Journal of Immunity

Vol 5 No 1 Jan-March 2007

Breaking News!

Significant CD4 increases credited to the use of hydrocortisone cream

March 29,2007

Mark Konlee

In the past few weeks, we have received two reports of very significant increases in CD4 helper cell counts with the daily use of a topical 1% hydrocortisone cream. While we have had reports of increases in CD4 counts in several persons with HIV using hydrocortisone, prednisolone or prednisone for over two years, these two are the most impressive to date.

Michigan: B. L., who has been on prescription antiviral drugs to treat his HIV for several years, decided to add an aloe-based hydrocortisone cream to his regimen after reading the latest issue of JOI of reported increases in CD4 counts in persons using it daily. He began applying 1/2 teaspoon of a 1% hydrocortisone cream, topically, once a day in the morning for one month.

The results: His CD4 count increased from 550 to 731 (an increase of 181). The white blood count increased from 3.3 to 4.2 and he reports that his CD8 count also increased. He said that pain he had previously in his neck has all but disappeared. Small weight gain reported also.

Seattle, WA: Bob was the first case we wrote about in the JOI Annual Report Vol. 4 No 4 in Dec of 2006. After using 1/2 teaspoon of hydrocortisone cream daily for two months, his CD4 count had increased from 235 to 268 and he also reported an increase in white blood cell counts, CD8s and small weight gain. He now reports after 4 months of using the cream daily that his CD4 count is up to 340. This is the highest CD4 count he has had in 10 years. (He also uses antiviral drugs for HIV and has not changed his combo). He credits the 105 increase in his CD4 count in 4 months solely to the added use of hydrocortisone cream

Bob also said his physician told him that she will prescribe prednisone to her HIV patients to increase their CD4 counts if they get too low.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Mark

Thanks for sending me your latest "Journal of Immunity" Vol 4, No 4. Most interesting ideas!

Perhaps Professor Duesburg is right after all, although he doesn't seem to then take it that step further as you have done.

I've started treating some of my HIV clients based on your concepts, but so far it is still too early to know the effectiveness of this approach. However, I thought I might share with you some of the therapeutic tools I am now using. Coming for the angle of decreasing TH2 (antibody) activity, I'm looking at herbs such as wormwood (Artemesia annua), Cats claw, Coriolus, Shiitake, Reishi and Dong quai. All of these, according to medical literature - have a TH2 decreasing effect.

Metagenics of Australia has a product called "Luteol Plus" who specific purpose is to decrease TH2 activity. It contains Perilla seed and Citrus reticulata peel. I have found it to be of great value in bringing down TH2 over-activity in other health conditions. Low-dose vitamin E as well as zinc also seem to help decrease TH2 activity.

Testosterone deficiency seems to be another factor which plays a part in driving the system into TH2 mode, so I'm looking at the client's testosterone levels, when they are able to afford testing. Then there are a range of herbs that do help increase endogenous testosterone production. Tribulis would top the list followed by herbs such as Damiana, Sarsaparilla, Saw Palmetto, Siberian and Korean ginseng.

From the literature, it seems that alcohol, many street drugs, fluconazole and nizarol may decrease testosterone levels, so these need to be looked at.

Other items that may help to balance TH1/TH2 immunity are Immunocare consisting of Astragalus and Phytosterols, the probiotic L-plantarum, arabinogalactins and bromelain.

Anyway, it is early days. I want to thank you for the incredible service you have provided to so many people over so many years. I admire your commitment and persistence.

Peter de Ruyter - Herbalist
2/1 Frances St
Randwick 2031
Australia
Email: peterdr@aapt.net.au

Editor's comment: Peter makes no mention of using hydrocortisone tablets or topical cream that are consistently producing good results in HIV patients but he raises an awareness of other herbs and botanicals that may also help balance the TH1 and TH2 branches of the immune system but need further research. Licorice root and Neem Leaf could be added to this list also. While licorice root is reported to increase adrenal cortisol output, it may also increase blood pressure in some persons.

Chinese herbal formulas like Resist (Pacific Biologicals) and Composition A (ITM) have a balancing effect on the TH1 and TH2 branches of the immune system and may also improve other specific immune markers and have a long history of satisfactory use. We are also interested in learning how to increase adrenal output of cortisol and how to recycle bound cortisol back to its active form. Thyroid support and liver detox also needs to be addressed.

The taste test: That old saying that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck. The taste test, although qualitative, is not that different than the duck test. If it tastes like a strawberry, it just might be a strawberry. Now enters cortisol. I recently bit into a hydrocortisone tablet and found it to be very bitter. The hydrocortisone tablet tasted much like neem leaf or the artemesia annua strain of wormwood.

This raises an interesting question - Could the bitter faction in neem leaf or artemesia annua mimic the actions of cortisol in the human body or is this just a coincidence? If this hypothesis has validity, we would expect to see anti-inflammatory effects, down regulation of TH2 activity and strong anti-cancer effects from these herbs. Further research with these and other bitter herbs is warranted.

Letter on the use of Cider Vinegar for Liver Detox

Dear Editor

I have late Lyme disease, a pituitary tumor that is causing Cushings etc. I have always desperately needed thyroid medication, and I always needed more than the lab tests showed that I needed. I finally know why.

I started using Braags raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for detox. It is sold in health food stores. I used one tablespoon in water twice a day. As I continued the cider vinegar treatment, I was able to reduce my thyroid medication. My need for thyroid medication dropped real fast. You need to work with a doctor so you can adjust the dosage levels. I have been off thyroid medication for several years now. I keep using cider vinegar once a day to stay detoxed so my need for thyroid drugs does not return. Recently I have found that if the water is warmed up before adding the vinegar, it increases its detox effects.

Years ago, I never believed in detox. I thought it was silly until this happened to me. Anyone who is sick for any reason should really try this.

Susan K. Painesville, OH

Note; We also received a letter from a reader who claims to have knocked out an e-coli infection by using apple cider vinegar (1 TBSP in water once every 4 hours) and Inge Baer of Hartford, CT, says she cured herself of acid reflux by using apple cider vinegar, honey and water 3 times a day.

Letter on Butyric acid

Jan 7, 2007

Dear Mr Konlee,

Thank you for the Immune Restoration Handbook. I have been suffering from CFIDS for 15 years. Until I read one of your articles about butyric acid I couldn't take vinegar or fermented vegetables - I would break out with a rash. After two weeks of taking butyric acid I now can use the vinegar drink every day. I used to work as a music director at a church but currently I am unemployed due to my deteriorating health and am only able to manage very little work at home. During these years, I haven't received much help except for some acupuncture treatments. In addition, I battled EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) for the last 5 years. I am grateful to God and to you and your organization that have given me the hope of healing. May God bless you richly in your good works.

Susanna Burk Shoreline WA.

Editor's Note: Naturally cultured and churned butter made from sour cream (not sweet cream) also contains butyric acid and can be found in some health food stores. Naturally cultured sour cream also contains butyric acid and might also be beneficial. However the results with the Butyrate tablets of Nutricology or Ecological formulas are hard to beat.

Neurologist praises hydrocortisone

Dear Mark,

I broke my leg 16 years ago in a skiing accident, have a plate n the leg and I wear a lift but it seems like I am having a harder time walking without a limp.

I complained to my holistic doctor and he sent me to the best Neurologist in town. Well, I brought my tube of hydrocortisone cream with me to get his opinion. He held it up and said: "This is the best anti-inflammatory we have. Use it all you want. Put it anywhere."

Put it anywhere? I found it works best placed near to where the pain is. I was dumbfounded to say the least. Of all the anti-inflammatory agents he has at his disposal, he said the hydrocortisone was the best.

I have a couple of friends who have been struggling with joint, muscle and back pains and I couldn't wait to tell them about this anti-itch cream - hydrocortisone. Well, these two people are now raving about how good they feel. On top of that, it is so cheap - for a couple of dollars you can buy it anywhere.

Lastly, the prolotherapy doctor I went to last year said that "when cortisol levels are either too low or too high, the perception of pain is greater." I can tell when the cortisol levels in my body get low and I know its time for another 5 or 10 mg of cortisol. Soon after applying, the pain in my back and leg subsides!

Elena McHerron, (Candida Support)
15 Wildwood Dr, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Editor's Note on hydrocortisone cream. I have found that the hydrocortisone cream in a base of aloe vera absorbs faster than the non-aloe based preparations. I have also seen a liquid spray solution of 1% hydrocortisone that should absorb quite easily. It is probably time to start looking at aloe based versus non-aloe based preparations of hydrocortisone cream to see if the aloe based preparations are more effective than the others in raising CD4 cell counts in persons with HIV and over-stressed immune systems.


Is there a Doctor in the house?

Doctors are needed to provide phone consultations and prescriptions for hydrocortisone and naltrexone

Readers to this Journal are frequently looking for a physician who can prescribe them cortisol (hydrocortisone tablets) or low dose Medrol (methyl prednisolone) and/or low dose Naltrexone for immune modulation. If you are a practicing physician and would like to help (for a fee of course), write or call us at Keep Hope Alive. Indicate by a check mark which of the following you prefer:

1. Give my name and phone number to persons you think might benefit from a phone consultation but do not publish my name/phone number.

2 Indicate the best day and time for a patient to call you and set up an appointment for a phone consultation. Day_________ Time _________

3. Go ahead and publish my name and phone number.

4. Fees: Initial consultation 30 to 45 minutes - initial fee is ________ For a repeat or shorter consultation of 10 to 15 minutes, my fee is ___________

Name of health care professional
______________________________________________________

Addr:____________________________________________________
Phone Number______________________________________________
Mail to Keep Hope Alive or fax to 414-329-0653

Useful websites: Finding a doctor who prescribes natural hormones including hydrocortisone.

Go to www.armourthyroid.com - type in your zip code and find a local physician. Armour thyroid is a natural source of thyroxin that contains T-4 and also the active T-3 form. Also visit www.brodabarnes.org and www.drbrownstein.com. Dr David Brownstein MD is the author of several books on the benefits of natural hormones. There is a lot of useful information on these websites and the links will help you find a local physician who prescribes natural hormones.

Butyrate credited with reducing food sensitivities

Six or more readers have called us within the past several months reporting reduced food sensitivities taking butyrate capsules with meals. Butyrate is fuel for colonic cells and for rebuilding the mucosal lining of the intestines. The tablets and capsules are made by Nutricology and also by Ecological Formulas. Persons usually take 1 or 2 capsules with each meal for about a month and also take fiber and probiotic formulas to restore bifidobacteria activity in the intestines. Bifidobacteria produce butyric acid, lactic acid and other beneficial short chain fatty acids.


Sustained increases in CD4 cell counts in HIV-1 patients

treated with prednisolone for 1 year

by Andrieu JM, Lu W, Levy R.
J Infect Dis. 1995 Mar;171(3):523-30. 
Laboratoire d'Immunologie des Tumeurs, 
Universite Rene Descartes, Paris, France.

Forty-four asymptomatic patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), who had 200-799 CD4 cells/microL, received oral prednisolone (0.5 mg/kg for 6 months; 0.3 mg/kg thereafter). After 1 year of treatment, no major side effect or AIDS events had occurred. The percentage of DR+ and CD25+ phenotypes in CD4 T cells decreased significantly as did levels of serum IgG, IgA, and beta 2-microglobulin. Serum p24 antigen and HIV RNA levels remained stable. CD4 cell counts increased significantly at all time points (median increase at 1 year, 119 cells/microL).

In asymptomatic seropositive patients, immunotherapy for 1 year with glucocorticoids was safe and led to sustained increases in CD4 cell counts and to improvement or stabilization of other biologic markers of disease activity.

Canola Oil toxic to hypertensive rats

Japanese researchers, in a report published in "Food Chem Toxicology" (1) report that unidentified factors present in rapeseed (Canola Oil) contributed to a shortened life span in stroke prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). Other effects found were chronic nephropathy (kidney stress), enlarged hearts and cerebral necrosis (brain damage).

1. Exploration for unknown substances in rapeseed oil that shorten survival time of hypertensive rats. Food Chem Toxicol, 2006 Jul;44(7);952-63 Hatano Research Institute, Japan.

The use of Canola oil remains controversial except for big business interests like Monsanto that profit from and promote its use. Courtesy of Donald Rumsfeld who had inside connections at the FDA several years ago, Monsanto also brings the world the widely used neurotoxin, Aspartame, that is also sold under the trade name Nutrasweet. Aspartame has been associated with seizures and parkinsons disease in case reports.

Canola Oil is the marketing name given to rapeweed oil also known as LEAR oil, two names that didn't hold much promise of marketing potential. According to Mary Enig Ph. D. the word Canola comes from combining the words Canada and payola. The Canola oil that comes from rapeseed is in the mustard family. Enig cites research that Canola oil contains significant amounts of transfatty acids, not listed on the product label.

Cancer causing chemicals from cooking with rapeseed (Canola oil)

Mutagens from heated Chinese and U.S. cooking oils. Shields PG, Xu GX, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF, Trivers GE, Pellizzari ED, Qu YH, Gao YT, Harris CC

J Natl Cancer Inst 1995 Jun 7;87(11):836-41

Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md 20892, USA.

BACKGROUND: The lung cancer incidence in Chinese women is among the highest in the world, but tobacco smoking accounts for only a minority of the cancers. Epidemiologic investigations of lung cancer among Chinese women have implicated exposure to indoor air pollution from wok cooking, where the volatile emissions from unrefined cooking oils are mutagenic.

PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify and quantify the potentially mutagenic substances emitted from a variety of cooking oils heated to the temperatures typically used in wok cooking.

METHODS: Several cooking oils and fatty acids were heated in a wok to boiling, at temperatures (for the cooking oils) that ranged from 240 degrees C to 280 degrees C (typical cooking temperatures in Shanghai, China). The oils tested were unrefined Chinese rapeseed, refined U.S. rapeseed (known as Canola), Chinese soybean, and Chinese peanut in addition to linolenic, linoleic, and erucic fatty acids. Condensates of the emissions were collected and tested in the Salmonella mutation assay (using Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA98 and TA104). Volatile decomposition products also were subjected to gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Aldehydes were detected using high-performance liquid chromatography and UV spectroscopy.

RESULTS:1,3-Butadiene, benzene, acrolein, formaldehyde, and other related compounds were qualitatively and quantitatively detected, with emissions tending to be highest for unrefined Chinese rapeseed oil and lowest for peanut oil. The emission of 1,3-butadiene and benzene was approximately 22-fold and 12-fold higher, respectively, from heated unrefined Chinese rapeseed oil (and US Canola oil) than from heated peanut oil.

Lowering the cooking temperatures or adding an antioxidant, such as butylated hydroxyanisole, before cooking decreased the amount of these volatile emissions. Among the individual fatty acids tested, heated linolenic acid produced the greatest quantities of 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and acrolein. Separately, the mutagenicity of individual volatile emission condensates was correlated with linolenic acid content (r = .83; P = .0004). Condensates from heated linolenic acid, but not linoleic or erucic acid, were highly mutagenic.

CONCLUSIONS: These studies, combined with experimental and epidemiologic findings, suggest that high-temperature wok cooking with unrefined Chinese rapeseed oil may increase lung cancer risk. This study indicates methods that may reduce that risk.

IMPLICATIONS:The common use of wok cooking in China might be an important but controllable risk factor in the etiology of lung cancer. In the United States, where cooking oils are usually refined for purity, additional studies should be conducted to further quantify the potential risks of such methods of cooking.

Lung cancer from cooking with Canola oil.

Linolenic acid heated to high temperatures produces cancer-causing mutagens.

Research done by our own National Cancer Institute and published in 1995 discloses that unrefined rapeseed oil from China heated to high temperatures is 22 times more mutagenic than peanut oil and that US Canola oil is 12 times more mutagenic. In plain English, 12 times more mutagens (cancer-causing agents) are produced by high temperature cooking with Canola oil than with peanut oil. The NCI also found that the linolenic acid component of the canola oil is the culprit. Here is what they found:

"Separately, the mutagenicity of individual volatile emission condensates was correlated with linolenic acid content (r = .83; P = .0004). Condensates from heated linolenic acid, but not linoleic or erucic acid, were highly mutagenic."

High temperatures cooking with oils containing linolenic acid place the user at risk for inhaling mutagens and after multiple exposures developing lung cancer.

Linolenic acid found in abundance in Flax, Soybean and Canola oil

Flaxseed oil, cold pressed, is a health food. Flax seed contains about 60% linolenic acid followed by Hemp at 15% and Soy and Canola at around 7 to 10%. Raw pumpkin seeds contain about 15% and walnuts about 5% and little is found anywhere else. Linolenic acid is an essential oil and the body cannot produce it.

Flax seed is cold pressed and stored in refrigerators or freezers and has a short shelf life as it can easily spoil if exposed to heat, oxygen or light. For over half century, persons have used raw flax seed oil to fight cancer by mixing a tablespoon or two daily with cottage cheese or plain yogurt. It was part of the original Gerson Therapy for cancer and Dr Budwig's formula for oxygenating the blood and fighting cancer as well. Flax has a good reputation. Then along comes the marketers of health foods.

Several months ago, I bought some crackers from a health food store that were toasted and loaded with flaxseeds. They tasted good but soon after ingesting a few, they upset my stomach, so I eventually threw them out. My own experience but especially the research published by the NCI tells us why foods high in linolenic acid should never be cooked at high temperatures. Yet today that are hundreds of these foods on the market in both local grocery stores and health food stores.

I have friends who live in Florida who tell me that whenever they eat any food cooked in Canola oil, they get sick. Besides being high in linolenic acid, Canola oil contains small amounts of two toxins, erucic acid and glucosinolates, the latter of which has anti-thyroid activity. (1) Soybeans and soybean oil have also been reported by various sources to suppress the thyroid.

Canola oil is also used as a pesticide for plants for killing insects by W Neudorff GmbH. While the EPA says that Canola oil, as a pesticide does not mean it is unsafe for human consumption and compared its insecticidal effects to other unnamed vegetable oils. Yet, if Canola oil is so safe, why are there no insecticides on the market made from olive oil or sunflower oil, as an example? Were they bypassed because there were less effective as a pesticide or is there something special about Canola - does it have more toxic properties?

1. Key toxicants in low erucic acid rapeseed (Canola) http://www.oecd.org/ehs

Crackers, breads cooked with Flax, Hemp or Canola - is any of it safe?

In his book "Fats and Oils" Udo Erasmus states that linolenic acid is easily destroyed by heat, oxygen and light. When you consider that manufacturers of flax oil tell users to keep it under constant refrigeration and to never cook with it and considering that whole flax seeds contain over 30% oil, why would foods processed at high temperatures with flax seed meal or seeds be safe to eat when it is unsafe to use the oil in cooking?

Flax is also called Linseed. Boiled Linseed oil is a wood preservative and a very good one at that. Mix it with a little turpentine and brush it on bare wood and it will seal it from moisture with a plastic like coating that lasts for several years. The problem with ingesting heated linolenic acid found in flax oil and other sources is that they may also contain cancer causing agents that form in the process of being heated .

In searching for adverse effects of heated flax (linseed) oil, I discovered the following smoking gun from Toxline where is located the following -

Toxic effects on the young rat of a single intubation of different fractions

prepared from heated oils Flax (Linseed) and Rapeseed (Canola)

POTTEAU B, GRANDGIRARD A
ANN BIOL ANIM BIOCHIM BIOPHYS; 14 ((4B)). 1974 (RECD 1975) 855-860.

Young fasted rats were given a single dose (1 ml/100 g body weight) of a fraction containing components that do not form complexes with urea. These components were obtained from linseed and rapeseed oils heated to 275 degrees C under N2 or to 200 degrees C in air. The single dose had very clear toxic effects, such as high mortality or obvious morbidity and hepatic steatosis, in most of the survivors.


This information from Toxline at the National Library of Med is a wakeup call. Fractions from heated Linseed (flax) oil and Canola oil causing high mortality and liver damage in rats. Well, how about humans? I rest my case.

Let the buyer beware of crackers, bread and cold breakfast cereals made with flax seed meal, hemp seed meal or corn chips and potato chips cooked in Canola oil as we do not know the temperature they have been cooked at.

I don't see a problem using flax seed with breakfast cereal that you cook yourself on the stovetop (E.G. oatmeal) as long as the temperature does not exceed the boiling temperature of water (212 F). The problem is fried or baked goods cooked in the 350 to 500 F degree range. This is where the deadly toxins are forming that can damage your liver and your health.

The benefits of LNA and GLA from raw food sources are many

Raw unprocessed oil of flax and pumpkin seed and even walnuts as a source of linolenic acid is essential for health. Udo Eramus reports a deficiency of linolenic acid (LNA) can cause weakness, impairment of vision and learning ability, motor incoordination and tingling in arms and legs. Linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid is beneficial for preventing heart disease, cancer and for its anti-inflammatory effects and reducing TH2 type cytokine activity. Raw flax seed meal, raw pumpkin seeds and walnuts are our best sources of LNA.

DHA and EPA are in the Omega 3 category but are longer chain fatty acids and have unique benefits for circulation, for cellular immunity and for multiple anti-inflammatory effects. Deep frying fish in canola may defeat the whole purpose for eating fish, at least for health purposes. Better to cook the fish stovetop at low temperature (simmer) with a little butter and olive oil added and some lemon juice or just bake it.

Edo lists the best fish sources for DHA/EPA as sardines, salmon, mackerel and trout. It is also available in supplemental form (Max DHA - Jarrow formulas). DHA lowers triglycerides and reduces interleukin 6 levels.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from Evening Primrose oil has very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and to prevent liver damage. Like raw flax seed oil, GLA helps to body to burn fat by increasing the metabolic rate and helps the nerves, the skin, hair and nails.


The following abstract demonstrates why Chrysin, a substance found in abundance in bee propolis would be beneficial for persons with arthritis, autism, AIDS and cancer.

Chrysin, a component of bee propolis suppresses COX-2 expression

through the inhibition of nuclear factor for IL-6 (NF-IL6)

Full Author Name: Woo, Kyung Jin; Jeong, Yong-Jin; Inoue, Hiroyasu; Park, Jong-et al.
FEBS Lett. 2005 Jan 31;579(3):705-11. 

Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, 194 DongSan-Dong Jung-Gu, Taegu 700-712, South Korea.

Chrysin is a natural, biologically active compound extracted from many plants, honey and propolis. It possesses potent anti-inflammation, anti-cancer and anti-oxidation properties. The mechanism by which chrysin suppresses COX-2 expression remains poorly understood. In the present report, we investigated the effect of chrysin on the expression of COX-2 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated Raw 264.7 cells. Chrysin significantly suppressed the LPS-induced COX-2 protein and mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner.

The ability of chrysin to suppress the expression of the COX-2 was investigated using luciferase reporters controlled by various cis-elements in COX-2 promoter region. Mutational analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assay verified that nuclear factor for IL-6 was identified as responsible for the chrysin-mediated COX-2 down regulation.

These results will provide new insights into the anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties of chrysin.

Astragalus as an herb is widely used in Chinese medicine. The herb is a major component of "Resist" and "Composition A" and is also available separately in capsules and as an extract. It has value in reducing overactive humoral (TH2) immune in HIV, cancer, autism. It also inhibits leukotrienes making it a candidate to test for reducing food and environmental allergies as well.

Astragalus inhibits IL-6 and tnf-A

and leukotrienes - may also reduce allergies

Protective effect of Astragali radix extract on interleukin 1beta-induced inflammation in human amnion.

Full Author Name: Shon, Yun-Hee; Nam, Kyung-Soo. Shon YH, Nam KS.

Phytother Res. 2003 Nov;17(9):1016-20.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Astragali radix extract on interleukin (IL)-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and leukotriene C(4) (LTC(4)) release from IL-1beta-stimulated human amnion. Primary monolayer cultures of amnion cells were established from women undergoing elective caesarean section before the onset of labour. Production of both IL-6 and TNF-alpha was stimulated in a concentration-dependent manner by proinflammatory cytokine IL-1beta (0.01-10 ng/mL).

Astragalus extract inhibited IL-6 production by approximately 75% from cells under IL-1beta-stimulated conditions. Treatment of amnion cells with IL-1beta (0.01-10 ng/mL) resulted in a significant increase in PGE(2) release. Incubation of the cells with the extract for 24 h significantly inhibited IL-1beta-induced PGE(2) production. A concentration-dependent increase in LTC(4) production by amnion cells occurred in response to IL-1beta. Astragalus extract blocked the effect of IL-1beta in LTC(4) production in human amnion. These results indicate that Astragali radix has a broad anti-inflammatory effect in human amnion.

Prednisolone improves the response to primary endocrine treatment

for advanced breast cancer

Rubens RD,Tinson CL, Coleman RE et al
Clinical Oncology Unit, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.
Br J Cancer. 1988 Nov;58(5):626-30. 

Two hundred and twenty patients with progressive advanced breast cancer were given primary endocrine treatment (PET) according to menstrual status. Pre-menopausal patients received ovarian irradiation (O) and post-menopausal tamoxifen 10 mg bd (T).

Patients were randomised to receive either no additional treatment or prednisolone 5 mg bd (P). Similar results were observed in each menstrual subgroup. In 194 patients, the response to PET + P was 49% and to PET alone 30% (P less than 0.01). P increased the median duration of response from 9 to 14 months (P less than 0.002) and the median time to disease progression from 5 to 9 months (P less than 0.001).

Response to P after O or T alone occurred in only 2/62 (3%). Median survival in patients randomized to receive P at the outset of PET was prolonged by 4 months (P less than 0.05). The addition of Prednisolone significantly improves the response to Ovarian irradiation or Tamoxifen in the treatment of advanced breast cancer.

Editor's comment: Imagine how much better results they would get if they increased the dose to 40 mg daily of prednisolone at least until the cancer was in remission?

Big Pharma Marketing Scam - combining high cost patented cancer drugs

with prednisolone or prednisone for efficacy- a match made on Wall St.

The use of glucocorticoids combined with chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs is widely implicated in a search at NLM Gateway. The terms "prednisolone" and "chemotherapy" together in a search produced more than 25,000 hits. From several sources I have learned that pharmaceutical companies are often recommending either prednisone or prednisolone as an anti-inflammatory to be used along with chemotherapy in the treatment of many kinds of cancer but never suggest it as a stand alone treatment for cancer.

What the doctors are not being told is that the glucocorticoids may be even more beneficial than the chemotherapeutic drugs in causing the cancer to go into remission. If doctors learned to substitute "thyroid" for chemotherapy (Plechner's protocol) and placed the patients on a hypoallergenic diet along with the glucocorticoids, they probably would get even better results and for a fraction of the cost and without the adverse effects of chemotherapy.

However, if they did that, Big Pharma would lose 95% of its sales and profits. What pharmaceutical companies have been doing for some time is running a massive marketing scam - by secretly obtaining the anti-cancer benefits of the glucocorticoids, it makes the chemotherapy used with the glcorticoids look more effective, indeed priceless - to the tune of over 100 Billion or more a year.

Published quarterly. Copyright 2007- to subscribe to this newsletter, send a donation to Keep Hope Alive, PO Box 270041 West Allis, WI 53227. Phone 414-751-4998 Note: You can also read this and other past newsletters online at www.keephopealive.org

Keep Hope Alive Forum

How to find low-cost housing (under Hud's section 8)

for an elderly parent, disabled friend or yourself

March 2007 by Conrad LeBeau

Subsection 8 housing is a Federal program under the Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that pays up 70% or more of a single person or couple's rent if they meet certain income limitations. The income limitation is 80% of the average mean income in the county in which you are seeking subsidized housing. These income limits vary from county to county. Are you confused already?

Relax. I will show you how to find subsidized housing locally without having to wait several years, or using HUD vouchers that are still available for some individuals and families but remain largely under-funded. In fact, I'll show you how to bypass the long waiting lists and find a vacancy in your neighborhood within the next few months.

Most persons with low income, or collecting social security income (SSI) or social security disability (SSD) qualify for rent assistance if they are clear given instructions on how to proceed.

Local officials often tell people that there are no funds available and that there are hundreds and thousands of people ahead of them on waiting lists for section 8 housing and that the waiting list is several years long. This is true currently for most city and county rental assistance programs but not true for thousands of other lists held by managers of privately owned apartments buildings that offer section 8 subsidized housing to persons disabled or who are over 62 years of age. These property owners deal directly with HUD or local state administrators or Public Housing Authorities and not through city or county rental assistance programs. The general waiting list here can be 2 or 3 years long but as little as a few months if you qualify to get on a "Priority or Emergency Waiting List."

Example: While the City of Milwaukee has one rental assistance location and the County has another, private owners of section 8 subsidized housing hold over 130 apartment buildings in Milwaukee county alone and each building manager has its own waiting list. In other words, a person over 62 years old, or younger on either SSD or SSI will usually qualify to apply for residence at most if not all locations! By applying at several locations, you can be in several lines at once that since these lines are usually shorter than the ones managed by local city and county governments, in no time you will be moving into a subsidized apt where you will pay as little as 30% of your monthly income as rent while HUD pays the rest.

Now, it is unlikely that anyone will ever need to apply and get on the waiting list of 100 or more subsidized apt buildings, but if a person applies at 5 or 6 locations, the odds are that within 6 months or less, you will get a phone call that a vacancy has occurred and you can come in and sign a lease.

While Congress has limited funds for "rent assistance" for working persons and families who have low income, funding continues for retirees over 62 and for persons with disabilities and who are receiving either SSI or SSD.

When the search became personal

The search for affordable housing became personal about 12 years ago. The year was 1995. About 10 years earlier, around 1986, my parents, now retired, settled in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, a historic town of small, colorful and quaint businesses located in a rural setting. They rented a small one-bedroom apartment that they could afford at the time since they both received social security income (SSI).

In September of 1994, my father, Herbert, passed on into the spirit world. He was 89 years of age. My mother, Stella, now a widow at 80, had to live on a limited social security income of less than $650 a month while paying rent of $550 a month. It doesn't take much math to see that her small savings of less than $1000 would soon dwindle and be gone.

In January of 1995, I began to search for lower cost housing and obtained a list of subsidized housings places in Ozaukee County, where the village of Cedarburg is located. I obtained the list by calling the Department of Aging for Ozaukee County.

I called several of the places listed and most of them had the following requirements. Persons had to be age 62 or older or be disabled and collecting social security if under age 62. At the time, personal assets, except for prepaid burial expenses, were limited to $2000. Today, 2007, the limit on assets has been increased or eliminated in most jurisdictions. Assets include pensions, real estate, savings and checking accounts, 401K accounts, stocks and bonds, annuities, cash value insurance policies and this list may not be complete.

Other federal programs like Social Security Disability (SSD) and Medicaid have an asset limit as part of the qualification requirements.

The list of places provided by the Dept of Aging that offered subsidized housing for the elderly and the disabled became the starting point of my search for affordable housing. I called 3 places in the Cedarburg area and they told me the minimum age was 62. They told me that there were no vacancies and there was a waiting list of 20 to 30 people for each building. They said I could come in and fill out an application to be added to the waiting list.

Stella and I went to see all three locations and she filled out the forms to be added to the general waiting list. It was at the last place that she applied at that we learned something that would later on turn out to be very good news. Linda, who took the application at Fischer Terrace, told us that because mother was paying more than 50% of her income as rent, she could be added to an Emergency Waiting List. What this did was to effectively move Stella to the front of the line. Since 85% of her monthly income was being paid on rent, she was more than qualified for the Emergency Waiting List also known as a Priority Waiting List.

Four months later I received a phone call that a vacancy had occurred. Stella paid a security deposit and signed a year's lease. She pays 30% of her monthly income as rent and HUD pays the balance. Initially, what she paid on her monthly rent was reduced from $550 to less than $160 a month and that also included heat. Today 12 years later and at 92 years of age, she continues to occupy the same one bedroom apt and continues to pay 30% of her monthly income as rent.

In researching the law for this article, I learned only recently that HUD rules require that persons paying over 50% of their monthly income in rent be placed on a "Priority Waiting List" also known as an Emergency Waiting List. What this does is to help those with the most urgent need for affordable housing first and foremost. This HUD rule is not widely known and will help the very poor when and if someone tells them about it.

What really matters is 1. the total monthly income and

2. the percent of the monthly income that is paid as rent.

In section 8 subsidized housing, the amount of rent you pay depends on your monthly income. Let us say you rent a one-bedroom apartment worth $800 a month at Country Estates. Your monthly income is $1000, of which $800 is from SSI and the other $200 is from a pension. You would pay 30% of the $1000 or $300 a month for rent and HUD would pay the difference of $500. (You now save $500 a month)

A second example is another person down the hall from you in the same building who earns just $600 a month in SSI and has no other source of income. Renting this apartment of the same size, that person would pay 30% of $600 or $180 on rent and HUD pays the difference of $620 a month. In both apartments, the total rent paid to the owner, Country Estates, is $800 a month but the amount of rent paid by the tenant varies from $180 to $300 and this depends on the total monthly income of the tenant.

Quick Start Summary

1. First, locate the list of all subsidized rental units in the county in which you want to live or move too. You can obtain this list from the Dept of Aging in your county. Their phone number is located in the front part of the White Pages under "your" county. Most Senior Centers also carry publications that list these rental units although they are not always marked as "subsidized." You may need to call each listing to find out if they are subsidized.

2. Don't live in the slums. Find an apt where over half of your income is paid as rent to quality you to get on a Priority Waiting List also known as an Emergency Waiting List. This puts you on a shorter waiting list for the next vacancy.

3. Make your best impression. Be friendly and honest, but not pretentious. Some older people tend to neglect personal hygiene. Before going to see the rental units, have the person take a shower, comb or style their hair, put on fresh clean clothes.

Note: if you take someone to apply for a rental unit who does not shower, has bad body odor and chews tobacco, don't expect to get a call anytime soon about a vacancy. Managers have a way to losing such applications.

4. Apply at several locations, at least 4, and better yet, 5 or 6 and in adjoining counties. Check with a courteous phone call once every 3 months to see if a vacancy has occurred and ask them where you are on the Emergency Waiting List. Waiting 2 or 3 months is better than waiting 2 or 3 years.

5. Disabled and under 62? If you are on SSI or SSD and are under 62 years of age, use this same list to apply at, as most of these places will also accept disabled persons of any age who are adults.

For additional information and help locating private owners of subsidized housing where you live, go to: http://www.hud.gov/renting/ and click on the link "Search for an Apartment." I did this for Milwaukee County and found 145 buildings with 1 bedroom Apts - all subsidized. Section 8 housing can save you hundreds of dollars each month. Good luck.

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You can also access this 2 page article on finding low cost housing at Keep Hope Alive Forum