Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis: A Revival of Hope

Imagine watching a woman with multiple sclerosis of many years duration (who had previously needed a “walker” to help her get around) walking unaided several times around a room at good speed and with no balance problems. Imagine listening to her say she’s sleeping better, her energy is much improved, and that she’s able to think more clearly. She attributes her dramatic improvement to the natural amino-acid derivative she’s been using for the previous two to three weeks. Imagine hearing another woman, much more seriously afflicted, report that she’s able to feed herself again, and that her friends and relatives had all noticed her speech is easier to understand. Both of these improvements occurred within a month of starting the “new” natural amino-acid derivative.

Your editor has seen and listened to both these women in just the last month. One of your editor’s colleagues at Tahoma Clinic, Dr. George Gillson, M.D., Ph.D., reports that at first checkback (approximately six weeks for treatment) for nineteen individuals with multiple sclerosis, eleven noted dramatic improvement, three reported one or more significant improvements in symptoms (including reduced numbness, better motor control, improved speech, much better sleeping, and more energy) one had no change, and four had no change associated with poor absorption of the natural amino-acid derivative, poor patch adhesion, or an interfering drug.

The nurse responsible for the revival of the use of the natural amino-acid derivative (a now mostly symptom-free “MS” sufferer herself) has collected verbal reports from over 200 individuals diagnosed with “MS” who’ve used the natural amino-acid derivative: 72% report at least one significant improvement in symptoms, and some many more.

The Natural Amino Acid Derivative: 

The natural amino acid-derivative is histamine, a very small and simple molecule made by every human (and animal) body from the naturally occurring (and conditionally essential) amino-acid histidine. Yes, that’s the same histamine that most of us are told is the “bad guy” of the allergy world, against which we’re all urged to swallow the latest patent (and prescription-only, until the patent expires) “antihistamine” medication. Apparently, individuals with “MS” either don’t make enough histamine in their own bodies, or just need more. Perhaps both. No one knows for certain.

Isn’t it premature to be writing about a symptom improvement in MS based on verbal reports of only 200+ individuals, and only 19 reporting back so far to Tahoma Clinic? Results achieved with… of all things… histamine? Isn’t is all too new…and perhaps too wacky…to get our hopes up? Please refer back to title of this report (A Revival of Hope), and then let’s travel back in time to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. The year is 1950; the reporter is Miriam Zeller Gross, who published the article from which the following paragraphs are excerpted from McCall’s Magazine for December of that year.

“Take Mrs. Alice Meinert. This young mother was stricken shortly after New Year’s Day in 1947. By May, she could not get out of bed. For a year she grew steadily worse. Her father heard about the Clinic in Tacoma [not Tahoma Clinic, which was founded in 1973.-ed.]. He urged that his daughter be sent there. But the attending physician pooh-poohed the idea, and acting on his advice, Mrs. Meinert’s husband refused.

“The father took legal action and gained custody of his daughter- a step accomplished through the farseeing wisdom of Judge Chester A. Batchelor of the King County Court, Seattle.

“Four days after she reached the Tacoma clinic, Mrs. Meinert took her first steps in more than a year. One week later she walked from the house to the street and got into an automobile unaided…..her condition has improved steadily. She does her own housework, looks after her child, and appears in every way to be a well, happy woman.”

See also: You’re just 24 hours away from discovering-and reducing-your breast cancer risk

Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Hinton Jonez: 

In 1946, Hinton Jonez, M.D., a Tacoma general practitioner, was invited by the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Hospital to open an MS clinic in a hospital wing. The Sisters had observed improvements in several individuals with MS hospitalized at St. Joseph’s under Dr. Jonez care. They had observed that the mainstay of Dr. Jonez’ treatment was injectable histamine, and knew that injectable histamine could cause adverse effects, including severe headaches or stomach aches with considerable cramping if injected at the wrong dose or speed of administration. There were even reports of deaths from too much histamine injected too rapidly. But Dr. Jonez’ patients had had no such adverse effects, and all had improved, so the Sisters were happy when Dr. Jonez volunteered to open a clinic at St. Joseph’s dedicated to the treatment of MS.

Dr. Jonez had learned of injectable histamine treatment for MS at a meeting of the American College of Allergy (now called the American College of Allergy and Immunology) from the then-well-known Bayard T. Horton, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota). According to Dr. Jonez, when discussing allergy and allergy treatment over dinner, Dr. Horton had told him and a group of physicians: “Take multiple sclerosis. There is good reason to believe it is an allergic condition. According to Dr. Jonez, Dr. Horton had explained that histamine gives new life to MS victims much as fresh fighting troops revive an exhausted army. “It’s too early to say much,” Dr. Horton told Dr. Jonez, “but we believe we are on the right track.”

Histamine For Allergies: 

Some fifty or more years after Dr. Horton’s time, we’ve all been thoroughly convinced by the patent medicine companies propaganda (“advertising”) that patented and formerly patented “antihistamines” are the best way to combat allergy. Such was not the case in the 1940′s. Dr. Jonez explains:

“Let me review some 1946 medical history…the antihistamine drugs were big news that year…pharmaceutical houses worked night and day to rush the latest and most potent antihistaminic drug to doctors and druggists….while most doctors dosed their patients with antihistamine s, Dr. Horton did the exact opposite. He administered histamine. And he was getting results. Both allergic conditions and an impressive array of illnesses were yielding to Dr. Horton’s histamine treatment.

“Mysterious, intolerable head-aches disappeared. So did the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, characterized by progressive deafness, previously relieved by highly delicate surgery. A host of bizarre eye and ear conditions heretofore thought incurable had also responded to histamine.

“Horton’s method was in a sense fighting fire with fire, and based on the same line of reasoning as giving cowpox vaccinations to fight smallpox….Instead of suppressing the action of histamine by antihistaminics, he used histamine against histamine.”

If these successes were achieved by a respected staff member of the Mayo Clinic in the 1940s, why isn’t histamine commonly in use today against allergic diseases? The answers lie in the nature of histamine itself, and in the nature of American medicine. Histamine is a very “unstable” molecule; it “breaks down” very rapidly. When given orally, it can cause considerable stomach upset and cramping; when given too rapidly or in too great a quantity by injection it can (as noted above) give very unpleasant effects. A few people had actually died after being injected with too much histamine too fast. But administering it properly, Dr. Horton reported that he had given thousands of injections without a single ill effect. So why didn’t physicians learn and apply Dr. Horton’s methods as Dr. Jonez did?

Histamine’s biggest “handicap” is (and was) that as a molecule produced in human bodies it isn’t patentable. Patent medicine (sometimes called “pharmaceutical”) companies would not work “night and day” to rush histamine…or news of its latest uses…to doctors and druggists. And in the 1940s, as now, the vast majority of physicians got most of their “new treatment” information from patent medicine companies.

Dr. Jonez First “Case”: 

Mrs. Johnston had suffered from MS for five years. She was bedridden, unable to move her legs. She was going blind, and had difficulty swallowing.

Dr. Jonez describes her response to histamine treatment:

“[Histamine] was given slowly, carefully. All the elaborate precautions Horton outlined were observed. He had said that histamine had an unwarranted bad reputation because doctors…gave [it] too rapidly, or used contaminated equipment. They failed to realize that the fault lay in their own ineptness….

“A rosy glow spread over Mrs. Johnston’s face, then down the arms. “I feel better already,” she said…As the days went by, there was no doubt she was getting better….she could swallow with ease for the first time in months. And to the amazement of her eye specialist, her vision was back to normal….Less than six months after her first dose of histamine, she was walking. Sensation had fully returned to the legs that had appeared hopelessly paralyzed. It began the evening her husband telephoned in great excitement; “She can wiggle her toes!…The progress was steady. Soon she gave away the wheelchair.”

Dr. Jonez goes on to explain that the natural course of MS can include unexplained “spontaneous” remissions, sometimes of long duration. As this was his first case, he couldn’t be certain that the histamine injections had caused Mrs. Johnston’s improvement. How-ever, five years later, after administering some 150,000 doses and observing the results, he wrote: “…histamine is the medication of first choice in multiple sclerosis.”

Dr. Jonez’ Clinic at St. Joseph’s: 

After obtaining space at St. Joseph’s and with the help of the sisters, Dr. Jonez added several features to the basic histamine treatment. As Dr. Horton had told Dr. Jonez that MS was caused by allergy, and since Dr. Jonez’ use of Dr. Horton’s histamine treatment for MS had been successful in many cases, it’s understandable that Dr. Jonez wrote (in a “professional report”): “At our clinic, complete allergy management is the basis of therapy. On all of our patients, allergy histories are taken and scratch tests [the best available at the time – ed.] are made for sensitivities to foods, epidermals, molds, fungi, pollens, and miscellaneous allergens.” On the basis of these test, diets and allergy desensitization programs were individualized for each MS patient. Dr. Jonez emphasized the importance of allergy control as well as histamine treatment: “Almost without exception, our chronic, progressive [MS patient] suffered from food allergies.” He recounts the case of a patient: “who was out of his wheelchair three times and back again because he thought a small order of salmon and spinach wouldn’t make any difference.”

Physical therapy was another important part of Dr. Jonez’ program. The Sisters of St. Joseph’s helped him to make sure physical therapy was done adequately and appropriately for each patient. For patients whose muscles were twisted and contorted with MS spasm, Dr. Jonez prescribed injections of a powerful muscle relaxant to aid in muscle manipulation.

After five years, Dr. Jonez’ multiple sclerosis program was so successful that the Sisters decided to erect a new clinic building to house what would be named St. Joseph Hospital Clinic for Demyelinating Diseases. The official “groundbreaking” occurred on December 8,1951, with opening scheduled for August 15, 1952. Unfortunately, Dr. Hinton Jonez died, the Sisters could not find even one physician on St. Joseph’s staff willing to continue his program, and Dr. Jonez’ clinic and program at St. Joseph’s in Tacoma came to an end.

Other Natural Treatments for MS: 

At the same time Dr. Jonez was working at St. Joseph’s, another pioneer in effective natural MS treatment, Dr. Roy Swank, was developing his MS diet while on the faculty of the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center. Dr. Swank’s diet is high in “unsaturated fatty acids” which have been found to aid MS when supplemented alone. Others (including Dr. Jonez) were exploring the use of injectable Vitamin B12, as well as injectable adenosine monophosphate (AMP), a natural substance made within every cell of our bodies. During the intervening years, your editor (as well as others) have found that a large proportion of individuals with MS have significant impairments of digestion and assimilation, and that a unique herbal combination can have a significant effect in MS treatment. Your editor and other Tahoma Clinic physicians have observed DHEA to be a small help for some individuals with MS. All of these valuable natural treatments and aspects of MS will follow the description of the “improved histamine” Procarin, the invaluable contribution of Elaine DeLack, R.N.

Elaine DeLack, MS, And Procari: 

Elaine developed her first symptoms of MS in 1985 while living in Montana. While pregnant with her son, she developed difficulty moving her left leg. After delivery, she had variable difficulty moving her left arm and hand. In 1987, a MRI (magnetic resonance image) showed what appeared to be MS lesions in her central nervous system; a second MRI showed more lesions, and the “official diagnosis” of MS was made in 1988.

She continued to worsen until “making dinner was a chore.” Finally, she had her self-described “wake-up call”; A fall while carrying her son, who required stitches for his cuts. She knew she needed more help. She received a telephone call from a caring woman who advised her to call Raymond Bjork, M.D., a Montana physician, who advised her to try injections of Vitamin B12 and adenosine monophosphate (AMP). She reports “it really helped,” and that she could put herself into remission with these natural injections.

In 1993, she finished work for her R.N., which she had started in Montana before taking “time out” to care for her children. While working at her first job at a nursing home, she tried to convince the attending physicians to use injections of Vitamin B12 and AMP for MS patients. Only one physician would listen; he had the injections given to one of the nursing home residents suffering from MS, who strengthened and went home. Despite this none of the other physicians would consent to try the injections for their MS patients, telling Elaine “there isn’t enough research.”

So in 1994, she enrolled in a research-methods course at the Bothell campus of the University of Washington, determined to find and develop research on injectable Vitamin B12 and AMP. She found research showing that histamine stimulated the production of the “intrinsic factor” by the stomach. She knew that Vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed without “intrinsic factor,” and she recalled that Vitamin B12 had not worked for her when she swallowed it, but had been very helpful for her when she injected it. She felt she had found key information. After that, it seemed that in her research “everything led to histamine.”

Elaine started giving herself histamine by injection and with transdermal patches, but found the effects to transient. Further research led her to other natural substances, which would slow the body’s breakdown of histamine. She found a combination which helped her eliminate all her own MS symptoms. After first working with Judy Richardson, R.Ph., who helped develop the delivery system, she located George Ballasiotes, R.Ph., and Jim Seymour, R.Ph., at Key Pharmacy, in Kent, Washington, who helped develop, compound and distribute the histamine combination, the delivery system, and the patch itself, so that others could use the combination (which she named “Procarin”) more easily. She obtained a “use patent” Procarin; in the course of the patent research she discovered the work of Dr. Jonez. After she obtained her “use patent,” she formed a company, and raised money for feasibility studies.

Once again, she was frustrated by the unwillingness of many doctors to consider using the Procarin. Even when nothing else was working for their MS patients, they refused to try. Finally, she located Dr. Daniel Nehls, a Tacoma neurosurgeon, who conducted a pilot study with encouraging results.

Your Editor and Tahoma Clinic Get Involved: 

In the 1980′s your editor read Dr. Jonez’ book and professional paper, and spoke to a former patient of his, still “in remission.” Dr. Jonez’ book “rang true,” and his former patient was convincing, so we tried injectable histamine at Tahoma Clinic intermittently in the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, we had no inpatient facility available for the slow, continuous, infusions mentioned by Dr. Jonez. Our patients didn’t have enough results from the histamine infusions to continue, so we put the project “on the shelf.” (We were having better results with the allergy work advocated by Dr. Jonez, and the other items mentioned in what follows.)

This summer, George and Jim from Key Pharmacy told Tahoma Clinic physicians about their work with Elaine and Procarin, and about Dr. Nehls pilot study. Fortunately, we were aware of Dr. Jonez’ prior histamine work. Having worked with natural medicine since 1973, we knew that Procarin had a very low potential for adverse effects, and that the potential benefits for MS patients were enormous. We started to work with it right away.

We designed standardized questionnaires to be filled out “before” and “after” Procarin use, so we could keep daily journals; the following is excerpted from one of these, a woman who started to apply Procarin patches twice daily on July 16, 1999:

July 19: No reaction, no improvement.

July 18: Getting out of wheelchair, improving, less fatigue. Able to feed myself, no tremors, able better to support myself in bathroom. Bladder-control improvement. Balance improving, to stand longer, comprehension improvement. Didn’t need to take an afternoon nap.

July 19: Over-all I’m feeling better, thinking clearer. Talked to relatives on the phone and they note a difference in speech and conversation.

July 20: Getting out of wheelchair even better, can stand for longer periods of time, went to P.T., and she noticed how much stronger I was. Less swelling in ankles. Still feeling better.

July 21: Feeling stronger, more energy, thinking clearer. Swelling still less in ankles. Standing longer. Less fatigue. Generally feeling stronger.

July 22: Starting to build muscles in my legs (probably from standing).

July 23: Starting to get a better appetite. Feeling lass fatigue and feeling stronger.

July 24: Same.

July 25: Less numbness in hands and arms. Still don’t take afternoon naps.

July 26: Noticed improvement in legs…getting stronger. Can make “baby steps.” Not very much, but improving.

July 27: Went to my P.T. and actually walked with help 20 feet twice. Can move my left leg forward, but can’t on my right side. Was transferring from wheelchair to P.T. table by myself.

July 28: Can stand up longer (hanging on to something). Arms continue to get stronger.

July 29: Same.

July 30: Just keep feeling stronger. Can stand with help longer.

July 31: Just over-all feeling better.

August 1: Stayed up late with a relative last night. Was not as tired. Didn’t have to take a nap. Actually took 3 small steps hanging onto a bar.

August 2: Building muscles in arms and legs. Can stand up straighter if I am hanging onto something or someone. Can look into my husband’s eyes again!

August 3: Have less swelling in my feet and ankles, but more in my right foot. Have more energy to do things around the house.

August 4: Building muscles in arms and legs.

August 5: Feeling stronger. A slight rash on my face. Have had it before comes and goes.

August 6: Same.

August 7: Felt stronger. Still rash on my face.

August 8: Fatigued. Exercised a little more than I should have.

August 9: Rash still present.

August 10: Starting to itch at several sites across chest and back. Still feeling stronger. I only seem to start itching after the second patch comes off.

August 11: Used cortisone cream on the sites that itch last night and that helped. Used it also on my face. The rash on my face is practically gone. I am also getting out of my wheelchair better and standing up straighter.

August 12: Took my first steps today!! Yeah! I had to hold onto a bar in our bathroom, but I took three steps. I yelled for my husband and made 3 steps forward and 3 back. Actually picked my feet up off the ground. Feeling stronger.

Multiple Sclerosis

August 13: Still can take a few steps. The rash on my face is a lot better.

August 14: I noticed when I have the patches on, I don’t itch. The 8 hours I have the patch off, I seem to start itching where the previous patches have been.

August 15: Still generally feeling better every day. Getting stronger and can exercise longer.

August 16: Didn’t itch at all last night. I have also been eating better. More fish and poultry. I have always eaten fruits and vegetables, just more now.

August 17: Same.

August 18: I have been waking up around 2 AM for the last couple nights very hot and sweaty. Almost like having “hot flashes”. Went to have my hair done and normally I am exhausted by the time we get home. I wasn’t [exhausted] today. I have new hair growth that is not coming in gray, but my natural hair color.

August 19: Able to do more exercises.

August 20: Same.

August 21: Basically the same. Got up early and could do it. Getting out a lot more and feeling like I can.

August 22: Not really feeling tired after yesterday’s adventure.

August 23: Same.

August 24: Still exercising. Feeling stronger.

August 25: Same; still less swelling in my ankles.

(As noted above, of the first nineteen “return visits” to Tahoma Clinic by Procarin-aided MS, eleven showed at least on significant improvement. Five did not; it may be coincidental, but three non-responders were taking Baclofen, a “muscle spasm blocking” patent medication. But whether the Baclofen interfered with Procarin or not, Procarin is not expected to help 100%.)

How Does Procarin (And Histamine) Work Against MS?: 

Dr. Jonez was convinced that MS was a manifestation of allergy. As noted above, his opinion was based on the work of Mayo Clinic physician Bayard T. Horton, M.D., as well as on the opinion of Foster Kennedy, M.D., Professor of Neurology at Cornell University Medical School, whom Jonez describes as “one of the great neurologists of our day.” He quotes Dr. Kennedy: “I have finally reached the conclusion that multiple sclerosis cannot be explained on any other basis [but allergy].” Jonez adopted and extended Horton’s histamine treatment for allergy, focusing it on MS with considerable success (as well as safety). As noted above, he also recommended complete allergy evaluation and treatment, with histamine a major tool.

However, Jonez also points out that histamine is a potent blood vessel dilator. He quotes two other histamine-employing MS researchers, who wrote that the basic therapy for MS “call for continued vasodilation of the vessels of the nervous system, as well as for the prevention of spasm. Both these measures should be enforced for 24 hours a day. A [histamine]-free interval of even a few minutes would suffice for an attack.” According to this theory, histamine reverses the blood vessel spasm (of unknown cause) associated with MS, restoring normal blood flow to the affected tissue, thus promoting healing.

Elaine DeLack has a different point of view. Based on her research (she cites the Journal of Neuroscience Research; Archives of Neurology; Pharmacology, – Biochemistry and Behavior, Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine; Annals of Neurology; Journal of Neurochemistry) she writes: “I believe that MS is a result of an infectious agent, very possibly a provirus, that attacks [histamine] producing cell bodies in the central nervous system….Proviruses, or slow viruses, sit dormant in a cell until a stressor causes them to become active, and they begin the trick the cell into reproducing [the virus]. The [histamine] producing cells become busy making the virus rather than [histamine] and a person starts to experience symptoms of MS due to the lack of [histamine] being produced. Eventually the [histamine]- producing cell body becomes so full of the virus that it explodes dumping the virus and the cell contents (which we call enzymes that the cell is normally intended to make), into the blood and spinal fluid. This results in an increased level of [histamine], which in turn stimulates the making of the component that maintains the myelin. This results in a decrease of MS symptoms and a person goes into remission. but many of the dumped viruses from the damages [histamine] producing cells are able to invade more [histamine] producing cells. The virus in these newly invaded cells remain dormant until once again a stressor triggers the virus to become active and the above cycle is repeated. This is what I believe is happening during the Remissive-Relapsing stage of MS. Once the [histamine] producing cells have been depleted to the point that the body can no longer produce enough [histamine] to maintain the myelin as well as the many other functions it is involved in, the MS symptoms begin to worsen steadily. This I believe is the stage that is called Secondary Progressive MS. I believe that Chronic Progressive MS happens when a person experiences a sever attack on these [histamine]- producing cells being destroyed, the person experiences a rapid steady decline with n remissions all due to the deficient level of [histamine].”

No one (especially your editor) knows whether Dr. Jonez’ theories or Elaine DeLack’s theories of how histamine works against MS are true in the whole or in part. Ultimately, this is very important, but for MS sufferers, the most important questions are: Can histamine (as Procarin) lessen my symptoms? Is it safe? Although more work is needed, it appears that the answer is yes.

Procarin (And Histamine): Facts and Observations: 

It’s obvious that Procarin (histamine and natural substances which slow histamine breakdown and release) isn’t a cure for MS, but a replacement therapy, much like insulin for type 1 diabetes, or natural hormone replacement therapy for menopause. As such it needs to be used continuously and indefinitely (when effective) to maintain symptom relief.

Dr. Jonez wrote: “Our best results were obtained among those able to take the largest amounts of histamine. Blondes and redheads are watched with particular care. They seldom tolerate as heavy doses of histamine as those with darker coloring.” He also wrote: “…histamine must be given constantly and in tolerance doses.” He concluded a professional paper as follows: “after treating over 1500 patients…it is our opinion that much can be done for suffers of multiple sclerosis. Early diagnosis and treatment result in a great possibility of bringing about a remission and the retarding or arresting of the disease….Treatment as outlined does not cure, but it does arrest symptoms a great many times….by this regimen we have made ambulatory or wheelchair cases out of bedfast ones. Also, we have taken wheelchair cases and made them ambulatory. Still others become symptom-free and remained so without an exacerbation up to periods of over five years.”

Elaine DeLack notes a paradox: the effect of the histamine in Procarin is completely negated by H2 blocker” patent medications (medications which block the action of histamine at “H2″ receptors). These include Zantac, Tagamet, and other “acid blocker” medications. However, “antihistamines” found in “cold remedies” (such as Benedryl) do not interfere with the histamine in Procarin, and in fact can be used to treat the occasional skin rash associated with its use. Elaine and her husband Marvin have also noted apparent association between lack of response to Procarin and ‘heat-insensitive” MS; most individuals with MS are very sensitive to heat, and report their symptoms worsen with “heat stress.”

At present, the “patch” technology for Procarin is still evolving. Instructions for use must be followed carefully for the Procarin to be absorbed properly and do its give job. Individualization of both patches and dose is sometimes necessary. Presently, the “prevailing” price for one month’s supply of Procarin is $249. However, as more and more of the over-1000 compounding pharmacies start offering it, the price may well decline somewhat.

Other Worthwhile “Natural” MS Therapies: Diet: 

Dr. Roy Swank, now-retired Professor of Neurology at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, recommended a diet low in saturated fat (20 grams daily or less) with added “unsaturated fatty acids” including cod-liver oil and vegetable oils. The “Swank Diet” eliminated margarine, “shortenings,” and hydrogenated (partially or otherwise) vegetable oils. Very long-term follow-up (in some cases over thirty years) showed that individuals who followed the diet closely had significantly less deterioration as compared with those who didn’t follow the diet. Notably, the death rate was 31% among those who had followed the diet, and 80% among those who hadn’t. Individuals with the least disability at the start of the study did best: 95% of that group remained only mildly disabled for approximately 30 years. 18,19 Given these statistics, the “Swank Diet” (modified to eliminate all food additives, preservatives, colorings and artificial flavoring, all “refined flour” and sugar, and completely individualized for food allergy) is always recommended for MS sufferers at Tahoma Clinic.

Food Allergy: As noted above, Dr. Jonez believed and observed that food allergy could have significant impact on MS. Dr. Jonez certainly wasn’t alone. One study reported that in fifteen individuals with MS, symptoms could be completely controlled or improved by avoidance of allergenic foods, house dust, or tobacco. Other researchers reported that 31% of 49 MS sufferers improved when they avoided allergenic foods. When they re-introduced these foods, symptoms frequently worsened. Both your editor and his colleague Alan R. Gaby, M.D., (former co-editor of this newsletter) have worked with individuals whose MS greatly was improved by food allergy avoidance.

Impairment of Digestion And Assimilation: 

Even if the very best, individualized diet is strictly followed, it won’t help as much as it might if it isn’t optimally digested and absorbed. At Tahoma Clinic, individuals with MS are always evaluated for digestive impairment. A large majority are found to have either gastric hypochlorhydria (low production of stomach acid) and/or “pancreatic exocrine insufficiency” (lack of sufficient pancreatic digestive enzymes to optimally digest food fiber, fats and oils, or proteins). Stomach tests are performed as “gastric analysis by radiotelemetry.”24 Pancreatic function is assessed in a much more “low-tech” fashion, by a direct microscopic observation of a specially-stained stool specimen, along with a “steatocrit” (a determination of the percent undigested fat in a stool specimen). Supplementation of betaine hydrochloride with pepsin with meals and/or pancreatic enzymes (pancreatin”) after meals is recommended for any individual whose tests are abnormal.

One research paper has reported poor digestion and absorption in a large proportion of individuals with MS. Quoting from the abstract to this paper: “Malapsorption tests were studied in 52 patients with multiple sclerosis. The stools were examined microscopically for fat and undigested meat fibers and were found to be abnormal in 41.6 and 40.9% respectively [pancreatic exocrine insufficiency – ed.]. Abnormally low five-hour excretion of d-xylose [another test of malabsorption – ed.] was demonstrated in 26.6% of cases. Malabsorption of Vitamin B12 was found in 11.9% of cases….” Unfortunately, no one has published data on the prevalence of gastric hypochlorhydria in MS; in practice, Tahoma Clinic has found well over 50%.

Essential Fatty Acids: 

Dr. Swank’s diet emphasized high levels of essential fatty acids. A “meta-analysis” (combined statistical evaluation) of three MS research trials (not done by Dr. Swank) concluded that supplementation of essential fatty acids (in this case, sunflower oil) was associated with longer remissions and less severe exacerbations (worsenings.) Instead of routinely recommending sunflower oil, your editor prefers to monitor “red-cell membrane essential fatty acids” (a blood test), and recommend “omega-3,” omega-6,” and “omega-9″ unsaturated fatty acids in quantities to keep the “omega-3/omega-6 ratio” tipped in favor of the “omega-3″ oils. Although this is done for MS on purely theoretical grounds (at this time) the reason is that omega-3 fatty acids are thought to generally suppress inflammation and an over-active immune system, while the omega-6 fatty acids generally are thought to do the opposite.

Injectable vitamin B12: 

As noted above, Elaine DeLack’s personal experience was that swallowed Vitamin B12 didn’t help her symptoms; injectable vitamin B12 did help. Dr. Jonez reported that injectable Vitamin B12 helped his patients with MS. An early report in the AMA Journal told of improvement in neurologic function in individuals with MS receiving Vitamin B12 injections. Much more recently, Japanese researchers reported more frequent improvements in both visual and brainstem auditory evoked potentials in individuals with MS receiving Vitamin B12 injections (the methylcobalamin form of Vitamin B12) during the treatment period than during the pretreatment period. Perhaps the positive responses to injectable vitamin B12 may be explained by one researcher’s statement that “…Vitamin B12 is required for the formation of myelin” [myelin is the “nerve insulation” destroyed in MS sufferers – ed.]. At Tahoma Clinic, self-injection (or injection by a family member) of Vitamin B12 is always recommended; the large majority who try it report it helpful.

Injectable Adenosine Monophosphate: 

Adenosine monphosphate (AMP) is an immediate precursor of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and important “energy molecule” in every cell in our bodies. Since most (nearly 90% by one estimate) AMP is transformed into ATP, and AMP is considerably less expensive, AMP is usually used. However, Dr. Jonez was given a supply of injectable ATP (by the Anhauser-Busch Company!) and wrote “…we used [injectable ATP] on 224 patients ….The most noticeable improvement has been in bladder symptoms. The patients have been relieved of incontinence, urgency and frequency of urination, and most patients have spoken of being able to enjoy more-refreshing sleep. Several have gained better muscle co-ordination and balance in walking Several have discarded their canes…”

In one study, sixteen individuals with severe MS disability were given AMP injections for six to ten months. Very significant improvements were noted in endurance and bladder malfunction. In another study of twenty-six MS-afflicted individuals, two were reported to have had “complete and lasting relief of all symptoms and signs,” eleven were reported to have “moderate but definite and useful improvement,” four had “slight but definite improvement,” eight had “slight but variable improvement but not maintained,” and one had no change. An intriguing interconnection: Examination of a table of “biochemical pathways” reveals that AMP is a precursor of histidine and histamine, as well as ATP.

When given intravenously, AMP easily can cause transient faintness, chest constriction, and shortness of breath. For this reason, at Tahoma Clinic we recommend intramuscular injection, which rarely causes these unwanted effects.

Adaptrin (Padma 28): Adaptrin is an herbal mixture originating in Tibet. Previously known as “Padma-28,” it was suppressed by the Food and Drug Administration (despite no complaints or safety concerns). It is now available through a different supplier who wisely makes no statements about what it might be used for. In Padma 28/Adaptrin, 22 ingredients are combined in a specific order.

In a study of 100 individuals with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis, some were randomly assigned to treatment with Padma 28 (2 tablets 3 times daily) for one year, an others to a control group treated only symptomatically. 44% of those taking Padma 28 experienced improvement, including improved general condition, increased muscular strength, or improvement or disappearance of disorders affecting sphincters. Decrease in paresis (paralysis/spasticity) was observed in 36%. In those with initially abnormal visual-evoked potentials, 41% had improvement or normalization. Patients with both recurrent attacks and slowly progressive multiple sclerosis both improved, although the frequency of improvement was higher (55%) in the former group than in the latter (33%). No side effects were reported. None of the patients in the control group improved; 40% had deterioration in their condition.


Although (as far as your editor is aware) there have been as yet no publications concerning DHEA treatment of MS, Tahoma Clinic physicians have found it useful. DHEA levels are always measured prior to treatment, and are very frequently found to be low in individuals with MS. Supplementing with physiologic quantities of DHEA frequently results in reports of increased strength.

In Conclusion: 

Elaine DeLack’s revival of Jonez’ (and Horton’s) histamine treatment of MS and her improvement of it as Procarin is a very significant breakthrough in the care of MS-afflicted individuals. Procarin has made effective histamine treatment easily possible on an outpatient, at-home basis, with enormously more convenience and considerably less cost than in-hospital, continuous intravenous or intramuscular histamine treatment. Combined with a “natural-food” Swank diet individually modified for food allergy, detection of and compensation for defects of digestion and assimilation, essential fatty-acid-supplementation, injectable Vitamin B12 and adenosine monophosphate (AMP), and supplementation of Adaptrin and DHEA, Procarin gives us not only a revival of hope but a much improved chance of making a very real improvement in symptoms of individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis.

breast cancer risk

You’re just 24 hours away from discovering-and reducing-your breast cancer risk

If you’re an average woman, your risk of breast cancer is one in eight. But why be “average”? You can significantly reduce your risk of breast, uterine, and other estrogen-related cancers right now with foods and selected supplements.

But first you have to determine just how at risk you are.

There are two methods I recommend for evaluating estrogen-related cancer risk. They both involve ratios of various estrogen metabolites. I’m talking about the 2/16 ratio test and the estrogen quotient, or EQ. Last month, we spent some time going over all the intricacies of just how these ratios work to add up your risk of breast and other estrogen-related cancers. This month, let’s move on and talk about what’s involved in taking these tests and what to do if your results aren’t as good as you’d like. And before all you men tune out, estrogen risk factor testing is important for you too! We’ll get to that a little later in the issue.

The good news is, testing your own risk couldn’t be easier. You don’t even have to leave home to do it.

What’s your EQ?

In the June issue, I told you about the importance of an estogen metabolite called estriol. The recent resurgence in estriol research is confirming the discoveries made in the mid-20th century: Estriol is a “good” estrogen. More estriol means less cancer risk. Estriol appears to block many of the effects of estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), and other “pro-carcinogenic” estrogens. So how do you find out if your body is producing enough estriol to protect you from cancer? You calculate your EQ.

Dr. Henry Lemon, the originator of the EQ test, tested estriol along with estrone and estradiol by having women collect their urine for 24-hours, then measuring the hormone levels in the specimens. It’s still done the same way, although some changes in the actual testing equipment have made the process a lot easier. In fact, the testing kits can be mailed to you at home, where you can collect your specimen and send it back to the lab.

Even though you’ll need to collect all your urine for a 24-hour period, only a small amount is actually mailed in for testing.

If you haven’t gone through menopause yet, and you have a menstrual cycle that follows the typical 28-day pattern, pick a 24-hour period between days 19 and 23 of your cycle (day 1 being the first day of menstrual bleeding) to collect your sample. If you’ve already gone through menopause, you can collect your sample anytime.

Once you send your sample back to the lab, it generally takes about two to three weeks to get your results.

breast cancer risk

The virtually fail-safe EQ-booster: You may only need one drop a day

When your results arrive in the mail, you’ll see all of your different hormone levels listed. The ones we’re most concerned with for determining breast cancer risk via the EQ are estriol, estrone, and estradiol. Remember, it’s not the absolute amount of estriol that appears to be the most important number but the relative amount of estriol compared with the sum of estradiol and estrone. In mathematical terms, it looks like this: EQ= E3 / (E2 + E1).

The lab report might already have your EQ calculated and listed. Some labs today consider EQs of 0.4 to 0.6 as normal. But when Dr. Lemon did his research back in the 1960s and 1970s, he found that women need an EQ of at least 1.0 (this level or above was considered favorable; the further below 1.0, the more unfavorable). So was Dr. Lemon wrong?

Well, let’s put it this way: If women only need an EQ of 0.4, why has breast cancer risk gone up? Not only do I think you still need an EQ of at least 1.0, as Dr. Lemon found 40 years ago, but in today’s environment, with the amount of estrogen-mimicking carcinogens increasing dramatically, it’s more important than ever to keep your level of estriol as high as possible. So I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t still follow Dr. Lemon and shoot for an EQ of 1.0 or above.

If your EQ is below 1.0, there’s a simple, almost fail-safe solution: SSKI. You might remember this remedy from the November 2002 issue of Nutrition & Healing. It has certainly proven itself as a natural cure-all, and its effects on the EQ just reinforce that reputation. In case you missed the full article on it, SSKI is a solution that combines iodine and potassium. It’s the iodine that works to boost the EQ: Iodide (and iodine) reliably promote the metabolism of estrone and estradiol into estriol. Although (so far) there haven’t been any official studies on this, I’ve observed these effects in hundreds of my patients’ lab tests.

Take six to eight drops of SSKI mixed in several ounces of water daily for two to three months. Then repeat your test, doing the 24-hour urine collection at the same time of the month as your first one. More likely than not, your follow-up EQ will be above 1.0-sometimes considerably above. If it is, try tapering down the SSKI to the smallest amount that helps you maintain your EQ at 1.0 or above. Some women find that they only need one drop a day, though others need more.

Although SSKI is safe for the overwhelming majority of people, there are individuals who are very sensitive to it. On rare occasion, long-term use of larger quantities of SSKI may cause thyroid suppression. Thyroid blood tests, which you can also do on your own (or with your doctor’s help), always pick up on this if it occurs. For more information on using SSKI safely, see the November 2002 issue (you can download it free on the Nutrition & Healing website,

The “random” urine test that could save your life

breast cancer risk

If you’ve been reading Nutrition & Healing for a few years, you probably remember seeing at least a few references to the 2/16 ratio test. According to nearly 20 years of research, 2-hydroxyestrogens are “good” while 16-hydroxyestrogens are “bad” and promote cancer growth.

Testing the 2/16 ratio can be done separately or along with the EQ. If you opt to have it done separately, you don’t need to collect 24 hours’ worth of urine-you’ll only need to send in one random specimen. But, like the EQ test, if you’re pre-menopausal, try to collect the urine specimen during days 19 to 23 of your 28-day cycle, and be sure to note the cycle day and time, in case you need to take a repeat test or two. When you’ve collected your sample, just mail it back to the lab.

Eat your way to a breast cancer-free future

You definitely want more “good” (2) estrogen than “bad” (16) estrogen-substantially more if possible. So when you get your results, check the proportion of these two substances: Any ratio below 1.0 is unfavorable. Although there’s no consensus on an ideal ratio number, I recommend 2.0 or greater if possible.

If your 2/16 ratio is less than 1.0, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to boost it just by eating a few specific foods. Start with Brassica (or mustard family) vegetables. These include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and many others. You can also eat freshly ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoonful daily. And even though there’s been a great deal of controversy surrounding it, in this case, incorporating soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc.) into your diet is a good option for boosting 2/16 ratios. A little goes a long way though, and two or three servings a week is plenty. You also don’t need to go overboard with Brassica vegetables. I know it seems odd for me to be warning you not to eat too many vegetables, but it is possible for Brassicas to cause suppressed thyroid function and even goiter if you eat a lot of them on a daily basis. Three to four servings a week is a good general range.

You might find that you only need to incorporate one of these foods into your diet to raise your 2/16 ratio, but sometimes it takes two or even all three to make a big difference. In a lot of cases, just eating these foods will bring a low 2/16 ratio to 1.0 or above in just four to six weeks without any other specific supplementation. But if you find you’re still not getting sufficient improvement, you can also take di-indolylmethane (DIM) supplements to boost it even further. DIM is actually a substance found in Brassica vegetables, but it’s also available in most health food stores in supplement form. If you need some extra help, take 60 milligrams three times daily, and check your 2/16 ratio again in another four to six weeks.

Start today to make sure you’re cancer-free tomorrow

So, you see, there’s no reason to just wait and hope that you’re not that one woman in eight who gets breast cancer. The 2/16 ratio and the EQ provide two easy ways to estimate your own risk of breast, uterine, and other estrogen-related cancers.

For more information on these tests, contact a physician-member of ACAM or ICIM, or Meridian Valley Laboratory (see the “Resources” section on page 8 for details). Meridian Valley is actually located in Washington state where, by law, individuals can order their own lab tests. I am affiliated with Meridian Valley Lab; in fact, I’m the one who insisted they start testing the EQ and the 2/16 ratio so I could make these valuable cancer risk factor tests available to all of my patients.

If your risk factor calculations are unfavorable, or even if they’re just OK, there are things you can do yourself-starting today-to lessen your breast cancer risk. Cancer is a frightening thing, but don’t let that fear paralyze you: Do something about it-and pass the information along to your daughters and granddaughters, too!

More to read: Strontium – Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

What REALLY Causes Heartburn?

What REALLY Causes Heartburn?

Every day on television and other media we are barraged with ads about heartburn and acid reflux, which seem to tell us that stomach acid is the culprit causing our pain. If we take the patent medicine recommended in the commercial, our stomach problems will disappear. And how do those medicines propose to “fix” the problem? They lower the level of stomach acidity by either neutralizing stomach acid (these are antacids) or by shutting down the stomach’s ability to produce acid (proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs).

But it’s not really the level of acid in the stomach that causes the discomfort we call heartburn. Heartburn is caused when acid that is supposed to be in the stomach aiding digestion backs up into the esophagus, whose lining is not capable of withstanding the acidity and is chemically burned by it. If we take the advertised patent medicine, it will reduce the level of acid in the stomach, and so if comes up into the esophagus, its acidity will be less there as well, reducing or eliminating the burning sensation. But is this really a heartburn cure, or just temporary symptom relief? And do people really have too much acid in their stomach? Most importantly, is it healthy to reduce stomach acid?

Are Antacids and PPIs Really a Heartburn Cure?

Antacids and PPIs do reduce stomach acid, so when acid comes back into the throat, it does not burn as much. But antacids do not stop acid from going where it doesn’t belong in the first place. Why does acid come up into the throat? There is a valve at the bottom of the esophagus, just before the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). It allows food to pass into the stomach, but is supposed to prohibit stomach contents from going in the other direction. When there is food present in the stomach, that valve is supposed to be shut tight, but sometimes it relaxes when it should not. In some cases, the LES malfunctions because of food allergies and sensitivities, caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine. But it also happens when none of these is present. Doctors are not sure why, but some theorize that more acid, not less, is needed to keep the valve firmly shut, and that the valve relaxes in the presence of low stomach acid. If that is so, taking antacids could actually make the problem worse, not better.

See Also: Lithium – The Misunderstood Mineral Part 1

What REALLY Causes Heartburn?

Do People Often Have Too Much Stomach Acid?

Many studies have revealed that the production of stomach acid often decreases as we age, so that older people have much lower acidity level than younger ones. Yet often people develop heartburn in later years, just as acid production is declining. So it does not seem likely that heartburn is related to too much stomach acid at all. Yet when one goes to a doctor for a heartburn cure, antacids and PPIs are often prescribed without any testing on stomach acid levels. Ironically, when that test is done, it often reveals a lack of stomach acid rather than too much! This fact supports the theory that more acid keeps the LES more tightly closed.

Is It Healthy to Reduce Stomach Acid?

Stomach acid is needed in digestion and absorption of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Older people in particular, who have lower levels of stomach acid, have difficulty absorbing sufficient nutrition. Moreover, stomach acid is a barrier that can prevent bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms from getting further into our digestive tract. Low stomach acid is linked to a variety of medical conditions including osteoporosis, pneumonia, and macular degeneration. Given that antacids only provide temporary relief from heartburn symptoms, and can lead to serious diseases or infections, they are not the best answer to the issue of heartburn.

What are better alternatives in curing heartburn?

Because many people suffering from heartburn have low stomach acid, some doctors have found that acid supplements often cure the problem. The supplements also help restore the digestive system, which enables better absorption of nutrients. Of course, no one should take acid except with the advice and under the care of a licensed doctor. If acid is normal in a person suffering from heartburn, his or her physician will often recommend testing for food allergies that could be causing the LES to malfunction. In addition, other natural supplements have been proven to help strengthen LES function, in particular melatonin. So if you are suffering from heartburn, especially with any frequency, look for an integrative doctor (one who combines the use of supplements and natural remedies with more conventional approaches as needed) who is familiar with stomach acid level testing, and can get to the real cause of your heartburn.

Beeswax Benefits – Beat Nagging Allergies and Sinus Problems

Beeswax Benefits – Beat Nagging Allergies and Sinus Problems

It’s not everyday you see nuns in full religious garb anymore, so when two walked into the Tahoma Clinic recently, they attracted a bit of attention from both the staff and patients. But that wasn’t what I remember most about their visit. Before they left the Clinic that day, the nuns taught me an approach to respiratory health I’d never even heard of before.

Like many monastic orders, these nuns support themselves and their convent by making and selling products. Their specialty is 100 percent beeswax candles, which, Mother Thecla told me, actually clean the air, helping to reduce the pollutant and allergen load.

Technology actually made candles worse for your health

She went on to explain that hundreds of years ago, most candles were made of beeswax. But over the centuries, beeswax candles were gradually replaced by tallow (animal fat) candles, and then in the last century by paraffin candles, which are probably the kind you have in your home right now. It sounds innocent enough, but paraffin is made from the sludge at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which is then treated and bleached with benzene and other chemical solvents to “clean it up” for use in candles. Paraffin candles put out soot and smoke when you burn them (I thought all candles did that) along with toxins and carcinogens. Since burning petrochemical paraffin smells bad, synthetic fragrance oils are added, many of which are irritating and even toxic themselves when they’re burned. Breathing what paraffin candles give off has been compared to breathing diesel fumes.

And, to make matters worse, the soot, smoke, and chemical residue from “regular” candles can stick to walls, ceilings, and ventilation ducts and gets re-circulated whenever the heating/cooling system is in action, exposing you to these pollutants even when the paraffin candles aren’t burning.

Beeswax Benefits – Beat Nagging Allergies and Sinus Problems

Allergy, sinus, and asthma relief just from lighting a candle

But beeswax candles don’t cause any of those problems. In fact, Mother Thecla told me people with allergies, sinus problems, and asthma have reported significant improvement in their symptoms, breathing better and sleeping better after burning the 100 percent beeswax candles in their bedrooms for three to four hours before bedtime. One person who burned a beeswax candle all day when she was home reported that her asthma gradually went away completely.

After the nuns left, I did a bit of my own research to see if I could turn up any scientific evidence on bees-wax’s effects. Although scientists still don’t know all the intricacies of the complex molecules in beeswax, there’s at least a partial explanation for the healthful action of burning beeswax candles. According to entomologist Bill Reno, burning beeswax produces negative ions.1 Negative ions are nature’s air purifiers, cleaning the air of dust, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants.

Make sure you’re getting the real deal

Here’s the catch: to get any of these benefits, the candle has to be 100 percent beeswax. And, unfortunately, a candle only needs to contain 51 percent beeswax to be labeled as a beeswax candle. The rest can be paraffin (or anything else burnable), so it may not be as easy as picking one up the next time you’re at the mall.

One way to find out is to ask the store clerk to light the candle: 100 percent beeswax candles have a uniquely fresh smell–which is distinctly different from paraffin. (The nuns even showed us the difference, so I can vouch for the fact that it’s a noticeable one.)

If you can’t find 100 percent beeswax candles near you, the nuns have made theirs available through the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary, with which I’m of course affiliated.

Beeswax candles can be on the expensive side–at least in comparison to “regular” paraffin candles. But beeswax actually burns slower, so you’ll get more for your money than if you opted for the cheaper versions. Plus, the potential for better respiratory health is well worth the few extra cents.

There’s not much hard evidence on beeswax’s health benefits, but if it’s possible that something as simple as burning a candle might be able to help your respiratory problems, it’s at least worth a try.

More to read: Multiple Sclerosis: A Revival of Hope

Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Degenerative arthritis is also called osteoarthritis or “wear and tear” arthritis. If you’ve been told you have one of these types of arthritis, there’s a good chance you can substantially reduce or even eliminate your symptoms, while tapering down or even eliminating drugs you may be taking. Diet changes, vitamins, minerals, natural metabolites, and herbals can all be significantly helpful.

“Mainstream” medical treatment for degenerative arthritis includes aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, synthetic forms of cortisone both swallowed and injected, and surgery. Although all of these drugs relieve symptoms, there’s increasing evidence that they accelerate the deterioration of cartilage and actually make the underlying condition worse.

Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Sensitivity to certain alkaloids naturally present in “nightshade” vegetables causes pain and swelling in a significant minority of individuals with degenerative arthritis. Nightshade sensitivity is not the same as allergy, and is not detectable by any laboratory tests in current use. The only way to figure out whether nightshade vegetables bother you is to totally eliminate tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant from your diet, along with tobacco exposure in any form. Even if you’re nightshade sensitive and totally eliminate all of these, it can still take three to four months for symptoms to recede. For a complete guide to a nightshade free program, check your natural food store for books by Professor Norman Childers.

Food allergies cause symptoms in another small minority of individuals with degenerative arthritis. If you’ve had allergies in the past, have them now, or if a member of your family has allergies, this is a definite possibility. Also, if a five-day “juice fast” using a vegetable juice or juices you rarely drink is associated with symptom relief, it’s very likely you have significant food allergies. For a referral to a doctor near you skilled and knowledgeable in food allergy testing, contact the American Academy of Environmental Medicine at 913-642-6062, or the International Federation of Electrodermal Screeners at 800-258-2172.

Researchers have found so many supplemental items useful in improving degenerative arthritis that I haven’t found it necessary to suggest them all.
What you’ll read next are the items I usually recommend that are almost always sufficient to do the job. At the end, I’ll make sure to list all the others in case you want to research them further.

Niacinamide, one of two forms of vitamin B3, is almost always a major help in relieving the pain and swelling of degenerative arthritis. Depending on the size of the person I’m working with, I’ll recommend 500 to 1000 milligrams of niacinamide, not niacin, three times daily, along with an equivalent quantity of vitamin C. Usually there’s no improvement until the third or fourth week. By twelve to sixteen weeks, many people find that nearly all the pain and swelling are under control. With prolonged use, the flexibility of joints is frequently improved.

There’s a small possibility that large quantities of niacinamide can cause unwanted effects. The first sign of this possibility is nausea or queasiness. Should this happen, stop niacinamide right away. Because of this small possibility, it’s advisable to use niacinamide while working with a health care professional skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural therapies.

Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Glucosamine sulfate is a basic building block of cartilage. I usually recommend 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate three times daily, right along with the niacinamide and vitamin C. On its own, glucosamine works as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and swelling, and can help to rebuild instead of destroying joints.

I also recommend 800 units of vitamin E and 250 micrograms of selenium daily. Selenium and vitamin E work together in relieving swelling and pain in degenerative arthritis.

Whenever I recommend individual nutritional supplements, I also recommend a general multiple vitamin-mineral supplement as “back-up”.

Niacinamide, vitamin C, glucosamine, vitamin E, and selenium, along with the diet changes you’ve read in this brief are almost enough to control degenerative arthritis. In the rare individuals who need further help, there’s a long list of other items I recommend. This list includes boron, 3 milligrams twice daily, shark cartilage 3 grams twice daily, “sea cucumber” 2 tablets twice daily, New Zealand green lipped mussel 1000 milligrams daily, cod liver oil 2 tablespoons daily, and yucca capsules, 3 times daily.

Because of differences in age, sex, metabolism, or potential allergy, these diet and supplement therapies may not be suitable for you. Consult a health care professional skilled in nutritional and natural therapies.

More to read: RDW: Another Marker for Gluten Sensitivity? with Cristina Persa, MD(RO), MS, ND

HCG: Spinal Cord and Neuronal Regeneration

HCG: Spinal Cord and Neuronal Regeneration

In a 2007 report written by National Institutes of Health researchers, published in the journal Endocrinology, two revealing footnotes appeared. The footnotes referred to previous research articles which had demonstrated that a safe, entirely natural substance actually helped repair and restore some lost function in experimental animals whose spinal cords had been completely severed!

Even more surprisingly, the two prior research articles mentioned in these footnotes were reported in 1983 and 1990, and (as there were no other footnotes on this or related topics listed in the 2007 report) it’s very likely that no similar research on this topic has been published since.

Think about that for a moment. A safe natural substance that can help restore even partial function after a spinal cord has been completely severed should be very big news. You’d expect that the revelation that paralyzed and stuck in a wheelchair after a devastating spinal cord injury is NOT a life sentence should have been on the front page of every newspaper across the world. Yet, you’ve likely never even heard about this breakthrough. And neither had I.

Bladder function restored in two weeks!

In the 1983 research , twenty-two rats (eleven male, eleven female) had their spinal cords completely transected (formal technical talk for “cut all the way through”). Twelve (Group 1) were injected with the safe natural substance every day for the first week, then every other day for three more weeks. Ten rats—the control group or Group 2—were not given this injection.

Criteria used to judge improvement of the totally cut-across spine were bladder function, and ability to climb up an inclined plane (“ramp” in English). Both of these abilities were totally lost after the spinal cord was cut completely cut across.

The researchers wrote: “Regaining of bladder function, as demonstrated by spontaneous emptying of the bladder with no residual urine was observed in all the animals in Group 1, within the first two weeks… In group 2 animals, no recovery of bladder function was noted even after six weeks.”
At six weeks all were walking again!

Ability to climb the ramp was not as completely recovered, but there was significant improvement. Four of the twelve treated animals had complete recovery of this ability—back to normal, pre-spinal transection function—while the remaining eight in the treated group could walk, but not 100% normally. In Group 2, the untreated group of rats, all were still paralyzed six weeks after spinal cord transection.

HCG: Spinal Cord and Neuronal Regeneration

The researchers also wrote: “Histological evidence of bridging of the gap between the ends of the spinal cord by nerve fibres containing tissue was noted in the… treated rats only.” Histological evidence refers to evidence gathered from direct observation using a microscope; it’s very hard to argue with that. Under the microscope, nerve fibers were seen to be “bridging the gap” between the cut-apart pieces of the spinal cord, and they “contained tissue”.

As there was 100% improvement in bladder function in all the treated rats, as well as variable recovery in ability to climb a ramp in the treated rats, and none whatsoever in the untreated rats, that “contained tissue” must have been newly formed functional nerve tissue!

Nerve function recovered in mere weeks

These improvements were stimulated by a safe natural substance. I’ll identify that spinal-cord-restoring miracle substance in just a moment, but first let’s take a look at a 1990 report , which had one of the same authors as the 1983 report. In this research, twenty-one rats had complete transection of their spinal cords. Eleven were given the safe natural substance for six weeks. The other ten—again, the control group—were not.

After six weeks, there was a significantly greater electronic measurement of “motor action potential” (for the technically inclined, p<.02) in the treated rats. An action potential is the electrical signal traveling down a neuron—in this case a motor neuron—which travels from the central nervous system to muscles. If this signal is significantly greater in the treated group than in the control group, it signifies a significant—even if not complete—recovery in that nerve function.
So what was this entirely safe, natural, and effective substance which helped these paralyzed rats to recover function? Why haven’t we heard about it before? Actually, we have heard about it a lot, especially lately. The substance is….

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (“HCG”)

Yes, the same HCG that’s helped so many to lose weight (see Nutrition & Healing March 2008 for details about that aspect) and that has been the subject of intense criticism from “authorities”. If you recall, HCG is secreted in large quantities in the first trimester of pregnancy, and we all were literally infused with small quantities of it for approximately the first nine months of our physical existence. If HCG were actually dangerous, chances are you and I wouldn’t even be here on planet Earth!

But how does a “pregnancy hormone” help a completely severed spinal cord form new nerve tissue in experimental animals? How do injections of this natural substance lead to complete recovery of bladder function, and partial to complete recovery of walking capability? The simplest answer is that hormones—and many other natural components of human and animal bodies—typically have more than one function in our bodies. In fact, they often have many functions. Researchers have found this to true of HCG, also. HCG is much more than just a “pregnancy hormone”.

Two totally paraplegic humans walking with crutches after HCG treatment

But the 1983 research report was not entirely confined to results achieved in experimental animals. In the very last two paragraphs of the nine page report, the researchers wrote: “We have started a clinical trial on patients with total paraplegia using 20,000 units of HCG intramuscularly on the first day, followed by 10,000 units every day for the first week, and then 10,000 units every alternate day for five weeks. Whenever there was evidence of blockage, spinal canal decompression was carried out. The first patient with a lesion at T11- T12 spinal segment, now after three months is able to stand with a walker and move his lower extremities with voluntary movement in all muscle groups. The second patient, now after five weeks with a lesion at T1 spinal segment has almost complete sensory recovery, including bladder sensation, and has voluntary muscle contraction in both proximal [near] and distal [far] groups of muscles in his lower extremities.”

In an undated addendum by the same authors (printed with the original research report) state: “Both patients mentioned in the paper are now able to walk with the help of crutches.” That’s right, two paraplegic men who weren’t able to walk were able to walk with crutches after HCG treatment! And yes, the quantities used were massive, but there was (as might be predicted) no mention of adverse events. And also yes, massive doses of HCG are expensive—although not as costly as the average hospital bill—but for the chance to walk once again, what would you do for yourself, a family member, a close friend?

Criticism by the “Chairman of the Editorial Board”

The actual research report was followed by a statement of disbelief from the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the journal, who wrote: “….no real proof has been given that a functional regeneration within the sectioned [cut across] did occur at all and that human chorionic gonadotrophin positively influenced the functional recovery.”

The researchers replied in true academic language: “… we do not claim that this experiment proves human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) causes regeneration of the spinal cord. We simply state that “the presence of nerve fibres in the bridging tissue certainly suggests that HCG might be useful in regeneration of nerve fibers of the spinal cord.”

They also pointed out that the “control group” of rats not given HCG had no recovery at all, and that “the significant recovery we see in the HCG-treated rats….certainly suggests a strong possibility that HCG did in fact, have some role in the functional recovery of spinal cord sectioned rats”. In this reply to the Chairman of the Editorial Board, no mention was made at all about the two total paraplegic humans who experienced partial functional recovery in six weeks with rather heroic—but safe—quantities of HCG. No mention at all was made that these two men were up and walking with crutches at an unspecified later date.

When one of the authors of this 1983 research paper was contacted inquiring whether had been any further follow-up in those or other human cases, he wrote back that he had left the University of North Dakota School of Medicine for another academic post, so these two patients were “lost to follow-up.” Although there’s no way to prove it, it would be no surprise at all to learn that this “heretical” research report—HCG enabling neuronal regeneration and recovery from a transected spinal cord (animals) and “up and walking with crutches” after paraplegia (humans)—had something to do with that particular academic career move.

Male infertility reversed with HCG

Let’s look at another recently discovered therapeutic application of HCG, an application that will lead us to understand how HCG may work to help stimulate healing in spinal cord and other nervous system injuries.

In 2004 and again in 2009 , Belgian and Swiss researchers published the case of a thirty year old man whose wife was unable to conceive a child. He had underdeveloped testicles (for the technically inclined, the researchers reported a volume of eight milliliters). He agreed to a testicle biopsy. Observed under a microscope, the cell structure of the testicles was found to be very immature. The sperm count was very low and those that were present were very immature also.

His testosterone level was very low (0.3 nanograms/milliliter, normal range 2.5-10.0 nanograms per milliliter). The immediate cause of his low testosterone was his undetectable luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is a pituitary hormone which stimulates the “LH receptor” which in turn stimulates the testicules to produce testosterone.

By contrast, his estradiol was low normal (26 nanograms per liter, normal 10 to 70 nanograms per liter.) His follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)—the pituitary hormone that stimulates sperm formation and maturation in men and estrogen in women—was high (23 mIU per milliliter, normal range 1.0-8.0 mIU per milliliter.

In both genders, when there is little to no response to FSH, our pituitary glands make more—often much more—than usual to try to force a response. In this man’s case, his testicles were making very few sperm, and no mature ones, which would likely explain why his FSH level was high—in effect “screaming loudly”—to try to encourage more sperm production.

But the real cause of his problem was discovered to be a DNA mutation that rendered LH biologically and immunologically inactive. The effects of this mutation added up to undetectable LH, small testicles, very poor sperm numbers, no mature sperm, and no pregnancy for his wife.

After treatment with human chorionic gonadotrophin (“HCG”) 1500 IU three times a week for a month, then 5000 IU weekly for two years, his testicle volume had nearly doubled, from eight to fourteen milliliters. His testosterone had increased to a normal 7 micrograms per liter, and his FSH had decreased to normal at 2.3 mIU per milliliter.

Another testicle biopsy showed significantly increased sperm numbers with many completely matured. Using his sperm, physicians were able to help his wife conceive. She delivered a male infant, who fortunately did not inherit his father’s DNA problem and was found to have normal (for an infant) testosterone, FSH, and LH levels.

A man with no LH, and therefore almost no testosterone, and no mature sperm is treated with HCG and has his testosterone normalize and his testicles mature and begin to produce mature and functional sperm that help to conceive a previously inconceivable (pun intended) child. How could this happen?

HCG stimulates testosterone production

The researchers wrote: “Although rare, isolated LH deficiency due to inactivating mutations of the LH-subunit gene is a useful illustration of the precise role of LH in testicular maturation and function in humans. Furthermore, it also provides a good example of the clinical efficacy of LH receptor stimulation using hCG.” Put more briefly, both LH and HCG stimulate the LH receptor, which in turn results in increased testosterone.

As men age their LH and testosterone levels start to naturally decline. Research shows that HCG can help stimulate testosterone production in men as they get older.

Forty men ages 65 to 80 years old participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial using HCG, 5000 IU twice weekly (or a placebo injection) for three months. The group using HCG had a stable increase of 150% in total and free testosterone. Their lean body mass increased an average two kilograms (4.8 pounds), fat mass decreased by an average one kilogram (2.4 pounds), for a net loss of one kilogram (2.4 pounds).

However, the HCG using group also had an increase in total estradiol by 150%. This increase might explain why the researchers found no increase in muscle strength or sexual activity in the HCG group. Although the researchers noted the possibility that hyperaromatization (excess transformation of testosterone to estrogen) might be the cause of the equal increase in total testosterone and total estrogen which might explain the lack of increase in muscle strength, they didn’t check this possibility.

If you’re a man interested in trying to raise your own testosterone level without using testosterone itself, make sure to work with your doctor to monitor your testosterone and your estrogen levels. If your estrogen level goes too high, then perhaps you should be tested for insulin resistance, the major cause of hyperaromatization. (For more details about hyperaromatization of testosterone, see Nutrition & Healing for August 2013.)

The same researchers also investigated the effect of the twice-weekly HCG injections on sensitivity to insulin and related lipid measurements in these same men. Those receiving the HCG had no significant improvement in insulin sensitivity or HDL cholesterol, but there was a significant reduction in total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.

HCG boosts libido & erectile function

Have you ever read that HCG has been reported to increase erectile function and sexual desire for some men? No, it wasn’t 100% effective, but you’d think that research finding would have been all over the news, especially since the article was published in a major medical journal, Urology. Since the research was published all the way back 1987, the word should have gotten around by now. But since HCG isn’t patentable it, of course, will never get the attention that conventional drugs do—but I digress.

Researchers actually reported two randomized studies in the one journal. In the first study, termed preliminary, twenty-nine men with ED (in pre-Viagra 1987, it was called impotence) took either HCG injections (5000 IU twice weekly), or injections of testosterone propionate (which is still in widespread use in 2013), 50 milligrams twice weekly. The HCG outperformed the testosterone, with 49% responding versus 28% in the testosterone group.

The second study involved forty-five men, again randomized, this time HCG versus placebo. Both took twice-weekly injections, placebo or 5000 IU HCG. HCG administration was associated with significant improvement in ED in ten of twenty-one men (47%). The placebo was successful in only three of twenty-four men (12.5%).

The researchers also noted a significant increase in testosterone levels in all twenty-one men who took the HCG injections, but no increases in the men who took the placebo injections. (There was no measurement reported of estrogen in either group.) Since the entire HCG group had a significant increase in testosterone, but only 47% had a significant improvement in ED, it’s reasonable to assume that HCG improves ED in some men in a non-testosterone-related way.

HCG works for women too!

For women, progesterone is secreted when the LH receptor is stimulated. Progesterone supplementation using rub-in creams or capsules can be very helpful for a wide variety of symptoms that occur when a woman’s progesterone level starts to decline. Since HCG stimulates the LH receptor, it can relieve the symptoms caused by a progesterone shortage in the same way.

Although there is no controlled research on this yet, it definitely works in clinical practice. For younger women suffering PMS symptoms or women suffering with menopausal symptoms and who want to lose weight, an HCG diet (strict or modified) with its accompanying HCG injections could be a “two-fer”, increasing progesterone, reducing PMS and some menopause symptoms, as well as promoting weight loss.

There’s also no controlled research about another effect of HCG injections which I’ve observed many times: significant increases in human growth hormone (measured in consecutive urine specimens collected for 24 hours) in both men and women during the use of HCG injections. Of course when HCG was stopped, HGH levels decreased to pre-HCG levels.

HCG: Spinal Cord and Neuronal Regeneration

HCG’s role in nervous system growth

Obviously HCG is much more than just a pregnancy hormone. As Nature and creation are very conservative, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the research on HCG stimulating LH takes us right back to where this started, the regeneration and healing of nerve cells and the brain.

In the 2007 report mentioned above1, the researchers observed that HCG has an effect on neurons and glial cells, the cells which—among other things—support neurons and their functions. They wrote: “….HCG promoted nerve regeneration in vivo and neurite outgrowth and survival of primary neurons in vitro.” In plain English, nerves and nerve projections (neurites) were regrown in live animals and survived better in cell cultures.

In the 1983 research about animals recovering from spinal cord injury, the researchers wrote: “HCG in pregnancy is highest during the first trimester when major developmental changes in the nervous system take place, suggesting the possibility that HCG may have some role in the growth of the nervous system.”

With the advantage of more than two additional decades of HCG research, the authors of the 2007 report echoed this prediction when they wrote: “…These findings imply a potential role for HCG… the development, maintenance, and regeneration of the mammalian nervous system.” Ongoing HCG research confirms that the potential role that was hinted at in 1983 is likely to be true.

How can HCG help to grow, maintain, and even regenerate the nervous system? Or as scientists would ask, “What is the mechanism?” A major part of this mechanism is now established. Remember in the research about recovery of testicular function with HCG noted above we learned that that the receptor for HCG is the same as the receptor for LH. In fact, it’s even been formally renamed the “LH/CG-R” (luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotrophin—receptor).

Researchers have confirmed that LH/CG-R receptors are also located on the surfaces of cells all over the brain and other neural structures, including the hypothalamus, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, brainstem, pituitary gland, cerebellum, retina, the spinal cord, and ependymal regions. (The ependymal regions are the fluid-filled regions of the brain and the spinal cord. They’re lined with ependymal cells, a type of glial cell which—among other things—secrete, circulate, and absorb cerebrospinal fluid.)

It would be entirely illogical—even irrational—to think that these receptors are located on all of these cells and areas of the nervous system and yet have no function. Obviously some of those functions are the development, maintenance, and regeneration of the human brain and nervous system. These functions are stimulated every day of our lives by fluctuating quantities of LH, and can be further stimulated by the deliberate administration of the much-maligned “weight loss” hormone, HCG.

HCG holds hope for neurodegenerative disease

It appears that, with the aid of HCG, repairs of even serious brain injuries or neurologic disease may also be within our reach. (Remember those LH/HCG receptors are everywhere in the brain!) If HCG can stimulate even completely transected (cut totally across) spinal cords to repair, then it may also be able to help neurons affected by neurodegenerative diseases to repair themselves, or at least slow the progress of the disease.

Of course there’s no way to know for sure; no research about HCG and neurodegenerative disease has been reported, and there are only the 1983 and 1990 reports about spinal cord injury, none about brain injury. Even if this research were to start today, so-called authorities would tell us—as they always do—that “results won’t be known for years”.

But if you or a loved one have a had brain or spinal cord injury that’s not yet recovered (especially a recent one), or have an ongoing neurodegenerative disease, why not take this article to a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine, and discuss giving regular HCG injections a try? It’s safe; after all, we all had exposure to it for approximately nine months when we were very, vulnerable fetuses, during which time it did us no harm at all.

Of course it may not help, either. But the research we do have—especially those experimental animals walking again, and the two paraplegic men “now able to walk with the help of crutches” after HCG treatment—gives us real reason to hope. And since little else is being done to repair neurologic injury and neurodegenerative disease that’s actually helping, and side effect free, it’s certainly worth a try.

More to read: The Digestive Theory Of Aging Part 1

UV rays—beyond sunburn

Harnessing the healing power of light Part 1: What you need to know about UV rays—beyond sunburn

Despite what the sunscreen industry would like us to believe, the drastic increase in use of these lotions and potions over the past several decades hasn’t made a big impact in skin cancer rates. But what it has done is made people afraid of ultraviolet (UV) light. While it’s true too much radiation from the sun can result in skin damage (not to mention a painful sunburn), those harmful effects are hardly the extent of what UV radiation is capable of—and its potential benefits far outweigh the risks.

As you’ve read in these pages numerous times, UV rays from the sun are the best source of the vitamin D your body needs to ward off cancer and dozens of other health problems. But that’s just the beginning of what ultraviolet light can do. Not only is it an extremely effective disinfectant with the ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the air and on surfaces, but UV light also has the potential to prevent—and even cure—infections and diseases that other treatments are powerless against.

See also: cataracts surgery

A strong history leads to an even more promising future

Using ultraviolet light as a medical treatment may sound like a new technology, but the medical use of ultraviolet light for the prevention and treatment of disease is not at all a new area of research. This form of therapy has been studied since the late 19th century, when researchers first experimented with UV light in patients with lupus and sepsis. In fact, back in 1903, a Danish physician named Niels Ryberg Finsen won a Nobel prize for his work with UV light and the treatment of disease.

There are even a few forms of ultraviolet light therapy that “mainstream” medicine uses. Ultraviolet radiation can eliminate or reduce pathogens floating in the air. This process is called air ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI. UVGI is an important technology in many hospitals, research centers, and laboratories where contamination with bacteria and fungal spores poses a serious health risk. One recent study evaluated the infection rate in an operating room in which total joint replacements had been performed over a 19-year period. Infection rates were three times higher when only regular (laminar) airflow was used as compared to an ultraviolet light plus laminar airflow system. The UV lowered the number of bacteria in the entire environment, thereby reducing the infection rate, rather than just reducing the number of infectious organisms present at the surgical site. The researchers concluded that UV light is a very effective means of lowering the rate of infection during total joint replacement therapy.

The most common form of UV light therapy used by the mainstream for treatment purposes is probably for psoriasis. UV radiation works well for this condition because it penetrates the skin and slows the abnormal rate of skin cell growth. It’s also commonly used to treat acute tissue rejection in patients who have had heart transplants. And in 1988, the FDA even “approved” UV light therapy for the treatment of form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

But despite these mainstream uses, UV light therapy is still considered “experimental” and “investigational” (or even “quackery”) for many of the healthcare problems affecting people all over the globe. The application that seems to be the most controversial is ultraviolet blood irradiation.

UV rays—beyond sunburn

Blood irradiation was developed in the 1920s, when a piece of equipment called the “ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) device” was created to irradiate blood “extracorporeally” or outside of the body. UVBI was developed for medical use by an engineer, Emmet K. Knott and Virgil Hancock, M.D., and was used early in the 20th century to treat many types of diseases, including a wide variety of infections, many of them otherwise fatal. When antibiotics and vaccines were developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, UVBI was almost completely set aside, even though a number of diseases, including hepatitis, streptococcal toxemia, and viral pneumonia, actually responded better to UVBI therapy than to antibiotics and vaccines, and even though UVBI was repeatedly described as quite safe in multiple publications.

With the rise in antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and the growing interest in therapies that are less toxic, there is a reviving interest in UVBI as a therapy against infection. Even though it’s vastly underutilized, UVBI is still available here in these United States, and has remained a very important treatment modality in Russia and other countries, where many “modern” studies of its effectiveness have been conducted. So this month, we’ll cover the “modern” research, almost all reported since 1990, demonstrating that UV is “still” effective treatment for many problems.

Help your body create its own, internal vaccine

UVBI also goes by the terms light therapy, phototherapy, photophoresis, and photoluminescence. It uses UV light of varying wavelengths to destroy blood-borne pathogens, as well as to treat diseases not clearly linked to specific pathogens, and to improve general health. During a session, a small amount of blood, ranging from 60-250 cc, is withdrawn from a patient and sent through a chamber where it is irradiated with specific frequencies of UV light (since certain frequencies have different effects), and is then reintroduced into the body. This creates a kind of self-generated vaccine that can have many beneficial effects.

UVBI treatments sometimes include the addition of other compounds, either before or after irradiation. This combination therapy has been termed “photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy, or PACT. PACT is used along with UV light to inhibit pathogens in blood products.11 Conventional medicine has even embraced one form of PACT that involves exposing blood withdrawn from a patient’s body to UV radiation and a substance called 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP). This is the form of UV therapy used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, as well as systemic sclerosis and several other inflammatory conditions.12, 13

But “alternative” physicians, especially those who’ve read the older research, often accompany or follow UVBI therapy with hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a “synergist” to increase the effectiveness of UVBI.

While not all the “mechanisms of action” of UVBI are understood (some aren’t even guessed at yet), research has found that it increases the oxygenation of the blood,14 increases important “blood markers” that indicate healing, and inactivates viral, and fungal, and bacterial toxins, including botulism and diphtheria toxins. It also improves chemical balances and cell permeability. And what makes UVBI even more impressive is that it not only begins working after just one treatment, but the effects are cumulative and persist for some time after each treatment session.

Several animal studies have demonstrated these quick, long-lasting effects. For example, when a group of horses that had been exposed to the anthrax virus had their blood treated, investigators noted increased hemoglobin content as well as red and white blood cell counts. An important measurement of inflammation, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), increased after the first hour and remained elevated until the fourth day, and returned to normal after six days—but none of the horses “came down” with anthrax. The UVBI apparently stimulated the destruction of the infectious organisms.15

Light as air: UVBI offers major benefits for chronic lung disorders

One of the most important uses for UVBI in humans is in the treatment of lung diseases, including asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. In one study of chronic bronchitis, patients who were given UVBI treatments every two to three days experienced significantly more improvement than the control group that received only conventional therapy.16

UV blood irradiation even has positive effects in patients with chronic forms of tuberculosis, which is notoriously difficult to treat.17 But following UVBI therapy, patients experienced reductions in their clinical symptoms, and increases in one of the standard measurements of breathing capacity called forced expiratory volume (“FEV”). They also had decreased levels of the bacterial pathogen, Mycobacteria tuberculosis, and improved markers of overall blood health (hematological indices).18

Studies have also shown that UVBI helps alleviate the inflammation of the trachea and bronchial tubes (“tracheobronchitis”) that often occurs after tracheostomy surgery (the creation of a new opening for air entry into the trachea at the base of the neck).19

Breathe easier without the blood

If you have asthma or other breathing difficulties but the thought of blood irradiation leaves you a bit squeamish, less-invasive forms of UV light therapy may still help. One animal study evaluated the ability of UV-B rays to induce airway immunity. A group of mice were exposed to enough of a dose of UV-B radiation to cause skin redness. Several days later, the researchers induce airway allergies in the mice. The results of the study demonstrated that UV-B radiation effectively reduced airway hyper-responsiveness and response to allergens, suggesting it as a possible therapy for asthma and other inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system.20

Another recent study involving a small group of mold-sensitized asthmatic children looked at the effectiveness of UV irradiation units installed in their homes’ central heating and cooling systems. The UV irradiation of home air was found to be effective in reducing airway hyper-responsiveness and other clinical symptoms, and is a promising therapy for the treatment of allergic asthma.21

No job too big

High blood pressure is still one many people’s primary concerns.. You may be surprised to learn that UVBI can help bring blood pressure levels back to normal ranges. In one study, arterial blood pressure in hypertensive patients who underwent five to seven sessions of UVBI dropped an average of 24 percent from initial levels. The general health of patients also improved and the clinical effect persisted for four to eight months, on average. Blood pressure isn’t the only aspect of cardiovascular health to be of which to be aware, and UVBI certainly isn’t the only natural treatment that can help alleviate hypertension, but researchers suggest that it may be a beneficial addition to other therapeutic measures for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.22

While UVBI is a good addition to the other effective natural treatments for hypertension, there are very few treatments—natural or otherwise—that are effective for terminal kidney (renal) failure. But in one study in which patients with chronic renal failure were treated with UVBI, immune function was stimulated, a low white blood cell count was corrected, and patients demonstrated overall improvement.23

Making cancer treatments safer

As I mentioned earlier, UV light therapy has been used successfully as a treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of cancer that is generally very resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. But this isn’t the only cancer application for UVBI. It also helps combat some of the negative effects of traditional chemotherapy and some of the hazards associated with cancer surgery.

In one study, patients undergoing chemotherapy which had caused a significant drop in their red blood cell counts had 200 ml of blood removed, then irradiated, and immediately returned to them. The red blood cell counts returned to normal.

During surgery, patients of course lose blood, and surgeons try to recover some of it to give back before the surgery is over. This process is called “intra-operative blood salvage.” But during cancer surgery, the lost blood could be contaminated by cancer cells, so surgeons are hesitant to salvage it. In one study (done “in vitro,” not on a living patient) using a number of cancer cell lines and tumor preparations, researchers irradiated salvaged blood to see if the process could eliminate the potential for cancer cells to spread. Following irradiation of tumor-cell-contaminated blood, even though cancer cells were still present, there were no signs of them spreading. The authors of this study concluded that there was a clinical basis for using UVBI during surgery as a means of salvaging useable blood. A later study using intra-operative blood salvaged by using UVBI confirmed these results and concluded that UVBI is an important way to save blood resources while avoiding cancer cell spread and the necessity for transfusion, which carries its own set of risks.

And speaking of risks associated with blood transfusions, results of a recent study showed that YV light combined with amotosalen (a synthetic but relatively safe version of naturally occurring plant compounds called “psoralens” found in figs, celery, parsley, and other plants) could inactivate parvovirus B19, a virus that may be transmitted through blood transfusions but, until now, evaded attempts to disable it.

UV rays—beyond sunburn

Germ-killing with UV

In addition to all the benefits we’ve gone over so far, ultraviolet light is also particularly effective in killing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, which are a serious and increasing problem in many hospitals and other healthcare facilities these days.28, 29 And like the asthma treatments mentioned in the sidebar on page X, UV light therapy for these forms of potentially deadly bactera are done without withdrawing blood from patients. In one study patients with chronic body-surface ulcers were treated using a lamp that emitted ultraviolet C (UV-C) light, held about an inch away from the wound site. After just one 180-second treatment, there were significant reductions in all types of bacteria, most notably Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), which has been making headlines worldwide recently A second study of the effects of UV light treatment on antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus and Enterococcus faecalis showed similar results with exposures as little as 5 seconds.30 These results confirm other studies showing that UV-C can kill many types of bacteria present in superficial, chronic wounds.

When UV light is applied at the site of an infection it inactivates pathogens by creating something I’m normally warning you to avoid: free radicals. But, in this case, free radicals are a good thing, since they’re causing oxidative damage to the invading organisms, not to your internal organs.

As you’ve seen, all of this modern research has shown UV light and UVBI to be a safe and effective (not to mention inexpensive) treatment with rapid clinical response for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. But conventional medicine still hasn’t gotten around to employing it as often as it should, as was done with great success (and reported in many, many peer-reviewed professional journals) in the 1920s through the 1950s. In 2008, UVBI therapy is done almost entirely by physicians—including Tahoma Clinic physicians—skilled in natural and nutritional medicine, as well as intravenous (IV) therapies (see “Resources”, page 8.) But with the ever-increasing spread of antibiotic-resistant micro-organisms, it’s well past time “conventional” medicine to goes “back to the future” and starts using this long-ago-proven therapy. The UV-treated conditions we covered in this article—all but one reported in the past two decades, and the majority since the year 2000–are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to UVBI’s healing potential.

Next month, I’ll tell you about those research reports published right here in these United States from the 1920s through the 1950s documenting the use and effectiveness of UV light and UVBI to safely and effectively treat tens of thousands of humans with infections, including viral pneumonia, staphylococcal septicemia (serious, often fatal systemic “staph infection”), poliomyelitis (“polio”), erysipelas (streptococcal skin infection), puerperal sepsis (an often fatal infection also termed “childbirth fever”), staphylococcal skin infection (furunculosis), and paralytic ileus (paralysis of the bowel after surgery, and thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation followed by blood clot). You’ll also read about UV light’s benefits for more common conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, herpes, psoriasis, and diabetes.

Thanks to Lauren Russel N.D. for her organization and summary of the data collected for this article.

More to read: Macular Degeneration Testimonials

Bioidentical Testosterone

Bioidentical Testosterone: The best male anti-aging tool the experts don’t want you to have

That basically sums up what’s been going on in the world of HRT since the summer of 2002, when news of the canceled Women’s Health Initiative study broke. Main-stream doctors and researchers have been scrambling to clean up the mess they made after years of prescribing dangerous synthetic hormones and horse hormones to thousands of women. I’ve been doing my own version of damage control, too-explaining to my patients and to you the difference between real, bio-identical estrogens and the synthetic versions that caused so many problems. But now that things have quieted down somewhat on the estrogen front, it looks as if there’s controversy brewing about testosterone-again.

An exact parallel to the Women’s Health Initiative debacle occurred in the 1940s and 1950s, when patent medicine companies sold hundreds of thousands of men a patented, so-called “hormone” called methyltestosterone, pawning it off as the real thing. After a few years of taking this stuff, which had never been found in human or animal bodies before, many of the men developed liver cancers and heart disease. The experts of the day proclaimed that “testosterone therapy” was dangerous, so testosterone research went into a steep decline and didn’t recover until the late 1980s and 1990s.

Last November, a new group of “experts,” convened by the Institute of Medicine, picked up where the old ones had left off, declaring that men shouldn’t consider testosterone as preventive medicine against age-related symptoms. The committee concluded that “existing scientific evidence does not justify claims that testosterone treatments can relieve or prevent certain age-related problems in men.”

I could hardly disagree more. A normal level of testosterone, sustained for a lifetime, is one of the most important anti-aging and staying-healthy tools a man can have. It just depends on what type of testosterone. And, again, synthetic–and patentable– just doesn’t cut it.

For over 30 years, I’ve worked with men ages 45 and up whose symptoms and tests indicated a need for bio-identical testosterone. The results have been gratifying for everyone involved. Most notably, bio-identical testosterone therapy helps improve mood, attitude, cognitive ability, and general outlook on life. Many wives and families have observed that “Grandpa is a lot less grumpy,” remembers things better, and laughs and smiles a lot more often.

See Also: laser eye surgery Sydney

Bioidentical Testosterone

Plus, bio-identical testosterone improves muscle mass and strength, rebuilds bone, strengthens the heart and blood vessels, lowers total cholesterol and blood sugar, raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lessens the chances of blood clots, improves tissue oxygenation, improves the health of a non-cancerous prostate gland-and that’s all before we get to testosterone’s positive effects on libido and your sex life.

So what’s all the fuss about? The chairman of the panel said in part: “Recent experience with the Women’s Health Initiative-which studied hormone therapy in postmenopausal women for many years-underscores the importance of approaching future studies of testosterone therapy thoughtfully and carefully.”

The Institute of Medicine committee is apparently more than a little confused, pointing to bad results from a horse hormone and synthetic, patentable “progestin,” and using those results to brand real hormones-even natural, bio-identical ones-as potentially dangerous. And they’re also ignoring results of research using bio-identical testosterone stretching back to 1935. But then, I’ve come to expect this from medical “experts.”

So instead of relying on the half-truths the “experts” continue to pass off as absolute fact, let’s take a look at some of the studies published over the last five years, which continue to show that bio-identical testosterone is good for men who need it.

Safety first

Let’s address testosterone safety first. Remember, when I refer to testosterone, I mean bio-identical testosterone—the same molecules present in human bodies forever—not some patentable pseudo-testosterone.

As might be expected, the Institute of Medicine committee played on the fear of prostate cancer to discourage testosterone therapy. “There is still much we don’t know about whether testosterone therapy might increase the risk of prostate cancer,” said committee chair Dan Blazer, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. According to their report: “The committee found no compelling evidence of major adverse side effects resulting from testosterone therapy, but the evidence is inadequate to document safety.” The evidence is only inadequate if you refuse to acknowledge it, like all of these so-called experts. There are actually dozens of studies showing just how safe testosterone therapy really is.

For example, in 2002 the International Journal of Andrology published a study that examined 207 men, ages 40 to 83, who had all been found to have low or low-normal testosterone levels.1 The researchers looked at multiple parameters, including prostate volume; PSA; lower urinary tract symptoms, like frequency, urgency, “dribbling,” etc.; and measured levels of several other hormones, including di-hydrotestosterone, or DHT, estradiol, and LH, a marker hormone that has an inverse relationship with testosterone levels-the more LH, the less testosterone and vice versa.

Of the 207 men studied, 187 responded favorably to testosterone treatment. These 187 all showed declines in LH production, as well as improvement in every other parameter measured: Their prostate glands all decreased in size, their PSA numbers went lower, and frequency, urgency, dribbling, and getting up at night all improved.

This study indicates that, far from causing prostate trouble, testosterone is actually beneficial for the prostate gland in the vast majority of cases.

The more testosterone, the sharper your brain…

Researchers also continue to demonstrate that testosterone is beneficial for male mental function. Here are a few excerpts from some of the recent studies supporting this conclusion:

  • “short-term testosterone administration enhances cognitive function in healthy older men” (2)
  • “decreased serum testosterone levels….adversely affect verbal memory in normal young men. These results suggest that short-term changes in sex steroid levels have effects on cognitive function in healthy young men” (3)
  • “beneficial changes in cognition can occur in…men using testosterone replacement and di-hydrotestosterone [DHT] treatment…” (4)
  • “Positive associations between testosterone levels and cognition are consistent with an effect of androgen treatment…” (5)

That’s all I have space for in this issue, but there’s much more research showing that adequate bio-identical testosterone is import-ant for male cognitive function. Hopefully the “experts” will get around to reading it someday. But in the meantime, let’s move on and go over testosterone’s benefits for your heart.

Bioidentical Testosterone

70 years of heart-health benefits

Not one piece of research since the 1930s has shown bio-identical testosterone to worsen any para-meter of cardiovascular function -quite the opposite, actually.

All the way back in the 1940s, testosterone was found to be an effective treatment in 91 of 100 cases of angina. Then in the 1970s, research showed it to be effective in improving abnormal electrocardiograms. And in the 1990s, a Chinese study showed improvement in both angina and electrocardiograms in older men using testosterone. (6)

Research continues to confirm that testosterone is good for men’s hearts. Two examples taken from very recent studies:

  • “Men with proven coronary heart disease had significantly lower levels of total testosterone, free testosterone, free androgen index and estradiol…For the first time in clinical settings it has been demonstrated that low levels of free-testosterone was characteristic for patients with low ejection fraction.” (7)

Ejection fraction measures the amount of blood pumped from one of the heart’s chambers, so low testosterone is associated with less blood being pumped.

  • “Testosterone reduced QT dispersion in [men with] heart failure.” (8)
  • Higher QT dispersion, a measurement taken form an electrocardiogram, indicates higher risk of death from cardiac arrhythmia. That means in the above study, testosterone reduced the risk of death from cardiac arrhythmia.

A bone-building boost when you need it most

By the time most men hit 70, they “catch up” with women and have just as much osteoporosis and as many bone fractures as women do. This and many other topics are discussed in detail in the book about testosterone I co-authored with Lane Lenard, Ph.D., Maximize Your Vitality and Potency for Men Over 40. So I’ll just quote one bit of more recent research here: “After controlling for age and body mass index, bone mineral density correlated positively with estradiol and testosterone.” (9)

Once again, no one has ever reported that normal levels of bio-identical testosterone are in any way bad for men’s bones.

Don’t wait for the “experts”

If you wait for the usual suspects -I mean experts-to decide whether testosterone is good for you, it will likely be too late. If you want to protect your brain, heart, blood vessels, bones, and muscles-not to mention maintain normal libido-have your levels of testosterone and free testosterone checked routinely. Please make sure to consult a physician skilled and knowledgeable in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and follow the precautions in the boxes on pages 2 and 3. To find such a physician, consult the Resources section on page (8).

Keeping testosterone supplementation safe

If your testosterone levels are low and you decide to take testosterone-real, bio-identical testosterone, not a patentable version-make sure to have your PSA level checked before you start, and then check it again in two to three months. If it rises more than a little in that time, you may have uncovered pre-existing prostate cancer. Check with your doctor or a urologist right away, and stop using testosterone until you’ve fully investigated the situation.

Testosterone doesn’t cause prostate cancer all by itself. If it did, there would be an epidemic of prostate cancer in young men. But it does significantly increase the growth rate of a pre-existing cancer that may not have been detected yet.

Keeping all your hormone levels “just right”

Some of your testosterone actually gets converted into estrogen. This small amount of estrogen has important functions for men, just as small quantities of testosterone have important functions for women. In younger men, only a small quantity of testosterone is converted. But in some older men, testosterone-to-estrogen conversion is dramatically accelerated, resulting in levels of estrogens much higher than usual for men.

If you decide to use supplemental testosterone, be sure to check regularly to make sure this isn’t happening to you. At present, blood testing isn’t sufficient, because very few laboratories check estrone, estradiol, and estriol in men’s blood. I prefer 24-hour urine testing for sex steroids, which includes testosterone, estrone, estradiol, estriol, progesterone, DHEA, androsterone, and etiocholanolone. Besides, this type of testing is much less expensive than blood testing.

More to read: Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Strontium – Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

Strontium – Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

Entirely natural compounds of strontium (including strontium lactate, strontium gluconate, and strontium carbonate) as well as the semi-synthetic compound strontium ranelate have all been used to good effect by various researchers. But this does not necessarily mean that these studies are generalizable to one another.

As to natural strontium: Mayo Clinic researchers noted clinical and x-ray improvement in severe osteoporosis with strontium lactate (footnote 4 to the Article below); Dr. Marie reported significant microscopic improvement in bone with the use of strontium carbonate (footnote 6 to the Article below); Dr. Jonathan Wright has observed significant improvement in bone-density with the use of strontium citrate. These observations about natural strontium, however, are not precisely the same as those made about the semi-synthetic compound, strontium ranelate, which has been the subject of placebo-controlled, double-blind studies differing from the studies of others. Each piece of research should be judged on its own merits. Despite distinctions among these studies, Dr. Wright’s conclusion about strontium compounds remains the same: strontium compounds are highly efficacious in preventing and combating osteoporosis.

Below is a letter from a lawyer representing financial interests behind a patented semi-synthetic compound of strontium. You may read this letter or jump straight to Dr. Wright’s article.

We are writing on behalf of Les Laboratoires (“Sevier”). Over the past several years, Servier has conducted several clinical studies of a new patented molecule called strontium ranelate (the “Servier Studies”).

It has recently come to our attention that you are citing the Servier Studies in literature posted on your Web site in connection with the promotion of stontium mineral supplements manufactured by Advanced Orthomolecular Research (“AOR”). The article on your Web site that makes these claims is entitled “Fight, even prevent, osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building micacle mineral” and is by Jonathan V. Wright (the “Content”).

Strontium – Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

The Content refers to the Servier Studies as support for its erroneous claims about strontium. In fact, the Servier Studies were conducted only with strontium ranelate, not strontium. Moreover, strontium ranelate is not currently approved for sale in the United States for the treatment of osteoporosis. The Content states:

In a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study using 680 milligrams of strontium daily, women suffering from osteoporosis experienced a 41 percent reduction in risk of a vertebral fracture, compared with placebo. And, overall vertebrae density in the strontium group increased by 11.4 percent but there was a 1.3 percent decrease in the placebo group.

However, this study, Servier’s Phase III “SOTI” Study, was conducted only with strontium ranelate, not strontium alone, and does not support any claims about strontium standing alone.

In a second study published last year, 353 women who had suffered at least one vertebral fracture due to osteoporosis took varying levels of strontium ranelate or a placebo. The women who took 680 milligrams of strontium daily had an increase in lumbar bone mineral density of approximately 3 percent per year, significantly greater than placebo. By the second year of the study, there was a significant decrease in additional fractures in the strontium group as compared with the placebo group.

This paragraph refers to Servier’s Phase II “STRATOS” Study, which was also conducted using strontium ranelate. This paragraph initially refers to strontium ranelate, but continues to refer only to “strontium” and does not explain what strontium ranelate is. The clear message of this paragraph is that the results apply to strontium. They do not. Even in the unlikely event a few readers will appreciate that the study relates to strontium ranelate and not strontium, the Content creates the impression that the AOR mineral supplements were the subject of the Servier Study.

Finally, the Content states:

A final 2002 publication examined the effects of strontium on early postmenopausal bone loss. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 160 women whose menopause had occurred naturally six months to five years previously and who did not have osteoporosis were asked to take placebo or varying amounts of strontium daily. Compared to the placebo group, women who took 340 milligrams strontium a day had a significant increase in bone mineral density in two years’ time. All groups also took 500 milligrams of calcium daily, but no hormones or vitamin D.

This paragraph refers to Sevier’s Phase II “PREVOS” Study, which, again, was conducted with strontium ranelate, not strontium.

In short, the Content relies on tests conducted only on strontium ranelate to support claims about the effectiveness of strontium. Strontium was not the subject of these clinical trials and has notbeen demonstrated to have the effects reported in the Content. Furthermore, even strontium ranelate is not currently approved for sale in the United States as a treatment for osteoporosis. While the Servier Studies are lawful, scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed professional literature, the Content is part of an unlawful marketing effort directed to the general public to promote an unapproved drug.

The obvious result is to mislead readers of the Content into believing that purchasing and taking one of the strontium products that you sell will permit them to experience that same salutary results as was achieved by the subjects described in the Servier Studies. Indeed, this seems to be the very purpose of the Content, as it states: “Since this new combination [strontium ranelate] has a good deal of profit potential and other all natural forms of strontium don’t, I’d be willing to bet that before too long we’ll start hearing that this new combination is the only form of strontium ‘approved’ to help rebuild bone.”

Additionally, the Content acknowledges that “the most recent strontium-osteoporosis research used a patentable combination…” but goes on to state “but remember, it’s the strontium doing the work!” The Content offers no support for this statement, and indeed there is none.

As a result, the false and misleading statements in connection with the sale of strontium are likely to lead consumers to the false conclusion that strontium has the same effectiveness as strontium ranelate or that the AOR mineral supplements were used in the Servier Studies. As such, your actions constitute, inter alia, false description and false advertising in violation of both state and federal law including the federal Trademark Act 15 U.S.C. 1125(a), and the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 331 (prohibited acts).

In addition, the Content erroneously states that “so far, [strontium ranelate has] been available only in Europe under the trademark Protos…” This statement is incorrect – the name of the product is PROTELOS, and it is not yet available.

Our client considers this a very serious matter and has authorized us to take all necessary and appropriate action to prevent any continued wrongdoing. To that end, unless you provide us with your prompt written assurances, to be received no later than July 21, 2004, that you have immediately ceased and desisted from posting, publishing, distributing, or using the Content (or any other material) in any way to suggest that the Servier Studies relate to strontium or that AOR’s mineral supplements were part of the Servier Studies, we will take the necessary steps to immediately stop your wrongful activities, including filing a formal complaint with the appropriate federal agencies.

Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

If you haven’t heard of Forteo® yet, get ready. It’s the latest “miracle” on the patent medicine scene, so I have no doubt the media frenzy is on its way. Especially since the mainstream just hasn’t found many options for osteoporosis, the condition for which Forteo supposedly works wonders.

In November 2002, news of Forteo’s approval hit and it was immediately touted as the first patented formulation designed to “stimulate the growth of new bone.” Well, part of that is true: It is the first patented substance designed for that purpose. But what about calcium, other vitamins and minerals, and identical-to-natural hormones? These items obviously stimulate bone growth. After all, they’re the materials our bodies use to grow from infant to adult size. And I’ve seen women and even a few men increase their bone density by very significant margins when they supplement with these natural items. But somehow, they’re not considered “scientifically proven.”

And, truth be told, none of the presently sold patent medicines for osteoporosis actually stimulate new bone growth. They all “work” by slowing the destruction of bone, technically called “inhibiting bone resorption.”

At any rate, there are some distinct and serious risks involved with Forteo. After singing its praises, the media also reported that “FDA officials said the drug, given by injection daily, will carry a special warning because in laboratory tests it caused cancerous bone tumors in rats.” Of course, the “consolation” is that the cancerous tumors hadn’t yet been seen in the 2,000 people injected with the drug in clinical trials.

So much for drug safety!

Fortunately, there’s a much, much safer natural mineral alternative that stimulates the growth of new bone. It’s been around for millions of years. And one of the first favorable clinical trials on this mineral and osteoporosis was reported from the Mayo Clinic way back in 1959. Strontium is in the same mineral family as calcium and magnesium, and it’s been shown to promote bone growth in both animals and people.

Before you get nervous, let me clarify something: I’m not referring to radioactive “strontium 90″ that many of us were forced to hide from under our schoolroom desks in the 1950s during “A-bomb drills.” This kind is all-natural and very, very safe.

A bone-building timeline

The first studies on strontium in relation to bone density were done in the early 20th century. In 1910, one German researcher reported that strontium appeared to be uniquely effective in stimulating rapid formation of bone.1 Ten years later, another German researcher concluded that strontium and calcium were superior to calcium alone in mineralizing bone.2 Following these publications, there were conflicting reports about the effects of strontium until a 1952 report from Cornell University concluded the same thing as the second German study: that calcium and strontium work better together than calcium alone for rebuilding bone.

Now on to that clinical trial I mentioned earlier. In 1959, Mayo Clinic physicians reported they had asked 22 individuals with severe, painful osteoporosis to take 1,700 milligrams of strontium daily. Another 10 people took the same amount of strontium along with estrogen and testosterone. In the hormones plus strontium group, nine of 10 experienced marked improvement of their symptoms, and the other one had moderate improvement. In the strontium-only group, 18 of 22 had marked improvement and the other four had moderate improvement. That means that every single person had some improvement using strontium.

Unfortunately, after that, things died down in the strontium/osteoporosis world. Why, you might wonder? Well, my guess would be that the patent medicine industry tried its best to come up with a synthetic version of strontium that they could trademark and make a profit from. But when they couldn’t find one, they gave up. Unpatentable substances just aren’t researched by patent medication companies, which pretend to be interested in your health but really are only interested in you if they can sell you a patent medication. So research on strontium (as well as any other natural substance) has been woefully neglected.

Twenty-two years elapsed between the Mayo Clinic report and the next bit of published strontium research in humans. In this study, patients with cancer metastatic to bone achieved improved bone density and a lessening of pain in cancer-affected areas.

Then, in 1985, researchers reported results of strontium supplementation on bone formation in six humans. Bone biopsies were done before and after six months of strontium supplementation. The researchers wrote: “Following strontium therapy, all [measurements] of bone formation increased, while bone resorption remained unchanged.”6 Sixteen years later, a research group led by the same individual wrote a review of strontium activity. They stated: “In addition to its anti-resorptive activity, strontium was found to have anabolic (tissue-building) activity in bone.”

The principal author of these research papers had his volunteers take strontium carbonate. His predecessors used strontium lactate and strontium gluconate. It’s important to note that all these forms of strontium had a favorable effect, which means that the strontium itself-not the combination-is doing the work. It may not sound like much, but knowing this little tidbit could end up saving you a lot of money. You see, the most recent strontium-osteoporosis research used a patentable strontium combination. Strontium itself isn’t patentable, but it was combined with a patented, synthetic substance called ranelic acid, which makes the combination patentable. So far, it’s been available only in Europe under the trademark Protos,® but remember, it’s the strontium doing the work! The patent medicine companies and the media aren’t going to tell you that, though. Since this new combination has a good deal of profit potential and other allnatural forms of strontium don’t, I’d be willing to bet that before too long we’ll start hearing that this new combination is the only form of strontium “approved” to help rebuild bone. Just keep in mind that all “approval” means is that forms have been filled out and money has changed hands. It doesn’t mean a substance is safe, or that it’s the only form of treatment.

One natural cure finally gets the attention it deserves

But all of the attention focused on patenting strontium has done one good thing-it’s sparked interest and funding for more strontium/osteoporosis research. True, most of the current studies have been done on the patentable combination. But as noted above, it’s the strontium itself that’s doing the work, not the substance with which it’s combined. So these results are still good news.

In a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study using 680 milligrams of strontium daily, women suffering from osteoporosis experienced a 41 percent reduction in risk of a vertebral fracture, compared with placebo. And, overall vertebrae density in the strontium group increased by 11.4 percent but there was a 1.3 percent decrease in the placebo group.

In a second study published last year, 353 women who had suffered at least one vertebral fracture due to osteoporosis took varying levels of strontium ranelate or a placebo. The women who took 680 milligrams of strontium daily had an increase in lumbar bone mineral density of approximately 3 percent per year, significantly greater than placebo. By the second year of the study, there was a significant decrease in additional fractures in the strontium group as compared with the placebo group.

A final 2002 publication examined the effects of strontium on early postmenopausal bone loss. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 160 women whose menopause had occurred naturally six months to five years previously and who did not have osteoporosis were asked to take placebo or varying amounts of strontium daily. Compared to the placebo group, women who took 340 milligrams strontium a day had a significant increase in bone mineral density in two years’ time. All groups also took 500 milligrams of calcium daily, but no hormones or vitamin D.

Let me re-state that: Post-menopausal women without osteoporosis who took no replacement hormones (or vitamin D) but only calcium still had an increase in bone density with the use of strontium! So not only can strontium repair existing damage, it can actually help prevent you from suffering with osteoporosis in the first place. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s strontium ranelate, strontium gluconate, strontium lactate, or strontium carbonate. As long as it’s strontium, it’s good for you!

Strontium – Fight-even prevent-osteoporosis with the hidden secrets of this bone-building miracle mineral

Stontium is even safer than placebo

Of course, I’m sure you’ve heard the warning: “Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe.” The medical mainstream loves to toss this one around. While that’s true, it’s also true that the odds are in favor of nature: If you placed bets on the safety of natural substances vs. patent medications, you’d win money nearly every time. But even so, it’s still important to examine the evidence.

I’ll start with the new patentable strontium combination, strontium ranelate. In the two-year study with recently postmenopausal women using 340 milligrams of strontium, the researchers reported more “adverse events” in the placebo group than in the strontium group. The most common complaints in both groups were diarrhea, nausea, gastritis, and indigestion.

In the two-year study of women who previously had one vertebral fracture (obviously in worse health than the early postmenopausal group), there was no significant difference in side effects in either the strontium group or the placebo group, with the sole exception of an elevation of the muscle enzyme creatinine phosphokinase (CPK), which the researchers termed mild, transient, and of “no clinical significance.” But since strontium ranelate is the semi-synthetic, patentable form, I’m not sure I trust the synthetic part of the combination. So, if you decide to take this formulation, be sure to have your CPK levels checked regularly.

In the human studies reported prior to 2002, quantities of up to 1,700 milligrams of strontium per day were taken with no reports of significant side effects.

However, there is a caution from animal studies. Animals deliberately given a low calcium diet and then supplemented with relatively high doses of strontium developed bone deformities. From a purely scientific standpoint, this is a predictable result: Bones contain much more calcium than strontium or any other mineral, so depriving them of what they need, then trying to “make up” for it with only one part of the equation is bound to present problems. Fortunately, there’s much more calcium than strontium in any human diet–so I doubt it would ever happen. But to absolutely safe, follow this simple rule: Always take more calcium than strontium.

Strontium sources you can trust – without resorting to Forteo

Now for a bit of bad news: There’s not enough strontium in our food to have a significant effect if you have osteoporosis already, so if you’re suffering from this condition, you should take strontium in supplement form. But if you don’t have osteoporosis, it’s a good idea to eat foods that contain more strontium to prevent it from occurring. The largest amounts of strontium are found in spices, seafood, whole grains, root and leafy vegetables, and legumes.

Until recently, the only source of supplemental strontium was Osteoprime, the osteoporosis formula put together by Alan Gaby, M.D., and me. But now there are more sources for you to choose from. One of these is called Strontium Support and is made by the company Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR) of Calgary. Each capsule of Strontium Support contains 227 milligrams strontium. Check your local natural food or vitamin store to see if they carry this supplement. They can contact AOR at (I have no connection, financial or otherwise, with AOR.)

A final note: Please don’t take injections of Forteo. You really don’t want to be the first non-rat to develop a cancerous bone tumor from taking it. Instead, take the (much safer) road less traveled and add strontium to your supplement program. Take one 227-milligram capsule three times a day. For those without osteoporosis but higher risk (family history, immobility, etc.) one capsule daily is probably adequate for preventive purposes. And make sure you’re taking even more calcium- 1,200-1,500 milligrams a day is a good general range-along with magnesium and other “backup” minerals and other nutrients.