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Free Radical Therapy Blog

Stem Cell Therapy, Cancer and FRT: The Good, the Bad and the Promising (Part Two)

February 16th, 2011

Stem cell harvest

Stem cell harvest

Now for the Promising…

I’m going to start today with a personal twist on stem cell research. More than 10 years ago, the Institute for Health Realities sponsored a super symposium on cancer in Colorado Springs. At the meeting, our featured speaker, Mary Hendricks, Ph.D.*, showed that cancer may use a stem cell to metastasize, becoming most aggressive as it develops its own blood supply (rather than depending upon any existing supply route). Cancer accomplished this feat by mimicking our process of angiogenesis, but with its own unique architecture. With such being the case, it is clear that the new blood supply was no accident. It was all part of cancer’s ongoing strategy.**

Dr. Hendricks then gave us hope of finding an answer to the disease. Cancer, she explained, doesn’t start with a stem cell. It must be acquired later, from us. Cancer begins its life attached to endothelium using a glue-like protein, E-cadherin. It is during this initial stage of attachment that our own body is best equipped to kill it through programmed cell death (apoptosis). If we fail to kill it during its early stage, a time when our body is likely to be suffering the negative impact of the six subclinical defects characteristic of FRT, we run the risk of inadvertently activating a set of enzymes, called the MMPs, that loosen E-cadherin’s grip on the cancer. Upon being set free, the cancer starts to express a set of genetic instructions of its own, some of which work toward recruiting a stem cell from among our own adult stem cells.

The same six subclinical events that allow for the inadvertent activation of MMP enzymes, particularly acid stress and an anaerobic tendency, have long been known to associate with cancer onset. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for this revelation back in the 1930’s. These imbalances, as was later discovered, impart to the cancer the ability to recruit one of our stem cells for its benefit. It is these key events that give emphasis to the importance of prevention by applying the Designed2Win Model of Health. Stopping cancer early has long been preferred over later, as once it separates from the endothelium the person affected is at greater disadvantage, which then calls for medical intervention.

In the coming weeks and months much discussion will appear in the news relative to how science is planning to counter the possibility of transplanting cancer during stem cell therapy. Someone will find a way to lessen the risk. Yet, the key point to take away from this, is that clinicians should get very serious with their patients with the concept of prevention. Free Radical Therapy may be the best approach to this end, as it deals with the six subclinical events important for maintaining the integrity of E-cadherin long enough for our immune system to kill the cancer early on. Similarly, there is some evidence that addressing the six cellular subclinical homeostatic controls assessed through chemistry may likewise protect T cell function while helping to derail cancer’s ability to recruit our adult stem cell for its own benefit.

“Prevention has its own rewards, that you may never know the disease you are trying to prevent.” ~ Author unknown


* Dr. Mary Hendricks was president of FASEB at the time of the seminar. FASEB is the largest life science organization in the world, with 70,000 member scientists. Her discovery that cancer undergoes angiogenesis mimicry provided an important answer to why anti-angiogenesis drugs often fail, and what you might do to correct the problem.

** The complete recording from this symposium is available from our office. Ask for the Super Symposium 2000 series, or order here.

Stem Cell Therapy, Cancer and FRT: The Good, the Bad and the Promising (Part One)

February 12th, 2011

We’ll begin with the good and bad…

Stem cells are those unique little cells strategically located throughout the body, and within the fast growing embryo, that impart the capacity to grow any part of a human body per whatever genetic instructions are applied.

Stem cells were first identified in relation to blood cells. The discovery helped scientists understand how the body could make blood cells so rapidly in response to the various challenges (i.e. infection and blood loss). This led oncologists some 30 years ago to begin implanting stem cells, commonly called HCT, as a therapy to restore bone marrow damaged by chemotherapy. Today, they are used in a variety of ways not just to replace damaged blood cells but to treat cancer.

Not surprisingly, embryonic stem cells have shown the greatest potential for use in stem cell therapy, as adult stem cells tend to become quieter with age. Nevertheless there are rules in place that restrict the use of embryonic stem cells and so science has learned to harvest adult stem cells and rewind them so they resemble embryonic stem cells functionally. These so-called IPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, the ones most generally used in research, have understandably created much excitement with their potential for treating disease. When properly placed, prodded and programmed, the IPS cells can potentially help make new any part of the human body or its functional components.

On this basis several companies are moving forward with high expectations. The Geron Corporation, for one, is testing a treatment for spinal cord injury, while Advanced Cell Technology is testing a therapy for macular degeneration. Yet it now appears that cancer also has its eye on our stem cells. Cancer has shown the potential to use our implanted stem cells for their own benefit. The risk rises, for instance, for developing a secondary breast cancer in people who have been treated with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT),* where stem cells are injected into the bloodstream.

Cancer stem cells are hardly new. The first recorded encounter happened back in the 1950’s when a well-intentioned doctor biopsied the cervical cancer of a lady in Baltimore named Henrietta Lacks. These HeLa cells (as they are known today) grew so fast that within a few short months they were turning up in every cancer laboratory in the world.

Henrietta LacksHenrietta Lacks

So researchers are having difficulty trying to discern which stem cells plucked from a human donor won’t cause cancer in the recipient, and how to kill a cancer’s stem cell along with their resulting tumors.

Next up – How FRT leads to a more promising outcome.


* Blood, January 15, 2008.

Kidney Stones, Heart Disease and Vitamin D

February 2nd, 2011

How to make FRT sense of the latest findings

For clinicians who practice in accordance with Free Radical Therapy™ (FRT), the results of a recently published 20-year epidemiological study that appeared in the Journal of Urology is of no surprise.* Kidney stones are a reliable predictor of arterial disease occurring years later. What is surprising to the FRT clinician, who will declare this “old hat,” is the claim by the research team that the finding was new.

Free calcium excess, preceded (and accompanied) by acid stress and dehydration, have long been recognized as prerequisites for calcium oxalate stone development, a scenario that occurs in 70% of all kidney stones. The same excess of free calcium is further known to lower the threshold for the calcification seen in arterial disease.

The biggest risk to society from these latest findings is the fact that they will ultimately become shared with other epidemiologists who will eventually note (through the science of association) that those with kidney stones who later get arterial disease will also demonstrate a low serum vitamin D. This latter finding they will see as reason to supplement with vitamin D.

Hello out there! Is no one listening?

The body, when faced with severe acid stress and the corresponding lack of protein and phosphate required to prevent free calcium (and the subsequent bout with stone formation), will in self-defense lower its serum vitamin D.

Serum vitamin D can also get low in response to an excess of active vitamin D, occurring as a negative feedback that’s typical of how any hormone works. Either of these scenarios can raise the risk for free calcium excess and kidney stones, ultimately heart disease. These facts, long been known by basic science researchers, often get lost by the blinders that for far too long have accompanied epidemiology. This point was strongly emphasized in our recently published 4-part series on Vitamin D (Health Realities Journal).

Basic science revealed long ago that either disease or a toxic level of active vitamin D – accompanied by a rise in free calcium excess – is fundamental to the body’s decision to lower its serum vitamin D. (This can occur with or without a low body burden of vitamin D, even to the point of resisting a rise in the serum level from vitamin D supplementation). In this manner the body is programmed to protect itself against further accumulation of free, unbound calcium.

Yes, I know….vitamin D was not a part of the study cited here. Yet, it and other topics pertinent to the FRT concept must always be considered if we are to ever make a clinically useful application to the constant flow of research that comes our way.

Lesson Learned: Use whatever kidney stone experience you may have early in your practice as a reason to begin FRT. The arterial disease and future kidney stone risk that you thwart, could very well make your effort and mine worthwhile.


* Reiner, A.P., et al, “Kidney Stones and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Young Adults: The CARDIA Study,” J Urol, Jan 18, 2011 [E-pub ahead of print].

Is Mercury a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease?

November 30th, 2010

http://www.iaomt.org/news/archive.asp?intReleaseID=348

Many years ago (about 1984) I had the good fortune of being introduced to Dr. Tadeo Takuchi of Minamata, Japan, who was first to observe that the mysterious “Minamata Disease” affecting so many of the Minamata Bay area people was due to methyl mercury that had biotransformed from inorganic mercury being dumped into the bay from a vinyl chloride factory. What he had noticed was that the people with “brain involvement” had high levels of a particular serum marker, Beta-2-Microglobulin (B2M). Those who had the highest level in the urine, as well, were the people with the most severe brain problems. So he recommended that B2M (serum and urine) become part of my routine chemistry profiles. We’ve used it ever since with great satisfaction. Then, in 1995 OSHA adopted B2M as their multi-tier indicator for when to issue a medical advisory or remove someone from the workplace due to mercury exposure, irrespective of the chemical species of mercury.

Per Alzheimer’s Disease: It is known that B2M comprises a large portion of the shellac-like amyloid that is laid down to cover the broken microtubules that characterize the severity of dementia. Important to the Free Radical Therapy clinician: B2M is a government-approved marker for the most serious of exposures to mercury, which could be important to doctors who desire to assess mercury. At IHR, 20+ years of including B2M in our chemistry profile has confirmed that you really can’t provide a full assessment of mercury exposure and body burden without it. Too, a rise in urine B2M indicates some degree of damage to the functioning of the renal tubules where (similar to what is seen in Alzheimer’s Disease) amyloid accumulates at the site of injury so as to maintain some integrity until a degree of repair can occur.

The chemistry reveals other “footprints” of mercury exposure, which include high or low serum BUN, a reduction in fasting cortisol and G-6-PD, along with a slight rise in the MCV and the eosinophilic white blood count. A moderate rise in IgA with a slight rise in total bilirubin indicates exposure, but also indicates good genetics and better protection. A rise in Beta 2 Microglobulin in serum and/or urine indicates a highly serious circumstance.

Chemistry also provides information that demonstrates and predicts who will react to their mercury or not. Typical markers include the acid/base balance, protein status, and the level of total cholesterol. Per cholesterol, a high reading is initially protective of the brain and nerves (possibly at the expense of the heart), while a low reading leaves the brain and nerves at risk of reactivity.

Understanding how to interpret the toxic footprints of chemistry and respond to the markers provides the essence of Free Radical Therapy, whether the problem is mercury or exposure to some other toxic agent. Hopefully this information is of use to the veteran as well as anyone new to this health model-based system.

Thanks again to the IAOMT and to Consumers for Dental Choice for their dedication towards doing what they can to ban any further use of mercury in our dental fillings. Thanks also to a recent California opinion that a local (if not broader) ban on amalgam should now be imposed:

http://www.iaomt.org/news/archive.asp?intReleaseID=345

What you see at work here is the effect of “reasonable people” doing the reasonable and correct thing, allowing us all a better chance to win at life.

FDA Advisory Panel To Review Dental Amalgam

November 24th, 2010

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm215061.htm

The panel will convene December 14-15, 2010.

For many years our own Institute For Health Realities (IHR) was intensely involved in helping to secure funding for research on the safety of dental amalgam, publishing on the topic and arguing before state dental boards and doctor groups against the continued use of amalgam dental fillings. Today, this fight continues through two highly regarded organizations: The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and Consumers For Dental Choice, headed by consumer advocate and former Attorney General for West Virginia, Mr. Charlie Brown.

The IAOMT and Consumers For Dental Choice have pushed long and hard, and with great success, against the really bad idea of placing mercury in the mouths of our people. As a consequence, fewer amalgam fillings are being placed today, but it nevertheless remains the most commonly used restorative material in dentistry. Whoever can afford the better materials routinely get them, but for anyone who is on a budget or who depends upon welfare, amalgam is what they get.

Now, however, with the continued pressure from the wonderful organizations just cited, and with the recent reporting of a link between mercury and the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, there is now adequate hope that some type of agreement can be reached at the new Advisory Panel discussion that can soon take us on the road to forever change for the better.

Charlie Brown says that “if you are tired of the FDA protecting horses and dogs from mercury but claiming that dental mercury is good for the public health, we urge you to comment now”. You can do this by visiting:

http://www.toxicteeth.org/natcamp_fedgovt_fda_comments.cfm

Thanks from all for your support!

Why I Always Like a Blood Chemistry

November 3rd, 2010

Looking over questions I’ve answered for clients over the years, one thing stands out. It seems no matter what the question, the answer always ends with some version of, “Without a chemistry, you won’t really know for sure.” For example:

Q. What are your thoughts on drinking alkaline water?

A. Drinking alkaline water is indeed a means of alkalinizing. Yet it does this without truly addressing why your body is acidic…you put yourself at risk without knowing underlying reasons…only a chemistry will tell.

Q. I have a patient with alopecia and wanted to test her for toxic exposure.

A. Alopecia areata is now being recognized as a form of autoimmunity…As with all autoimmune conditions, it begins with a low protein status followed by exposure to a toxin…it’s important to have a chemistry done to see the relationship of toxins, protein status, autoimmune status and whatever else presents itself.

Q. I’ve heard about DNA testing where a drop of blood is put into some sort of machine and treatment is determined from the reading. Could this be a path to healing?

A. While this can be an excellent tool…it can also be misleading…even though everyone has the same basic information in their DNA…the signal that calls upon a particular bit of information is also affected by diet, lifestyle and the environment…only if the DNA interpretation is being done by someone who understands the environmental component to chemistry and gets the maximum mileage from a comprehensive chemistry…is the prospect hopeful.

Many of my readers already know why I think this is so important – but then again I still get these questions almost daily. So let me reiterate why a good chemistry evaluation is the foundation for the best quality health care you can provide to your patients.

No two people will ever have exactly the same blood picture. We are all made in similar fashion, but the body of each person is facing its own individual challenge. This is what we’re trying to discover with a chemistry.

The only way to determine the status of the six homeostatic controls and the protein threads that tie them all together is through the use of a chemistry, and the right one at that. It’s also the only way to get an idea of the footprints of toxic exposure that may be complicating the health picture.

Without a chemistry you can’t know the manner in which the body is handling stress, or how you might be able to support what the body is trying to do to win. Clients and patients ultimately want to get at real solutions for what’s happening in their lives – not generic solutions that “probably” will help them because they help “most” people. Ultimately, the right chemistry and interpretation offer the best way to support your clients and patients and achieve lasting success for them.

The bottom line: For anyone who desires only generic answers to how to correct or prevent this or that health issue, chemistry is unimportant. But for anyone seeking real and lasting health answers, or any doctor who desires to deliver real and lasting answers, the road to success will always depend upon the available data, which means getting a blood chemistry. Don’t go to work without it!

Fun with National Chemistry Week – A New Perspective on Ancient Beer

October 27th, 2010

As a member of the American Chemical Society, I thought a fun way to observe National Chemistry Week would be to review the work of Jyllian Kemsley [C&EN.online.org, pg 48 Oct 18, 2010] on the health benefit of early beer.

The antibiotic tetracycline has long been observed in the bone of Egyptian mummies. At first it was thought to be a contaminant, but closer examination showed that the finding held true for the mummified remains of children and adults alike.

The mystery began to clear with the findings of an anthropology team from Emory University [Armelagos, G., Am J Phys Anthropol 143: 151, 2010], when the same was found within the bones of ancient Nubians (AD 450) as well as ancient Jordanians.

As it turned out, much of the beer in early history was fermented with grain that contained the soil bacteria Streptomyces, and it is the Streptomyces that produces tetracycline upon being fermented. Beer was certainly fermented with other organisms, but the choice of Streptomyces was likely intentional…due not just to alcohol and taste but also to its infection-fighting potential. Some historians believe that this was an early method for preventing gum disease and dental decay as well as other infections, which would account for why children also had tetracycline in their bones. It was their medicine.

Fermented foods have a long history of consumption among early populations, the advantage being that certain organisms tended to produce healthful byproducts as they promoted fermentation. Thus, we have the origin of fermented dairy, soy, and an even wider variety of fermented grain concoctions, not the least of which are the yummy sourdough breads that tend to reduce heart risk. It is this observation that lifts many of our fermented foods into the lofty status of supporting Free Radical Therapy and our Designed2Win model of health!

Blood Chemistry is ESSENTIAL for Safe Supplementation of Vitamin D

October 20th, 2010

A doctor who knows my concern with the widespread enthusiasm over supplementing with high levels of vitamin D asks “How low a reading for serum vitamin D would have to occur before we should recommend supplementing with vitamin D? And, how much would you recommend?”

As with all other health questions, it depends upon what the other chemistry data reveals. For instance, I have an editorial coming out in a major scientific journal, in which I’ve noted there are four major reasons for a serum vitamin D reading being low, other than vitamin D deficiency:

1) A low serum protein or inadequate protein status to bind calcium sufficiently will result in an increase in free, unbound calcium accompanied by a (protective) low serum vitamin D – a scenario that may affect at least 30% of the population.

2) A low to low-normal serum phosphate, causing unhealthy rise in free, unbound calcium, which may again cause a protective lower reading for serum vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects 70% of adults over age 45.

3) A negative feedback from vitamin D receptor activity, due to an elevation in active vitamin D, may result in a protectively low reading for vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects just about anyone taking an ultra megadose of vitamin D, regardless of their baseline reading.

4) A low serum reading for total serum calcium in someone who is diseased with calcium deposits will result in the body’s protective lowering-response for serum vitamin D.

In all of these circumstances, high dosages of vitamin D will run the risk of further disease and calcification, often punctuated by a rise in serum calcium to a level that could be life threatening for a variety of reasons. It is my contention that thousands of people are on dialysis today due to taking high levels of vitamin D without considering why the original reading was low. Thousands more are dying of heart disease and various atrophy states due to the same major flaw in interpretation.

Wake up, people! Don’t be misled by those who practice only in accordance to the one-size-fits-all philosophy. Health success often depends on getting a proper chemistry and a health model-based interpretation of the data.

Gene Testing – Great Promise for the Future, but Too Early to Replace FRT Chemistry

October 13th, 2010

Someone asked me, “I’ve heard about DNA testing where a drop of blood is put into some sort of machine and treatment is determined from the reading. Could this be a path to healing?”

Genetic profiling, the test that’s referred to here, holds great promise for the future. Yet at the current level of understanding it can also grossly mislead – away from evaluating the homeostatic controls, protein status, and toxic footprints of chemistry.

DNA is known to code for specific proteins, which is good, and thus would seem a good way to know if you have the capability to produce the proteins (or not) that associate with health and disease. Yet, only 2% of our DNA codes for protein. The remaining DNA, as revealed in the profile, still contains the same four letter codes, but serves only as a switching and signaling mechanism – the details of which are largely still a mystery. What is not a mystery is the healthful influence that diet, lifestyle, and the environment are able to exert on the support of gene expression and suppression.

In those situations where we may carry an unhealthy gene, then the effort we make toward tailoring the dietary and lifestyle plans can awaken a compensating gene. So until the doctor doing the genetic testing can assure you that he or she understands the switching and signaling genes per the genetic profile, perhaps you are better off avoiding the test. Currently, you are better off performing a health model-based chemistry and tailoring your patients’ health programs from that perspective.

Managing Eosinophilia

September 30th, 2010

How Delivering Free Radical Therapy According to the Designed2Win Health Model Provided a Positive Outcome

Every now and then a FRT health provider may run into a client who presents a confusing situation that hadn’t been solved with meds, and really can’t get solved through FRT without returning to its health model basis. An example is a recent client who demonstrated an eosinophilic white blood count of more than 20%. Less than 4% is normal, so 20% is not healthy, especially when allowed to remain that high, as the amount of toxins released by eosinophils aimed at killing parasites but which can be stimulated by any allergen are certain to damage healthy tissues. Such a scenario affecting the lungs can cause severe compromise in lung function, leading to COPD, asthma or a tumor.

In this scenario the culprit is generally some allergen that has stimulated both the mast cells and the basophilic white blood cells to release histamine. The histamine helps stimulate bone marrow to produce more eosinophils, and the cycle continues until something is done to either blunt the effect of histamine or blunt the flood of histamine-like molecules that anti-histamine meds generally fail to touch. So, what do you do?

Addressing the role of acid stress is always the place to begin, since acidity is certain to amplify the release of histamine due to the mast cell and basophilic response to the allergen. Acidity follows the presence and action of any toxin, including that of a parasite. Thus a more alkaline environment tends to require fewer histamine-like particles. The eosinophil count falls accordingly.

How else you might go about reducing the amount of histamine – and thereby the eosinophil count – can be deduced by reviewing the key source of histamine. It is made from the amino acid histidine. Knowing this you might be tempted to restrict foods that are rich sources of histidine. The problem with this strategy is that histidine also provides the imidazole ring that is so important in buffering the acids all over the body. So, any restriction of the key amino acid can be self-defeating.

The Designed2Win attitude is needed to solve this problem. During exercise, the body releases the amino acid alanine, which serves to stimulate the making of HDL cholesterol while also serving as the substrate for the synthesis of carnosine. Carnosine is used to sponge away the lactic acid produced during exercise, thereby slowing fatigue. Too, the more alanine present at any given moment, the more the body will be prompted to use histidine for the making of carnosine at the expense of making histamine.

Based on this reality, the following suggestion was made to the health provider who was caring for the person in question: Follow the acid/base balancing maneuver with one that diverts histidine away from the making of histamine and towards the making of carnosine. By administering 3 grams L-alanine (not beta alanine) twice daily for a week (for a 150 lb person), followed by once daily for two weeks, the clinician noted a drop in the total eosinophil count from 20% to 6% within 3 weeks. This became far more manageable and less threatening to the person’s health.

Now, of course, you wouldn’t recommend this protocol to everyone you see. Histidine has a life beyond the making of either carnosine or histamine. So easing up on the high supplementation at some point will be essential in order to comply with the body’s winning design.