Monthly Archives: October 2017

Biotoxin Pathway IV: The Biotoxin POMC Merry-Go-Round

Biotoxin Pathway IV: The Biotoxin POMC Merry Go Round

References: Nature, Biotoxin Pathway

You’ve been exposed to a biotoxin. You didn’t know it because you didn’t even know the building was damaged by water, or the brown discoloration in the bay your were fishing didn’t look all that weird, or the fish you ate tasted a little odd but not that awful. We now know that many organisms can set it off: Dinoflagellates: Pfiesteria and ciguatera, fungi like Stachybotrys and Chaetomium, Blue-green algae like Microcystis and Lyngbya, Spirochetes like Borrelia burgdorferi, Apicomplexans from Babesia microti, some gram positive bacteria like Coagulase negative Staph and anthrax, some spider bites like brown recluse spiders – lion fish, etc. The DNA fragments and protein fragments from “black mold” in water damaged buildings is likely the number one cause in America.

How do those toxins wreak their damage? Here’s how.

The various biotoxins set off your innate immune system. And in the 25-30% of us who are not able to mount an effective antibody response (adaptive immune system) the toxin gets “started” on the first merry-go-round. As it circulates through the air, (most commonly) you breathe it in through your nose and it soaks up into your taste/smell receptors at the tops of your sinuses, or through your lungs. Because your body cannot “see” it and make an effective antibody to clear it, the biotoxin circulates up to your brain where it gives your POMC system a whack. How exactly does this happen? The biotoxins bind to many toll receptor proteins” that set off cytokines, TGF-beta1 and split products of complement. There are dozens, if not hundreds of cytokines. These cytokines, in turn, being part of the innate immune system, set off MMP-9 in your blood, and in your brain, they block the Leptin Receptor. This is a critical junction receptor because there are many processes that run through it. Notably, POMC.  Pro-Opio-Melano-Cortoin.  POMC  is the precursor protein that can be chopped into 11 different hormones, depending how it is chopped up. If you can’t make POMC, you can’t make a lot of things. The O stands for Opio – and there is a down regulation on pain control. The M stands for Melano and that stands for Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone and the C stands for Cortin, all about energy homeostasis.  Folks affected end of tired, in pain, overweight and “sick”.

The biotoxin then circulates in your blood and your liver says, “let’s dump this junk” and into the bile it goes. In your bile, it proceeds to your gut and your colon, where it happily gets reabsorbed.   Back into your blood, up to your brain, back to your toll receptor proteins all over your body, back to your elevated TGF-beta one and MMP-9, back to your blocked leptin receptor. It’s like the horror show merry-go-round with the crazy clowns and the monster show. Round and round and round because your immune system can’t see it.

That’s merry-go-round (MGR) one. MGR two goes as follows. With a damaged alpha MSH secondary to blocked POMC, your immune system becomes even more blinded. A perfectly innocuous bacteria that grows on your skin, called Coagulase Negative Staph (I can grow it off anyone’s skin, anywhere) can invade into your nose and take up residence. Curiously, it seems to pick up antibiotic resistance from who knows where. We call it MARCONs: multiple antibiotic resistant Coag Negative Staph. It secretes two proteins, called A and B, which cleave MSH, further reducing MSH. With low MSH, MARCONs can keep hanging out in the “biofilm” in your nose. That’s MGR number two. The biofilm in your nose is a good hiding place for it to persist. You can’t clear it on your own. So it perpetuates itself.   MGR #2. Round and round.

Two merry-go-rounds that are both self perpetuating, and never-ending. I mean, years. The biotoxin can circulate endlessly, and the MARCONs can persist endlessly. Many folks continue to be exposed to the biotoxin, reinforcing the merry-go-round by juicing it up. They symptoms are odd enough and strange enough, and delayed enough, that the association with the source isn’t immediately clear. So on, and on it goes. And where it stops…nobody knows.

Well, you now know. We can stop this continuous cycle. That’s coming next week.

WWW:What will work for me. I’ve seen people sick for 10 years who come in having seen 10 doctors. So these merry-go-rounds are nuclear powered. They can go forever if not interrupted. And the level of their disruption is a real wake up call. I want you to know the steps it takes to clear them. But the first step is a clear, visual image in your brain of the two merry-go-rounds. Next week, we start dismantling them and pulling off the horses, one by one.

Pop Quiz

  1. Biotoxins can come from many sources but the most common, as best we know come from…?                                   Answer: Water damaged buildings and mold..

 

  1. Biotoxins attach to what in many cells all over your body?           Answer: Toll receptor proteins
  2. The net effect of biotoxin invasion is to set off all sorts of what signaling?         Answer:   Cytokine activation.   Possibly dozens or more different ones. So far we can measure MMP-9 and TGF-Beta1 but there are likely many more.

 

  1. What is Merry-go-round #1.             Answer: the endless circulation of toxin through your blood, into your brain, out by the bile into your gut and back into your blood via your small bowel and colon. Back to your brain. And again and again.

 

  1. And what allows MGR2 to get started?             Answer: Low MSH that allows the invasion of MARCONS into your nose.   MARCONS makes two proteins from its hiding place in biofilms in your nose. Those two proteins cleave MSH, leading to continued suppression of your immune system and further lowering of MSH. Round and round and round. That’s MGR2.
glutathione

Biotoxin Illness Part III: The Role of Glutathione

References: Toxins (2014)SciWorldJr,

So, you know about your immune system having two layers, the innate or lizard system, and the adaptive or precise mammalian system. A good analogy is like a bomb going off by a terrorist. Your city reacts with a curfew, 911 is activated, the police clear the streets, sirens are wailing. This is your innate immune system – “all hands on deck, but who is it that we are fighting?”. Nonspecific, system wide, reactive. Then, surveillance cameras pick up a suspicious character and his license plate is put out there with a sketch of what he looks like. Then his picture shows up from the driver’s license bureau. This is slower, your adaptive system, but it has precision and accuracy.

What are you using to clear the toxin, once you know what it is? The answer is glutathione. Glutathione is simply three amino acids tagged together but they have sulfur atoms in them, making it able to soak up loose electrons. Every cell in your body has it. It’s your natural defense, in effect, part of your 911 mop up system. It’s sort of like your fire hose cooling off the burning embers of the fire. And as you age you make less of it. Dramatically less.

Turns out, it is a critical player in Biotoxin illness. It enables your body to tag and dispose of mold toxins. The paper we review this week details how we make glutathione through a delicate dance with Nrf signaling and the protein GST or Glutathione S transferase (GsT) . There are 7 GsT types inside a cell, and the first and most common has many genetic variants. Half the adult population has a polymorphism that is dramatically less active. This has been associated with oxidative stress all over the body, most notably in the brain with Alzheimer’s. Mold toxins wreak some of their havoc by down regulating the level of glutathione production. And as we age, our levels of glutathione drop dramatically.

Well, well! If that’s what mold toxins do, what would happen if we gave glutathione to someone with all the symptoms of biotoxin illness, and positive markers of biotoxin disease? Here are two stories. A middle aged woman with three years of asthma symptoms not responsive to typical asthma therapy and cleared of asthma by the traditional medical system becomes symptomatic again. Treatment with one gram of IV glutathione for three days completely reverses her symptoms. In fact, her oxygen saturation surged from 95% to 98% within 10 minutes of treatment.
A second story. Multiple insect stings. A mid seventies women with over 15 hornet stings, treated with traditional Benadryl with only partial success. Insect stings are known to be another entry into the Biotoxin pathway. Two treatments with 1 gram IV glutathione result in dramatic and almost immediate, complete recovery.

Did you get that? Now, you can’t take oral glutathione easily as it is digested in your stomach like any other protein. And not everyone has access to IV glutathione. (It is just 3 amino acids long). But you can take it in “liposomal form” which is widely available in Supplement stores and on the net. And, more importantly, you can take N-acetyl cysteine or NAC and give yourself the rate limiting cysteine combination. NAC is a revolutionary supplement that has been around for 40 years. 40 years ago it revolutionized Tylenol overdoses. Prior to NAC, a Tylenol overdose was a guaranteed death sentence or liver transplant. NAC is so powerful that folks with Tylenol overdoses are now sent home from the hospital with NAC to take a couple of times a day. No wonder NAC makes Bredesen’s supplement list for Alzheimer’s prevention.

WWW.What will work for me. Well, I take NAC in my daily supplement list. If I was still an emergency physician, I would find a way to study glutathione for folks with nasty insect stings. But I’m now adding IV glutathione to my treatment regimen for everyone with Biotoxin illness. The jury is out about randomized, placebo controlled trials. But considering that glutathione is in you already, just less because you are old, means you and I should consider paying attention to our glutathione levels as we age.

Pop Quiz

  1. Glutathione is my natural antibody booster. T or F                                          Answer: False. Nothing to do with antibodies as that is the adaptive, more precise immune system. So called “glut” is your innate immune system’s fire hose. Just calming things down.
  2. As we age we make more glutathione. T or F                                                    Answer: Again, false. Testing to see if you actually red the article. Much, much less.
  3. Biotoxin illness down regulates your production of glutathione. T or F       Answer. Ok, we will give you a true
  4. There is a simple supplement that gives you the amino acid pieces to make your own glutathione. And it is called……………..                                                                 Answer: NAC or N-acetyl cysteine
  5. We all make pretty much the same amount of glutathione. T or F                 Answer: surprisingly false. There are 7 different forms of glutathione converting enzyme inside the human cell, and the first and most dominant one comes in form that is much less active in 50% of us. Why, we don’t know. But every protein has many slight alterations that we inherit in our gene mix called polymorphisms. That happens to be one that is curiously dysfunctional.

Biotoxin Illness Part II: How the Weird Symptoms Come About

Biotoxin Illness II: The Weird Symptoms and How They Come About

References: Surviving MoldDr Thomas,

To understand the “weird” and protean symptoms of Biotoxin Illness, you need to first understand how it comes about. The toxins enter the body in many ways, probably mostly through breathing in via lungs or nose, but also through tick bites or insect stings, or even skin surface contact. In the case of molds, it’s not the spores growing but the proteins and DNA fragments of dead mold organisms that set off the problem. And it’s not just mold but also all the other organisms that live in water damaged buildings like actinomycetes, mycobacteria, and their proteins and DNA.
All that “gunk” is foreign to the human body. And we react to it. Now, our immune system has two layers. Our “innate” system is very primitive and reactive. It just fires off and sets off indiscrete reactions. It sends out chemicals to call in troops to help it out and starts a cascade of reactions called the complement system. It doesn’t have any long lasting memory. That is the “adaptive” system that develops specific antibodies and has memory.

The innate system is programmed into you, and is responsible for telling your “friend or foe”. That’s the problem with mold. 24% of us can’t recognize the biotoxin. It’s as if we can’t see it, or have dark glasses on. Two percent of us are downright blind and have an immune system that is totally clueless. In those folks the mold toxin stays in the body, and keeps circulating again and again in a cycle from blood, to liver, to excretion in the bile, to reabsorption in the bowel back into the blood where there is another whack at the brain. The damage to your brain comes about because of non-discript secretion of chemical messages that circulate everywhere, but in dysfunctional levels, all because of the innate immune system activation. These biotoxins are by and large fat soluble, so the brain is a natural destination.

It’s that programming you can measure for and test. Every cell in your body has labelling proteins that your innate immune system knows makes you you. Those are called HLA alleles or haplotypes. They are what we measure when we test you for a transplant to make sure we put in an organ that looks close enough to you to pass muster. Folks sensitive to mold have a variety of alleles that just don’t see the mold toxins. Their immune recognition is kaput, and the toxin just persists and persists.
The subsequent action of the innate immune system is to proceed to damage your brainstem, your bodies hormonal gearbox.

Now you will understand why the symptoms are weird. We are disturbing a very primitive immune system. So, your doctor does some standard tests and finds nothing. You tell her/him that you have: diarrhea, abdominal pain, persistent fatigue, numbness, extreme thirst, disorientation, metallic taste, watery eyes, congested sinuses, shortness of breath, weakness, body aches, headache, sensitivity to light or sound, Trouble learning new info, dizziness, cough,
impaired memory, difficulty with word finding,heightened skin sensitivity
tingling/pins and needles. If you have 7 of these, it’s a slam dunk.

This leads you to see doctor after doctor and nothing is found. But you walk into a water damaged building, and in 5 minutes, you feel sick. That is the cardinal symptom of biotoxin illness.

WWW.what will work for me. My ears are getting tuned to recognizing the desperate tone of voice of folks who have seen many physicians and been told they are fine. We need to all learn this stuff. It’s a journey of discovery that will change much of the way we do medicine. It will be a department at the local medical school in time.

Pop Quiz

 

  1. Your innate immune system is very specific and focused. T or F                         Answer. False as false can be. Very diffuse and non-specific.

 

  1. Folks susceptible to mold illness have an over reactive immune system. T or F         Answer: Both T and F. Because their antibody system can’t label and mark the toxins, they keep circulating and setting off the innate immune system, creating a cycle of damage.

 

  1. Can you name three symptoms from the list above that someone you know may have and hasn’t found an answer?                                                   Answer: Just look. It’s happening to folks all around us

 

  1. The toxins in mold that make all this mess are easily identified. T or F                  Answer: False. We really don’t have a clue yet what they are. In Pfisteria we have identified it. But most other illnesses, it’s a field waiting for research and clarity.

 

  1. Until we know how to identify the toxins, what is the first logical step?                 Answer: do a simple screening test to see if their is signs of damage, and then test the home and workplace (school) to see if there is ongoing exposure. You can’t get better if you are in a dangerous place.