How much vitamin C has a noticeable effect on E.coli k12

How much vitamin C has a noticeable effect on E.coli k12

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I am doing a research on effects of different concentrations of vitamin C on serial dilutions of E.coli k12. I am looking for literature that has already shown effects of vitamin C on E.coli, but there is a vast amount out there (26 thousand Scholar hits).

What might be the main effect of Vitamin C on E.coli? Is 1000mg vitamin C enough to have noticeable effects on the bacteria?

I found a 'short communication' paper by Akira Murata where they did In Vitro testing of Vitamin C on L. casei showing no inhibition of growth, and also tested on E.coli and B. subtilis and found that Vitamin C inhibited the growth. Also I believe Suzanne Humpries stated the same thing somewhere in this 1.5 hour long video, indicating she may posses more knowledge as to studies.

Ascorbic acid did not inhibit the growth of L. casei even at high concentrations, and rather stimulated the growth at certain concentrations (2~3 X 10- 2 M). This observation indicates that ascorbic acid can be used as an antiviral agent.

In E. coli and B. subtilis, unlike L. casei, a high concentration of ascorbic acid acted so as to lessen their growth rates (Fig. 3). Particularly, in B. subtilis W23, cell lysis was observed about 100 min after the contact with ascorbic acid and, moreover, when a drop of the lysate was placed on a plate seeded with B. subtilis 168 and incubated overnight at 30oC, there appeared a clear zone around the placed lysate. Since B. subtilis W23 is known to possess an inducible defective phage PBSZ able to kill B. subtilis 168,3 ' 41 the observed result maybe ascribed to the induction of the defective prophage from B. subtilis W23 by action of ascorbic acid. Lwoff and Siminovitch51 reported once that the lysogenic phage in B. megaterium was induced by treatment with ascorbic acid.

You have @arberg's answer showing a report of an inhibitory effect of vitamin C on E. coli. Here's a PLoS One paper, in different conditions. It shows vitamin C rescues cultures that had no growth the previous night.

As the comments suggested, expect to see different results in different conditions.

Literature reviews before an experiment are important. When you're new to an area they are VERY HARD. Do them anyway. Give yourself a set amount of time, sit down at your computer, and start chugging away. Then do it again. And again. And again.

If you have a large number of possible articles, try narrowing your search. I often do this by tweaking my search terms or by limiting my search to a particular subset of journals that are more likely to give me what I'm looking for. Set up a hierarchy for how you read. Start by scanning the abstracts. If it looks helpful, pull the article and look at the figures. Note the article, your conclusion, and the authors' conclusions in a file somewhere that you can find later. If there is something interesting or useful in the introduction, follow the references.

Again, this is VERY HARD, but VERY IMPORTANT. Don't skimp on this step by just asking people.

Maybe you have to think about vitamin C from another point of view. You start from the postulate that Vitamin C could destroy E. Coli. Maybe the action of vitamin C, rather then destroying E.coli is destroying the endotoxins generated by the bacteria, leaving the body immunity healthy and boosting the phagocytes that can therefore destroy E. Coli way more easily. About the dosis of vitamin C to use, I would just use it to bowel tolerance. Body will take what is needed and just flush what's in excess. testing Lyposomal vitamin C would maybe also a good idea. Many years ago , I had a monstrous and painful "tourista". It usually take a few days to cure. Well, I felt so bad that I took 2-3gr of vitamin C orally and, to my great surprise (and relief), Tourista symptoms were gone within 2 hours and I felt good.

It's proven quite hard to find research on the effects of vitamin C on gram-negative bacteria.

This paper suggests that vitamin C (sometimes also referred to as ascorbic acid) can help inhibit the growth of E. coli when in the presence of mildly acidified urine with added nitrite. Keep in mind that this paper is quite old, and inside the first few paragraphs it states:

despite numerous studies the mechanism of any antibacterial action of vitamin C still remains unclear.

It later states

we have recently shown that large amounts of NO gas are released from nitrite-containing urine after mild acidification and this release is greatly potentiated in the presence of ascorbic acid.

So it seems this first paper doesn't offer us much in terms of toxic effects of vitamin C on bacteria in isolation.

I found another paper that suggests that vitamin C can kill gram-negative bacteria, but again not in isolation, but in combination with other agents as well.

Perhaps your research is among the first to offer any insight on the effects of vitamin C on E. coli. I'll be interested to know if anyone else finds a publication on this specific topic (I only searched for about 30 mins on the subject).


Queuosine (Q) is incorporated into specific tRNAs through the specific exchange against guanine by queuine tRNA-ribosyltransferase (RNA-guanine transglycosylase, TGT, guanine insertion enzyme, EC2.4.2.29) ( Slany and Muller, 1995 Deshpande et al., 1996 Deshpande and Katze, 2001 ). Q usually occurs at position 34, the first position of the anticodons GUT, GUC, GUA, and GUG (collectively referred to as GUN anticodons) of both in nuclear and mitochondrial tRNAs, specifying the amino acids asparagine, aspartate, histidine, and tyrosine ( Figure 10.45 ).

Figure 10.45 . The bacterial nucleotide queuosine replaces guanosine in specific tRNAs.

Queuine deficiency interferes with efficient conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine due to a lack of tetrahydrobiopterin ( Rakovich et al., 2011 ). Tyrosine-deficient animals that lack a queuine source (because they are germ free) die within a few weeks. Interaction of queuine deficiency with a lack of other nutrients or metabolic inefficiencies is possible since tetrahydrobiopterin is a cofactor for further enzymes, particularly tyrosine hydroxylase (EC1.14.16.2), tryptophan hydroxylase (EC1.14.16.4), and nitric oxide synthase (EC1.14.13.39).

Q modification may have the potential to influence cellular growth and differentiation by codon bias–based regulation of protein synthesis for discrete mRNA transcripts ( Morris et al., 1999 ).

Since queuine is essential for intestinal pathogens, such as Shigella flexneri, targeted inhibition of its synthesis might be promising ( Gradler et al., 2001 ).

From trauma to treatment: a Patient Advocate’s journey from helping her son battle a deadly disease to helping others do the same

For every clinical trial CIRM funds we create a Clinical Advisory Panel or CAP. The purpose of the CAP is to make recommendations and provide guidance and advice to both CIRM and the Project Team running the trial. It’s part of our commitment to doing everything we can to help make the trial a success and get therapies to the people who need them most, the patients.

Each CAP consists of three to five members, including a Patient Advocate, an external scientific expert, and a CIRM Science Officer.

Having a Patient Advocate on a CAP fills a critical need for insight from the patient’s perspective, helping shape the trial, making sure that it is being carried out in a way that has the patient at the center. A trial designed around the patient, and with the needs of the patient in mind, is much more likely to be successful in recruiting and retaining the patients it needs to see if the therapy works.

One of the clinical trials we are currently funding is focused on severe combined immunodeficiency disease, or SCID. It’s also known as “bubble baby” disease because children with SCID are born without a functioning immune system, so even a simple virus or infection can prove fatal. In the past some of these children were kept inside sterile plastic bubbles to protect them, hence the name “bubble baby.”

Anne Klein is the Patient Advocate on the CAP for the CIRM-funded SCID trial at UCSF and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her son Everett was born with SCID and participated in this clinical trial. We asked Anne to talk about her experience as the mother of a child with SCID, and being part of the research that could help cure children like Everett.

“When Everett was born his disease was detected through a newborn screening test. We found out he had SCID on a Wednesday, and by Thursday we were at UCSF (University of California, San Francisco). It was very sudden and quite traumatic for the family, especially Alden (her older son). I was abruptly taken from Alden, who was just two and a half years old at the time, for two months. My husband, Brian Schmitt, had to immediately drop many responsibilities required to effectively run his small business. We weren’t prepared. It was really hard.”

(Everett had his first blood stem cell transplant when he was 7 weeks old – his mother Anne was the donor. It helped partially restore his immune system but it also resulted in some rare, severe complications as a result of his mother’s donor cells attacking his body. So when, three years later, the opportunity to get a stem cell therapy came along Anne and her husband, Brian, decided to say yes. After some initial problems following the transplant, Everett seems to be doing well and his immune system is the strongest it has ever been.)

“It’s been four years, a lot of ups and downs and a lot of trauma. But it feels like we have turned a corner. Everett can go outside now and play, and we’re hanging out more socially because we no longer have to be so concerned about him being exposed to germs or viruses.

His doctor has approved him to go to daycare, which is amazing. So, Everett is emerging into the “normal” world for the first time. It’s nerve wracking for us, but it’s also a relief.”

How Anne came to be on the CAP

“Dr. Cowan from UCSF and Dr. Malech from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) reached out to me and asked me about it a few months ago. I immediately wanted to be part of the group because, obviously, it is something I am passionate about. Knowing families with SCID and what they go through, and what we went through, I will do everything I can to help make this treatment more available to as many people as need it.

I can provide insight on what it’s like to have SCID, from the patient perspective the traumas you go through. I can help the doctors and researchers understand how the medical community can be perceived by SCID families, how appreciative we are of the medical staff and the amazing things they do for us.

I am connected to other families, both within and outside of the US, affected by this disease so I can help get the word out about this treatment and answer questions for families who want to know. It’s incredibly therapeutic to be part of this wider community, to be able to help others who have been diagnosed more recently.”

The CAP Team

“They were incredibly nice and when I did speak they were very supportive and seemed genuinely interested in getting feedback from me. I felt very comfortable. I felt they were appreciative of the patient perspective.

I think when you are a research scientist in the lab, it’s easy to miss the perspective of someone who is actually experiencing the disease you are trying to fix.

At the NIH, where Everett had his therapy, the stem cell lab people work so hard to process the gene corrected cells and get them to the patient in time. I looked through the window into the hall when Everett was getting his therapy and the lab staff were outside, in their lab coats, watching him getting his new cells infused. They wanted to see the recipient of the life-saving treatment that they prepared.

It is amazing to see the process that the doctors go through to get treatments approved. I like being on the CAP and learning about the science behind it and I think if this is successful in treating others, then that would be the best reward.”

“We still have to fly back to the NIH, in Bethesda, MD, every three months for checkups. We’ll be doing this for 15 years, until Everett is 18. It will be less frequent as Everett gets older but this kind of treatment is so new that it’s still important to do this kind of follow-up. In between those trips we go to UCSF every month, and Kaiser every 1-3 weeks, sometimes more.

I think the idea of being “cured”, when you have been through this, is a difficult thing to think about. It’s not a word I use lightly as it’s a very weighted term. We have been given the “all clear” before, only to be dealt setbacks later. Once he’s in school and has successfully conquered some normal childhood illnesses, both Brian and I will be able to relax more.

One of Everett’s many doctors once shared with me that, in the past, he sometimes had to tell parents of very sick children with SCID that there was nothing else they could do to help them. So now to have a potential treatment like this, he was so excited about a stem cell therapy showing such promise.

One thing we think about Everett and Alden, is that they are both so young and have been through so much already. I’m hoping that they can forget all this and have a chance to grow up and lead a normal life.”

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How DHEA Optimizes Health and Improves Fertility

Infertility is becoming widespread these days but in the early 1900's, families with five children or more were commonplace. A century later, we now have fertility clinics available to women who want to just have one child. Infertility treatment is expensive and painful for couples who often become desperate after years of failed treatments. One common overlooked reason is low DHEA levels. DHEA is short for DeHydroEpiAndrosterone.

This is the "fountain of youth" hormone and it's a natural adrenal hormone which peaks at age 25, then steadily declines as we age. DHEA can be converted into testosterone and estrogen. Less DHEA means less of these sex hormones. Blood or saliva tests are available to gauge DHEA levels which must be in balance with other adrenal hormones, especially cortisol. High cortisol will cause you to hold on to belly fat.

Cortisol goes up in response to stress. Remember, these two are supposed to be in balance, like a see-saw. So you can see where I'm going with this. Cortisol climbs up and up in many women given the fast paced 21st century non-stop information overload, lack of sleep, caffeine, work-related stress, financial obligations or relationship stress. When it comes time to have a baby, cortisol could be high while DHEA levels may be seriously tanked! Some signs and symptoms include bad PMS (premenstrual syndrome), fatigue, brain fog, mood swings or high cholesterol.

But wait, the fertility doctor told you it was a low count of eggs! Yes that could be true, it's technically termed "Low Functional Ovarian Reserve" or LFOR, which could occur from aging ovaries. At puberty, you may have had 250,000 to 500,000 eggs, but by age 37 perhaps there are 25,000 eggs, and by the time you hit menopause you may have less than 1,000 eggs. If you have LFOR, a specialist in this field will often complement in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with DHEA supplements and/or testosterone medications. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Ovarian Research research supports it. Female participants received 75 mg of DHEA for three consecutive menstrual cycles prior to IVF experiences. Those who received DHEA had more embryos leading to more successful pregnancies. But don't supplement with DHEA by yourself, dosing is dependent on many factors, especially genes which I study every day.

Your response and metabolism of DHEA is dependent on your personal genetic variants meaning supplementation can be good or bad depending on your genes. Cellular and animal studies show that SNPs in any of the following genes affect your metabolism of DHEA: Aromatase, steroid 5?-reductase, sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), fragile X mental retardation protein and breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1 gene) can affect levels of androgens in women. Short of screening yourself for all potential genetic variants, I think it's better for you to just do hormonal assessments to see if you have low DHEA or low testosterone.

Natural Remedies that Help From Head to Toe

I've been a pharmacist for 25 years now. Let's face, I know the good, the bad and the ugly drugs. I know we need some of them, and I know that others are not useful, or worse, they are harmful. So today I've decided to share the best remedies that help from head to toe:

Headaches- Taking butterbur (Petasites hybridus) at a dose of 75mg twice daily helps reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. You can take all the triptan drugs you want (ie Imitrex, Zomig or others) but these drugs usually just reduce pain, sometimes they abort a headache. The butterbur may slash the number of attacks in half. This is HUGE if you have to hold down a job or take care of kiddos. I discussed butterbur and dozens of other solutions my book, Headache Free.

Hypothyroidism- It's impossible to have healthy thyroid function without selenium. Not only will it hinder your ability to make thyroid hormone, it will also stifle your ability to use the hormone inside the cell. There's more about selenium, iodine, B12 and ashwagandha at my website where I archive other articles on thyroid health.

Heart Failure- Niacin (vitamin B3) was found to reduce heart attack and stroke risk in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Doses vary tremendously, so please do nothing until you have your physician's approval. Niacin causes vasodilation (opens vessels) which reduces arterial pressure. I would be remiss if I didn't mention CoQ10 while discussing the heart or heart failure. CoQ10 also lowers blood pressure. I like about 100 to 200 mg daily but again, please always ask your doctor what's right for you.

Digestive disorders- My number one go-to supplement is probiotics. These improve digestion and support a healthy immune system and mood. Digestive enzymes break down the food you eat into absorbable molecules. For heartburn, I recommend slippery elm or marshmallow root. As for nausea and vomiting, ginger tea is gentle and popular. It's a mild blood thinner though, so be careful. And finally peppermint supplements can help with irritable bowel syndrome. The value of peppermint has been discussed many times, even in the British Medical Journal in 2008.

Bone loss- We all know about calcium. But did you know without enough magnesium, vitamin D or K2, you don't even incorporate the calcium into your bones?! So keep in mind the best bone-building supplements contain key minerals, you don't just push one like calcium all by itself. Natural strontium is another over-the-counter mineral used for bone integrity.

Painful knees- Glucosamine sulfate promotes cartilage formation. Collagen is another supplement that reduces pain in the knee joint of osteoarthritis sufferers. A 2012 study in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease found that losing weight helped reduce the amount of cartilage loss while increasing proteoglycan content (squishiness).

Toenail fungus- Apply essential oil of tea tree, and eliminate all sugars. You should also be checked for diabetes if you have a lot of toenail fungus.

Healthy Bones Without Drugs

Many of you take bisphosphonate drugs for bone loss and you write to me with complaints. Lawyers handle cases now due to the reports of catastrophic reactions like osteonecrosis or femur fractures. It's a terrible irony.

Here's another idea. Nobiletin. This is different than strontium which I've written about before. Nobiletin is a powerful "polymethoxylated" flavonoid that comes from the white stringy fiber and peel of citrus fruits (termed "pith"). You probably spit that out, throw it away or put it in your compost pile don't you? Tangerines and Mandarin oranges have awesome amounts of nobiletin, however other citrus rinds such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit also contain nobiletin.

Nobiletin has been researched extensively over the last 10 to 15 years. It positively impacts cholesterol and reduces inflammation. Great news for those struggling with atherosclerosis and heart disease, or those of you supported on statin cholesterol drugs. Nobiletin also blocks the NF kappaB pathway which induces pain. Nobiletin has anti-cancer activity, confers brain protection and improved symptoms of Alzheimer's in an animal model. Since I'm already on a tangent, I'll also tell you that adolescents and adults dealing with acne may benefit by nobiletin because it blocks sebum production. Now, let me circle back to your skeleton.

Bone loss in humans occurs as the result of one of two things. Either your bone cells fail to make new bone, or you break down old bone too quickly. There needs to be a steady balance: Discard old bone, make new bone, discard old bone, make new bone. You probably didn't realize your bones are not solid, they are dynamic throughout your lifetime.

Two major players affect the process of bone building. One is inflammation and the other is estrogen. Chronic low grade inflammation and/or too little estrogen contribute to osteoporosis.

Research published in the Journal of Pharmacological Science showed very promising evidence of nobiletin on bone health. Scientists used rodents that had their ovaries removed (which causes estrogen deficiency). Nobiletin was given, and stopped the progression of osteoporosis. Not only that, it significantly restored bone mass in severely osteroporotic critters!

How you wonder? This natural citrus derived antioxidant suppressed pathways responsible for inflammation, namely the COX2, NF-kappa B, and prostaglandin pathways. Just amazing when you think about the potential harm done by bisphosphonate drugs given by conventional physicians. By no means am I saying an orange a day will keep the hip fracture away! But regular consumption of citrus fruits or pith-derived supplements might help, and can usually be taken with certain medications (not all). Ask doc if it's okay for you, and look online or at health food stores nationwide. It's sold as Sytrinol, or as "citrus bioflavonoids" and I want you to be real careful because some of the products contain "naringen" which comes from grapefruit and this compound can dangerously spike your blood levels of medications. My point is self-treatment with natural dietary supplements -even wonderful ones- may not be right for you. Find yourself a holistic-minded practitioner to ask.

Help for Cold Sores and Herpes Infections

Are you worried about painful cold sores? They are highly contagious. If you kiss someone with a cold sore, or drink from their cup, you could get it too. I don't personally get them, so last week, I inwardly freaked out when the woman who was giving me a much-needed manicure had two large blisters on her lips. This incident made me wonder what I would do if I had these painful sores, and how can I help you with them.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) which belongs to a large family of herpes pathogens which cause chicken pox, shingles or keratitis (can cause corneal blindness). Millions of folks carry herpes viruses, and the cold sores in particular are not only embarrassing, but painful too. Oral herpes causes cold sores on the lips, inside the roof of your mouth or on your gums. Genital herpes causes lesions where the sun don't shine. Either way, ouch!

You can get it if someone touches their sore, then you you can get it sharing utensils or kissing and making out. Once inside your body, your immune system jumps to it and hopefully it's just a single episode. If your immune system is sluggish, you're in for a lifelong battle with frequent outbreaks. The frequency is impacted by your diet, lifestyle and immune strength (which is dependent on having healthy intestinal flora).

Running yourself into the ground with chronic stress or worry can activate the virus and cause lesions. Pulling all-nighters, eating candy bars, drinking alcohol, smoking, eating white flour goodies and junk food can increase risk. Ingesting foods you are intolerant to, or being deficient in probiotics can increase those flare-ups. Diets high in arginine are thought to activate herpes so avoid avoid all nuts, cashews, chocolate, cereal, lentils and sunflower seeds.

Antiviral drugs like acyclovir or Valtrex are commonly used to treat HSV infections. Unfortunately, there are increasing problems with drug resistance, similar to the problem with antibiotics and superbugs. If you do take the antiviral drug and use them long term, often there are plenty of side effects and potential damage to the kidneys and liver. I'm passionate about natural remedies, so here's a few to ponder:

Lemon balm. I'd make a tea out of this, and drink it. Let the herb steep (not boil) for about 15 minutes then drink. I'd also apply it to your sore with a cotton pad. You can cool the tea first to make it feel better upon application.

Curcumin. It's well known for antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial power but it also fights HSV which means it could help you reduce the frequency and severity of your infection. We have a study to show that. Supplement, or try applying a mini-poultice to your lip sore by mixing turmeric spice with just enough water to form a paste. For extra effect, dump a little curcumin powder from your capsule into the mixture.

Lavender and myrrh. Buy both of those and combine them, apply to the sore. Dilute if it stings.

For more natural remedies, come to my website, and sign up for my newsletter. You'll get the longer version of this article with more pain-relieving tips.

Reduce Inflammation Naturally with Nature's Pac Man

Have you ever had a sore throat, been stung by a bee, or twisted your ankle? Do you have arthritis, back pain or headaches? Whenever you are in pain, even post-surgical pain, your body makes compounds in response to the injury which cause temporary redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Then naturally produced enzymes in your body eat up these inflammatory compounds, and that is when you notice the swelling goes down, the pain is relieved and the redness or stiffness recedes.

One second ago, an enzyme in your body called superoxide dismutase (SOD) just chased out a cancer-causing toxin that your cell accidentally spawned. You make all sorts of enzymes, and what's cool is that you can also buy certain enzymes as a dietary supplement, including SOD. Lactose is an enzyme that chews up milk sugars, helping some people to tolerate milk. Bromelain, derived from pineapples, helps with allergies and helps people post-surgically. It might even reduce scarring if taken soon enough. People who take acid blockers could benefit from papain, an enzyme derived from papaya fruit that works nicely with your stomach's pH range.

Proteolytic enzymes another type of enzyme. They chew up proteins and help with digestion. I think they're great for chronic pain syndromes. They help dissolve fibrin deposits which helps bruising. As a teenager (way back in the 1980's) we played a game called Pac Man. Remember?(Please tell me you remember). This popular arcade game included a Pac-Man which traveled a maze and gobbled up ghosts. I was a monster at Pac-Man in my hey day! Proteolytic enzymes work in the same way, they just gobble up debris, as opposed to ghosts.

With less debris, there is improved circulation. That means more oxygen and healing nutrients to the site of injury. As a pharmacist, I recommend you reach for proteolytic enzymes before you NSAIDs such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen. Why? Because they are temporary and they have side effects. It's the equivalent of applying a bandage, and while most of you fair out well, the unlucky few experience diarrhea, nausea, headaches, dizziness, bleeding ulcers or heaven forbid, kidney damage. Besides, if you mask your pain with medicine, but continue to operate as normal, you increase your risk of permanent damage.

A German paper studied proteolytic enzymes in 100 athletes. The results were shocking. More than 75 percent said the enzyme treatment was favorable and no side effects were reported! So incredible were the results that the German government sent millions of enzyme capsules to the Olympics to help their athletes heal quicker.

Enzymes are a necessity to life, just like oxygen, food, clean water and shelter. (Some may argue that chocolate should be included as well).

For chronic pain syndromes, as opposed to digestive issues, I recommend that you take your proteolytic enzyme supplement on an empty stomach. This increases the 'Pac-Man' effect by up to 40 percent. While these supplements are generally well-tolerated, I occasionally hear of allergies, rashes and digestive upset.

Medicine Messes Up Your Methylation

You're methylating right now! This means you're turning folate (vitamin B9) from your food, into something else called SAMe. It's the process called "methylation" and SAMe is your body's head honcho, the CEO if you will!

SAMe stands for S-adenosylmethionine and drives hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. If you ate a salad for lunch, you're turning that folate into SAMe as we speak. Well, let's hope because SAMe helps you get rid of poisons. The biggest mistake you could make is thinking that methylation problems don't apply to you because you don't have the gene mutation, what we call the genetic snp (pronounced "snip"). Nothing could be further from the truth. As a pharmacist, and a Functional Medicine practitioner, I assure you that your medicine has the capacity to mess up your methylation! Then poisons back up.

Don't think you make poisons in your body because you eat well and exercise? Wrong. Your cells churn poisons out as metabolic waste products probably a million times a minute! You better hope and pray your methylation pathway is up to snuff because if you don't methylate, toxic by-products build up all over your body. This equates to pain, depression, inflammation, elevated homocysteine, cognitive dysfunction, depression, higher risk for neural tube defects and much more discomfort. If you have the genetic snp it's a one-two punch for health problems galore.

So in summary, medications hinder your methylation pathway, whether or not you have a snp. These are the primary offenders:

Cholestyramine. This is a bile acid sequestrate used for reducing cholesterol as well as reducing Herxheimer (die-off) reactions. It is a drug mugger of folate and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D, A, E and K. Remember, no folate, no methylation!

Birth control or hormonal replacement drugs with estrogen. these drugs are known drug muggers of magnesium, B6 and B2 (riboflavin) that puts the breaks on methylation. Started 'The Pill' recently, and now you feel down in the dumps? This could be why.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, others). Lowering natural acid production in the stomach reduces levels of magnesium, and critical B vitamins. Snp or not, your body simply cannot conduct methylation adequate levels of these nutrients!

Antibiotics like amoxicillin, sulfamethoxazole, doxycycline and dozens more. Antibiotics kill your intestinal microflora (what you call your probiotics). Without the friendly gut flora, you cannot produce vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). You also cannot activate riboflavin or folate so therefore, your methylation is blocked.

Ibuprofen. This is a drug mugger of folate, so it blocks methylation directly by stealing your folate.

Blood pressure pills like ACE inhibitors. These drugs (enalapril, lisinopril, etc) cause added zinc excretion. You need zinc to conduct methylation.

Nitrous oxide. Been to the dentist lately? If you got NO gas, then no methylation took place for awhile!

There are hundreds of other medicines that hinder your ability to methylate, snp or not! You may not have your genetic details or tests yet, so here are clues to poor methylation: Nerve pain, numbness or tingling, chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, depression, mood swings, attention problems, cervical dysplasia, miscarriage, brain fog, weakness and lots of allergies.

Syd’s story: cystitis, along with a crashed brain

I get symptoms from taking high dose Vitamin C within about 45 minutes. It shows up as cystitis, mostly, along with a crashed brain.

She did confirm that when taking vitamin C (possibly the ascorbic acid form) the symptoms mimic her symptoms when eating high oxalate foods. She also wants to try liposomal vitamin C and camu camu to figure out if she gets the same reactions:

I have the very same response to high oxalate foods. I used to think it was a bladder infection, but I tested four times and every time the test was negative. I’m having a response at the moment. I (stupidly) started eating protein bars that have nuts in them and after eating about four of them across several days, I have the cystitis symptoms.

I’m staring at some liposomal Vit C in the fridge that I’ve been wanting to try at a low dose. Same with some camu camu. I need the cystitis symptoms to abate first.

Baldness/Prostatitis Treatment, Impotence, Inflammation

  1. Why are the genetics of MPB so unusual/non-Mendelian? There are too many males with MPB in the same family. This points to some hereditary predisposition, but with a major environmental component, e.g. “inherited gut flora.”
  2. Why are only a few of the people treated with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors rendered permanently impotent?
  3. There is anecdotal evidence that dexamethasone (or prostate message and antibiotics) can reverse some impotence. Does this indicate that inflammation is involved in hair loss and/or impotence? Where do the antibiotics act and is their action to kill bacteria?


I have male pattern baldness yet I have been eating a very low carbohydrate, high sat fat, fish and fish oil diet for almost a decade.

I take probiotics, digestive enzymes, NEVER eat junk food or grains, save for a little rice now and again, am lean and muscular.

So why am I so bald? Any ideas?

Fred Hahn,
This was a difficult article for me to write, because there is no genetic foundation for MPB and I could only address the draconian drug treatments.

You seem to have a good handle on your diet, but don't mention vit.D, antibiotic history or fresh vegetables to enhance gut flora. Is there a particular reason why you take probiotics, digestive enzymes and fish oil? What about constipation or any food allergies? Dental health is also essential.

It would be very interesting to know if fecal transplants can cure or transmit MPB.

I look forward to more info. Thanks for the questions and person insights.

Thanks doc for the speedy reply!
You said:

"You seem to have a good handle on your diet, but don't mention vit.D,"

My D levels are quite high usually well over 80 and has been as high as 140! I take a D supplement and never use sunscreen.

". or fresh vegetables to enhance gut flora."

I don't eat a lot of plants but I do eat some and fruit almost every day along with a potent probiotic.

"Is there a particular reason why you take probiotics, digestive enzymes and fish oil?"

I thought these were good for me. The fish oil is for inflammation. I don't take a lot of it as I eat a lot of fish. I eat my meats fairly raw as well.

I have never been constipated save for recently after taking vicodin for knee pain. I've since had knee surgery and I no longer take the stuff. But I've been balding for years before this.

None that I'm aware of save for gluten and I don't touch the stuff. Perhaps when I did this is what killed my hair?

"Dental health is also essential."

I do drink wine every night and have for years. Could this be damaging my gut flora?

It would be very interesting to know if fecal transplants can cure or transmit MPB.

I look forward to more info. Thanks for the questions and person insights.

Thank you so much for addressing this issue. In the interest of keeping this concise, I will try to bullet point my outstanding observations and questions on this matter:

* My physician has had me on a high protein / high probiotic / high fat / low carb / grain-free / high Vit D diet for nearly a year. Effects on sexual function are minimal. Others report the same.
* What are options for patients who don't respond to the anti-inflammatory/Vit D diet? Are fecal transplants, helminth therapy or any other out-of-the-box treatments called for?
* Many propecia-suffering men have generally lowered levels of androgens and do not respond to replacement therapy - can inflammation cause reduced androgen levels and/or prevent a clinical response to therapy?
* Could localized inflammation in the prostate due to bacteria (the gateway being lowered immune response via finasteride-suppressed DHT) result in a novel kind of chronic prostatitis that could incite HPA disregulation?
o I mention this possibility because we have at least 1 anecdotal case of a patient who tried every hormonal therapy possible for a decade, and only now has experienced relief in sexual function after antibiotic cocktails administered in conjunction with deep prostatic massages to break up calcficied bacteria
o And because it is not uncommon for patients to suffer permanent sexual side effects evn after 1 or 2 doses of finasteride!
* One additional worry is that you mention brain cell apoptosis in androgen mediated parts of the brain - is this in any way treatable?
* You mention that "Use of antibiotics will always lead to further side effects by perturbing and limiting the function of gut flora and the immune system that is dependent on the gut flora." But also mention that "some antibiotics could attenuate the inflammation and return normal function." Is there a specific strategy in anti-biotic usage?

I know this is a lot of information. I truly appreciate your time and consideration. There are a lot of us out there with these debilitating, seemingly-permanent side effects from finasteride, and so far, the doctors are very confused on the matter, most treatments do not seem to work.

Thank You for this article on hormones. I think hormones are a big part of what is going on in the body. Even people eating perfect diets can have terrible health if their hormones are out of balance.

Do you have any advice on men who have low Testosterone levels? What is the best way to increase it without causing ill effect?

Any more insights on hormones in the body will be greatly appreciated.

As a general comment and is NOT directed at Fred above:

One of the trends I am seeing on this site is that posters usually argue that they are getting a diverse gut flora by the following two methods:

a. Taking a probiotic, even one that is 'diverse or eating yoghurt
b. Eating fruits and vegetables,

I would like to comment, because I am quite sure that the good Doctor may sometimes get frustrated that people come on board and consistently make the claims that they are following his 'anti-inflammatory' advice and not seeing results:

As Dr. AYers continually emphasizes, and it seems to be constantly missed by many people, is that probiotics do not provide the diversity needed for the multiple different bacteria that inhabit the gut. This is precisely why, as Dr. AYers points out and he can correct me if I'm wrong, a particular probitioic may actualy excacerbate an already existing inflammatory symptom.

It is nature alone that can provide this diversity, so there are two possibilities:

a. Eating the bacteria directly from nature
b. Stop being overly-hygenic and constantly cleaning yourself and indulge in playing in nature, through things like gardening

The two are essentially related.
As far as fruits and vegetables, they ALSO DO NOT provide the bacteria, they provide the FOOD FOR THE BACTERIA because of the soluble fiber, meaning if your eating fruits and vegetables, but not adding new bacteria, than your just providing food for the pre-existing bacteria already in your gut.

This leads me to a common theme of this site:

Fruits and vegetables, per our kind host, need to carry the diverse bacteria of nature, meaning they should be eating directly from a garden with minimal cleaning, such as simple dusting.

And thnaks AR. AYers once again, for the great post.

To summarize quite simply:

If your not eating and playing 'dirty', your not getting the necessary bacteria.

I wonder if the influence of insulin on SHBG and IGFBG (leading to increased DHT) could be a missing link for you? My understanding is that there may be an insulin resistance at the level of skin/hair follicles (but not necessarily throughout the body) that influences testosterone metabolism at least partly through decreased binding globulins. A similar mechanism may promote acne and PCOS. We know that women with PCOS are often insulin resistant and have higher DHT (causing acne, body hair growth, infertility and sometimes pattern baldness). Treating them with metformin will often restore fertility, but not sure if it helps the other symptoms. SHBG is also produced locally by testes, ovaries & prostate.
New research is also questioning if vitamin K is important to SHBG because the structure is very homologous to vitamin K dependent protein S. It all seems to fit with your recommendations.

I just finished listening to your Jimmy Moore podcast and I was reminded I that I have been wondering for awhile how you feel about recommendations to use antibiotics to treat arthritis (and other joint inflammation issues) and brain infections?

The Perfect Health Diet also differs from the your recommendations with regard to potatoes and rice. I'm curious if you have altered your thoughts about 'safe starches' recently?

I was a long term antibiotic user as a teen for cystic acne and ear infections as a child, so I am hesitant about trying AP.

My urologist has me on finasteride and cardura for an enlarged prostrate. I do not suffer from prostatitis or impotence. The only side effect I notice is a marked decrease in ejaculate. Should I be concerned? Thanks for a fascinating site.

Jim--and others currently taking finasteride/proscar/propecia or any 5ARI-type drug (like saw palmetto)--please visit to learn more about the devastation that these drugs potentially cause to men taking them. (Chemical castration, hormonal upheaval, depression, fatigue, etc.)

Looking forward to your comments on this. Researchers identify 3 enterotypes.

Makes me wonder if randomized studies performed over the last 50+ years have properly randomized cohort enterotypes.

Is calcification involved in MPB? If so, I wonder if:

1) nightshade intolerance and its calcitriol content might play a role, and
2) whether vitamin K2 supplementation might help

My digestion has been markedly improved by eliminating nightshades.

Under what conditions then does 5-AR increase in the body?
If metabolic syndrome and inflammation are the causes of increased 5-AR, then would you recomend reducing and eliminating 5-AR inhibitors after treament with anti-inflammatory diet, increased vit-d, and gut flora balance?

I ask this as i have a young client on 1mg finestride daily because his father has MPB, so he will potentially be taking a LOT of this drug in the long run. The young man currently shows no sign of MPB nor noticed any side effects on sexual activity (yet).

Thank you dr. Ayers for writing about this.
I heard that male pattern baldness skips a generation, although it seems silly to me. My father was almost totally bald already in his 20s (no visible metabolic syndrome) and his grand-father from his mother's side was too. My husband's father was bald too especially as an old man. Does this means my son is going to suffer from this?
My father has also had recently some problems with his prostate, he didn't want to talk about it, but he was saying he needs to drain the liquid from it with a needle.
BTW, I am 'hormonally challenged' too, have adult acne, hirsutism, however, no PCOS diagnosis, unfortunately gum disease, as you know, and constipation.
Does it make any sense?

get him off of it, slowly taper. I was also a normal active 24 year old and took only 40 pills, and now am stuck with a plethora of health issues and no libido at age 26.

I started going bald when I was 15, which is pretty extreme, so I have been interested in its causes. After starting to read your blog it occurred to me that it might be inflammation related.

Baldness is an autoimmune disease in that your white blood cells attack your hair follicles under the influence of DHT. At first I could actually feel a burning sensation at the forehead hairline and at the tonsure where I was losing hair the fastest. I've read accounts of skin reddening being visible along with the burning sensation. All signs of an immune system out of balance.

Have you written about inflammation and sleep disturbances? I have also had a problem with waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning and being unable to get back to sleep. This has been greatly improved since I've started to take fish oil, which might be a clue to inflammation being a cause.

I came across this article this morning which suggests (as far as I can see) that omega 3 PUFAs can cause just as much oxidative damage as Omega 6s

I read this as: supplementing with fish oil may alleviate inflammation short term but cause more serious health problems long term

If balding is due to systemic inflammation and not genetic, why are there so many junkies, bums, alcoholics, etc. with full heads of hair?

Q: If baldness is not genetic but instead caused by systemic inflammation, why are there so many drug addict, alcoholic, homeless people with full heads of hair?

Dr. Art Ayers: Great article! I hope you can write about FPB and women's hair thinning too, apologies if you already have, as I reaslise they have similarities with MPB but there must be some differences too. I've been reading that Finisteride might not work on women as it does on men.. Plus, I don't think women want anymore help at lowering their libido!

Rich: I had that same burning feeling on my head. It felt like it was literally on fire and loads of hair was falling out. My doctor didn't seem to take me seriously and said my scalp looked fine.. Eventually they prescribed Nizoral but I didn't like the way it made me feel so I stopped using it. Months later the burning stopped but I still have an irritating feeling on my head.

DR Ayers, you are about to get BOMBED with questions from Finasteride sufferers.

Thanks for the blog and hope you can answer some of the questions, It really is a desperate situation for us.

You talk about diet, supplements and dexamethasone. Do you have any views of exercise and alcohol consumption?

I have developed trouble urinating and have eaten a low inflammatiry diet for about 5 years. The problem started in the pat year or so. Digital exam was normal. PSA was .4 (point four). All they could figure ws that there ws a tiny bit of inflammation at the wrong spot (the front that they can't feel).
Any suggestions on how to fix this without drugs? My doc gave me Avodart, which has helped, but I hate taking that stuff.
I do have an appt with a doc that speacializes in hormones next month to see whats what. My testosterone level was 485 recently. D level was 55 ng/ml. I'm 51 and eat exactly as you suggest. I get plenty of saturated fat. I do drink dairy, but it's raw goat milk from a local farm. I eat wild caught salmon and get beef that's grassfed from a local ranch. I eat no processed foods. Thanks in advance.

I forgot to mention that I'm 6' tall and weight about 160. I workout 3X a week, typically with the TRX system. Changing my diet 5 years ago lead to a 30 lb weight loss and I got rid of my blood sugar problem that was developing.
I also have tendonitis in both elbows and knees. Shoulder spurs as well. All developed in the past 3 years.

Dave, RN,
I think that your diet sounds basically good, but you still have classic symptoms of chronic inflammation: tendonititis, swollen prostate.

The obvious sources are low vit.D, dental infections, gluten intolerance or dysfunctional gut flora. You should be able to just gradually increase fish oil until the symptoms are gone. That will tell you if the problem is inflammation. Your blood vitD is on the low end, so I would probably supplement to raise it to >70.

How do you respond to pectin in apples and inulin in leeks? Are you constipated? Have you taken antibiotics?

I would not use a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor unless the alternative was surgery or death.

I think that your problem has a simple solution. Get back to me with more info.

Hi Asim,
Thanks for your concise summary and comments. I completely agree.

Hi Dr. Ayers, Like many people I found your blog while researching my own condition and have learned a lot from it. I was recently diagosed with rheumatoid arthritis based on symptoms (joint pain and stiffness in hands, wrists and knees that came on suddenly) and weak positve anti-CCP blood test(25). But my Sed rate is low (7mm/h), rheumatoid factor is negative, CRP is also low (<.01mg/dL). I am 47, have been eating a diet that is fairly anti-inflammatory for most of my adult life, mostly veggies, very little processed foods, oily fish and fish oil, only olive oil, some gluten but way less than average American diet, no anti-biotics and good dental health. I swim 3x week and am very fit. Currently taking 10mg of prednisone while deciding what to do about treatment. It has helped my sypmtoms significantly. Rheumatolgist is suggesting MTX, but I would like to avoid heavy drugs. Do you think inflammation is an underlying problem for me despite my blood results and diet? Thanks, Betsy

Besty I'd remove ALL gluten. Even a little is very inflammatory. Wheat is the worst offender.

Your condition is obviously inflammatory (and autoimmune) with classic symptoms and response to a potent anti-inflammatory drug.

The cause of your condition was chronic inflammation (probably dietary), combined with modest injury to joints and damage to your gut flora (which reduced regulatory T cells and led to autoimmunity.) Normal and even intense exercise should result in joint damage that is fully repaired. Chronic use damage can accumulate, however, if chronic inflammation is present.

I can't tell from your brief description where you get most of your calories. If it is not saturated fat in meat/dairy, then it is usually plant starch. The carb-based diet would tend toward higher blood sugar/insulin and higher production of reactive oxygen species. inflammation. Your diet remains your main cause of problems. Constipation would be a symptom of extreme gut dysbiosis.

As Fred indicated, gluten would be another obvious source of inflammation and disruption of normal gut/gut flora function.

Vitamin D deficiency would be another likely candidate.

All of the local treatments. heat/cold, capsaicin/menthol/castor oil, vagal stimulation postures/exercises, should give temporary relief from pain, so that you can maintain a complete range of motion. Brief use of NSAIDS may also be worth their side effects, to provide a return to normal activity.

For a permanent cure, you need to repair your gut flora, fix vit.D, fix diet and maintain exercise.

You should have no symptoms at your relatively young age, unless you have poorly managed inflammation. I think that complete relief from your symptoms should be fairly simple.

"The carb-based diet would tend toward higher blood sugar/insulin and higher production of reactive oxygen species. inflammation."

Can you cite any good papers that support this. I have many clients who would love to read up on this.

Also, how badly does alcohol damage gut flora? I drink a few glasses of wine each night.

And what would you say is the best way to "regrow" a healthy gut flora if it is damaged? Are any supplements useful?

Fred Hahn,
Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions.

I am puzzled by baldness. There are some hereditary components, but not just the result of one or two genes.

It seems to me that baldness is like type I diabetes, but with the DHT receptor, and stem cells in the hair follicles also involved. Attack on pancreatic cells is in turn similar to amyloid death in Alzheimer's. As you can see, all of these diseases lack knowledge of their causes, genetics and treatment/cures. In all cases, treatment is a better source of income to the medical industry than prevention or cures.

You make the point that chronic inflammation is not sufficient to cause baldness. A single gene does not control baldness, yet the prevalence of baldness in some families can be extreme. I tend to attribute this hereditary component to common diet and gut flora, which might lead to common deficiencies of the immune system.

When I project deficiencies of the immune system onto your case, all I come up with is a deficiency of your gut flora that is not offset with probiotics. This would necessitate that you have a high level of personal hygiene without the possibility for intrusions of new bacteria via new initmate relationships, soil clinging to raw vegetables, etc. This hypothesis would also require that your gut flora is in equilibrium and perhaps refractory to new bacterial recruits. This would suggest, as you indicate, that a fecal transplant from an unrelated donor with healthy hair, might be interesting.

Others who have shifted to the diet that I recommend have reported an improvement in hair health, with loss of grey and improved thickness, so at least some forms of hair health are related to inflammation.

Let me know if you get any other insights.

Interesting Dr. Ayers. What sort of diet other than what I am already eating would aid my gut flora? Eating unwashed veggies? )I would eat almost anything to get my hair back.

Alcohol should have an impact only on gut flora at the top of the GI tract. For example, the treatment to eliminate H. pylori is augmented by drinking alcohol. I wouldn't think that the gut flora at the top of the colon (important for T regs) would be influenced, but I would also note that H. pylori infections increase T regs responsible for avoiding autoimmunity.

The dietary starch/blood sugar/insulin/ROS/inflammation scenario is based on the molecular basis for insulin resistance. I wrote an article on it for Suite 101. Basically, insulin resistance is a protective cellular mechanism to avoid transporting more glucose into a cell that has already maxed out its ATP production and saturated the electron transport chain in its mitochondria. The extra high energy electrons from glycolysis that are dumped into mitochondria leak out as superoxide and inactivate the insulin receptors. The superoxide contributes to ROS and then can signal inflammation via NFkB/IL-1,TNFa, etc. These inflammatory signals are associated with metabolic syndrome and can be readily reversed by fasting even in obese individuals.

By the way, how much vitamin C can you tolerate before diarrhea? Higher tolerance (>4g/d) is an indication of ROS/oxidative stress.

I just remembered that you commented on knee surgery for knee pain. That would indicate chronic inflammation.

I never tried high dose C so I'm not sure. What would you suggest taking to see if I am suffering from oxidative stress?

My knee pain seems to be mainly due to being severely bow-legged and 25 years of martial arts. But again, how does one repair the gut if this is the issue?

Dr. Ayers, Thanks so much for your insights. I have eaten little to no red meat or poultry meat for 20+ years. I eat seafood usually once/wk, eggs once/wk, a fair amount of cheese (almost daily), legumes, nuts, almond milk,and lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens, herbs, mushrooms, alliums. I do usually eat pasta once or twice a week, fresh bread several times per week and we make our own pizza dough at home. I have never had a problem with constipation. So I am hearing that I should reduce or eliminate gluten. I also started taking vitamin D3 supplements 1 month ago. Started at 1000 IU and increased to 2000 IU when I found your blog last week. I take a multi vitamin and 2 nordic natural omega 3s per day (for 2+ years)and it looks like I should increase that as well. My vit D was tested at 23ng/mL before supplementation. Should I increase these supplements? Add pro-biotics? I eat some fermented foods and could easily eat more. I am not obsessive about cleaning veggies. Also, you mentioned glucosamine is good for gut health. Should I supplement with plain glucosomine or one with chondrontin and MSM? Again, many thanks for your insight and advice. Betsy

I had a question about my condition which is unrelated to this post.
I have cerebellar ataxia and have seen it progress slowly over the past 2 years. I distinctly remember unexplicably having constipation like 3 years ago. Also my D and B12 levels were quite low. A gluten test (although I am skeptical) came out positive. I also have many inflamation related problems like dandruff, periodontal disease, etc.
I took supplements just started taking probiotics and am following some of your advice.
I think improving my digestion is a key.

Any ideas how to slow down the degeneration I am having?

I would love to see the questions by Anonymous left on July 20, 2011 12:40 PM answered. No offense to the other people here (such as fred) questioning about hair loss - but the blog post has more to do about finasteride and its side effects. The side effects from finasteride are FAR worse then hair loss, and if one were to experience the full breadth of the side effects for even a day they wouldn't care about their hair at all.

Finasteride in Propecia gave me a burning sensation in my legs after using it for a week. I flushed the stuff right then and there.

Still, part of the title of the blog is "Baldness treatment. "

The weird thing is I have no baldness in my family. My Dad had more hair than me after chemo for his liver cancer. Grandparents all had full heads of hair. Mother too.

If it is inflammation, again, why do many drug addicted, cigarette smoking, junk food eating, obese 50+ year old men who are riddled with inflammation and have completely disturbed gut flora have full shocks of hair? They should all be bald. This is why I think it is genetic like blue or green eyes are. You're coded so to speak to be bald or to have a hairy back or no body hair at all like some men.

I do observe that men with a lot of body hair especially back hair, tend to be bald. In fact it is almost always the case. When you're at the beach next, observe this. You will almost never see a man with a hairy back with a full head of hair.

When I went full bore paleo nothing changed on my pate in the least and it continues to thin.

Besty - I firmly believe/know that gluten is absolutely terrible for everyone. Ditch it entirely. No bread, no grains, nuthin'!

I was in the UK last week, caved in and had a few pints. My nose exploded with 3 bloody pustules after 2 days. I had gas coming from everywhere. Terrible.

My opinion is if you are eating gluten in any amount you will never cool your inflammation.

I am fascinated by your comment regarding the possible role of gut flora and baldness vis-a-vis the role of gut flora on the immune function. Given the interesting response that occurs when a fecal transplant is done between skinny and obese people, has a reversal/improvement in improvement ever been observed in such cases?

Clarification: Has there been an improvement in baldness ever observed in someone who has had a fecal transplant for other health reasons?

Could someone please tell me where or how to have fecal transplant in UK . I am interested in this but I can not find any information on the net !

I've read of many centenarians who down bread daily, probably more than once daily in many cases.

I feel that gluten itself prodoesn't cause the same degree of inflammation in everyone. Other lifestyle/dietary practices, like intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, likely help centenarians who eat bread reach their 100th birthday.

Also Fred, are you chronically stressed out? I have a hunch that stress itself is sufficient to cause baldness. Stress overworks the adrenal-pituitary cortex, negatively affecting hormone production.

I think it may be these hormonal imbalances that lead to balding.

Yes of course I have stress. But there are folks under way more stress than I am who are out of shape and eat poorly with full shocks of hair.

I have been thinking about blocking the inflammation assoicated with balding and will put up another article. I look forward to your comments.

Great Dr. Ayers. That would be fantastic. As I mentioned, my CRP is usually 1 or under. All my other health markers are excellent. It could be that the years of eating gluten and low fat and all that other nonsense caused my balding and once you do that is that. Some people don't go bald in the face of massive inflammation - lucky them.

I am a 30 year old man who is 3 years into a battle with "Chronic Prostatitis." Prior to this I had no real health concerns other than "epididimytis" in 2003. I did the usual and took antibtiotics for too long (3 months), alpha blockers, 2400 mg of ibuprofen for months on end, etc. I eventually stopped everything and just relied on pelvic PT and hoping that time would allow the condition to moderate enough for me to live normally which I did for almost 2 years. All the doctors I've seen say there's nothing wrong except for one urologist who was much more thorough in his exam and said that the area around and above my prostate and seminal vesicles is inflamed and congested feeling. This was judged off of his touch alone.

We tried manually breaking up the inflammation through repeated prostate massage which greatly worsened my urinary irritation symptoms for several months afterwards.

Since then I've had several doctors tell me I have symptoms of a systemic inflammatory condition such as chills, swollen nodes, various other -itis's, yet none have offered suggestions on what to do about it other than try steriods. I've just started on an anti-inflammatory diet based on the Zone diet, and am awaiting a shipment of fish oil to try as I now realize the one pill a day I've been taking isn't sufficient. I've also been using a supplement called "Anatabloc" which I don't know if you're familiar with or not. Any other suggestions for me? I've really struggled to get a handle on how to approach this condition as one specialist after another says whatever body part they're looking at is fine and it must be something else in me causing the inflammation and pain. I've never been tested for vitamin D defiency or anything like that but my c-reactive protein tests were always "normal." My hope is if I lower my systemic inflammation maybe the specific area above my prostate will somehow be able to be healed eventually. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. I've been beyond frustrated and discouraged by this condition for years now.

Mark Leach,
I think that chronic prostatitis is easier to treat than most MDs wish to think. In most cases the postage picks up a minor infection by being connected to the urinary tract. So it is kind of similar to an ear infection and is similarly prone to exploitation by the medical industry. In both cases, the plumbing is normally flushed out/drains, but inflammation can block fluid flow and result in spreading cycles of inflammation. The inflammation can also result in autoimmune responses.
Treatment should begin with simple adjustments to the immune system: vitamin D, gluten elimination, increase omega 3/6 ratio, remediate gut flora. In most cases, this will reduce symptoms in a week or two. It may take longer if your gut flora were permanently damaged by antibiotics and you are too hygienic.

Vitamin D: Have your serum vitamin D level measured, supplement until a new test gives a value over 70 ng/ml.

Gluten Elimination: Response to grain gluten in the gut can result in an autoimmune reaction to intestine proteins that are also found in the prostate. Stop exacerbating this cycle by eliminating grains -- just switch to the low carb diet that I recommend.

Increase Omega 3/6 Ratio: Vegetable oils contribute to your inflammation. Eliminate them from your diet and switch to saturated fats and fish oils. The Sears Zone diet should provide you with guidance.

Remediate Gut Flora: I think that your problems started by the first antibiotic treatment that made your gut flora inflammatory. Now you have to restructure it by eating new bacteria (probiotics PLUS OTHER BACTERIA ON RAW FOOD.) If you routinely try to avoid dangerous bacteria with frequent hand washing and cleaning vegetables, then that behavior is part of your problem. You are also eliminating the sources of bacteria that you need to recolonize your gut and repair your immune system. You also need to eat soluble fiber to feed the gut bacteria that provide you with vitamins and form your stools. constipation is the sign of a sick gut flora and defective immune system.

I cover these subjects in the 180+ articles on this blog. If you need more help, just ask. I try to monitor posts.

Thanks for the advice Dr. Ayers. It's tough navigating through all the countless theories and anecdoctal tales of people curing their prostatitis by switching toothpastes and stuff like that. I've had 3 urologists say my inflammatory symptoms and conditions I developed concurrently can't be related to the prostatitis and I should go see another specialist for each one. I went from being a healthy 28 year old to chronic pain and a stable of 6 useless specialists in 3 months.

This actually started with "epididimytis" though I never tested positive for any bacteria. My scrotum was painful and swollen, and then over the several months of bactrim, cipro, doxy, and levaquin, it progressed into urinary symptoms and a "prostatitis" or "chronic pelvic pain" diagnosis.

I started approaching this more holistically last winter when I did the CLEAN Program 3 week detox that is intended to rebuild the gut flora. I went off gluten for those 3 weeks and didn't notice anything drastic but I also wasn't taking fish oil or anything else at the time. My symptoms were also really bad at the time, which probably means inflamed, which also means I was depressed and stressed out over it so it might not have been the best test. It was shortly after a urologist tried repeated prostate massages over a three day period trying to break up the inflammation manually. It seemed to greatly increase the inflammation and bladder/prostate irritation instead. He thought it was a mast cell response but taking both singulair and benedryl did nothing to help with that. I'm still not back to where I was prior to that attempted treatment pain wise.

I plan to follow your suggestions. I stopped gluten this week and plan to start supplementing with a high dose of fish oil once that comes in. I also will start supplementing with vitamin D. I unfortunately was given antibiotics again since I did the CLEAN program so I take probiotics and eat yogurt with pre and probiotics in it several times a week. I plan to read more of your posts as I have found them very interesting and relevant to my condition. Thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes.

Sorry to go of the topic, but would love your opinion on something. My mother has recently had some memory problems, we think she is pretty much post menopause, but her issues seem to be getting worse, she is really struggling it seems with short term memory, she says her thoughts are fuzzy, she has started carrying a little notebook with everything in it. We are concerned she might lose her job, she is a nurse. I am guessing this will be affecting her work, as she just cannot say what she wants to most of the time, most people must think she has Alzheimer's or similar. But she has had brain scans and there is no sign of stroke or anything. We suggested to the doctor it could be menopause, but they disagree. Even though they have put her on HRT treatment, but she stopped after 2 weeks complaining of pains near her heart. I have read that lowered estrogen can cause fuzzy thinking and memory problems. I do not like the idea of HRT treatment from what I have read, as excess estrogen leads to all sorts of health problems(strokes cancer etc). A bit of family history both her parents died of strokes in their early 60's. Both me and my sisters all seem to suffer from some autoimmune disorders. One sister has dysphraxia, the other has all sorts of allergies and myself have an early receding hairline, premature greying and I am pretty sure if I was at school now I would be diagnosed with ADHD, as I had most of the symptoms. I decided to go on a gluten free/low inflammatory diet just over 2 months ago and already can feel some benefits, for the first time in my life my stools seem to be normal, more energy, need less sleep, better concentration and my muscles do not seem to be as sore after training, this has never happened before, I am a competitive athlete by the way. So I am thinking there is less inflammation in my body. So back to the important matter of my mother. I have suggested a similar diet for her. Do you have any thoughts on any of this you would be kind enough to share?

I recently read that finasteride can cause permanent loss of libido in certain men. With so many prescriptions being sold each year, that can amount to thousands of men having permanent damage to their libido. I think vitamin D (liquid) and Omega 3, 6 and 9 fish oils should have a positive effect on digestion, as well as saw palmetto and mastic gum.

nice info. always glad to learn something new.

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Hi guys, I'm a newbie to the forum and came across it while trying to find out ways to cure my Chronic Prostititis. Dr Ayers, your knowledge on thsi subject is very impressive! I hope to gain soem knowledge and hope my posts will help others as well.

Some backgound information on myself:

32 year old healthy male eat right and exercise regularly. I noticed problems over 5 years ago but can't pinpoint when they started.

Urologist, checked prostate, did cystoscopy and then put me on 6 weeks of sulfatrim.

After those antibiotics didn't work I decided to try Saw Palmetto 320mg for 3 weeks. BIG MISTAKE!
Negatives: Lost Libido & Brain Fog
Benefits: CP symtoms got better and I grew a few new hairs on my hairline (I have a full set of hair so growing hair is not my concern)

I then tried one week of 0.5mg of finistrade a day and I had the same sides as SP, so I stopped.

Seems that the DHT inhibitors were good for my prosititus and hair but not my Libido and I do not want to lose that. I still have not fully recovered and it's been a week of no SP or Fin.

I currently take:
Fish Oils
Omega 3, 6, & 9 tabs
GNC Mega Man Sport
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I am going to start accpunture and regular therapudic massages this week. Has Accunpuncture worked for anyoen else?

I also will start taking hot baths and doing abdonimnal stretches to see if it helps.

Dr, is there anything else you can recommend?

One point I must make is that I've been masturbating heavily since I was 12 years old. It's really embarrasssing but I mean upto 10 times a day soemtimes. I've decided that starting this week I will cut out sex and masterbation totally to see if that helps, as I noticed I feel pain down in the whole area after sex or masterbation includign testicle pain. Cutting this out should not be hard since my libido is struggling right now anyways.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated but I jsut do not want to take any more drugs.

One thing that must clearly be mentioned is the fact that one you understand the symptoms of PE you will have to take the very next steps. These next steps should not be all that difficult to figure out.

You will want to learn the best way to have the right treatment initiated. Premature ejaculation will not likely cease without employing the methods for treating the problem.

Are the treatment methods difficult to undergo?

The truth is many of the methods to correct the problem of premature ejaculation are holistic in nature. There are specific exercises which can be performed to help a man learn how to control his orgasms.

These exercises are not difficult and can be done without much effort. There are also mental practice exercises which can be done which can help alleviate a number of the psychological issues which can cause premature ejaculation.

No matter what a man does to deal with the problem, it is critical he actually does take the steps to correct such a troubling sexual dysfunction. Doing so can restore sexual performance to its optimal stages.

I admire what you have done here. I love the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that is working for you as well.

Prostate massage is really a effective but little-known remedy for males with prostatitis. Males, for those who have had not successful antibiotic remedies for prostatitis, then you will need to look at this article found at lingham massage london

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I hope there are more clear ways on how to prevent prostatitis. There are lots of men that suffer from it and isn't aware of where they got it.

Studies show that baldness can be associated with impoteny and seeking medical help is the best thing to do.

I recently stopped taking propecia and less than a week later started developing symptoms including pain in the testicles particularly the left one and have got back ache as well. I have a urologist appointment tomorrow but I'm terrified something may be wrong. I've not suffered any noticeable sexual sides on fin since coming off, just this very painful ache in my testicles.

From you vast experience of this topic, is there anything I can take to calm these symptoms down?

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Psoriasis, IL-17, Cathelicidin, TLRs, NFkB, Inflammation and Heparin Therapy

Host DNA Released by Keratinocyte Apoptosis Binds LL-37 and Activates Dendrocytes

Psoriasis is an inflammation of the skin that leads to overproduction of keratinocytes resulting in a thick crust. Skin inflammation, in this case, is considered a result of autoimmunity, but an autoantigen has not been identified. It is more likely that psoriasis results from an autoinflammatory condition, in which inflammation produces a complex of self molecules that mimic bacterial DNA and trigger TLR/NFkB inflammation signaling. And of course, if this is going to be interesting, it has to involve heparin.

Vitamin D Binds to a Transcription Factor Receptor that Controls Antimicrobial Peptides
A significant component of the innate immune system is a group of antimicrobial peptide (defensins, cathelicidins, e.g. LL-37). These short polypeptides owe their natural antibiotic activity to numerous basic (positively charged, arginine and lysine) amino acids. The transcription factor that controls the expression of these peptides is the vitamin D receptor. Thus, various forms of vitamin D influence the amount of antimicrobial peptides produced in the mouth, skin and crypts of the intestinal villi. Oral vitamin D3 would be expected to directly improve defensin production in the gut and LL-37 production in the skin.

IL-17 Stimulates Skin Inflammation and LL-37 Production
A specific group of lymphocytes, called T helper 17 cells, produce IL-17. These Th17 cells accumulate in some sites of inflammation, such as psoriasis and their secretion of IL-17 is associated with ongoing inflammation and may contribute to LL-37 production, as well as apoptosis of keratinocytes in the thickening skin of psoriasis plaques.$=citedinpmcarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

Th17 Cells Are Produced in the Gut in Response to Segmented Bacteria
One of my readers brought to my attention an article that shows that one of the hundreds of species of gut bacteria, segmented filamentous baceria, stimulates the gut to develop T helper 17 cells that subsequently migrate to sites of inflammation.
This emphasizes the link between the gut and inflammatory diseases and parallels other examples of gut influence on disease, such as the ability of Helicobacter pylori to affect asthma or parasitic worms to tame Crohn’s disease, allergies and asthma.

Inflammation Lowers Heparan Sulfate Production and Spreads LL-37
One of my students induced inflammation in cells in vitro and showed by quantitative PCR that genes involved in heparan sulfate proteoglycan production are selectively silenced. This observation explains in part the loss of heparan sulfate in kidneys and intestines that contributes to the leakiness of these organs in response to inflammation and the partial repair of these organs by heparin treatment. Decrease of heparan sulfate that normally coats cells and binds antimicrobial peptides, such as LL-37, would explain the enhanced movement of LL-37 in psoriatic skin.

LL-37 Binds to Host DNA and Triggers Toll-Like Receptors
DNA is released from keratinocytes in psoriatic skin and this host DNA binds the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin LL-37. The LL-37/DNA complex mimics bacterial DNA and triggers the Toll-like receptors (TLR) on the surface of immune cells, dendrocytes, to activate NFkB, the transcription factor controlling inflammation.$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

Heparin Treats Psoriasis
It seemed obvious to me that the heparin binding domains (Look at all the basic amino acids in blue in the illustration of LL-37.) of LL-37 were involved in DNA binding and the reason the LL-37 was binding to host DNA, was that heparan sulfate had been depleted as a result of local inflammation. It also seemed obvious that topical heparin should eliminate psoriasis plaques. So I did a Google search of psoriasis + topical heparin and got a hit on a 1991 patent application that claims a broad applicability for heparin use in curing symptoms of a wide variety of diseases, including psoriasis.
The only topical form of heparin that I know of is Lipactin (available in Canada and Europe?), a treatment for coldsores, which makes sense because herpes viruses use heparan sulfate to infect cells.


I have both P and PsA, so I'm always searching for info. Have you contacted The National Psoriasis Foundation? If not , please do. Great article, great study.Nice to follow you.

So . this means avoiding oral Vitamin D3 .. ? //Erik

The way that I read it, oral vitD3 should improve the production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and augment innate immunity. In most cases, decreased AMPs is a problem. In rosacea, where the typical skin AMP, LL-37, is cleaved to produce shorter peptides that contribute to the inflammatory symptoms, then vitD both increases symptoms and attacks the bacteria that are part of the problem. Thus, it appears that in some cases vitD3 is needed in addition to appropriate inhibitors of inflammation.

These are complex diseases that can't be cured by just manipulating symptoms with drugs.

Thanks for your comments and questions.

So fascinating. I just did a quick google search on heparin and psoriasis and found a bunch of articles/anecdotes/studies about the positive effects of heparin on psoriasis - dating back to 1954!
SO what is with the treatment. is there a side effect that they can't use it? (I guess the obvious is bleeding?)
Can you increase heparin in your body using Dr. Art's anti-inflammitory diet?
Maybe eat turkey intestines (wiki mentions them as a heparin source)?

I don't think that there is a down side to topical heparin therapy. Long polysaccharides of heparan sulfate are secreted attached to membrane bound proteins on most cells. Those molecules drag across the surface and are taken in again (half life = six hours). The heparan is degraded, the membrane proteins are recycled to the Golgi and new heparan is attached. The point is that other proteins with heparin-binding domains, as well as other heparin are also dragged in and reprocessed. This reprocessing is why heparin injected into veins is quickly removed and must be replenished to suppress the clotting enzymes that all have heparin-binding domains.

The simple point is that heparin applied to the skin and to a great extent, the gut, is trapped on the surface and metabolized. It is very hard to increase serum heparin levels by eating heparin. Afterall, your gut is coated with it, that is why it is a source of heparin.

Inadequate heparan sulfate is a sign of disease and is suggested by a propensity for blood to clot or for female infertility remedied by heparin injections.

My guess on why topical and oral heparin have not been developed is that they would replace expensive, dangerous patented pharmaceuticals with cheap, safe nutrichemicals. These approaches would eliminate the need for a large part of the health industry.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle that I suggest is just a compendium of dietary solutions to most of the sources of chronic inflammation. Relief of chronic inflammation should revive heparan sulfate production.

5 years ago i suddenly developed sensitivity to light on my face, which led to me living a life of isolation in my flat for 2 years in the dark.

Heat and any light would bring about serious inflamation and burning, like a deep burn that would last for days.
Thankfully it isn't as bad and for some reason the symptoms went somewhat. As a long term sufferer of mental health issues including , fear, anxiety, chronic depression, i wondered what effect having come off anti-depressants at the time played a role. Since being back on them my symptoms are less, although recently i have had serious problems with my computer screen again and with sunshine as i did before. At the time and now i seem to have a film of yeast that i can scrape off my skin when in the bath, i also became very sensitive to chemicals as well.
May i also say, from what you say my vegetarian diet does not help. When i take supplements i get a flare up of the skin and i am intolerable to exercise as it leaves me bed bound for days.

I think that you should look up rosacea and porphyria in Wikipedia.

It also sounds like you could benefit from some type of anti-inflammatory diet. All of your symptoms are consistent with problems with your gut flora and chronic inflammation. Your gut problems probably also contribute to nutrient absorption difficulty and vitamin deficiency. I would anticipate a very low vitamin D level that is contributing to many of your problems.

It is difficult to get off anti-depressants, but lowering inflammation helps.

I would recommend medical care. You may need to go on high glucose (not starch or sugar/fructose) until some of your symptoms abate.

Let me know how it works out.

HI - Been dealing unsuccessfully with psoriasis for years. Paleo diet has been good for weight and lipids but no change on the psoriasis. I have been supplement ing with 4000 Vit D3and Omega 3 - going to add alpha Linoleic Acid to this mix too. Is heparin sulphate a cream that is available over the counter.

John, how long have you been eating 'paleo' ?

Without getting into long detail about how my psoriasis symptoms manifest (they include psoriatic plaque, itching, joint ache)
I found that after 1 year of eating 'anti-inflammatory' -(>60% fat, low carb, no grains) my symptoms have not progressed at all, and are just now starting to recede. The joint pain is gone completely.

I think there is a long time period for true healing when reading about the SCD and GAPS diets, for example, they both say do the diet for at least one more year after symptoms resolve. and that is expected to be after 2 years (and skin is one of the last things to clear up).

I wonder if using ketosis would help speed things along. I also wonder if going all raw would help speed things along.

as another anecdote, I finally got my mom (who took enbrel for PsArthrits)to try Dr. Art's way of eating. her pain/stiffness majorly improved after 17 days (on the 17th day she woke up better, it wasn't gradual).
She stopped using Enbrel, the pain has come back, but not as bad, and she is successfully using icey hot (from your vapor rub suggestion, Dr. Art).

We are looking for a topical heparin, but would it work on the joints? at least the smaller ones?

Hi Krissie
I guess since about Feb this year - like many people its sort of a long story of how I got here BUT pretty much everything that was a medical issue before has been getting better with paleo except the psoriasis - I am curious about whether its possible to find a topical version of this heparin sulphate

Krissie and John,
I think that these are very fruitful discussions that test the application of diet-based anti-inflammatory approaches on an inflammatory disease.

Psoriasis is interesting from my perspective, because IL-17 has been implicated and the T17 cells that produce the interleukin develop in the gut in response to a particular gut bacterial species. Thus, changing the gut flora should change the course of the disease.

Changing the gut flora is slow unless some type of fecal transplant is used. Also the existing T17 cells in the skin must be depleted before symptoms will be reduced. This is a problem for all autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases.

To aid the change in gut flora, lactulose may be useful. It seems to alter the critical bacteria at the end of the small intestines where T17 cells probably develop. I think that it is also important to actually measure serum vit.D. Even 5,000 IU of D3 per day may be inadequate to raise serum levels to >70 ng/ml. Check, supplement and check again to confirm that supplements have raised the serum level. (The majority of patients treated by a physician for vit.D deficiency do not show normalization of serum vit.D following treatment.) Inflammation reduces solar vit.D production and low serum vit.D is inflammatory.

Depression is related to inflammatory cytokine production, i.e. chronic inflammation can lead to depression and depression results in the production of inflammatory cytokines. I also think that going off anti-depressants leads to a rebound rise in inflammatory cytokines. Omega-3 fatty acids can probably be increased until they reduce these inflammatory cytokines.

I have asked pharmacists in the Pacific Northwest and they have not heard of any topical heparin. Lipactin is advertised on the internet, but I haven't pursued it.

Thanks for the discussion.

This is interesting. I am a psoriasis sufferer. About 11 years ago I was admitted into hospital with meningitis. As part of my recovery, they injected me with heparin daily. The injection site would often be the lower stomach or the upper leg. I left hospital without any psoriasis. I have been taking additional Vit D. The other time I cleared (other than drugs) was at the Dead Sea - sunbathing daily. (I guess Vitd Intake skyrocketed there). The heparin issue is very interesting. I would like to see if heparin may be used as a treatment for psoriasis.

Thanks for your comments Dr Ayers - I will definitely get Serum D levels checked and I will be taking a close look at my prebiotic and probiotic issues. I have to admit that the biochem / immune system info you talk about on your site is a little over my head - and I teach Bio! - I need to go back and study a little more! But. I was wondering if instead of the heparin there was any merit to using chondroitin sulphate topically? I would be interested in your take on this product - it seems - that they mention chondroitin sulphate as having a similar function to heparin sulphate and imply this compound is in their product .The link is from - here is the piece that got my attention.

"Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), Antibiotic Peptides & Skin Regenerating Triggers

Snail secretions include sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), present as strongly acidic protein-free polysaccharides.

GAGs-binding and the control of a large number of ligands and receptors are crucial intermediaries of normal cell and tumor cell functionality. They can oversee behaviors such as their growth, differentiation, expansion, and adhesion. The specific composition of GAG chains and their binding proteins influence tumor cell growth, metastasis, and cancer progression. GAGs such as heparan sulfate, heparin, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid serve as vital biological response modifiers by functioning as (1) stabilizers, cofactors, and/or co-receptors for growth factors, cytokines, and chemokines (2) controllers of enzyme activity (3) signaling molecules in answer to cellular damages, such as wound healing, infection, and tumorigenesis (4) targets for bacterial, viral, and parasitic virulence factors for adherence, invasion, and immune system (5) controllers of neurite outgrowth and (6) anti-inflammatory agent that limits oxidative corruption after tissue injury.

Dr A--your comment about antidepressants and a cytokine flare got me to thinking I need to check my timelines from last year. I weaned myself off Cymbalta, and perhaps it was after that the upper body aches attacked. Off to hunt down the dates. Depression is also related to Progesterone. so am looking down that angle more of late. Thanks.

Anonymous Eponymous,
Your observations on heparin and vit.D/sunshine resolving psoriasis are great. The same effect should be achieved, more gradually by eliminating chronic inflammation (to raise heparan sulfate body-wide) and supplementing with vit.D3 until serum levels rise to >70 ng/ml.

What is needed is a measure of serum saturation of heparin-binding proteins, such as CRP. Note that of the dozens of serum proteins that interact with heparin, only clotting functions are measured and the amount of heparin that needs to be injected to achieve a desired level of clotting suppression has to be determined empirically, because the existing heparin saturation is not measurable.

The heparin saturation would be a measure of inflammation and would also reveal the status of treatment for numerous inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis or IBD. A direct intervention of many of those diseases may be directly adjusting heparin saturation by heparin injections. Oral and topical heparin would also be very useful. Clotting complications are minimal, because most cells readily utilize heparin for metabolism.

Thanks for the great comment.

The discussion of GAGs is what would be found in any source, e.g. Wikipedia. Snails produce some type of GAG and sulfated GAGs are abundant in all mammalian connective tissue, e.g. beef.

Hypersulfated chondroitin sulfate was the additive in the adulterated Chinese heparin drug scandal. I assume that most of the eaten GAGs are digested by gut flora as fiber in the lower gut. Only short GAGs would penetrate any distance into the skin. Most sulfated GAGs can slightly compete with heparin.

If you want to try an alternative molecule that should work better than GAGs and is relatively non-toxic, that would be polyethylene glycol. It is available is a variety of molecular weights/sizes and the smaller versions should penetrate skin more effectively. I think that they are also available in many skin care products (and as a laxative.) I would expect that PEG would also be effective in reducing viral infections (It would be interesting to test as a lubricant with antiviral properties against some STDs.)

As a dark humor note, PEG is routinely used to make protein crystals for the gold standard of molecular structure determination, X-ray crystallography. So many of the structures of proteins interacting with heparin sulfate and other polysaccharides are systematically incorrect.

Thanks for the comments/questions.

This is all very interesting. I'm pretty fit, and only have two (known!) health problems--psoriasis on my elbows and the occasional cold sore. Could these be connected, I wonder? I've noticed that occasionally when I've got a cold sore, the psoriasis lessens.

Lipactin, anyway, sounds like it is worth a try. I've also started on a 'primal' diet, so fingers crossed.

Another note: I went and googled heparin and psoriasis together and found that a Louis G. Jekel tried it out on psoriasis patients way back in 1953. He explains why he tried heparin:

"The idea of using heparin in the treatment of psoriasis stems from combining the older theories of the etiology of psoriasis as a disturbance of fat metabolism with some new observations made by Gofman and his co-workers.
That psoriasis is associated with a faulty fat metabolism is a theory held by a number of dermatologists. Quantitative studies on the total lipids in the blood, or on cholesterol, or cholesterol ester levels have given conflicting results. Therefore the idea is entertained that the disorder may be qualitative as well as quantitative basically."

I've just been reading Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories", so the mention of Goffman and faulty fat metabolisms was fascinating to me.

Jekel had success with three patients. A follow-up study was done by Paul LeVan in 1954. He summarizes his results:

"In all, 12 patients were treated, 7 of whom showed improvement and 5 of whom failed to improve. Six control subjects receiving isotonic sodium chloride showed clinical improvement, while two showed no improvement.
From the foregoing, it is our conclusion that heparin has no specific effect in the treatment of psoriasis. The improvement noted in both the heparin-treated and control groups may be attributed to the psychological effect of receiving injections and the benefits of hospitalization.
It woud seem that this information should be made available to avoid the widespread use of heparin in the treatment of psoriasis."

That's our answer to why heparin was never much tried: LeVan's study said it didn't work. Of course, we might have our doubts about exactly what those 12 tested patients prove or disprove.

But when I look at a 2008 article by Rahat S. Azfar and Joel M. Gelfand entitled "Psoriasis and metabolic disease: epidemiology and pathophysiology", which states there is now a "broad literature linking psoriasis to metabolic disorders", I start thinking that maybe Jekel and his fellow 1950s doctors weren't so wrong in noticing that something screwy was going on with the (fat) metabolism.

One more post before I get accused of spamming: it seems heparin has been tested a fair bit: more searching turned up tests that have been done in India, the Czech Republic, and Russia. Results have been mixed:

The use of a heparin ointment in combination with dimexide in treating psoriasis
Authors: V V Evstaf'ev

Journal: Vestnik dermatologii i venerologii
Thirty-five male patients with psoriasis en plaques, persisting for 2-5 years, resistant to routine therapy, were treated with official heparin ointment with 15% dimexide under an occlusion dressing. Positive results were achieved in 41.2 +/- 5.9 days of the ointment application. Complete resolution of the rash was observed in 19 (54.3%) patients, partial regression in 14 (40%), no effect in 2 (5.7%) patients. This ointment is recommended for active therapy of patients with local psoriatic plaques with a stable course of the condition, torpid to routine antipsoriatic therapy.
Vestnik dermatologii i venerologii. 01/02/1989

Not so good:
Title: Heparin in psoriasis
Author: Chacko Maria Mathew Thomas Sugathan P Nair Laxmi
Abstract: Ten patients with chronic stable psoriasis of more than three years duration were treated with injection heparin 2500 IU subcutaneously twice a day for 7 days. Six patients showed aggravation. Three showed no response and one patient improved and went into remission after 6 months.
Journal: Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
Year: 1998
Volume: 64
Issue: 6
pages/rec.No: 273-274

The use of heparin is not straightforward. Inflammation alters heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) production, so since most cells produce HSPGs, the level of inflammation in that cells tissue will determine its HSPG production. At the same time, mast cells release HS fragments, heparin, when they are triggered. Heparin can block the action of HSPG, which is used in most signaling outside of cells.

In the blood there are dozens of proteins that bind heparin and some of those are involved in blood clotting. Depending on the level of inflammation, each person would require a different amount of heparin to alter blood clotting.

The same variability will be true for trying to use IV or tissue injected heparin or topical heparin to alter signaling involved in a disease such as psoriasis. The results of the experiments would make a lot more sense, if test subjects all had the same level of inflammation or responded equivalently to the heparin.

These studies remind me of the hundreds of experiments done to determine if fish oil could treat mental symptoms. Unfortunately, all of the tests were useless, because dietary omega-6 oils and other sources of inflammation were not controlled.

Thanks for looking into the literature on heparin and psoriasis.

As posted earlier, I did check my records for the anti-depressant timeline. However it was a year before the aches set in. So, my new thought and would like your opinion/thoughts Dr Ayers, is could the onset of the pain be related to my weight loss (40# at that point in a bit less than a year). What vitamins/hormones could be stored in the fat that were depleted with the weight loss (not that my body fat is abnormal now) that could have affected inflammation levels?

Hi Tanya,
Extra weight is generally inflammatory and weight loss, especially if steep, is generally anti-inflammatory. Weight loss is generally associated with relief of aches and pains.

It is possible, I guess to lose weight and also decrease inflammation, but still have problems with your gut flora that compromise your immune system.

And aren't you a recovering Lymer? Perhaps you have some load of cryptic bacterial endotoxin that was released with the loss of weight. And you also had the hole in your heart, which may have been inflammatory by causing flow/oxygen problems. And some vit.D/calcium resorption issues. These symptoms speak of complexity in your vitamin D metabolism that may have caused inflammation associated with vitamin D or A deficiencies. And both of these vitamins are fat soluble. I also previously observed when doing structural studies on collagens, that the tips of these and many other extracellular modular proteins have domains that fold into crushed jelly donut like structures, where fat-soluble molecules can bind. These structures could be body-wide storage areas that are exploited during weight change.

Perhaps the fat-dissolved toxins are bacterial lipopolysaccharides. I doubt that they are the usual candidates of man-made chemicals/pesticides. My ignorance of hormone interactions also tempts me to dismiss hormone issues. There are many possibilities and limited data.

The Lyme tests were never followed up with the 'right' tests to determine if it truly was/is lime etc. So, it is hard to know. Again, doing all the good things and then bam worse, and then bam the stroke. Lots of unknowns.

I had hoped the surgery on heart would have reaped benefits by now if it was hypoxia. I know the only pain free time was after a major massage and a jacuzzi soak. I am hoping it is structural and easing into excercise when I am allowed/able will help. My IT band in hip however is another story and only aspirin seemed to help it as the excercises don't. and most with IT issues have only been helped by more surgery. not interested!

I found the comment about sores in the nose interesting. Mine have recently recurred. and I am taking 15000 Vit D per day. I don't know where to find coconut oil here. I use the antibiotic ointment for cuts on mine, something an old doc told my Grandpa to do 30+ yrs ago. I have heard it is staph infxn.

I upped my zinc and magnesium again and it seems to help but since my symptoms cycle, it is hard to know.

What happens with your IT pain in response to:
castor oil/Vicks/capsaicin topical
hot baths
increased fish oil capsules
vit.D3 supplements

Lyme disease would explain a lot of diverse symptoms.

To answer your question, Dr Ayers.
castor oil/Vicks/capsaicin topical--honestly haven't done it long enough to help (stroke interupted my plans and I am slow at starting new habits since then. brain is still in slow motion) would be an easy thing to try. Vicks helped my neck when it was acute, but never got it to completely relieve symptoms/tetany

hot baths-no change or only very temporary

increased fish oil capsules--still trying to get my liver working so I can take the fish oil, although pre-stroke high doses for most of first year post 1st surgery had no noticeable affect when stopped

vit.D3 supplements--taking 15000 units daily before/after aspirin use period, and no change

Inactivity/rest works until I use it again! :-) It got worse after third surgery. thinking there is scar/adhesion also

For the person with candida. I used grapefruit seed extract successfully to treat thrush embedded in my breasts/milk ducts. I took it for over a year just to be sure it was gone!

Liver inflammation + omega-3s = more inflammation,
Liver inflammation is calmed by saturated fats.
Liver inflammation can be cured by saturated fats with omega-3s

Make sure that you have adequate vitamin A with your D3 supplements

It is interesting that you took grapeseed extracts (high in omega-6s?) for yeast, since yeast produces anti-inflammatory resolvins from omega-3s. The resolvins block neutrophil attack.

I would be surprised if the year of grapeseed extract would eradicate yeast. It may still be a persistent problem.

It sounds like you still have substantial inflammation and I would not be surprised if it was not related to the spirochete of Lyme. Or perhaps you have Cpn that has migrated to your inflamed connective tissue/joints and is now causing its own inflammation and pain. The surgery may also have damaged some of the nerves that normally produce anti-inflammatory signals during vagal stimulation.

The response to massage and (hot?) whirlpool probably indicate that some of the anti-inflammatory nerve signaling is still intact, and that is why I suggested the Vicks. Hot wax treatment, a la arthritis treatments, might also help with the pain and inflammation.

What about trying the vagal stimulation exercises/treatments?

What about your antioxidant levels? How much vitamin C can you tolerate before you get loose stools, indicating overload into the gut? You may have overwhelmed your glutathione with surgery and other traumas. That could be a problem for sulphur amino acids, B12, SAM.

By the way, are you sensitive to the seasons and day length, e.g. SAD. Related to SOD and sensitivity to high carb diet.

I took grapeFRUIT seed extract, which is antifungal and antibiotic. I have a friend I buy it for now. if she doesn't take it she gets scaly psoriasis? on her hands. When she takes it, it is gone.

I eat high sat fat and have been taking liver function supplement from chiro for two months. When I get back from Mayo clinic I will be out of them and then start on the fish oil again and see where it goes. That test I mentioned on another post did show poor 3/6 ratio so I am hoping it will help if my liver is ready. :-) But still don't know why my ratio is so far off since I don't eat any 'bad' oils.

I guess my biggest question mark for a systemic issue is why my pain is isolated to my bad hip and neck/shoulders. If it was lyme or fibro or whatever, shouldn't my whole body hurt?

I am taking 2000 vit C everymorning with my baby aspirin to protect my belly and sometimes at night when I remember. I had ramped it up even higher at times and my tolerance was very high. I took 500-1000 every hour during the day which helped with my tooth pain but did not ever get bowel response until pain dropped off. I haven't tried that since my tooth got better to see if it will help my leg.

I am a belly breather (musician in the past) already and my husband will look at me funny when we are watching TV or whatever and he hears me doing the makes him think there's something wrong!

I took MSM (sulfur)and felt fabulous for two weeks until the rash came on! Not brave enough to try again as even dropping to low levels made my legs itch.

Guess my biggest problem is probably consistency and committment. :(

RE: SAD My issues are monthly cycle not really daily. The neck pain came on in JulyAug last year when I was out on the water a few days a week and taking Vit D. too.
My bowels were better before the stroke than now, as they again change with my cycle (my eating pattern is pretty consistent and variety may be an issue but where I live it is a fact of life due to access/availability, and a brown thumb!)

Appreciate the thoughts. I am resolved to patience at this point and doing things despite the pain. Life is too short and it is not keeping me down like it has in the past so it is better if you look at it that way.

Your high tolerance of vit. C says to me that you have a lot of oxidation stress. That probably also means that you have glutatione depletion. I don't think that MSM is a good choice for sulfur amino acid deficiency treatment. A better choice would be acetylcysteine.

I don't think that the sidedness of your symptoms says anything about possible Lyme disease. The Lyme would merely provide a systemic trigger for your established areas of inflammation. Leaky gut promoted by NSAIDs will provide a continual supply of bacteria migrating to sources of inflammation as well as an elevation of system-wide LPS.

It becomes imperative for you to find a way to eliminate your sources of oxidative stress/inflammation, so that you can eliminate use of aspirin and heal your gut. You also need to focus on the health of your gut mucosal immune system to help suppress your total inflammation load.

Omega-3 suppression of inflammation is useful temporarily to demonstrate chronic system inflammation by suppressing symptoms. In the long haul, large amounts of omega-3s are not a good idea, because they could aggrevate liver inflammation or support resolvin-based fungal infections. That suggests that it would be good for you to normalize your omega-3/6 ratio, but not bother to go beyond compensating for your omega-6 intake.

I just read an article on the adenine-based signaling of acupuncture. I think that the same system work for topical pain treatment by menthol/capsaicin. That suggests that the extent to which these systems relieve pain/inflammation is dependent on the functionality of the adenine signaling. Inhibitors of adenine, inhibit acupuncture. The opposite should be true of adenine enhancement. I don't know how this is supplemented, but it would be useful in your case to permit topical application of a pain reliever/anti-inflammatory to permit you to do the exercise that you need to rehabilitate. Now, the aspirin will prevent the benefits of exercise, because some omega-6 based prostaglandins are needed for building connective tissue.

The estrogen-related components of your symptoms also point to inflammation, because of the estrogen suppression of systemic inflammation.

I was referring previously to seasonal affectation disorder that is based on melatonin, because melatonin is implicated in some inflammation syndromes, e.g. acne. If you had depression in the winter and not in the summer, SAD, then I would take that as an indication of melatonin issues. Melatonin is suggested to act via superoxide dismutase, and that also relates to your oxidative stress. The oxidative stress would make you prone to insulin resistance in the presence of a high carb diet.

I am still concerned that some of your symptoms are paradoxical and suggest fungal infections.

Let me know if these thoughts yield any benefits.

This guy is the fungus guru. His diet (I have the three fungus books of his) should seem familiar. He is anti grains and starches. His reasoning for the same diet you recommend is to fight fungus, while yours fights inflammation, but with same results. He however likes beta glucans and recommends them highly, along with caprylic acid or other antifungal (like GSE that I took, nystatin, etc.).
I was following him until I found your blog (lucky you!) and the inflammation theory made more sense.
I was most leary of higher dose vit c because of kidney stones (had one once and don't EVER want to go through that again) but I read an article tonight citing a study that shows no connection. So, guess I'll ramp up the C first, then add in the vicks on my leg and neck again, and search out the adenine issue. I am wondering though if it is still leaky gut (too much Celebrex in my past?!) after almost 2 yrs of eating low carb etc, that perhaps I will also pursue the low dose naltrexone treatment to help repair.

And I mistyped my comment when I said 'daily' and meant to say seasonally. I have melatonin in the cupboard from one of my earlier theories or advice I'd read. Don't remember why I didn't pursue it, so will research again. I have a friend who takes it and sleeps for twelve hrs because of it!

I don't know what acetylcysteine is, but I will look it up! :-) I have sulfa allergies but it is my understanding that the sulfur and sulfa are different enough that it isn't a problem.

Thanks for letting me dominate the blog. I'll let you know WHEN I make progress (hope is the key!)

I came across this article about 2 months ago:

Here is the summary: 'Patients received 800 mg per day of chondroitin sulfate for 2 months. Skin biopsies were obtained before and after treatment. All patients but one presented a dramatic improvement of the condition of the skin, with a reduction of swelling, redness, flaking, and itching (clearance of psoriasis in one patient), increase in the hydration and softening of the skin, and amelioration of scaling.'

SO, my mom (who already takes glucosomine, too) started taking the chondroitin (using the guidelines in this study). She said after 6-7 weeks her pain decreased dramatically and her one skin plaque disappeared completely.

Interesting, eh?
(I won't take anything because I am breast feeding, but my plaque is clearing up slowly but steadily, using only the anti-inflammatory diet. I would say it is half of what it was a year ago)

I am glad that your symptoms have improved with a shift to a healthier diet.

I still don't understand chondroitin sulfate as a supplement. The clinical data are very unimpressive, probably because the CS acts through the gut and probably works through the gut flora. The study populations are not controlled for their preexisting gut flora. Hence the lack of consistent results. Perhaps it influences the gut flora like an animal soluble fiber and favors the growth of gut bacteria that influence the immune system and autoinflammatory diseases such as psoriasis.

Thanks for your personal observations.

Anonymous posted the following (blocked by spam filter): Art,would you comment on this post please. thanks

I don't think that the article makes any sense, simply because the chondroitin-sulfate that you eat as a supplement or present abundantly in meat, ever gets out of the gut. It is probably digested in the colon and functions as soluble fiber. Dietary CS hasn't been shown to have any impact on prostate cancer.

This is awesome. Have started 100% Paleo (previously 80%) and wasn't getting Psoriasis relief. This post and comments helped. Google found me and I ordered some Lipactin (they appear to be shipping to the US). Hoping it helps. Thanks again

My husband has psoriasis on his scalp and has tried the following: low dose Naltraxone (didn't work and side effects were hard to live with - lack of sleep) Canadian product, Lipactin (didn't work, minor effect at best) New Zealand product, Nizoral 2% cream, an anti-fungal treatment for the skin (didn't work, brief minor effect but only for a couple of days).

with good success. He says you wouldn't know he even has psoriasis now. Only the "liquid" which is sold as a "lotion" works for him, and it claims to only work on the inflammation (not the flaking), but my husband's experience is that without the inflammation there is no flaking.

Dr. Ayers,
I just want to mention an experience I had from using glucosamine for my psoriatic arthritis.
I have been using a glucosamine supplement for years to help with my PA, but had recently stopped taking it and my fish oil supplement because my PA seemed to be worsening and I thought that maybe the glucosamine was no longer working. I replaced the fish oil with krill oil immediatelly. I also discontinued my magnesium supplement about the same time because I was starting an experiment with higher dose melatonin(70mg/day). I had to discontinue the magnesium because the added melatonin to my regimen was causing loose stools.
Shortly after discontinuing the magnesium and glucosamine, I started getting new small psoriasis plaques at an alarming rate. I had had relatively good control of my psoriasis for the past two years, just the PA was what seemed to be in poor control.
At first I thought it was the fact that I had discontinued the magnesium that had caused the psoriasis to flair up, so I lowered my melatonin dose to 40mg/day and restarted magnesium at half the dose I had been taking. This was a tolerable dose that kept the loose stool condition at bay for awhile and my psoriasis seemed to slow a bit with less new plaques , but still not controlled.
I decided to go down to 20 mg/day of melatonin and a full dose of magnesium, but this resulted in loose stools again and my psoriasis seemed to slow a bit more , but still no control.
I was trying to figure out why I could not get control again and then I remembered reading your blog and the glucosamine clicked!
I started back on the glucosamine and at about two and a half weeks, I noticed that I was no longer getting new psoriasis plaques or very few, and the existing ones were starting to fade slowly.
I now feel that I am regaining control of my psoriasis again and am essentially back to the protocol I was taking when I had good control with the exception of I am taking half of my usual magnesium dose and the added 20mg of melatonin.
It's a little early to say for sure, but I feel that my PA has improved now, something I can only attribute to the melatonin since that is the main difference between what I was taking and what I am now taking. I am taking much less krill oil than the fish oil I was taking, so I don't think that is the reason for the possible change in PA.
I am also taking vitamin d @ 10,000 iu/day. Zinc gluconate @ 50 mg/day. A multivitamin every other day.Alpha lipoic acid @ 1,800mg/day. A vitamin B-12 lozenge at 1mg/day.
To be clear, I should mention that the glucosamine I am taking does have multiple other ingredients in it that are frequently found in other glucosamine supplements. This is the product label list of ingredients:
Supplement Facts
Serving Size 2 Caplets
Servings Per Container 60
Amount Per Serving %Daily Value
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 60 mg 100%
Manganese (as Manganese Sulfate) 2 mg 100%
Sodium 40 mg 2%
Glucosamine HCI 1,500 mg (1.5 g) **
Joint Shield™ Proprietary Blend 1,350 mg (1.35 g) **
Chondroitin/MSM Complex 1,250 mg (1.25 g) **
(Chondroitin Sulfate, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM),
Collagen (Hydrolyzed Gelatin), Boswellia serrata (resin),
Vitamin C, Manganese, Hyaluronic Acid)
5-LOXIN Advanced™ AKBA 100 mg **
Boswellia serrata Extract (resin)
Boron (as Sodium Tetraborate) 3 mg **.

In any case, I just wanted you to know that your idea about glucosamine and psoriasis seems to help me! Thank you for your work and ideas!

Hi Anon that posted on January 31,2011.
Thank you for writing that out, it helps to hear what is working/not working.

A couple thoughts. 1. So the oral Magnesium dose doesn't affect your stools: you can make a magnesium cream (instructions here: or bathe in epsom salts. (Here is a site that explains how much you absorb (from recent study at U of Birmingham, UK)

2. What does your diet consist of, and how long have you been following it?

3. Have you seen Dr. Ayers post on chondroitin sulfate? your glucosamine has that in it. that could be the ingredient keeping your plaques.

4. I am going to do some reading on melatonin. thanks for the info!

4.How long have you been using your supplements? (vit d, etc. )

That's a LOT of melatonin! Would you share why such a high dose seemed indicated? Normal dose is 3 mg, and the only research that I'm familiar with came out of Italy using 3 mg.

Thank you for the info on magnesium. A friend brought me a topical magnesium gel that he purchased while visiting in Mexico. It is easy to apply and seems soothing to me. It's just that taking the capsules is so easy. I guess I should have stated that I am currently taking a capsule that contains 350mg magnesium oxide, 40mg magnesium citrate and 10mg magnesium aspartate. One a day. I was previously taking two a day.
I take the magnesium for the interplay with vitamin D as well as its anti-inflammatory potential. I guess the magnesium oxide version is not as easilly absorbed.
My diet is poor at best with significant amounts of inflammatory junk foods, but I am trying to very slowly improve my diet toward some of Dr. Ayers suggestions. Those junk food habits die hard though!
I missed Dr. Ayers post on chondroitin sulfate, but did see a quick mention a little ways back in this thread. Can you point me to the post please?
I have read an abstract or two that suggested that it could have a beneficial effect on psoriasis if I remember correctly and that is one of the reasons I chose that particular glucosamine supplement and the reason why I posted the ingredient list.
There is vitamin c in it also, but probably not enough to be of much use on its own.
The boswellia extract/5-loxin/AKBA ingredient does have quite a few studies to more than suggest it is anti-inflammatory at the posted dose and again, another reason why I chose that supplement.
The MSM ingredient is a bit confusing to me. I've tried it individually as well as N-acetylcysteine(NAC) and have never really noticed a difference, however, I should add, I thought the glucosamine was not doing anything anymore either. Sometimes changes in psoriasis are so subtle or so slow that even when you are looking for them, you might miss them.
I have taken at least 8,000 iu of vitamin d for several years now but have more recently increased to 10,000 iu/day.
The supplements I am taking, I have been taking for at least a year with the exception of this recent adjustment.
The melatonin of course is relatively new and based on some recent abstracts I had read.

To Anon, that melatonin dose was used in a human study to test its effect on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The initial results seemed promising and tended to confirm what some recent melatonin studies have shown. improved inflammation and oxidation markers.

Another week with the glucosamine supplement with the same regimen from my last posts and my psoriasis continues to improve. No new plaques, no new nail involvement, PA seems further improved, existing plaques continue to fade and / or shrink and no redness now. My nails seem relatively clear at the cuticle area and I don't see any new pitting or lifting.
My scalp and head in general, have always been extremely difficult, but even my scalp is flaking less and the flakes seem finer again. "Lumpy areas" are reduced. My ears are flaking less and there is less visible scalp involvement at the hairline. In the past, I have been able to clear almost my whole body, but my scalp has been tough and any clearing has been short lived.

I have been using topical betamethasone to help, but I no longer need to use it, and the discontiuation is not causing a flair. I have replaced the betamethasone with just everyday body lotion.

My diet has been bad this past week and definitely inflammatory, but I am still trying to focus on improving it.

According to the link below, the melatonin also looks like it may aid in repairing some gut issues.

Dr. Ayers, Do you have any opinion on what role, if any, the melatonin might be playing in psoriasis/PA?
I thought this link about melatonin was interesting and enlightening to me since I always thought of melatonin as just a sleep aid.

Thank You again for your work and insights/ideas! Watching my psoriasis reverse is a really good feeling! It makes me think that other good things have to be happening to my body.
I wish others would relate their experiences with glucosamine, it could be helpful for others too.

This may seem like a dumb question, but is the disposition of razor bumps, despite taking precautionary measures when shaving, indicative of some sort of inflammation?

Hi Art, do you have knowledge about calaguala (polypodium leucotomos) fern helping autoimmune or inflammatory diseases?

I had never heard of it before, but it sounds interesting.

Sounds like it is used in Europe, South and Central America, but I have never seen or heard of it in the U.S.
Do you have experience with it?
I didn't see a lot of human studies on NCBI site, but it seems to have anti-inflammatory effects from what I have read so far.
If you use it, where do you get it?

I have been taking calaguala (polypodium leucotomos) orally for a couple of weeks. No noticeable results or side effects so far.

You can get extract powder pretty cheap in bulk. Pills seem to be quite a bit more.

Sunlight or topical steroids seem to be the only thing with quick visible skin results. Both with risk of cancer or other side effects, and probably not addressing the root problem.

The root cause would seem to be a bit elusive, but Dr. Ayers seems to have the inflammatory aspect down as a prime candidate to reduce in order to improve heparin status and subsequently control psoriasis.
The anti-inflammatory diet is not as easy to follow for me as I thought it would be. especially after a lifetime of bad eating habits and consequently I am having to supplement with a combination of anti-inflammatory supplements that I mentioned previously.
Are you considering using the Polypodium leucotomos in a topical application also? I am curious how you chose that substance. There does not seem to be a ton of studies for it.

I just got done reading this study that discusses AKBA derived from boswellia serrata and is one of the ingredients in my glucosamine supplement that is noted for its anti-inflammatory abilities in humans. This study however,suggests that AKBA is also a potent antimicrobial against at least 112 pathogens and may also have the ability to breakdown certain biofilms. Interesting reading!

I read this small blurb from another website that draws a potential relationship between glucosamine and heparin.The suggestion is that glucosamine indirectly causes an increase in heparin production.That sounds familiar.

'Glucosamine - Doctors at Canadas Brampton Pain Clinic studied 10 people. All suffered and none had been helped by previous standard treatments.23 After they took glucosamine for 4-6 weeks, the volunteers reported a drop in the number and intensity of pain. The researchers theorize that glucosamine works through white blood cells called mast cells to boost the production of heparin, which helps to reduce blood clotting, thus reducing nerve-mediated inflammation and pain. How much glucosamine is required to prevent migraines is unknown, but the therapeutic dose may be similar to that used to support joints (approximately 1,800 mg per day).'

The supplement I take has 1500mg of glucosamine as a daily dose as do many other glucosamine supplements, but I have been taking a bit more, so probably a bit more than suggested by the above.

Treatments or therapies that don't destroy another bodily function have the life saving moral place in medical science over meds that eventually kill the person from liver or kidney damage or opportunistic injury. Having an undiagnosed "inflammatory autoimmune disease targeting the cartilage", what is offered in immune suppression is as bad as the disease. God bless those who work avidly on other routes. Lynne on the East Coast.

I'm wondering, along with many, what would substitute for Methotrexate or Imuran so generously offered as the only treatment for an inflammatory autoimmune cartilage/connective tissue disease brought on by high stress and abated only by high dose prednisone? Any thoughts? Thank you.

What's your take on the Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)? There some "anecdotal" evidence that this drug has improved people's symptoms from their autoimmune disease. There is also a small study using LDN on MS and the study suggested further study on LDN was warranted.

Firstly - thanks for such an interesting blog.

I've been eating very low carb for two years, and "paleo" for about 4 months.

As a kid I had regular ear infections. These were always followed by a course of penicillin which was always followed by an extremely severe case of plaque psoriasis. My dermatologist used me as his "demo" piece because I was the worst case he had seen - woop!

My teens and early 20s were pretty clear - but I had a full body breakout of guttate last year - around about the same time as I changed my diet to include a lot more cakes, breads and sugars (I started seeing a new gir)

Since going paleo my skin is 99% clear - I have a fewtiny marks but only noticeable to me.

I read Robb Wolf's paleo book. As well as eliminating ALL grains he advises that nightshades, legumes and dairy are also inflammatory. But you seem to be a lot more lenient towards lectins than he is.

I'm a former biology student and can but honestly can't make enough sense of the data to decide whether I should eliminate dairy, nightshades and legumes from my diet?

I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts on these three and their role in inflammation?

Thank you for this useful information for IL-17. This cytokine seems to be important in many inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Dr Jack Kruse has this posting on leaky gut and its relationship to psoriasis. and he has a cure that has worked for a few people on the Leptin Reset Protocol forum going on here. Basically 600mg NAC 2x per day and 1000mg Vit C.

Its been almost 20 years since I studied chemistry at University. but i understood most of this article! I've been looking for some reputable information about vitamins for psoriasis treatment for a while.

There is a new product on the market that may help many with this and other auto-immune disorders. It is a new powerful anti-inflammatory that, unlike any other, specifically targets and modulates NF-kB activity and, apparently little else. Because of that, it causes no side effects in most people, and in those who have them they are mild (slight nervousness) and disappear with discontinuation.

It is so safe that it can be and is sold as a "supplement", but make no mistake: this is not "just another supplement". It is a powerful new "drug".

The active ingredient is anatabine citrate (anatabine is a substance found in plants of the Solanacea family, but in very small amounts, so that one cannot get theraputic benefit from eating them). The product is Anatabloc. Search on it to find sources (GNC, Amazon, and the company itself).

It helps me greatly with rosacea (&/or psoriasis?), asthma, arthritis, and other auto-immune problems that seem to plague me. I hope it may do the same for some of you. Best wishes.

I hope you still read these comments. I have melasma along with another 7 million women in the USA. I have included the latest research as I am hoping you may provide some insight into finding a resolution to this self esteem robbing, facial disfiguring disorder. I am convinced that inflammation is the root cause of this disease.,%20progesterone%20and%20prolactin%20levels%20in%20melasma.pdf

Hello, I have been finding quite a few heparin creams(Lioton) but not heperan sulfate. is heperin ok to use or do we need heperan sulfate?

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Many moms have found that building up nutrient stores before becoming pregnant has helped them avoid morning sickness, even when they have a history of experiencing it in prior pregnancies. I include myself in that group – my pregnancy with my first baby was glorious overall, but I did have morning sickness and huge problems with restless leg syndrome.

Supplementing with magnesium helped a lot with my creepy crawly legs, and so as I prepared for my next pregnancy I intentionally built up my stores in hopes that I’d get better sleep. The difference was amazing – no morning sickness at all and virtually no restless leg! (I have nerve damage in one of my legs from an old ballet injury so it’s not completely avoidable when there’s lots of pressure on my hips, but it was much, MUCH better!)

Reader Interactions


“How hypocritical will that be, importing a product that Australian farmers are banned from growing.”

Arguably, not very hypocritical at all. For instance, one of the major concerns with GM crops is that have a proven track record of contaminating non-GMO crops. Provided the imported seeds go direct from the port to the local crushers, the possibility of contamination is minimal.

By the way, do you think non-GMO should have the legal right to seek compensation if their crops are contaminated by GM producers?

If it made any rational sense whatsoever to think commingling of GM and non-GM crops amounts to “contamination,” it would make equal sense to allow growers of GM crops to sue if they are “contaminated” by non-GM crops.

Which of course would be equally irrational, but at least consistent.

‘hypocritical’ is the wrong word – that was my reaction too. Lack of a relevant point suggests that there isn’t one. I’m not trying to be rude Jennifer although it’s bound to come across that way: it would help if you can decide what valid point you’re trying to make so then readers can give it fair consideration. I think you want to say that farmers are unfairly denied economic opportunities. But rather than being hypocritical, this situation is actually a “democratic outcome” under WTO agreements (you all usually support WTO policies).

Ok, so we all agree that it’s unfair for farmers to compete against imported crops that they’re not allowed to grow domestically. Assuming then they got permission to grow FrankenCanola (sorry detribe, heh:), then this is a valid question: should farmers of “non-GMO should have the legal right to seek compensation if their crops are contaminated by GM producers?” I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on that. (Notwithstanding that Schiller has his birds fertilising his bees). If farmers were given fair economic opportunity to grow FrankenCanola then would this impinge of the fair economic opportunity of non-GM farmers?

“Fair” is not the same as “free”, “fair” is a subjective term without an objective measure. Lawyers like to talk about what is “fair and reasonable” which is why they are always in court seeking judgement.

Put simply farmers are being denied the opportunity to provide the same product as importers. Importers have greater freedom than local farmers.

As Milton Friedman said, when “fairness” replaces “freedom,” all our liberties are in danger.

Or Thoreau, “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”

Empty point rog: what’s ‘free’? Does it consider the rights of others as well? Obligations too or only rights? Free on whose terms, from whose perspective? With freedom comes responsibility and accountability. You can’t help but consider subjective notions. There is no such thing as a truly objective human notion – objectively speaking IMHO, heh heh.

I’m very nearly embarrassed to very nearly agree with Pinxi.

Some are fond of proclaiming “rights of farmers” and they, along with farmers, should let farmers decide. If farmers don’t like GM crops, they won’t grow them.

Canadian farmers choose GM canola for reasons which are apparent to them, in rather convincing numbers.

Worldwide, the experience of people consuming GM canola shows that GM canola is, well, canola.

There are some mythologies about “consumer rejection” of GM canola, but it comes down to anti-globalist xenophobic protectionist marketeering:

Frankfurter Rundschau (Frankfurt, Germany)
August 18, 2006

[Bärbel Höhn, vice-president of Germany’s Green
parliament faction]:

“Many food companies, such as Unilever, no longer source soy oil from South America because the danger that it has been genetically modified is too great. Instead, they buy European rapeseed oil [canola], because it is still free from such components. For now, our farmers enjoy an advantage on the market, because Europe is more or less free of genetic engineering. Without agriculture free of genetic engineering, the farmers would no longer receive the 20 to 30 percent premium over the world price for soy.”

As a farmer, I would be against GM canola if I could get a 20-30 percent premium for “standing up against genetic engineering,” and as a farmer, I would be ashamed to know I was making money just because I had to use antique technology and my government was really just paying me to run an agriculture museum.

P.S. Using the word “FrankenCanola” betrays either an astonishing range of personal ignorance, or a penchant for valuing infammatory terms over reason.

P.P.S. Your notion of “birds fertilising … bees” reminds my of the suggestion by Mae Wan-Ho that genetically modified European corn (maize) borers will have an innate but unnatural trans-species “urge” to couple carnally with Monarch butterflies.

Pinx and Schillsy harmonising – very suspect. I mean we wouldn’t want a discussion to actually get somewhere would we?

I understood from earlier threads that there was no drought, the rivers were full and it was all a Greenie conspiracy.

The market is king. Market chooses. Market wants old varieties, values traditional techniques, market gets it. Free democratic markets demand NGO’s, they prefer non-GM, what righteous anti-marketers could object? Unless it can be contained, GM simplifies market options, removes substitutes and threatens market niches.

Phranken-Script: Frankly, objecting to my use of FrankenCanola betrays an astonishing penchant for humor over humour.

Socialist protectionist markets demand NGOs. That’s where eco-fascism comes from.

Meanwhile consider the freedom and democracy in African countries, where the wealthy are beholden to European markets and they are net exporters of food even as their own people starve.

In this situation the diff between fair and free Pinxii is that farmers should be free to produce what they want and not be governed by others who determine what is “fair”.

Similarly consumers should be free to purchase what they want and not be subjected to the whims of some ideologue.

‘farmers should be free to produce what they want’

And what if that impinges on the freedoms of their neighbour? The science is not settled on GM. Why should my neighbour be able to take risks on my behalf?

Can you give any instances where GM has been proven to “impinge on the freedoms” of the neighbour?

Bear in mind that GM has been legal in the US for some time now

Schiller, the African case supports my argument. A major contributory factor in the dire African situation has been IMF rapid liberalisation policies and fiscal austerity which have weakened the means by which African govts can govern their own nation and which have failed to create effective, independent institutions that are needed for a functioning market economy – IMF Washington consensus policies over which US has effective veto.

Schiller you talk knowingly yet repeatedly refuse to acknowledge the impact of US subsidies. You talk of African poverty and don’t mention US cotton. Do you have comparative ‘dumping’ figures between the EU and the US? You criticise EU CAP payments without acknowledging that the US has to agree with the EU that both reduce ag subsidies (and that the EU considered such a deal under the WTO Doha discussions but the US wouldn’t). If ever you try to reconcile the contradictions in your position, you’re bound to go postal. And as for NGOs & NFPs, they’re all over the US and in other countries, funded by US dollars. You have plenty to fix in your own country.

rog, given that market freedom is beyond reproach, I’d like to purchase yr head mounted on a stick. Should any idealogue prevent that?

The big problem with the claims about GM impinging on rights of those farmers who wish to avoid GM resides on the claim of a zero tolerance for GM in crops such as certified organic produce. An ambit claim of zero tolerance impinges on the freedom of their neighbours in a far reaching way, and in my opinion is unjustified.

THe revesrse clain that organic farming creates a weed risks and an analogous ambit claim for zero tolerance of weed seed drift from organic farms would shut down the organic industry, as would zero tolerance of E. coli O157.

Currently export grain has reasonable tolerance levels for things like glass and dirt and faeces that are known to be harmful, whereas the harms from GM is unproven, and the zero tolerance claim is totally the creation of the organic sector ( arguably as a means of preventing competition from alternatives). They do not set levels for many other materials that are clearly harmful, and until GM most, if not all of their rules were process based rather than final product based.

And what about the economic harm that the zero tolerance claim inflicts on those farmers denied better yielding GM crops like hybrid canola, which does better in drought and yields 25-40% better? Can the non Gmers be sued for that damage.

It a sad day when nebourly farmers start treating one another like this for no objectively proven reason.

Its rather interesting to see all this chatter about markets deciding what can be done.

I wonder how many of those deriding market freedoms own a house or a car, and would happily give up the freedom to sell it at a price they themselves nominate.

I rather suspect they would prefer a free markets on those assets to one ruled by bureaucratic decisions.

In Germany they have legislation in place that regulates the growing of GM crops to the nth degree. This legislation was drafted by the previous Minister for Consumer Protection ( and Agriculture) Green Party co-leader Renate Kunast.

In essence in Germnay they favour biodynamic agriculture over any other form of agriculture.

Indeed they are actively discriminating aginst GM farmers that can be legally found to be liable if a organic farmers suffer some economic damage. And the GM farmer doesn’t need to bee found to be directly responsible for any unintended spread of GM crops. He just has to be growing his crops in the same area.

But the German laws go further than that. They give an organic farmer the right to grow �% GM free crops’ without disclosing this to his GM crops growing neighbours. It is enough for the organic farmer to prove that he has found 1 seed in 100,000 of GM product and he can claim damages.

Perhaps this is what Steve M is hinting at?

“I understood from earlier threads that there was no drought, the rivers were full and it was all a Greenie conspiracy.”

Lamnus: Mr Phelps is the one who seems to believe the drought doesntnt exist. Australian canola prices are shooting up because of the drought which means we dont have enough for local cooking oils, but Mr Phelps ignores this with his own opinions about why prices are high here.

The rural sector has knnow since they sowed the crop that a drought was on the cards. Thats why local prices have edged up. Its the “Greenies” such as Mr Phelps and Mr Chance who are turning a blind eye.

One of the interesting aspects of comments on GM posts is the way the key messages of the actual post are avoided by most discussion.
I noticed this in mt On Line Opinion piece on Golden Rice.

The main message in my essay was that Greenpeace spead disinformation about how much vitamin the rice had in it BY SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNETUDE error. They represented that children would need to eat 9.5 kg of golden rice a day to get their life saving vitamin when the amount now seen to be needed is about 100g or so, a normal dietary intake.

In 436 odd comments on the OLO essay maybe 3 or so touched on this issue.

In this post Mr Phelps makes an outrageous statement that is patently wrong about drought tolerance.

The Stock and Land Print his letter without comment.

Just what is going on. Do we all assume that activists always embellish the truth? Why does this kind of misinformation not get treated as corporate irresponsibility or fraud? Doesnt anyone care about factual accuracy?

Every time I bring this up with allies of these organisations they refuse to accept that Greenpeace or their allies could possibly mislead.

I last did so to a journalist at the AEF conference who makes a big dead about corporate links to public comment. He wasn’t interested in Greenpeace links to misinformation though.

As for Mr Phelps I know what he will say as I have already put a similar question of error to him. He will likely claim that by “crops” he really meant crops already being sold.

But that would be ducking the issue about GM and drought tolerance, because we are discussing clearly new drought tolerant crops coming through a research and dev pipieline (not so much in Australia, sadly, thanks to Mr Phelps).

instances where GM has been proven to “impinge on the freedoms” of the neighbour:

Pinxiis comments only prove the fatuousness of the lefts agenda.

detribe what research results (quick summary?) do you know of on assimilation of the nutrients in golden rice by impoverished/malnourished adults/children? ie, other dietary & health conditions unchanged, to what degree do they absorb it? I think(?) one of the latter improvements on golden rice has been to improve the nutrient uptake?

At the ABIC Melbourne conference, Jorge Mayer, who manages Golden Rice Development matters in Freiburg for Peter Beyer and Ingo Porykus, explained in a talk that recent preliminary result on Golden Rice grown in Lousiana field trials suggest that in feeding tests the provitamin A is equallly available as vitamin delivered in oil, which is the most accessible and efficintly deliverd form.

That is, the simple biochemical matrix of rice enable the vitamin to be fully nutritionally available. Previous judgements had conservatively assumes that it would be much less (

1/3rd less) nutritionally successful and this is VERY GOOD provisional news (still not formally published). (Vitamin A availabiliy from complex green vegetables is complicated by the other fatty components like carotenoids which reduce pro-vitamin availability.)

Other carful assessments by nutritional specialists (I have the papers somewhere) give encouragement to believing it will have effective impact on the impoverished malnourished target group. Remember Syngenta Golden Rice II has 23-fold more pro-vitamin A than the original. These two factors alone suggested that the latest generation of this rice will be at least

70-fold more effective than originally estimated. The original Golden rice was estimated by Beyer and Potrykus as needing

1.5 kg intake a day (from memory) contra Greenpeace 9.5 kg.

1.5/60= 200 g and this is probably conservative as I have not chased up some other (2-fold ?) improvement factors that were obtained after the first publication or argued about the need to only supply part of the recommended daily allowance to have some impact. More exact numbers in the Syngenta Golden Rice II paper.

(All above calculation off the cuff from Tribe’s memory of the numbers)

I don’t raise the matter of agricultural subsidies because in this context, they are largely irrelevant. Most African farming is subsistence farming, with farmers personally consuming 80 percent of what they grow.

Ag subsidies are only relevant to those engaged in international trade. Subsistence farmers are engaged in feeding themselves.

There are, however, many Africans who *are* involved in international trade, and they are the wealthy elite who sell foodstuffs to picky Europeans. In order to cater to European appetites, they enact laws and policies which stifle development and a careless attitude toward human life is endemic on the continent.

For the wealthy elite, it is better for millions of “disposable” Africans to die than for Europeans to detect a bit of DDT in their food–that would crush exports. The same thing with Europeans detecting GMOs in their foods.

In this way, the hands of Europeans, their tame NGOs, and complicit African leaders are red with the blood of innocents and the effects of this corrupt dynamic completely eclipse any imagined effect of subsidies on subsistence farmers.

Read the book Eco- Imperialism – Green Power. Black Death. Now in its second printing.

The WTO recently ruled that the EU trade bans on GM foods was illegal and against free trade. Green groups are predictably incensed, invoking alleged non-compliance with the mysterious “international environmental laws”.

Next will be the equally nebulous “precautionary principle” that has become a favoured war cry of the Left.

There a lot of talk about fairness. Maybe efforts should be directed towards Peaceful Co-existecve to provide fairness to all paties.
A recent Pew Workshop report seems relevant to me:

Peaceful Coexistence Among Growers Of: Genetically Engineered, Conventional and Organic Crops
March 1-2, 2006 Boulder, Colorado

In March 2006, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) held a workshop that examined how growers of conventional, genetically engineered (GE), and organic crops can “peacefully coexist” in our ever-evolving marketplace.

The workshop, which took place in Boulder, CO, was the second of three sponsored by the Pew Initiative and NASDA. Participants included representatives from state and federal governments GE, conventional, and organic farmers the European Union, seed companies, food processing and marketing companies, academia and the biotech industry. All gathered to identify potential options for advancing peaceful coexistence in the marketplace and to understand the existing and future roles of the public and private sectors in achieving this goal.

It is a basic principle in the U.S. that farmers should be able to produce commodities by any method they prefer and to market them in any market available, assuming they meet all safety and marketing standards.
In recent years, market access problems have arisen such that growers of conventional and organic crops have at times not been able to meet the specifications required by their markets, due to unintended commingling with genetically engineered (GE) plant material. While the problems to date have involved financial losses to conventional and organic growers, many expect that the growers of GE crops with high-value output traits will soon face similar challenges in meeting stringent market specifications.

The need to segregate crops by production method is a relatively new development in agriculture. Strict, though varying, rules regarding GE crops in international markets are a key driver of the issue. The lack of standardized, internationally accepted marketing standards, testing methodologies, and protocols pose a significant challenge to the smooth and efficient operation of both domestic and international agricultural marketing chains. At the same time, they provide a marketing opportunity for producers and marketers who can successfully navigate the maze of standards and regulations.
Oftentimes policymakers, particularly state agriculture officials, are challenged to “pick sides” among GE, conventional, and organic production methods. In reality, however, all of these production methods provide key market opportunities for U.S. farmers and are critical to the long-term viability of our rural communities. In fact, the rapid adoption rates in the U.S. of both organic and GE production methods over the past decade could suggest that some synergy does exist. Some of the growth in demand for organic foods is certainly driven by consumers who seek to avoid products derived from GE crops. In turn, U.S. growers of GE crops have been able to
operate free of mandatory labeling (which has significantly suppressed GE crop adoption rates in other countries) at least in part because of the existence of a robust domestic organic market. So at the macro level, coexistence between organic, conventional, and GE crops is taking place.. ..

Schiller says “agricultural subsidies .. are largely irrelevant. … Ag subsidies are only relevant to those engaged in international trade”

Schiller don’t you realise how important this issue is and how it restricts Africa’s ability to participate in trade and move out of extreme poverty? Taking cotton, in which the US is the world’s largest exporter and massively subsidised, pls read the following:

“More than 10 million people in those countries depend directly on cotton production.”

“The scale of government support to America’s 25,000 cotton farmers is staggering, reflecting the political influence of corporate farm lobbies in key states. Every acre of cotton farmland in the US attracts a subsidy of $230, or around five times the transfer for cereals. In 2001/02 farmers reaped a bumper harvest of subsidies amounting to $3.9bn – double the level in 1992. This increase in subsidies is a breach of the ‘Peace Clause’ in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, opening the door to the Brazilian complaint.

To put this figure in perspective, America’s cotton farmers receive:

* more in subsidies than the entire GDP of Burkina Faso – a country in which more than two million people depend on cotton production. Over half of these farmers live below the poverty line. Poverty levels among recipients of cotton subsidies in the US are zero.
* three times more in subsidies than the entire USAID budget for Africa’s 500 million people.

In an economic arrangement bizarrely reminiscent of Soviet state planning principles, the value of subsidies provided by American taxpayers to the cotton barons of Texas and elsewhere in 2001 exceeded the market value of output by around 30 per cent. In other words, cotton was produced at a net cost to the United States.

Domestic public-policy madness has international consequences. Using data from an International Cotton Advisory Committee model, Oxfam has attempted to capture the cost to Africa of American cotton subsidies in 2001/02. For the region as a whole, the losses amounted to $301m, equivalent to almost one-quarter of what it receives in American aid. Eight cotton-producing countries in West Africa accounted for approximately two-thirds ($191m) of overall losses.

The small size of the countries concerned and their high level of dependence on cotton magnify the effect of US policies. For individual countries, US cotton subsidies led to economic shocks of the following magnitude:

* Burkina Faso lost 1 per cent of GDP and 12 per cent of export earnings.
* Mali lost 1.7 per cent of GDP and 8 per cent of export earnings.
* Benin lost 1.4 per cent of GDP and 9 per cent of export earnings.

These losses have generated acute balance-of-payments and domestic budget pressures, and pushed several countries to the brink of a renewed debt crisis. The economic losses inflicted by the US cotton subsidy program far outweigh the benefits of its aid. Mali received $37m in aid in 2001 but lost $43m as a result of lower export earnings. The cotton subsidy program has also undermined the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, costing countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, and Chad more than they have received in debt relief.”

“This system [of U.S. cotton subsidies] pits a typical Malian producer, farming two hectares of cotton, who is lucky to gross $400 a year, against US farms which receive a subsidy of $250 per hectare.

US taxpayers subsidise 25,000 cotton farmers with $3.9bn (3x the USAID to Africa) which depresses world prices with direct impacts on 10 million Africans in cotton production and with severe knock-on effects for their economic development.

No half-informed person could deny the role of Washington Consensus and WTO politics in African poverty and hardship or claim that greenie groups are wholly or significantly the cause! If you refuse to give weight to this information then you will reveal an inflexible and prejudiced agenda.

I’ve mentioned (in earlier posts above) subsidies, access to trade and institutions (eg independent judiciary, property rights, basic human & gender rights, etc). Africa needs to participate in trade to access economic opportunities for development, but it also needs to develop robust institutions to support well-functioning markets, but rapid liberalisation undermines rather than delivers these necessary developments.
eg on non-agric issues: “African and other developing countries have suffered severe de-industrialisation as a result of policies of trade liberalisation undertaken over the past two decades, particularly under the World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programmes.”

While where talking about inter country effects, lets also keep on the table the efforts of NGOs to stop technology and their failure to “embrace change” and recognise the economic damage that this does to developing countries
Despite this sabotage, with initiatives currently held up by legal stunts in the India supreme court, and despite the overly slow rate at which Golden RIce is progressing through to poor farmers thanks to “progressive civil society” we have some good news:
India: Area under Bt Cotton Bollgard variety cultivation trebles
The Hindu
MUMBAI – The area under cultivation of Bt Cotton Bollgard variety in India has almost trebled to 8.6 million acres this year from 3.1 million acres in 2005, a growth that also helped multiply farmers’ income too.
Farmers’ income increased to Rs 7,026.5 crores up from Rs 2,100 crores last year as a result of the acreage going up, Bipin Solanki, Deputy Managing Director of Mahyco Monsanto Bollgard (MMB), which markets the hybrid seeds in India, said.
“The BT cotton technology has helped the year-on-year growth to increase by three times, thereby increasing the total yield by 400 kg to a farmer and has covered 8.6 million acres under cultivation this year. This in real terms has increased the per acre income by Rs 6,700 and generated an additional rural income of Rs 7,000 crore for farmers,” said Solanki.
This year, around 2.1 million farmers have used Bollgard and Bollgard II hybrids, as it is technically called, out of which one million farmers have used this technology for the first time throughout the country. Last year, the total production was 775 kg which has gone up to 2,150 kg this year, he added.
“This technology helps the yield to resist the insect attack as it destroys the bollworms and as a result there is an increase in the yield,” the company official said when asked about the debate on this technology.

This US cotton issue was taken to the WTO and in 2004 the US was found to be in breach of global trade principles and the WTO demanded changes.

Following a complaint by Brazil WTO are now investigating as to whether these obligations have been met. The US strenuously asserts that all provisions of the WTO have been complied with.

detribe, I know that you do consider broader issues, so…. Taking Schiller’s rough stat that 80% of African food production is for subsistence: We know many people there barely subsist and have little or no money. If we introduce GM varieties with better performance (eg higher yields, vitamins, disease resistance), do we assume that by itself is sufficient enough to stimulate economic development and help alleviate poverty? I expect you would say well no, that it’s one important element among several in the whole development approach.

However, what practical proposal is there for the many smallscale farmers to afford the seeds and complementary inputs if they barely subsist, knowing that subsistence pattern is persistent and hard to break out of?

I talked to some smallscale farmers who could just scrape together the funds to purchase the local ‘package’ of seeds + chems and they felt dependent on that arrangement to scratch a living from their poor soil, but their net position wasn’t any further ahead (although their productivity may have well been lower without those modern inputs).

If the answer is to provide aid funds to supply the GM varieties until there’s a local improvement and locals can afford them, what safeguards are in place to make sure this works and is sustainable over time so it’s not another development policy failure? (I realise there may be additional environmental gains that’s not the crux of my question here).

(Thanks for yr earlier answer, btw)

The biggest problems the African countries face are their despotic leaders and a lack of property rights. It took the ‘west’ a very long time to create the environment that allowed for the creation of wealth that we see today. We can not and should not expect the africans to be able to achieve the same quality of life in just a few years. I agree agricultural barriers to trade are wrong…but so are barriers to trade outside of agriculture. The barriers that African states put up also damage the ability of their subsistence farmers to buy cheap farming equipment etc that would potentially allow them to improve their standards of living.
The USA is bad with its agricultural subsidies…..but Europe is probably worse…and even Australia is far from squeaky clean.

If only it were as simple as removing agricultural protection.

IMHO an obvious place to start is to link financial aid with female control. They are far less likely to spend the money on weapons to butcher their opponents. Are there any well run countries in Africa?

Thank you for agreeing with me. Raising cotton is a distinctly trade-related enterprise and subsidies therefore have a significant impact on farm prices.

On the other hand, you can’t eat cotton. And subsidies for food production on the other side of the planet mean little to subsistence farmers who eat what they grow.

Back to the topic of this thread. I must admit that hypocrisy wasn’t the word that immediately came to mind here – it was irony.

I am sorry Steve m, but GM presence in non-GM canola was not a major factor in the decisions for moratoria. This issue was of concern to a few in the industry that had non-GM canola markets. Europe was touted a lot as a market, but that was a market of convenience for Australia. When Europe had unfilled crushing capacity, they purchased Australian canola. Otherwise, they were of little significance. The other potential non-GM market was Australia’s crushers. At the time of the moratoria they were quiet on whether they would or would not accept GM canola. The impression was left that they would not, in which case there would be a certain irony if they were to turn around now and import the stuff from Canada.

The irony would be true – here Australia would be importing a product that our own growers were not permitted to grow legally. Indeed given the difference in price, it might make excellent sense for our canola industry to import Canadian canola for home use and export our crop to maintain markets overseas. Certainly, given the rising domestic demand for canola, there will be considerable difficulty in placing canola overseas in markets at a competitive price, particularly those where we compete with Canada (or soybeans). Imports of canola from Canada would likely take the heat out of the Australian price and may solve that problem.

Sorry for the digression, now back to the main story. If you are uncharitable, you would claim the moratoria were all about state Labour’s concern for the erosion of votes to the Greens. If you wanted to be more charitable, you might point to some other issues in Agriculture. In the agriculture sector, most concern was about wheat and barley markets. These markets are significantly more valuable to Australia than canola and when markets started providing signals that GM canola may be a concern for cereal imports, exporters and farmers naturally became jumpy. This gave pro-moratoria politicians all the ammunition they needed to move.

Perhaps the final act in the non-GM canola saga is about to be played out. The Canadians have managed to get all but one minor canola event approved for import into Europe. Once this process is completed, Canada may well sell canola to Europe for both biodiesel and oil.

Hey isn’t margarine from cotton seed oil. Does that mean we’re all eating GM cotton seed oil already. Is that why Rog and Louis are so aggro and don’t make sense?

Cotton was the first GM crop to be introduced and worldwide people have been eating foods made with cottonseed oil from these plants–primarily snack foods–for a decade now.

Europe produces enough canola and oilseed rape to meet its own needs and found banning imports of the GM version to be quite convenient and effective in protecting domestic producers from competition.

‘Europe produces enough canola and oilseed rape to meet its own needs’ – Schiller

Really? So in that case, logic might suggest that Europe doesn’t need to import canola and oilseed rape products, GM or otherwise / competative or otherwise.

Still perhaps you will make more sense if you supply the latest details on US protectionist policies, start with steel, progress via clothing products, cars, African crop produce and end on foreign companies banned from buying US corporations…No?…..didn’t think so.

You might prefer to discuss the preferential trade arrangements between the US and certain South American countries?…No. still can’t tempt you?

Changing the topic is considered poor form. And even when you’re off-topic, you don’t do anything but beg like a dog for help on your off-topics.

Well, I’m not helping you. Stick to the topic and dig for the facts yourself. I trust you’ve heard of Google?

Why is it necessary for GM drought resistant wheat research?

I understood from GENET-News, that Australia had developed a non-GE drought and acid resistant wheat strain in 2002.

‘New wheat gives bigger yields – even in drought

A new variety of high-grade wheat capable of increasing grain yields in drought-affected areas by up to 10 per cent was released at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute today.

CSIRO Plant Industry scientist Dr Richard Richards says the new Drysdale semi-dwarf strain utilises available soil moisture more efficiently than
other dry-area wheat varieties.

“It has a major advantage over comparable wheats in dry years, producing about 10 per cent more grain despite receiving the same rainfall,” Dr
Richards says.

“Drysdale also has a high resistance to all the major wheat diseases, a high tolerance to acid soils and, because the quality of its grain is high, growers will receive a premium price for it.”

GENET-News, 24th October 2002.

Something else that wasn’t clear was why it was necessary for Australia to buy GM wheat from Canada rather than non GM wheat from somewhere else. Is Canada dumping cheap, low grade, surplus crops on the Australian market and undermining the livelyhoods of hard pressed Australian farmers?

“However, what practical proposal is there for the many smallscale farmers to afford the seeds and complementary inputs:”
Although this is a bit off thread , you’ve put some fair questions on a worthy topic and I’m willing to address some of the without pretending to have full solutions.

My points
1. Don’t fully agree will Shiller, subsidies and world trade prices do affect smaller scale farmers through the cash prices they can get for their excess maize, an African staple.
2. Second, all this sniping at the US is not helping solve the problem: US, EU, Japan and even the developing countries all hold some responsibility for the lack of progress in the latest WTO round of negotiations. Why venting righteous anger at the evil Yanks helps us move forward I don’t grasp: continuing to inflame the issue with name calling is being part of the problem, and doesnt particularly address the plight of small farmers directly. Let’s try and be part of the solution.

But by calling for a halt to namecalling I dont mean there is only one side to this issue.
LISTEN to people like Pinxsi (and McCann for instance)who have noticed where the geeks have got it wrong in the past.BUT PLEASE, (as Luke would say) be civil in your remarks and treat those whom you disagree with with fairness, as the issue is too serious for polital polarisation to get in the way.

So lets put aside all this opinionated ideological name calling – it gives me the s-its. The pressing challenges are intractable local African problems such as poverty, lack of credit, low farm productivity, risks of crop failure, and fair access to good land, not armchair political theorising about global politics. The recent history of Zimbabwe illustrates what loose talk and crazyness can do – destruction of a flourishing food economy. The way change occurs has to be thought through very carefully.

3. GM crop varieties are not a magic solution, but they have a potentially valuable role which is hampered by EU trade policy and antiGM NGO actions in Africa.

4. The move from subsistence to cash cropping is a difficult one. But High tech seed does not require high tech farm operations, and planting seed is a technology all farmers know already. The record so far is that developing farmers can benefit MORE from GM than well developed farmers (as is the case for a lot of technological innovation this last 50-years, but the anti-technology crowd dont want to acknowledge that). Herbicide tolerant maize (either IMI tolerant non-GM maize, now available in Africa, or glyphosate tolerant-GM maize varieties, offer special advantanges to African farmers – management of parasitic striga, and saving of labour, water, plus opportunities for minimum-till.) The income of many a small farm is limited by how much weeding the wife can do and weeds and striga reduce yield. Whats very interesting to how stresses stop plant growth and to see what Bt maize does in the US, and there is hope that the same kinds of boost to yield can be realised in Africa. Finally commercial maize hybrids are TOUGH – all this NGO talk that they do nothing without imputs is false. The main risks they generate are financial not agronomic

5. As All farmers realise, costly inputs are a financial risk if the crop fails and schemes to undewrite the cash risks of farmers who experiment with new methods such as microcredit and my own very modest Sow the Good Seed foundation can make this possible. Gordon Conway, Grameen Bank and Jeffry Sachs /Columbia University programs are my heroes, and even Bill and Melinda Gates too. All these people are trying to do something. My bookshelf include Jeff Sachs AND his critics, Robert Evenson, James C McCann, Gordon Conway and Calestous Juma, plus anything I can find on agricultural development and African farming.

6. There no easy way forward, especially if and when climate throws a spanner in the works, but African farmers are very clever and resourceful people they are worthy of partnerships to increase their choices in farming, allow them to learn local solutions by doing and by experimentaion, underwrite risks of input investments, improve infrastructure like roads and small trucks, schooling and ag extension, and hopefully provide better lives.

7. Efforts to reduce fertiliser costs in Africa might be worthwhile. That where infrastructure railways roads and the like can help. I dont agree that syntheitic fertilisers on on the way out but they ceratinly are a challenge in affica because of cost. BUT globally fertilisers use only 2.8% of petroleum (natural gas) consumption) and they could be made using solar or nuclear energy, or even biomass, to make the hydrogen they require. Basically they same hundreds of millions of forrest and wilderness from the plow, and feed 1 billion extra pepole, so think before you deride their use.

7. Glyphosate herbicide is not something evil to a poor woman labouring in the hot sun.

“Why is it necessary for GM drought resistant wheat research?

I understood from GENET-News, that Australia had developed a non-GE drought and acid resistant wheat strain in 2002.”

The reason GM drought resistance (and other GM aproaches to improve food security) are necessary is because we need to keep on improving food output overtime to meet steady increase in demand from a diminishing arable lond area (due to city grooth), and challenges like climate change, water sesorce degradation, use of crops for fuel, and food and stockfeed demand wealthier people who eat richer diets. Worringly We are facing a slowing down in the rate of farm productivity improvement, and organisations like the FAO have concluded over the next 20-years new technologies will be essential to both meet these challenges and preserve what wilderness and rainforest we have from the plough.

The science behind development of Dysdale is mentioned in my On line Opinion essay on water management for farming BTW nasus.

It took many years to develop. It well illustrates how, The crops we develop today will take many years (10-15) to reach the markest, and waiting till then to do something is not precautionary enough. Then there will be a much worse crisis

A Question for you NASUS: If waiting many years before reponding to challenges like climate change is poor public policy, Nasus, why is delaying action to meet forseable and well proven challenges a good policy for food and farmland management, as they are arguably even more pressing and well established challenges than climate issues?

‘Zimbabwe’ –
How exactly are your GM crops going to oust Mugabe from power?

‘Glyphosate herbicide is not something evil to a poor woman labouring in the hot sun.’

I think you will find it is, if she cannot afford proper protective clothing and equipment and most ‘poor women labouring in the hot sun’ cannot. Would you like to supply us with some of the figures for pesticide poisoning of agricultural workers from third world countries?

‘BUT globally fertilisers use only 2.8% of petroleum (natural gas) consumption)’

Absolutely, it is frankly nothing less than cultural imperialism by the Green conspiracy to force African farmers to use the excrement of people and animals as free fertiliser when there are modern, patented products available at very reasonable prices via loans from the IMF.
It is frankly shocking that such primitive methods should be persude just because they cost nothing. It is deeply insulting to African farmers to suggest they are not capable of achieving the same debt burdens as farmers in developed nations to biochemical suppliers. ARE THEY NOT MEN AND BROTHERS?

‘The crops we develop today will take many years (10-15) to reach the markest’ – Detribe

Quite, its just I don’t see why they have to be GM crops and so far you are doing an extremely shoddy job of persuading me otherwise, when you continually ‘forget’ to mention the non GM alternatives which are also being researched and made available, while you are holding forth from your GM pulpit.

‘feed 1 billion extra pepole’ – Detribe

Absolutely, we wouldn’t want to spend a fraction of the cost on birth control, education and Non GM solutions when there is a fortune to be made by biochemical corporations in the developed world from selling patented products into new markets.

Nasus I see you have got a blog where you in one of your postings present the underwhelming evidence from ‘relaible’ sources such as the UK Soil Association, Mae Wan Hos ISIS web site and other anti GM activist sites to back your arguments against GM crops.

On the same site you refer to detribe as ‘ Dr Tribe, GMO lobbyist’.

You and the Shark Trust in UK might right about protecting the dwindling fish stocks but your modus operandi with attacks on people with integrity ,like my friend David Tribe, is really reminiscent of other UK activist organisations such as GM watch which has got a hit list of people that they don’t like who all gulity by association with the GM industry although the links have never been proven.

It seems to me that you are bringing the dubious tactics of other UK based anti GM activist groups into this forum. Perhaps we should be discussing this on your own selfcongratulatory blog?

With a harpoon and a stun grenade…

Some more specifics on where Mr Phelps is wrong and where there is potential for subsistence farmers from the latest generations of technology in the US helping with drought

Sheffield, Iowa
October 16, 2006

Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids’ triple-stack hybrid LH5617 has topped the Farmers Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) in LeMars with a yield of 171.6 bushels per acre (bu/A) as compared to the plot average of 105.8 bu/A.

The F.I.R.S.T. seed-testing program was established in 1997 by Agronomic Seed Consulting, Inc., to generate independent seed product data. Each hybrid is tested equally in three replications.

“Our dealers and customers have been achieving tremendous yield results with our triple-stack hybrids, so we’re especially pleased to be able to back up their testimonials with this real-world, independent yield information,” says John Latham, president, Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids. “Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids 5617RRBTRW has tremendous yield potential, and data from the F.I.R.S.T. trials helps prove it is a great choice for farmers in this maturity.”

Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids’ LH5617RRBTRW has a relative maturity of 106 days. With a combination of YieldGard® Plus – offering in-plant protection against rootworm, corn borers and a host of secondary pests – and the Roundup Ready® Corn 2 System, this hybrid offers excellent root strength and drydown. Latham says 5617RRBTRW performed especially well in northwest Iowa where many fields – including the F.I.R.S.T. plot – experienced moisture stress.

“Hybrids with YieldGard Plus have larger root systems that are able to absorb more moisture than their conventional counterparts,” says Latham. “The difference is especially noticeable in dry conditions because hybrids with YieldGard Plus maximize subsoil moisture.”

The University of Nebraska observed in 2005 that hybrids with YieldGard Plus absorbed three more inches of moisture than their conventional counterparts. Under drought conditions last season in Illinois, hybrids with YieldGard Plus averaged 16.6 bu/A more than conventional hybrids with soil insecticides. Across the U.S. Corn Belt in 2006, YieldGard Plus hybrids had a 10.9 bu/A advantage over conventional hybrids with soil insecticides.

“It’s no coincidence that nine of the top 10 hybrids in the F.I.R.S.T. plot in LeMars are stacks with YieldGard Rootworm technology, and the top 16 hybrids have YieldGard Corn Borer and/or YieldGard Rootworm technology,” says Latham. “The popularity of hybrids with YieldGard technology increases each year as farmers reap the benefits, and we expect demand to be even greater for stacked hybrids in 2007.”

And I like you to prove that David Tribe and I are in the pocket of the GM giants.

‘With a harpoon and a stun grenade…’ – Dr. Kalla

RAOTFLMAO! my my Dr Kalla who’d have thought you could be so macho and from the safety of another continent too, I am soooooo impressed.

‘Zimbabwe’ –
How exactly are your GM crops going to oust Mugabe from power?
Where exactly did I claim this Nasus. I used Zimbabwe as an illustration that dopey thinking and bad politics can do harm. Why the red herring?

“biochemical corporations in the developed world from selling patented products”

The point Nasus is (that like Mobile phones for instance) some technology benefit’s those who are free to use it – why should your distaste for corporations veto the choices of people who could benefit from GM seeds even if they pay for them and are more profitable because of that (as the African now do with mobile phones even tho Vodaphone in Africa is making a profit from their poularity in the villages that never got a simple landline telephone).

In India the last few yeards the commecial cotton seed industry has expanded massively. The rsults has been a massive increase in profits and crop output for farmers. Your argument would have prevented this because it also gave seecos profits.

If there is an overall welfare benefit is there anthing wrong with ALL parties benefiting financially. Additionally the profits draw in private investment in bebeficial technology, which can only prosper year after year if it does provide a real net benefit for the usr.

Every year now for 10 years GM crop have expanded in use. Most users are farmers in the third world. $15 billion extra income (and rising rapidly) has gone to these farmers because of the technology, according to ISAA and PG Economics. Do you have special qualifications to speak on their behalf (presumably in the UK you have become an African farming expert.)

“continually ‘forget’ to mention the non GM alternatives which are also being researched and made available”

We have limited time and space Nasus, and the topic of this post is on GM issues if you read my OLO piece for example and even my blog you will see that there is a full gamut of discussion..

You will notice for instance I’m very enthiusiastic about imidozolium herbicide tolerant maize available this which is not GM but it potentially the solution to striga pararistic weed that causes massive losses of crops in Africa.

Roger Kalla mentions you call me a GM lobbyist on your blog, implying I am a paid actisvist.

Where did you get the evidence from this statement, why didnt you check it with me, and why do you need to bring this personal ad hominem approach to this discussion? Can I assume it is you have nothing of substance to offer?

(I note also you didn’t, to my knowledge, answer the last question I asked you about evidence you use for making derogatory statements about me. Have you ever me me or talked with me? Why dont you adopt the journalistic practice of checking for accuracy?)

‘I’m very enthiusiastic about imidozolium herbicide tolerant maize available this which is not GM but it potentially the solution to striga pararistic weed that causes massive losses of crops in Africa.’ – Detribe

Can’t argue with the potential benefits of that product, but with all due respect, having to go back to February 2006 to find one article on non-GM is not what I would describe as a balanced and non partisan ‘pundit’.

Well Nasus, I didn’t “have to go back to February, but only a few hours ago.

Here’s two recent GMO Pundit Posts, one, just a few hours before you made my posts. I dindn’t “have to go back to Feb” , only a few hours, and the second, a day or so ago. I can in fact retrieve date and time stamps on my posts to prove these.

It would help if you actually check the blog before you make erroneous conjectures like like that.

I’m not claiming GMO Pundit to be totally free from bias in favour of mentioning GM technology, but there’s a fair swag of other technology stuff , and a bias towards any new and interesting technologies (including one on a crazy water purificaion method Vivifier. GMO Pundit covers biofuels quite heavily, and has a lot on general water issues.

BTW last time you mocked me for self advertising by linking to my blog.

The point I was actually making was THAT I’D ALREADY CONSIDERED THE OBJECTIONS YOU MADE previously, and my blog linked proved that I had written so before you raised the issue.

Do you now want a long lisk of non-GM links to GMO Pumdit . How about salinity control? Is That non GM enough for you?

Or something basic like hunger?

Something ecological like Land Use ?

I’m even quite happy to talk about evolution and biology in general.

I’m glad though that you see the potential in a solution to striga.

*Would you like to supply us with some of the figures for pesticide poisoning of agricultural workers from third world countries?*

Specific to glyphosate, the acute toxicity of glyphosate is very low, almost zero, the WHO list the oral LD50 in the rat of pure glyphosate is 4,230 mg/kg. If someone weighed 50kg they would have to ingest a metric cup of the stuff for a sub lethal dose, using the LD50 as a guide coffee (or caffeine) having a rating of 192 mg/kg is far more toxic to rats by a factor of 22.

You posted a link to your blog entry in Feb. 2006, don’t have a pop at me because I dont spend my entire spare time reading your blog.

I notice two of your latest links are not exactly hot off the press either, November 2005 and March 2006. The amount of pro-GM opinion you post here, let alone your own blog fails the non-partisan test.

Seems you forgot to mention surfactants and formulation when you cut that glyphosphate toxicity description a tad short.

Acute toxicity
The acute toxicity of glyphosate itself is very low. According to the World Health Organisation, the oral LD50 in the rat of pure glyphosate is 4,230 mg/kg, or 5,600 mg/kg according to Monsanto(6). The low acute toxicity of glyphosate can be attributed to its biochemical mode of action on a metabolic pathway in plants (called the shikimic acid pathway) which does not exist in animals(7). However, glyphosate can also disrupt functions of enzymes in animals. In rats it was found to decrease the activity of some detoxification enzymes when injected into the abdomen(8). In general, controlled toxicity tests report adverse symptoms from exposure to glyphosate only at extremely high doses, ie several grammes per kg body weight.
While glyphosate itself may be relatively harmless, some of the products with which it is formulated have a rather less benign reputation. Marketed formulations of glyphosate generally contain a surfactant. The purpose of this is to prevent the chemical from forming into droplets and rolling off leaves which are sprayed. Some of these surfactants are serious irritants, toxic to fish, and can themselves contain contaminants which are carcinogenic to humans.
The most widely used type of surfactants in glyphosate formulations are known as ethylated amines. POEA (polyoxy-ethyleneamine) has been frequently mentioned as a surfactant, but in fact it refers to a group of ethylated amine products used in glyphosate formulations. Members of this group of surfactants are significantly more toxic than glyphosate. They are serious irritants of eyes, the respiratory tract and skin, and have been found to contain dioxane (not dioxin) contaminants which are suspected of being carcinogenic. Accordingly, the UN FAO has set standards of 1ppm for levels of the contaminant 1,4 dioxane which may be present in POEA surfactants.
Monsanto states that all surfactants used in its glyphosate formulations fall well within the FAO standard. However, being aware of the irritant and toxic potential of the surfactants in general, the company has now developed new surfactants which have none of these toxic effects. Products containing the new formulants are sold in the UK and elsewhere and are recognised by approval authorities as being non-irritant(9). Currently in the UK, all garden products contain the new surfactant, and most local authorities are using it. However, the new formulations are more expensive and as long as there is demand for the cheaper, old formulations they will continue to be sold. Currently these are available in UK agriculture and horticulture and for professional amenity use(10).
In the UK, a local authority was prosecuted after a child was accidentally sprayed with a glyphosate formulation and suffered allergic reactions. Recently there have also been claims from residents of St. Just in Cornwall that they have suffered severe reactions following application of glyphosate for weed control(11).
In the UK, glyphosate is the most frequent cause of complaints and poisoning incidents recorded by the Health and Safety Executive’s Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP). Between 1990 and 1995, 33 complaints were received and 34 poisonings recorded including a single death by suicide in 1990(12,13). In California, glyphosate is one of the most commonly reported causes of illness or injury to workers from pesticides. The most common complaints are eye and skin irritation(14). The US authorities have recommended a no re-entry period of 12 hours where glyphosate is used in agricultural or industrial situations.
– Pesticides News

Yes, we can all read PAN Lamna, they are committed to a pesticide free environment.

I liked this piece of double speak ” it is extremely unlikely that human users or members of the public would be exposed to doses as high as those used in the trials, but extrapolating toxicity data from rats, mice and rabbits on which trials are run, to humans can be inaccurate and misleading.”

They are denying the evidence.

Why are you then going on about dates in the first place then?. Why are you making all sorts of gruatuitous assertions about my memory (with sly jibes like ‘forgot’), implying I’m deliberately leaving out relevant facts based on things that arnt in my website. Absence from my website doesnt mean I ‘forgot’ as you ‘graciously’ put it.

Believe it or not, I have taken the trouble to read the standard comprehensive text on glyphosate toxicology as part of my efforts to ensure I’m fully aware of its hazards. I won’t bore you with the details, but the detergency aspect is not something I have ‘forgotten’.

One of the reason my usually fallible memory is so good on this is that it happens that I have actually been personally involved in experimental studies of the target enzyme of glyphosate action inside cells during my doctoral studies, namely the enzyme enolpyruvylshikimate phosphate synthase which is in the aromatic biosynthesis pathway, present in plants and bacteria BUT ABSENT FROM HUMANS, anaimals ans SHARKS) and I have published one modest scientific article about it in the 1970s, and I first became away of glyphosate biochemistry during that period.
To wit
Constitutive and repressible enzymes of the common pathway of aromatic biosynthesis in Escherichia coli K-12: regulation of enzyme synthesis at different growth rates.Tribe DE,Camakaris H, Pittard J. J Bacteriol. 1976 Sep127(3):1085-97.

I have thus emphatically not ‘forgotten’ that glyphosate is a structural analogue of phosphoenolpyruvate which is condensed with shikimate phosphate by that enyme. And certainly I have not ‘forgotten’ that animals dont have this target enzyme because we lack the aromatic biosyntheisis pathway which it is the second last step, but you for some reason don’t mention this salient feature of glyphosate toxicology in your own remarks.

My memory of that material is so good I even remember who it was who first told me of its mode of action and when:(now Dr) Graeme Baldwin, a biochemistry Ph.D. student at the University of Melbournce in 1973 whose Ph.d. topic you can verify is anothe enyme in this part of metabolism.

I have also not ‘forgotten’ why I was so interested in glyphosate’s mode of action in 1972-80, and strange as it may seem, I will neever forget.

It was because I was interested in chemicals that could enable me to select mutant bacteria that over produce the nutrient tryptophane which was potentially useful (and still is) as a way of the improving nutritional quality of maize as a stock feed or food..

At that time there was great interest in improving human nutrition using genetic technology, and I retain that interest today.

*Would you like to supply us with some of the figures for pesticide poisoning of agricultural workers from third world countries?*

Don’t forget that GM insect protected contton’s reduce farmers deaths from synthetic insecticide poisening and save the lives of cotton farmers in China and Africa where they spray insecticide with backpacks.

detribe, what you say about glyphosate, that the pathway is absent in humans and animals, is something that even greens cannot deny

“Glyphosate is a broad spectrum, non-selective systemic herbicide. It is effective in killing all plant types including grasses, perennials and woody plants…… This pathway exists in higher plants and microorganisms but not in animals.”

I mean, what sense is there in invoking the hallowed “precautionary principle” to a situation that cannot exist?

Chemical campaigns ‘misleading’
By Rebecca Morelle
Health reporter, BBC News

Leading toxicologists have warned green groups are “misleading” the public with chemical contamination campaigns.
They said they are deliberately and unfairly scaring the public.

In particular, they criticised a WWF campaign that has highlighted the presence of certain chemicals in blood, food and in babies’ umbilical cords.

The scientists said the minute levels detected did not warrant the group’s focus on health dangers, but WWF has denied it was scare-mongering.

“The message they are putting across is misleading, and deliberately so” Professor David Coggon

The tests have formed part of WWF’s campaign to strengthen proposed EU legislation, called REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), on the testing and phasing out of chemicals.

They argue the presence of chemicals, such as musks (found in perfumes), brominated flame retardants, and dioxins (a by-product of heating processes), in the environment pose a danger to health in humans and wildlife, and more stringent protective measures are needed.

But while many scientists believe monitoring levels of chemicals and the phasing out of dangerous ones are vital, as is REACH, they say WWF and other green groups have been playing on the public’s fears to highlight their campaigns.

Alistair Hay, professor of environmental toxicology from the University of Leeds, said: “The presence of these things is a warning that we are exposed to chemicals in the environment and we have to try and understand what this means – but it is wrong to frighten people.”

While David Coggon, professor of occupational and environmental health from Southampton University, added: “The message they are putting across is misleading, and deliberately so.”

According to Dr Andrew Smith, of the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, it is the amount of a chemical present that is key when considering toxicity.

“We are weighing up the difference between alarm and ignorance – we are not looking to scare-monger”
Elizabeth Salter Green, WWF

And the researchers said the levels of the chemicals found in some of the tests were extremely low – measured in parts per billion or parts per trillion.

Although some of the chemicals were dangerous at high doses, they said, one could not go on to assume that because a trace amount was detected it posed a danger.

Dr Smith said: “Any toxicologist will tell you that dose – the amount – is the important thing.

“I would rather we didn’t find these chemicals present, but trying to ascribe toxicity to them is a different matter.”

Professor Coggon agreed: “One of the most important things in toxicology is to look at how a person is exposed and how much of a substance they are exposed to.

“The fact that you can detect something at all does not imply a material risk to health.”

The researchers said the chemicals were being found in trace amounts because of advances in detection techniques that could uncover substances at ever smaller concentrations.

The researchers admitted there was uncertainty surrounding the effects of some of the chemicals, but said just because it couldn’t be confirmed something was 100% safe this did not mean it was 100% dangerous.

Professor Richard Sharpe, an expert in endocrine disrupters from the Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, in Edinburgh, said: “By and large, I think people shouldn’t be worried. Most chemicals will not do any great harm at these very low levels. You have to put this into perspective.”

Dr John Emsley, a visiting professor at Manchester University, said the word “chemical” had become a synonym for “toxic”, and that the public was growing increasingly fearful of contamination, something he called “chemiphobia”.

“I think the public are afraid because it is all about the unseen danger – it is presented as something malevolent lurking below the surface. You don’t know what it is and you don’t know what it does. It is a risk they do not feel in control of.”

Elizabeth Salter Green, director of the WWF’s toxic campaign, said: “I think WWF’s raison d’etre is to protect biodiversity. We feel that there are certain drivers such as chemicals undermining future generations’ viability.

“We are keen that the core aim of REACH is maintained – to protect future generations of humans and wildlife while not undermining the competitiveness of the chemicals industry.”

She said she was concerned with possible health risks associated the lifestyle exposure to different combinations of low-level chemicals, and pointed to studies which revealed the chemicals were working together.

“We are weighing up the difference between alarm and ignorance – we are not looking to scare-monger – we are looking to highlight an issue such that the UK population are aware of exposures and to call for better regulation.”

Published: 2006/10/16 01:01:51 GMT

“The fact that you can detect something at all does not imply a material risk to health.”

This argument is equally valid in the detection of genetically modified ingredients in our foods.

The very sensitive methods for detecting minuscle amount of genetically modified DNA in a sea of ‘normal’ DNA doesn’t automatically tell us that the product is ‘contaminated’ or even ‘dangerous’ to consume.

The levels of unintended presence of herbicide resistant GM canola, that had received regultory clearance from the OGTR and considered to be harmless , was in the order of 1 seed per 100,000 or 1 seed per 10,000 of ‘naturally’ herbicide resistant conventional canola.

Marketing of Australias commodity exports is not a science it’s a perception and in this case it was certainly not a health issue.

How much vitamin C has a noticeable effect on E.coli k12 - Biology

Date: May 17, 2019 04:03 PM
Author: Darrell Miller ( [email protected] )
Subject: New meta-analysis finds that proper vitamin D levels greatlyimprove the health of diabetics and heart patients

Up to a billion people worldwide may not be getting enough vitamin D, and this is a real problem because vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of cancer, obesity and other health problems. Meta-analysis published by Current Pharmaceutical Design suggests that getting enough vitamin D can decrease fasting glucose and reduce insulin resistance. Vitamin D can also help moderate your bad cholesterol, as well as reducing your levels of C-reactive protein, which is a sign of inflammation.

  • One health problem around the world that is affecting a lot of people is the fact that Vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is becoming more pronounced.
  • When one is deficient in Vitamin D, some of the health problems that can be encountered are poor glycemic control, obesity, and hypertension.
  • A link has been found between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes and also another study found that the deficiency leads to high blood sugar levels.

"Three of the most significant risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, chronic inflammation, and insulin resistance. Researchers wanted to learn more about whether vitamin D supplementation is a way to lower the risk of heart disease or reduce complications in patients who already have it."

Read more:

Date: April 30, 2019 09:28 AM
Author: Darrell Miller ( [email protected] )
Subject: Vitamin D And Its Effect On Brain

Vitamin D has a wide range of vital health benefits for your bones, teeth, heart and endocrine system. Recent research suggests it also has a critical job in brain health and mental health as as well. Vitamin D deficiency — already associated with damage to the immune system and hypertension — may also put you at a higher risk of schizophrenia or cognitive impairment. This is a serious problem, given that there may be a billion vitamin D-deficient people in the world today.

  • Vitamin D, which is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is important for keeping the bones healthy, for boosting the immune system, and good cardiovascular health.
  • According to findings from research, when one lacks Vitamin D the immune system will be compromised and it can also raise the danger of hypertension.
  • It is well reported that there is a relationship between vitamin D and mental health. A study on rodents showed that vitamin D deficiency resulted in brain damage.

"New research finds that vitamin D deficiency influences a kind of brain “scaffolding” that supports the neurons."

Read more:

Date: June 03, 2018 09:16 AM
Author: Darrell Miller ( [email protected] )
Subject: Five Ways to Get CBD Oil and Concentrates

Five Ways to Get CBD Oil and Concentrates

Recently, Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become very popular on the alternative medicine markets. Fuego (2018) discusses its' increasing popularity in the article titled, "Five Ways to Get CBD Oil and Concentrates". According to the article, CBD oil is used for the following conditions: anxiety, pain, seizures, pain, and sleep disorders. The product comes from marijuana and hemp. It is predicted that CBD oil sales will reach about $ 1.153 billion in sales by the year 2020.

  • If you live in a state where you have legal retail dispensaries, you can get CBD oil there.
  • States that have legal recreational marijuana have head shops that sell CBD oil as well.
  • Ordering it online is probably the easiest and most efficient way to buy CBD oil.

"The legality of CBD oil made from hemp depends on whom you ask, but it can still be purchased in fifty states."

Raw Milk & Fermented Foods To the Rescue

Fall 2000–I want to acknowledge you for the incredible gift of life the Foundation is giving with their information on traditional diets. It has made an enormous positive change in our lives.

About three years ago my kids (now 8 and 9) and I were diagnosed with giardia. For six months we had been dealing with continual vomiting and diarrhea. My daughter, who only weighed 40 pounds to start with, had lost one-third of her body weight and things were not looking good. The medical profession had basically given up on us. We had tried every antibiotic we could with no success. It was on one such trip to the emergency room that the doctors told us we needed to look at alternative forms of healing as they had nothing else to offer us.

We were referred to a naturopath who tested each of us and immediately changed our diets and got us started on a homeopathic remedy for giardia. We were reacting to numerous foods and still do. He had us quit eating most additives and preservatives as well as all forms of goat and cow milk, including whey, butter, yogurt and cheese. My son had to stay away from all forms of MSG, chemically produced as well as naturally occurring. Our diets were so restrictive that eating became something we did out of necessity, and cooking was a chore. As long as we ate all meals at home and I cooked everything from scratch, I could count on a peaceful night’s sleep. But one treat at school, or a snack at a friend’s house, and I knew we would be up for a good four hours with vomiting and diarrhea. I dreaded holidays and family get-togethers. I felt so sorry for my kids who got sick whenever they ate things other kids took for granted, like pizza, tacos and lasagna.

Last year, however, a couple things happened that left me in the inquiry stage. We visited my aunt and uncle’s farm when they happened to be milking the goats. My kids have always reacted to goat’s milk. However, this time they went down to the barn with my uncle, milked the goats and proceeded to consume very large quantities of goat milk fresh from the goat before I realized what they were doing. They had had so much fun it crushed me to know in a few hours they would be deathly ill. Evening came and went and neither of them got sick.

Then a couple months ago we were visiting them again and we all tried some homemade ice cream, once again made from raw goat milk. Again, no one became ill. On a subsequent visit to our naturopath, he shared his thoughts on why he felt pasteurized, homogenized milk products were behind the rising rate of heart disease. The pieces began falling into place. Why could my kids drink goat milk fresh from the goat and not get sick? Yet when they were tested, they reacted to store-bought milk and it made them sick. It clicked. the naturopath’s machine tests products in the form that most people use. His machine was testing pasteurized products or commercially prepared products, not products fresh from the farm or cultured in my kitchen. The milk from the store was pasteurized. The milk on the farm was raw.

Then I got into culturing foods, like piima, kefir, and cultured butter, and have been sampling it all with none of the usual side effects. Yesterday I had the opportunity to use the machine to have all of the products I’ve made tested on my children. The kids were cheering every time a new food product was added to their diet and I was stunned to see the results.

The results were fascinating. The kefir I had left sitting out for 12 hours didn’t work for the kids. The kefir that had sat out for 2 days passed easily. I used whole, non-homogenized milk when making the kefir. I also had several brands of raw cheese (goat and cow) tested on them. The raw cheese was fine. The pasteurized cheese was not. We tried two different bottles of soy sauce. The first one was some organic soy sauce that was fermented two summers and it didn’t pass the test. The second bottle was some organic soy sauce that was fermented four years and it was unpasteurized. It passed!

My kids are on cloud nine. They ate cheese in the car on the way home and had real butter on toast for a bedtime snack! They had oatmeal soaked in whey for breakfast and butter on their green beans and broccoli for dinner.

Learning about raw dairy products and cultured foods has opened a whole new world up to our family. I am once again excited about cooking and even spent some time hanging out in a kitchen store today looking at the new gadgets available! Thank you for making a difference in so many people’s lives.

Watch the video: Warning! Dont Take Vitamin C Supplements Without Watching This! (December 2022).