Posts in the Medicine category

Coming Soon... New Theories

One of these theories is an out-there what-if? And I don't have anything to back it up right now. But I'm going to try to piece together a mechanism that explains eczema and peanut allergies as a fungal battle going on inside your body. I can't find much research to back up this position, but I'll explain my logic.

 

Here's the bigger one. I've rediscovered some old studies from the 1950s that give a way to massively reduce nicotine and other withdrawal symptoms. I came across this through a happy accident mainly; I was looking for a way to reverse the side-effects of smoking on skin healing while I was still waiting for a good way to quit that didn't involve taking mind-altering drugs, as I appear to be particularly sensitive to them. That, and I've heard enough worrying things about Chantix, and I've got issues with Wellbutrin (I get visual side effects).

070516104053[1]So a happy accident, and it's cheap, easy to get a hold of, has minimal side effects (or rather, minimizable side-effects.. they're actually not all that bad), and rumor has it, it will help with the weight-gain issues of stopping smoking as well.

And! as an extra bonus benefit, if you're an alcoholic? Apparently, according to the studies, it works for that too. Suffer from anxiety or a broken heart? It'll help. Crave sweets/starchy foods all the time? Yep, it should help with that. High HDL cholesterol? Check. Serotonin deficient? Hell yes.

What's more, it's probably already in your cupboard. All you need to do is up the dose. Carefully. And preferably under medical supervision (hey, I'm not a doctor. I don't claim to be one. Anything you do with this advice is your own look-out; tread carefully).

Sounds magical, no? Well, I'll lead into my next article (coming in a couple of days - I'm still experimenting on dosing patterns) by telling you what this magical substance is.

It's plain old Vitamin B3, a.k.a. Niacin. And from my own personal experience, it's already working 100x better than the Nicotine Patch that I used to quit smoking last time.

Who'da thought it?

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HSV1 And Alzheimers: The Link is now Proven

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm

The team discovered that the HSV1 DNA is located very specifically in amyloid plaques: 90% of plaques in Alzheimer's disease sufferers' brains contain HSV1 DNA, and most of the viral DNA is located within amyloid plaques. The team had previously shown that HSV1 infection of nerve-type cells induces deposition of the main component, beta amyloid, of amyloid plaques. Together, these findings strongly implicate HSV1 as a major factor in the formation of amyloid deposits and plaques, abnormalities thought by many in the field to be major contributors to Alzheimer's disease. 

Why does medicine move so slowly in these areas? I've been saying this for a year and a half now - based in part on this team's earlier research. :)

Glad to see we're making headway though!

Next step: We need to officially tie herpes viruses to all of the other diseases that they cause. My list is here: http://www.accidentalscientist.com/2008/01/public-enemy-1-herpes-viruses-as.html

Meanwhile, if you are at risk for Alzheimer's, do the following:

  • Ask your doctor to prescribe valcyclovir as an off-label treatment. If necessary, lie and say that you have genital herpes and need it for suppression.
  • Avoid foods rich in L-Arginine, especially chocolate and peanuts. L-Arginine rich foods encourage the virus to replicate.
  • Supplement your diet with at least 5mg L-Lysine daily - the virus mistakes this for L-Arginine, and produces inert viral particles as a result.
  • Take Omega-3 fatty acids. I've found the Eskimo brand to be the most effective - the krill version doesn't seem to work as well, and is more expensive. Omega 3 fatty acids change the structure of the cell membrane, making it harder for viruses to enter and exit the cytosome through the lipid raft.
  • Take Resveratrol supplements. Studies in rats have shown that Resveratrol interferes with the replication of the virus, and may destroy it.
  • Take Curcumin supplements (or eat lots of foods containing Turmeric). Curcuminoids also interfere with replication of the virus.
  • Make sure you're taking a good B-complex vitamin, particularly one with the non-cyanocobalmin form of B12. B12 in particular attacks the virus as it replicates.

The most effective of these is, of course, valcyclovir. The others just slow the virus down.

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New Vitamin Regimen - And A Less Fuzzy Brain

So one of the upshots of the medical research that I've been doing recently is that I'm slowly figuring out how a lot of things work - especially for myself.

Normally, I'll wake up feeling like I have a hangover. Dry eyes, slight headache, very groggy. This tiredness doesn't stop during the day - and it doesn't go away no matter how much I sleep.

I think I've figured out how to fix that though. And the results are surprising. I've been borderline for type II diabetes for a while, with high cholesterol. And I do get coldsores. Those symptoms (high blood sugar, high cholesterol) are something that can be caused by a subclinical herpesviridae infection (if the papers I'm reading are correct). Add in the fact that I get some scintillating scotoma, and it looks like I've had a subclinical migraine for quite a while that was getting ready to rear its ugly head.

So a little research online, and I arrived at this solution (I take this morning and night):

  • Curcumin (Turmeric extract)
  • Resveratrol (Red Wine phenols)
  • A good MultiVitamin
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Lecithin
  • L-Lysine
  • Vitamin C

... and hey presto, I wake up feeling absolutely fantastic. Which is a nice change for me.

Still in the "is this a placebo or is it real?" phase, but the results are promising.

How does it work?

Well, assuming that herpesviridae are the cause of my symptoms (by the way, we can add migraines and cluster headaches to the list of potential herpesviridae-caused symptoms now after spying a few papers on this), it works something like this:

Curcumin - interferes with herpesviridae reproduction, also tones down TNF inflammatory response (kind of like a natural Enbrel/Etanercept).

Resveratrol - interferes with herpesviridae reproduction, turns down TNF inflammatory response, and inhibits reactivation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10551373)

Multivitamin - to replenish Vitamin B stores (I use one high in the cyanocobalamin form of B12). Mainly to help repair nerves, but also to act synergistically with interferon in the body to increase its efficacy (http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6908611.html); adding high doses of B12 massively reduces the amount of interferon-beta necessary to hold an infection in check by about half.

Omega 3 fatty acids - modulates the structure of cell lipid rafts, making it harder for the herpesviridae (and rhinoviruses, adenoviruses) to enter or exit the cell membranes.

L-Lysine - interferes with herpesviridae replication by masquerading as L-Arginine (the virus can't tell the difference, and L-Lysine substitution produces faulty viruses).

Vitamin C - for healing (used by the body with Lysine to create collagen). This is really a buffer for the high levels of Lysine, allowing it to be effectively used, and to ensure that Vitamin C stores don't run low as a result.

Theoretically, this mix could also act as a good weight-loss treatment too; if you think about it, if this can shift the balance away from type-II diabetes and high cholesterol (which Omega 3, resveratrol and curcumin are shown to help with in some studies), weight loss should come as a natural consequence.

Anyway, it's all theory at this point. But the papers I'm using to do this research are pretty promising.

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Viruses as a cause for Cancer - and other diseases (part 3)

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This article is not about the clinical side of this theory of mine - it's about the path that led me to believe in it.

For a long time now, I've been utterly convinced that most kinds of cancer (except those caused by really faulty genetics which cause childhood mortality) would eventually be discovered to be caused by either a bacterium, a fungus, or a virus. (more...)

The Herpes Virus - what is it? (part 2)

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Suppressing herpes virus may reduce infectiousness of HIV

This is a picture of a herpes virus. It's a virus that most people come into contact with at one stage or other during their lives - usually when they're children. Different forms of this virus cause:

Virus SubtypeClassificationDisease
Herpes Simplex Type 1 (HSV1)HHV1Coldsores
Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV2)HHV2Genital Herpes
Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)HHV3Chickenpox, shingles
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)HHV4Mono (infectious mononucleosis), Burkitt's Lyphoma, CNS symptoms in AIDS patients, post-transplant lymphoproliferative syndrome (PTLD), nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)HHV5Mono-like symptoms (infectious mononucleosis-like syndrome), retinitis, cytomegalovirus colitis, cytomegalovirus hepatitis
RoseolavirusHHV6, 7"Rose rash" (roseola infantum), "sixth disease", "three day fever", "baby measles"
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)HHV8Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoman, some types of Castleman's disease

Table taken from Wikipedia.

There may be other forms of this virus associated with other diseases in humans; there are over 100 known herpes viruses - there may well be many more.

The viruses are classified into three groups based on the types of tissue they exhibit affinity for in the body.

VirusesTissue typeClassification
HSV1, HSV2, VZVNervous system tissueAlphaherpesvirinae
CMV, RoseolavirusLymph tissue and lymphatic systemBetaherpesvirinae
EBV, KSHVT or B lymphocytes; also lymphotropicGammaherpesvirinae

As many as 90% of the population carry one or all of these viruses in their systems. After infection, the virus hides in a latent form, where it can stay dormant for years - possibly forever - until the conditions are ripe for it to come out and replicate again.

In the alpha viruses, it hides inside the cytosome of the nervous tissue awaiting reactivation, often caused by stress or inflammation. I mentioned this previously in an earlier post on Alzheimers, Herpes and Etanercept; the key trigger for alpha virus reactivation appears to be the presence of TNEF-alpha in large quantities, telling the virus that it's safe to come out because the immune system is currently busy.

In the beta viruses, they hide inside the nucleii of the lympahtic cells themselves, causing what are known as "Owl's Eye" inclusion bodies - so called from their appearance:

CMV Owl's Eye inclusion bodies

The gamma viruses behave similarly to the beta viruses, but target specific lymphocytes.

When the virus replicates, it often destroys the host cell in the process, or severely distorts it.

The Herpes Virus - A cause for more diseases than we give it credit for?

Most of the literature on the web tends to only consider the problems with chronic and acute infections by herpes viruses. These typically form in children (upon first exposure), in the form of sexually transmitted disease (HSV2), or in immunocompromised patients (for example, people with AIDS, organ transplant patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy).

They don't tend to consider the long-term effects of a sub-clinical infection; after all, if there are no symptoms, then the body is looking after itself - it's why we have an immune system.

However, I believe that it is important to consider sub-clinical infection and asymptomatic infection as potential causes or cofactors in a wide number of diseases - ranging from heart disease to most cancers.

This is becoming more possible now, partly because of the creation of gene-chip technology - especially viral chip assays, which allow any tissue sample to be tested for the presence of a virus quickly and efficiently. This is something that was not easily possible before, and has lead to the discovery of the presence of herpesviridae in many cancers. However, the researchers are not yet willing to draw a conclusive line between these results and the cause of the diseases themselves. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, however, we can definitively say at this point that there is a direct connection. And much of the research is showing other connections too.

The next article in this series will cover the path that led me to this conclusion. After that, I'll start tackling each disease, with references to the research. And finally, some proposed treatments that can if not cure the diseases, at least slow them down as long as doctors are willing to prescribe common medications off-label.

CMV Owl's Eye Inclusion picture source: Dan Wiedbrauk, Ph.D., Warde Medical Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI. Used for educational purposes.
Herpes Virus picture source: taken from http://www.health-news-blog.com/blogs/permalinks/11-2007/suppressing-infectiousness-of-hiv.html; original source unknown

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