May
29
2021

Anti-Viral Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Can Treat Covid-19 Successfully

A German research team wanted to test whether an anti-viral photodynamic therapy (PDT) can treat Covid-19 successfully. They went to Tehran during the first Covid-19 peak in 2020 and did the following experiment.

All patients of the clinical trial were in the early stage of Covid-19. The researchers compared 20 patients (experimental group who had photodynamic therapy) with 20 patients that served as a control.

Results of the study

The results were as follows (initial symptoms compared to 5 days later):

  • 18 patients had a high fever, but 5 days after PDT they were afebrile
  • 17 patients had a severe cough; after 5 days of PDT only 6 patients did
  • There were 19 patients initially with breathing problems. After 5 days of PDT only 5 patients still had acute breathing problems.
  • Less severe symptoms like headaches, sleep disturbance and fatigue initially improved rapidly with PDT in about half of the patients.

It is interesting to note that none of the control group patients showed signs of improvements of the Covid-19 symptoms. Two patients of the control group had to be transferred into the ICU ward of a hospital. None of the control patients showed a reduction of the viral load.

PCR testing to verify effectiveness of anti-viral photodynamic therapy

A highly specific and sensitive polymerase chain reaction with the name QPCR determines the viral RNA in the subject. The researchers measured the QPCR daily in every subject. On day 1 only 8 patients had a QPCR value of 30 or more. In contrast, on day 5 there were 14 subjects who tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and 5 patients had a QPCR value of more than 30. A value of more than 30 was considered to indicate a low virus concentration. Expressed in another way, 95% of 20 patients were cured of Covid-19, while 100% of the control group deteriorated because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

How does the antiviral phototherapy work?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has shown to be effective in the past against bacteria, parasites and viruses. An important application in transfusion medicine is the inactivation of viruses and bacteria in stored red blood cell units. The laboratory physician adds a small amount of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) to red blood cell units. Treatment with ultraviolet light for a short period follows, which inactivates viruses and bacteria. Vitamin B2 is harmless and does not need removal.

The same technique was effective to remove Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from plasma products.

Researchers from the Colorado State University combined riboflavin and UV radiation to clear the SAARS-CoV-2 virus from plasma and platelets successfully.

Activation of riboflavin by UV light and blue light kills the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Riboflavin, which also goes by the name vitamin B2, is a photosensitizer. The light absorption of riboflavin is in the 375 nm (UVA light) and in the 450 nm (blue light) range. Dr. Weber, an internist and engineer from Germany showed that you can use UVA light and blue light to activate riboflavin. Laser light stimulation of riboflavin releases reactive oxygen species (ROS), which damages the virus proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. The patient takes 100 mg of riboflavin-5-phosphate orally. In addition, the patient also sprays a riboflavin solution to the inside of the nose and on the tongue.

Laser applicators cause riboflavin to release oxygen species (ROS)

Special laser applicators for the nose and for the mouth/throat produce a mix of UVA and blue laser light. This stimulates riboflavin from the blood in these regions to release reactive oxygen species. In addition, the patient applies a special laser watch (the name of it is “Laser Watch Spectra”) to the volar aspect of the wrist. This watch is sold by Weber Medical Systems GmbH, Germany. The location of the ulnar and radial arteries is at the volar aspect of the wrist. When the wrist watch is applied there, the riboflavin in the blood stream of the arteries releases oxygen species (ROS). This in turn kills the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Antiviral phototherapy to eradicate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans

A German research team under Dr. Weber went to Tehran, Persia during the first SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemic. They did a pilot study to show that photodynamic therapy can treat Covid-19 successfully. They divided 40 confirmed Covid-19 patients in an early stage into two groups. 20 patients were the treatment group and the other 20 patients made up the control. As already discussed before there were striking differences in the treatment group versus the control group. The procedure was simple.

Treatment regimen

First the patient takes 100 mg of vitamin B2 (as Roboflavin-5-phosphate). 15 to 30 minutes later vitamin B2 is circulating in the blood. The patient now attaches the laser wrist watch to one of the wrists and the mouth/throat applicator for 1 hour. The next application is a nose applicator for 1 hour. This completes the laser treatment for the day. The patients received the same treatment 5 days in a row. As the tables of the first link showed the treatment group experienced significant healing from Covid-19. The control group did not, but rather deteriorated.

Anti-Viral Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Can Treat Covid-19 Successfully

Anti-Viral Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Can Treat Covid-19 Successfully

Conclusion

A combined UVA laser and a blue laser treatment matching the light absorption of riboflavin cured 95% of Covid-19 patients. A German research group under Dr. Weber went to Tehran, Persia in the middle of the first Covid-19 wave. An experimental group received laser treatment of the nasal passages and the tongue and throat for 1 hour each. In addition, the researchers treated the ulnar and radial arteries with UVA and blue laser light as well. This treated any coronaviruses that leaked into the general circulation.

Cure of Covid-19 in 5 days

After only 5 days of this therapy there was a 95% cure of Covid-19. In contrast, 100% of the control group without laser treatment remained very symptomatic. Two patients of the control group required transfer into the ICU. None of the control patients showed a reduction of the viral load while 95% of the treatment group did. In the meantime, the researchers repeated the experiment with 50 patients in each group and obtained the same result (personal communication from Dr. Weber).

This is the first time that a research group was able to report a cure for Covid-19.

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Apr
12
2014

Lead Still Poisoning Us

We are living in an environment that puts emphasis on quality control, and companies around us take pride in their high quality products, supervised by the FDA. This is how it ideally should be. But is it really? Unfortunately not!

I read the headlines about lipsticks on April 4, 2014 and could not believe it!

When it comes to skin care or cosmetic products, things start to get scary.  Skin is not a barrier, but it is an organ of our body. From skin cream and ointment applications in medicine it is known that pharmaceutical compounds can be applied to the skin, and this way the body can readily absorb active substances.

When it comes to cosmetics, the skin areas to which cosmetics are applied have softer skin, for example the mouth. The vulnerable skin of the lips can readily absorb any chemical substance, and this is where health concerns get even more serious.

In 2010 as the above link shows the FDA determined that all of the “400 lipsticks tested had traces of lead in them, ranging from 0.9 to 3.06 ppm. Another study from California noted that there were other toxic metals in lip sticks and lip glosses containing chromium, cadmium, manganese, aluminum in addition to lead. Even to the unconcerned this sounds like a precarious cocktail of noxious substances! On June 1, 2013 I wrote a blog about toxins in the bathroom. I mentioned the dirty dozen of chemicals that repeatedly are found in cosmetics. With this new information of traces of lead still being in cosmetics, more so than previously reported, women need to be more careful about the choice of lipsticks that they are using.

1.History of lipsticks:

This overview explains that the long-lasting lipstick was only invented around the 1950’s (“Sticks on you, not on him” was the slogan).

Traces of lead were often recorded, but not really thought to be that dangerous. The thinking of the FDA at that time was that children needed to be protected from lead in house paints, but nobody mentioned that lead was part of the red pigment and therefore had to be part of a lipstick. The FDA did know this, but the concentration was supposed to be so small and absorption was thought to be negligible, so considered to be safe for an adult.

Lead Still Poisoning Us

Lead Still Poisoning Us

2. Evidence of considerable absorption of lead:

We know from several studies summarized in this link that various components of cosmetics including lipsticks and lip-glosses get absorbed through the skin. Lead is no exception to this. A 2011 study showed in children in Africa that lead-containing cosmetics for tribal ceremonies in children had higher lead concentrations in their blood than children who did not use these cosmetics.

When doing a PubMed review on the subject I came across a very interesting study: In India there is a practice that parents apply kajal (also called kohl or surma cosmetic) around their eyes, on old traditional practice. Unfortunately this is a lead-containing cosmetic, which is absorbed into the blood and can cause lead poisoning. According to this ancient belief this application of cosmetics around the eyes would keep their eyes cool and clean and is supposed to improve vision, strengthen the eyes and prevent eye diseases. None of these belief are compatible with Western medicine (although a lot of the Ayurveda medicine is valid).

In another 2010 study done in the mountainous Aseer region in the Southwest of Saudi Arabia here there is pristine air quality, 176 pregnant patients with a single baby were followed to see whether there was an effect with regard to lead poisoning in the offspring. Two groups of women were identified, those with lead levels of more than 200 mcg/L in the blood and another group with less than 200 mcg/L. The researchers noted that there was no difference with regard to prematurity, size of the baby or premature rupture of membranes (premature birth).

The conclusion of this study was that there was significant absorption of lead from 100% lead sulfide eye cosmetic “kohl” only on those who used it. To my surprise nobody mentioned anything about the lead levels in the children, which is an example of compartmentalization of science. Common sense would dictate that these children who were at higher risk from mothers with over 200 mcg/L should have received chelation treatments to remove lead (we do this in Western medicine!).

3. Different lip sticks and lip glosses analyzed in Europe and in the US:

A European study showed that 31% of lipsticks and 4% of lip glosses tested positive for lead. All of them had less than 0.88 mg/kg of lead (less than 1 mg/kg). Pink lipstick or lip gloss (0.81 and 0.38mg/kg) tested lower than purple lipstick or lip gloss (0.88 and 0.37mg/kg) and red (0.58 and 0.25mg/kg), but purple tested the highest! I did not know that until now when I researched this.  On average the tests show that the gloss has half the concentration of the lipstick.

Don’t be fooled by the difference in recommended safe levels in Canada (10 mg/kg) and Germany (20 mg/kg). Germany has a very powerful chemical industry with lobbyists that likely lead to this higher “safe” level. In Canada it is the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada. No country got it right so far:  A zero tolerance (meaning a blood level of 0 mg/kg in babies and adults alike) is the only solution for humans. A little bit over a long time can lead to chronic chronic lead poisoning.

One other interesting tidbit for those who need to apply something to their lips:

The more expensive lipsticks had much less lead in it than the cheaper varieties (don’t buy the dollar store brands).

Contrast this to an FDA initiated study between 2009 and 2012, published in 2012 that showed that the average lipstick concentration in 400 lipsticks tested  was 1.11 mg/kg, but the highest concentration was 7.19 mg/kg and 13 of them tested 3.06 mg/kg. Here is another review that shows more details (ppm equals mg/kg, so you can compare directly with the figures above. As stated before, in my opinion and that of toxicologists around the world who are the real experts in this a “0 mg/kg” level (no lead in the body) should be the acceptable norm!

Only organic lipsticks and lip-glosses are recommended, if you must wear any of such products. Here is a helpful blog that tells you more positive news (lead and chemical free products).

4. What are the effects of chronic low lead exposure?

Adult lead toxicity is not as common as in the past. Painters in the decades leading up to the 1970’s when laws became more stringent were the ones mostly affected (Ref.1). Keep in mind that more than 30 million tons of lead was released into the air in the US before the lead ban finally remedied this in the 1970’s.  This phasing out was completed in 1995. The mean blood lead levels of Americans declined by 35% since. The EPA is monitoring lead levels in public water systems.

Lead is a nerve poison. It leads to fatigue, insomnia, irritability, lethargy, headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and tremor. It can also affect the nerves of the extremities, more so in the arms than the legs, which was significant in the past century among painters using lead paints. (“Upper extremity paresis” found in painters). Chronic lead poisoning targets the kidneys and the bone marrow. In the kidneys leakage of the filtration units, called glomeruli, leads to loss of microglobulins that can be measured in the urine among other tests. Above a level of 30 mcg/dL (this is the same as above 300 mcg/L) electrophysiological studies reveal often the ulnar nerve conduction is disturbed, which is the cause for the arm weakness in painters. The bone marrow toxicity can be seen in stippling of red blood cells and anemia develops subsequently. High blood pressure and fertility issues are also common (low sperm count in men, higher rate of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths in women). The gums around the teeth show lead lines (blue discoloration).  I will not get into lead toxicity in children, as this is a big topic of its own. Needless to say symptoms are much worse as any pediatrician can tell you. It goes without saying that should you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor and have appropriate tests done.

5. Treatment and prevention:

As we do not see acute lead poisoning as much as in the past, except sadly to say still in development countries and highly industrialized areas with lead emissions into the air, I like to emphasize the importance of prevention here.

a)    If you absolutely must have make-up and/or lip sticks or lip gloss, at least go for the expensive, organic products. You owe it to yourself. However, having said that keep in mind that anything you put on your skin anywhere is absorbed to a certain percentage. So, why mess with your body’s metabolism? I really question this. For your skin you can use a product called “Youth serum” from LifeExtension, where only a few drops will suffice to cover your face and neck with a thin film. Within a few seconds this is absorbed into the skin and it will stimulate your skin to grow where wrinkles are, so the wrinkles flatten out in time.

b)    Keep in mind that skin appearance is hormone dependent, males need testosterone as they age and women need bioidentical progesterone. The first link under point 2 above claims that progesterone would be cancer producing. This is not true: it is progestin, a synthetic copy of progesterone that does this. So, bioidentical progesterone in cosmetics would be cancer preventing in women (men should stay away from a woman who has applied this for at least two hours as skin transfer will block testosterone production). Worse still: if a manufacturer uses progestin (the synthetic version), the traces of it over a long period of time will act like xenoestrogens, which can cause breast cancer in the woman who uses such a product and through transfer can cause prostate cancer in a man.

c)    If you insist on using chemicals on your skin, you may want to consider seeing a naturopathic physician who does intravenous chelation. Lab tests are available to assess the levels of heavy metals and toxins in your body. If the levels are creeping up, chelation treatments from time to time may be needed in people with measured elevations of lead levels in blood tests and/or urinary lead level elevations.  Discuss this with your doctor.  Removal of any accumulated mercury, lead, and cadmium or other heavy metals will be an option. I have summarized detoxification methods elsewhere.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I think that it has to be carefully considered, how much use of lipstick application is necessary. Next the choice of a high quality product is of utmost importance. Taking all the factors together, its constant use cannot be recommended, especially since there is not only lead present, which is a known health hazard. Beside lead there are many other chemicals that get absorbed and their effects have not been adequately tested by the agencies.

More information on vitamins and detoxification: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/nutrition/vitamins-minerals-supplements/

References:

1. Shannon: Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed. Chapter 73, “Lead” by Michael W. Shannon, MD, MPH © 2007, Saunders

Last edited Nov. 7, 2014

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Jun
08
2013

Breast Cancer Due To Stress

The medical profession is of the opinion that breast cancer is multi-factorial, where genetics, body weight, hormonal and other factors play a role in causing it (details see Ref. 1). The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (United States) showed in May 2012 that girls from families of lower socioeconomic status have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. The study also showed that girls from families with a higher socioeconomic status had a low risk of breast cancer later in life.

The same cohort of women was the subject of another study, which was just published in April of 2013. In this study the question was asked whether stress in career women could cause a higher rate of breast cancer. Using 1957–2011 data showed that 297 of the 3682 White non-Hispanic women of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study developed breast cancer. Details of the study showed that the peak of the age for breast cancer to develop was around 55 to 65. Women working with the lowest job authority had the lowest rate of breast cancer. High job authority, being the “boss”, was associated with a 1.57-fold (range 1.12 – 2.18-fold) increase in breast cancer. There was also a striking difference between the lengths of job stress exposure, 5 years versus 15 years with both groups, high and low job authority. The lowest risk of breast cancer was for the low stress group of women who worked under these conditions only for 5 years, followed by the same group who had worked there for 15 years. Slightly above that latter group was the breast cancer risk for the 5-year employed high job authority. The highest group of breast cancer risk, rising above all other groups, was the group with high job authority, exposed to this for type of stressful situation for 15 years (see Fig. 1 of the above link). The researchers interpreted their data to say that the majority of the breast cancer risk in these groups of women was due to the stress hormone (cortisol). Minor contributions were thought to be due to the carcinogenic effect of estrogens.

Breast Cancer Due To Stress

Breast Cancer Due To Stress

 

Review of the literature regarding this study

Dr. Lee had been publishing about estrogen dominance for many years (Ref. 2 and 3). When women age, their ovaries do not produce as much progesterone during the luteal phase as in younger years and above the age of 30 to 35 anovulatory cycles are common. During anovulatory cycles ovulation (=release of an egg) does not occur and there is no formation of a corpus luteum that would produce progesterone for 2 weeks. The end result is that there is a lack of progesterone as a woman ages. This has been discussed in detail in Ref. 3. Dr. Lee called this disbalance of estrogen and progesterone “estrogen dominance”. This is one of the important causes of breast cancer as explained in Ref.2. This can be caused by aging, xenoestrogens from exposure to artificial fertilizers, insecticides and cosmetics, but also taking the birth control pill for prolonged periods of time. However, stress by itself can also produce a state of estrogen dominance. Dr. Lee explained (page 180 of Ref. 2) that the cortisol-binding globulin (CBG), which binds both cortisol and progesterone, is a storage form for both of these hormones. As a person is under chronic stress the CBG is increased binding both cortisol and progesterone. This means that less of these hormones are preliminarily available in their free form for body consumption as CBG binding is a storage form for these hormones. The free progesterone, which is the only biologically active progesterone portion, is lowered as a result of stress causing estrogen dominance. If estrogen is not opposed by progesterone, it is cancer causing for breast tissue and the uterine lining, which translates into being at risk for breast and uterine cancer. Only supplementation with bioidentical progesterone cream as described in Ref. 3 will rebalance the hormones (progesterone/estrogen balance) and reduce the cancer risk. The symptoms of estrogen dominance according to Ref. 4 (p. 29) are fatigue, weight gain, less ability to handle stress, headaches, mood swings, loss of sex drive, irregular periods, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, fluid retention (particularly around the ankles), irritability and depression.

Practical recommendations for women in stressful jobs

Above the age of 35 it is wise to have a saliva hormone test done, checking the levels of 5 hormones (cortisol, DHEAS, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). This establishes the baseline values for these hormones. The relationship between the levels of these hormones determines whether they are balanced or not. For instance, if the ratio between progesterone and estrogen (divide the level of progesterone by the level of estrogen) is less than 1 in 200 the patient has estrogen dominance (see Ref. 5). You may need to get a naturopathic physician or an A4M physician who is knowledgeable in interpreting these results and treating the patient with bioidentical hormones. Some women may need to start bioidentical hormone replacement at this point if a hormone deficiency is noticed.

In order to counterbalance stress you need to schedule some time for yourself regularly where you can relax, do yoga exercises, meditation, and/or self-hypnosis. Make sure you get enough sleep. Avoid alcohol, if you can as it interferes with a restful sleep, or reduce alcohol to the absolute minimum. Alcohol causes decreased hormone production of both ovaries. It also weakens the adrenal glands contributing to hormone disbalance. Usually the first hormone to show a decline with stress and aging is progesterone. It has to be measured by the saliva test. Ref. 2 and 3 explain why: progesterone is fat-soluble and is transported through the blood in its free form through red blood cells. However, a progesterone blood test measures the serum progesterone level after the red blood cells have been spun down in the centrifuge, which leads to misleading results; only the saliva test gives reliable results in terms of bio-available progesterone levels. Many conservative physicians blindly insist on blood progesterone levels, which will lead to false results. This is why you need a naturopathic physician or A4M physician to help you with the proper interpretation of the test results.

If saliva progesterone levels are low, progesterone cream (bio-identical, as explained below) is applied daily in a concentration that will normalize the levels. Physicians who have been influenced by drug company representatives may suggest to use Provera (or another progestin, which are synthetic hormone substances) as a “supplement”, but this is known from the Women’s’ Health Initiative to cause breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Do the proper monitoring tests with saliva testing and only substitute what is missing with bioidentical hormone creams. Otherwise a low fat, low refined carbohydrate diet, exercise and other good health habits as I have summarized in this link will be very beneficial to prevent stress as a cause of breast cancer. Ref. 6 is also a useful text written for the layperson explaining what to do when stress leads to adrenal fatigue.

References

  1. A review of the causes of breast cancer: http://www.nethealthbook.com/articles/causesofbreastcancer.php
  2. Dr. John R. Lee, David Zava, Ph.D. and Virginia Hopkins: “What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer”. 2002 Hachette Book Group, New York,NY, USA.
  3. Dr. John R. Lee: “Natural Progesterone”.  2nd edition. Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1999 Charlbury, England.
  4. George Gillson, M.D., Ph.D.: “You’ve hit menopause. Now what? 3 simple steps to restoring hormone balance” 2nd edition, 2004, Rocky Mountain Analytical Corp., Calgary, AB, Canada.
  5.  John R. Lee, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins: “Dr. John Lee’s Hormone Balance Made Simple- The Essential How-to Guide to Symptoms, Dosage, Timing, and More”. Wellness Central Hachette Group USA, New York, NY 10017. Published 2006. Page 57 discusses saliva testing and states: “The healthy ratio of progesterone to estradiol is at least 200 to 1 and can go up to 1,000 to 1 in women using transdermal (delivered through the skin with cream, gels, oils) progesterone.”
  6. James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD: “Adrenal Fatigue, the 21sty Century Stress Syndrome – what is it and how you can recover”; Second printing 2002 by Smart Publications, Petaluma, Ca, USA

Last edited Nov. 6, 2014

Jun
01
2008

Puzzling New Neurological Syndrome Investigated

A new neurological syndrome has been described in early December 2007 and is presenting a challenge not only to the affected patients but also to the health professionals. The illness is characterized by pain, sensory symptoms, weakness and fatigue. Abnormal lab tests and MRI scan results were also present. The syndrome has affected at east two dozen workers who are working in pig slaughterhouses in three states of the U.S. Researchers have now a somewhat clearer picture of the mysterious illness, but Dr. Daniel Lachance, assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, describes the illness as one of the kind that has “defied explanation and a name”. At this point investigators have called it “progressive inflammatory neuropathy” (PIN), but the term is merely descriptive but not accurate enough. Dr. Lachance described the clinical picture based on findings on 18 patients from Minnesota who have been investigated in the most comprehensive manner.

The course of their illness was marked by pain, decreased sensation and tingling along with weakness and fatigue which far exceeded the findings of physical examinations. All of the affected individuals had abnormal MRI’s and abnormal results of the labs of their cerebrospinal fluid. Various tests of reflexes or quantitative sensory testing also showed abnormalities, and nerve conduction studies were abnormal in most of the patients. All of them had a new IgG auto-antibody biomarker. The findings point to an immune-mediated phenomenon which translates into a neurological illness. The workers affected all were exposed to aerosolized brain particles from slaughtered pigs.

All workers worked in the “warm room” where pigs were slaughtered and the brain extracted in a technique in which compressed air is shot into a dead pig’s foramen magnum. This blast of compressed air not only emulsifies the brain, but some of it becomes aerosolized and airborne. Symptoms seem to start within days or weeks of exposure, after which the course of the disease is chronic.

Puzzling New Neurological Syndrome InvestigatedProgressive inflammatory neuropathy caused by aerosolized brain particles from slaughtered pigs

Treatment has been symptomatic in those most severely affected with the medications of choice being methylprednisolone and/or intravenous treatment with immune globulin. Researchers have tested early on for human and porcine pathogens, but no infectious agent has been found. The precise mechanism by which the illness is occurring is not fully understood, but the syndrome does not seem to be food borne or transmissible from person to person.

Reference: The Medical Post, May 13, 2008, page 14, 15.

Last edited December 4, 2012