or the equivalent of 5 mg of prednisolone daily.
Dalgleish AG, O'Byrne KJ. Adv Cancer Res. 2002;84:231-76. Department of Oncology, St George's Hospital Medical School, London
Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) invariably leads to the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in most infected humans, yet does so rarely, if at all, in HIV-infected chimpanzees. The differences between the two species are not due to differences in cellular receptors or an inability of the chimpanzee to be infected, but rather to the lack of pan-immune activation in the infected primate. This results in reduced apoptotic death in CD4+ T-helper lymphocytes and a lower viral load.
In humans the degree of chronic immune activation correlates with virus load and clinical outcome with high immune activation leading to high viral loads and the more rapid progression to AIDS and death.
The type of immune perturbation seen in HIV-associated AIDS is similar to that of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) where reduced cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses occur early in the course of the disease and where humoral responses predominate.
A reduced CMI response occurs in a number of chronic infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and leishmaniasis. More recently, it has become increasingly apparent that the CMI response is suppressed in virtually all malignant diseases, including melanoma and colorectal and prostate cancer.
This raises the possibility that, as the malignant process develops, the cancer cells evolve to subvert the CMI response. Moreover, the reduced CMI response seen in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is completely reversed following curative surgery strongly supporting the hypothesis that CRC can suppress the systemic immune response.
Wound healing, ovulation, embryo implantation, and fetal growth are all associated with suppressed CMI and neovascularization (the formation of new blood vessels) or angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from an existing vasculature). If unresolved, wound healing results in chronic inflammation, which can give rise to the phenomenon of "scar cancers."
Indeed all the chronic inflammatory conditions known to be associated with the subsequent development of malignant disease, including chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and asbestosis, give rise to similar proangiogenic, suppressed CMI.
In keeping with this CMI-associated cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma tend to be antiangiogenic, whereas humoral cytokines such as IL-6 tend to be proangiogenic.
If the observed association is relevant to carcinogenesis, then treatments aimed at reducing the components of these inflammatory conditions may be useful both in the setting of chemoprevention and the therapeutic management of established disease.
Note: Anti-inflammatory treatments for overactive humoral immune responses (i.e. antibody production / Il-6/ TNF) include hydrocortisone and pharmaceutical equivalents like prednisolone and prednisone. The use of cortisol improves CMI and Natural Killer cell function.
by Susan Solomon MD
Excerpted from the Townsend Letter for Doctors (May 2005) (www.townsendletter.com) (2)
"Adrenal function is vital to life: without cortisol we die. This fact has been known since the 1930s when it was described by Banting and Best.
"Adrenal fatigue begins with a stressor (stressful event such as ) Psychosocial stress, environmental toxins (radon, mercury, mold), infectious organisms (fungal, bacterial, parasitic), food allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, milk), and other toxins (alcohol, drugs) to name a few. In addition, stressful events such as surgery or car accidents place a huge load on the adrenal glands.
"The initial response to each of the above events is to elevate cortisol levels to help cope with the stress. However, over time, the adrenals become weakened and lose their circadian rhythm.
"Over time, there develops a negative feedback and a genuine fatigue causing reduced levels of DHEA-S and cortisol. The end results is increased likelihood of autoimmune disease, heart attacks, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, skin disorders, carbohydrate cravings, fatigue and depression to name a few.
"As DHEA-S levels decrease, the level of homocysteine rises, with a concomitant decrease in most B-vitamins, but especially folate and B12. With the establishment of disease another pivotal biochemical event happens: abnormal methyl metabolism.
Solomon further states: "Multiple reports in the recent literature link abnormal DNA methylation with the onset of cancer in laboratory animals. Undoubtedly, this occurs in humans as well. It is my clinical experience that when the DHEA-S falls to below 160 the ability to make methyl groups nosedives as well. These patients may then present with symptoms of depression (inability to synthesize S-adenosylmethionine AKA SAMe), joint pain (inability to make methylsulfonomethionine aka MSM), and gastric reflux (inability to make betaine or trimethylglycine aka TMG), to name a few.
"Not only does the ability to make methyl groups decrease, but the ability to convert to a methylated product is also compromised. For example, in chronically ill individuals, the use of B12 as either cyancobalamin or the hydroxocobalamin form seems to do little to improve fatigue or mental functioning.
The ideal compound is methylcobalamin (Methyl B12)- the only active form. In each case, oral supplementation with the missing methyl-containing substrate ameliorates the symptoms. In each of the scenarios listed, the severity of the illness correlates with the level of the reduced or deficient DHEA-S and the concomitant elevated homocysteine level.
The elevated homocysteine level is not only a marker for inflammation, but it is a marker for deficient B vitamins as well. The stage is now set for abnormal DNA methylation and the induction of cancer.
"Efforts to repair adrenal fatigue include nutrients (in their most active form), glandular preparations, DHEA and in severe cases cortisol itself and lifestyle modifications."
A "methyl" group is -CH3 or one part carbon attached to 3 parts hydrogen. Methyl donors have a critical role to play in detoxification pathways. Italian researchers, Armenante F et al (3) reported in 1999 that reducing DNA methylation correlates with interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene hypomethylation and increases the level of its expression. The researchers found in experiments on a breast cancer cell line that when they suppressed methylation, it increased (IL-6) gene expression in the cancer cells.
In layman's terms, lack of methyl donors leads to hypomethylation and causes the IL-6 gene to become more active thus producing more IL-6. IL-6 is a cytokine that stimulates the B cells and the TH2 arm of the immune system. IL-6 and TNF-a are known to be over active in cancer, AIDS, CFIDS, candidiasis and numerous other conditions and plays a significant role in the progression of these conditions.
In Japan, Yamashiki et al tested the cytokine effects from using Methyl B12 as this form of the vitamin has attracted the attention of physicians in treating rheumatism. They found that "as compared to controls, IL-6 productions induced by PHA and Con A on Day 4 of the culture was suppressed by an average of 60-70% when methyl B12 was added to the medium." (5)
Editors note: For the past few years, we have been searching for ways to normalize IL-6 and TNF-a - the two cytokines who over activity causes chronic fatigue and depresses Natural Killer cell activity and cell-mediated immunity and thus promoting cancer and HIV progression to AIDS.
Sources of methyl donors include Betaine (also known as trimethylglycine) from Red Beets or Betaine from Blackstrap Molasses, Choline from lecithin, brewers yeast, wheat germ and other sources, SAMe, dimethylglycine (DMG), Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) and Folic acid. The B vitamin "Choline," (tetramethylglycine) has 4 methyl groups attached to it.
When one methyl group (CH3) is donated, it becomes trimethylglycine (TMG). When TMG donates one methyl group, it then becomes DMG (dimethylglycine). Betaine (TMG) as a methyl donor, and other methyl donors, reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a toxic byproduct of cysteine amino-acid metabolism linked to arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis. TMG is referred to as lipotropic and reduces fatty liver and protects against chemical damage and alcohol damage to the liver. TMG and beets have been used in the treatment of liver disease in Europe. (4)
Note: As a dietary supplement, Betaine hydrochloride is used as a source of hydrochloric acid to support digestion and while it is a source of Betaine or TMG, it should not be used as a primary source of betaine but rather as a source of stomach acid to support digestion.
Researchers have found that 25 to 35 mg of DMG per KG of body weight significantly reduced ulcer size, number and ulcer index in pyloric-ligation, ibuprofen and stress induced ulcers in rats. There was a corresponding reduction free radicals indicating the antioxidant activity provided cytoprotection of the gastric mucosa. (10)
Note: The dose used by the researchers in the rat model would be the equivalent of 1700 mg daily of DMG for a 150 pound adult person. Since the B vitamin Choline found abundantly in lecithin and TMG found in beets will eventually break down into DMG in the body, these sources might also work in preventing gastric ulcers in the rat model although they were not part of the experiment. Besides lecithin, brewers yeast is an excellent source of Choline.
At www.unexplainable.net, John Draper reports on the work of Alexander Ferenczi MD of Csoma, Hungary in the 1950's who placed cancer patients on a diet of nothing but raw red beets. Portions of Ferenczi's report were published in the Australian Int' Clinical Nutrition Review for July, 1986.
Draper states that a man of 50 years of age with lung cancer and confined to a Budapest hospital was treated with red beets for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks , the tumor disappeared and the man gained 22 lbs.
A patient with prostate cancer began to improve on the beet root diet. The catheter was removed and the patient gained weight.
A women in her 30's was treated for breast cancer with beets and soon developed a fever of 104 degrees due to the rapid breakdown of the waste matter dumped into her system.
In his report published in Hungarian, Dr Ferenczi attributed the anti-cancer strength in beets to their natural red coloring agent, BETAINE.
by Rudolf Breuss
The Breuss Cancer Cure is a book that was mailed to me 7 years ago by friends (Les and Susan O'Neill) who live in Australia. The book has gathered dust in my office since 1998. However, in my recent discovery of the use of betaine (trimethylglycine or TMG) as a methyl donor to lower and inhibit interleukin-6 (IL-6), I searched for and found the book that I had earlier set aside. It has proved to be a treasure of inspiring ideas on treating chronic illness, especially cancer.
Breuss's use of organic beet juice as a treatment for cancer is inspiring as the cost is very low and the side effects are few. The potential is there for this source of methyl donors to also effectively treat several other illnesses where overactive IL-6 is a common thread.
Illness such as Leukemia, Arthritis, Heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, pinched nerves, liver and pancreas problems, damaged spinal discs and Hodgkin's disease to name a few have been successfully treated with the Breuss juice fast.
In his book Rudolf Breuss states that as of 1990, he has followed ovr 45000 cases of cancer and other chronic conditions that have been cured or reversed with his treatment regimen.
Besides claiming 45,000 cases worldwide where people have recovered from cancer using the Breuss Vegetable Juice mix, his book publishes letters from persons who claim to have recovered from leukemia, arthritis, myocarditis, pinched nerves, damaged discs, liver and pancreas problems, blood poisoning and Hodgkin's disease using the same juice fasting treatment that was used to cure cancer.
Huang D et al at Brunswick Labs in Wareham, Mass in 2002 studied 927 freeze-dried vegetable sample for their ORAC and FRAP values to measure antioxidant activity (7). They found that these values were not only dependent on the species but on geographical location and harvest time. Based on ORAC results, they list the top 6 vegetable having the highest antioxidant activity as beets, purple onion, broccoli, spinach, green pepper, and cauliflower.
Kapadia and 19 other researchers (8) report that beet root extract was effective against chemically induced skin cancer and liver cancer in laboratory mice. The beet extract was orally ingested in the mice that had skin cancer induced with DMBA followed by UVB. N-nitrosodiethylamine was used to induce liver cancer. The researchers fond that the beet root extract called "betanin" had a very significant inhibition of liver cancer and also significantly inhibited skin cancer.
They stated "The most interesting observation is that the cancer chemo preventive effect was exhibited at a very low dose used in the study and thus indicating that beet root warrants more attention for possible human applications in the control of malignancy."
Kapadia et al report that an in vitro inhibitory effect of Beta vulgaris (beet root extract) on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) induction using Raji cells revealed a high order of activity compared to capsanthin, cranberry, red onion skin and short and long red bell peppers. (9)
Sitting on my book shelf and gathering dust for several years is a book originally published in 1987 called "The AIDS Fighters" by Ian Brighthope MD of Melbourne, Australia. I reviewed the book in a search of old, really older treatment protocols that claimed success at a time when not even AZT could stop AIDS progression to see if beets were part of the treatment protocol.
When I turned to page 123, there is was -
item no 19 Juices: Beetroot and Carrot -7 ounces of each twice a day. Now that is a lot of beet root juice - as much as you would find in the Breuss beet and vegetable juice cure for cancer.
Other parts of his protocol that I would agree with to this day include licorice root extract (supports adrenal production of cortisol) and cortisol lowers IL-6. Other parts included high doses of Vitamin A (20000 i.u daily) selenium 1000 mcg daily, Evening Primrose oil - 1000 mg 3X, thymus tablets 3X, Aged Kyolic garlic, Vitamin C and E, B complex, and zinc, magnesium and manganese plus aloe vera juice - 100 ml daily. All this plus a good diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw. Ocean fish was highly recommended 2 or 3 times a week and plenty of rest. (The Ocean fish would be a source of DHA/EPA and would also inhibit IL-6).
The results claimed by Dr Brighthope - 100 HIV+ patients not progressing to AIDS and of 20 AIDS patients on his program, all doing well except for one patient who did not comply with all parts of the program and died. What was missing from this book was data on the effects of his program on the CD4 helper cell counts.
May 27, 2005: Susanne Quick of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "phthalates" that leach out of soft plastics and are also found in many personal care products are causing genetic abnormalities in small boys.
In rats, researchers have found that phthalates can cause genital defects, infertility and testicular cancer. Phthalates can be detected in plastics by their sweet smell. Professor Tim Oswald of UW Madison says "phthalates can be detected by their sweet aroma. If it smells sweet, throw it out." While some state legislators are considering what to do about phthalates, the European Union has already banned phthalates from children's toys and cosmetics.
Feldman D et al writing in Environ Health Perspect 1995 Oct, report that autoclaving yeast in polycarbonate plastic caused estrogen to be added to the medium. The problem was caused by bisphenol-A (BPA) that was leached out of the plastic. They state: "The BPA findings raise concerns about the possible addition of this estrogenic molecule to the food supply since polycarbonate plastic is used in myriad applications in the packaging of food products and beverages."
Question: Could BPA and other estrogenic compounds in plastics be linked to the national obesity epidemic and what is it doing to erectile function in males? Estrogen is also known to stimulate fat gain and water retention.
July 31st. Today I talked to a person in Milwaukee (H.H.) who has been dealing with hepatitis C for several years. H.H. has been taking interferon prescribed by his doctor for over 8 years on and off. About 2 months ago, I told H.H. that methyl donors in beets should help protect his liver and might help lower the HCV viral load. In May, H.H. began to eat a serving of beets daily while continuing on the interferon.
He told me he ate one 15 ounce can of beets daily and drank the juice in the can also. He did this for 2 months. He did not juice raw beets. Today, 7/31/05, he reports his last lab results since adding beets to his daily diet for the past two months. The latest test results showed the HCV virus is now non-detectable. The doctor told him he thinks he is cured and has stopped the interferon but will monitor his blood for the next several months to see if the virus comes back.
H.H. however, does not give special credit to the beets which he said he ate tons of, but to God. He said several people prayed for him and that God has answered his prayers.
Update: The significance of this case is that H.H. are canned beets and did not even try to make raw beet juice. This also raises the question of what a can of cooked beets might do to treat cancer and a wide range of other conditions linked to elevated levels of interleukin 6. Early in September, H.H. reported the HCV viral load had returned after he had stopped the daily beet serving and had also stopped using the interferon.
He has again resumed eating the beets and his doctor is giving him interferon at half the regular dose. While on the interferon treatments for the past 8 years, his HCV viral load never reached non-detectable levels until he started on the beet regimen. It is evident he stopped the beet therapy too quickly to have a cure. He can always retry. It should be noted that the cases of cures for hepatitis C are few and far between. In view of his results the use of beets and most certainly plant based selenium should be part of a treatment protocol.
For persons with balanced TH1 and TH2 immunity, the conventional advice for the seasonal flu, any type, is to rest and drink plenty of water. Preventing the seasonal flu requires an annual flu shot vaccination. However persons with HIV, cancer and autism have overactive humoral immunity and usually don't get colds or flus and thus do not need an annual flu shot.
Meanwhile, due to a number of mishaps in prior years including (the use of mercury in vaccines that has now been eliminated) and a defective measles part of MMR vaccine (mumps, measles and rubella) that some researchers have linked to autism in children, vaccines are becoming more widely distrusted by the general public.
In 1981, a hepatitis B vaccine widely given to members of the gay community was contaminated with HIV and helped to rapidly spread the AIDS virus from San Francisco to New York.
There is a local report here in Wisconsin from a friend who had a relative die from the meningitis vaccine. Required for her college entrance, the young lady died the day after she received the meningitis vaccination. Had she been told to use colloidal silver, or oral hydrogen peroxide diluted in water or to drink ozonated water several times on the same day she received the vaccination, her death may have been prevented.
No one can be sure which treatment or combination of treatments will be most effective. This is why testing on infected birds is needed now, before a pandemic gets underway.
Ozonated water is, in my opinion and experience, an excellent choice for killing viruses, and, if used properly, will taste better and not nauseate the stomach like H2O2 diluted with water.
Ozone has strong disinfectant properties when consumed within 15 to 30 minutes after adding the ozone to the water. Ozone naturally breaks down into oxygen and has a half-life of 30 to 45 minutes depending on the temperature of the water. Breakdown of ozone into oxygen occurs faster when the water is warmer and slower when it is colder.
Castor oil packs over the liver area were made famous by the late Edgar Cayce for treating many chronic conditions including hepatitis. Some people have reported being cured of hepatitis after using castor oil packs daily over the liver area for 2 or 3 months.
Lesser known are the benefits of castor oil packs for the lungs in treating scar tissue from years of smoking cigarettes, radiation treatments, bronchitis, pneumonia, lung cancer, emphysema, shortness of breath, tuberculosis and other lung infections. Castor oil packs over the upper chest area, just above the heart, can stimulate and detoxify the thymus gland, the master gland of the immune system. The systemic benefits of this therapy are profound as chronic infections often disappear after a series of treatments.
The following is a list of products that I have personally found useful in preventing and treating sinus and lung infections as well as the flu.
Zinc, Cod Liver Oil, and Guaifenesin (400 mg daily) available on the internet or through your doctor.
The following is a list of products I have used to successfully treat sinus and lung infection and the seasonal flu: Ozonated water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Grapefruit Seed extract, Castor oil packs over the chest area daily (at or above the heart near the thymus gland and bronchial tubes), Golden seal root with Echinacea, Zinc lozenges, Bee Propolis and chicken soup.
I have also had good results with a product called "Bee's Winter Defense Cold and Flu Formula (available in health food stores from YS organic Bee Farms in Sheridan , Ill - found on the internet at www.ysorganic.com. Grapefruit seed extract is also sold under the name Citracidal and is effective against several hundred viral and bacterial infections. Cold EZE with zinc gluconate has been proven effective in controlled studies to reduce the time of the common cold.
by Heggers JP et al
OBJECTIVES: Recent testimonials report grapefruit-seed extract, or GSE (Citricidal) to be effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multicelled parasites. This study investigated GSE for antibacterial activity at varying time intervals and concentration levels and tissue toxicity at varying concentrations in an effort to determine if a concentration existed that was both microbicidal and nontoxic and in what period of time.
RESULTS: These tests indicated that from the 1:1 through the 1:128 concentrations, GSE remained toxic as well as bactericidal. However, test results indicated that at the 1:512 dilution, GSE remained bactericidal, but completely nontoxic.
CONCLUSIONS: The initial data shows GSE to have antimicrobial properties against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive organisms at dilutions found to be safe.
1. The effectiveness of processed grapefruit-seed extract as an antibacterial agent: Heggers JP, et al; J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Jun;8(3):333-40.
El-khawaga OA, Salem TA, Elshal MF.
Clin Chim Acta. 2003 Mansoura University, Mansoura City, Egypt.
BACKGROUND: Propolis has numerous biologic activities including antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The present work is aimed to study the effect of crude Egyptian propolis on tumor in mice induced by Ehrlich ascitis carcinoma (EAC) cell line.
RESULTS: The administration of propolis (160 mg/kg body weight), by gastric intubation 2 h before the intraperitoneal injection of EAC, effectively inhibited tumor growth and the proliferation of EAC. Reduced glutathione (GSH) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) concentrations were markedly increased in propolis-treated mice. This effect was associated with inhibition of cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Crude Egyptian propolis has a strong inhibitory activity against tumors.
San - Nunes A, Faccioli LH, Sforcin JM. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul;87(1):93-7.University of San Paulo, San Paulo, Brazil.
We evaluated propolis influence on polyclonal activation of lymphocytes by concanavalin A (Con A). The in vitro experiments showed that propolis decreases splenocyte proliferation both in the absence or presence of Con A. The suppression in mitogen-induced splenocyte proliferation also occurred when mice were treated intraperitoneally with propolis for 3 days. An increased of IFN-gamma production in the culture supernatants of the same cells was observed.
A dual action of propolis on lymphocyte activation was proposed: it decreases splenocyte proliferation in the presence or absence of Con A and stimulates IFN-gamma production by spleen cells. These results are important to understand the immunomodulatory action of propolis on the host's specific and non-specific immunity.
Kathy K of Manchester, NH was diagnosed with Hepatitis C (HCV), Genotype 1a in September of 1995. Six months earlier she had been also diagnosed with Lupus. Because of the Lupus diagnosis, the doctor said the use of alpha interferon was contraindicated. No prescribed remedy was available. Since 1996, she began using Silymarin (Milk Thistle)) 175mg 3 times a day. Around 2000, she added 200 mcg of yeast based selenium daily. With Silymarin and Selenium, she was able to keep her HCV viral load around 500,000 until July of 2005 when it shot up to 9 million. A month later, it climbed further to 25 million. A second blood test confirmed these disturbing findings. She attributed the increase viral load to stress in the family.
In the last week of August, an internet search led to the keephopealive.org and Kathy contacted me by email seeking help. I sent her a copy of the Immune Restoration Handbook and we discussed the situation by phone. I made a few suggestions of a dietary and supplemental nature.
Separately, she found a medical doctor who does photoluminescence, the treatment of blood with ultraviolet light. She said she talked to one doctor who told her that one of his patients was cured of HCV with 20 consecutive treatments of UV blood irradiation. She located a doctor that offered ultraviolet (UV) treatment of blood and commenced to start a series of five treatments about one week apart starting on September 7th and ending Oct 12th. Her treatment regimen was as follows:
At the end of October, she reports that her viral load dropped from 25 million to 3.4 million and her ALT/AST decreased from 300/276 to 219/216.
She credits the synergistic effect of everything she has done together for the results obtained. Kathy can be contacted at 603-627-3686 for more information.
Treatment Update. 1998
Garlic has been used for hundreds of years to treat fungal, parasitic, and viral infections, and has anti-inflammatory properties that show promise for prevention of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are focusing on an extract of garlic called ajoene which also appears to protect CD4 cells from attack by HIV early in the viral life cycle. At low concentrations, the drug appears to have little toxicity, and its anti-HIV activity is 45 times more powerful than the drug dextran sulfate. Ajoene is found only in fresh garlic.
Note: Since garlic increases blood levels of protease inhibitors and hence their therapeutic effects, it is possible to design a protocol that uses lower doses of protease inhibitors that also includes the regular use of garlic.
The same could be said for grapefruit juice that also increases blood levels of many drugs including some protease inhibitors. The regular use of grapefruit juice with or without garlic supplements could reduce drug dosages prescribed and medical expenses up to 50% each month. Who will fund this study? Big Pharmaceutical companies that could lose thousands of dollars in drug sales? No, it makes more dollars and cents for Drug companies to bash the use of garlic and grapefruit juice instead.
Alternating anti-viral cocktails with immune based combinations seems like a safe and reasonable choice. However, to appreciate its benefits, immune based cocktails need to be evaluated in terms of maintaining higher CD4 Helper cell counts rather than their effects in lowering the HIV viral load. In terms of surviving long term, high CD4 counts offer much more protection than low viral loads. In marketing their new drugs, Big Pharma has sought to change the goal post from high CD4 counts to non-detectable viral loads. This has served their bottom line but not the patients long term health.
Many fatalities have come from heart attacks from staying too long on drug combinations that include protease inhibitors. No one seems to be counting all the deaths from heart attacks associated with long term use of protease inhibitors and drugs like D4T that have been associated with lipodystrophy.
What is needed is for physicians to stop being marketing robots for Big Pharmaceutical companies and start doing some creative thinking for their patients. A Strategic Treatment Interruption (STI) is what is the patient often needs but is not recommended. The use of immune based therapies during an STI could be very beneficial for most patients.
Hydrocortisone tablets (but not the cream) and Naltrexone require a prescription. Based on controlled studies published in this Journal in 2005, prednisolone alone could keep 2/3 of the HIV+ patients with higher or stabilized CD4 counts for 2 years or longer and with no need to resume antiviral HIV meds. Considering that the cost is low and there are no adverse effects, no disfiguring lipodystrophy, no elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, etc, no increase in heart disease or infections, the big question is what are the doctors and the HIV community waiting for?
Big Pharma would gladly promote immune-based therapies if they could generate the same profit. Sadly, low cost treatments don't get the promotion or the ink in the press that they deserve.
by Tracy B, (original posting in May 2005 - phone call updated/corrected 4/5/06)
I have reported my partner had been using hydrocortisone and Armour Thyroid. The doctor has switched him to 5mg of prednisone twice daily one dose at 9 am and the other at 2 pm. There has been a definite increase in energy levels, body temperature and less bone aches and pain.
Dr. Gathe says that several years ago before HIV meds the only thing they had to treat patients with was prednisone or prednisolone and other immune modulators. He did seem to think that those treatments had been abandoned before their full affect could be studied because of the introduction of HIV meds. He increased my partner's cortisol dose because he was seeing such good success. H e says he does not think that 10 mgs of prednisone daily will cause any bone damage. He thinks the prednisone will help more than the hydrocortisone but will continue to look for side effects even at this low dose!
My partner has been off HAART over 6 months. We will see if thyroid, prednisone, selenium, with amino acid supplementation has kept viral load down.
May, 2005 Tracy B Houston, TX
I finally got numbers back from last blood work. I have been using prednisone and iodine therapy plus NAC, glutamine, selenium, etc. My viral load went from 7600 to 27,000 but my T-cells also came from 300 to 400 which are higher than they have been in 5 years. I had stopped doing any natural anti-viral (I usually use colloidal silver...but you know the money thing) also my alt & alt went up. I think Hep C viral load is up so will start silver again ASAP. May try thyroid but blood pressure was so high I was afraid. It is more manageable now so I am switching from Iosol (iodine) to Thyroxine. Tracy B.
Just got back my test results from last lab work. I have added mushrooms to my protocol and to my friend as well. Both of us had significant drops in viral loads I lowered the HIV viral load from 22,900 to 7260! My friend has been off HIV meds for 2 years after suffering from lactic acidosis and numerous other side effects including neuropathy, nerve damage in gut etc.
We were expecting a large jump in his viral load that had been 26,000 and expecting him to have to go back on HIV meds. He had just suffered another bout of pneumonia in November (staff) but we were shocked his viral load had also fallen!!!! to 2,500. I started giving him the mushrooms after this. We are taking Reishi caps and Cordyceps. I forgot the place I read on this web site where the man was getting his mushrooms but remember what good results he said he was having. Tracyb@houston.rr.com
Note: I have been taking 3 Cordyceps caps (500MG +enzymes) and 6 Reishi Complex (270MG + enzymes) and a mushroom blend by Jarrow 3 caps daily. A total of 12 caps or about 4500 mg of mixed mushrooms each day.
03-22-06 Tracy B Tracyb@houston.rr.com
J.I. Rodale, the founder of Prevention magazine in the 1950's, wrote about the role of magnesium in the prevention of cancer and cited many areas of the world where cancer prevalence was high when the magnesium content of the soil was low. Today the role of magnesium in human health is increasingly being recognized. Together, calcium and magnesium are two of the most critical minerals needed for hundreds of cellular functions.
Magnesium has been depleted from the soil. It is generally refined out of the food supply through processing. It is found in the molasses of cane sugar, the wheat germ and bran that is removed in processing grains. It is found in most whole foods and especially nuts, whole grains, beans, molasses, dark leafy vegetables and other green foods. Magnesium is a component of chlorophyll.
Foods in the diet that most deplete magnesium levels include corn syrup, white sugar and hard liquor. A diet high in meat and refined carbohydrates also depletes magnesium levels as the pancreas uses magnesium to help produce digestive enzymes. A diet high in salt reduces calcium levels that then has the effect of depleting both potassium and magnesium.
Lavon Dunne states in the "Nutrition Almanac" that "along with calcium, magnesium is found in bones and is important in the conduction of electrical impulses of the muscles and nerves. Magnesium, like calcium, is a relaxant...... it activates the enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. It is involved in insulin secretion and function. Magnesium has been found to reduce hyperactivity in children who had low magnesium levels. It may improve vision in glaucoma patients, lower blood pressure, and may be a factor in chronic fatigue syndrome."
Magnesium is needed for the activation and production of enzymes throughout the body. Without enzymes, metabolic functions of the individual cell become paralyzed. Magnesium is needed for the body to retain and utilize potassium, a mineral needed for celled mediated immunity and immunity against cancer. With low magnesium, the pancreas cannot produce adequate enzymes for digestion. This leads to putrefaction of food, especially meats, in the digestive tract. Magnesium is also needed for the production of pancreatic enzymes that destroy cancer cells.
Today, some dietary supplements with magnesium have questionable value. These include man-made amino acid "chelates" with magnesium attached. The "chelates" that are not of plant origin may even interfere with the absorption of the magnesium. What chemical that magnesium is bound to can have a significant impact on its function or lack thereof.
Magnesium hydroxide as is found in "Milk of Magnesia" is a powerful laxative but is also a powerful alkalizer as reported by the pH Foundation. A couple of spoonfuls can be a quick remedy for an extreme acid saliva condition and will quickly bring saliva pH back to normal.
Calcium hydroxide also called "Lime Water," (not the fruit) will have this alkalizing effect also. Magnesium oxide is more pH neutral (but tending alkaline) and is more suited for long-term use.
Magnesium oxide may form magnesium chloride in the stomach and what is not absorbed may form magnesium butyrate and magnesium lactate in the colon in the presence of friendly bifido bacteria. Other mineral oxides found in well water or spring water may under a similar process.
Magnesium sulfates (Epson salts) are well absorbed and are used for anti-inflammatory properties for sore joints and muscles and it is used for constipation. The most widely sold supplemental form of Mg is magnesium citrate.
I believe that the mineral compounds that form through the natural digestive process are the types of compounds that should be offered to the public as dietary supplements. Cellular functions may require several forms of the same mineral for different purposes. Some supplements that are identical to those formed in the digestive process include magnesium chloride, calcium lactate, calcium butyrate and magnesium butyrate and other naturally occurring acid bound forms. In a functional digestive system, magnesium in whole foods and magnesium oxide as a supplement should form both magnesium chloride (in the stomach) and magnesium butyrate and mg lactate in the colon.
For the person with acid reflux syndrome, he will obtain much of his minerals in the "chloride" form that occurs when the minerals bond to hydrochloric acid in the stomach. However, unless this person also has a good colony of bifido-bacteria, he will lack the production of calcium and magnesium butyrate in the large intestines. Butyrates are fuel for the colonic cells. A long term absence of butyrate in the intestines will eventually lead to the structural destruction of the intestinal wall and micro villa, colon cancer, a weakening and even a perforation of the intestines, infections requiring surgery and other diseases of the gut.
Several published studies have found a direct link between magnesium deficiency and lower glutathione levels and an increase in oxidative stress. The results of these studies are profound in understanding how magnesium deficiency promotes HIV progression, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and hepatitis, all types.
We know from many published studies that glutathione levels are directly related to HIV replication, and hepatitis C activity (HCV) as well as cancer. Published research finds that magnesium deficiency increases TNF-a and IL-6 - two cytokines that have been inexorably linked to HIV progression to AIDS, cancer progression and chronic fatigue syndrome and other conditions. The role of magnesium in reducing inflammation and over activity of humoral immune responses has, unfortunately, been overlooked for too long.
While the RDA for elemental magnesium is set at 400 mg daily, the therapeutic use of magnesium ranges from 800 mg to 1600 mg or more daily. One study with magnesium sulfate (Epson salts) found no adverse effects even at 3000 mg daily. Persons with HIV, cancer, hepatitis and CFIDS would most likely benefit from a therapeutic dose of magnesium, but when going over 1000 mg daily, a person should be monitored by a health care professional.
The following article by Mildred Seeling MD is excerpted from a very lengthy and well documented article found online at mgwater.com/cancer.shtml
Go to this web site for the full article and a listing of 219 supporting scientific references.
by Mildred S. Seelig, M.D., Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, North Carolina University Medical Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.
I. Introduction on Magnesium (Mg)
(1) Over 300 enzymes that influence the metabolism of carbohydrate, amino acids, nucleic acids and protein, and ion transport, require Mg.(2,3) Its roles in fatty acid and phospholipid acid metabolism, that affect permeability and stability of membranes, are being elucidated.(4-6) It has been proposed that Mg is central in the cell cycle, and that its deficiency is an important conditioner in precancerous cell transformation.(7-9) In addition, immunocompetence (that eliminates transformed cells) is Mg-dependent.(1,10-12) Mg supplementation of those who are Mg deficient, like chronic alcoholics, might decrease emergence of some malignancies.
(13) Epidemiologic studies suggest that low water and soil Mg may predispose to some cancers, but not to others. (14-18) Hard water is directly related to longevity, but the age-associated cell mutation and diminished capacity for immunosurveillance can obscure geochemical effects.(19,20)
Lympholeukemia(11-13,21-29) and bone tumors,(30-33) resembling those seen in children, have developed in some normally resistant rat strains when Mg deficiency was begun at weaning, but not in others. The effect of Mg on cancer produced by tumor transplants, or by chemicals, has depended on the time Mg supplementation or deficiency was induced, relative to exposure to oncogens.(12-13) Optimal Mg intake may be prophylactic against initiation of some neoplasms. Since cancer cells have high metabolic requirements, it is not indicated (alone) in the treatment of cancer. (13)
To read the rest of this report go to http://www.mgwater.com.shtml
by Malpuech-Brugère C, et al 1999 Jan 6;1453(1):35-40. Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France.
The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of different stages of Mg deficiency on endotoxin response and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) production. Weaning male Wistar rats were pair fed either a Mg-deficient or a control diet. At day 7, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced no lethal effects in control rats but resulted in 70% mortality in Mg-deficient rats within 3 h.
The vulnerability of Mg-deficient rats to LPS was associated with higher TNF alpha plasma values. Mg-deficient animals that received magnesium supplementation before endotoxin challenge had significantly increased survival. At day 2, control and Mg-deficient rats were also subjected to endotoxin challenge with or without magnesium pre-treatment. A significant increase in TNF alpha plasma level was observed in Mg-deficient rats compared to rats fed the control diet. Mg-deficient rats that received magnesium replacement therapy before endotoxin challenge had significantly lower TNF alpha plasma values than those receiving saline before endotoxin. Thus, the results of this experiment suggest that the activated or primed state of immune cells is an early event occurring in Mg deficiency.
Malpuech-Brugère C et
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Jun 15;1501(2-3):91-8. France.
A high plasma level of IL-6 could be detected as early as day 4 for the Mg-deficient diet. Substance P does not appear to be the initiator of inflammation since IL-6 increase was observed without plasma elevation of this neuropeptide. The fact that the inflammatory response was an early consequence of Mg deficiency suggests that reduced extracellular Mg might be responsible for the activated state of immune cells.
Mak IT, Goldfarb MG, Weglicki WB, Haudenschild CC. Cardiovasc Toxicol. ;4(2):169-77. The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
Treatment of HIV with AZT (zidovudine) may have toxic side effects as a result of multiple mechanisms. It is known that patients with AIDS may suffer from magnesium deficiency (MgD). We studied selected biochemical and histopathologic consequences of AZT administration (0.7 mg/mL in drinking water) with concurrent Mg-deficient (20% of normal) diet in male C57Bl/6N mice for 3 wk. Significant decreases in red blood cell glutathione (GSH) were evident in the Mg-deficient mice with or without AZT treatment, suggesting compromised antioxidant capacity in the blood.
MgD or AZT alone caused varying degrees of skeletal muscle degeneration; in combination, more intense degeneration and regeneration of muscle cells were evident. In conclusion, it is suggested that both the decreased blood GSH and elevated plasma TXA(2) might contribute, at least in part, to the aggravated pathological damages observed in the atrium and skeletal muscle of the AZT-treated Mg-deficient mice.
One person wrote that applying the water in the eyes got rid of a cataract after 2 months. Another person with Crohn's disease said she has been helped very much by using the water daily and says the prayers and has fewer episodes. A local female with the papilloma virus applied the water daily to the affected area and prayed. Upon examination 6 months later, the gynecologist said the viral warts were gone and the flesh was a normal color. This person also applied the water to breast lumps that became normal after 3 weeks.
"I reported awhile (June 2005) back the good results I was having with my mushroom and supplement protocol and would like to again report continued good results. My recent blood work showed a viral load of 3,400 and a CD4 count of 704. My doc is amazed and said I could go for a year before my next lab work since my numbers have remained stable over the last year and a half. I said I would still like to check it at 6 months another time just to make sure it's not slipping."
In the last year, I have added Naltrexone, 4.5 mg at night, and continue taking Prednisone, 5mg. in the a.m. For mushrooms, I am taking a blend by Source Naturals, and started ACHH, which is VERY expensive and is basically hybridized shitake mushrooms that are specially processed.
"Other supplements include DHEA, NAC, ALA, fish or flax oil, various probiotics. I believe that I have stopped the progression of HIV, and I have the lab work to back that up. After first being diagnosed in 2004 and having a CD4 count of 374 and a viral load of well over 33,000, I have since kept my CD4 count between 500-700 and a viral load below 7,000 ever since. I hope and pray that I continue to maintain this progress. I want to express my gratitude to the Universe. I hope this will give others encouragement."
June 10 2006 Dan
"I take a lot of supplements and often change or rotate things. I will try to record some of the main ones. You may also refer to my previous posts on the subject."
"Naltrexone 4.5 mg at night, Prednisone 5mg. in the a.m. Plant-based selenium 200-600mcg, Vit. A 25,00 IU or Beta-carotene, Magnesium Malate 3 tabs daily, manganese 1 tab daily, NAC 600-1200mg. daily, Vit E 200-400 IU, Rose hips powder for Vit. C, Alpha-Lipoic Acid 200 mg.
"I have taken all kinds of mushrooms, primarily Maitake, Shitake, Reishi and various blends. I take 3 mg. of Melatonin at night and 50 mg of DHEA, also fish oil caps, about 6 daily. I take Brewer's yeast for B Vitamins and different probiotics along with occasional fiber and green foods like chlorella, spirulina.
"Often I just take a rest from certain supplements. I have also taken various herbal preparations to rid the body of parasites, such as black walnut, wormwood. I have never taken any HIV meds. I eat a very healthy, partly organic diet. Hope this helps. Good luck to all."
Yushima Japan: Kurata S and Yamamoto N report in the Journal of Cell Biochemistry (1) that glucorticoid can induce IkappaBalpha gene in several cell lines. Increasing IkappaBalpha proteins markedly reduces the amount of active NF-kappaB, a strong activator of HIV-1 promoter. NF-kappaB stimulates the activation of inflammatory cytokines (il-6 and tnf-a). The Japanese researchers thus present a scientific thesis on how glucocorticoids could reduce HIV activity by reducing inflammatory cytokines associated with HIV-1 replication.
Note: This research raises the possibility that there are several other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory products ranging from the common aspirin to botanicals like Curcumin that could also inhibit HIV and increase CD4 counts. In the early 1990's Aspirin was used in one NIH study to increase CD4 counts but because high doses were used, side effects occurred and further research was discontinued. Aspirin, like curcumin (tumeric), is an anti-inflammatory and one a day is not likely to produce adverse side effects. Taking a couple Curcumin capsules (Jarrow Formulas) and one Aspirin daily (St Josephs) could only help the T cell counts.
Millions of people take an Aspirin a day now to prevent blood cells from sticking together and causing a stroke or coronary occlusion. In Africa, an aspirin a day along with a little hydrocortisone could go a long way in preventing HIV progression to AIDS and would cost only pennies.
New Dehli, India. An oral supplement as well as a personal lubricant with Neem is being tested in India. Neem (azadirachta indica) seed and leaf extracts have spermicidal, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. (1) They are also immuno-modulators that induce a TH1 type response. These properties are being exploited to develop two different methods of fertility control. One is to take Neem orally and the other is its use as a personal lubricant before and during intercourse.
Oral use of Neem at early post-implantation stage terminates pregnancy in rodents and primates. A herbal cream with Neem extract is being tested. The use before mating had high contraceptive efficacy in rabbits and baboons. The authors Talwar et al also stated "another interesting property is their inhibitory action on a wide spectrum of micro-organisms, including candida albicans, C tropicalis, gonorrhoeae, staph and E-coli, Herpes simplex 2 and HIV-1."
Phase 1 studies have already been completed in India, Egypt and the Dominican Republic. The snail pace of the government approval process can be annoying at times. If a person is sexually active and needs a personal lubricant, they should look for one that contains an extract of Neem seed oil. These products are available but cannot be legally marketed as helpful in preventing the spread of some sexually transmitted diseases even though they may well have this effect. I say "some" as a sexual encounter that results in an exchange of body fluids through ejaculation inside another person is likely to transmit some types of infection like HIV that may occur despite of use of antimicrobial lubricants.
The use of sufficient antimicrobial lubricants or condoms and the avoidance of ejaculation in another person will substantially reduce the risk of disease transmission. Studies have shown that the transmission of HIV through oral sex is almost nonexistent although some other STDs can be transmitted. Post activity: The use of oral hydrogen peroxide and Listerine is recommended.
1. Immunol Cell Biol 1997 apr;75(2):190-2
Song Y,Ridker PM, Manson JE, Cook NR, Buring JE, Liu S. Diabetes Care. 2005 Jun;28(6):1438-44.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine whether and to what extent magnesium intake is related to systemic inflammation and the metabolic syndrome.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional analysis on data from 11,686 women > or =45 years of age participating in the Women's Health Study who were initially free of cardiovascular disease and cancer and had no use of postmenopausal hormones.
RESULTS: In age- and BMI-adjusted analyses, magnesium intake was inversely associated with plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations; CRP concentrations were 12% lower in the highest intake quintile than in the lowest (P for trend <0.0001). This association was not appreciably altered by further adjustment for other potential confounding variables including dietary factors; the mean CRP concentrations for ascending quintiles of magnesium intake were 1.50, 1.39, 1.35, 1.34, and 1.31 mg/l (P for trend = 0.0003). This inverse association was stronger for women with a BMI > or =25 kg/m(2) (P < 0.0001 for interaction) and those who were current or past smokers (P = 0.0009 for interaction).
After adjustment for confounding lifestyle and dietary factors, women in the highest quintile of magnesium intake had 27% lower risk of the metabolic syndrome (defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria) compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake (odds ratio 0.73 [95% CI 0.60-0.88], P for trend = 0.0008).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that magnesium intake is inversely associated with systemic inflammation and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and older women.
Blandford TB, Seamon PJ, Hughes R, Pattison M, Wilderspin MP.
Vet Rec. 1975 Feb 22;96(8):175-8.
Five cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) died within 30 minutes following exposure to fumes from a frying pan coated with the "non-stick" plastic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) that had accidentally overheated. Within an hour the owner developed symptoms of "polymer fume fever" but recovered in the next 24 hours. Clinical signs and post mortem lesions of the cockatiels are described and reference is made to the unusual susceptibility of parakeets to the pyrolysis products of frying pans coated with PTFE.
Boucher M, Ehmler TJ, Bermudez AJ. Avian Dis. 2000 Apr-Jun;44(2):449-53.
"A poultry research facility that housed 2400 Peterson x Hubbard cross broilers (48 pens of 50 chicks each) experienced 4% mortality within 24 hr of chick placement. Mortality started within 4 hr of placement, and within 72 hr, cumulative mortality had reached 52%. Mild dyspnea was the only clinical sign noted in some chicks prior to death. The primary gross lesion noted in the chicks submitted was moderate to severe pulmonary congestion. The microscopic lesions noted in the affected chicks were moderate to severe pulmonary edema and congestion.....
"Further investigation revealed that the only change in management practice in this facility prior to the onset of the severe mortality problem was the replacement of 48 heat lamp bulbs (one for each pen). The new heat lamp bulbs were polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coated. PTFE gas intoxication has been reported in several exotic avian species, but this intoxication has not been previously reported in a poultry flock."
Published scientific research on the adverse effects of cooking in a Teflon pan spans a time frame from 1975 to 2006, yet how little media attention has been paid to the toxic effects from cooking in a Teflon frying pan at high temperatures. Could inhaled fumes from cooking over a Teflon pan cause lung cancer and explain the high incidence of this disease among nonsmokers?
After learning about this in the past few months, I have tossed out all my Teflon pans and plastic pancake turners as well. My only current choices for using a frying pan are those made of stainless steel or Pyrex glass. A possible link between inhaled fumes from Teflon pans and lungs cancer needs investigation.
The following letter is dated Jan 5, 2005 followed with an update from June 29, 2006.
Hi Mark, (Jan 5, 2005)
God Bless your precious soul and I wish you all the abundant blessings that come from this very important work. Your website is fabulous.
I'm HIV+ for 18 years and symptom-free - praise the Almightly above, and Seven Forests Composition A - the immune building immune herbal complex. I have been without a doctor up here in the mountains (Big Bear Lake, CA) for almost 3 years. I do a lot of self-treatment and the herbs I take do the trick. I have been totally dependent on this one supplement for many years.
I am not affiliated with Composition A. It is just that the herbs in this product have saved my life. I had very bad chronic fatigue, candidiasis, dementia, irritable bowel syndrome and a foul conditions with my legs the doctors could not figure out. From the waist down, my nerves were raw, and I had to crawl out of bed to get to the bathroom. I was basically bed-ridden, and the pain was excruciating! That was back in 1994.
Ever since I started taking the herbs (composition A) I have been able to do anything and I mean ANYTHING! Including shoveling snow, walking 10 miles on icy roads while taking care with every step so as not to slip on the ice. I have had a bounty of energy due I believe to Seven forests Composition A. It is formulated by a non-profit organization - the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, 2017 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
From: "Bryan Baird"
Date: Thu Jun 29, 2006
I was so happy to hear from you tonight! I do regret not having taken the time to try and make contact with the other fellows and gals on the web site through the community bulletin board, but I am grateful that some little message I left about Composition A is doing some good. And so that it reaches the maximum number of people, and does more good than it might have, I want to share with you a little more info about my personal experience with it.
Yes, Mark, I am continuing to take Seven Forests Composition A, and having fantastic results from it! I have been taking this herbal compound since 1994 since I left the world of HIV drugs. I really think this HIV+ junk would take over my body if I didn't take my herbs regularly. In fact, I bicycle around town often because I don't have a car, but I have bought a house (we just closed on it), we are moving to Oregon in October or so, I sell antique restored pianos on the Net.
You see what's happening here, Mark? I have energy! And it seems the older I get, the more the Virus tries to take hold, the more Comp A I take, then the better I feel! I also have Hep C and my liver hardly ever causes discomfort for me at all. Before I took the Comp A - all the time. Not now. Well, I want to say this, and it is very IMPORTANT!: One my Doc and I were going over my chart results over a period of years. I noticed that my CD4 cell counts increased and the viral load decreased when I wasn't even on any HIV meds - I was only using composition A. And my liver did not bother me anymore either. I think this Comp A kills both viruses - HIV and HCV.
Composition A is much more than a herbal, as opposed to medicinal, compound I take. It is my life partner. I hope sincerely this little account will help others, as I simply don't feel I have time enough sometimes to do all I would like to help my fellow man. But I love him just the same.
You can get the herbs from ITM (Institute for Traditional Medicine), in Portland OR
I remember back in 1994, when this big German doctor stood over me and started raising her voice and pointing her finger, "You cannot take herbs. There is no research!!! There is no research!!! YOU MUST TAKE YOUR AZT!" Ummmmm, I have several friends who are dead because of too much AZT, and so do all of us. There used to be a time in our world when herbs and herbal doctors were respected. I think that is slowly coming around again, but only in the metropolitan areas of the U.S.
God has already placed on this planet Earth the plants and herbs with which to preserve and maintain and restore health, accomplish energy, calm and good spirits that results from good health.
Thank you for your continued work for the human family, and bless you always. So nice to hear from you.
With respect and warm regards,
Bryan Baird Big Bear Lake, California
To locate a health care professional who can obtain Composition A for you, go to itmonline.org/arts/newprac.htm#w for a national list of ITM practitioners.
Milwaukee, WI. June 10, 2006
Duwayne recently discussed with friends how strange it was for his left leg to be swollen. I asked him what prescription drugs he had been taking for his Arthritis. He said he had been using Celebrix to treat his Arthritis and added that it must be safe to use as it was prescribed by his physician. I asked him if he was aware of reports linking Celebrix to blood clots in some patients and even heart attacks. He said he was not aware of it.
The conversation evolved to the possibility of a blood clot having formed in his leg that was causing the swelling. A search of the internet found that Clelbrix, was like Vioxx, was a Cox 2 inhibitor drug that has been linked to multiple cases of blood clots and heart attacks. Vioxx is reported in several media sources as being linked to as many as 40,000 heart attacks. Celebrix is still allowed by the FDA to be prescribed but it remains controversial as there are isolated cases of reported blood clots and heart attacks linked to its use.
Upon learning all this, Duwayne decided to stop using the Celebrix and opted to take a formula with Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate with MSM.
Meanwhile, about a week after this happened, he set up an appointment with his doctor to have an ultrasound test to determine if there was a blood clot in his leg. Three days before the test, he took one teaspoon of cayenne (red pepper) with a glass of water for 3 days. On the day of the test, the doctors could not find a blood clot but his leg remained swollen. The doctor speculated that there might have been a collapse of tissue in one of the blood vessels.
It was suggested that Duwayne try magnetic therapy for his leg. He taped a small 1 inch circular ceramic magnet to his leg near a spot that hurt on his leg and with the North Pole seeking side of the magnet against his skin. He slept with it for 3 nights. By the 4th day the swelling and hurt had all disappeared. His leg was back to normal.
A Theory: As the doctor could not detect a blood clot, is it possible that it never existed or did the 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper dissolve the clot before he took the ultrasound test? If the cayenne dissolved the clot, inflammation may have remained in the area due to previous damage to surrounding tissue.
The magnet with its anti-inflammatory effects reduced the swelling and the circulation returned to normal in a few days. The use of cayenne to dissolve a blood clot and then the use of a magnet to help this process by reducing the inflammation may sound like an unlikely duo. However, having witnessed the whole sequence of events, it has happened as it is described here.
Iodine is the most important mineral used by the thyroid to produce thyroxin, the hormone that controls body temperature and the metabolic rate. As iodine increases the thyroids secretion of thyroxin, the thyroxin induces IgA that provides protective mucosal immunity in the gastrointestinal tract. Increased thyroxin also helps with cellular antigen presentation and improves cell-mediated immunity. In addition to these metabolic and immunological benefits, iodine can have a systemic effect in killing bacterial, fungal, parasites and viral infections. Iodine joins 3% hydrogen peroxide and raw garlic as two other very low cost antibiotics that are highly effective, safe to use and readily available worldwide.
The title of the letter raises the tantalizing possibility that iodine may help directly attack the HIV virus as well as improve cell mediated immune responses needed to prevent progression to AIDS. Combining the daily use of iodine with hydrocortisone, a $10 a month treatment, is a synergistic combination with possibilities for treating HIV, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Candidiasis and just maybe cancer in its earlier stages. Who will fund such a study and will anyone listen to the results if it is successful? This lost cost treatment might also help millions affected by HIV in Africa and other third world countries.
Athlete's foot is a condition got its name from persons who walk barefoot in a public locker room and shower area where the feet pick up fungus that are spread by other athletes. Fungal infections can also spread to other parts of the body when clothing is tightly worn and moisture accumulates. (E.G. jock itch and for women, vaginitis).
Skin types of fungal infections are treatable with antifungal medications (i.e. Lotrimin for athlete's foot, jock itch) where internal yeast infections are treatable with caprystatin, coconut oil, oil of oregano, lapacho, and raw garlic or with prescribed medication like Nystatin.
Systemic yeast infections can affect the entire gastro-intestinal tract from the mouth to the anus and circulate in the blood stream as well. Systemic yeast infections can also cause itching and rashes on the skin in various areas where fungal infections normally do not occur such as the arms, chest, thigh area and legs.
I applied iodine tincture topically and soon found a recurring Athlete's foot problem went away. The use of iodine may help prevent and treat other fungal infections as well.
Low iodine levels can zap your energy and make you feel tired, edgy and worn out. Low iodine levels can even prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Before you go to your doctor with complaints of tossing and turning all night, aches and pains, and just feeling "blah," you may want to perform this self-test.
Because the symptoms of an iodine deficiency are classically identical to so many other illnesses (like depression, stress, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia,) many doctors either misdiagnose it or miss it completely and tell you there is nothing wrong.
About 60% of all iodine in the human body is stored in the thyroid gland at the base of the neck. A Goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, can occur when iodine deficiency is prolonged over a period of time. Iodine is the most important mineral used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin, a hormone that regulates the metabolic rate of energy production in the cells.
Iodine deficiency and a resulting insufficient production of thyroxin is linked to a wide range of illness form chronic infection of all types including candidiasis, herpes, bacterial, fungal and viral infections.
Table salt is iodized and is a source of iodine. However, excess sodium intake from salt consumption is a toxin and impairs the production of energy in the cells. Excess sodium intake is linked to metabolic syndrome including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.
The best sources of iodine are from sea vegetables and seafood including ocean fish. Unfortunately, most people do not consume iodine rich foods on a daily basis. Low body temperature and long term chronic infections may be directly linked to a deficiency of iodine and an impaired thyroid function.
Low levels of iodine mean your thyroid isn't functioning properly. The thyroid helps balance hormones, regulate heartbeats, stabilize cholesterol, maintain weight control, encourage muscle growth, keep menstrual cycles regular, provide energy, and even helps you keep a positive mental attitude.
Women are naturally prone to iodine deficiencies. That's because the thyroid gland in women is twice as large as in men -- so under normal circumstances, women need more iodine. When women or men are under stress, the need for iodine can double.
Two thirds of the body's iodine is found in the thyroid gland. One of the best ways to boost your iodine levels is to add seaweed sea vegetables to your diet. Just one teaspoon of sea vegetables a day can help you regain normal iodine levels. Incorporating seafood and fish into your diet can help.
Other foods that contain iodine are eggs and dairy products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, onions, radishes, and watercress. Some foods, called goitrogens, should be omitted for a while as they hinder iodine utilization. These included kale, cabbage, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, turnips and soy flour. Except for soy, cooking the vegetables eliminates the goitrogen effect. In other words, eating sauerkraut and cooked broccoli is OK.
To reactivate the thyroid gland, tyrosine, iodine, zinc, copper and selenium are needed so make sure that foods containing these nutrients are included in your diet.
Editor's note: The RDA of iodine is 150 mcg. That is just too little, in my opinion. Ideally, the average daily intake of iodine should be closer to 1000 mcg daily and higher than that for stress conditions that rapidly deplete iodine levels. Persons with systemic infections will need higher amount of iodine as this trace mineral will be rapidly bound to the infectious agents (bacterial, fungal or viral) in the process of destroying them thus leaving less iodine for the thyroid to pick up.
Seafood and sea vegetables have the most. An example is 5 ounces of COD that has about 160 mcg of iodine whereas 8 ounces of yogurt has about 140 mcg of iodine. Ground Kelp contains about 400 mcg of iodine per 500 mg capsule. Regular iodine and iodide taken orally including Lugol's solution can sometimes irritate the stomach. Absorption through the skin eliminates this problem. Whole food sources and seaweed do not upset the stomach. Seaweeds that are Alaria, Arame, Dulse, Hijiki, Kelp, Kombu, Nori and Wakame.
In March of 2003, the US led invasion of Iraq went quickly. By early May, the US President, George W Bush, declared aboard an aircraft carrier that major combat operations were over and the coalition forces had prevailed. While the US military was already working with the fallen governments police forces to establish order, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that a man named Paul Bremer would be responsible for writing the laws and establishing the rule of law in Iraq.
In May, 2003, no one in the media questioned what Paul Bremer was doing. The public position of various administration spokesmen was that the US would be in Iraq for 10 years or longer. We were an occupying force. We were going to hold elections and set up a model democracy that would be a shining example for other middle-east countries to follow. Then came Paul Bremer's first order in May: "shoot the looters."
When General Zinni argued with Paul Bremer on this issue, he was quickly relieved of his command and replaced with another General. The order to shoot the looters was never carried out due to intervention by Rumsfeld.
However, a few weeks later in May, 2003, with the approval of Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and his VP Dick Cheney, Paul Bremer issued his now infamous debaathification order that led to the purging of tens of thousands of Sunni's, nearly all of them members of the Saddam Hussein's Baath party, from the government. In addition, the 500,000 man army was dissolved.
Bremer, Bush and Rumsfeld did not foresee that a million or more Sunnis without jobs would get violent and rebel against the invaders.
The far reaching results of Bremer's order was to instantly create an economic depression in Anbar province among the Sunni population. With only Shiites and Kurds eligible for jobs and with few jobs to be had, resentment grew quickly and so did an insurgency that was in its infancy.
Dec 17, 2006: On NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert this morning is former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich who said that there was an appalling 60% unemployment rate in Iraq. He said that taking steps to reduce the unemployment rate such as setting up a government work program would reduce the insurgency and is an approach that needs to be tried. I couldn't agree more.
When Saddam Hussein was in power, everyone who wanted to work had a job. While the standard of living was low, there was 100% employment as the socialist government was the employer of last resort. When the US Coalition under Paul Bremer took over, more than a million Sunni's, Baath party members, were sent home with no severance pay, no unemployment compensation and no job offers.
As the violence against the foreign occupiers escalated, the electrical grid was damaged and soon there was little or no electricity. The air conditioners and lights no longer worked and clean tap water stopped flowing. Nearly 2 million Iraqi's fled the country to neighboring Jordan and Syria while an insurrection against the occupiers grew from within the country.
There is little doubt that the insurgency has been fueled mainly by the extremely high unemployment rate. The role of Al-Queda, vastly exaggerated by the Bush Adm, has been less than 5% of the insurgents. The combination of no jobs and no electricity makes for vast human misery and suffering that has led to the extreme violence in Iraq that erupts daily.
While religious differences is a strain in iraq between Sunni's and Shiites, it is not the main reason for the insurgency - massive unemployment remains the number one cause. You could say "It's the economy stupid."
US policy in Iraq unintentionally promoted sectarian violence when Bremer banned all former Baath party members (Sunni's) from government jobs and favored the Shiites for the few jobs that were available. When the Shiites were favored by coalition forces for government jobs, it caused resentment among the Sunni's who led horrendous attacks against the Shiites, mostly those applying for jobs working for the government. Sending more troops into Baghdad will not stop this violence. Job creation alone will end the insurgency and restore stability.
What needs to be done is for US forces to cease all combat activities and instead offer only humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq at 100 or more distribution centers. US forces will give surplus food to the needy, offer free medical care and electrical generators and cash for temporary work in local projects deemed important by military commanders plus the following. -
If you agree with this 10 point plan to stabilize Iraq and end the violence by changing the US mission in Iraq from a combat role to a humanitarian one, and to finance these efforts without adding to the interest-bearing US National debt, send a copy of this 2 page proposal to your Congressman and US Senator with a handwritten note asking them to introduce legislation to implement this plan now!This document was drafted by Conrad LeBeau on December 24th, 2006. Copies of this 3 page article and peace plan for reprinting can be found at