In a three page letter to me, dated Dec. 5th, 1996, Martin Delaney, founder and director of Project Inform, stated that he was misquoted (in my interview with Jim Prentice) in my last newsletter as saying that PWAs on the protease inhibitor combinations who stopped using prophylaxis were "within a week or two ..coming down with PCP." Here is part of what he wrote:
"The point I raised was indeed in reference to the question of whether or not people should abandon prophylaxis if they experience large numerical gains in CD4+ counts in response to combination therapy. However, my suggestion was far narrower than what was implied by the false quotation. At the conference, I pointed out a single case of an individual in San Francisco whose CD4+ count, before combination therapy, had fallen below 100 and who has already suffered a bout of PCP. After treatment with protease combination therapy, his CD4+ count rose to around the 500 level and he immediately stopped all prophylaxis. About a month later, he suffered a relapse of PCP. This was a single case in an individual who had previously battled PCP. Whether this example can or should be applied to everyone is debatable. But it does warrant caution on the subject of stopping prophylaxis.....Pivotal research done at Stanford University, as well as other sites, demonstrates that a key lineage of T-cells, called naive T-cells are lost early in the course of HIV infection, for reasons which remain speculative.
"These are cells newly derived from the bone marrow which have the potential to be programmed by the immune system to respond to new infections. Once these cells are depleted, the body must rely on its store of already-programmed memory T-cells to fight specific infections.....However, as the entire population of T cells declines in HIV infection, some of these cells may be lost at random, first diminishing our ability to fight specific infections and perhaps losing it altogether. When the overall CD4+ population declines roughly below the 200 level, multiple international databases show that resistance to PCP is one of the first casualties of this decline....Another example was noted in Il-2 studies. Researchers told of a few patients, some with modestly high CD4+ counts, who were challenged with a diphtheria toxin skin test. Those who showed no response initially still failed to respond even after seeing huge gains in their total CD4+ count after Il-2 therapy. But those who initially had small responses to the challenge saw their response improve dramatically after therapy."
Martin Delaney's comment on the Interluken 2 (Il-2) experience only reinforces the argument for using the Multitest CMI (an FDA approved test) to measure Anergy or delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity (DCH). In some persons with modestly high CD4 counts, the diphtheria skin test that gave no response showed Anergy. Those who had Anergy still failed to show an immune response (DCH) when challenged with an antigen even after huge gains in their CD4 counts (after IL-2 therapy).
Multitest CMI is designed to determine if a person has DCH, that is, if circulating Memory T cells respond, when challenged, releasing lymphokines that cause a skin reaction called an induration (welt). If a person at some point in his life had an inoculation for tetanus or diphtheria and presumably developed Memory T cells and does not respond to a skin test for the same antigen, it is thought the non-response is Anergy, that is, the Memory T cells have lost their memory. You could say the T cells have Alzheimers.
Now, consider the value of a test for Anergy or DCH if a combination therapy can be found that moves an AIDS patient away from Anergy and toward Delayed Cutaneous Hypersensitivity (DCH). Good DCH responses to antigens indicates functional Memory T cells that can respond effectively to an immune challenge (i.e. opportunistic infection).
As Martin Delaney phrased it , complete "immune restoration" should be a goal. I agree. Immune restoration really means "The End of AIDS" and not "the end of AIDS? using speculative interpretations of viral load decline as a sole marker of progress. The question of how to achieve complete immune restoration is a challenge that lies before us.
In his letter, Delaney rejected the "automatic" theory of immune restoration. He stated: "Once a person has suffered severe immune decline or dysfunction, there is little reason to believe that suppressing virus alone will result in complete (immune) restoration." He also added: "We do not think that protease combinations, or any other antiviral approach, will necessarily rebuild a destroyed immune system....in fact, no matter how effective new drugs are at suppressing HIV, many underlying problems will remain."
Mark Konlee -
There are more than 250,000 articles published in medical journals on the subject of AIDS/HIV in the past 15 years. All this information, including unpublished research, are small pieces of a giant puzzle. Without claiming to have read all the published abstracts, I will attempt, in this article, to bring the pieces of this puzzle together and create a picture; not an absolutely complete or final picture, but a picture nonetheless. What emerges from this reconstructed puzzle will lead us to a corrected disease model, the most important diagnostics and finally the desired treatment options that will bring this epidemic to an end. There was a time earlier in this century when treating illness was simple. You got the bug and seen the Doc who gave you the drug. In a few days or weeks, the illness was gone and you were back to work or play. Today, chronic conditions like AIDS, CFIDS and cancer are straining the minds and financial resources of a very expensive (and profitable) health care system.
Since the discovery of HIV, mainstream medicine has equated HIV to immune deficiency and immune deficiency to AIDS. AIDS (immune deficiency or dysfunction) allows opportunistic infections (i.e. PCP, MAC, PML, CMV etc.) and various forms of cancer like Kaposi Sarcoma and lymphomas to cause illness, suffering and death. The disease model was simple: One virus, HIV, causes immune dysfunction or AIDS. The solution is also simple. Kill HIV with drug combinations and the immune function will come back - automatically. Get rid of HIV and you get rid of AIDS.
A current treatment theory is to hit HIV hard and heavy early and you will not develop AIDS. Yet, there are no long term studies to indicate that today's new protease inhibitor/nucleoside combinations will prolong either the quality or length of life. The proponents of the "automatic" theory do not even realize that they are proponents of this theory. The "automatic" theory has never been tested in any scientific controlled study using immune function tests for diagnostic evaluation. The disease model is simple, too simple. The war against HIV infection moves forward relentlessly while the war against AIDS has not even started.
Recent news reports from New York City are claiming a 40% reduction in the death rate from AIDS in 1996. Credit for this is going to the new drug cocktail combinations. What is not being reported is that the opportunistic infections are not declining. Increasingly, a growing population of PWAs on protease inhibitor and AZT/3TC combinations are acquiring the profile of CFIDS patients, who are chronically sick with HHV-6. CFIDS patients live longer than AIDS patients, but have a poor quality of life. In advanced cases, they suffer from wasting syndrome and many are confined to a wheel chair. This does not sound like a lot of fun to me. If a short term increase in the life span only is to be the basis for judging a protocols efficacy, then drug cocktail combinations would not hold a candle to immune-based therapies, where the reduction in death rate is at a very conservative figure of at least 90% and over a time frame measured in years, not months.
Immune based therapies like Naltrexone and DNCB already have a far more successful track record than the new drug cocktails. Naltrexone and DNCB have been in use now for at least 10 years and have shown no side effects while maintaining long term efficacy. In fact, I have never known a person to die of AIDS who used 3 mg of Naltrexone daily plus DNCB topical skin applications once a week and who also used daily the whole lemon/olive oil drink.
Why little attention has been shown to these therapies is based on wide spread lack of understanding of the value of immune based treatments as well as the fact that they are inexpensive and do not generate high corporate profits. No big profits means no big money to generate news media publicity splashes. The highest profits are generated by creating an artificial immune system based on drugs and more chemicals to keep hitting the virus hard and heavy.
The hit the virus hard and heavy approach was tried with AZT when it first came into its own standing. Very high doses of AZT were administered (1200 mg daily) and the treatment failed. Today, as its legacy, more tombstones lie over the graves of persons who used AZT than any other drug in the history of AIDS. History teaches us that if do not learn from the past, we are condemned to repeat it. Today, with heavy funding from pharmaceutical companies who have much to profit from the sale of their drugs, protease inhibitors combined with AZT and 3TC, are touted as the new "AIDS CURE." Meanwhile, the bad news that the death and dying continues by Persons With AIDS (PWAs) who are using these combinations is not making headlines in the daily press. Remember the figures from New York City - 40% fewer deaths, but what about the 60% who did not have their life extended by a few months?
The media blitz supporting protease inhibitor/nucleoside combinations is supported by selected anecdotal cases with reports of glowing results. Objective news reporting would present a balanced picture, including the failures (25% are quitting the drug cocktail combinations due to intolerable side effects) and those who have died while using these combinations as well as those who never experienced any benefits at all. Newsweek magazine recently published an article called "THE END OF AIDS?" Unfortunately, reality sets in when one national TV program reported on a PWA who had been on protease inhibitors for two years and quit the drugs after Elisa/Western Blot showed negative status for over one year. Suddenly, out of nowhere the HIV virus returned, a disappointment to many.
While it is true that some people have benefited from protease inhibitor/nucleoside combinations for a while, thousands of PWAs have already died while using these combinations. They have died while waiting for their "cure." They have died even while their PCR test results show HIV at non-detectable levels and despite big increases in CD4 counts. They have died from heart attacks, liver failure, lymphomas, cancer and other opportunistic infections while placing complete trust in the drugs and their physicians. They have died assuming that their physician knows everything there is to know about the subject of AIDS. Based on this self-deception, the uninformed PWA decides he does not have learn anything himself about AIDS or the immune system. The general attitude of the uninformed PWA is limited to two questions: What is my PCR viral load and what is my T cell (CD4) count? Many are so mesmerized by lab results that they fail to listen to their own body. They fail to look at themselves and ask these important questions: How do I feel? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being that "you feel like a million dollars" and 1 being that "you feel like cow dung," How do you feel? How is your energy level? How is your appetite? Do you get a good night's sleep? Are you happy or are you depressed most of the time? Do you digest your food well? Are you maintaining normal muscle mass? These are important questions that cannot be measured by T cell counts or PCR viral load. Unfortunately, these are important questions that are asked too infrequently by physicians. The pharmaceutical companies are profit oriented. With the exception of Remune (Immune Response Corp, Carlsbad, CA) a drug designed to restore DCH, pharmaceutical companies are not spending their money and research on immune based therapies. If they find a way to bring back the immune system, there won't be any more opportunistic infections (O.I.s) and there goes the alphabet soup of drugs to prevent or treat the many opportunistic infections that plague PWAs.
AIDS is Big Business. Unfortunately, biology wins over drugs. Viral resistance to most drugs develops over time. Viral resistance DOES NOT develop to immune-based therapies. Where are the drugs to prevent lymphomas, cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma, CMV, PML, etc? Find the protocol that restores immune function and there goes the drugs and the profits, right out the window. It is time for the pharmaceutical companies to bring the immunologists on board. Why is this not happening? Is it the profit motive, ignorance in the arena of immunology or both? Answer: probably both.
Meanwhile, the media hype continues to compare the latest protease inhibitor/nucleoside combination to the biblical figure, Lazarus, whom Jesus called forth from his grave. Meanwhile, if PWAs on these cocktail protocols more than 3 or 4 months are not looking anemic, they are fatigued (HHV-6A related and/or AZT related - red blood count suppression), have frequent outbreaks of thrush and fungal infections, cold hands and feet, low body temperature, are losing muscle mass (while sometimes increasing body fat), developing neuropathy (related to HHV-6A infection), have gastrointestinal pain or distress (often HHV-6A related) and have skin infections.
The less fortunate have heart attacks, liver failure, presumptive CMV pneumonitis (usually caused by HHV-6A), dementia (usually caused by HHV-6A), Toxoplasmosis, MAC, PML, brain tumors, lymphomas, kaposi sarcoma (HHV-6A or HHV-8 related) and various other forms of cancer. On top of all that, they find that their sex drive has vanished (for many, a more important concern less it interfere with their social life or next trick).
In the beginning of AIDS, it has been generally believed that increasing CD4 Helper cells prevented AIDS defining opportunistic infections like PCP (Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia), Retinitis (CMV or HHV-6A related), MAC (Mycobacterium Avium Complex), Toxoplasmosis and other O.I's (Opportunistic Infections). For many, this has been true, for others, high CD4 have not brought protection against opportunistic infections (O.I's). Many long term survivors have found that high CD8's have prevented O.I's, even when CD4s were very low. Many infectious disease physicians have observed that when CD4's increase after they have decreased, they do not have the same quality as before. Patients with rapidly increasing CD4s are frequently coming down with major O.I's, leaving both patient and physician puzzled. Why the disparity and the conflicting results? It remains a mystery until you factor in the role of B cells and how they inter-relate to the CD4 Helper cells. Those who talk only about CD4 cell counts and viral load counts (PCR) demonstrate not how much they know about the subject of AIDS and the immune system, but rather, how little they know. The subject of inter-relationships between the various subsets of white blood cells (CD4s, B cells, CD8 Killer T cells and phagocytes etc) is rarely addressed.
CD4 Helper cells are one group of 130 subsets of White Blood Cells. Other subsets include CD8 Suppressor Cells, CD8 Cytotoxic T cells (Killer T cells), B cells, Neutrophils, Monocytes, Macrophages and Natural Killer Cells, to name a few. The total White Blood Cell (WBC) count is the sum total of all immune system cells. The total White Blood Cell count includes the CD4 cells and all the 130 subsets of white blood cells. For a complete listing of all 130 subsets, contact the internet web site http://glamdring.ucsd.edu/others/aai/cd_table.html.
"Helper T-cells signal the B cells to begin secreting antibody in response to a foreign invasion"
by Jeff Baggish MD - author of How Your Immune System Works
By themselves, CD4 Helper cells do not destroy viruses or produce antibodies; CD4 cells signal B cells to produce antibodies. In response to a new infection, antibodies are produced by Plasma (B cells), the antibodies attach to the virus and send a signal that attracts the attention of other white blood cells that devour the virus and destroy it. The first antibodies produced by Plasma B cells are known as IgM (immunoglobulin type M). After the infection is destroyed, a group of B cells become "Memory B Cells" and in response to the same foreign invasion (i.e. same virus), they produce an antibody known as IgG (immunoglobulin type G) and rapidly transform into Plasma cells and secrete IgG to neutralize the enemy. The white blood cells that eat and destroy viruses include neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells. Once a virus is tagged with an antibody, it is like spray painting an enemy with bright orange paint that says "enemy." The antibody identifies the virus as a foreign invader that is easily seen and quickly destroyed by other white blood cells (known as Phagocytes).
There is a critical inter-relationship between these two subsets of white blood cells (CD4s and B cells) that is not widely understood. Lack of knowledge in this area of immunology is why most physicians do not order B cell function tests. Looking at IgG levels tells you only that Memory B cells have produced antibodies against old infections while looking at IgM levels tells you if B cells are producing antibodies against new infections.
IgG levels alone do not tell you if the B cells are anergic and fail to multiply (proliferate) in response to stimulation from CD4 Helper cells to produce antibodies against a new infection. A failure of the B cells to produce antibodies against any infection, old or new, can be caused by Anergy in either the B cells or the CD4 Helper cells or both. In other words, if the CD4 helper cells send a weak signal to the B cells, a weak response will follow and few antibodies will be produced or if the B cells receive a strong signal to produce antibodies and failure to respond, they are anergic (asleep). Lack of certain chemical messengers (interlukens, lymphokines etc) including antigen specific "transfer factor" may be the controlling mechanisms which creates a communication gap between these two subsets of white blood cells. Increasing the "numbers" of non-functional immune cells simply gives you more "non-functional" immune cells. Thus, to rapidly increase CD4 counts after they have dropped to low levels is not correlating with the restoration of DCH and increased resistance to O.I.s.
In both AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), B cells become dysfunctional, not because they are infected with HIV, but because they are infected with HHV-6A (Human Herpes Virus 6, variant A). HHV-6A is the missing link between HIV and immune deficiency or AIDS. In 1986, when Robert Gallo first discovered HHV-6A, he called the new virus Human B Cell Lymphotropic Virus (HBLV) because it had an affinity for infecting newly formed B cells (Science, Oct, 1986). Later he changed the name of the virus to HHV-6 when he found it could infect many other kinds of cells as well including newly formed T cells (known as naive T cells). Still later, he divided HHV-6 into two subgroups, variant A and variant B. Variant B has already infected over 90% of the population and is completely harmless as a life long infection. The variant A strain of HHV-6 destroys cells like a plague of locusts, to paraphrase Robert Gallo.
On December 7th, 1995, Peter Jennings of ABC News interviewed Robert Gallo who stated:
"When you compare the two viruses (HIV and HHV-6) in a laboratory, the most destructive by far is HHV-6."
To restore functional B cells, you must first find a way to lower HHV-6A levels of infection or eradicate it completely. It is the HHV-6A virus that infects newly formed B cells. Stop HHV-6A and the automatic theory may work - B cell function may be restored and with it the production of neutralizing antibodies. The correct disease model is that there are two viruses that cause AIDS. HHV-6A is the primary virus, with HIV as a co-factor that depresses CD4 counts. The primary cause of Anergy in B cells is infection with HHV-6A. Anergic B cells do not produce antibodies. Anergy in newly formed (naive) CD4 Helper cells may also be caused by infection with HHV-6A, although diet, malabsorption and malnutrition factors are also involved.
In the Journal of Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retroviral, 1996, Apr 1:11(4):370-8, Konstance Knox and Donald Carrigan of the Medical College of Wisconsin published the following findings:
"Studies published previously by this laboratory have demonstrated that patients with AIDS have widely disseminated, active infections with HHV-6 at the time of their death (Lancet, March 5, 1994). However, it remains unclear when in the course of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection the active HHV-6 infection first appears. To address this question, lymph node biopsies from 10 HIV-infected persons were analyzed for active human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infections by immunohistochemical staining....In total, 10 of 10 (100%) of the lymph nodes studied contained cells productively infected with HHV-6; in contrast, three lymph nodes with follicular hyperplasia and four normal lymph nodes from patients not infected with HIV were negative for HHV-6 infection...The variant A strain of HHV-6 was found to be the predominant form of the virus present in the lymph nodes biopsies from all of these HIV-infected patients,... Of special note, the absolute CD4+ lymphocyte counts of 75% of the HIV-infected individuals in the study were > (greater than) 200/mm3 at the time of their lymph node biopsy."
This study by Knox and Carrigan is very significant as it shows that HHV-6A infection occurs early in AIDS and in persons with CD4 Helper cells above 200 and is not just another opportunistic infection. At least one of the biopsies came from an HIV+ person with over 700 CD4 cells. J.P. (Milw, WI) told me that in 1990, Dr. Patricia Salvato MD found HHV-6 by PCR when he was experiencing hyper-CD4 activation; that is, his CD4 count was over 1400. Equally significant, HHV-6A was found in 100% of the lymph node biopsies taken in studies of AIDS patients alive as well as those deceased. If it were not found in 100% of the lymph node biopsies examined, then it could be reasonably argued that it was an opportunistic infection and not the primary AIDS virus. In an earlier article (Lancet, 1994, Mar 5), Knox and Carrigan found "Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infected cells were detected in all lung, lymph-node, spleen, liver and kidney tissues obtained at necropsy (death) from an unselected series of nine patients with AIDS."
If you were seated on a jury looking at the evidence of a serial killer and found his fingerprints on all the victims, then you found have to conclude either he was the primary killer or an accomplice. Since in every one of these cases the HIV virus was also found, then, it can be reasonably asked, is not HIV the primary cause of cell and organ destruction and HHV-6A a co-factor or opportunistic infection?
Knox and Carrigan (Medical College of Wisconsin) have concluded from their PCR probes of the lymph nodes of PWAs for both HHV-6A and HIV that it is the HHV-6, variant A strain that is destroying the cells, not the HIV. They have observed that HIV gathers outside the follicular dendritic cells in the lymph nodes while HHV-6A eats out and destroys the germinal centers of the lymph nodes. These observations have been also observed in examining lung, brain, liver and kidney tissues. It is the HHV-6A that is causing the cellular destruction, not the HIV. Their findings area also strengthened by studying the two viruses in cell cultures. Robert Gallo reported earlier (ABC News, Dec. 7, 1995): "When you compare the two viruses (HIV and HHV-6) in a laboratory, the most destructive by far is HHV-6."
In addition, it can be asked: What is the value of PCR viral load counts for HIV, a non-pathogenic, non-destructive virus? The answer: nothing. What lab test measures the destruction of cells caused by HHV-6A? The answer: beta 2 microglobulin levels. Lab tests for beta 2 microglobulin levels have immense value in measuring the effectiveness of a protocol that suppresses HHV-6A replication. In other words, a protocol that reduces beta 2 microglobulin levels is an effective treatment for AIDS and CFIDS. A protocol that reduces HIV viral load while leaving beta 2 levels unchanged treats HIV infection, but does not treat AIDS (HHV-6A infection). HIV is known to be transmitted through the exchange of body fluids and it is believed that HHV-6A is transmitted along with HIV in the same way.
Anyone with access to AIDSLINE and/or MEDLINE at the National Library of Medicine can find ample published research on the role of HHV-6 in AIDS. Anyone with a computer and modem can access AIDSLINE free and Medline for pennies. Call Grateful Med at 800-638-8480 and order the software for gaining access. When you are connected to the National Library of Medicine, run a computer search for "HHV-6" and prepare to receive well over 100 abstracts from articles published in medical journals. Widely published research now shows that HHV-8 (possibly a mutated form of HHV-6) is involved in all cases of Kaposi Sarcoma. The science is there. Just take some time and look for it. Several cites from scientific journals are also listed in my book How To Reverse Immune Dysfunction (from Positive Health News, Report No 10).
If HHV-6A is the primary virus causing AIDS, then what is the role of HIV? HIV's role in AIDS progression is probably limited to two modes of action. One, research (from AIDSLINE) has shown that HIV inhibits Interluken 2 production which in turn reduces CD4 replication helping to lead to declines in CD4 counts. However, a second and even more important role is that HIV stimulates the replication of HHV-6A, which in co-infected CD4 cells, leads to their destruction. L. Sieczkowski, B Chandran and Charles Wood writing in Virology (1) state:
"Since HIV-1 and HHV-6 have similar cellular tropism, and since HIV-1 trans-activates other herpesviruses, a reciprocal interaction between the two viruses is possible...When T cells were transfected with a plasmid containing the HIV-1 tat gene under control of the simian virus (SV40) promoter and infected with HHV-6, higher levels of HHV-6 proteins and infectious virus were detected...Therefore, the presence of HIV-1 gene products, such as tat, can lead to an activation of HHV-6 expression. Since HHV-6 is cytopathic, its activation by HIV-1 may accelerate the depletion of CD4+ T-cells in infected individuals."
1. Sieczkowski L, et al; The human immunodeficiency virus tat gene enhances replication of human herpesvirus 6. Virology, 1995 Aug 20;211(2):544-53.
One year Ago, Dr. Patricia Salvato MD, told Keep Hope Alive that of all her long term HIV+ patients with picture perfect immune systems, she has never found the presence of HHV-6! The conclusion is obvious: HIV does nothing without HHV-6A. Hitting on HIV alone is hitting on nothing. Last summer, I had the privilege of meeting an HIV+ male (John) from Green Bay, Wisconsin, who had been HIV+ for 5 years and had a picture perfect immune system. His lab results showed his CD4s to be over 900 and his CD8s in the 500 range. When I divided the CD8 count into the CD4, the CD4/CD8 ratio was 1.8, again picture perfect. He never had any HHV-6A related symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, gastrointestinal pain, no symptoms, nothing. He never took any drugs or dietary supplements. Was his HIV+ status a fluke? No. His lab tests confirmed the presence of HIV on both the Elisa and Western Blot tests. He was HIV+, but was a total non-progressor.
Writing in Adv Exp Med Biol. 1995;374:156-71, RM Zinkernagel writes: "HIV is basically a non or poorly cytocidal virus." Cytocidal means "causing the death of cells." Writing in Genetica 1995;95 (1-3):5-24, E Papadapulos writes:
"The data generally accepted as proving the HIV theory of AIDS...are critically evaluated....It is concluded that these data do not prove that HIV preferentially destroys T4 cells or has any cytopathic effects.."
The question of why CD4s decline is related not to CD4 destruction by HIV but can be explained partly by the immune response to HHV-6A which seeks to elevate the CD8s and suppress the CD4's. The other factor that suppresses CD4 counts is a decrease of Interluken 2 levels. In later stage AIDS, total white blood cell decline which includes the CD4s and CD8s is related to untreated HHV-6A infection.
A last question relates to reports that in cell cultures "HIV destroys cells." However, in consideration of what is known about the destructive effects of HHV-6A and the non-destructive effects of HIV alone, these reports must now be questioned on the basis of cell culture contamination - contamination with the real AIDS virus - HHV-6A. Unless those who make these claims can prove their cell cultures were not contaminated with HHV-6A, they cannot prove that HIV alone kills cells. For more information, search AIDSLINE at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Search words: "HIV" and "destroy." I did and could not find any conclusive data that proves HIV is cytopathic (kills cells).
What does HHV-6A do without HIV? You can look at over one-half million people sick and debilitated with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and infected with HHV-6, variant A and the answer is obvious. While published reports indicate that 70% of CFIDS patients are infected with HHV-6, these numbers are low because antibody tests for HHV-6 in the blood are only about 50% accurate and PCR for HHV-6 in the blood are not 100% accurate. This is because HHV-6A infection spreads primarily cell to cell. Only PCR of the lymph nodes for HHV-6A is a 100% accurate test for the presence for HHV-6, variant A. Unfortunately, this test is not available in most areas. Note: Recently, Konstance Knox told Keep Hope Alive that Donald Carrigan and herself on working to get state and federal approval so they can make the PCR test for HHV-6A available to the public through their physicians.
Take the case of Ginny Kloth, who suffered from CFIDS for over 20 years and believes she was infected with HHV-6 from a vaccination for the Swine Flu in 1976. Since Oct, 1995, after discovering Keep Hope Alive web page on the INTERNET, she had found benefits from the daily use of the lemon/olive oil drink. She started on Naltrexone, a prescription drug that triples Natural Killer cell activity (Dr. Bihari Md., NYC) about March 13, 1996. At the time, her CD4s were 1100, her CD8s were 220 and a CD4/CD8 ratio of 5.0, not a normal 1.8. Ginny had hyper CD4 activation which is very common in CFIDS patients and causes multiple allergies, chemical sensitivities and digestive problems. After just 5 weeks on Naltrexone, her CD4/CD8 ratio reversed and her symptoms subsided. On April 26th, 1996, she reported her CD4's are now 237 and her CD8s are 1270, a ratio of .19, similar to an AIDS profile. She sent an e-mail message that said her last swollen lymph node was gone. She wrote; "I had to share the good news! I have been calling all my family members. Praise the Lord! I spent all day working...am feeling so good!" (Positive Health News, No 11).
Update, Jan 26, 1997: In phone call to Ginny Kloth today, she reported that she has seen over 12 lab reports of CFIDS patients and all had a CD4/CD8 ratio in the range of 3.0 to 6.0. CD4's are above normal and CD8s are way below normal. All these patients are reporting multiple allergies, chemical sensitivities and digestive disorders. Three had wasting syndrome and were continuing to lose weight. Ginny also found in all these cases elevated CD26+ several times above normal. Her research found elevated levels of CD26+ are related to a type of lymphoma called mycosis fungoides. Ginny can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, her new e-mail address.
Several CFIDS patients, like PWAs, have contacted Keep Hope Alive within the past few months and have reported symptomatic relief using Naltrexone, the lemon/olive oil drink, the immune enhancement diet from my book and Beta 1, 3 glucan. supplements. John Dettling is a CFIDS patient of Dr. Patricia Salvato (Houston, TX). In a phone call to me, John said Dr. Salvato is giving him injections of L-Glutathione with ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) and said she claims an 80% success rate in treating CFIDS. John is currently 36 lbs underweight - has wasting syndrome and is HIV negative. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Host defense is to find those components of the immune system that deal effectively with both HIV and HHV-6A. Host defense is immunology. With a strong host defense, not HIV or HHV-6A can cause AIDS nor can HHV-6A alone cause CFIDS.
What is needed to stop the direct spread of infectious virus from cell to cell is a white blood cell that can detect virus infected cells and destroy them. Present scientific data indicates that they are a subset of CD8 cells known as CD8 Cytotoxic T cells, also known as Cytotoxic Lymphocytes and also called Killer T cells. The other subset of CD8 cells are Suppressor cells, which down regulate CD4 signals for B cells to produce antibodies. .
Another subset of White Blood Cells known as the Natural Killer (NK) cells can find and destroy virus infected cells independent of whether or not the CD4 or B cells are functional. Functional NK cells and CD8 Cytotoxic T cells can find cells infected with HIV and HHV-6A and destroy them, thus shutting down the virus producing factories. There is a test that measures the rate of cell destruction caused by the AIDS virus. It is called beta 2 micro-globulin levels. The higher the beta 2 micro-globulin levels, the more likely that HHV-6A is actively infecting and destroying cells. The lower the beta 2 levels, the less of this virus is to be found in the cells. PCR viral load for HIV does not measure HIV or HHV-6A activity inside the cells. This can only be done with PCR of the tissue, specifically lymphoid tissue. Diagnostic markers for a worsening AIDS progression profile is when P24 antibody levels are low or nonexistent and beta 2 micro-globulin levels are high - over 2.0. The above normal levels of beta 2 microglobulin in AIDS and CFIDS patients is most often caused by HHV-6A. A profile of non-progression is the presence of low levels of beta 2 microglobulin levels (less than 1.5) and the presence of P24 antibodies. Stop HHV-6A and beta 2 microglobulin levels drop and you stop AIDS progression and CFIDS. Symptoms and O.I.'s vanish.
In the July 10th, 1996, issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), an article by Jay Levy MD on "Surrogate Markers in AIDS Research" is subtitled: "Is There Truth in Numbers?" Here are quotes from Levy's article:
"Through the years of studying the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its effects on the immune system, investigators have emphasized counting CD4 cells....and more recently, the viral RNA content of the plasma. What is known, but not always appreciated, is the limited information that may be reflected by these parameters when measured in the blood.....plasma viral RNA may not reflect the actual viral load. "A large reservoir of virus-infected cells (up to 250 billion cells) exists in the infected host. Each cell can be a source of continual production of infectious particles or viral products toxic to the host. Most studies indicate no effect of anti-retroviral drugs on the level of these virus-infected cells in the blood or lymph nodes.....Therapy directed at free virus alone, and not the cellular source of virus production, limits the chance of success....I envision antiretroviral drugs being used as adjutants to immune-modulating therapies that would play the major role in AIDS defense against HIV infection.....Medicine suffers when one is misled by numbers that are not relevant to the clinical problem involved."
In his article, Levy also discussed a case where antiretroviral therapy displaced CD4 cells from the lymph nodes to the blood resulting in a 30% increase in CD4 counts in the blood which did not represent newly created CD4 cells, but rather a movement of CD4 cells from the lymph nodes to the blood. Levy pointed out that decreasing HIV virion levels in the blood plasma was not reducing HIV infection inside the cells. He stated:
"Unless the infected cells (the viral reservoir) is eliminated or its production of viruses stopped, the virus will eventually prevail."
Drug therapy directed only at reducing HIV viral load in blood plasma will fail to "cure AIDS" if the therapy fails to also inactivate the other AIDS virus - HHV-6A. It is possible that present drug cocktail combinations (protease inhibitors/nucleosides) are temporarily suppressing symptoms and viral replication by inhibiting metabolic processes in the cells. The result will be less energy produced in the cells and a decrease in body temperature. This metabolic profile will often lead to weight gain, mostly fat, and will be accompanied by chronic fatigue.
Presently, there is no scientific data available that the protease inhibitor/nucleoside combinations are directly effective against HHV-6A. Ultimately, even if there is a temporary effectiveness, HHV-6A will mutate around the drug cocktails and continue destroying cells. The greatest danger is when a person thinks he is safe because the HIV viral load is non-detectable while HHV-6A continues ravaging the cells and organs. The PWA whose beta 2 microglobulin levels are 3.0 or higher is a likely candidate to develop a lymphoma, KS or cancer, even if the HIV virus cannot be detected (PCR). Ignoring Beta 2 microglobulin levels and only looking at HIV viral load counts may cost a patient his or her life.
The problem with drug cocktail combinations and even with some strictly anti-viral herbal combinations is that unless immune-based therapies are included in the protocol, viral resistance (for both HIV and HHV-6) will develop. The decreases in the death rate for PWAs using drug cocktails could be easily increased to 90% (up from 40%) if they just added Naltrexone to their current protocols. By adding Naltrexone, they would find a decrease by 90% of more in new cancers, KS and lymphomas. One PWA who had been using a protease inhibitor/nucleoside combo for over 6 months had a major O.I every 2 months while on the combos, even with a non-detectable HIV viral load. Since adding Naltrexone to his protocol, he has not had one O.I. in 6 months. Naltrexone triples Natural Killer cell activity (Dr. Bihari MD).
Viruses do not develop resistance to CD8 Cytotoxic T cells and Natural Killer cells nor is viral resistance likely to develop to a therapy directed solely against the lipid membranes of the two viruses- HIV and HHV-6A.
Recently, Dr. Sam Chachoua MD (CA) told me that "viral resistance is likely to develop when you attack and tamper with the Genome (genetics) of the virus. This is what the nucleosides and protease inhibitors are doing." Dr. Chachoua has developed a product called "Curasid" which uses 2-Mea and BHT to prevent lipid oxidation and slows viral replication by depriving the virus of oxidized lipids to construct its outer membrane. Curasid also contains "transfer factor of resistance." While Americans consume large quantities of oxidized fats from potato chips, french fries, fried foods, candy bars and bakery, little or no research is directed at inactivating the lipid membranes of the AIDS viruses. Both HHV-6A and HIV have lipid membranes. For more information on Curasid, contact Dr. Chachoua through Cynthia Marcus at 714-962-4991. Dr. Chachoua has developed a number of vaccines for the treatment of AIDS and cancer. He has just completed a 30 page report "Shattering the Myth of Incureable Disease". A copy of this report is available by writing to Cynthia Marcus, 10072 Los Caballos Ct, Ftn Valley, CA 92708.
CD8 cells are of two basic types - Suppressor T cells and Cytotoxic T cells (Cytotoxic lymphocytes or Killer T cells). As Suppressor T cells increase they shut down the activity of the CD4 Helper cells and this reduces antibody production. Because of this, most physicians and PWAs mistakenly think that the CD8 cells are therefore useless and unimportant. They fail to understand and recognize the importance of the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells which comprise about half the total number of CD8 cells. The two arms of the immune system, humoral and cell-mediated immunity, are like two ends of a teeter-totter. When one side goes up, the other side goes down.
Early in HIV/HHV-6A infection, there is a reversal in the CD4/CD8 ratio. The normal CD4/CD8 ratio is 1.8. Example: A normal CD4 count of 900 would have a CD8 count of 500. 900 divided by 500 = 1.8. Initially and still after all these years, many physicians, with inadequate training in immunology, erroneously think this inversion is bad. It is not. It is the natural and correct reaction of the immune system in responding to infections from HHV-6A.
Early in HIV/HHV-6 infection, HHV-6A infects the newly formed B cells rendering many, but not all, non-functional. The immune system mounts a powerful antibody response and signals the B cells, including the Memory B cells that are not infected with HHV-6A, to produce antibodies. In both AIDS and CFIDS, the primary center of the battle starts in the blood, but quickly shifts to the lymph nodes which often swell primarily due to the HHV-6A attack on the germinal centers. Some newly formed B cells that are not infected with HHV-6A produce P24 antibodies that are effective against the HIV virus outside of the cells, but not inside the cells. However, antibodies produced against HHV-6A, the more lethal of the two viruses, fail to neutralize the virus, but slow down its activity.
In AIDS, CD4 cells are infected with either or both viruses. The CD4s infected with HIV alone are not efficiently destroyed by HIV as the virus often replicates and leaves the CD4 cells intact and functional. However, the CD4 cells infected with both HIV and HHV-6A balloon and are destroyed, not by HIV, but by HHV-6A. In some cases of early AIDS, there is hyper CD4 activation which almost always occurs in Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). In AIDS, very high CD4 counts can last for a few weeks to a few years. In CFIDS, abnormally high CD4s can last several years or even decades. In hyper CD4 activation, whether in early AIDS or long term CFIDS, the patient develop a wide range of allergies and chemical sensitivities. This is because the humoral arm of the immune system in running in overdrive and produces massive quantities of antibodies against anything that looks strange or alien. As a result, a wide range of food allergies develop along with abdominal pain and digestive disorders. Fatigue sets in. Insomnia and neurological problems develop. In CFIDS, the CD4/CD8 ratio has increased to as high as 6 in some lab results I've seen. An example would be a CFIDS patient having 1200 CD4 cells and 200 CD8 cells. A ratio higher than 2.5 can bring on food allergies and chemical sensitivities. The higher the CD4/CD8 ratio, the worse the symptoms (fatigue, food allergies, chemical sensitivities, insomnia and neurological problems). Meanwhile, the infection of HHV-6A spreads cell to cell with the lymph system and spleen being primary targets.
For years, medical researchers in the AIDS arena have been baffled wondering why the immune system does not mount a stronger response against HIV. This is because the infected person is under attack by two AIDS viruses. The most destructive of the two viruses is HHV-6A. The antibodies produced by B cells against HHV-6A are not neutralizing. A similar scenario occurs in swine infected with African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). ASFV infection in swine produces a wide range of symptoms similar to AIDS including swollen lymph nodes and swollen purplish veins like KS, pneumonia, neurological problems, dementia, retinitis and wasting syndrome. The African Swine Fever virus (ASFV) like HHV-6A, is a large DNA Lymphotropic virus with a lipid membrane and both are of the same identical size - 200 nanometers (nm) (For medical journal listings, see Positive Health News, Report No 10). Swine who survive ASFV infection have high CD8 cells. A Canals et al (Vet microbiol, Nov, 1992) found that in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from pigs, there was a "progressive increase in the CD8 subset when the cells were stimulated with infective ASF virus."
In AIDS, the CD8s also increase as CD4s decline leading to an inverted CD4/CD8 ratio. If the CD8s climb high enough, symptoms stop. Why? CD8 Cytotoxic T cells to the rescue! As the CD4s Helper cells decline, there are less of them to signal the B cells to produce antibodies and thus allergies lessen. At the same time the CD4 inflammatory T cells activate the monocytes, macrophages, NK cells and neutrophils. Meanwhile, as total CD8 counts increase, there are more of the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells to join the battle and they directly attack and destroy cells infected with HHV-6A along with other viruses, fungus and bacteria. With an increase in functional CD8s, HHV-6A and/or HIV replication decreases. With anecdotal cases I have followed, symptoms usually decrease when the CD8s climb to 1500. Symptoms usually completely subside when CD8s reach 2000 to 2500. Activated CD8s have another benefit, they also provide protection against most opportunistic infections. When CD8s are low, 600 or less, retinitis often develops leading to partial or complete blindness. There is no recorded case of a PWA who remained alive with zero CD8 cells but hundreds of AIDS patients have lived for years with zero CD4 cells while having at the same time high CD8s. It is when the CD8s collapse and Natural Killer cell function ceases that the end is near. Fortunately, for persons with low CD4 counts who have Anergy and/or no B cell function, it is far easier to restore immune function by increasing CD8 cells and turning on NK function than it is to try to increase CD4 counts.
CD4s do not kill virus infected cells. However, they are important because they signals B cells to produce immunoglobulins (IG) and they also signal CD8 Cytotoxic T cells to kill virus infected cells (How Your Immune System Works, by Jeff Baggish MD).
Immune based therapies that increase CD8s and NK counts and function prevent cancers, lymphomas, retinitis and the alphabet soup of infections that plague PWAs. The best scenario for restoring immune function is: 1. Help restore B cell function by treating HHV-6A 2. Expand CD8s which increases the army of Cytotoxic T cells that kill virus infected cells. 3. Activate Natural Killer (NK) cell function and increase total NK counts. NK cells kill virus infected cells and cancer cells. The problem with today's mind-set is that it tries to expand the CD4s and ignores everything else at the patients peril. Lack of knowledge on how the immune system works in both physicians and patients is why this mind-set continues. We find obsolete theories on improving the CD4/CD8 ratios still being applied. The CD4/CD8 ratio in an uninfected person is 1.8 (about 900 CD4s to 500 CD8s).
THIS IS NOT THE RATIO YOU WANT WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS BATTLING THE REAL AIDS VIRUS - HHV-6A.
The ideal CD4/CD8 ratio to inactivate HHV-6A falls somewhere between .10 and .50. Your immune system is in good shape if you have 1800 CD8s and 180 CD4s (a .10 ratio) or if you have 1320 CD8s and 660 CD4s (a .50 ratio) or are somewhere in-between these ratios. Increasing CD4's would help reduce HIV levels if you have B cell function. In that event, P24 antibody levels would increase; but, why bother to decrease HIV levels, when HIV does not destroy cells. Increasing CD8 levels does both, decreasing both HHV-6A and HIV levels(1)(2) as well as stopping thrush, fungal infections and other O.I.s.
1. Cocchi F, Devico, Garzino-Demo, Arya, Gallo et al Identification of RANTES, MIP-1-a, and MIP-1-b as the major HIV suppressive factors produced by CD8s. Science, Dec 1995, Vol 270, p 1811-1815.
2. Blackburn, Levy et al; Suppression of HIV Replication by Lymphoid CD8+ Cells Correlates with the Clinical State of HIV Infected Individuals; PNAS, 1996;93(23):13125-30.
Transfer factors are protein immunomodulators that transfer ability to express cell-mediated immunity from the immunized donors to nonimmune recipients. The effects are antigen-specific (1) Transfer Factors are molecules that "educate" recipients to express cell-mediated immunity. (2)
A patient with acquired chronic oral and vaginal candidiasis resistant to topical and perenteral therapy was found to have impaired cell mediated immunity to Candida antigen and loss of skin test response to tuberculin (Mantous). Treatment with Candida-active transfer factor produced clinical remission lasting 1 year and restitution of in vitro and in vivo immune parameters. (3)
An illness lasting 2 years in a four year old boy was found to have a combined Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. After treatment with an oral form of transfer factor, clinical symptoms and viruria disappeared and specific immunity to CMV developed. (4)
In AIDS, 3 PWAs were treated with anti-HIV murine Transfer Factor (TF). All patients showed a marked improvement in their clinical condition. (5)
The functional activity of CD8 cells (as well as CD4s) will vary in patients. The function of CD8 cells is enhanced by "transfer factor," in particular, antigen-specific transfer factor. Transfer factor is a substance obtained from leukocytes of a person with a delayed-type sensitivity that can transfer that sensitivity to another person (Stedman's Medical Dictionary). Transfer factor can restore delayed-type hypersensitivity and improves T-cell mediated immunity. When antigen-specific transfer factor is introduced into a person, it the equivalent of a Army General sending a telegraph message to the CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes to attack a specific virus or antigen. Transfer factor is found in Colostrum, blood and in the lymph nodes. Even Transfer Factor that is not oriented toward a particular virus (antigen specific) can improve Delayed Cutaneous Hypersensitivity (DCH) and improve immune responses.
1. Kirkpatrick CH, Cell Immunol, 164:2 1995 Sep, 203-6
2. Kirkpatrick; Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 685:362-8, 1993.
3. Benz, Thomas, Mandl, Morgan. British Journal of Dermatology. 97(1):87-91, 1977.
4. Jones et al, Treatment of Childhood Combined EBV and CMV infection with Oral Bovine Transfer Factor. Lancet 2 (8238):122-4, 1981.
5. Viza eta l, A Preliminary Report on Three AIDS Patients Treated with Anti-HIV Specific Transfer Factor. Journal of Experimental Pathology, Vol 3, Number 4, pp 653-659, 1987.
Additional Reference: Kirkpatrick CH, Transfer of Cellular Immunity with Transfer Factor (Editorial). Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 63(2):71-3, 1979.
An oral form of Transfer Factor has been introduced by a small biotech firm in North Carolina owned by A.J. Lanigan. (See advertisement in this newsletter). In my last newsletter, I discussed the report of "The Medicinal Farmer" for Minnesota, Herb Saunders, who injected human blood into the hind teats of a cow though an inter mammary infusion to stimulate an immune response which produced immunoglobulins and transfer factor in the Colostrum (The first milk after a calf is born).
In this issue, I have cited several articles published in medical journals on the immune restoration potential of transfer factor, which can be derived from either human blood or bovine colostrum. A.J. Lanigan who owns a small biotech firm in North Carolina has done his home-work and created a product with the potential to rapidly restore cell-mediated immunity. This product, a dietary supplement, not requiring a prescription, is now available. Antigen-Specific Transfer Factor contains transfer factor specific for 12 antigens; These include HHV-6, HIV, CMV, PCP, TB, bovine TB, Herpes 1, Herpes 2, EBV, MAC, Cryptosporidium and Candida Albicans.
One PWA took a capsule of Antigen-Specific Transfer Factor (Source: A.J. Lanigan) 30 minutes before meals three times a day for 21 days starting on August 2nd, 1996. The HIV viral load dropped from 135,216 on Aug. 2nd to 1514 on August 26th. The only side effect was a low grade fever, an indication of an immune response. In this case, I consider the drop in HIV viral load to be a surrogate marker of the effects of transfer factor on the other 11 antigens. In this case, the use of all other HIV anti-virals were stopped while antigen-specific transfer factor was used.
Based on published reports that transfer factor memory is retained by immune cells for several months after treatment, I suggest using one bottle for two weeks and repeated this again every 3 or 4 months. For persons with severe immune dysfunction, I would suggest it for 4 weeks (2 bottles), then to test for DCH (Multitest CMI). Once DCH is restored, take a repeat dose once every 3 or 4 months. If either Naltrexone or DNCB is used, then the time frame between the use of Transfer Factor could probably be extended. Anyone who shows Anergy on the Multitest CMI test needs this product until the skin test for DCH shows a strong response. Transfer Factor does not increase the number of immune cells. It improves their function by transferring information and memory into T cells. This being a new product, the use of viral load titers as well as Multitest CMI will help you monitor progress.
This new formula only works in AIDS and CFIDS if the CD4/CD8 ratio is inverted; that is, your CD8s are higher than your CD4s. If you have high titers of HHV-6A in either AIDS or CFIDS and your CD4s are higher than your CD8s, you may have hyper CD4 activation. You won't get relief from symptoms until the CD4s decrease and the CD8s increase until they are more in number than the CD4s. If you have hyper CD4 activation (almost always occurs in CFIDS and often in early HIV infection), you will need to use treatments like Naltrexone and/or DNCB to expand the CD8s until the ratio inverts, then you can use this "add together formula" to calculate the strength of your immune system.
Several years ago, AIDS was defined when the CD4s dropped below 200. Under our revised formula, you have full blown AIDS only when the total number of CD4s plus CD8s are 700 or less and you have no B cell function and no Natural Killer cell function. If the total number of CD4s plus CD8s is less than 700, you may develop life threatening opportunistic infections and your immune system will not effectively be able to stop them without the help of medications. If you have 100 CD4s and 700 CD8s, your total is 800 and you do not have full blown AIDS, but you are borderline. If you have 50 CD4 cells and 950 CD8s, you do not have AIDS but you still may have some problems with opportunistic infections and your immune system is weak. If your total number is 2000 or greater, you should have few or no opportunistic infections. If you need a drug or medication, the infection will clear rapidly. The higher the number goes above 2000, the stronger will be your immune function. Celebrate your CD8 increases! It is just as important to also celebrate your decreases in beta 2 microglobulin levels and the restoration of Delayed Cutaneous Hypersensitivity (DCH) - a skin test for Anergy (Multitest CMI). These numbers have real meaning for your well being and longevity, far more than PCR viral load counts for HIV.
However, there is a catch. Not everyone with the same quantity of CD8's will have the same degree of resistance to infections. Some T cells have a lack of information and memory on what to do. They lack a substance called "transfer factor." Transfer factor, given as a weekly injection or taken as on oral supplement, from anecdotal cases I have followed, has shown that it can restore T cell memory and DCH, leading to a cessation of symptoms and significant decreases in viral loads.
I know of two persons who used protease inhibitor/nucleoside combo therapies and increased their CD4s to around 200 while their "viral" load dropped to non-detectable levels and both are now dead. One died in 5 weeks from lung cancer and the other from a PML brain infection that turned into a fatal lymphoma. The last guy had been on Naltrexone and stopped using it because his PCR viral load did not drop much and his CD4s did not increase. He used the wrong diagnostic markers (PCR and CD4s) to measure the value of Naltrexone. The correct diagnostic marker to measure the therapeutic value of Naltrexone would have been an NK Function test and to also count the increase in NK cells. Had he stayed on the Naltrexone while adding the protease inhibitor/nucleosides combos, he might well be alive today. Naltrexone prevent lymphomas and other forms of cancer. Dr. Bernard Bihari MD, who has used Naltrexone on hundreds of AIDS patients for the past nine years, states that it triples the Natural Killer cell function.
In a fax sent to me from Specialty Labs (Santa Monica, CA), 11/18/96, here is what they had to say about NK cell function:
"Individuals with abnormally low NK activity levels are particularly susceptible to viral infections, including cytomegalovirus (CMV) and varicella. Abnormally low NK activities have been reported in AIDS and several other viral infections, solid tissue malignancies, autoimmune diseases, congenital immunodeficiencies, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), protein calorie malnutrition...and in chemotherapy of cancer patients."
Significant amounts of published scientific research on the importance of NK cell activity and CD8 cells in immune function and AIDS can be found through a computer search of AIDSLINE and MEDLINE at the NLM and also from abstracts presented at the 11th Int'l AIDS Conference in Vancouver at http://www.interchg.ubc.ca/aids11AIDS96.html.
Celebrate your increases in NK counts and improvements in NK function!
In an hour long phone conversation with Dr. Sam Chachoua MD on Dec. 21, 1996, he told me that there has not been enough research into how to attack the lipid membranes of the AIDS virus. He stated that the HIV virus needs certain oxidized substances to form its lipid membrane. He said that BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is a very powerful antioxidant that dissolves in fats and lipids and prevents lipid oxidation. Dr. Chachoua said that from his experiences, the daily ingestion of as little as 600 mg of BHT reduced HIV viral replication. He has formulated a product called "Curasid" that combines 2-mea with BHT and is ingested orally in capsule form to inhibit viral replication. He also told me that attacking the outer lipid membrane of the virus does not lead to genetic changes that contribute to viral resistance. He said that the nucleosides and protease inhibitors work by interfering and tampering with the inner genetic structure of the virus which can set off wild mutations and development of drug resistant viral strains. He theorized that if the formation of the lipid membrane could be blocked or destroyed after it formed, viral replication would stop; the virus, without its membrane, would be unable to infect new cells.
Dr. Chachoua theories make a lot of sense, especially since published research shows that increasing the anti-oxidant, L-Glutathione, in the cells decreases replication of HIV and other viruses (1). While using BHT is a novel way to reduce lipid peroxidation, BHT is not a naturally occurring substance found in the body although research shows it to be completely safe and extends the life of laboratory animals. Dr. Chachoua told me that since manufacturers of vegetable oils began adding BHT as a preservative, incidents of stomach cancer have declined by 90%. An article written by Charles Caulfield suggested 500 mg of BHT dissolved in olive oil and used daily to prevent CMV retinitis and suggested up to 2000 mg daily as a treatment for retinitis. Increasing the use of BHT and/or increasing L-Glutathione levels in the cells is one way to increase a hostile cellular environment to inhibit HIV and HHV-6 replication. It is equally important to avoid dietary factors that could increase viral replication. These include the ingestion of oxidized fats and hydrogenated fats.
(1) Glutathione directly inhibits late stages of the replication cycle of HIV and other viruses, by Palamara AT et al, Int Conf AIDS, 1993 Jun 6-11 abstract no PO-A25-0579) from AIDSLINE NLM.
Oxidation of fats occurs when they are exposed to a combination of heat and oxygen. The typical American is high in both hydrogenated and oxidized fats. Both oxidized and hydrogenated fats are found in potato chips, french fries, deep fried chicken and fish, pizza, tacos, candy bars, bakery, margarine, vegetable shortening and fried meats. In contract, the consumption of liquid (non-hydrogenated) vegetable oils may be limited to what is found in some salad dressing like Italian Dressing. Americans are less likely to consume foods that are raw, steamed or boiled and seem to prefer fried foods. Raw, steamed or boiled foods would have little or no hydrogenated and oxidized fats. In the consumption of nuts, most processed nuts are baked at high temperatures. Few people eat raw nuts or consume Extra Virgin Olive oil or raw vegetable oil. Hydrogenation of vegetable oil occurs when hydrogen gas is bubbled through liquid vegetable oil turning it into a solid.
While the following train of thought may not be scientific, it is logical, so bear with me. Let us assume for a moment that the HIV and HHV-6 viruses were two turtles. A turtle protects itself from its enemies by having a hard outer shell into which it hides. If a turtle made its shell out of lipids, it would want to LDL cholesterol, a hard waxy substance that does not easily dissolve, or a fat that would not dissolve at body temperature. The turtle would not want to use coconut oil that melts at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or it would lose its protective coating nor would it want to use olive oil or canola oil. HIV and HHV-6 need a outer lipid membrane to protect the inner genetic structure of the virus. Any lipid (fat) that is soluble at body temperature (98.6F) would not make a good protective membrane. A lipid envelope virus, to remain intact, need a hard or solid fat and one that dissolves above normal body temperature. It comes as no surprise to find that research shows the presence of cholesterol in the lipid membrane of HIV (AIDSLINE).
Where does a virus obtain its material to construct its outer shell (membrane)? Of course, it get and steals its materials from the cell it infects. The type of fats (hydrogenated and/or oxidized) stored in the cells in our body is what the virus uses to build its protective outer membrane. Where do the cells get the lipids from that are stored within the cells? While the body metabolizes excess carbohydrates into fat, much of the fat that is stored in the cells is directly consumed by what you eat. Is your diet high in hydrogenated and/or oxidized fats? Do you find that when you consume such foods that your lymph nodes swell up or you fatigue more easily (viremia)? The types of fats people consume may be doing more than providing you calories, they may be enhancing the replication of both HIV and HHV-6. It is little wonder that I have followed several cases through the past several years of PWAs who eat junk food and fail to improve their health even though they consume great quantities of vitamins and nutritional supplements. While on junk food diets, viral loads usually increase and T cell counts decrease.
The following report is based on a telephone interview with Chris on Jan 10th, 1996. Chris is from Cloverdale, Indiana. He had tried several non-standard AIDS treatments for several years, getting results for a while only to be followed by setbacks - everything from ozone to castor oil packs. In August, 1996, I talked with Chris and he faxed me his lab results. From reviewing his previous lab results, I recognized that since he had started on Naltrexone, his Natural Kill cell count had increased four-fold, from 50 to over 200. I told Chris at the time: "Whatever you do, don't stop taking the Naltrexone. Your Natural Killer(NK) cells are the only part of your immune system that is working. The NK cells are giving you protection against many opportunistic infections." Chris complained of fatigue and peripheral neuropathy, his main problems. He did not develop any infections during a period of over 6 months while using Naltrexone.
A month later, Chris had a PCR test for HIV viral load and a CBC (Complete Blood Count). It showed a viral load of 692,380 a CD4 count of 10 and a CD8 count of about 300. On the basis of these numbers, he decided that the Naltrexone and everything else he had done was not working and that the end was near. He planned a six week vacation in the Republic of Surinam located in the jungles of South America north of Brazil near the Atlantic coast. For two months he would stay with native Indians.
Before he left, he prepaid his funeral expenses and he quit taking everything, no Naltrexone, no vitamins, no herbs, no prescription drugs, nothing. He arrived in an Indian village in Surinam with his roommate, Dale, about Oct. 14th. Two days after he arrived in Surinam, he noticed his peripheral neuropathy was gone. He said his strength had so returned that: "within two weeks, I was running through the jungle." By the time he returned home on November 24th, he had gained over 20 lbs. I asked him: Do you get a sun tan? He replied : "a beautiful sun tan." He then told me his PCR lab test of Nov. 26th showed the viral load had dropped to 300,500. On Dec. 17th, he had another PCR viral load test and it further dropped to 179,800. On Dec. 27th, a third PCR viral load test showed that it had dropped to non-detectable levels. Chris said: "My doctor is completely baffled. No one can figure out why this is happening. I feel great, so good that I'm going back to work full time. My weight gain since October is now 32 lbs."
On Jan. 10th, I asked Chris: "what did you eat while you were living with the Indians in Surinam?" He said that every morning the Indians would pick fresh coconuts and would crack them open. They took the coconut and would use a stone to pound the coconut against another stone and into a paste. Then, they would boil the paste and eat cooked coconut as a breakfast cereal. This what I ate every day I was there. I asked Chris: What else did you eat? "we would catch fish from a nearby river and would boil it for lunch. With the boiled fish we ate boiled long grain white rice." What did you eat for supper? Chris: "the same thing." Did you eat any vegetables? Chris: "very little." What about fruit? Chris: I ate fresh bananas, mangos, star fruit, oranges and black bananas, picked right from the trees." What kind of water did you drink? "I drank water from the river, like the Indians, except I boiled it first."
As a result of our conversation, I realized that the health benefits Chris had realized in the jungles of Surinam were continuing after he had returned. I asked him: "Are your eating anything different since you came back that you did not eat before you left? His reply: "I was eating the same fruits before I left. the only thing different is coconut, I eat it daily." How much? "My roommate and I eat about 1/2 a coconut each day. He has gained 11 lbs." During the same time period? "Yes." I said to Chris: "It must be the coconut. Something in the coconut must have inactivated the AIDS virus." One final question: What has happened to your WBCs, your CD4s and your CD8s? Chris: "I plan to have lab work done soon and will let you know. The only lab work I have had done since I've been back has been PCR." End of conversation.
Based on conventional wisdom, everything Chris done was wrong. He quit all his medications. He got a sun tan. That was suppose to increase his viral load, it didn't. He ate fish. Published reports in the United States indicates that PWAs eating fish do not do well. However, most people eat fried fish. Chris ate boiled fish. Too much coconut is suppose to be bad for your arteries. It is high in saturated fat. However, there is a difference between coconut, a natural saturated fat and man-made hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Coconut oil becomes a liquid at 80 degrees F, well below normal body temperature of 98.6 F while Crisco and man made shortening becomes a liquid well above 98.6 meaning that at normal body temperature, vegetable shortening is a solid. How is coconut oil metabolized in the body? One published study indicates that when coconut oil was added to animal feed to help them gain weight, no additional weight gain resulted. This suggests that coconut oil is thermogenic, that is, it increases the production of energy in the cells and the burning of fat. Besides eating coconut, another significant difference with Chris's diet in the jungle was that there were fried foods - no hydrogenated fats or oxidized fats in his diet. There was no McDonalds or Pizza Huts nearby. It is noteworthy that he ate no bread or wheat products containing gluten. He consumed rice instead of bread. Rice is thermogenic. No one gets fat eating rice, but many gain weight (fat) eating bread and other wheat products (pasta, spaghetti) etc). Everything he consumed was either raw or boiled. He ate no animal fat. Coconut was his main source of fat (lipids).
Since I wrote the first edition of my book in 1989, people have consistently reported that the diet works for them and makes them feel better than any pills of drugs they ever used. Why? Is because the "Immune Enhancement Diet" in my book consists of raw, steamed or boiled foods (mainly vegetables, sprouts and legumes)? There are no saturated fats recommended in the diet, except for sour cream and butter. Highly recommended are cold pressed olive oil and cold pressed flax oil. The diet and especially the most powerful healing meal in the book consists of several raw vegetables, cooked squash and yogurt or cottage cheese mixed with 1 tablespoon of fresh flax oil. The diet, first published in 1989, was the outcome of my own personal experience with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1986.
As for coconut, it contains caprylic acid which is used in dietary supplements to kill candida and fungal infections. However, whole coconut may have other factors and lipids that are anti-viral. Dr. Emmaneul Revici MD in a published interview once stated that certain fatty acids are anti-viral. He did not identify which fatty acids he was referring to although he used them in injectable form on some of his patients. "Monolaurin" (Ecological Formulas) is an over the counter anti-viral used for CMV and some other lipid membrane viruses and contains esters of the fatty acid lauric acid. Certain fatty acids like lauric acid have anti-viral properties. Could they dissolve the outer membranes of lipid envelope viruses? Coconut contain lauric acid. In an experiment on January 21st, 1997, Robert M of Brooklyn, NY, consumed 3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily and reported a 50% decrease in his swollen lymph nodes in two days. Six ounces of fresh coconut meat contains the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. It would be interesting to find out what eating 6 ounces of fresh raw coconut daily would do to the HIV viral load and the beta 2 microglobulin levels. Would they both decline?
A Second Case Report 1/15/97: Russell lives in Florida and has had HIV and Hepatitis B for the past 5 years. He has used no prescription drugs since his diagnosis. In 1991, his CD4 count was 360. Today it is 440. Two years ago, his first PCR test for HIV showed non-detectable levels. Unusual for a person doing nothing. Doing nothing? Not really. He strictly avoids sugar and sweets and all fried foods. He was on a low fat diet. He listened to his body and avoided all the foods that made him feel worse. He juices vegetables frequently. Then, about 4 months ago, he was feeling great and friends came to visit him for 3 weeks. They took him out daily for fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, french fries and other commonly eaten foods. He went off his diet. After they left, he was not feeling good and had another PCR test done. Suddenly, his PCR viral load for HIV was 95,000. He is now back on his diet, similar to the one published in my book and again feeling good. He plans another PCR test soon. For the record, he told me the only supplements he used daily were CoQ10, echinacea, garlic, vitamin C and Zinc (50 mg). Was his sudden increase in HIV viral load, that occurred after his friends took him out to eat, related to his increased consumption of hydrogenated and oxidized fats from fried and baked foods found in restaurants? Equally important, was his non-detectable HIV levels of two years ago related to his fat free diet that deprived the HIV virus of the materials it needed to construct its lipid membrane? Was HHV-6A equally inhibited by the fat free diet? While he was maintaining his health, the only oils he consumed were natural lipids (fats) found in fresh, steamed or boiled fruits, vegetables and legumes. He consumed some boiled lean meats in moderation, but little bread, wheat products and other refined carbohydrates.
Perhaps, it is time for persons with AIDS or CFIDS to say "no" to fried foods and high fat diets. There goes the potato chips, candy bars, sweet rolls, ice cream and fried (fish, chicken, hamburgers and steak). Crock Pot meals and salads would be good choices. Consider low temperature meals in a Crock-Pot or Slow Cooker with lots of water added (i.e. chicken and rice, beef or venison pot roast with vegetables, fish oven baked in a pan covered with water and basted with lemon juice, butter and dill weed?). It is not all bad to the taste make these changes. It is time to eliminate foods in the fast lane - french fries and hamburgers. You can still enjoy foods properly prepared (try poached instead of fried eggs - skip the bacon). For years, published articles, widely disseminated in the PWA community said PWAs should eat high fat diets, french fries, candy bars, fried chicken, anything goes. It is becoming increasingly apparent that these writers are wrong, possibly dead wrong. Many of them who were HIV+ are no longer among the living. Results speak for themselves.
In his book, Fats and Oils, by Udo Erasmus (Alive Books), he states: "Light is the greatest enemy of essential fatty acids, because it speeds up to 1000 times the reaction of oils with oxygen from the air, resulting in rancid oil. Polymerization reactions, which produce rubber-like substances that are often found around tumors, can be induced by light. Light fosters free radical chain reactions which break down the essential fatty acids...into aldehydes, ketones and other toxic and non-toxic substances."
On Oxygen, Udo writes: "Oxygen from the air, even in the absence of light, breaks down the essential fatty acids because of their very reactive nature. The results is what we know as rancid oil..." On Heat Udo says: "High temperatures.. destroy the essential fatty acids by twisting the molecules from their natural cis-shape to an unatural trans-shape (see: Trans-Fatty acids). Frying also twists these oils." Trans-Fatty acids have been implicated in studies as a causative factor in cardiovascular disease. On Margarine, Udo writes: "Some samples of Canadian margarine tested contained as much as 60% trans-fatty acids."
Today's vegetable oils sold in grocery stores contains BHT which prevents oxidation. However, this does not stop damage to the oils caused by light when they are packaged in clear bottles or dangerous Trans-fatty acids when vegetable oils are then used to fry foods. If frying is done at all, the best choices are a naturally saturated fat like butter or coconut oil or both. When buying olive oil or any vegetable oil, look for cold pressed oils packaged in brown or black bottles or in cans which minimize exposure to light. Do not buy oils in clear bottles. Do not use margarine or any product that contains "shortening" or where the word "hydrogenated" appears in the fine print.
Selenium has been found to decrease beta 2 microglobulin levels in one study. In a year long study done in Centre Hospital University in Bordeaux, France, 15 HIV+ persons were given 100 mcg of selenium daily compared to C (control group) that received none. J. Constans et al found that "beta 2 microglobulin decreased in the Se (Selenium) group and increased in the C (Control) group." The study also found that in the Selenium group there were increases in glutathione peroxidase, an anti-oxidant. 3rd Conf and Opportun Infect. 1996, Jan 28 - Feb 1; 122.
Lecithin is a fat emulsifier that contains phosphatidycholine. In an article titled "Exposure of HIV-infected cells to phospholipid leads to membrane alternations and selective growth retardation," by F. Kerler et al; Biochem Biophys Acta. 1992 Jun 9th; 1139 (1-2):57-64, Dr. Kerler states: "Membrane fluidity and Ca (2+) permeability were increased in virus-producing cells and in control cells after lipid treatment." Other published studies (AIDSLINE) show that when lecithin is added to cell cultures, cells infected with HIV live longer, reducing the cell destruction by apoptosis and the release of infectious virus. Because of this, taking lecithin as a supplement should reduce Beta 2 microglobulin levels and improve prognosis. Beta 2 microglobulin levels measure the rate of cell destruction caused by the AIDS virus(es). For years, published studies have shown that PWAs with low Beta 2 microglobulin levels are slow progressors (to AIDS). Normal values range are from 0 to 2. The closer to 0 you are, the better. Values over 3 have been linked to lymphomas and Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) (Weisbren MD). Triple-strength lecithin is available as a dietary supplement.
There is a significant amount of published research on the anti-oxidant, L-Glutathione. JD Adams et al writing in J. Med. 1993;24 (6):337-52 states that Glutathione (GSH) "is essential for lymphocyte proliferation and inhibits HIV replication."
In an article published in Cell Immunol. 1991 Nov; 138 (1) 229-37, H Gmunder and W Droge state that "Depletion of intracellular GSH (Glutathione)....decreases the proportion of CD8+ cells (i.e. increases the CD4/CD8 ratio) ...and inhibits ....cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity." He adds: "The results of these studies suggest that the decreased intracellular GSH levels in HIV-1 seropositive persons are probably not (directly) responsible for the selective depletion of the CD4+ T cell subset but may be responsible for a cellular dysfunction of the CD8+ subset and for the ultimate failure of the CTL to control the viral infection in these patients." In plain English, what Gmunder is saying that low levels of Glutathione in the cells not only decreases the total CD8 counts but decrease the functioning of the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells, that is, their ability to control the viral infections by killing the virus infected cells. Research also shows that increasing Glutathione levels reduces Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)(1). High TNF levels have been linked to wasting syndrome and increased viral replication. Taking Glutathione supplements may not be an effective way to increase GSH levels due to poor assimilation.
1. Chen P. and Schwartz D; John Hopkins School, Balti, MD; Int Conf AIDS 1993 (abstract PO-A13-0248)
For several years, research efforts focused on the use of one amino acid, N-Actyl-Cysteine (NAC), to increase Glutathione (GSH) levels in the cells. When some benefits in increased GSH levels were observed, higher doses were tried and they failed to work. Research shows that the immune system does not like high levels of NAC and produces antibodies against NAC (AIDSLINE). When the immune system attacks NAC or any other drug placed in your body, it is a waste of energy that could be better directed against viruses. When B cell function finally fails completely, the job of removing toxic substances is left solely to the liver, the poor liver. Recently, a PWA from Chicago died from liver failure who was using the protease inhibitor/nucleoside drug cocktails along with several other drugs as a prophylasis. The liver failure is being blamed on the drug cocktail combo.
There are better choices than fragmented approaches. Balanced medicine is complete and whole. For long term effectiveness, conditions like AIDS, CFIDS and cancer are too complex to simply treat with one drug or medicine. Fragmented medicine is a flash in the pan. Anti-viral treatment without immune modulation is another flash in the pan. As soon as viral resistance develops, its off to another drug cocktail combination.
It is a given fact that Glutathione(GSH) levels in persons with AIDS is severely depressed. Research shows that a cold processed whey product called Immunocal increases GSH levels in PWAs and increases muscle mass from 1 to 3 lbs per month(1). The component in whole raw milk that may increase GSH levels is gamma-glutamycysteine (1). The problem with pasteurized milk is damage is that the heat causes protein cross-linking and renders the glutamycysteine biologically useless. Designer Protein (Next Nutrition), like Immunocal, is cold processed and membrane filtered to remove any harmful bacteria. Whey protein (cold processed) and made derived from whole raw milk is one of nature's richest sources of glutamycysteine. In a 3 month study with Immunocal, 3 HIV+ patients had a weight gain of 4.4 lbs to 15.4 lbs(1). Two returned to normal weight. Over a 3 month period, Glutathione levels increased in all 3 patients(1). The dose was increased form 8 grams to 39.2 grams daily. The products are lactose free. Presently, Designer Protein has 3 times more whey peptides than previous batches. Whey peptides increases the absorption for all nutrients by increasing receptor sites in the gastro-intestinal tract. This makes is it a far superior product than regular whey. Because it is cold processed, Designer Protein is a far better product for improving immune function than any cooked protein where the application of heat produces protein cross-linking. Of all the protein supplements sold in health food stores, the only one I know of that is cold processed is Designer Protein and this is the only product I recommend for persons with AIDS, CFIDS or other conditions of immune dysfunction. 30 to 40 grams daily (about 2 scoops) are recommended to increase Glutathione levels. Because it improves absorption of all types of nutrients, Designer Protein or raw milk is expected to help restore Delayed Cutaneous Hypersensitivity (DCH) responses, a strong indicator of improved immune response.
Glutathione levels can be increaed with NAC supplementation. Suggestion: If you use NAC, use 500 mg daily and take it with raw milk or Designer Protein.
1. Clin. Invest Med., Vol 16:3 pp. 204-209, by Gustavo Bounous et al of. Montreal Gen Hosp. Quebec.
This is a test for measuring cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. The test measures B cell function using Pokeweed for mitogen stimulation. Test Code 1060 (Specialty Labs, Santa Monica CA 800-421-7110) is a basic test to determine if B cells can respond to mitogen stimulation. This proliferative response is a perquisite for B cells to produce Immunoglobulins (antibodies). CD4 and CD8 both produce various cytokines and they are stimulated with different mitogens in this test. A good proliferative response in these subsets of white blood cells indicates that you do not have Anergy Test code 1060 does not replace the test for NK function which is a separate test.
A direct way to test for B cell function in newly formed B cells against new infections is to get a vaccination for an infection to which you have never been exposed. Example: if you were never exposed to the Hepatitis B virus or to a new strain of flu virus, ask your physician for a vaccination for one of these. Then, 10 days later, have blood drawn to test for antibodies for the vaccination you received. If antibodies are present, the vaccination took hold and you have B cell function against the new antigen. If no antibodies show up in the blood, then your humoral immunity is not working. This means that increasing CD4 cell counts will not give you protection against new opportunistic infections although Memory B cells may continue to produce Immunoglobulin type G (IgG) which are antibodies against old infections to which you were previously exposed. The type of antibody produced against new infections is called IgM. The CD4s are not totally useless, but they are less functional. The CD4 Helper cells that produce chemical messengers (lymphokines, transfer factor, etc) may still be able to signal the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells to kill virus infected cells. When B cell function fails, it makes even more important the need to increase CD8 cell counts about half of which are the Cytotoxic T cells.
Your physician can order either of these tests by calling Specialty Labs in Santa Monica, CA at 800-421-7110. Do not confuse an NK Function test with NK cell counts. Numbers do not guarantee function. Focus on function first, then numbers. Increasing the "numbers" of non-functional cells will only give more non-functional cells.
Multitest CMI (1) is an FDA approved test for measuring cell-mediated immunity. Antigens like tetanus, candida or diphtheria are injected into the skin. If your immune system can see and respond to a foreign invasion, a red welt will form on your skin where the antigen is injected within 48 hours. The red welt is caused by T cells that release chemical messengers called lymphokines. In AIDS, CFIDS and cancer, Anergy is common. Anergy (no skin response) means the immune system is asleep. It does not respond . It does not mount an attack against alien invaders. Multitest measures Delayed Cutaneous Hypersensitivity (DCH). Anergy (no skin response) also suggests a failure of antigen presenting cells (APC) to the B cells and a failure of CD4s to signal the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells into action. A good skin response means something is working, but because the test is a crude screening test, it does not tell us precisely what component of the immune system is responding. An informational brochure (Multitest CMI - Questions and Answers) from Connaught Labs states that Anergy is linked to protein calorie malnutrition and even marginal malnutrition. Your physician can order Multitest CMI from Connaught Labs.
1. Connaught Labs, Swiftwater, PA 717-839-5467 or 800-822-2463
The most important diagnostic markers to indicate whether or not immune function is being restored are:
1. Multitest CMI (Skin Test for Anergy or DCH) - measures the ability of the immune system to see and respond to an invasion of foreign antigens (infections). Multitest CMI measures Cell Mediated Immunity.
2. Total CD8 count (add to this the CD4 count and total. The higher the combined number, the better, as long as the CD8s are at least twice as high as the CD4s.).
3. Beta 2 micro-globulin levels decrease (indicates less cell destruction - less HHV-6A in the cells. Non-progressors have less than 1.5. Those over 3.0 are candidates for lymphomas and KS)
4. B cell function test (lymphocyte mitogen stimulation analysis) (Specialty Labs, Test code 1060)
5. Natural Killer Cell Function Tests (Test code 5420 - Specialty Labs, Santa Monica, CA 800-421-7110).
6. Total Absolute Natural Killer Cell count (ideally 200 or higher)
7. Total White Blood Cell count (WBC) - this is the foundation (sum total) of all your immune cells which includes the CD4s, NK cells, CD8s and all the other subsets of white blood cells.
8. Body temperature: when it is below normal (98.6 degrees F) is an indicator or impaired energy production in the cells and Anergy.
9. Saliva pH: when it is below 6.4 is a condition of over acidity in the body which correlates to increased viral replication. When it is too far above 6.4, it indicates poor/slow digestion and absorption of proteins.
10. P24 antibody increases (an indicator of B cell function against HIV)
11. PCR (qualitative) of the lymph nodes for the presence of HHV-6A, the most accurate of all tests. PCR of the blood for the presence of HHV-6 is not always reliable when most HHV-6A replication is in the cells.
12. P24 Antigen test. This measures the quantity of core HIV viral protein, not viral fragments as does quantitative PCR for HIV (Roche Amplicor).
13. PCR (quantitative) of blood plasma for HIV viral load. This test should never be used alone to determine the effectiveness of any treatment protocol. Quantitative PCR does not tell us if the viral fragments counted are infectious or non-infectious (dead viral debris).
Pharmaceutical companies that sell costly and highly profitable drug cocktails combinations use PCR only to determine the efficacy of their drugs. If immune function tests like Multitest CMI and others were used, it might show these combinations are a failure and a poor treatment choice for restoring immune competence. The Beta 2 microglobulin test is far more reliable than quantitative PCR for HIV in determining the value of any treatment protocol. If the PCR viral load is low or non-detectable and the Beta 2 is high, then HIV cannot be blamed for the cell destruction and some other factor needs to be considered (i.e. HHV-6A). If HIV alone is the cause of cell destruction and AIDS, then decreases in HIV viral loads should parallel decreases in beta 2 microglobulin levels. If tests for Beta 2 microglobulin levels were always taken simultaneously with PCR viral load for HIV, the numbers will frequently not correlate and the single virus theory of Dr. David Ho; "it's the virus, stupid" would soon fall apart. (Dr. David Ho was featured in Time magazine as the man of the year for 1996 because of his work in the development of protease inhibitors). Recently, a PWA sent me his lab results. They showed a HIV viral load of 89,000. A PCR test for HHV-6 in the blood indicated non-detectable levels for HHV-6. With a high viral load for HIV, his beta 2 microglobulin levels should have been high. They weren't. They were 1.4, well within the normal range of 0 to 2.
It would be totally inconsistent with Dr. Ho's single virus theory that HIV alone causes AIDS if PCR levels for HIV are non-detectable while Beta 2 microglobulin levels are high. The single virus theory cannot be supported with such anomalies. After all, if PCR shows that the HIV virus is gone, then what is destroying the cells? From my disease model perspective, the PWAs on drug cocktail combinations that will show high Beta 2 microglobulin levels will be those with low CD8 counts and/or little or no Natural Killer cell function. I fully expect that those with CD8 counts below 600 will have high values for Beta 2 levels even while their PCR viral load for HIV may be non-detectable. Of course, if this is done, the single virus theory of AIDS will fall apart and the value of highly profitable drug cocktail combinations trumpeted in the media will be questioned. Those with the largest increases in CD4 counts will have the greatest decline in CD8s and will first notice frequent outbreaks of thrush and fungal infections. As the CD8s fall below 600, life threatening opportunistic infections will follow. Increases in CD4s often depress the CD8 counts (and vice versa). Remember the teeter-totter effect. Since we know the CD4s are not effective against HHV-6A, the most destructive of the two AIDS viruses, no one should have as a goal the increasing of their CD4 counts. Everyone with AIDS or CFIDS should have as a primary goal the increasing of their CD8 counts to as high a level as possible (1500 to 3000 range).
Equally important is to increase Glutathione levels in the cells which will directly suppress viral replication, and increase the functional ability of the CD8 Cytotoxic T cells to kill virus infected cells. Not all CD8 Cytotoxic T cells are equally functional. It is also important to remember that there are two types of CD8 cells, Suppressor and Cytotoxic T cells. About half belong in each category. The CD8 Suppressor cells turn off the CD4 Helper cells while the Cytotoxic T cells kill the infections. Transfer factor increases the ability of CD8 cells to kill virus infected cells whether they are infected with HHV-6A or HIV.
Hundreds have highly praised this drink for the past two years. It is used to stop and reverse wasting syndrome. PWAs and CFIDS patients who are underweight have reported weight gain of as much as 30 lbs. Nine out of 10 have reported complete cessation of swollen lymph nodes. When combined with lecithin capsules (triple strength) and Vitamin B-6 (200 mg daily), peripheral neuropathy has disappeared in 3 weeks or less. T cells (both CD4 and CD8) and WBCs have often increased. The pectin in the rind of the lemon helps remove heavy metals from the body. It detoxifies the liver and moves lymph. Low body temperature moves toward normal (98.6° F.). This drink may be used daily or less frequently if not needed. There has been no loss of effectiveness if the daily use is stopped, then resumed later. In response to several persons who are allergic to citrus fruits or have sensitive stomachs, I have designed a low-acid lemon/olive oil drink. It is made as follows:
1. The rind only of 1/2 large lemon or one small lemon (Do not use the juice of the lemon as in the original formula).
2. One cup of apricot nectar (juice) (Note: the original formula used orange juice)
3. One tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive oil (Note: All Extra Virgin Olive oil is supposed to be cold pressed)
Place all three ingredients in a blender and run at high speed for 1 or 2 minutes. Drink it down once a day, preferably in the morning. In this formula, you have the choice of straining it or drinking it all, including the pulp, providing you left the seeds out. This drink is very mild and should be agreeable to those with citrus allergies or sensitive stomachs. Let me know how it works out for you.
Place 8 ounces (half of a one pound bag) of dried olive leaves (use olea europaea species only) in a 5 or 6 quart Crock-Pot (i.e. Rival brand K-Mart). Add one gallon of filtered or distilled water. Turn heat on low. 6 hours later, check the temperature with a candy thermometer (from your hardware store). When the temperature falls between a range of 175° to 185°, move cover off center about 1/4 inch so some heat escapes. This should stabilize the temperature for the next 5 hours. The ideal temperature range to make the tea is at least 175° but not more than 185° Fahrenheit. At the 11th hour, add water lost through evaporation until it returns to its original level. Center cover so no more heat escapes and leave on low for one more hour. Total time to make the tea is 12 hours. Let is cool for 2 to 4 hours, then strain and store in glass bottles in a refrigerator until used. Discard what is not used within two weeks. Also, discard sooner if a film of mold appears in the jar. A lab test by Irvine Labs using the HPLC method showed 213 mg of oleuropein per 1/2 cup of this home made formula.
Olive leaf tea contains the active ingredient "oleuropein" which scientific studies have shown has anti-viral, anti-fungal and some anti-bacterial properties. The usual adult dose is 1/2 cup twice a day, although two persons had better results using 1/2 cup 3 times a day. As an anti-viral agent, anecdotal cases I have followed indicate it is effective against most, but not all strains of HIV and herpes viruses. The product may work well for some persons, but not for others. In most cases, it has reduced swollen lymph nodes and increased body temperature, which indicates an anti-viral and detoxifying effect. I am not advising this treatment as a monotherapy for long term use because no long term studies have been done. I am concerned about the development of viral resistance. In order to determining if this if happening, you will need to have your physician obtain two tests: beta 2 microglobulin and PCR for HIV at baseline. The beta 2 microglobulin (beta -2m) test is used to measure the rate of cell destruction caused by HHV-6A while PCR for HIV RNA plates correlates to HIV viral load in blood plasma. If there is upward movement is the beta-2m levels, it could indicate HHV-6A viral resistance to the olive leaf has developed while increases in PCR viral load for HIV indicates HIV resistance. If the beta 2m levels increase, it is time to rotate anti-virals and consider choosing another one like Larreastat or DDI, an FDA approved drug. See anti-viral Treatment Options elsewhere in this newsletter.
Eden - a new batch and lot number are expected in February and is expected to have an effective shelf life of 6 to 8 months. If you decide to use Eden in place of the home made tincture, one capsule 4 times a day is recommended. To determine whether or not this batch will remain effective longer than 6 months depends on whether the manufacturer, East Park Research, will provide High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) tests for oleuropein content on a monthly basis. As I reported in my last newsletter, Eden lot number 29672 went bad about 6 months after the date of manufacture when the olive leaf extract that was loosely packed in capsules became exposed to oxygen resulting in a breakdown of the oleuropein, rendering the product ineffective. Hopefully, the manufacturer will make smaller batches and more frequently to maintain efficacy until they learn how to stabilize the product for a longer shelf life. Also, an olive leaf extract in tablet form is expected soon from a Swiss firm that is expected to have a high oleuropein content. For more information, contact Wm Frederickson at 317-475-0602.
It should be noted that other anti-oxidants ( Pycnogenol, beta carotene, Vitamin C, Lutein etc) sold as dietary supplements may become ineffective if they are exposed for long periods to either oxygen, light or moisture. Ideally, these supplements could retain freshness and effectiveness for several years if they were nitrogen packed, placed in a brown or black (light resistant) bottle and had a moisture absorbent pad in each bottle. No current manufacturer of dietary supplements is presently meeting all these high standards. This is why people do not obtain consistent results with many dietary supplements. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Newly manufactured supplements work while the older batches often lose effectiveness. The tablets or caplets, with an oxygen resistant coating, will have a longer effective shelf life than the loosely packed capsules. Iron or copper in multi-vitamin supplements is a bad combination as they promote oxidative reactions that can damage the anti-oxidant components. It is best to use vitamin supplements that leave out the iron or copper. These can be obtained through natural sources (i.e. Blackstrap Molasses).
Due to a shortage of space in this newsletter and a shortage of funds, over 3 pages of anecdotal case reports cannot be printed in this newsletter. Most persons have had good results with the protocols published in our last newsletter. However, too many readers are continuing to use the wrong diagnostic markers, HIV viral load and CD4 counts alone, in evaluating the effectiveness of these protocols. Hopefully, this newsletter will change how PWAs think about AIDS and the diagnostics with our corrected disease model, correct diagnostics and immune based treatment options. Case reports and results will be announced on our monthly voice mail message updates at 414-548-4344 and can also be found on our internet web site located at http://www. execpc.com/`keephope/keephope.html.
This product is expected to move us forward a couple light years in the direction of immune restoration. See related article on Transfer Factor elsewhere in this newsletter.
In my last newsletter, I discussed the immune modulationg effects of Beta 1, 3 Glucan, a polysaccharide extracted form the membranes of the common yeast cell, Sacchararomyces Cerevisiae, a yeast that is also used to brew beer. Besides activating macrophages, it increases complement production, which improves non-specific immunity against all foreign antigens. It stimulates IL-1 and Il-2 production. An article by Di Luzio, "Immunopharmacology of Glucan: A Broad Spectrum Enhancer of Host Defense Mechanisms "appeared in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 4:344-47; 1983 and another article by Donald Carrow MD, Beta 1, 3 Glcuan as a Primary Immune Activator appeared in The Townsend Letter for Doctors, June, 1996.
Nutrition Suply Corp introduced a low does oral supplement called NSC-24 in 1996, each capsule containing 2.5 mg of Beta 1, 3 Glucan. Recently, A.J. Lanigan has introduced a Beta 1, 3 Glucan product that is 40 times more concentrated. Each capsule contains 100 mg of Beta 1, 3 Glucan. One long term CFIDS patient who used the Lanigan source of Beta 1, 3 Glucan from the first trial batch in December, 1996, along with Naltrexone and the Whole Lemon/Olive drink said she never felt so good. "I just love this product" said Holly. Holly said her mother is benefiting from it use also. Holly uses only one capsule daily. She can be reached at 617-576-3248.
Two other persons, not HIV+, with long term fungal infections in their feet reported that after using the Lanigan source of Beta 1, 3 Glucan for 2 weeks, the fungal infections in their feet were 50% gone. What will Beta 1, 3 Glucan do to improve DCH and NK cell function? Will it reduce HHV-6A titers and lower beta 2 microglobulin levels? Side effects: None reported.
Larreastat is made from the creosote bush (Larrea tridentate), also known as the desert chapparal. The bush has been used in traditional medicine among American Indians for rheumatism, venereal diseases and sores (1). The isolation of anti-HIV lignans from Larrea tridentata was done at John Hopkins University by Gnabre, Ito and Huang.
In the Journal of Chromatography, they stated: "Mal.4, the major consituent isolated from this plant, wa shown to exert its inhibitory activity by interfering with the binding of Sp1 protein to HIV LTR, thus blocking the proviral transcription, Tat transactivation, and suppressing viral replication. Interestingly, these studies revealed that mal.4 acts at Tat-sensitive as well as Tat-insensitive, promoter-containing Sp1 binding sites such as those of SV40 and herpes viruses. (1). Another very detailed article on the anti-HIV activity of Larrea tridentata by Gnabre, Brady, Clanton, Ito, Dittmer, Bates and Huang appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2).
Among persons using the product Larreastat, two have reported shrinkage of Kaposi Sarcoma lesions. Several have reported disappearance of herpes lesions and decreases in HIV viral load. One PWA reported cloudy vision cleared up after one weeks use. A topical lotion has been reported effective against herpes lesions and psoriasis. The dose was one capsule taken twice a day. This product is a very powerful anti-viral. I would suggest you take only 1/2 capsule the first time you take it.
Side effects: Two persons, one with hepatitis, reported a slight pain developing in the liver area, which went away after they stopped using it. One person resumed using it after the pain was gone. Several others using it continously have reported no such side effects.
1. Gnabre et al; Journal of Chromatography, A, 719 (1996) 353-364. 2. Proc. Nat'l Acad. Sci., Vol 92 (1995) Nov. pp 11239-11243.
Wakame is a brown algae and a sea vegetable traditionally used in Japanese meals and in macrobiotic diets. It is used in making MISO soup. In Japan, there is 75% less breast cancer than in the United States. Viva-Natural is a Wakame derived product made in Japan and used by cancer patients. Medical researcher E. Furusawa found that a polysaccharide fraction of Viva-Natural, made from edible Wakame, was effective in the treatment of lung cancer and leukemia (1). Other researchers also found anti-cancer benefits in brown algae (2).
Wakame and other brown algaes also contain an anti-oxidant called fucoxanthin, that has both anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. H. Nishino states: "Fucoxanthin, a carotenoid as abundant in nature as beta-carotene, was also found to have antitumorgenic activity in mouse skin and duodenum models." (3)
While some previously published research indicated that red marine algae inactivated the herpes virus, little research has been done to see if anti-herpes activity was found in brown algae. A medical researcher in Milwaukee, WI, who asked to remain anonymous, told me that fucoxanthin absorbs light in a frequency range of 475 to 550 nm and that the herpes virus is destroyed at 540 nm. Volunteers with active herpes infections are needed to try using Wakame daily to see if the lesions disappear. If Herpes 1 and 2 can be stopped with fucoxanthin found in brown algae (Wakame etc), what about HHV-6A?
What is interesting is how well many PWAs have done for years following precisely the macrobiotic diet of Michio Kushi's described in his book, The Way of Hope (Warner Books ISBN 0-446-39174-3) and available in book stores.
The diet emphasizes the use of brown rice, tofu, MISO soup and especially emphasizes the daily use of sea vegetables like Wakame, Nori and Kombu. Both Wakame and Kombu are in the family of brown algaes. Recently, I talked with Steve Frankel, who produced a videotape called "The HIV Survival Guide" about two years ago. He told me he hasn't had an opportunistic infection in his 6 years of being HIV+. He has never taken any drugs and does not even take dietary supplements. He reported that he strictly follows a macrobiotic diet and uses sea vegetables almost daily. He said his CD4 count has remained in the 400 to 500 range for the past 6 years. He can be reached at 310-657-1490.
More recently, two PWAs, J.P. from Milw. and Robert M. from Brooklyn, NY, have added 2 heaping teaspoons of Wakame daily to their diet. They add the Wakame flakes to tomato juice. Both report an increase in energy and well being. While the fucoxanthin may survive the cooking process, the polysaccharides are most likely destroyed by the high temperatures (over 140° F). Wakame strips can be cut into small pieces and ground into flakes in a coffee grinder. To protect the polysaccharides, it would be best to add it to soups that are lukewarm or to sprinkle over salads or add to V8 or tomato juice. I highly recommend Michio Kushi's book, The Way of Hope (Warner books) as a source of correct information on macrobiotic diets.
1. Furusawa e and S. Furusawa; Antitumor Potential of low-dose chemotherapy manifested in combination with immunotherapy of Viva-natural, a dietary seaweed extract, on Lewis lung carcinoma; Cancer Letters, 50 (1990) 71-78.
2. Fujihara M et al; Antitumor polysaccharide form the brown algae Sargassum fulvellum; Carbohydrate Res. 125, 97-106. 3. Nushino H, J. Cell Biochem Suppl, 1995; 22:231-5
Noni, a Tahitian fruit, has been used by natives for over 2000 years. Traditional uses of this fruit in Polynesia include Stomach ulcers, diarrhea, indigestion, asthma, coughs, respiratory afflictions, eye complaints, fever, flu, thrush, skin infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney and bladder, malignancies, menstrual cramps and arthritis.
The product is manufactured by Miranda. The usual dose is 2 tablespoons once or twice daily. The product is widely supported by anecdotal reports, but no published research could be found. Several persons who use the product claim they rarely get colds of flu. I personally found the product increases energy and a sense of well being. Manufacturer literature referred to the study of Dr. Ralph Heinicke on the alkaloid xeronine, which is found in Noni. They wrote:
"The compounds in Noni actually work at the cellular level to cause cell regeneration and increase cell function."
It would be interesting to see what effect Noni has on NK and CD8 cell counts and function.
The more immune based and detoxification therapies you use, the faster will be your recovery.
1. Naltrexone - one 3 mg capsule taken once daily in the evening (prescription required). Increases NK activity and counts; CD8 Cytotoxic T cells.
2. DNCB - topical weekly applications. Significantly increases CD8 counts and NK activity. Use at least one of the above - Naltrexone or DNCB. You can use both.
3. Antigen-Specific Transfer Factor (TF)- one capsule 30 minutes before meals 3 times a day. (See enclosed article). Use until DCH skin responses to antigens are restored (Multitest CMI) , then consider using one bottle for two weeks and repeat this once every 3 or 4 months. You do not need to take this product continuously. The memory in T cells, from TF, remains for several months after it is restored. Note: The strain of HHV-6A for the current batch came from a CFIDS patient.
4. Beta 1, 3 glucan - one or two capsules daily.
5. Complete Thymic Formula - (improves immune function, increases CD8s and WBCs). Take only with meals. Side effects: causes an itching feeling in the thymus gland area (just about the heart) for a few days possibly due to stimulation of the thymus gland. A few persons report feeling nervous from its use and had to reduce the dose. Adult Dose: 3 caplets taken with meals twice daily. The product is believed to improve cell mediated immunity. It contains over 60 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like selenium along with several thymic and glandular extracts. Developed by Dr. Carson Burgstiner MD. Improves immunity against hepatitis and herpes viruses.
6. Designer Protein or Raw unpasturized milk Decreases viral replication by increasing L-glutathionine levels in the cells. Increases lean muscle mass. Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. Designer Protein: one or 3 scoops taken daily at any time. Raw milk is illegal in most states. Once in a great while, it may become contaminated with bacteria. If you trust your source, drink one or two glasses daily.
7.L-Lysine (inhibit herpes and may inhibit HHV-6A replication) Dose: 2000 to 3000 mg daily. Side effects: none known.
8. DHEA - for adult males - 50 mg daily. For women - 10 mg daily.
9. Remune (now under FDA approved trials) improves DCH responses to HIV. For more info, call 619-431-7080 or see your local AIDS service organization.
10. Ampligen - restores DCH, reduces titers for both HHV-6 and HIV. For more info, call 905-841-2300. Under FDA trials in Canada. Also see Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infect Dis., Dec, 1996, vol 15, pp 580-87.
Lemon/olive oil drink (anti-viral and immune enhancing) Benefits: increases T cell counts (both CD4 and CD8, increases absorption of proteins for more muscle mass, reduces swollen lymph nodes; good for neuropathy, many other benefits, no adverse side effects reported except one case where the olive oil caused a gall stone to pass.
Raw Garlic (anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial - increases Natural Killer counts and function, increases CD8 counts) Dose: 3 cloves daily, sliced and served on rye crisp. Side effects: bad breath - this can be neutralized by eating parsley or other sources of chlorophyll. Some persons with sensitive stomachs may not tolerate raw garlic well and should substitute 5 grams daily of aged Kyolic garlic - Six 300 mg capsules 3 times a day.
Wakame or Viva-Natural- (anti-viral, anti-cancer, enhances immune function) a sea vegetable in the brown algae family used in macrobiotic diets (see The Way of Hope, by Michio Kushi) - frequently used in the treatment of cancer along with chemotherapy (contains high concentrations of the anti-oxidant fucoxanthin along with polysaccharides). Experimental at this time - increases energy and well being. Side effects: none known.
Raw vegetables juices - See Rapid Recovery Procedures in my book "How To Reverse Immune Dysfunction."
Lemon/olive oil drink - use once a day or 3 times a week when saliva pH is in balance at 6.4
Immune Enhancemant Diet and/or Marcobiotic diet. Sea vegetables, sprouts, legumes, dark green vegetables, brown rice. Emphasis is on raw living foods and cultured foods (yogurt, cottage cheese etc). Low fat diet, no fried foods, no sugar, no junk food, gluten-free diet (no wheat bread or pasta made from seminola flour).
Colon Green Powder (Futurebiotics) - 1 Tbsp daily.
Willard Water - a catalyst altered water supplement that makes water wetter - helps cells remove toxins.
Clean filtered water, exercise, sunshine and prayer
Consider rotating anti-viral therapies. That is, use one for 2 or 3 months, then switch to another one. If Immune based therapies are used aggressively along with detoxification, the use of anti-virals probably won't be needed for very long. A change should always be made if beta 2 microglobulin levels increase, an indication of viral resistance from HHV-6A. Once DCH responses are normal, beta 2 levels are less than 1.5, HIV viral load is non-detectable, then the use of all anti-virals, in my opinon, is optional.
Olive leaf tea or new Eden lot no. (for HIV and herpes, HHV-6) (Still considered experimental at this time while more data is being gathered).
Larreastat Herbal remedy (effective against HIV, herpes and HHV-6A and KS lesions) Side effects: causes pain in liver area in some persons, particularly those with hepatitis. If this happens, it should be discontinued)
Lauric Acid (Monolaurin, fresh raw coconut and/or coconut oil) (Experimental at this time). See related article.