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Lyme Disease Research

Magnesium a must for Lyme patients



Magnesium for reducing inflammation

If you have Lyme disease, you have silent inflammation.

It is highly likely that you are also deficient in magnesium, because the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia, unlike other bacteria that require iron to survive, has evolved to use magnesium to complete its own life cycle.

The Lyme bacteria steals magnesium from our cells to survive.

Another factor contributing to the problem, for Americans at least, is that our farming topsoil has been depleted in magnesium which is not replaced. So our foods tend to be deficient in magnesium, which is problematic.

Magnesium supplements have been clinically proven to reduce pain and inflammation from fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases. As Lyme is an inflammatory disease, it makes sense to pay attention to something as simple as adding in a vital mineral.

Increasing magnesium levels through diet or supplements may be even more crucial for people with Lyme, because not only does the Lyme bacteria rob us of magnesium, so does stress—both physical and psychological or emotional—as well as the use of antibiotics.

If you have Lyme, you are likely familiar with experiencing stress on every level. One of the main complaints addressed by magnesium is anxiety, and reducing mental stress is a critical first step in healing.


Magnesium deficiency same as Lyme symptoms

Many of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are the same ones associated with Lyme disease, such as irregular heartbeat, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, muscle cramps and spasms, and joint health.

Other problems stemming from a lack of magnesium are arthritis, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and calcification.

Magnesium deficiency shares another aspect with Lyme disease.

Tests are highly unreliable. Here’s why. This vital mineral is located throughout the body and functions in every cell, including those in our brain. Only about 1% of magnesium is in our blood. Yet the test for magnesium deficiency is a blood serum test.


Magnesium can alter the course of health — and disease

Magnesium research over the past 40 years tells us that this essential mineral is far more vital to our health—physically and psychologically—than was previously assumed.

Fibromyalgia patients treated with magnesium malate have been clinically demonstrated to experience a reduction in pain.

According to a recent study published the journal BMC Bioinformatics, magnesium is essential to altering the course of health and disease.


Major body functions requiring magnesium

Our bodies use magnesium to perform thousands of biochemical functions that contribute to good health—at the top of the list is a good night’s sleep and regulation of the heartbeat.

Nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, energy metabolism, protein synthesis, and production of the antioxidant glutathione are just a handful of the major functions that require magnesium.

It is easy to get more magnesium in your diet by eating magnesium-rich foods and also by taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium baths also increase levels through the skin. Ask your doctor about the best way for you.


Calcium and magnesium are both necessary

Calcium and magnesium work together like two sides of the same coin. Yet modern medicine has fixated on the role and importance of calcium, even though getting too much calcium is problematic.

In addition to fibromyalgia patients, increased magnesium has shown benefits to those suffering with atrial fibrillation, Diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease, premenstrual syndrome, and migraines.

Low magnesium levels are also associated with cardiovascular aging, which contributes to premature aging.

Magnesium is an essential part of the delicate balance of our health. Taking a magnesium supplement or eating foods rich in magnesium helps create the right amount of calcium in the body. Yet, calcium supplements taken without magnesium can actually deplete magnesium in the body.


What depletes magnesium?

Pharmaceutical drugs, antibiotics, stress, whether psychological or physical, depletes magnesium in the body.

Same with caffeine, so be aware that if you have a habit of drinking coffee or tea in the morning, one of the reasons behind your afternoon crash is that the caffeine has depleted your necessary magnesium levels. Drinking yet another cup of coffee is probably not the best way to wake up.

Nor is reaching for a candy bar or anything with sugar. Fizzy sodas and pop drinks contain phosphates which bind with magnesium and flush it out through the kidneys.

“Anti-nutrients” such as sugary drinks, candy bars, cookies, cakes, and pastries tank the level of magnesium in the body as well.

Having a Vitamin D deficiency contributes to a loss of magnesium.

Alcoholic drinks, if taken seven times or more per week, also flush magnesium out through the kidneys.

Exercise and sweating depletes magnesium. Magnesium is controlled by the kidneys and excreted daily.

How do you know if you’ve got too much? Your body will naturally let you know. Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea as your body rids itself of the excess mineral.


Foods rich in magnesium

You can take a supplement, but the easiest fix is to start eating foods that contain magnesium to see if you feel an increase in energy. Look for vegetables high in chlorophyl, such as dark leafy greens—chard and spinach contain magnesium.

So do pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, beans and other legumes such as black-eyed peas. Artichoke, almonds, avocado, goat cheese, figs, dark chocolate, and banana are some other foods that contain this miracle-worker mineral.



Further References:
http://www.newsmax.com/fastfeatures/magnesium-deficiency-lyme-disease/2016/07/11/id/738173/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/foods-high-in-magnesium/#05

https://www.amazon.com/Magnesium-Miracle-Revised-Updated/product-reviews/034549458X/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#R1L09DW10O2WDF
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Common allergy med kills Lyme bacteria?

Encouraging news is spreading throughout the Lyme community. A northern California nonprofit called the Bay Area Lyme Foundation says that a common allergy medicine may help kill the Lyme bacteria. A new laboratory study shows that the antihistamine, loratadine (or as you might know it, Claritin), starves the Lyme bacteria by preventing it to gather manganese, which it evidently needs to harm the body. The study has so far proved Claritin effective in killing Lyme bacteria in test tubes.

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation's mission is to "make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure, and to make prevention common knowledge." These are our kind of people. 

Not all doctors are educated about Lyme diagnosis and treatment. For many years, the CDC held the line that only 20,000 new cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed annually. Recently, they increased that estimate to 300,000. However, for decades those low numbers, as well as inadequate doctor-education about Lyme prevention and diagnosis, meant inadequate funding for research. Perhaps this breakthrough study is a signal that the tide is turning.

As always, consult your Lyme-literate doctor for further information. Claritin and all allergy medications can cause side effects. The study of loratadine was published in the open access publication Drug Design, Development and Therapy.


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Alternative treatment for Lyme - Cowden Condensed Protocol

The latest Cowden protocol -- Cowden Condensed Support Program -- was featured last summer (2010) in an article in The Townsend Letter by the Lyme Disease Research Group. Personally, I had brilliant results from the original Cowden protocol and it’s gratifying to see Dr. Richard Horowitz’s very positive results as well. Alternatives to conventional antibiotic treatment for Lyme often seem difficult to track and trust, however there is no lack of scientific methodology from this medical group in Connecticut and the University of New Haven.

There is also good news in that the condensed protocol is more affordable than the original version. The protocol is available through Nutramedix or through your LLMD.

In Vitro Effectiveness of Samento and Banderol Herbal Extracts on the Different Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi

by Akshita Datar, Navroop Kaur, Seema Patel, David F. Luecke, and Eva Sapi, PhD
Lyme Disease Research Group
University of New Haven

There is an alternative clinical treatment option gaining wide use, called Cowden Condensed Support Program, that utilizes several herbal extracts designed to eliminate microbes in Lyme disease patients. Richard Horowitz, MD, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF), has prescribed this protocol for over 2000 of his patient and reports that it has been effective for more than 70% of them. The two herbal agents from the Cowden Condensed Support Program selected for this study are Samento (a pentacyclic chemotype of Cat's Claw [Uncaria tomentosa] that does not contain tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids), with reported antibacterial and antiviral properties, and Banderol (Otoba sp.), known to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal and anti-inflammatory effects.10-12 Both herbal agents are used during the first two months of Cowden Condensed Support Program, then in rotation with other antimicrobials for the duration of this 6-month protocol.

For further information about the Lyme Disease Research Group’s work, please listen to Dr. Eva Sapi in our Interviews with Experts series.


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Link between Chronic Lyme and CFIDS

Even well into my so-called ‘normal’ post-Lyme life, there are days, such as this, when regular routine tasks -- preparing and cleaning up after a meal, writing an email, grocery shopping, seem unbearably exhausting. Friends I confide in say they have the same feelings and that it comes and goes. We attribute this to a variety of causes, hormones, diet, children, our jobs and just plain ol’ getting older. Illness is also suspect, especially for those of us who have battled with fatigue due to Chronic Lyme (aka neurologic post-Lyme), and/or the syndrome we call Chronic fatigue.

More studies are needed to examine the relationship between these two potentially devastating diseases. A dear friend and neighbor of mine, an aging Southern writer appeared astonishingly frail and weak, but whose wicked sense of humor never rested, died last year after struggling for many years with CFIDS. In spite of her failing health it always seemed that her role in our friendship was to make me laugh. She succeeded. Mine was to give her news about the steps being taken to find a cure to what ailed us. If I could get her updated address, I’d email this article to her this morning:

Possible links between Chronic Lyme and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, are under scrutiny of experts including Steven E Schutzer, MD, and Brian Fallon, MD, the Director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University.  

Scientists have discovered proteins in spinal fluid that can distinguish people with two mysterious illnesses that mimic each other — chronic fatigue syndrome and a kind of chronic Lyme disease.

Wednesday's study is small and needs verification. But specialists called it a promising start at clearing some of the confusion surrounding two illnesses with similar symptoms and no good means of diagnosis.

"It's a very important first step," said Dr. Suzanne Vernon of the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America.

Lyme disease usually is cured with antibiotics, but some patients report pain, fatigue and memory or other neurologic problems that linger for months or years after treatment ends. This post-treatment Lyme disease shares symptoms that characterize chronic fatigue syndrome.

The new study analyzed spinal fluid from 25 of those chronic Lyme patients, 43 people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 11 healthy people. Using a special high-powered technology, researchers detected more than 2,500 proteins in each group.

Read the abstract of the study here.

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Genomes of 13 strains Lyme bugs mapped

Lyme can sure be a complicated puzzle. For example, knowing that Lyme is an inflammatory disease is one thing. But knowing what to do about that is quite another.  My personal approach often feels scattershot: add turmeric to my supplemental arsenal. Take daily doses of quercetin. Drink water, exercise, avoid sugar.  But doctors are far from being in agreement about therapies, and health websites and magazines are stuffed with pop advice. Some is helpful, some is contradictory or otherwise confusing.

But what can medical science tell us about dealing with chronic inflammation? There is actually good news in this area from a recent study.

Researchers have mapped the genomes of the 13 strains of bacterium that play the most prominent role in causing Lyme disease. This project may help us understand why a significant number of Lyme patients suffer with a chronic inflammatory response. The study may yield some answers to the problem of inflammation, an auto-immune response. More importantly, it may give us clues about what to do about it.
Apparently the discovery is exciting Lyme researchers because they have found that proteins on the surface of the Borrelia bacterium can signal the immune system by attaching to receptors on the surface of white blood cells. The white blood cells are the ones responsible for fighting off infection.
That tiny attachment triggers production of an external protein that traps and stops other white blood cells from controlling the production of antibodies. When this occurs, antibodies are churned out in large numbers, often non-specifically, which results in inflammation throughout the body.
Researchers conclude that through therapeutic intervention they may be able to detach that external protein, and thereby suppress the inflammatory response.
Here is the abstract of the article, online in the Journal of Bacteriology:

Borrelia burgdorferi
is a causative agent of Lyme disease in North America and Eurasia. The first complete genome sequence of B. burgdorferi strain 31, available for more than a decade, has assisted research on the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Because a single genome sequence is not sufficient to understand the relationship between genotypic and geographic variation and disease phenotype, we determined the whole genome sequences of 13 additional B. burgdorferi isolates that span the range of natural variation. These sequences should allow improved understanding of pathogenesis and provide a foundation for novel detection, diagnosis, and prevention strategies.

Consider the spirochete: a minute, ancient creature. And yet it can cause so much distress. Something so tiny and simple can wreck such collosol havoc. Now perhaps the discovery of this microscopic external protein, only recently become visible to scientists, can help bring about healing.
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Nutrition & diet are essential - Interview with Ginger Savely

I had a very uplifting conversation with Ginger Savely the other day.

Ginger R. Savely, RN, FNP-C
is a primary care provider who specializes in treating Lyme disease symptoms.

She has bachelors degrees in both Psychology and Nursing and graduated summa cum laude in her nursing class at the University of Texas where she was named Outstanding Graduating Senior. She has masters degrees in both education and nursing, and recently earned a doctorate degree in research.

Ginger is a member of ILADS, a prestigious group of world experts on the treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. She was honored by her peers by being selected to receive the 2004 Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award. Ginger's clinic is called TBD Medical Associates and she is located at Union Square Medical Associates, in San Francisco. She can be reached at Ginger Savely.com.

It's great to get Ginger's perspective on nutrition, and as we talked about what Lyme patients can do to include diet and nutrition in their protocol, she mentions Dr. Royal Lee, who first recognized that processed foods cause many health problems. She points out that MDs are not trained in nutrition, and that in general, most interested citizens know more than their doctors about food and its effect on their health. MDs are trained to fix the current problem, not to counsel patients about eating a healing diet.

Patients looking for guidance in diet and nutrition generally cannot get it from their LLMD. Although there are exceptions, and many doctors do go on to study diet and nutrition as part of a healing approach, in general, MDs are just not trained to think in that way.

So, what's a Lyme patient to do?

To help her patients educate themselves about healing from Lyme disease, Ginger recommends that they read a book called The Fourfold Path to Healing, by Thomas Cowan. She says it's a must-read for Lyme patients. The 100 Perspectives that is available on this website is also a "cross-training" approach that I've taken for recovering from Lyme. Getting better requires looking at the bigger picture of health, and not simply taking the antibiotics prescribed by a doctor, even an LLMD.

Attitude is another part of the big picture that Ginger spoke with me about. Lyme symptoms often manifest in our emotions and mental states, and it is well-known that holding onto anger can be very damaging to the immune system. She discusses how she has observed that patients who hang on to anger or have bitterness toward the world can throw a wrench into their own healing process.

Listen to my conversation with Ginger Savely in the member’s portal.



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Samento & Banderol found significantly effective in Lyme treatment

A tick-borne, multisystemic disease, Lyme borreliosis caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi has grown into a major public health problem during the last 10 years. The primary treatment for chronic Lyme disease is administration of various antibiotics. However, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued. One possible explanation for this is that B. burgdorferi become resistant to antibiotic treatment, by converting from their vegetative spirochete form into different round bodies and/or into biofilmlike colonies. There is an urgent need to find novel therapeutic agents that can eliminate all these different morphologies of B. burgdorferi. In this study, two herbal extracts, Samento and Banderol, as well as doxycycline (one of the primary antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) were tested for their in vitro effectiveness on several of the different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi (spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies) using fluorescent, darkfield microscopic, and BacLight viability staining methods. Our results demonstrated that both herbal agents, but not doxycycline, had very significant effects on all forms of B. burgdorferi, especially when used in combination, suggesting that herbal agents could provide an effective therapeutic approach for Lyme disease patients. -- from article in Townsend Letter, July 2010

Samento and Banderol are found to be important herbal allies, in this study conducted by our friends at the Lyme Disease Research Group of the University of New Haven. In our interview with Eva Sapi, PhD, director of the graduate program in Lyme disease research, she promised that she was quite determined to find an effective agent that would "kill the bug -- and soon." So, this study is proof that Dr Sapi is following through with her promise. It is a hopeful note in the battle against the nasty bacterial complex we know as Borrelia burgdorferi.

Personally, I am very excited about these findings. Samento and Banderol have been my medicine of choice for several years. These herbal extracts have certainly been effective, helping me pull myself out of a painful, groggy nightmare and get my life back on track. Those two herbal tinctures daily, plus a host of other supportive supplements, a regular exercise routine, and a sugar-free, whole-foods diet, have made all the difference. Samento and Banderol have truly been my allies in this cross-training approach to healing.

Please read the entire article reporting on the study, which you can find on the website of the Townsend Letter, the Examiner of Alternative Medicine. The article is titled: In Vitro Effectiveness of Samento and Banderol Herbal Extracts on the Different Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi by Akshita Datar, Navroop Kaur, Seema Patel, David F. Luecke, and Eva Sapi, PhD -- Lyme Disease Research Group, University of New Haven

Members, to learn more about the work of the University of New Haven Lyme research program, please listen to our interview with Dr Eva Sapi. You will also find more information about Lee Cowden, MD, and his herbal protocol.



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Natural-born killers

There's a spot of good news in Lyme research this week. Scientists trying to ferret out the role of NK (natural killer) T cells in white blood cells know that dysfunctional or deficient NK T cells seem to lead to autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis -- the kind that plagues the knees of many chronic Lyme sufferers. It seems that these natural-born killer T cells play a big part in helping to clear out bacterial infection. Read on:

RESEARCHERS FROM LA JOLLA INSTITUTE AND ALBANY MEDICAL COLLEGE IDENTIFY CELL GROUP KEY TO LYME DISEASE ARTHRITIS

Research Shows Important Role of NK T cells in Fighting Lyme Disease


SAN DIEGO – (December 3, 2008) A research team led by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Albany Medical College has illuminated the important role of natural killer (NK) T cells in Lyme disease, demonstrating that the once little understood white blood cells are central to clearing the bacterial infection and reducing the intensity and duration of arthritis associated with Lyme disease.

Click here for the full press release.
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Obstacles to killing the bug

Eva Sapi, Ph.D., who teaches molecular biology for graduate students and does Lyme disease research at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, has one goal. "To kill the bug," she says. "And not in ten years, not even in six months, but soon!" She and her team of medical researchers are intent on figuring out why the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the bug that causes Lyme disease, is so difficult to eradicate.

Lyme disease cases are increasing, and Sapi says she fears this year will be a bad one for ticks, and stresses the importance of prevention. Field research conducted this spring has yielded a disturbing find in her region, she says. The number of ticks carrying the infectious Borrelia bacteria has increased to 60%, up from previous years' 20-30%. She says one possible explanation for the increase could be changing temperatures. Recent mild winters may not have not dropped temperatures sufficiently long enough or frigid enough to kill the ticks.

Sapi is frustrated by the political controversy surrounding Lyme, saying that in her previous research into cancer, such obstacles were not a problem. Unnecessarily harsh criticism of her scientific findings having to do with the Borrelia bacteria has limited the number of publications where her research can be reviewed. However, significant support is increasing from other areas. Grants offered to ILADS from the Turn the Corner Foundation are currently helping fund Sapi's department at University of New Haven for research projects that hopefully, ultimately will help her reach her goal. And soon.

Dr. Sapi spoke with us on April 27, 2008. Members, please keep an eye out for our conversation about her research, to be posted soon to the Lyme Expert Audio Interview page.
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