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by Mark Konlee
In December, 1997, an information packet on protease inhibitors/drug cocktail combinations was sent out, as a joint effort, by The Minority AIDS Council, Project Inform, AIDS Treatment Data Network, and Gay Mens Health Crisis to AIDS Service organizations. Here is a direct quote from the leadership:
Currently, there are four protease inhibitors: Crixivan (indinavir), Invirase (saquinavir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Viracept (nelfinavir) which are used in combination therapy with five different nucleoside analogs: AZT, 3TC, D4T, DDC, DDI and with two non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: Viramune (nevirapine) and Rescriptor (delavirdine). We do know that antiretroviral therapy with protease inhibitors is saving lives, but we still do not know how to use these drugs most effectively. We do not know when is the best time to start therapy, which combinations are best to use first, how long the effect of these drugs can last, and what are the long-term side effects.
With 11 FDA approved drugs for treating AIDS and a significant decline in the national death rate from AIDS, the joint leadership statement that protease inhibitors are saving lives is true. However, with an estimated 30% or more failing drug cocktail therapy and with several hundred combination possibilities among the 11 FDA approved drugs, three important questions need immediate addressing; 1. What combinations will have the most value in restoring immune function, preventing as well as reversing a wide range of opportunistic infections? 2. How can these combinations be used most effectively? 3. When is the best time to start combination therapy?
For the past several years, I have written about diet, nutrition and immune-based therapies as a foundation upon which to stop progression of AIDS and other immune-related disorders while ignoring or taking a critical view of most of the pharmaceuticals.
In this issue, I have undertaken a preliminary evaluation of the immunological effects of FDA-approved drugs used in the treatment of AIDS for several reasons. First, there is a need to know which drug combinations are most effective in saving lives versus which combinations are least effective. Second, based on the declining national death rate from AIDS, I am convinced that there are some good drug cocktail combinations that are improving immune function in areas that are deemed crucial to preventing life-threatening opportunistic infections. Third, persons who are on limited income may not afford the $300 to $400 a month it cost to pay for an effective nutritional and immune-based therapy. Fourth, persons on Medicaid or who obtain financial assistance under ADAP can obtain prescription drugs at almost no cost to them. Fifth, some people may have an immune system so compromised that they need to combine the best of both worlds - a good drug cocktail along with diet, nutrition and immune-based therapies.
Evaluating drug cocktail combinations from an immunological perspective is a challenge since most of the data based on direct markers of immune function (antigen presentation/DTH/DCH, Natural Killer Cell function and CD8 Cytotoxic lymphocyte activity) is not available. There is considerable data on the effects of various drug combinations on HIV viral load counts and CD4 counts, but little information on the immunological and metabolic effects. There is an assumed hypothesis that higher CD4 counts and lower viral load will prevent opportunistic infections and extend life. Then, there is reality - many persons with AIDS who have non-detectable or nearly non-detectable viral loads and significant increases in CD4 counts have still developed Retinitis, MAC infections, fungal infections, lymphomas and various kinds of cancers. This is in contrast to many persons on drug cocktails who have reported remissions of many of these same conditions. How could combination therapies work for some and not for others? These opposite immunological effects could mean one of three possibilities;
1. People react differently to protease inhibitor/combo therapy. 2. Some combination therapies are significantly improving immune function while other combinations are depressing it or 3. Both of the above. I will first look at the second possibility - that different protease inhibitor/ drug cocktail combinations are producing different metabolic and immunological effects, some that weaken the host defense against infectious disease while other combinations strengthen the host defense and remit opportunistic infections. Due to a lack of good scientific data on the metabolic and immunological effects of various drug combinations, my evaluation will rely heavily on anecdotal reports with supporting scientific evidence where available.
Protease Inhibitors: Norvir (ritonavir) is by far the most effective of all four protease inhibitors in preventing and remitting nearly all opportunistic infections including Kaposi sarcoma, lymphomas and cancers. Crixivan (indinavir), Viracept (nelfinavir) and Invirase (saquinavir) also have therapeutic value but are less effective than Norvir. Norvir significantly increases CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte activity and improves antigen presentation (DCH and DTH) skin responses when challenged with an antigen (Multitest CMI) or topical DNCB solution which demonstrates DTH/DCH (antigen presentation) and cell mediated immunity.
A report by A. Carr et al at the 3rd Conf Retro and Oppor Infect. Jan 28-Feb 1, 1996, reported that Norvir (Ritonavir) increased and sustained higher CD8 counts by 892 cells/mm3 over a 40 week period as a monotherapy whereas AZT in combination with other nucleosides initially increased, then decreased, the CD8 counts to baseline by the 24th week. These high CD8 counts, especially with improved DTH responses to DNCB indicates the TH1 branch of the immune system (CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte and NK activity) is improving. A good drug cocktail combination can mop up the opportunistic infections as immune function is restored.
Nucleosides: On the 5 nukes, D4T (Zerit) and 3TC (Epivir) are the safest and most effective for preventing or remitting opportunistic infections when used in combination therapy with protease inhibitors. Based on a significant number of anecdotal reports, the two nucleosides, AZT and DDI, are linked to nearly all the AIDS-related cancers, lymphomas and wasting syndrome when used in combination with protease inhibitors. DDC is generally not used in combination therapy and little interest remains in this drug. About 40% of persons using DDC (HIVID) develop peripheral neuropathy (Report from the Medical College of Wisconsin)
Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs). Rescriptor (delavirdine) is the most therapeutic of the two NNRTIs as it increases absorption of protease inhibitors where as the other NNRTI, Viramune (nevirapine) inhibits absorption of all the protease inhibitors. (data from the Medical College of Wisconsin - CME program). Note: About 1 in 7 people may develop a rash using either delavirdine or nevirapine. If the rash cannot be controlled with antihistimines, you may need to consider using either D4T or 3TC or both.
Note: Norvir must be kept refrigerated and there are several prescribed medications that should not be used with Norvir. When taking Norvir, you can start with a low dose and take up to two weeks to get up to the full dose. To obtain more information, see your physician and also call Abbott Laboratories at 847-937-7069. Website: www.abbott.com. Information fact sheets on Norvir and other drugs are available from GHMC at 212-367-1455.
DUAL Combination Therapies:
Norvir plus Rescriptor
Norvir plus D4T
Norvir plus 3TC
Norvir, Rescriptor & D4T
Norvir, Rescriptor and 3TC
Norvir, D4T and 3TC
Crixivan or Viracept plus Rescriptor plus either D4T or 3TC.
Self Test: A quick way to determine if a drug cocktail combination is improving or depressing immune function is to observe the DTH skin response to a topical application of DNCB. If the DTH response gets stronger, cell mediated immunity (CMI) is improving; if it gets weaker or stops, antigen presentation and CMI are failing. From readers who have used Norvir in combination with 3TC, we know DTH responses to DNCB improve dramatically and flu-like symptoms often occur, an indication of cell-mediated immune activation. While I have good reasons to believe that all the above combinations will improve DTH responses, I still need actual confirmation from our readers who try the combinations and test DTH responses with DNCB. Testing DTH responses to DNCB is a fast screening test to evaluate the potential of a drug cocktail combination to help in immune restoration.
Anecdotal reports from readers who have used either AZT or DDI with protease inhibitors indicate that DTH responses to DNCB get weaker or stop completely.
AZT plus DDI when used in combination with any of the protease inhibitors. (Most dangerous combination)
AZT OR DDI or Combivir (AZT +3TC) when used in combination with any of the protease inhibitors
ANY TWO protease inhibitors used together in any person with active hepatitis or who has elevated liver enzymes or impaired kidney function.
These combinations have, in several anecdotal reports, led to gastrointestinal distress, lymphomas, brain tumors, lung cancer, melanomas, MAC, candidiasis, Retinitis, PML, wasting syndrome, beer bellies, buffalo hump and many other AIDS related opportunistic infections and several deaths. Suppression of ATP production in the mitochondria by AZT and DDI cannot alone explain all these O.Is. There must be some toxic drug inter-reaction occurring between AZT or DDI and the protease inhibitors.
Note: regarding the use of Invirase (Saquinavir), I am concerned about a few cases of leukemia that have developed. However, in these cases, AZT was used in combination with Invirase. GMHC has just published an article in Treatment Issues in which they received survey reports from 37 physicians using protease inhibitor drug cocktail combinations and the successes and failures are discussed. For a copy write to GMHC, The Tisch Bldg, 119 W. 24 St, NYC, NY 10011 and ask for Volume 12, No 1, copy of Treatment Issues.
Unfortunately, too many writers who report on either the success or failure of protease inhibitor/drug cocktail combinations speak in generalities rather than giving out specific details on what particular combinations are producing either good or bad effects, making it difficult for readers to separate good from bad drug cocktail combinations. Anecdotal Reports & Scientific Evidence.
The combination of Crixivan, AZT and 3TC has resulted in several cases of lymphomas and cancers among persons I know here in Wisconsin. Two people I know have died of lymphomas on this combination and one non-smoker died of lung cancer. Another person I know had one lung removed for cancer on this combination and is now being treated with chemotherapy. In yet another case, a PWA who used both AZT and DDI in combination with Crixivan and Invirase now has melanoma, a rare form of skin cancer. M.W, who used Crixivan, AZT and 3TC developed both a crix-belly and a brain tumor. Not everyone using AZT or DDI with protease inhibitors is developing lymphomas and beer bellies. However, other problems are showing up like an increase in mental confusion and dementia.
One of the most striking things about Norvir (ritonavir) is the almost complete absence of reports of lymphomas, cancers, wasting syndrome or other opportunistic infections. I recently became aware of about 12 local persons using Norvir, either in combination with delavirdine (Rescriptor) or Viramune plus D4T or 3TC or D4T plus 3TC who have had remissions of all opportunistic infections and no adverse side effects from these drug combinations for more than 12 months. The only exceptions when Norvir failed was when DDI or AZT was used in combination with it. Marc Correas case is one example. He used Norvir, D4T and DDI. He developed 5 major opportunistic infections including KS and also accumulated a lot of fat in the abdomen area. I am certain from other cases I have followed that the DDI was the cause of his protocol failure, not the Norvir or the D4T. Orlando, who lives in Washington, DC, recently called to tell me that on the combination DDI, Viracept and 3TC, he became very ill and within one month was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma after which his physician changed his protocol to Norvir, Invirase, D4T and 3TC which he tolerates much better. He is currently on chemotherapy for the lymphoma. He can be reached at 202-265-8218. My own opinion is that he would do better dropping the Invirase and adding Naltrexone, NK911 and raw garlic to his daily regimen along with the whole lemon/olive oil drink.
B. Tindall et al (AIDS, 1993 Jan, 7(1):127-8) writes:
Primary HIV-1 infection is associated with the development of a predominately CD8+ lymphocytosis (cytotoxic lymphocytes) during the second month following onset of acute illness. This is part of a vigorous host response that is presumably aimed at controlling viral replication during the acute stage of infection. Here we report seven subjects with primary HIV-1 infection who were treated with zidovudine (AZT) and in whom this acute CD8+ response was significantly depressed compared with an untreated control group.
L. Mecure et al (Immunology, 1994 Jul, 1(4):482-5) reports that AZT, but not two other nucleosides tested inhibited the interluken-2 dependent proliferation of CD8+ lymphocytes in a dose-dependent manner. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine (10/30/97). Michael Oldstone MD states:
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes have an important role in controlling HIV infection, and loss of their activity in the end stages of HIV infection leads to an increased viral load...A single peptide molecule in complex with the correct MHC molecule on the cells surface is sufficient to generate a cytotoxic -T-lymphocyte response. In contrast, more than 5x10^6 antibody molecules as well as complement are required to lyse a virally infected cell.
Olstone reported on a case of a patient whose CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte response rallied against the HIV infection causing viral load to drop from 300,000 to 1000 copies per ml. Despite AZTs success in lowering HIV viral loads, AZT fails to restore the immune response needed to prevent opportunistic infections because it has been found to suppress CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte activity. AZT, DDI and DDC have been reported to have a toxic effect on the mitochondria, where Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP) is produced. ATP is needed to help transport antigen to the cells membrane where it is bound to MHC molecules. E. Benbrik et al (J Neurol Sci 1997 Jul;149(1):19-25) states:
AZT, DDI and DDC all exert cytotoxic effects...and induce alterations of mitochondria...All 3 compounds can inhibit mitochrondrial mtDNA polymerase...
By impairing mitochondria function and ATP production, AZT, DDI and DDC also impair antigen presentation and an effective cell mediated immune response against HIV, HHV-6A and other intracellular infections.
In one study, AZT was used with Norvir and 3TC. In the first two weeks, there were significant increases in both CD4 and CD8 counts but a 15% decrease in Natural Killer cells. An immunosupressive drug like AZT can eventually spoil the benefits of a good drug like Norvir over time. Depressing Natural Killer cell activity leaves you with little or no immunity against cancer and lymphomas. The most important fact to note about drug cocktail combinations is that all drugs in the same class are not created equal and neither are the combinations. There are both good and bad drug cocktail combinations. Only by monitoring immune function on a continuous basis will we ever know which combinations will have long term benefits in preventing and remitting opportunistic infections.
Since about 1993, Michael G. has been in contact with Keep Hope Alive and receiving our publications. In spite of trying almost every known alternative treatment at the time, Mikes immune system continued to decline, forcing him to retire from a local teaching career. By March, 1996, Mikes White blood count (WBC) total had fallen to 3500, his CD8 count had dropped to 258 and his CD4s were at 13. In spite of these discouraging lab numbers, his viral load was not unusually high at 35,000 and he did not break with any major infections. Yet, Mike felt he had to do more or he would lose the battle for survival. On April 1st, 1996, he started on the combination of the protease inhibitor, Norvir (Ritonavir), D4T (Zerit) and 3TC (Epivir) while continuing to use nutritional therapies along with ozone rectal insufflation.
Within the first month on triple combination therapy, his viral load became non-detectable and has remained so for the past 21 months. As of Nov. 24, 1997, his CD4 count is 1064, his CD8 count is 1182, WBC is 7.9, total Lymphocyte % is 37.4. His Natural Killer cell function test is 46 lytic units. On B and T cell function tests (Lymphocyte Mitogen Proliferation Analysis), his PHA % (CD4 function) is 79, Con A % (CD8 function) is 62 and PWM % (B cell function) is 76. Only the Con A or CD8 function is a little below normal. However, some problems remain. These include elevated BUN/Creatinine ratios (possibly caused by low ATP production), elevated Globulin levels, low HDL cholesterol (high density lipids), a high HDL/LDL ratio at 9.3 and elevated triglycerides.
The following are excerpts from a recent phone conversation:
Mark: How do you feel on your current protocol?
Mike: I feel fine. I had a problem with very high cholesterol levels that reached 600, but with a drug prescribed by my physician, it is now down to 210.
Mark: I hear reports of people having bad side effects from going on drug cocktail combinations. Did you experience any side effects?
Mike: I never experienced any side effects from taking Norvir, not from day one. I tried Invirase for a while and could not tolerate the drug. Invirase is suppose to have the least side effects, but for me I could not tolerate it.
Mark: Most people taking protease inhibitors have elevated liver enzymes. However, yours are in the normal range. To what do you attribute this?
Mike: I take a small amount of Silymarin (Milk thistle) daily. Milk thistle is known to lower elevated liver enzymes and to protect the liver from damaging chemicals. I also take alpha lipoic acid daily. According to a recent article I read, this antioxidant is suppose to increase Glutathione levels.
Mark: How did your doctor feel about the results of your immune function tests?
Mike: He was real proud of me and the results I obtained. My Natural Killer (NK) cell function was 46 which I know needs improvement.
Mark: 46 is not all that bad. Usually people who break with lymphomas or cancers have a NK function of less than 20 lytic units. Your recovery is remarkable. I think you have proven the reality that there is a best of both worlds combining the best of the pharmaceutical drugs with nutritional supplements. What supplements are you taking?
Mike: About 36 in all. Ill fax you a copy.
Mark: (After reviewing the list). I see that you take all your vitamins and minerals separately instead of in a complete vitamin/mineral formula. Since you have some metabolic imbalances that need correcting, Id like to suggest some changes.
Mike: Like what?
Mark: First, your triglycerides are too high and your HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio is 9.3 and it should be less than 4.0. With that high a ratio, you may develop hardening of the arteries over time. To lower the triglycerides and to improve the HDL/LDL ratio, you might want to try 500 mg twice daily of L-Carnitine along one or more of the following: ginger root, green tea, lecithin granules, niacin, salmon oil and Chitosan, a dietary fiber extracted from the shells of crustaceans. Walking or aerobic exercise, but not weight lifting, will improve the HDL/LDL ratio and lower triglycerides. Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water after each meal will also help lower the triglyceride level in your blood.
Mike: Im told to eat high fat meals when I take the Norvir to help in its assimilation.
Mark: That is why if you use the apple cider vinegar or the Chitosan, I would take it after meals to help burn up the fat in the blood after the Norvir is absorbed. Consider using high quality fats like olive oil and coconut oil. Also avocados, they are high in lauric acid, the same fat found in coconuts that converts in the small intestines into Monolaurin, an antiviral lipid. You could also eat a couple poached eggs, but I would not hard boil them. You need the egg yolk in a liquid form to obtain usable egg yolk lecithin. Scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs will just raise your LDL cholesterol of which you already have too much. You could also consider eating a couple green (granny smith) apples each day. I would at least start with these five - L-Carnitine, apple cider vinegar, ginger root capsules with each meal, green tea and green apples. Monitor your lab results and see if you need to do more to lower the triglycerides and increase the HDLs and improve the HDL/LDL ratios.
Mike: Do you see anything else in my supplement list that you would change?
Mark: You have a long list and I think it could be shortened. With your T cells as high as they are, I dont see any need to use the Thymic supplements any more. I would also stop using the daily aspirin and would substitute one or two ginger root capsules with each meal instead. Have your physician check your Glutathione levels. If they are low, I would use 500 mg of Reduced Glutathione once or twice daily (Jarrow Formulas). Along with this I would take Magnesium Malate and would drop the Magnesium citrate/oxide pill, the L-lysine and the other free form amino acids you are taking. Three capsules of Magnesium Malate twice daily is suggested, if you use the Source Naturals brand. Each tablet of Magnesium Malate contains over 800 mg of malic acid. Malic acid increase ATP production in the cells, which improves antigen presentation, energy, and metabolic function in the cells. It should also help lower the BUN/Creatinine ratios. You need to increase Creatinine excretion and for this to happen you need more ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Mike: How do I increase ATP levels?
Mark: The L-Carnitine will help as well as the malic acid from Magnesium Malate. You can also get malic acid from apples (apple juice or cider) and peaches. The magnesium is needed for many enzyme functions. Spicing up your meals with hot red peppers, chili peppers and seaweed like Wakame or kelp (brown algae) will help also to increase ATP production as will many of the B vitamins. On the nucleosides, I have serious concerns about using more than one nucleoside long term as all nucleosides inhibit mitochondria production of ATP. Of all the nucleosides, AZT is the most toxic to the mitochondria.
Mike: AZT is poison.
Mark: I agree. Both D4T and 3TC have far less negative effects on the mitochondria than AZT. However, you are using both of them and there is a cumulative effect, which could inhibit ATP production. On the other hand, you are taking supplements like Vitamin E and CoQ10 which help protect the mitochondria. You might consider substituting one of the non-nucleoside RT inhibitors like delavirdine (Rescriptor) or nevirapine (Viramune) for the D4T or 3TC. I have searched all the medical literature for the effects of both on the mitochondria and have come up with nothing.
Mike: Which one do you think is better - delavirdine or nevirapine?
Mark: I would use the delavirdine as it has no effect on inhibiting absorption of the Norvir whereas research published by the Medical College of Wisconsin shows that Viramune (nevirapine) inhibits absorption of all the protease inhibitors. In addition, several cases of steven-johnson syndrome has been associated with Viramune. However, you might want to try several suggestions I listed here first to determine its effects on lowering the triglycerides and improving the HDL/LDL ratios before making any decisions on protocol changes and, of course, discuss these sugestions with your physician.
Note: For a copy of the dietary supplements Mike uses, e-mail to email@example.com.
The key to complete viral eradication depends on healthy cells that can process and present antigen.
Mark Konlee - Feb, 1998
The key to preventing and ending the opportunistic infections in AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), chronic candidiasis, epstein barr virus (EBV), other persistent chronic infections, and possibly even cancer, begins with restoring the ability of the individual cell to process and present foreign antigens on the cells surface. Certain subsets of white blood cells (i.e CD8 CTLs, macrophages, natural killer) respond to the presentation of a foreign protein (antigen) on the cells surface and in a series of events that follows, move to either destroy the infectious agent (virus, fungus, mycoplasma, bacteria etc.) on or near the surface of the cells membrane or to destroy the infected cell. In other words, before the white blood cells can attack and eliminate an infection from the host, the white blood cells must see, identify and locate which cells are infected with viruses, fungus, bacteria etc.
Only the presentation of antigen on the cells membrane enables the immune system to see the foreign invader and locate the source of the infection (the infected cell). You could call this process microsurgery. Unless antigen presentation takes place in every single infected cell, the complete elimination of an infection from the host by an immune response will not be possible and a chronic infection will persist at some level of activity. If complete elimination of the infection is not possible, but the level of the pathogen (i.e virus) activity is low enough, the patient will have no symptoms and will feel normal and functionally healthy. The key to complete viral eradication depends on healthy cells that can process and present antigen.
A foreign antigen is a protein that is not self and is part of a virus, fungus or bacteria that invades a cell. In contrast to a foreign protein is a usable protein like an amino acid that results from the digestion of meat. When you eat a hamburger, you are eating foreign protein that comes from a cow. When meat is digested, it is broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of human muscle and other tissues. Thus, what was once foreign protein (hamburger) eventually becomes self (human muscle). If a hamburger is not completely digested and some of the meat proteins that are not usable are absorbed into the blood supply through a leaky gut, the immune system will attack the unusable proteins as foreign and this will turn on an antibody response from the B cells that will tag the foreign protein with an antibody. When a macrophage comes along and sees a piece of foreign protein tagged with an antibody, the macrophage will engulf it and then present part of the foreign antigen on the cell surface. When the CD4 cells see it (i.e. a piece of foreign protein from a hamburger), it will signal the macrophage to digest it. Thus, foreign proteins can come not only from viruses, fungus, mycoplasmas or bacteria, they can come from incompletely digested proteins that are absorbed through a leaky gut. If the membranes of the intestinal tract are intact, this absorption of foreign proteins resulting from incomplete digestion will not occur.
Intestinal candidiasis that punctures small holes in the intestinal tract can be a source for entry of foreign proteins into the blood supply. Leaky gut syndrome and poor digestion and the resulting absorption of foreign proteins is a major cause of multiple food allergies in persons with CFIDS and in many cases of early AIDS. The food allergies are the result of an active humoral immune response that causes B cells to produce large quantities of antibodies directed against the foreign proteins. Some solutions that may be helpful to reduce this antigenic overload is to use plant digestive enzymes with meals, to eat easily digested meals, to drink cultured cabbage juice or aloe vera juice to heal the leaky gut problem. Cell-mediated immunity depends on antigen presentation
In an article written by R. Ehrlich [Human Immunology - 1997 May;54(2):104-16], titled Modulation of antigen processing and presentation by persistent virus infections and in tumors, Ehrlich writes:
Cell-mediated immunity is effective against cells harboring active virus replication and is critical for the elimination of ongoing infections, opposing tumor progression, and reducing or preventing the reactivation of persistent viruses and tumor metastasis.......By suppressing the expression of molecules associated with antigen processing and presentation, abrogation of the major immune mechanism that deals with the elimination of infected and transformed (cancer) cells is achieved....This is accomplished...in cells expressing viral proteins by interfering with peptide transport and the assembly/transport of (MHC) class I complexes.
Note: MHC is known as Major Histocompatibility Complex. There are two types, type I and type II. All cells present MHC type I on their cell surface. This is like an identification card that says to the immune system, I am self ...do not attack me. Natural Killer cells will normally attack and destroy any cell not presenting MHC class I molecules on the cell surface. MHC class II molecules are presented only by some subsets of white blood cells like macrophages. Antigen presentation occurs after a piece of the virus is processed inside the cell and transported to the cell membrane and is locked inside the folds of the MHC class I molecule. The transportation of the antigen from inside the cell to the cell surface is done by a transporter called TAP. One type of transporter is called TAP-A and is ATP dependent. ATP stands for adenosine tri-phosphate which is stored energy for the cells.
Medical research indicates that the nef gene on the HIV virus impairs antigen processing and presentation. In laboratory experiments, when the nef gene was clipped off the HIV virus, antigen processing and presentation occurred and the viral load dropped to very low levels as a result of an effective CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte response that destroyed the infected cells. A. Hill et all stated that Many viruses have evolved mechanisms to avoid detection by the host immune system. Herpes simplex (HSV) expresses an immediate early protein, ICP47, which blocks presentation of viral peptides to MHC class I-restricted cells.(1). Another herpes virus involved in AIDS and in many cases of CFIDS is Human Herpes Virus 6, variant A (HHV-6A) that also impairs an effective immune response. A failure of the immune system to effectively eliminate intracellular infections (inside the cells) is called a failure of cell mediated immunity.
This failure begins when the infected cells do not process a piece of the virus and present it on the cell surface in the folds of the MHC class I molecules. This presentation of antigen on the cell membrane must occur before the CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes or macrophages will either clear the infection from the cell or destroy the infected cell. Despite the genes on a virus that can impair antigen presentation, healthy cells continue to present antigen and elicit an effective immune response. However, less healthy cells may not be able to present antigen but may still be able to present MHC I molecules, but without antigen locked into the folds of the MHC molecules. When this happens, it is the processing of antigen and transport to the cell membranes that fails rather than a failure to present MHC class I molecules.
These less-than-healthy cells continue to live as virus-producing factories but may eventually fail to present MHC class I molecules on their membranes. Normally, when this happens, Natural Killer cells will destroy these cells. However, if Natural Killer cell function fails sufficiently, the infected cells are not destroyed and continue to turn out thousands of copies of new viruses. This is why improving antigen presentation, NK function and CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte activity is so important in chronic conditions like AIDS, CFIDS, chronic candidiasis, EBV, herpes and cancer. You need these three functions 1. antigen presentation (as demonstrated by DTH/DCH responses) 2. NK function and 3. CD8 CTL activity to elicit an effective immune response against the intracellular infections. As a grouping, these three functions are effective against intracellular infections and this is called cell mediated immunity or CMI.
1. Nature 1995 Jun 1;375(6530):411-5
Two factors that adversely affect antigen processing and presentation are low ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) and decreased levels of the anti-oxidant - L-Glutathione. Scientific studies also indicate that a lack of gamma interferon (IFN gamma) impairs the presentation of MHC class I molecules. IFN gamma is a TH1 type cytokine along with Interluken II and Interluken 12 that increases CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte activity, and especially when TH2 cytokines like Interluken 6 and 10 are down-regulated. CD4s tend to produce predominantly either TH1 or TH2 type cytokines. Cytokines are chemical messengers. TH2 cytokines stimulate B cells to produce more antibodies (humoral response). While the antibody response is effective against the common cold and flu (infections outside of the cells), it is not effective in conditions of chronic intracellular infections that occur in AIDS, CFIDS, candidiasis and cancer where a TH1 or cell mediated immune response is needed. These two branches of the immune system are like opposite ends of a teeter-totter; when one end goes up TH2 (humoral/antibodies) the other end goes down TH1(cell-mediated immunity) and vice-versa.
An article titled Defective antigen processing correlates with a low level of intracellular glutathione by S. Short, BJ Merkel, R Caffrey and KL McCoy of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and published in Eur J Immunol 1996 Dec: 26(12):3015-20, they report on the results of an experiment with Chinese hamster ovary cells that exhibit a defect in processing Antigen with disulfide bonds. They state:
Low intracellular glutathione levels in antigen-presenting cells correlated with defective processing of AG with disulfide bonds, indicating that this thiol may be a critical factor in regulating Ag (antigen) processing.
The CFIDS Chronicle(1) Jan/Feb 1998:
Dr. Salvato (Houston, TX) reports that the antioxidant, glutathione, eliminates free radicals, detoxifies and removes heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium out of the body, recycles oxidized vitamin C back to useful vitamin C. Glutathione is a sulfur-containing tripeptide consisting of the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. A healthy person produces several grams of glutathione daily. Glutathione protects cells from damage against free radicals and oxidative stress. Dr. Salvato stated that
ATP may act as a transport mechanism across the cell membrane, enabling glutathione to enter the cell.
Dr. Salvato says that many researchers believe that oral glutathione does not enter the cells even taken in massive doses and proposed intramuscular injections instead.
In a study on 276 CFIDS patients (218 women and 58 men) receiving weekly injections of glutathione/ATP injections, 82% (226 patients) reported less fatigue and 196 experienced improvement in memory and concentration while 171 experienced lower levels of pain. A few patients had heart palpitations thought to have come from the ATP.
1. The CFIDS Chronicle, PO Box 220398, Charlotte, NC 28222 (704-365-2343)
Champain, IL, 2/10/98. Lisa is a CFIDS patient who was diagnosed with high titers of HHV-6, but the test did not specify whether it was the variant A or B strain. She has suffered from fatigue and cognitive impairment. She uses an injection of 100 mg glutathione combined with 1 mg of ATP. She uses the injections about 2 times weekly. She says it gives her lots of energy and improved cognitive function. Lisa is the co-director of a local CFIDS support group. She told me that she personally knows of 5 persons with CFIDS using Glutathione/ATP injections and that all have reported benefits. I asked her where she was obtaining the glutathione/atp injectable solutions. She gave me two sources. They are - Family Pharmacy (1-888-245-5000 ask for Mike Tass) or College Pharmacy, 833 N Tejon, Colo Springs, CO 80903 800-888-9358. For more information, Lisa can be reached by e-mail at Lisaenya@aol.com. Lisa reports she also uses Kutapressin (that inhibits HHV-6A) and that this is also helpful. The use of injectable glutathione/ATP requires a prescription. The two pharmacies are now filling prescriptions for physicians across the country and ship phone orders.
Anecdotal reports: I have confirmed one case where a reader of this newsletter from Florida Bob living with AIDS (HIV/HHV-6A infection) and a viral load of 750,000 had low levels of glutathione in a recent lab test. On a scale of 3 to 7, Bob had 1, well below the normal reference range. Bob also has tried for the past two months to get sensitized to DNCB and needs a 10% solution of DNCB to obtain a DTH response with the characteristic reddening and itching reactions. Since he needs the strongest solution of DNCB just to get a reaction, he has little antigen presentation. As this is being written, Bob is trying a high oral dose of Reduced Glutathione (500 mg - Jarrow Formulas) three times a day with Magnesium Malate (3 tablets twice a day), a Source Naturals brand, to see if it stimulates a stronger DTH response to DNCB.
The Magnesium Malate is being tried based on research that indicates it will increase ATP production. It is hoped the combination will produce a synergistic effect drawing the Glutathione into the cells. As this is being written, I advised him to start on Norvir/3TC combination and to continue his other therapies. I also suggested that if, within two weeks, he could not raise his glutathione levels with the oral form, to consider using the injectable glutathione/ATP. You can reach Bob in Florida at 305-595-9237.
On Feb. 7th, 1998, Steven tried 600 mg of Reduced Glutathione with 3 Magnesium Malate capsules. The following day, he reported less fatigue and more energy. He also reported a stronger itching response to a 5% DNCB solution than he had the previous week indicating a stronger DTH response. On Feb. 9th, he started using NK911 which he had not used since October, 1997 and also took Cats Claw. On Feb. 10th, he reported flu-like symptoms but good energy. He said: I feel something positive is happening. I told him that the flu-like symptoms were probably caused by CMI activation from the NK911. Steven told me he read where Cats Claw increased energy in persons HIV+. CFIDS patients have also told me Cats Claw increases energy levels.
Steven has used DNCB for several years and maintained a stable immune system while he used it. In July, 1997, he stopped using the DNCB on his doctors advice and tried Crixivan, AZT and 3TC. His viral load fell to non-detectable levels, but he did not feel good on the drugs and told of white growths on his tonsils. After he quit this drug cocktail, his CD4s began to drop significantly. He resumed using the DNCB and had to use a 5% solution to get a good response. He started using Naltrexone, Beta Glucan, Colon Green, evening primrose oil, multiple vitamins and minerals and some of the antiviral herbs reported in Positive Health News (No 15) but was unable to stop his viral load from climbing to over 400,000. In January, 1998, I recommended he start on Norvir and 3TC and continue with the nutritional/immune-based therapies including the DNCB. I told him of a local report that taking Norvir lights up DNCB patches like a Christmas tree. He said he wasnt ready yet to take that leap and would wait and see how his latest protocol works out. He added ginger root to his meals and reported feeling better. He told me he made a drink from V8 vegetable juice and added fresh garlic, cayenne and ginger root. It was quite spicy but he could feel a good energy lift from it. Steven also told me of a report he read on the internet that oral glutathione taken alone did not significantly increase intracellular glutathione level, but when taken with alpha lipoic acid, the level increased significantly.
I told him I read a recent article from the American Council on Collabarative Medicine (ACCM) that Lipoic acid was an antioxidant that increased production of cellular energy (ATP) and also increased intracellular levels of glutathione. The same report also mentioned Magnesium and Malic acid (Magnesium Malate), N-Acetyl Carnitine, Thiamin (B1) and Riboflavin (B2) as important factors to increase production of cellular energy (ATP) as well as Coenzyme Q10 as an important factor to protect the mitrochrondia which produces ATP. I told Steven that I felt that since the efficacy of injectable glutathione/ATP had been adequately demonstrated by Dr. Patricia Salvatos research on CFIDS patients, that the key to the success of oral glutathione was to take it with supplements to increase ATP production. If we find the right combination to increase ATP, then the oral Glutathione will enter the cells and stop the destructive free radicals and oxidative stress that is impairing antigen presentation. Restored antigen presentation can be demonstrated with improved DTH responses to DNCB. If this happens, then it will stimulate CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte and NK activity that will result in both immune restoration and falling viral loads. He plans to have lab tests later in February to measure the progress of his latest protocol and said he will ask his physician for a glutathione test along with T cell and viral load counts. Steven can be reached at 209-264-7945.
Scientific research has shown that selenium increases intracellular glutathione levels and lowers beta 2 microglobulin levels, a measure of cell destruction. It has been long established that HIV+ persons with low beta 2 microglobulin levels either do not progress to AIDS or progress very slowly where persons with high levels of beta 2 microglobulin levels are rapid progressers. Within the past 3 months, 7 persons who had viral loads ranging from 100,000 to 750,000 all reported high beta 2 microglobulin levels suggesting a correlation between these two sets of tests. 5 persons with viral loads between 100,000 and 500,000 had beta 2 microglobulin levels between 3.0 and 4.0 and 2 persons with viral load over 500,000 had beta 2 microglobulin levels between 4.0 and 5.0. More data is needed from persons with low viral loads to determine if their beta 2 microglobulin levels are also low. A normal person not under viral or oxidative stress has a beta 2 microglobulin level of less than 2.0.
A study done of 125 HIV+ persons at the center for disease prevention at the University of Miamis School of Medicine showed that persons with below-normal levels of selenium were 20 times more likely to die of AIDS-related opportunistic infections than those with normal levels. The study also showed that maintaining normal levels of vitamin A, B12 and zinc produced a lower rate of mortality and improved survival. When taking supplements containing selenium, 200 to 300 mcg daily is the adult recommended dose. Taking excessive amounts of selenium can be toxic so it is best to stay within that range. Food sources high in selenium are brewers yeast, brown rice, cod, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp, wheat germ, bran and brazil nuts.
B vitamins must be converted by the liver into their co-enzyme form to be utilized by the cells. When the liver is in a toxic state, this does not happen and taking large qualities of B vitamins may have little or no value. The liver routinely performs over 500 known functions that affect cell metabolism. Besides this, it has the job of filtering out and breaking down innumerable toxins that are either produced in the body or are ingested. The liver has the job of coenzymating all B vitamins. Coenzymated Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) and B-3 (Niacin) are both involved in the late stages of the Krebs cycle of cellular metabolism including producing ATP. If the liver does not co-enzymate vitamin B12, new red blood cell formation will be impaired. Coenzymated B6 is needed for hemoglobin production, prostaglandin metabolism and plays a key role in dopamine, noradrenalin, serotonin, GABA and glutamate metabolism. The whole lemon/olive oil drink and castor oil packs over the liver area one to three times weekly will help detoxify and normalize liver functions. Raw beets, dandelion root and parsley are also very helpful. Milk Thistle (Silymarin) taken daily will lower elevated liver enzymes.
When the liver is in a toxicstate it may be unable to coenzymate the B vitamins. Persons with impaired liver function should benefit from a sublingual Coenzymated B Complex (Source Naturals). The tablets are dissolved in the mouth and absorbed directly through capillaries into the blood stream where they are dispersed throughout the body. Coenzymated B Complex contains nine B vitamins including B12. This formula is possibly the most therapeutic B vitamin formula available.
Products/protocols that improve ATP production and cell metabolism.
1. Alpha Lipoic Acid - 50 mg 2 times daily.
2. Magnesium and Malic acid (Magnesium Malate) 2000 mg twice daily with meals.
3. L-Carnitine and N-Acetyl Carnitine 500 mg twice daily.
4. B Vitamins - Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and B6. (Sublingual Coenzymated B Complex - Source Naturals)
5. Coenzyme Q10 (120 mg daily) and Vitamin E (400 i.u. daily) protect mitrochrondia from damage.
6. Foods and herbs that increase energy levels often do so because they are increasing ATP production. A partial list includes -
a. Cayenne, ginger root and garlic
b. Wakame, kelp and brown algae (Aquamune)
c. Wheat and barley grass, blue green algae, chlorella, spirulina and brewers yeast.
d. Sprouts and raw dark green vegetables - sources of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) a powerful antioxidant.
e. Ginseng, green tea, cats claw. f. whole lemon/olive oil drink and/or fresh homemade lemonade.*
g. coconut, coconut oil, avocados
h. fresh vegetable juices (carrot, beet and celery or parsley) daily and spinach once or twice weekly. Apple juice or cider and red grape juice. Drinking more water helps detoxify the body and improves immune responses.
7. Any treatment that helps detoxify the liver - castor oil packs*, coffee retention enemas, enemas of apple cider vinegar and water.
8. Plant enzymes (in supplement form to aid in digestion) Food sources of plant enzymes for protein digestion: Fresh or freeze-dried ginger root, raw red beets, raw pineapple and Kiwi fruit taken with meals.
9. Ozone rectal insufflation or autohemotherapy.*
10. Exercise - walking, jogging, sports activity, dancing. Weight lifting is not recommended.
*See my book on How To Reverse Immune Dysfunction for more information.
1. Injectable glutathione/ATP (100 mg glutathione +1 mg ATP one to three times weekly)
2. Reduced Glutathione - 500 mg 1 or 2X daily (Jarrow Formulas) - use with alpha lipoic acid & other ATP stimulators.
3. Cold processed whey proteins - Immunocal (most effective choice), also Optimune and Designer Protein.
5. L-Cysteine 500 mg daily plus N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) 500 to 600 mg daily.
Note: when glutathione levels have bottomed out, try using all the above protocols simultaneously.
1. Any products or protocols listed above that improve ATP production and cellular metabolism.
2. DNCB topical skin application once every week or two.
3. Transfer Factor, NK911 (also improves Natural Killer cell function)
4. Thymic factors (Bio Pro Thymic Protein A) Thy mates or Complete Thymic Formula
5. Beta 1, 3 Glucan (also improves macrophage function)
6. Soil-based Organisms (Natures Biotics)
7. Drugs: Norvir (Ritonavir) - protease inhibitor (confirmed strong DTH responses from anecdotal reports). Other protease inhibitors may also improve antigen presentation. We are waiting for data from persons who will test reactions to DNCB while on the other P.I.s.
AZT - alone or in combination with any drugs - toxic to the mitochondria where ATP is produced.
AZT AND/OR DDI - especially when used in combination with protease inhibitors.
Prednisone, cortisone Marijuana, cocaine, cigarettes (to a lesser degree) - impairs liver function
White sugar/candy bars/pastry etc. (Sugar is very immunosuppressive)
Canned soda - any other source of cane sugar or corn syrup.
A study done by John Hopkins University component of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort study (MACS) followed B vitamin blood levels in 310 HIV-positive men for nine years(1). MACS reported that men with abnormally low levels of B12 progressed to AIDS twice as fast as those with normal levels. Another study done at the University of Florida in 1997 found a correlation between low B12 levels and cognitive impairment in 108 HIV-positive volunteers. Lack of intrinsic factor, produced in the intestines, is the primary cause of a failure to absorb vitamin B12. Possible causes of why low B12 levels may cause cognitive impairment may be related to increased oxidative stress and increased metabolites like methylmalonic acid and homocysteine. Sublingual liquid B 12 or absorption of sublingual coenzymated B12 would allow for direct absorption into the blood stream. Low B12 levels have also been found in persons with CFIDS. As both CFIDS and AIDS patients have a common virus in HHV-6A, could HHV-6A infection in the gastrointestinal tract impair the production of intrinsic factor that prevents the absorption of B12?
1. Alive and Kicking, (Dec., 1997), 425 S. Broad St, Phila, PA 19147 215-545-6868
Jim Harris attended a meeting held by Keep Hope Alive in West Allis, WI in December, 1996. Shortly after this meeting he started on Naltrexone (monotherapy) which stabilized his condition. In August, 1997, his physician became concerned because his viral load had increased to 50,000 (Quant PCR). His CD4 count dropped to around 600. His physician recommended triple drug therapy.
Chicago, Ill, Jan 15, 1998.
Mark: What did you do?
Jim: I decided not to start the triple drug combination therapy, at least for now. I started eating fresh raw coconut daily. I used coconut oil in my cooking and I made macaroons with fresh grated coconut.
Mark: When did you start doing this?
Jim: Around November 1st, 1997.
Mark: Did you do anything else?
Jim: Yes. About a week later I started taking about 5 grams of garlic daily. Within a week I began to feel real strong. My stools which had been sinking were now floating. I was told by a local Acupuncturist that floating stools were a good sign - indicating healthy bacteria were in the colon.
Mark: I agree with the floating stools concept. Persons immune compromised, with candidiasis and other abnormalities in the colon have stools that sink. Floating stools as well as large diameter stools are two positive indications of improved metabolic function which has a positive effect on immune function. Persons with small diameter stools indicates an inflammation condition in the colon. Jim, how long were you on this protocol before you had lab tests and what were the results?
Jim: After being on this protocol for about 5 weeks, I had lab results around the middle of December. My viral load which had been 50,000 in August dropped to non-detectable levels. My CD4 counts climbed to 890.
Mark: What did your doctor say?
Jim: He said he would not recommend any changes in my medication at this time.
Mark: Were you on any medication?
Mark: Is there anything else to report on your lab results like Natural Killer cell function or Multitest CMI?
Jim: Nothing was done on NK function or Multitest. My triglycerides were around 500 in August and are now less than 200. I was about 5 lbs underweight and have gained 2 lbs.
Mark: Did you follow any special diet, take any herbal or dietary supplements?
Jim: I eat red meat once a week and usually eat fish or chicken and have vegetables with each meal. There was no change in my diet. I also take a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement that is similar to Jarrow Pak Plus or Complete Thymic Formula.
Mark: What brand of garlic did you use?
Jim: I used Garlic and Ginger by Jarrow Formulas. Each capsule contains 500 mg of modified garlic and 200 mg of freeze dried ginger root. I use about 5 capsules twice daily with meals. This gives me 5000 mg of garlic and 2000 mg of ginger root daily.
Mark: Thank you for sharing this information with our readers. Jim can be reached at 708-771-9002.
The next day, I found a book on the medicinal properties of ginger root. See related article elsewhere in this newsletter on ginger root. Based on new information I discovered in this book, I am convinced that the ginger root had an important role in the success of this protocol.
Background. In March, 1997, Marc started on a triple combination of Norvir, D4T and DDI. His viral load fell to non-detectable levels and his CD4 count increased from 16 to 186. While he was on the drug cocktails, he came down with 5 major opportunistic infections. These included Kaposi Sarcoma, PCP, thrush, herpes and Retinitis. He stopped the triple drug combination and his CD4 count dropped to 4 and his viral load increased to 272,000. He began nutritional and immune-based therapies and made a remarkable recovery as reported in our last newsletter. I now believe that his failure on the drug cocktail combo was caused solely by the inclusion of DDI in the protocol.
Jan 2, 1998 (excerpts)
Correa: I called to wish you a Happy New Year.
Konlee: Thanks and Happy New Year to you. How are you doing?
Correa: Im doing fine.
Konlee: You sound happy about something, whats the good news?
Correa: I just got my latest lab results. My CD8s are up to 2000, White blood count is 8000 and CD4s are 398. The viral load is 641. I continue to feel great all the time.
Konlee. Im impressed considering the low point you were at last year. How are your DTH responses to DNCB doing?
Correa: Excellent. I continue to get very good reactions with the weakest strength .02%. They come and go in about 3 days.
Konlee: Have you made any changes in your protocol since the one I published in the last newsletter?
Correa: Yes. I stopped using the BHT in the whole lemon/olive oil drink as the doctors cannot find any remaining trace of CMV titers in my blood. Ive added 5000 mg daily of aged Kyolic garlic extract and Ive increased my daily intake of Beta 1, 3 glucan from 200 mg to 1700 mg daily.
Konlee: 1700 mg of Beta Glucan daily?
Correa: I started this about 2 weeks before my last lab test.
Konlee: What brand of Beta 1, 3 Glucan did you use?
Correa: Beta Max 425 from Chisolm Labs. It comes 425 mg per capsule. I take 4 a day.
Konlee: Are there any side effects from taking this much Beta Glucan?
Correa: Just more energy.
Konlee: How many months were you using BHT in the whole lemon/olive oil drink?
Correa: About 6 months. It was back in June (1997) that I started using 1000 mg of BHT twice a day in the lemon/olive drink to treat the Retinitis. I was also on intravenous Ganciclovir at the same time. Within 3 weeks, the Retinitis was in remission and I no longer needed the Ganciclovir. I gradually reduced the BHT to 1000 mg daily, then to 500 mg to 250 mg daily and I stopped in November when no more titers for CMV could be found in my blood.
Konlee: How does your stomach tolerate doing the whole lemon/olive oil drink twice a day?
Correa: Just fine. The only thing kind of humorous is I keep buying my lemons at the same place and they look at me.....the lady asked me one time what are you doing with all these lemons?
Konlee: What did you say?
Correa: I told her that life has dealt me a lemon so I am turning it into lemonade. She just smiled.
Konlee: Thank you for sharing this information with our readers. Marc Correa can be reached by mail at 540 W Florence Ave, LaHabra, CA 90631.
Mark: You left me a voice mail message that your viral load has dropped to 550. Can you tell me what protocol you are following?
Barclay: First of all, my viral load was 10,000 around January, 1997. Back in June (1997), I started using the coconut daily and the antivirals.
Mark: Which antivirals?
Barclay: I started on Lemon Balm and rotated to a different one each month going to Clarkia 100 then to Larreastat. When I started using the coconut, I used canned coconut milk, then switched to coconut oil. In September, the viral load dropped to 3,600. My CD4 count was 120, CD8 was 600 and the Natural Killer cell count was .45%. In September, I started on Naltrexone (3 mg daily) and NK911 3 capsules daily for 3 days a week. I also used Thy-Mates and ate 3 cloves of raw garlic daily and I continued rotating the same antivirals. For a while, I was drinking 2 glasses daily of raw goats milk.
Mark: Have you stopped drinking the goats milk?
Barclay: I had to stop as supplies ran out. I have one source and when the milk comes in, it is sold almost immediately.
Mark: Have you ever used DNCB?
Barclay: Yes, I forget to mention that.
Mark: What kind of DTH responses were you getting when you first started and what kind are you getting now?
Barclay: Back in June, I had to use 10% solution of DNCB to get a good reaction. Now, I get a very good reaction with 2%.
Mark: That means your DTH has improved and you have better antigen presentation. What are your latest lab results?
Barclay: As I told you, my viral load has dropped to 550. My CD8s are up to 700 and my Natural Killer cell count has doubled - up to .85%.
Mark: What do you mean by .85%. Dont they have an absolute count?
Barclay: No, they measure in percent.
Mark: Percent of what?
Barclay: Percent of normal. I believe it means 85% of normal values.
Mark: Have you ever had a Natural Killer Cell Function test?
Barclay: No. My doctor says he does not know where to obtain this test.
Mark: In the United States, the test is available. However, many physicians do not understand the value of a Natural Killer Cell function test and are reluctant to prescribe it. However, we know that when DTH responses to DNCB get stronger, that Natural Killer cell function and CD8 Cytotoxic lymphocyte activity improves.Barclay Adams 17-D Nassington Rd, Hampstead, London NW32TX England Phone (011) (44) 171-794-1216. Check time zone before you call.
Feb 2, 1998: In a phone conversation with Linda Skaar, she told me that she has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and was diagnosed with a 6 centimeter breast tumor over one year ago. While she could have had surgery, she elected to use enzymes imported from Germany and shark cartilage. For one year her condition remained stabilized, with the tumor neither growing nor shrinking. The last week in Dec. 1997, she started on NK911 taking 3 capsules a day, 3 days per week. After two weeks, she did not notice any changes, so she increased the dose to one full bottle of NK911 per week with 4 days off. With 30 capsules in the bottle, she took 3 capsules 4 times a day for the first day and 3 capsules 3 times a day for the next two days, then nothing for the next 4 days. She went through 3 bottles of NK911 in 3 weeks. At the end of the 3rd bottle, she said she can hardly feel the tumor and said she believes it has reduced in size. She also uses 3 or 4 cloves of raw garlic daily. Linda can be reached at 505-831-7164.
Brooklyn, NY. Bob has used Saquinavir, Crixivan and Viracept and most of the nucleosides over the past 3 years and has tried a lot of nutritional and alternative therapies as well. After being on Viracept and 3TC for over 5 months, he developed an active EBV infection and had severe fatigue. At the time of his fatigue, I suggested he stop the Viracept and try Norvir in combination with 3TC or Rescriptor. He told me that Norvir was the only protease inhibitor he had not tried. He discontinued the Viracept and decided to try Jim Harriss protocol with the Garlic and Ginger Root, coconut oil and Naltrexone and nothing else. On his new protocol, he reports his fatigue is gone.
Bobs advice to anyone using any kind of protocol is to listen to your body. If what you are doing is making you feel worse on a continuous basis, stop doing it and make a change. Bob also said his physician told him that several of his patients who had been on protease inhibitors for longer than one year and who had stopped using them have not had increases in their viral load. Bobs report raises the possibility that if the right drug cocktail restores immune function (good DTH and NK function), it might not have to be a regimen that one has to take continuously for the rest one ones life, but may work just as well used intermittently like other immune-based therapies. In a true immune-based therapy, viral resistance is not an issue. Bob can be reached at 718-236-9098.
HIV related -
Lorraine - 516-546-8011 (nutritional/herbal only)
Joe - 914-763-3768 (uses Garlic, B-12, coconut oil, valarian, DHEA, kombuchu, vegetarian, colonics)
Teresa - 808-669-5325 (NK911, raw garlic, lemon/olive oil drink, coconut oil, DHEA, Nature Biotics, candida diet, black walnut capsules)
Neal - 716-679-7731 (Viramune, D4T, 3TC, Zovirax, multivitamins, COQ10, glutamine, kombuchu tea, fiber)
Robert - 617-783-9927 (Crixivan, D4T, 3TC, Mepron, B-12, DHEA, Naltrexone)
Matt- 707-585-6899 (Naltrexone, Beta Glucan, garlic/herbs and other supplements)
Joe - 704-253-1557 (NK911, coconut oil, Larreastat, Beta 1, 3 glucan, castor oil packs)
CFIDS related -
Sandy - 607-569-3111 (Naltrexone, beta glucan, whole lemon/olive oil drink, olive leaf extract)
Holly - 617-576-3248 (Beta glucan, olive leaf extract, Transfer Factor from Chisolm Biologicals)
The Sunday Times (London, UK) on June 29, 1997 reported that a cure is near for Gulf War Syndrome. A drug that boosts the immune system may also help those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The drug is called SRL 172 and is a protein derived from a soil-based organism. SRL 172 is being developed by Stanford Rock, a company set up by academics from University College, London. The article claims that the drug has already proven successful in restarting the immune systems of persons with allergies, lung cancer and TB. Tests are also planned for breast cancer patients. The article claims that the drug shifts the cytokine profile in persons with Gulf War Syndrome and CFS from TH2 back to the more effective TH1 profile.
TH2 cytokines are Interlukin 4, 5, 6 and 10 and are reported to stimulate B cell antibody production while TH1 cytokines are Interluken II, IL12 and IFN gamma that stimulate a CD8 cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) response. The TH1 vs. TH2 arms of the immune system are like opposite end of a teeter-totter. When one end goes up, the other goes down and vice-versa. In AIDS, CFIDS, candidiasis and cancer, the TH2 arm is in overdrive producing massive amounts of antibodies while the TH1 arm is depressed. Activating the TH1 cytokines turns on the CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes and stimulates Natural Killer cell function. The CD8 CTLs and NK cells attack cancer cells, and destroy virus-infected cells and have more therapeutic value in controlling and reversing these conditions than antibodies (TH2 response). A more extensive report on the Sunday Times article can be found by sending an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Request the article on SRL 172. SRL 172 is the testing and development stage and is not yet available to the public.
The article on SRL 172 did not identify the strain of soil-based organism from which the protein was derived. In December, Jim Mayhew, a reader with CFIDS, sent us an article on Natures Biotics a product that contains the soil-based organism - Bacillus Subtilis. He included a note that his DTH skin responses to topical DNCB had improved since he started using Natures Biotics Soil-based Organisms (SBOs). When I talked to Jim, he told me that after one week on the SBOs, he got the same response to the weakest concentration of DNCB (.02%) that he had obtained a week earlier with the .2%. He also told me the DNCB patches were healing up faster. He said that in the first week, he broke out with a major cold, indicating a weaker TH2 (antibody immunity) and a stronger cell-mediated immunity (CMI) - shift to the TH1 cytokine profile. He reported that his swollen lymph nodes were substantially reduced. Jim can be reached at 515-469-3939. Jim referred me to Lilly Botchis, an herbalist from Fairfield, IA, who has been using Natures Biotics since May, 1997. The following are excerpts from a recent interview.
Mark: Jim Mayhew said you are an herbalist?
Lilly: Ive been a practicing herbalist since 1980.
Mark: When did you learn about Nature Biotics?
Lilly: A friend of mine sent me information on Nature Biotics in April and it sat on my desk...Oh no, not another thing. Then I reviewed the literature again and decided to give it about a two month try. At the time I did not realize how profound an impact it would have on my immune system.
Mark: Did you have some condition that you were trying to treat?
Lilly: I had this situation going on for about 7 years with my right leg, it would spontaneously go out on me. I had no strength or ability to walk. I tried everything from nutrition to homeopathy to cranial adjustments to chiropractor to parasite cleanses to acupuncture to rolfing and deep tissue massage...it would make some difference but it would come and go and come and go. Prior to starting Natures Biotics it was almost consistently there. I really got concerned after someone suggested that I had a virus attacking my muscles.
When I started Natures Biotics I had not great expectations. I decided to test the product to see if it would have any positive effects on me. Within a couple days, I noticed my symptoms were becoming alleviated. Mobility was coming back...pain going away. When I started I felt great for a day and a half...then I got sick. I went through some healing symptoms...nauseous....headache...flu symptoms...fever. All this within the first week.
Mark: How much did you take?
Lilly: One a day. I have to say that since the first day to now I have not had one symptom recur with this leg problem. I did gradually increase the dose to 6 capsules a day over a 6 week period.
Mark: Has anyone else tried the SBOs? Lilly: Several of my clients have...about 100 total.
Mark: How many people did not get any benefits?
Mark: One person out of 100 did not get benefits?
Mark: What has Nature Biotics done for people with fungal infections?
Lilly: One person had Candida/fungal infection, intestinal bloating and a condition of athletes foot since childhood. She had tried diet and homeopathy, just about everything you can think of in the past 15 years. She has been doing Natures Biotics now for about 6 months and says her condition is 90% improved.
Mark: What have soil-based organisms done for herpes?
Lilly: One lady has dealt with recurring episodes of genital herpes for the past 20 years. The first week she tried Natures Biotics, it made her condition worse. I suggested that she break open the capsules and mix a little water with it and make a paste and apply it on the lesions and continue to take it orally. Within another two weeks, all the herpes lesions were gone. It has been two months and I checked with her. She says, everything is great...no more lesions... no new outbreaks.
Mark: What about digestion?
Lilly: Another person had weak digestion and cervical dyplasia. Her digestion has returned to normal, her weight has stabilized and her symptoms are gone.
Mark: Has anyone with AIDS or CFIDS tried the SBOs?
Lilly: I dont know of anyone with AIDS who has tried it. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they had flu like symptoms in the first month along with fatigue. By the end of the second month their energy completely turned around...felt better than they ever had in their whole life.
Mark: Has it helped anyone with insomnia?
Lilly: Yes, a women with digestive disorders also had insomnia problems. She said it helped her to sleep better.
Mark: What other conditions has it helped?
Lilly: One man with diabetes had open sores in his feet that would not heal. He made paste with the Natures Biotics and applied it topically and took 6 capsules a day orally. The sores are now completely healed... it speeds up healing of wounds. In Staph/Strep infections, I know two people who broke open the capsules and mixed it with some water and gargled with it. Within a couple days the infections were gone. Within the first week or two people often get a cold, but later on say they dont get colds any more. Four people had allergies, hay fever, sinus infections. They tell me this was their best year ever. One person with Crohns disease said it helped him. Another person with chronic bronchitis said he got relief. Another person with chronic ringing in the ears said it was completely gone by the 4th week on Natures Biotics.
Mark: How do you take Natures Biotics?
Lilly. Before meals and drink about 10 ounces of water with it. If you dont drink enough water, you may get constipated. The SBOs break down toxins and hydrocarbons and you need lots of water to flush them out.
Mark: What has Natures Biotics done for persons with cancer?
Lilly: One lady with breast cancer used 20 capsules a day of Natures Biotics. However, since I sell Natures Biotics and am aware of laws that restrict what I can say, I am reluctant to make any claims.
Mark: I understand. Can you tell me if the lady is still alive?
Lilly: Yes, very much alive, and she is still using the Natures Biotics and likes it very much. In all my years of being a practitioner this product is the most significant Ive come across for working on the immune system with such a broad range of conditions - affects the body at such a deep level. It has put me into a whole different vibratory level of optimal health. I see things clear up. I see whats left and then I just do some fine tuning with a few herbs. I want to also tell you that not everyone notices improvements in the first week or two. Some people are using the SBOs for 2 or 3 months before they notice improvements in their health.
Mark: Thank you for the interview.
Note: Since this interview, one person HIV+ (asymptomatic) reported an increase in energy using the SBOs and another said it cleared up a chronic sinus infection in one week. Jim Mayhew who has CFIDS and was underweight called late in January to say that since starting on Nature Biotics, he has gained 10 lbs. Another person reported that during the first month of using the SBOs, their stools looked like a pile of black mud at the bottom of the toilet bowl, but that by the 6th week, they looked a normal color and were floating.
I have since learned that the Bacillus Subtilis and other SBOs used in Natures Biotics were discovered in soil in the 1970s. The SBOs in Natures Biotics are grown in a laboratory, then dried at low temperatures before being placed in capsules. The kinds of chronic conditions that are responding to the SBOs strongly suggest that they are improving cell mediated immunity. Therefore, I find myself in disagreement with some statements from Peter Rothschild in company literature that Natures Biotics increases antibody production. No research is cited to support these statements. Since SBOs are improving Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to topical use of DNCB, they could not also be increasing antibody production which is the opposite branch of the immune system. Some persons on SBOs have had an initial outbreak with a cold, an indication of increased TH1 cytokine response.
AquaMUNE is a natural extract of Sargassum seaweed, a species of kelp. It was developed and marketed by Aqua-10 Laboratories of North Carolina under the name AgriBLEND and has been used in the livestock industry for over 15 years. Recently, SeaPharm of Palm Coast, FL has obtained marketing rights for its use as a nutritional supplement. The use of this brown seaweed extract has improved immune function and substantially reduced the need for antibiotics in livestock by as much as 90%. The results of AquaMUNE research performed at the University of Georgia indicated this extract can act as a receptor blocker for many pathogens including Salmonella. Numerous other field reports indicated AquaMUNE was effective against Haemophilus Pneumonia. The product has also increased the protein to fat ratio in animals.
In a previous issue of Positive Health News, I reported that Wakame, another brown seaweed, has been used by cancer patients on chemotherapy to improve the immune response. The National Cancer Institute also has interest in plants from the sea. In an article by Ginger Webb published in THE HERBALIST, Webb writes: David Newman, Ph.D., a chemist with NCIs Natural Products Branch says his research team is currently testing 15,000 compounds from about 6000 marine species including algae, fungi, coral and seaweed for their biological activity. Many appear to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and immuno-suppressive (useful in treating autoimmune diseases) properties. Webb also reports that research at Mcgill University in Montreal has shown that sodium alginate, a derivative of wakame, binds with radioactive strontium 90 in the body, allowing it to be excreted.
In an article by Miriam Jacob Ph.D., Genetic Engineering News, March 15, 1995 on Biotechnology and Drug Firms Farm Bioproducts from the Sea, Jacob reports that a red marine algae from the Philippines showed selective antitumor properties. Also that Carageenans, a family of sulfated polysaccharides, have anti-viral activity and....to inhibit replication of HIV in vitro and the growth of herpes simplex virus. One person who had frequent outbreaks of genital herpes told me that since using AquaMUNE for the past 6 months, he has not had any new outbreaks. He used 2 teaspoons daily. His case was not related to HIV or CFIDS. Since the iodine content of this brown algae extract is very low, it would not be a problem to increase the dose to 2 tablespoons daily if necessary.
My own response to using AquaMUNE is that one teaspoon gives constant sustained energy for about 6 hours. It also increases urination - a detoxification effect. Personally, I like the products effects. Like other plants from the sea, it helps to burn up excess fat and increases the lean muscle to fat ratio. Seaweeds have a lot to offer as natural chelators of heavy metals, to improve metabolism in cells, increase ATP production, body warmth, energy levels and immune function. It should be helpful in conditions of chronic fatigue.
Immune complexes are clusters of interlocking antigens and antibodies. Normally, macrophages break up these circulating complexes. When macrophages become anergic or lazy, this may fail to happen and the circulating immune complexes (CIC) may become lodged in organs and tissues and set off inflammatory reactions(1). The immune system may start producing antibodies against the circulating immune complexes or even autoantibodies that can attack self. Excessive production of immunoglobulins (antibodies) is a common characteristic of AIDS and other diseases with secondary autoimmune involvements. Besides a failure of antigen presentation in the infected cells, altered proteins from poorly digested foods adds to the antigenic overload and acts to further stimulate B cell production of antibodies or complement moving the immune response more in the direction of the humoral or TH2 branch. Most raw foods and sprouts contain various kinds of plant enzymes that aid in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, these valuable enzymes are destroyed by heat - the cooking process. It is very important to eat some raw foods with each meal.
Dr. Francis Pottinger Jr. has found that meals of entirely cooked foods produces a condition known as digestive leukocytosis. This condition occurs after ingesting a meal of entirely cooked foods, when there is an increase in white blood cells in response to the lack of digestive enzymes in the food. Eating only cooked foods forces the body to call upon the white blood cells to donate enzymes to assist the process of digestion(2). Many people have also found that enzyme-depleted cooked foods contribute to tiredness and fatigue where enzyme-rich raw foods like a salad or sprouts produce energy.
Food sources that have high amounts of plant enzymes that can be beneficial when eaten with meals are: ginger root, raw red beets, sprouts, avocados, raw horseradish, fresh raw salsa (cayenne), raw pineapple, kiwi fruit, aspergillus and cultured foods like yogurt. Supplement sources: Absorbaid plant enzymes or Essential Enzymes (from plant sources) (Source Naturals).
1. Enzymes and Enzyme Therapy, by Anthony Cichoke D.C. (Keats Publishing, Inc, New Canaan, CT)
2. Lifestar brochure on enzymes and metabolism - 415-457-1400
My interest in ginger root resulted from a single phone call in January, 1998, from Jim Harris of Chicago (See interview in this newsletter). His simple protocol of coconut oil, garlic and ginger root (Jarrow Formulas), Naltrexone and a multiple vitamin/mineral formula reduced his viral load form 50,000 to non-detectable levels in 5 weeks. The following day, I picked up a book called Ginger - Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick, in a local health food store. It is a well-documented book with 340 references in the footnotes, most from scientific publications. Schulick covers the use of ginger as a spice and medicine for the past 5000 years. Like garlic, which also has a history in folk medicine for at least 5000 years, ginger root has stood the test of time as a spice and botanical with a wide range of therapeutic and medicinal properties.
In his book, Schulick cites scientific research which shows that ginger root has all of the following properties: Antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antibacterial, antiemetic, antifungal, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiparasitic, antiulcer, antiviral, antihistimine, antiarthritic and aphrodisiac. Ginger root is most commonly used for nausea. It reportedly stimulates the growth of friendly intestinal flora and helps expel worms, normalizes cholesterol levels and stimulates PGE1, prostaglandin, similar to what evening primrose oil does. It is rich in protein digestive enzymes. It helps prevent platelet aggregation that can lead to heart attacks. It contains curcumin, also found in Turmeric. Turmeric is another member of the ginger family. Schulick lists 477 chemical compounds found in ginger root and many of their metabolic functions. He reports that ginger root is a more effective treatment for ulcers and acid reflux than most over-the-counter drugs.
As a daily supplement for persons who are healthy, Schulick recommends 1 teaspoon of fresh grated root daily or 1000 mg of dried root in capsule form. As a therapeutic treatment for an active condition, he recommends up to 7000 mg daily of dried root or about one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger root 3 times a day. If capsules are used, try freeze-dried ginger root (Jarrow formulas) and take 2 or 3 with meals 3 times a day or use 3 or 4 Garlic and Ginger root caps with meals 3 times a day (10 total) like Jim Harris did. The big question is whether or not the results of Jim Harriss protocol can be duplicated. Ginger root is a new discovery, but lets not forget what else he used - garlic, coconut oil and Naltrexone. Also, Jim used this simple protocol with his immune system still relatively intact. Using Naltrexone or NK911 to activate Natural Killer cell function, along with a diet high in enzyme-rich raw foods would be a good foundation upon which to build a more effective protocol.
Another spice that caught my attention since the last newsletter is Oregano. Three different persons with long standing fungal infections and candidiasis told me that oregano capsules and oregano oil have been the most effective treatment for their condition they have ever used and they told me they tried everything. Oregano is another spice like garlic and ginger root that has been used in the Mediterranean and Europe for thousands of years. A book by physician and surgeon Dr. Cass Ingram titled The Cure is in the Cupboard tells about the therapeutic and medicinal value of oregano and oregano oil. This book contains 56 references in the footnote and identifies 34 chemical compounds in oregano. Dr. Ingram makes the following statement about oregano: Oil of oreganos antiseptic powers are immense. Nothing else in Nature can match it. Singlehandedly, it can kill and/or block the growth of virtually any fungus. Furthermore, it inhibits the growth of the majority of bacteria..
Ingram reports that oil of oregano is listed on the FDAs GRAS list - Generally Regarded As Safe. He lists thymol and carvacrol as its active ingredients. Carvacrol has never been synthetically reproduced. Thymol is a known antiseptic found in common mouthwashes like Listerine. Carvacrol is also found in savory. For systemic candidiasis, Ingram recommends 6 to 12 capsules daily of Oregamax, a brand name of oregano in capsule form plus the topical use of oil where needed for such conditions as athletes foot. He also recommends oregano for shingles, which is caused by a herpes virus. He even recommends oil of oregano for genital warts (papillomavirus). Ingram reports of a case of a lady who suffered for years from warts and fungal infections, who tried everything from prescription drugs to dozens of natural treatments. She got relief within two weeks by taking 10 drops of oregano oil in capsules 3 times a day. Ingram recommends Oil of Oregano and Oregamax from the North American Herb and Spice Co. The book can be ordered by calling 800-243-5242. or write to Oregano, PO Box 4885, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089.
Naltrexone (3 mg daily) and/or DNCB topical weekly applications
Beta 1, 3 Glucan,
Coconut oil (3 Tbsp daily) and a natural wholesome Diet - macrobiotic or immune enhancement diet from my book.
Eat sprouts, green leafy vegetables and cultured foods - cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and poached eggs (add Tabasco sauce). Rye crisp and whole grain breads/crackers made from sprouted grains. Cooked brown rice is rich in selenium and antioxidants. Use it daily or frequently with raw pineapple or kiwi. Other enzyme-rich food sources to help digestion are ginger root, raw pickled beets (make your own by slicing raw beets and adding apple cider vinegar and pickling spice. Refrigerate until ready to use). Avoid salt and sodium-rich foods - too much sodium may cause cell edema and impair cell function. Hot whole grain cereals - serve with kiwi, brown sugar/sucanat and high protein soy milk or raw goats milk. Squash - excellent to heal the G.I. tract.
Colonics, coffee retention enemas, whole lemon olive drink, cultured cabbage juice, kombuchu tea.
Four top therapeutic herbs are Garlic, Cayenne, Ginger root and Oregano.
Note: Regarding cayenne, the most therapeutic form you will find is fresh raw hot salsa made in a Mexican restaurant. Find a local Mexican restaurant that makes raw hot salsa from fresh cayenne and order a pint to go. While pasteurized salsa sold in grocery stores is therapeutic, the best is enzyme-rich raw salsa made from fresh cayenne, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Enjoy it with baked or low fat corn chips or potato chips.
An easy way to take coconut oil is to make popcorn. Pour 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a stainless pan and add popcorn. As the corn pops, it will absorb all the coconut oil. You can flavor the popcorn with powdered cheese topping and spice it up with cayenne, oregano and garlic powder. Shake it up in a brown paper bag. Enjoy this treat once a day with a glass of apple cider and a cinnamon stick.
Prayer - The Pieta Prayers - Seek Gods help and guidance in your decision making process. Use prayer daily.
Water - drink 8 glasses or more daily of clean filtered water. Water removes toxins from the body that depress your immune system.
Exercise - walk 2 miles daily or do exercise that moves the whole body and is fun. Aerobic exercise increases ATP production, improves antigen presentation and increases endorphin production activating Natural Killer cell function. Try riding a bicycle, jumping rope, playing basketball, ping pong, roller skating, dancing, any exercise that moves the whole body. It should be fun, not a chore. Do it to the point of sweating, but not complete exhaustion. Avoid weight lifting that tears muscles and may stimulate cortisol production that is immunosuppressive.
Rotate herbal antivirals every 30 days: Tumeric (Curcumin), an antioxidant and integrase inhibitor of HIV is added to the list of antivirals that can be rotated. Two caps 3 times daily with meals. See my book for more information on other options that can be rotated like olive leaf tea/extract, lemon balm and Larreastat.
In Positive Health News, No 15, references to AZT and D4T causing beer bellies when used with protease inhibitors should read AZT and DDI. A reevaluation of earlier cases led to the discovery that the persons with crix belly using D4T were all using DDI as well. We are not seeing a problem with D4T in relation to crix belly.
DRUG COCKTAILS: Within the past year, we criticized ALL the drug cocktail combinations for being strictly antiviral - effective against HIV only and not having any effect on HHV-6A or the immune system and reporting mostly the drug cocktail failures. In this newsletter, we are only opposed to certain drug cocktail combinations that are suppressing immune function while we support the use of other drug cocktail combinations that are more than strictly antiviral therapies, but are also immune-based therapies that increase the host defense against the other AIDS virus - HHV-6A and opportunistic infections. In other words, we have gone from generally negative views on all drug cocktail combinations to a split decision - supporting the good combinations and strongly opposing the bad ones.
Regarding raw unpasteurized milk - Raw milk increases glutathione levels whereas no such benefit can be found in pasteurized milk. However, raw cows milk should be avoided as bovine tuberculosis could be transmitted from an infected cow unless you can find raw organic milk that is Certified by the state to be safe to drink. California and one other state allows for this. Since there are no known diseases that are transferred from goats to people, raw goats milk is still very much on our list of excellent choices. It is illegal to sell raw goats milk in most states so you will have to go direct to the farmers who produce it.
P24 ANTIGEN: Enough anecdotal reports have come in that I now consider this test useless both as a diagnostic and a prognostic test. As an example, Bob, a reader in Florida faxed me lab results that showed a PCR viral load of 750,000 correlating with a high beta 2 microglobulin level of 4.5 and a P24 antigen at non-detectable levels. Because P24 antigen tests, which are suppose to measure HIV titers dont correlate with either PCR viral loads or beta 2 microglobulin levels, the test is completely useless and should be thrown out.
DDC ERROR: In the December, 1997, Voice Mail Message, I erred when I confused DDC, an antioxidant (diethyldithiocarbamate) like Glutathione, which is a thiol contributor, with a nucleoside also called DDC (HIVID) from Hoffman LaRoche. The Dec. Voice Mail Message was corrected on Feb. 1st, 1998. While both drugs are abbreviated as DDC, they are entirely different: the first being an antioxidant; the latter (HIVID) being a nucleoside.
Regarding Quant. PCR or bDNA test for HIV viral loads, our position has been and remains that we do not know for certain that the numbers from these tests actually represent HIV viruses. They could represent gene products from HHV-6A or gene products that both HIV and HHV-6A share in common. If the latter were the case, then persons with CFIDS who have high titers of HHV-6A also would have high PCR numbers when tested for HIV. However, Chiron and Roche have both set up rules that only persons testing positive for HIV on the Elisa and Western Blot test are to be given Quant. PCR or bDNA. They specifically warn not to use the Quant. PCR or bDNA to determine if a person is HIV+. Someone is going to have to break the rules to find out the truth. If someone with CFIDS who has been diagnosed with active HHV-6A infection and who is HIV negative on Elisa/Western Blot would have a Quant PCR for HIV and then show a viral load, it must mean that Quant PCR in persons with AIDS correlates to both HIV and HHV-6A viral load. The alternative explanation is that Quant PCR in AIDS is not actually measuring either HIV or HHV-6A but rather the combined effects of these two viruses in destroying cells (i.e. cellular debris).
In fact, 7 readers reported within the past 3 months high viral load and beta 2 microglobulin levels. It is not disputed by anyone that beta 2 microglobulin levels directly relate to the rate of cell turnover or destruction. I have found in these 7 cases that there is a direct relationship between beta 2 microglobulin levels and HIV viral load counts. Specifically, in 5 cases, when the viral load was greater than 100,000 but less than 500,000, the beta 2 microglobulin levels were between 3.0 and 4.0. When the viral load was over 500,000, the beta 2 microglobulin levels were higher than 4.0 in two cases. One person had a decrease in viral load accompanied by a decrease in beta 2 levels and another person had an increase in viral load accompanied by an increase in beta 2 microglobulin levels.
It has been known for years and shown in several studies that HIV non-progressors have beta 2 microglobulin levels of less than 2.0. Presently, I am lacking data on both beta 2 microglobulin levels and viral load in persons with non-detectable viral loads to 50,000 and need this information to continue my evaluation. If we can gather enough hard data in persons with low viral load counts that consistently matches low beta 2 microglobulin levels, we then should be able to estimate beta 2 microglobulin levels on the basis of viral load counts and vice versa. In other words, if your beta 2 microglobulin level is 3.0, your viral load may be 100,000. If the beta 2 microglobulin level is 2.5, then maybe the viral load is 50,000? If beta 2 microglobulin level is 2.0, then maybe the viral load is 10,000? and if the beta 2 microglobulin level is 1.5, then the viral load is non-detectable? Until I have the hard evidence from readers who obtain viral load counts and beta 2 microglobulin levels simultaneously, I wont know for certain if the estimated relationships I published here will correlate. What I do know is that in 7 out of 7 cases (100%), high beta 2 microglobulin levels correlated directly with high viral load counts. We now have enough cases that directly correlate high viral loads for HIV with high beta 2 microglobulin levels, that I can say with some certainty that both tests (Quant PCR and bDNA) have the same prognostic value as the beta 2 microglobulin tests.
The conclusion I am reaching here is that high Quant PCR or bDNA measures the combined effects of both HIV and HHV-6A infection in destroying cells. The same conclusion can be reached by looking at the Beta 2 microglobulin levels, which strongly implies that for prognostic purposes, all three of these tests may be interchangeable.
For final resolution of the issues raised here, I am looking for volunteers with CFIDS and active HHV-6A infection to: 1. Ask their physician for a prescription for the protease inhibitor Norvir (Ritonavir); 2. A Quant PCR or bDNA for HIV viral load; 3. Rapid Culture Test Assay for HHV-6A from Herpes Virus Diagnostics (414-529-3780 fax 529-3782). If what happens is what I think will happen CFIDS patients will show a viral load for HIV, even though they dont have the virus and the use of Norvir should lead to a complete resolution of symptoms in 4 to 6 weeks. There should be a drop in HHV-6A titers and Quant PCR for HIV to possibly non-detectable levels.
If in HHV-6A related CFIDS, the PCR test for HIV is non-detectable, it will prove that Quant PCR is not measuring HHV-6A titers in persons with AIDS. However, if PCR for HIV in CFIDS shows a viral load, it will mean that in AIDS patients, PCR is probably measuring both HIV and HHV-6A titers due to common gene products that both viruses share in common. It will also mean that in CFIDS, Quant PCR or bDNA for HIV is actually measuring titers for HHV-6A. Finally, if Norvir leads to a complete resolution of symptoms in persons with CFIDS, then they will have discovered an effective treatment for their condition. It will also indicate that in persons with AIDS, Norvir is effective not only against HIV, but also HHV-6A infection. The implications of what I have proposed here are profound for persons living with either AIDS or CFIDS.
Update: 2/24/98. I spoke with Donald Carrigan and Konstance Knox of Herpes Virus Diagnostics in Greenfield, WI this morning and explained my theory that the protease inhibitors may be reducing HHV-6A viral loads along with HIV. Donald Carrigan told me that HHV-6A has a protease molecule but it was structured differently than HIV protease and both acknowledged the possibility that HIV protease inhibitors might work against HHV-6. They also told me that they have found high levels of beta-2 microglobulin levels when HHV-6A is active along with increases in tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
1. Glutathione levels (below normal levels correlates with high viral loads, oxidative stress and possibly a failure of antigen presentation).
2. Vitamin B12 levels (low levels correlate with impaired digestion, cognitive impairment, oxidative stress and other metabolic functions and possibly HHV-6A infection in the intestinal tract that impairs intrinsic factor needed for B12 absorption).
3. Antigen Presentation for CMI or for Anergy:
a. Multitest CMI to measure DCH (Anergy is less than 2 mm response) Good DCH response is 3mm average or higher.
b. DTH responses to DNCB (very weak if you need 5 or 10% to get a good response. Good CMI if you respond well at .2% solution and excellent CMI if you respond well at .02%).
4. Natural Kill Cell Function Test - (Little or no immunity against cancer, o.is if lytic units are less than 20. Good NK function is 50 or more lytic units and excellent if over 100.
5. B and T cell Function tests (measures lymphoproliferative responses of B cells, CD4 and CD8 to mitogen stimulation).
Interpreting Other Tests
Beta 2 microglobulin levels or Quant PCR or bDNA for HIV - high levels linked to increased destruction of cells by HHV-6A or HHV-6A/HIV primarily plus oxidative stress and free radicals as a secondary factor. Low numbers on these tests are a good prognosis.
Body Temperature - low levels (below 98.6°F) linked to a failure of antigen presentation, a toxic liver and other organs and impaired ATP production. The lower your body temperature is, the more toxic is your body and the impaired is antigen presentation.
Note: For a complete listing of basic nutritional, herbal and immune-based therapies developed over the past 9 years and how to use them, see my book How To Reverse Immune Dysfunction. This newsletter does not have the available space to answer all the questions you may have. Nearly all your questions should be answered in my 136 page book. Every page in this book has information as concentrated as what is written here. See last page of this newsletter for ordering instructions.
Q: My viral load is over 100,00 and my T cells are falling. I get no reaction to MultiTest CMI and need a 5% to 10% solution to get any reaction to DNCB. I cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month to pay for comprehensive nutritional and immune-based therapies and diagnostics. What I am doing now is not sufficient to stop my health from declining. What do I do?
A: First of all, you need an affordable program that works. If you are on Medicaid or have private insurance or can get help under ADAP, you should try a salvage therapy of Norvir, Rescriptor and 3TC or D4T for starters, and use as many low-cost treatments you can afford. See my article in this newsletter on Low Cost Treatments for AIDS. Pray daily for guidance in your treatment decisions and you will make far fewer mistakes.
Q: I just tested HIV+. What is the first treatment you recommend I use?
A: DNCB is the first treatment of choice as it builds up the CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes and drives antigen presentation. Once an effective immune response is underway, you will see the viral load fall. If you can get good DTH skin reactions to .2% or .02% DNCB solution, you may not need to do much of anything else for several years. If you get a good response to .2% or .02%, you could use DNCB once every 2 weeks. If you can get the CD8s up to over 1500, better yet up to 2500, you should be symptom free for a long time. You could also use Naltrexone (3 mg daily) or NK911(4 capsules 3 days a week) plus Garlic and Ginger root capsules (Jarrow Formulas) and eat a dish of popcorn made with coconut oil daily. The worst choice for starters is AZT as it depresses CD8 cytotoxic activity and damages the mitochondria where ATP is produced. If you take AZT long enough, you can develop AIDS without HIV. Using any two nucleosides together long term is not advised.
Q: I have full blown AIDS and want to combine the best of both worlds (FDA-approved drugs and nutritional therapies) What do I do?
A: You can use a salvage therapy (Norvir, Rescriptor plus either D4T or 3TC) plus the supplements used by Mike G. (see interview in this newsletter) or Marc Correas protocol published in my last newsletter (Report No 15).
Q: I want to treat myself without prescription drugs. What do you recommend?
A: Try Marc Correas protocol (See Rep[ort No 15) or one of the other ones based on interviews in this newsletter combined with many of the low-cost options or design one based on options listed in my book or the last newsletter. It is important that you have a physician monitor your progress with either beta 2 microglobulin levels or Quant PCR plus direct markers of immune function like the Natural Killer cells and DTH or DCH responses when the immune system is challenged.Keep Hope Alive PO Box 270041 West Allis, WI 53227.
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