Journal of Immunity

Vol 1 No 1 Spring Issue 2003

Hong Kong residents wear masks to try to prevent contacting SARS while mixing with crowds. The surgical facemask has become the worldwide symbol of the SARS epidemic.

SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) - A Special Report - the symptoms, prevention and possible treatments.

Journal of Immunity replaces "Positive Health News" and "Progressive Health News"

Thyroid and Adrenal hormone imbalances adversely affect immune function. Veterinarian successfully treats 35000 pets.

Selenium supplements - Plant-based products are safe and effective. L-selenomethionine (man-made version) is not an amino acid chelate, and is neither safe nor effective.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies for HIV from Africa and China.

Manganese - a reverse transcriptase inhibitor, also improves thyroid function.

"Journal of Immunity" replaces "Positive Health News" and "Progressive Health News"

Mark Konlee (April, 2003)

It has been a while since most of you have heard from me. By now, some of you may have thought that I had folded my tent and left town. The last issue of Positive Health News, Report No 24, was published one year ago. The fall issue of Positive Health News was never attempted as my time became consumed in revising the book "How to Reverse Immune Dysfunction," and updating it for a new edition.

The new book is called "Immune Restoration Handbook." After several months of revising the book, it finally went to press on March 21, 2003, more than 4 months behind schedule.

Chronic fatigue (syndrome) slows me down

Out of necessity (to keep the lights on and other obvious needs), my work at Keep Hope Alive has always been on a part time basis, although this has not prevented me from very intense research and writings in the past, often working late into the night. For a part time effort over the past several years and without a supporting paid staff, a lot has been accomplished. The website, with over 1000 pages, is a treasure trove of information on nutritional and immune-based therapies. The search box at provides the means of extracting the desired information. The Message Board, linked to the website, has become an active forum for sharing information, asking questions and presenting diverse points of view.

In September 2002, after writing and sending out the monthly report "Progressive Health News," I found the energy and drive that had sustained my activities for several years, was being replaced with daily fatigue and a lack of drive. Late in October, I realized that the speed at which I was progressing was moving to slow to do both a revision of the book and a fall newsletter. I also found myself not getting refreshing sleep at night and needing at least two naps during the day, one in the mid-afternoon and again early in the evening. By early November I thought that possibly I had an activation of HHV-6 or EBV. I knew that I had been hypothyroid for several years. Recently my body temperature had been running about 2.5 degrees below normal. I began to question and ask myself why was I writing this book. Should I not first find the answer to this chronic fatigue problem before continuing the revision? I concluded affirmatively and began one of the most intensive research efforts I have ever undertaken - this one being on thyroid and adrenal function and how it affects immune function.

A major breakthrough that opened-up my thought processes was an article by veterinarian Alfred Plechner, who has successfully treated over 35,000 pets for a variety of conditions in the past 20 years. Plechner has found that immune dysfunction is directly linked to thyroid and adrenal deficiencies and imbalances. An interview with Dr. Plechner and the results of this research linking endocrinology to immunology is published in this newsletter and in the new Immune Restoration Handbook.

"Journal of Immunity" replaces "Positive Heath News" and "Progressive Health News."

I decided this past winter to reduce my workload by having one publication instead of two. From now on, the Journal of Immunity will be a quarterly report (every 3 months) and will replace both Positive Health News and Progressive Health News. Persons who previously received the monthly report will now receive the quarterly reports. Those who previously had only received "Positive Health News" will receive instead the end of year annual report. The annual report is planned for the last quarter of each year. As always, both the quarterly reports and the annual report of the Journal of Immunity will be posted in their entirety on our website ( However, because the chronic fatigue I experienced did not resolve until sometime in February this year, the timing of the annual report is out of sync with this first report. It should, however, be back on track by the end of this year.

Some personal observations

Going back to 1986/87, a period of personal tribulations of ill health that I would wish on no-one, is the starting focal point that motivated me to share my experiences and research with others. The writings that I have published (under a pseudonym) started in 1989. This is in keeping with my desire to be both a public and private person. In that respect, I am like the "Mark Twain" of "Huckleberry Finn," although the subject matter is certainly different. In 1991, I visited a local physician who ran extensive tests and declared me a rare specimen in perfect health. I received his good news with skepticism, as I considered myself a warrior, who had been wounded, but was fortunate enough to have survived a long battle. I kept my secret, left his office and have not returned, not being an example of conventional wisdom, but guided by the Spirit on life's dusty road to tomorrow.

SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) an emerging epidemic - is it too late to stop?

In November 2002, the first case of SARS was diagnosed in China. As of today, April 22, 2003, there are now over 4000 known cases worldwide and about 300 deaths, 5 to 10% of the total number of infected persons. The disease has now spread to 27 countries with significant clusters in Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi and Toronto, Canada. In Toronto, Canada, over 4000 persons have been quarantined. Quarantines, surgical masks and the face of fear. SARS has or will soon replace Al- Qaeda as the new face of a global terrorism. While the US government has focused its energy on fighting terrorism from Muslim extremists, a new enemy has emerged overnight that covert CIA ops and JDAM missiles will not neutralize - the infectious agent that causes SARS. For the world at large, there are few greater biological threats than SARS- namely Ebola and Small Pox. Presently, SARS is a greater threat to the security of the United States and indeed the entire planet than all the nuclear bombs known to exist, and that even includes the atomic bombs from rogue nations.


A worse case scenario depends on the following factors: 1. The number of new cases doubles every 30 days. 2. The death rate stays at about 5%. 3. Effective preventive and treatment strategies fail. If the number of persons infected with the virus that causes SARS reaches 5000 at the end of April, 2003 and 10,000 by the end of May and 20,000 by the end of June and all efforts to hold back the viral tide fail, there will be 1, 250,000 (One and 1/4 million) with SARS by December, 2003.

Continuing to double every 30 days as follows - Jan, 2004 2.5 million; Feb, 5 million; March - 10 million; Apr - 20 million; May - 40 million; June - 80 million; Jul - 160 million; Aug - 320 million and Sept - 640 million; Oct - 1 billion, 280 million; Nov- 2 billion, 560 million and December, 2004 - over 5 billion people infected. Early in 2005, the worldwide epidemic ends leaving in its wake 200 to 400 million fatalities including 10 to 15 million Americans. Cities and crowded places may yet prove to be hazardous locations to live in the next few years. In Hong Kong, even the churches have been closed to stop people to people transmission of the virus.

A better scenario

An effective quarantine now could prevent this disease from becoming a viral wildfire that rages out of control. A vaccine is how many years away? If the pharmaceutical companies find effective treatments, will they be like AIDS treatments, out of the price range of 97% of the world's population that needs them? As this will likely be the case, it is imperative that alternative answers be found which are based on commonly available resources that are low in cost and readily available. Public policy must somehow be changes at the NIH so it actively embraces the testing of thousands of botanical and alternative treatments for SARS as well as other diseases.

The Symptoms of SARS

The Center for Disease Control reports at its website that SARS is accompanied by flu-like symptoms including fever over 100.4 degrees F, myalgias (muscle pain), body aches, headache, sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be followed by hypoxia (low oxygen blood levels) and pneumonia. Some persons also develop diarrhea. Laboratory findings include thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) and leukopenia (low levels of neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils- types of white blood cells known as granulocytes).

In his book, "Hydrogen Peroxide - Medical Miracle," William Douglass MD writes that "the cells in the body that fight infection, called granulocytes, produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a first line of defense against every type of invading organism - parasites, viruses, bacteria and yeast." Certainly, H2O2 and other bio-oxidative therapies including ozone might have a role to play in the treatment of SARS and this needs to be investigated by the NIH and CDC. If the government limits its research only to pharmaceutical drugs, it may miss a low-cost treatment that could save millions of lives.

How SARS spreads - Incubation period

The CDC reports that the primary way SARS spreads is by person-to-person contact. Most cases of SARS have involved healthcare workers, friends and family members who cared for or lived with someone with SARS and were exposed by respiratory secretions, cough or sneeze droplets that touch the mouth, nose or eyes of the person. SARS may also be spread through the air. In apartment buildings with forced air, one infected person might spread the illness throughout the building. Apartments heated by hydronic or electric heat would not have this problem. After exposure, a person may carry the virus and spread it to others over a period of 2 to 10 days before developing symptoms.

New coronavirus may be the cause, says the CDC

The CDC has identified the agent that causes SARS as a new coronavirus and the genetic code of the virus has been mapped. The new coronavirus is a variant of other known coronaviruses that infect animals. Symptoms of coronavirus infection may resemble a cold or flu.

Test for SARS expected to be ready by early May 2003. The CDC is moving at warp speed in a race against time to find an effective diagnostic test as well as an effective treatment. Dr James Hughes, head of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, says the test will be sent to about 100 state, city and federal health labs within two weeks. The accuracy of the new test remains to be demonstrated. An antibody test is also under development. Roche Molecular Systems is developing a PCR test for SARS that it hopes to have ready in 8 weeks. The PCR test could determine the presence of the virus even before antibodies appear. This is crucial because it is during the incubation period that the virus can rapidly spread in a person who does not know they are carrying it.

World Health Organization

The WHO has a website updated with information from around the world on hot zones, new diagnostic tests and treatments. You can access it on the web at

The WHO's brief case definition includes the following - 1. Fever over 38 ° C (100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing plus either contact with a person who has SARS or travel to an areas where SARS cases are known to exist.

The Race for a Cure

Several thousand drugs are now in the process of being tested for use in treating SARS. Ribaviran is being tested at two sites. So far, nothing looks promising but I expect that to change before long. A search on the web finds several sites already making claims for a variety of alternative treatments for SARS that could not have possibly been tested in this short time period. In the new Immune Restoration Handbook, SARS is mentioned in the Symptoms and Remedies section and directs the reader to the section on treatments for pneumonia and to the Miraculous Water of San Damiano.

Promising low-cost treatments for SARS that might help

The following list of proposed treatments is formed, based on an analysis of available lab reports, from the CDC's website. Since it is known that hypoxia (low oxygen blood levels) exists along with thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) and leukopenia (low levels of neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils- types of white blood cells known as granulocytes, the following is proposed for anyone suspected of SARS.

1. Atomized Colloidal Silver at 5 to 10 ppm inhaled deeply for 2 minutes every 2 to 4 hours throughout the day. The silver solution must be pH neutral and contain no acids or other minerals. A suitable product found in health food stores is "Silver Nasal Spray" by Source Naturals. A proper silver solution should be clear, pH neutral (7) and tasteless. Avoid other products with acids added that will irritate the lungs. Colloidal silver is highly effective against 99.5 % of all known pathogens including viruses and should reduce viral activity and inflammation in the lungs.

2. Hydrogen peroxide - (topical use). Heat 1/4 cup of over-the-counter 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Pour over a white cotton or wool cloth and place on the chest area. Leave it there for 20 minutes. Repeat this treatment every 8 to 12 hours. The hydrogen peroxide is absorbed through the skin and enters the blood stream and the lungs directly oxidizing viruses on contact and increasing oxygen levels in the blood immediately. As the enzyme catalase breaks down the H2O2 into H2O and O1, it increases oxygen levels and zaps infectious agents.

Note 1: The daily use of H2O2 will drain catalase reserves in the body after a few days. To replenish, drink raw potato juice, a rich source of catalase. To prepare (without a juicer), cut up a medium size potato and add to a blender with one cup of water. Blend, strain and drink about one hour after each peroxide treatment. The catalase will break down the H2O2 and release life supporting oxygen right in the blood stream. The potato juice will also soothe an irritated gastrointestinal tract.

Note 2. Oral use of H2O2 is suggested if no improvement from topical use occurs in the first 24 hrs. If you can find 6 or 7% food grade hydrogen peroxide solution, mix one teaspoon in a glass of distilled water and take every 4 hours on an empty stomach. See Immune Restoration Handbook for more instruction on how to use H2O2 and/or ozone.

3. Low platelet count - use BioBoost Thymic protein A. Also, Astragalus and Echinacea. Hot Castor oil packs over the chest one day and liver area the next for the white blood cells. To improve neutrophil function, take 800 to 1200 mcg daily of plant based selenium (Bio-Active Selenium by Solaray) or drink two glasses of Brazil Nut Milk daily.

4. Other treatments - see "pneumonia" or "colds" in my book for more possible treatments.


Veterinarian treats thousands of pets with multiple illnesses from chronic infections to autoimmune conditions and finds common anomalies Mark Konlee Alfred J. Plechner D.V.M. a graduate of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has practiced in West Los Angeles for more than 35 years. Early in his career, he developed an interest in nutrition, allergy, and the relationship of hormone-immune imbalances to small animal diseases. His research and clinical experiences have been published in veterinary journals as well as popular animal magazines. In the mid-1980's, he co-developed the first successful commercial lamb and rice diet, a new hypoallergenic pet food diet that has been widely copied. He later served as a consultant for Natures Recipe in developing a new generation of hypoallergenic foods for pets. Plechner is co-author, with Martin Zucker, of a 1986 book "Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic." (Very Healthy Enterprises), and a new book, "Time bomb Pets" to be published in 2003 by New Sage Press.

Plechner has apparently made a major discovery of an unrecognized endocrine abnormality that undermines the immune system and resistance in household pets, and which may also be involved in human conditions, perhaps even HIV, CFIDS and cancer. He has found this abnormality present in a high percentage of sick animals brought to him for treatment, many as a last resort, after other veterinarians have been unsuccessful. He has identified the abnormality in cases ranging from common allergies and skin problems to severe viral infections, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Over time he developed an effective therapeutic method involving an endocrine-immune test followed by long-term, low-dose cortisone and thyroid replacement hormones.

Plechner's approach appears to correct a cortisol deficiency, the cause of the endocrine abnormality, lowers a systemically high estrogen level, frees thyroid hormones bound up by the estrogen, and restores suppressed immune activity to effectiveness. The result: a reduction of illness and improved health, often full recovery, for as long as animals are maintained on the program.

Martin Zucker, a mutual friend and medical writer, first brought my attention to this work by sharing a fascinating scientific paper he wrote with Plechner that is based on the veterinarian‚s more than thirty years of clinical experience. The paper, published in a medical journal, is entitled "An effective veterinary model may offer therapeutic promise for human conditions: cortisol and thyroid hormones." The article sparked my immediate interest. According to Zucker, Plechner has treated numerous cats with serious FIV infections. The treatment restored normal immune function. In a follow-up phone call to Alfred Plechner, I asked him to describe his treatment protocol for pets and small animals. Here was his reply.

Plechner: The treatment consists of giving low dose thyroid hormones along with low-dose cortisone.

Konlee: Do you mean low-dose thyroid hormones like "Armour Thyroid" that provides the natural thyroid hormones "Thyroxin" (T4, T3, T2 and T1) and "Cortef "that provides natural hydrocortisone that the body uses to make cortisol, the natural adrenal hormone?

Plechner: Yes, the equivalent of these drugs for use in humans is available by prescription for household pets and other animals. The amount given varies according to the weight of the animal and the results of diagnostic tests. If I were treating an animal that weighed 150 pounds, I would start off with 1/2 grain of thyroid (about 32 mg) and 5 mg of cortisone twice a day. You will need to monitor blood pressure when giving thyroid as too much could cause it to rise as well as increase the pulse rate. The process of increasing thyroid use has to be gradual. Usually the amount of cortisone used is maintained at a low level.

Konlee: I can understand the role of the thyroid hormone, as it controls cellular metabolism throughout the body, the production of ATP and will help in normalizing body temperature that is critical for restoring cell-mediated immune responses, but cortisone, is it not immunosuppressive?

Plechner: Absolutely, if you take too much of it. The same is true for zinc. Research has shown that too little zinc or too much is immunosuppressive and this has been shown for other nutrients as well. You absolutely need zinc for your thymus gland to function properly and mature T cells, but you don't want too much or too little. Now for cortisol, it is a natural anti-inflammatory hormone, and the normal healthy human body produces about 40 mg daily. It is well established that most of the pharmaceutical versions of "cortisone" like Prednisone are synthetic steroids, powerful anti-inflammatory agents, but also immunosuppressive at doses over 5 mg daily (the equivalent of 30 mg of hydrocortisone). In fact, at doses over 5 mg daily, Prednisone will completely shut down your adrenal gland production of cortisol. When going Prednisone that is over 6 times stronger than hydrocortisone, it has to be tapered off gradually over a period of several days or weeks. At high doses, all kinds of adverse effects can develop with the synthetic steroids, and this has given them a bad reputation. What is not known is that too little of the natural free cortisol is immunosuppressive by allowing excessive levels of estrogen to build up.

What is not known is that too little of the natural free cortisol is immunosuppressive by allowing excessive levels of estrogen to build up. The amount of cortisol produced by the adrenals is controlled by ACTH from the Pituitary gland and controlled through a feedback loop with the Hypothalamus gland that produces Corticotropic-Releasing Factor (CRF). When the adrenals are exhausted and not producing enough free cortisol, the Hypothalamus continues to pump out CRF that, in turn, stimulates the Pituitary to produce more ACTH. The elevated ACTH signals the Adrenals to produce more Cortisol that the exhausted adrenals are unable to do. However, the adrenal glands respond to the ACTH stimulation by continuing to produce estrogen. In other words, ACTH can stimulate the adrenal glands to produce either cortisol or estrogen. (In some instances, total adrenal exhaustion causes the adrenals to fail to produce either enough cortisol or estrogen).

What turns-off the CRF/ACTH feedback loop is sufficient free cortisol levels in the blood. At a certain level, cortisol turns off the CRF that regulates the ACTH output from the Pituitary. In a normal 24-hour period (circadian cycle), cortisol levels are highest at 8 A.M. in the morning and lowest in the evening (8pm to midnight). Cortisone supplements, given before bedtime, can interfere with sleep. Cortisone supplements should only be given between 8am and 2pm (early afternoon). There are many people treated with thyroid hormones that get their body temperature back to normal and many who do not. One reason is that part of the Adrenal glands are exhausted and are not producing enough cortisol, while another part of the Adrenal glands are producing too much estrogen that binds to thyroxin. The production of cortisol and adrenal estrogen is controlled through the Hypothalamus/Pituitary feedback loop.

Note: When natural cortisone, such as the prescription drug Cortef, is administered, it is converted to the active form called "cortisol."

Konlee: This sounds very complicated. Could you explain it again?

Plechner: Feedback loops are regulatory mechanisms in the body that govern fluctuations of the hormones produced by glands. The adrenal gland produces a lot of important hormones. They include adrenaline, the well-known stress hormone, made in the central tissue of the two adrenal glands. The outer tissue, called the cortex, is divided into three layers. The middle layer secretes cortisol. Cortisol is controlled by a classical feedback loop involving the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain. They secrete substances that act as "on or off" switches. Among other hormones that they influence, they turn on or turn off the adrenal production of cortisol, depending upon how much cortisol they sense in the system. These feedback loops are the core of the body's inner biochemical intelligence.

It is now recognized that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, as part of the neuroendocrine system, has central importance to immune homeostasis, however researchers still admit to a lack of clear understanding about the countless details and interactions. Hormonal interactions are a very complex business. As a clinician and not a researcher I don't pretend to be an expert on the intricate molecular details. But I do know what works for my patients and what the tests I have developed tell me. And years ago I found a consistently deficient cortisol level in sick animals. I attributed this to a genetic defect, the result of contemporary breeding practices, or to other causes, such as nutritional deficiencies or toxins. The defect could result in damage to the tissue that makes the cortisol or an error in the enzyme process necessary for the manufacture of cortisol. Such an error has been identified in congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a disease of humans. The net result is a shortfall in cortisol, and that's a key loss, because the hormone exerts a potent anti-inflammatory effect, stimulates several processes that serve to increase and maintain a normal glucose level in the blood and, very important to our discussion, acts as a regulatory factor for normal immune function.

Konlee: Why does a deficiency of cortisol cause the adrenal glands to produce estrogen?

Plechner: Good question. The inner cortical layer of the adrenal glands also responds to ACTH. And here is where it now gets a little complicated. My hypothesis is that there is constant ACTH stimulation in a situation where cortisol is bound or deficient, and where the middle cortex layer is not able to respond to the call for more cortisol. The level of cortisol fails to reach the threshold necessary to stop the hypothalamus from secreting CRF. The CRF stimulates the pituitary to continue secreting ACTH. The ACTH tries to get the adrenal gland to produce cortisol, and in the process stimulates the inner layer of the cortex. As a result, more androgens are produced. The androgens then may convert to estrogen in a quantity that is excessive. Cortisol levels are controlled by a classical feedback loop that involves the hypothalamus-pituitary and adrenal glands. Cortisol, the primary glucocorticoid, is produced in the middle Adrenal cortex layer.

We have found a problem in cortisol production that comes from two of three layers of the adrenal cortex. The defect can be genetic or due to other causes (nutritional deficiencies or toxins). As a result of an inability of the adrenals to keep up with demand for cortisol, adrenal estrogen levels build up and cause the following:

1. A histamine-like effect on capillaries, leading to inflammation from blood components spilling into adjacent tissues

2. Binding thyroid hormone

3. Further deregulation of lymphocytes and antibodies.

Cortisol stimulates several processes that serve to increase and maintain normal glucose levels in the blood, exert a potent anti-inflammatory effect and act as a regulating factor for normal immune function. Except in some rare cases of total adrenal exhaustion, a deficiency of free cortisol leads to an excess of adrenal estrogen that deregulates the immune response between Th1 and Th2 type cytokines.

Konlee: Elevated histamine levels have been linked to elevated interluken 6 levels in many studies. If the histamine like effects are due to actual elevated histamine levels, then should not we also expect IL-6 levels to increase; and if that were the case, would we not also expect a shift in cytokine profiles from TH1 to the less effective TH2?

Plechner: That is a good question. I have not investigated whether or not IL-6 levels are elevated in these conditions but I have found out that IgA levels are low, and these low levels in the digestive tract lead to food allergies and sensitivities, as well as malabsorption.

Konlee: IgA is a TH1 Immunoglobulin needed for mucosal immunity. Bifidobacteria Longum has been found to increase the levels of IgA as does vitamin A and the thyroid hormone, thyroxin. What are some of the benefits of supplementing with low-dose thyroid and cortisone you have observed in your clinical practice?

Plechner: After a trial and error period, I have developed a testing and treatment strategy that has proved to be safe and highly effective. The central modality is replacement with physiological doses of cortisone preparations to address the root issue of cortisol deficiency.

The low-dose cortisone preparations normalize ACTH levels, stop the overproduction of adrenal estrogen and the accompanying estrogen blockade of the thyroid hormones and reregulates the immune system.

The use of low dose cortisone long term has also been reported by Jefferies for treating allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome (1). The second important modality is the simultaneous use of thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone is needed, because the excess adrenal estrogen has bound some of the thyroid hormone. The low dose thyroid hormone helps increase the metabolic rate and the liver to detoxify, as well as process the cortisol. By giving cortisol and thyroid replacement simultaneously, the body is able to effectively utilize and process the former (cortisol) without developing side effects.

Once the testing and low-dose hormone therapy is underway, it is very important to follow a hypoallergenic diet and remove foods to which the animal or person is sensitive. After a few weeks, the sensitive foods may be reintroduced one at a time.

Konlee: Have you written and published other articles on this subject?

Plechner: In the late 1970's, I wrote 4 articles (2, 3, 4 and 5) on my experiences and theories but found no germane research in veterinary journals to provide guidance.

Konlee: I understand you have worked a lot with cats that have the FIV virus, the equivalent of HIV in humans. Can you tell us more about your experience?

Plechner: FIV is one of several retroviruses that affect cats. Like terrorists, they infiltrate into the body of cats, live in a dormant state for periods of time, even years, replicate as conditions allow, and then attack, causing serious damage and even death. From my perspective, the ability of a cat to combat viruses like these hinges on its endocrine-immune resources. The presence of the abnormal endocrine-immune mechanism I have described to you renders an animal less able to fight. The immune cells are deregulated, unable to establish a strong unified defense. As the underlying hormone and immune irregularities intensify with time, errant defenses run amok. When cats die, people say the virus killed them. To me it's more a case of a dysfunctional immune system that has not only failed to deter the viruses, but also turned on the cat and helped to kill it. Cats with clinical signs of the disease are regarded as incurable. They are often euthanized. Many cats have no symptoms, but are nevertheless positive for this or perhaps other retroviruses (such as feline leukemia or feline infectious peritonitis).

The blood test I have developed shows whether an animal has the endocrine-immune imbalance. When I do the test, and the results indicate no imbalance, it is highly unlikely an animal will break with the disease. If the results indicate imbalance, the situation has to be corrected otherwise an animal will become sick or sicker. After the hormone replacement program is started, a cat often will test negative for the virus. This is true, whether the cat previously was merely positive for the virus or actually symptomatic. The underlying defect has been corrected. The immune cells are back in business. They fight back and vanquish the viruses. This is my experience in numerous cases. Multiple felines under one roof might be positive for a particular virus but the huge majority of them live long and healthy lives, if they are put back into hormonal balance and their owners keep them on the program. If the program is stopped, the imbalance will return and the animal become at risk again. You test for the defect. If you find it, you correct it, and stay the course. The imbalance is there. You are correcting it with the therapy, and putting an animal's derailed immune system back on the tracks, enabling it to fight off any virus. The cat will respond by testing antibody negative. I have seen this reversal so many times that it doesn't surprise me anymore, even though the veterinary textbooks say it doesn't happen.

Supposedly, once you have the virus, you always have it. But that's not my clinical experience. I have been able to turn around approximately 70 percent of sick animals with FIV. Obviously, the earlier you correct the imbalance the better the chance for recovery. You want to intervene before severe damaged is inflicted to organs and vital parts. Remember what I said about elevated estrogen in the system. If the level is high enough it can suppress bone marrow and red blood cell production. The animal will develop anemia, and blood transfusions may be needed.

Konlee: How might this relate to HIV?

Plechner: If my experience with animals is any indication, perhaps when a human is exposed to the HIV virus, whether or not he or she breaks with symptoms of AIDS may depend on the health of that person's endocrine-immune integrity. If an imbalance is found through testing, correction with appropriate hormone replacement could be a significant strategy for both prevention and therapy. I have suggested to interested physicians that they test for the same range of hormonal-immune relationships as I do for animals. That means a blood test measuring cortisol, total estrogen, thyroid (T3/T4), and Immunoglobulin. Other factors could be added, such as T cells and perhaps other hormones, in order to develop a more precise picture of the defect's total range of impact. Testosterone and other androgens, also produced in the adrenal cortex, might be included and measured against immune cell levels. I have not done this in my clinical practice because of increased testing costs. However, researchers have begun looking at the immune and inflammatory modulating effects of androgen/estrogen ratios and concentrations. Patients can be retested after biweekly or monthly intervals to monitor changing relationships. The bottom line is that hormonal replacement must be measured against B and T cell levels.

For female patients, clinicians will have to consider ovarian estrogen. The level of total estrogen will obviously vary according to monthly cycle, age, and use of birth control pill or estrogen replacement. One physician, who uses hormones routinely in his practice, was surprised to find, after I discussed this mechanism with him, that his sickest postmenopausal patients had the highest estrogen levels and lowest antibody counts. These were women who were not on any estrogen replacement program. The possible reason for this, I suggested, is the impact of low/bound cortisol and added estrogen from adrenal androgen conversion a forgotten source of estrogen. Even though postmenopausal, these women may actually be in a state of relative estrogen dominance. For women, a testing method would have to accommodate individual situations. For example, reproductive age females might be tested in mid-cycle, when the ovarian estrogen level is highest, and again just prior to menses, when it is at the lowest level.

Konlee: As a general guide for someone who has low body temperature, low cortisol and high estrogen, what would be a safe dose with which to start?

Plechner: First of all, I am a veterinarian, and I cannot give medical advice to your readers. The advice I give here is of a general nature and for health care professionals to consider using. Readers should bring a copy of this article to their physician for their consideration. For cortisol, 5 mg (Cortef) twice a day for starters. Take at 8am and 2pm. This is a very low dose and some physicians may want to increase it to 10 mg twice a day. Do not take cortisone supplements in the evening or before bedtime, as it will interfere with the REM state of sleep. We want cortisol levels higher when we are awake and low when we are asleep. In normal subjects, cortisol levels are highest at 8am in the morning. Also, melatonin levels, that help promote restful sleep, should be lowest during the day and increase after dark and before bedtime. A melatonin spillover in the AM can depress the basal metabolic rate all day. This can be turned off by exposing the eyes to bright natural lights for a few minutes or taking a walk outside without wearing sunglasses.

For thyroid, 1/4 grain (about 15 mg) or 1/2 grain once or twice daily to start and, after a few weeks, if blood pressure and pulse are not elevated, to gradually increase the thyroid amount. The cortisol levels are left the same. The hormonal and immune benefits will accrue and be maintained as long as the person stays on the protocol. A physician's prescription is required for both the cortisol and thyroid hormones. The key here is low-dose for successful long-term use, as adverse effects may develop from higher doses.

Note: The active form of thyroxine, T3, is a strong inducer of IgA, a TH1 cytokine needed for intestinal and mucosal health.

Ref: 1. Jefferies, w. McK.Mild adrencortical deficiency, chronic allergies, autoimmune disorders and the chronic fatigue syndrome: a continuation of the cortisone story. Medical Hypothesis, 1994; 42;183-189

2. Plechner A. J., Shannon M., Canine Immune Complex diseases. Modern Veterinary Practice, November 1976; 917

3. Plechner A. J., Shannon M., Epstein A, Goldstein E., Howard E. B., Endocrine-immune surveillance. Pulse. June-July, 1978

4. Plechner A.J., Theory of endocrine-immune surveillance. California Veterinarian, Jan 1979; 12.

5. Plechner A.J. Preliminary observations on endocrine-associated immunodeficiencies in dogs? A clinician explores the relationship of immunodeficiencies to endocrinopathy. Modern Veterinary Practice, 1979; 811

Highlights from Alfred Plechner's article - 35,000 pets treated with his protocol

Alfred Plechner states that he has treated over 35000 pets in the past 20 years with this protocol. Plechner reports that low cortisol and thyroid hormone lowers T cell panels in the tests. Estrogen can exert a dramatic blocking effect on cortisol and thyroid hormones, and just a slight variation out of normal is enough to cause hormonal and immune complications. In this case, the relationship is usually low cortisol, high estrogen and deregulated immune cells. In female animals that are not neutered, testing is done when the animals are not in estrus and are not producing high levels of ovarian estrogen. Tests for estradiol levels alone are not sufficient to show estrogen dominance.

In a discussion with Alfred Plechner on Jan 13th, 2003, concerning a lab test from a female, which was faxed to me, showed elevated blood levels of cortisol, low thyroid function and normal estradiol levels, Plechner said: "Measuring estradiol (E2) levels alone will usually not determine estrogen dominance, you also need to measure the estrone (E1) levels. The test for total estrogens (E1 plus E2) will often show estrogen dominance whereas the test alone for estradiol will not. The blood serum cortisol levels do not tell the whole story, as they may be bound and inactive. That is why you need to measure active or free urinary cortisol collected in a 24 hr period and also look at the serum IgA levels. When the urinary cortisol levels are low, then normal or high cortisone levels in the blood indicate they are bound and inactive. "

The pattern that often emerges in many health conditions in canines (dogs) and humans is estrogen dominance (excess), low IgA linked to food allergies or intolerances, low active or free cortisol even when blood levels are high and low thyroid function. For humans when giving natural cortisone like "Cortef," 5 mg twice a day, it is very important to support the thyroid function with Armour Thyroid or you will have a build-up of cortisone levels after a few weeks. This is also true for dogs but not for cats whose thyroid function is usually not impaired. The thyroid hormones are needed to help break down the cortisone and metabolize it. A small amount of free cortisone (Cortef) is needed to turn off the Pituitary production of ACTH. When ACTH levels drop, both total estrogen and total cortisone levels will be reduced."

Note: a third form of estrogen called Estriol is usually found only in pregnant women and is typically not measured in total estrogen assays.

Diagnostic tests suggested by Plechner for humans - available from Specialty Labs in Santa Monica, CA 800-421-4449 or 310-828-6543

Tests for both males and females

A. Blood (Serum or Plasma) Tests

1. Total Estrogen (both estrone and estradiol) Code 3164

2. Thyroid Panel Hypothyroidism- Code 3074

]3. Cortisol - Code 3128

4. Testosterone - total and free - Code 3248

5. IgA, IgG and IgM -Code 1045

B. Urine tests for both males and females

1. Active /Free Cortisol - Code 3128U

2. Free T3 and T4 C. Basal metabolic temperature (using a digital thermometer)

Traditional method: Shake down thermometer and place on bed stand the night before. Upon awakening in the morning, while still in bed, place thermometer in armpit for 10 minutes before getting up. Normal basal temperature should be between 97.8 and 98.2°F.

Note: Mercury thermometers are no longer being sold due to the hazards of mercury, should a thermometer break. A convenient digital thermometer called a "Talking Thermometer" is available from Walgreens for about $10. Just click the button and wait for 3 beeps then it is ready to use. The thermometer will talk to you and tell you your temperature when it stabilizes. Upon awakening, the basal temperature may be taken under the tongue. Manufacturers of thermometers state that the basal temperature taken under the tongue can be done faster and with the same accuracy as under the armpit.

Note: Because of its fast readout, the Talking Thermometer and other digital thermometers will not give you an accurate reading under the armpit and should be taken under the tongue instead. The normal basal temperature range under the tongue upon awakening in the morning is from 97.6 to 98°F or .2 degrees less than the armpit reference range. A basal temperature of 1/2 degree below normal indicates mild hypothyroidism, whereas 2 degrees or more below normal is quite serious hypothyroidism.

Note: Basal test is only accurate in a menstruating women from 2nd to 4th day.

In addition to the above , the following tests are also recommended for Females:

a. Progesterone

b. Ferritin

Summary of Plechners findings

1. The presence of high estrogen and low immunoglobulins, especially IgA, will indicate to the clinician that the cortisol is at least partially inactive, and active thyroxine (T3) is deficient. This is true, even when T4 and blood cortisone levels are normal or high.

2. Binding of thyroid hormone by estrogen can be indicated, when both T3 and T4 test normal and the patient has these symptoms - excessive sleeping, sluggishness, hyperkeratosis of the nose and pads of the feet; excess pigmentation in skin of ventral abdomen; high cholesterol; high triglycerides, underweight or overweight.

3. Suppression of IgA, IgM and IgG. Plechner states that the role of cortisol as an immune regulatory agent has been grossly neglected. An unknown, but probably very large percentage of cats and dogs, produce inadequate or bound cortisol, as a result of contemporary breeding practices primarily, and, to a lesser degree, stress, aging, poor diet, and other environmental inputs. The cortisol defect triggers a trail of biochemical events that produces elevated estrogen, bound thyroid hormone, and deregulation of major immune system cells. The experience with animals and the work of Jefferies and Plechner and his followers, strongly argues for testing these hypotheses in humans, that may produce major diagnostic and treatment breakthroughs. Plechner uses plant derived cortisone in low doses and can provide a source for health care professionals, if they prefer to use plant-derived cortisone. Also, a prescription source of natural cortisol is available called "Cortef."

Health care professionals may want to contact Dr. Plechner for a copy of his 9-page treatise.

Alfred J Plechner, D.V.M. California Animal Hospital

1736 S Sepulveda Blvd Suite C

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Ph No 310-473-0969 Fax 310-473-6344 email:

Testing for Pets:

National Veterinary Diagnostic Services, Lake Forest, CA 949-859-3648)

Note: There are several reports on the internet that agree natural thyroid works better and with fewer side effects than their manufactured alternatives, like Synthyroid. If you decide to try a natural formula, avoid any with "pituitary" gland extract, as this is the gland that can spread "mad cow disease" from infected cows. Pituitary of bovine origin is one glandular to avoid in all supplements. Pituitary of porcine origin (pigs) is not known to contain any risk factors.

Which thyroid supplement is best - natural or synthetic?

Among prescription drugs for the thyroid, there are several choices of brand names, but actually only two groups - natural or synthetic. Laboratory made synthetic brands like Synthroid or Levothroid only contain the T4 hormone whereas natural Armour Thyroid, that is derived from pigs (porcine), contains all 4 types of thyroid hormone, T1, T2, T3 and T4. The problem with the synthetic brands of thyroid is that many patients cannot convert T4 to the active form T3.

This is often due to deficiencies of selenium, that is required to convert T4 to T3 but could be due to deficiencies of other nutrients like L-tyrosine, iodine, manganese, glutathione levels, Vitamin A, certain B vitamins, C and E. Most doctors will prescribe a synthetic pharmaceutical thyroid like Synthroid, instead of the natural Armour Thyroid, that is actually desiccated thyroid glandular of porcine origin. Several case reports on the Internet indicate that hypothyroid persons do better on Natural Thyroid than Synthroid. For those of you who surf the Internet, the source on Thyroid under Holistic Health Topics has a 24-page article on hypothyroidism, with 102 scientific references, located at

The Broda Barnes Foundation continues to educate doctors on the proper use of hormones and can provide references to physicians in your area. Broda Barnes MD Res. Fdn PO box 98 Trumbull, CT 06611 203-261-2101 Web Site:

Another list of local physicians trained in using natural hormones can be founds at Recommended readings: 1. Hypothyroidism by Broda Barnes and Lawrence Galton, Harper and Row, NY 2. The Miracle of Natural Hormones, by David Brownstein MD Medical Alternatives Press 888-647-5616 In his book, Dr. Brownstein has found that when the adrenal output of cortisol is very low, thyroid supplementation may make symptoms worse, unless small amounts of cortisone (10 to 20 mg daily) are first administered.

Brownstein states that normal cortisol levels are needed to help T4 convert to the active form T3.

Note: There are several brands of cortisone available by prescription. Cortef comes in 5, 10 or 20 mg and has been reported be derived from natural sources.

Cortisol deficiency and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Sour cherry juice as a source of natural melatonin

In an article on the Adrenalcortex Stress profile at Great Smokey Diagnostic Laboratory website, they state that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is actually a disease of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and add, "Unlike ordinary fatigue, however, CFS is typically characterized by low free cortisol levels and adrenal insufficiency. Raising cortisol levels by even small amounts has been found to improve unexplained fatigue in many CFS patients."

Plechner is not alone in his view and experience, that small physiological doses of cortisone relieves numerous symptoms, including fatigue, and promotes the ability of the immune system to control infectious disease.

(1) Researchers have found that melatonin increases cortisol levels in aged, but not young, women (2). Taking melatonin before bedtime may help resolve fatigue related to cortisol deficiency in some persons. As tart cherries are high in natural melatonin, drinking a glass of sour cherry juice before bedtime may increase melatonin levels and enhance deeper sleep and adrenal function. To maintain harmony with the circadian cycle, tart cherries or cherry juice should be consumed primarily in the evening.

1. Jeffries WM, Mild adrenocorticol deficiency, chronic allergies, autoimmune disorders and the chronic fatigue syndrome: a continuation of the cortisone story. Med Hypotheses 1994;42(3):183-9

2. Cagnacci A et al, Melatonin enhances cortisol levels in aged but not young women. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:691-5

L-Selenomethionine (made in a laboratory) is dropped from our list of recommended supplements.

Mark Konlee (July, 2002, monthly report) The issue of what kind of selenium compound is safe and effective, in helping to restore immune function, has been an open question for several years. In this issue, I believe we are making some real progress toward resolving this outstanding question. Since beginning this series of articles on selenium, in September of 2001, I have consistently recommended food sources of selenium, especially Brazil Nuts, along with selenium bound to either Methionine or Cysteine, and to avoid sodium selenite, because of toxicity issues.

With this month's report, we are no longer recommending L seleno-methionine (laboratory made) as a source of selenium, because of reported side effects and the absence of any noticeable benefits. Yes, we have changed our mind about this manufactured source of selenium. L-selenomethionine (SeM), as an amino acid chelate, is the most widely sold source of selenium available in health food stores, the other being sodium selenite. SeM is made in a laboratory under methods that try to bond selenium to the amino acid L-methionine.

Albion is a manufacturer of L-selenomethionine and other amino acid chelates, and wholesales its products to dietary supplement manufacturers. With daily usage of L-selenomethionine as high as 1800 mcg over a period of several weeks and months, there is no evidence that fungal and staph infections are decreasing, no evidence that white blood cell counts or CD4 counts are increasing, and no evidence of other tangible benefits, except for a few published studies that indicate a small decline in mercury levels for a dose as low as 100 mcg daily.

In contrast, the use of Brazil Nuts, the world's richest natural source of selenium, or supplements made from high selenium mustard greens (Ecological Formulas or Bio-Active Selenium by Solaray) or broccoli as in "Activated Selenium" by Jarrow Formulas, we are getting reports of increasing WBC and CD4 counts, the disappearance of fungal and staph infections, greater energy and well being, and in one case reported in this issue, an end to chronic fatigue syndrome. Most of these results are occurring very rapidly - often within the first week of use.

However, in five cases, where the Albion source of seleno-methionine was consumed in high daily doses, ranging from 1200 to 1600 mcg, there are no beneficial results to report. Two of the cases were CFIDS related and 3 HIV related, with two of the three HIV+ persons also using drug cocktails. Nothing in the lab results of any of these three cases indicates any increase in WBC counts, CD4 or CD8 counts, or even a decrease in the viral load. In all five cases, none of the participants used any other form of selenium, other than the synthetic L-selenomethionine that is made in a laboratory. Only one of the five persons using the Albion source of L-selenomethionine reported using foods rich in selenium, like Brazil nuts, ocean fish or seaweed nor did any of the five persons have blood serum levels of selenium tested after using the methionine bound selenium for several weeks.

Adverse effects from high doses of "L-selenomethionine"

Granted that the usual dosage range of methionine bound selenium is 100 to 400 mcg daily, and side effects are quite unlikely to show up at these low levels; yet if this compound is not what the body wants, it should not be used in any amount.

One reader with CFIDS took 1600 mcg daily of L-selenomethionine for several weeks and then had a numbing sensation on the right side of his body. He stopped using the selenium and fully recovered in a few days. After contacting me with this report, I initially was not convinced that the methionine bound selenium had anything to do with his symptoms, but suggested he switch to a food source of selenium and start with a low dose, 200 to 400 mcg daily, and gradually increase it. I also suggested he have his blood serum levels tested for selenium before starting on any new supplement. A second person using just 800 mcg daily of L selenomethionine noticed pain in the kidney area and stopped using it.

Note: Alternatives to L selenomethionine are high selenium yeast (Selenomax - available from Source Naturals), high selenium broccoli (Activated Selenium by Jarrow Formulas), high selenium mustard greens (Bio-Active Selenium by Solaray or Selenium Cruciferate by Ecological Formulas). Solaray also sells other forms of selenium, so read labels carefully to avoid buying the wrong stuff. At this juncture, I am of the opinion that the Brazil nuts, high selenium mustard greens and broccoli, plus the high-selenium yeast, are the safest and most efficacious of all the selenium supplements.

With high doses of selenomethionine, persons have also reported lung congestion, dermatitis and other skin conditions. Simon and Vale both reported adverse side effects from high doses of sodium selenite and selenomethionine. In an email from Simon in the UK, he said that at 1000 mcg daily of sodium selenite, his hair started falling out, but this stopped when he reduced the dose to 500 mcg daily. With equally high doses of selenomethionine, he reported big flare-ups of dermatitis. Both Vale and Simon reported the symptoms going away in a few days after stopping these selenium supplements. Another person, Del, also reported problems with high doses of selenomethionine. No one has reported any benefits.

All the reports of adverse effects are coming from the synthetic or laboratory made L-selenomethionine (amino acid chelates) and not from any known natural plant source of seleno methionine. The problem may be defects in the product, resulting from flaws in the manufacturing process.

Message Board reports

Several reports on experiences, both good and bad, of using various types of selenium can be read on the Message Board at our website ( Here is one of them:

Posted June 21, 2002.

Mark, I just picked up my new supply of Selenium from Solaray. It is called Bio-Active Selenium. It is from the Indian mustard plant that is grown in a greenhouse and no soil. They call it hyper-accumulation. Their label does not list the type of Selenium, however it must be a mix like the one you mentioned. This product is actually manufactured by Nutraceutical Corp. I'll let you know if this product causes the same side effects as the others. Vale

Regarding the Bio-Active Selenium from Solaray made from greenhouse grown mustard greens, Vale reports no side effects after using 1800 mcg daily for several days. He reports that so far this is the only selenium supplement that he can take in high doses without side effects although he has not reported trying high selenium yeast.

My Message Board comments on selenium

July 5th, 2002.

"Within the past few weeks I have reached a conclusion that there is a problem with L selenomethionine. Two HIV + and two persons with immune problems not HIV related used high doses of selenomethionine with no apparent good results. They used the amino acid chelate, Albion brand. No resolution of symptoms was reported by any of these 4 cases and no increases in T cell counts or white blood cells.

On the contrary, concerning Jarrow Formulas "Activated Selenium" that has selenocysteine plus methionine also includes Vit. E, Riboflavin, broccoli and garlic - I have had two good reports from persons with long standing candidiasis). Both reported significant improvements in resolving candida infections after a week or two. The dose was around 900 mcg daily or 9 capsules a day.

I was aware that Ecological Formulas had a mustard green source of selenium that had 200 mcg per capsule. Your source with Solaray sounds like the same thing at half the cost. Right now, I am taking 2 Activated Selenium by Jarrow Formulas with one Selenium Cruciferate by Ecological Formulas but will probably go with the Solaray brand in place of Ecological Formulas later on. I do this once or twice a day. I personally like this combination. Maybe it is time to send L selenomethionine down the pike, after the disappointing results of these 4 cases, and now the side effects that several of you have reported on this message board. Take Care." Mark Konlee

Good reports on Brazil nuts

Kansas City, KS. Al, who has Gulf War Syndrome, reports very good results with eating about 10 Brazil nuts daily as his main source of selenium for the past 6 months although he also eats ocean fish 5 times a week. He reports his selenium blood serum levels are 240 mcg/l in a reference range that goes from 60 to 160.

Note: Our goal is to increase the blood serum selenium levels to 300 to 600 mcg/l. Our normal reference range for selenium in blood serum is from 150 to 300 mcg/l. For now, we are disregarding the various low reference ranges given by different testing labs. Al reports that after consuming about 10 Brazil nuts daily for the past several months, his white blood count has increased from 3.1 to 4.3. Significantly, a chronic staph infection that he has had in his thumb for the past several years has completely healed. Previously, there was a flare-up of the infection with pus every 2 or 3 months. Several prescriptions of antibiotics failed to permanently eradicate the infection during the past 5 years. Al reports his thumb is now totally healed, he has no fungal or yeast infections, and feels basically normal.

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Sterilization of Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts, like peanuts, can become contaminated on the surface with molds and mildew. This can happen, when the nuts stay on the ground for too long before being harvested. Here is how you can remove most of the mold and toxins that may be present:

Place one or two pounds of Brazil nuts into a large sieve or strainer. Pour either of the following solutions over the nuts

a. Two quarts of ozonated water or

b. add 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 2 quarts of warm water. Pour either solution over the nuts, stir and mix. Let stand one minute. Then, pour two quarts of hot tap or boiling water over the nuts to rinse them. Let them drain for two minutes, then -

1. Spread the nuts single layer on a towel on a table. Place a second towel over the nuts to absorb excess moisture. Remove this towel and let air dry for 30 to 60 minutes, or use a hair dryer to dry them in about 5 minutes.

2. Store the nuts in a glass jar in the freezer until ready to use.

Animal studies that used the equivalent of 3700 mcg of selenium daily in humans stopped several types of cancer.

A book by John Boik, "Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy," is, in my opinion, one of the most carefully researched books on natural cancer treatments ever written. It is published by Oregon Medical Press LLC., 315 10th Ave N, Princeton, MN 55371 763-389-0768.

The book has the endorsement of six medical doctors, five of whom are oncologists who specialize in cancer therapy. This book likely has more scientific analysis of natural therapies for cancer than any other that has been published to date. The 500 plus pages covers a wide range of topics and is supported by good clinical and scientific data. What a great treasure house of information. I highly recommend it for the health care professional, the informed public, and certainly friends of cancer victims. In a nutshell, here is what Boik states about the action of selenium in preventing or treating cancer:

"Selenium induces apoptosis at the cellular level, inhibits PKC, inhibits NF-KB/AP-1 activity, improves cell to cell communication, inhibits angiogenisis, inhibits histamine, inhibits tumor necrosis factor, inhibits VEGF effects, inhibits insulin resistance, inhibits invasion and metastasis, inhibits collagenase effects and supports the immune system."

At the average equivalent of 3700 mcg daily, Boik cites scientific studies that, in animals, selenium inhibited metastasis of melanoma cells, Ehlrich ascites cells in mice, several different cancer cell lines, brain cancer, some types of leukemia, breast cancer and lung cancer. Other researchers have found selenium inhibits prostate cancer.

In support of the position that sodium selenite, the inorganic form, should not be used as a dietary supplement, Boik states that the sodium selenite has been "reported to cause DNA strand breaks in cancer cells in vitro, probably via free radicals and/or SAM deficiency, and to induce p53 dependent apoptosis. In contrast, methylselenocysteine and organic related forms act through a different means: they appear to induce apoptosis, independent of DNA damage and p53 activity." Boik also states:

"Of the organic forms, methylselenocysteine, and selenomethionine (plant based) are among those causing the least adverse effects at high doses, since they can be converted directly to methylselenol without methyl donors......Methylselenol is of prime importance to us, since this form seems to be responsible for selenium's anticancer effects in vivo."

Our caveat - Never buy a product that is simply called "Selenium" because it most likely is a synthetic product and is not proven to be safe. Also note that the "cheapest selenium" product on the market is called "L-selenomethionine." Synthetic vitamin and mineral formulations will usually cost less than their natural counterparts, but are also less effective and some of these man-made supplements have adverse side effects. Always choose whole-food based supplements and don't be mislead by numbers on labels. A milligram of a natural vitamin is 10 times or more useful to your body than its synthetic counterparts and without the risk of adverse effects. Marketers of synthetic vitamin supplements never call their products "synthetic" but instead frequently mislead the public by calling them "natural" or creating the appearance of such.

Note the TV ads for "Total" Breakfast cereal that boast of how many fewer bowls of whole grain cereal you would have to eat to get a comparable amount of B vitamins. What the ads don't tell you is that the high doses of synthetic B vitamins in the cereal can cause multiple trace mineral deficiences in the body that could lead to insulin resistance and many adverse health effects to develop (weight gain, diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease etc) as a consequence plus the "Total" cereal has an absence of fiber in it that supports colon health thus increasing the risk of colon cancer. Always beware of the half-truths of slick marketers that leads to whole lies. Better to eat a bowl of hot oatmeal instead.

Update: September, 2002: We now have 14 cases, where "Selenium" dietary supplements claiming to contain L-selenomethionine, have failed to provide any benefits, with half the persons using it reporting adverse side effects. One source told us that to sell selenium for under $2 a bottle, manufacturers have resorted to using the cheapest raw materials they can find and mixing in inorganic selenium and water and then spray drying it. No wonder these "amino acid chelates" are not working because they really are not what they claim to be - amino acid chelates. The real amino acid chelates are produced by nature and found only in plants. The synthesized versions made in labs are not only ineffective, they are not safe to use.

Unfortunately, the vitamin discount houses are peddling this junk to the public on television and on the Internet, and telling people how much money they are saving. Saving money they are, but getting a selenium supplement that is safe and effective they are not. So far, two persons, who have used man-made L-selenomethionine, have had transitory strokes. These serious side effects occurred with doses ranging from 900 to 1600 mcg daily. Fortunately, both have recovered completely and are now using plant-based selenium supplements with no side effects.

In well over 20 recent cases, the plant based sources of selenium (Bio-Active Selenium and SelenoMax) have completely resolved many cases of long standing of candidiasis, have reduced fatigue, increased T cell counts and WBCs, restored the ability to sweat and restored pure whiteness to the whites of the eyes. Not one case of adverse effects has been reported in the past year from using plant based selenium supplements at dosages up to 1800 mcg daily.

Nov 19, 2002. An Albion employee admits their selenium product is not an amino acid chelate but a "complex"

I found an advertisement for Albion Amino Acid chelates in a Health Supplement Retailer magazine (Vol 8, No 12). The ad stated "Nobody talks CHELATES like Albion CHELATES" and goes on to make the following claims: "Albion's patented chelation processes form mineral compounds that have a multitude of advantages! Nutritionally functional, Kosher-Parve, Chemically Validated, CAS Registered and Clinically Proven."

I went to their website at and looked for the clinical data and test results on their selenium amino acid chelate (L-selenomethionine). There was data on iron, zinc and some of the other amino acid chelates but I could find nothing on selenium so I called them at 1-586-774-9055. A female employee answered the phone. She, herself, did not know where to find the information about selenium on the company website, but said a company technician who could help me was at a meeting. I told her I wanted to see the test results and clinical data on L-selenomethionine, an amino-acid chelate that they manufactured. She then said that it was not actually an amino acid chelate but a "complex."

She added: "For various technical reasons, we have not been able to make amino acid chelates with selenium, boron or potassium." I said: "That is interesting. I understand that a "complex" is a mixture of an inorganic mineral with an amino acid." She replied: "that is correct."

I was so stunned by her admission that I forgot to ask her name before I hung up the phone. In fact, one place on the Albion website they boast that they do not make proteinates or "complexes" (mixtures of inorganic minerals and amino acids) but true structural amino acid chelates.

I am aware of at least one major dietary supplement manufacturer (Futurebiotics) that sells selenium as an "amino acid chelate" made by Albion labs and calls it L-selenomethionine and not what it really is - an inorganic selenium in a base of L-methionine. Right now, there are millions of bottles of selenium described as L-seleno-methionine, from numerous dietary supplement manufacturers on store shelves that are mislabeled, and therefore misbranded. Where are the safety studies? In December 2002, I even sent the company an email about the safety questions raised from the use of their product and reported on the two persons who claim it caused them to get a transitory stroke. Albion has not replied to the email message.

Selenium products that are safe to use are plant-based

Only selenium sources made by nature (plant based) should ever be used. These include food sources like Brazil nuts and fish. In dietary supplements, many persons report wide range benefits from "Bio-Active Selenium" by Solaray. It is greenhouse grown mustard greens that absorb and convert significant amounts of inorganic selenium to its organic form. This product is high in naturally occurring l-seleno cysteine.

Another plant-based source is selenium-yeast grown in a medium that converts inorganic selenium to the natural form. Selenium yeast is naturally high in real l-selenomethionine and not a shake and bake laboratory version that is toxic. Selenomax is one of several brands of selenium yeast.

Which one is more effective? In my opinion and that of several readers, the Bio-Active Selenium is more effective. At least 2 persons have reported that 400 to 600 mcg daily of Bio-Active Selenium (2 to 3 capsules daily) is sufficient to prevent outbreaks of candidiasis whereas the selenium yeast is less effective and requires higher doses. My personal choice is @ Bio-Active Selenium caps daily along with 3 or 4 Brazil Nuts. (In Feb, 2003, I started taking 1/2 grain of natural porcine thyroid twice daily to deal with my hypothyroid condition.)

Medical Advisory Board D

avid Miyauchi MD, Honolulu, HI 808-949-8711 Richard Simmons MD Westerville, OH 614-895-0102 Susan Groh, MD Merrick , NY Ronald Peters MD Cave Creek, AZ Bruce Levine DC Syosset, NY 516-364-3382 Gayle Eversole CRNP, PhD, AHG Lake Stevens, WA Christina White BA, Richland Center, WI Robert Carson MD, Woodstock, NY Keep Hope Alive Ltd is an IRS approved 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Keep Hope Alive publishes the Journal of Immunity quarterly. Keep Hope Alive, PO Box 270041, West Allis, WI 53227 414-751-4998 Fax 414-329-0653

To receive the Journal of Immunity, see the last page of this magazine. Interim reports of this journal that are 8 to 12 pages in length are published every 3 months with one annual report at year's end. The Journal of Immunity supplements information in the new Immune Restoration Handbook that has now replaced How To Reverse Immune Dysfunction. All current and past newsletters can be accessed on our internet website at that contains over 1000 pages of information on nutritional and immune-based therapies.

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From China - "Revivo"

The following by Dr. Junlin from Dr. Liu Junlin Revivo -- a new non-toxic medicine derived from plants has recently been developed in China to treat HIV patients. Impressive results have been demonstrated in the limited use to date. Additional research and implementation lacks appropriate financial support due to the depressed economic conditions in the region where this work is being undertaken. Dr. Liu Junlin, the developer of Revivo, is seeking contact with those who may be interested in furthering development of this medicine.

Benefits of Revivo include:

* Natural, not chemical.

* Effective in restoring the immune system.

* Low toxic side effects.

* Low drug resistance - patients can take for years.

* Very low cost.

* Patients can endure treatment for long term.

The text below is a translation of information from Dr. Liu. Although a direct translation is not possible for all sentences, focusing on the content reveals new hope for a devastating illness.

Background: AIDS carriers were found in the US in 1981, and the number has increased to approximately 200 thousand now. The epidemic of HIV is spreading to every corner of the world, destroying the immune system. The biological medicine AZT was first used in the world, and some biochemical medicines like DDC, DDA, CS-85, RO-318959 were also used. But drug-resistance and side effects were soon found. It became apparent that patients could not tolerate the medicines for a long time. The "cocktail therapy" was adopted because of the above reasons, and it increased the curative effect or overcame the drug-resistance and side effect at the beginning. But after several years of trial, some problems showed that these methods did not reach the target which was expected. And the patients could not accept the side effects and complications.

In South Asia, patients often have no alternatives than to wait for death. Some of the patients tried to find local medicine and hope some miracle would happen; some gathered in the temples to stay there and wait for the end of life, some finish their lives by suicide. One country announced that 90% of the HIV patients could not get treatment, only because of the high price of medicines. The countries in the highly infected area believe that AIDS is related to the life or death of the nation, and pay great attention to it. Since the global HIV/AIDS status is pessimistic, some believe there is no specific medicine for the disease; the priority should be given to the prevention. But we believe that there is reasonable hope to conquer this illness also.

Chemical treatment

While it is gratifying to know that biochemical medicine can produce declines in HIV, the symptom improvement is very modest, and the reoccurrence is quick and not easy to stop after drug withdrawal. According to the research, the biochemical medicine is not able to stop the illness at certain periods from getting worse, like HIV early period, ARC mid period, and AIDS late period. The state of illness is improved after the therapy, but the early and mid period carriers finally worsen to AIDS, and eventually to die.

Statistical data shows that 50% of the carriers die in 18 months after affirmed, 80% die in 36 months. The western medical field is starting to look for natural mechanisms to control HIV/AIDS.

New treatment method:

Objectives of Revivo include attacking the multi-targets of the life cycle of HIV synchronously, reducing the maturation rate of the virus, and reducing drug resistance. The medicine is effective in restraining the different stages of the virus and the combination of HIV and CD4. Some contents like PHA stimulate the marrow to increase leukocyte, some contents induce cells to produce interferon and to promote the cell transformation.

Experiments show that with the recombination of IL-2, the immune function can be recovered. Promoting T cell releasing interferon reinforces the ability of anti-virus and it can increase the number of the lymphocytes of the patient. HIV is sensitive to the exanthema virus, restrains, to some degree, some of the RNA and DNA virus or bacteria, and accelerates the maturation of the immune cell. This result is major symptoms improvements.

If this biochemical course works, it starts to upgrade CD4+Tcell>560/mm3, and the body starts to have two weapons (immune cell and Revivo) to attack the enemy, and continue to help the immune system recover overall in amount and in functions. The mechanism of Revivo (RV) to enter the blood-brain barrier is functional and chemical, to increase the blood stream through coronary artery of the heart and to eliminate the accumulation of the scar of the vein and immunocomplex. It destroys the natural barricade of HIV.

The next step is to research the interrupted medication of RV series to protect the normality of the immunity functions. It is very important to halt the reoccurrence of the virus that will inevitably occur. The worldwide medical field has not achieved a case with immune function fully recovered or a patient's complete healing.

Clinical observations with Revivo (RV)

(1). Subject A1, student, male, antibody of anti-HIV is positive, body temperature 101F, lying in bed at daytime over 80%, drink and food reduced 2/3, decreased body weight 18%, fallen ill 150 days, infected by HIV over 36 months. Mouth: leukoplakia on the tongue, small ulcer on the corner of mouth, epilation to 1/2, sickly look on the face, lackluster on the skin, diarrhea 2~3 times/daily, no sexual desire, slightly turgescence on the spleen, blood serum checked CD4+Tcell 20/mm3, CD8 610/mm3, tested by International Red Cross hospital. Used Revivo for 120 days (5 periods of treatment), the symptoms eliminated, the physical sign is basically normal, CD4+Tcell raised to 463/mm3, he applied for going back to school and failed, the treatment interrupted.

(2). Subject A2, college student, female, (lover of above patient), antibody of anti-HIV is positive, body temperature 101F~102F, lying in bed at daytime for 30 months, mouth: red color, menolipsis, lackluster on the skin, a few rashes on the hands and feet, blood serum checked CD4+Tcell 60/mm3, CD8 990/mm3, Used Revivo for 120 days, CD4+Tcell raised to 569/mm3, the symptom and physical sign are obviously improved.

(3) Subject A3 worked in a tourist company. The Male, 38 years old, checked the antibody for HIV and it was positive, lying in bed at daytime over 80%, food and drink reduced 1/2, cervical carina and medulla oblongata feel keenly, body temperature 101F~102F, emaciated, decreased body weight 15%, some rashes on the hands and feet. Blood serum checked CD4+Tcell 160/mm3, used Revivo for 100 days, CD4 raised to 510/mm3, the symptom and physical sign are obviously improved, came back to work over 2 years.

(4) Subject A4, female, 32 years old, checked the antibody for HIV and it was positive, lying in bed at daytime over 50%, decreased body weight 10%, food and drink reduced, body temperature 101F, red tongue, two ulcer in the mouth, sickly look, CD4+Tcell 196/mm3, used Revivo for 120 days, CD4+Tcell raised to 540/mm3, the symptom and the physical sign recovered normal, come back to work for 2 years.

In the last 5 years, there are 42 cases of ARC or AIDS patients, observed for 20-60 days who have improved their symptoms after they have taken the Revivo in 20-30 days. With continued use of the medicine for 60 days the symptoms of the patient improved obviously and the number of CD4+Tcell of some patients increased several times higher than the number of that before the therapy. There are no records of the CD4/CD8 of some of the patients due to lack of funds. But the rate of improved symptoms of different degrees is 100%.

There are 4 cases of condition on the observation of the therapy of AIDS and the occasional infections. Revivo can be used to reinforce the curative effect, while the chemical medicine is used for the complications. There is a case of infiltrative pulmonary tuberculosis being cured by the traditional western medicine and Chinese medicine in one year. There is a case of encephalitis rescued on time and the patient survived. There are some cases of medium or low or typical ARC complication. The patient can do some work after using Revivo and the curative effect is satisfactory. Patients beginning therapy in the final stages of the illness cannot obtain a good curative effect, although they accepted the therapy.

The carriers of HIV with CD4+Tcell 500/mm3, with no symptoms, can easily get the chance to survive for long term. The data shows that 10% of the HIV carriers survived for 8-12 years, and the condition did not get worse, only because the immune response is normal, and not because the special physical condition. The number of HIV carriers with symptoms comprises 60-70% of the total number of HIV/AIDS patients. The target of this research is to explore the standard of curative effects of HIV/AIDS, because Revivo has settled the foundation of the curative effects of recovering the immunity in short term.

We wish to cooperate with any financial group or private enterprise to share the final achievements of this medicine. Dr. Liu Junlin Kunming, China

REVIVO was developed in Southern China, where HIV/AIDS has become a serious epidemic, starting years ago, through migrant workers to Thailand. There, in Northern Thailand, the medicine has been tested first and is since then becoming very popular, not only because it is the least expensive of all available drugs, but also because it is restoring the immune system function of the body so efficiently that, in the majority of patients, the CD4 counts are getting back to normal within 1 to 3 months, and a large number of viral secondary infections are cured at the same time.

While this is a new way of looking at the treatment of HIV, the medicine itself is but a sophisticated mixture of traditional Chinese herbs to cure immune system deficiencies. The herbal extracts are taken as a tea twice a day and are easily accepted by the body.

The anti-HIV/AIDS medicine Revivo.

In Chinese medical philosophy to cure AIDS, medication has to first concentrate on the origin of the disease and the pathogen, and second, it has to eliminate the immunodeficiency of the body. Attacking HIV is done by improving the immune system. The strategic course of Revivo is to attack the different stages of the life cycle of HIV simultaneously. It also reduces the mature stages of the virus to avoid its drug resistance. Since the medicine has multi chemical contents and multi functions, like polysaccharides and alkaloids with biological activity, flavinoids, phytohemagglutinin, and others, it is effective to restrain the different life cycles of the virus.

Some contents like PHA stimulate the marrow to increase leukocytes; some contents induce cells to produce interferon and to promote the cell transformation and maturation course. At first, REVIVO increases IL-2 T cell proliferation, and then promotes the interferon output resulting in a cut down of the infectious rate and CD4+Tcell. Lymphocytes are rising, and during the course of biochemical changes, the adjustments and improvements of the immune system are very intricate and complicated. E.g. to regain normal productivity of IL-2, one must count on Revivo to eliminate the GP120 toxin of HIV and combine it with CD4 of the uninfected surface of the T cell. IL-2 is absolutely necessary for the T, B, and NK cells to maintain the normal functions of the immune system. The experiment shows that, through the above mechanism, the immuno function can be recovered. On the therapy, to promote T cells releasing interferon to reinforce the ability of anti-virus activity, Revivo can increase the amount of the lymphocytes of the patient. Revivo shows a wide scale of aggression against many pathogens; it is sensitive to the allied force of HIV virus; it restrains to some degree, some of the RNA and DNA virus or bacteria, and, it accelerates the maturation of the immune cells and it reduces the degree of infection.

In the described biochemical course it starts to upgrade CD4+ T cell >560/mm3 and, hence, the body starts to have two weapons (immune cells and Revivo) to attack the enemy, and continue to help the immune system recover its functions. When the immunity is back to normal, the activity of HIV is lost and its reproduction stops. At this moment it is not easy for the pathogen to bounce back if the drug is stopped.

The mechanism of Revivo to enter the blood-brain barrier is functional and chemical; to increase the blood stream through the coronary artery of the heart and consequently, the brain blood circulation expands and allows alkaloids to eliminate the accumulation of scars of the veins. It destroys the natural barricade of HIV.

Revivo: no side effects for the patient

The principle behind the low possibility of the resistance of viruses against REVIVO is that it attacks the different stages of the life cycle of HIV simultaneously. This is possible, because the combined herbs contain a multitude of biological activity that can work on different targets at the same time. When the production of the virus is reduced, mutation is even lower and drug resistant strains are not easy to develop. That is also the biggest challenge and puzzle of Western research on anti-HIV medicine and vaccine, the point which becomes the basis for the patients to survive permanently. In our trials in Thailand, the data showed effectiveness at more than 90% of the tested patients. In all cases there were no negative side effects detected.

In addition, Revivo combines well with Western Medicine. It is in many cases even advisable to use Western Medicine for specific secondary diseases that have developed in the course of the HIV progress. Specifically, if those secondary diseases are not caused by viruses, additional medication should be applied.

Recommendations for use of Revivo

There are 6 types of conditions to be distinguished, when deciding the therapy for AIDS and the various infections, using Revivo:

1) CD4+Tcell<200mm3, lymphocyte<14% or CD4+ 450 - 201/mm3' the complication very light: for therapy, take only Revivo, and improve the nutrition, and let the virus decline. In our trials the immunity recovered >CD4+ 560/mm3 and the symptom and the physical signs improved obviously.

2) If the complication is serious, like complicated with tuberculosis, hepatitis, lungworm, tumor, encephalitis, toxoplasmosis, then the patient needs special care. Here, Revivo can be used to reinforce the curative effect, while using chemical medicine for additional treatment. There is one case of infiltrative pulmonary tuberculosis cured by the combined traditional Western medicine and Chinese medicine in one year. And one case of encephalitis cured on time so the patient survived.

3) There are some cases of symptomatic physical signs with medium or low or typical ARC complications. In these cases, the patient can continue normal life while using Revivo. The curative effects are very good.

4) Patients of the worst condition or deadly infected in a terminal stage, in our trials could not obtain a good curative effect, although they accepted the therapy well.

5) The carriers of HIV with CD4+ T cell 500/mm3, with no obvious symptoms, can easily get the chance to survive for good. The data show that 10% of the HIV carriers survived for 8-12 years, and the condition did not get worse, only because the immune response is normal. The amount of HIV carriers who show no symptoms amount to 60-70% of the total HIV/AIDS patients.

6) Unfortunately, there is no way of finding out if Revivo could successfully be used as prophylaxis to prevent people from contracting HIV. With an immune system in full operation, however, we would predict that at least it would prevent the virus from doing any harm.

Further research

Presently several hospitals are conducting research on Revivo and its effects on HIV patients at different stages. We will keep you informed on this page about the outcome.

Medical data: Name: REVIVO

Quantity per bag: 10g herbal powder

Dosage: Take 2 bags per day, let 4 hours pass before taking the 2nd bag; after 4 days, pause for one day.

Continue for at least 1 month at early stages (HIV) and up to 4-6 months at later stages (AIDS).

How to take it:

pour the contents of one 10g-bag into a glass of boiling hot water or milk, stir, and drink it all. You may want to add some sugar or honey if you prefer sweet taste. Treatment for HIV at early stage: one month requires 48 bags.

Treatment for ACR-AIDS patients: for patients with additional fever, tiredness, secondary infections: take Revivo for 4 to 6 months to ensure curative effect. Follow up treatment: once your CD4-count has gone above 560, you may pause and drastically reduce REVIVO to about 1/2 (half) of the monthly dosage described above. Please, have your CD4 count checked regularly to ensure your immune system stays on guard

. Precautions:

1: If secondary infections (especially diseases that are not caused by viruses) exist, additional medicine needs to be prescribed by your doctor to treat such infections. Also, be sure that your nutrition is optimal and not lacking essential minerals and vitamins. Additional western medicine you may take is not known to disturb the curative effects of Revivo.

2: In rare cases, and when taking Revivo for the first time, patients may react by throwing up. Continue by taking a lower dosage for the start, but make sure to reach the recommended quantity.

3: When Revivo has raised the CD4 to 560 cubic mm, the dosage can be reduced by 50% (to 10g per day).

4: Please note that, although Revivo is becoming popular in Thailand. This medicine has not yet been registered by the Chinese Health Administration and patients need to take it voluntarily.

5: Revivo is tested nontoxic under WHO standards.

Side effects: None known; patients take Revivo also for other virus infections to benefit from its strong immune system activation. Those infections include herpes zoster, herpes simplex, hepatitis (mainly B), papalomavirus, urethritis, rhinitis, peptic ulcer, and common cold. These are all diseases which often form secondary infections and which the recovering immune system can eliminate while doing its main job on HIV.

Price: 48 bags with 10g herbal powder for 1 month of treatment: US $88. plus shipping. You can order Revivo direct from mainland China on the internet at

Editor's note: I don't know anyone importing Revivo into the US at this time. Most marketers are probably unaware of Revivo.

XQ-9302 - a Chinese herbal formulation

Posters on this Chinese formulation of 20 herbs were presented at both the 12th and 13th International AIDS conferences. The formula was tested on 16 people in Shanghai, China, at the Hua Shan Hospital for a period of about 2.5 months. 13 of the 16 test patients had an increase in their CD4 counts. The average CD4 count increased from 306 to 492. An article on this test was written by LY Kang et al and published in the Hong Kong Journal of Medicine HKMJ Vol 5, No 2 June 1999. The treatment reduced the viral load by more than 1 log. The researchers found no observable side effects from using the 20-herb formula. XQ-9302 is now also called XQ-II. It costs about $60 a bottle for a one-week supply. The phone number in Shangai is 86-21-62893576 Fax 86-21-62893570. Xiong-Qi Biological Products, c/o Yang Wenxiong, Apt 14E1, No 1399, West Beijing Rd, Shanghai, China 200040

African Medicine. Sutherlandia for HIV related wasting and cancer

A common bitter herb that tastes like wormwood, and called "Sutherlandia," is gaining in popularity in Africa, as a low-cost treatment for HIV, TB and cancer. An internet search with "Google" recently found 817 links to "Sutherlandia." On various internet websites are claims that the herb reverses wasting syndrome leading to gains in muscle mass. Pharmacology: contains L-Canavanine, Pinitol, GABA, SU1 and asparagines. The following are excerpts taken from

"Improvements in appetite, weight-gain, sleep, exercise tolerance, anxiety and overall sense of well-being can be expected. Researchers anticipate that there will be a delayed progression of HIV into AIDS, and actual remission of the disease is hoped for. This will require compliance of appropriate doses of Sutherlandia to take on an ongoing basis, in addition to meticulous attention to diet. Alcohol and recreational drugs should be avoided. "
Most wasted patients show an increase in weight within six weeks of starting treatment. Weight gains of 10-15 kg (20 to 40 lbs) have been documented in wasted cancer and AIDS patients. Interestingly, weight-gain is typically not seen in people without underlying wasting conditions.
"Improvements in CD4 counts and decreases in the viral load in AIDS patients taking Sutherlandia have been reported by clinicians in South Africa and Australia. These promising clinical anecdotes need to be validated by an independent controlled clinical trial, and cooperation in this regard is under discussion with the Medical Research Council of South Africa.
"CD4 and Viral Load changes reported by clinicians in HIV+ patients treated with Sutherlandia tablets were produced by the South African company Phyto Nova.
"These preliminary reports are not a substitute for results from a controlled clinical trial, but support the hypothesis that Sutherlandia is a profound immune stimulant and anti-viral plant."

Case reports (HIV/AIDS) from

23 May 2001. Patient not on anti-retroviral drugs. Starting CD4 was 340. After two months of Phyto Nova Sutherlandia at a dose of 300mg twice a day, CD4 increased to 533.

18 June 2001 Patient not on anti-retroviral drugs. Patient's viral load decreased from 25000 to 5000 after being on Phyto-Nova Sutherlandia for two months, at a dose of 600mg 12 hours apart or two tablets twice daily.

18 June 2001 In March 2001 the patient had been off antiretroviral drugs for 2 months, and his viral load was 57000 and CD4 was 480. In May Sutherlandia was added to other naturopathic remedies. In June, after almost 6 weeks on 300mg Phyto Nova Sutherlandia twice a day, his viral load had fallen to 9,200 and his CD4's had risen to 647.

4 July 2001. Patient not on anti-retroviral drugs. Viral load at start 28000, after 2 months of Phyto Nova Sutherlandia, at a dose of 600 mg twice a day, the viral load was 13000. 8 August 2001. Patient not on anti-retroviral drugs. Starting CD4 407, after six weeks Phyto Nova Sutherlandia : CD4 was 478. Starting viral load 246,600, after six weeks Phyto Nova Sutherlandia: viral load was 88,153

13 September 2001. Patient not on anti-retroviral drugs. CD4 of 90 in October 2000, when patient began Phyto Nova Sutherlandia. In January 2001 the CD4 was 213. The patient used Sutherlandia from November 2000 to end of May 2001, and then re-started Phyto Nova Sutherlandia in August 2001. In August 2001 the CD4 was 240, and viral load was 7700.

Other uses for Sutherlandia Cancer, herpes and chronic fatigue syndrome

Cancer, reported especially useful in treating wasting syndrome in cancer patients - weight gain reported is 2 to 3 pounds per week or until weight normalizes. Reported to decrease anxiety and elevate mood. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - reduces fatigue and improves feelings of well-being. Sutherlandia has been used to treat all kinds of herpes infections and shingles. Reported to help treat rheumatoid arthritis and reduce blood sugar in diabetics, lowers blood pressure.

Side effects from the herb: All I could find is a report of mild diarrhea in a few cases - probably a detox effect. A recent toxicity study in South Africa on monkeys found the herb to be safe at up to 8 times the suggested dose.

Where to learn more: Search for "Sutherlandia" at Two readers recently have started using Sutherlandia - one tablet twice daily after meals. However, they are also using prescription drugs for HIV at the same time and this clouds the results. They obtained Sutherlandia from link at to Phyto Nova at The phone/fax in South Africa of Phyto Nova is (to dial from US) 011-27-21-783-3562 Phyto Nova, PO Box 48119, Konnetjie, 7976 South Africa.

For EST and CST time zones call at 8am. For Mountain and Pacific Time zones, call midnight to 1am. Update: Jan 21, 2003. A reader with HIV on a drug cocktail reported that after using Sutherlandia for 3 days, a tumor in his nostril stopped bleeding and has reduced in size. He credits the Sutherlandia for his improved condition. He used one tablet twice a day while continuing with his other medications.

"IMPI" another African herbal remedy for HIV/AIDS

In the Zulu language, "impi" means "Warrior of a legion of warriors." During 1995, a group of African traditional doctors started focusing on a treatment for HIV-AIDS in southern Africa, using local medicinal plants. From past experience, they knew of certain plants species which had anti-viral properties and their efforts were focused on these plants.

In 1997, this group had pinpointed three species, which were showing positive field results and were confident enough to forward one of the species to the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) for in-vitro testing. Unfortunately, at the time, this scientific body did not possess the technology for such testing. However, when finally the technology was acquired (towards the end of 2001), tests were performed and in-vitro results were positive. These tests were shown to traditional doctor R de Carvalho and Sisa Njikelana (a representative of Ruhanyu Health Care) in November 2001.

Is it a cure?

The remedy is not being marketed as a cure but as a traditional African herbal remedy for HIV-AIDS patients. Its exceptional results in HIV-AIDS patients, made some traditional doctors in the group believe that it is a cure, as they have seen the results in their own patients. In-vitro tests show that the plant species forwarded to the CSIR kills the HIV virus while simultaneously allowing for the reproduction of human cells. No other HIV-Aids treatment has been known to produce such results in such a short period of time.

Ingredients: While designing the formula for Impi, our consultant Traditional Doctors, not only focused their attention on plants with anti-viral properties, but also added other medicinal plants to boost the patient's immune system, improve general well being and keep diseases of opportunity at large. Impi's formula is continually being studied, and whenever possible, improved. Impi contains plants such as the African cucumis, African gladiolus, a species of Aloe with proven anti-viral properties, liquorice roots and other medicinal plants that cannot be disclosed at this present time.

Does it work? It has been proven that this remedy has curative properties against HIV-AIDS through in-vivo and in-vitro tests. Our patients show a remarkable recovery from HIV-AIDS and its symptoms within the first month. Such symptoms as digestive irregularities, skin problems, boils, lack of skin color, loss of hair and weight start decreasing in intensity within 30 days.

Is it toxic? Of course. Every anti-viral medication, be it pharmaceutical, African, Chinese, etc is toxic. What is important is to control the toxicity level to a point where it does not harm the patient and it is safe for human consumption. A fact that most people tend to forget is that even alcohol is regarded as toxic, as are some herbal teas. In conclusion, it may be noted and emphasized that the dosage instructions should be followed to the letter.

Dosage and directions for use: The minimum dosage for AIDS patients is one capsule per day. Patients, depending on their health state, may take two capsules per day; one capsule with a full glass of water in the morning with breakfast and one capsule at supper with a full glass of water. HIV- positive patients should take only one capsule per day.

Recommendation: We recommend that all HIV/AIDS patients take a liver detoxifier also to remove dead cells.

Preparation: Due to a non-disclosure agreement with the CSIR, the name of the plants may not be disclosed at this time. Each capsule contains 250 mg African medicinal plants, 100 mg non-active and 40 mg Magnesium stearate.

Impi is free from artificial preservatives, chemicals, colorants, sugar and alcohol. Contra Indications: Impi may cause skin rashes, mucous membrane dryness, hot feet and, in one instance, was reported to cause a lack of potency.

Case reports with IMPI


Leonard's hair was falling out, his beard was thin, his glands were swollen and he had TB. He started on Impi and by the second week there was a marked improvement in his health. Before starting on Impi, Leonard could hardly walk to his front gate. Today, he walks 10 km per day and exercises on a regular basis. His mother, a conventional nurse, states: "nobody can tell me now, that there is no effective treatment for Aids."

While being treated at Santa, Karin, a full-blown AIDS patient, was placed on treatment for TB. Bedridden and weak, she started on Impi. The majority of the patients she was with have already died of Aids. During her first week of treatment, her skin complexion improved. Within the first month, her health improved dramatically and there has been a marked color change in her skin. Already in the third month of treatment, her family and friends are totally bemused at her rapidly improving health.

Gail walked badly, with slow movements. Already with full blown-Aids, she started on the Impi treatment. Within the 1st month she gained weight, her skin complexion improved and her hair started growing again. Her only complaint was that the soles of her feet were burning. We recommended one instead of two capsules daily. Her condition disappeared.

Poppy was taking antiviral medication. With her condition deteriorating, she decided to try Impi. Within the first month she started gaining weight, and there was a noticeable improvement with her hair growth and strength. The color and tone of her complexion improved dramatically. She recently submitted blood for testing, and the result was HIV negative.

Michele visited T/Dr R de Carvalho. She had large round skin blemishes. After 6 weeks on Impi, her blemishes have lightened and she has lots of energy. Her last test result showed an increase in T-cells and a marked decrease in the viral cells. Her friends and family comment on her significant improvement.

While treating the mother with Impi, Doctor R de Carvalho was asked to treat her child of 5 years. A dosage was worked out for the child, whose state was so advanced, that the child was bedridden. Within fifteen days the child was walking. Tr. Doctor Jean-Pierre told R de Carvalho of one of his Aids patients that left Arizona (USA) in the middle of summer and arrived in South Africa during a cold front. The patient contracted pneumonia and was put on Impi immediately. He recovered within a week.

One of the most horrific stories reaching us is about an Aids patient who had lost his employment and his health had deteriorated considerably. He was considering taking his life and those of his family.

Within one and a half months of taking Impi, his health improved so much that he is presently searching for a job and trying to amend his broken relationship with his family.

Hoping for a miracle, Ephraim bought Impi for his long-time friend, a taxi driver, unable to earn his living. Ephraim's friend was bedridden with Aids, his lips full of sores, his energy long drained and his appearance ragged. Three weeks later, his friend was back behind the wheel of his taxi, his sores gone, his appearance and energy back. When Ephraim confronted T/Dr. R de Carvalho, he was told:" Impi is not a miracle, just an excellent remedy for HIV-Aids. We cannot underestimate its properties and should always be proud of our products. For we have the best. No matter what others say, you and I know the truth."

All homeopath doctors, who have been shown Impi, are so impressed with the medication, that it is their first line of treatment for HIV positive and Aids patients. We have never received a negative report from our dispensing homeopath doctors.

Notes: Even patients with full-blown Aids have shown a remarkable recovery from this disease. Some of our patients include family members of conventional medical practitioners and government officials who have exhausted all other options, including antiviral agents. The names are kept secret on their request, for fear of reprisals.

Generally, within the first month, patients start showing signs of recovery in the form of weight gain and a better skin texture. Full blown AIDS patients that were on antiviral agents and already with continuous runny tummies, have shown a remarkable recovery within the first month. Many had normalized their digestive disorders and again showed an increase in weight and a better skin texture. A remarkable case is that of a young girl who, after three months, tested negative for HIV. Her father is a medical conventional practitioner who in desperation, and upon hearing of our other cases, turned to herbal medicine.

Herbal Africa does not subscribe to the notion that only conventional medicine is capable of finding a cure for HIV-Aids - that is a fallacy about to undergo a radical change. Within our group of consulting traditional doctors, three have already identified three different species of plants capable of curing/treating HIV-Aids patients. One plant has already tested positive and this plant was found in 1997! Since then, the amount of work, knowledge and research has increased dramatically, and we are 100% sure that the new plant species is also going to test positive, with the added advantage of being less toxic and more effective. In-vivo tests leave no doubts.

On the contrary, we are on the verge of proving the enormous value of African medicinal plants. We believe, that should more attention have been paid to African medicinal plants, a cure for HIV-Aids would have been found long ago. Instead, pharmaceuticals are intent on claiming victory, at all costs, including disclaiming anything that does not originate from them. The lives of real people are on the line and such attitudes amount to no less than a sin. "Just because they have not found it, does not mean that it does not exist" Dr R de Carvalho.

In South Africa, some patients have opted to take both antiviral agents and Impi. The medications are compatible with the notable difference that the patients who were on the decline with antiviral agents have shown a remarkable comeback, upon starting with the Impi treatment.

Impi means "warrior of legion of warriors" in Zulu. The reason for the name "Impi" is that, when the plant was first divulged to us, the T/Dr. explained in broken Portuguese: "this plant is a tireless warrior for HIV-Aids". The "tireless warrior" phrase stuck and it is perhaps a very fitting description of this remedy.

Two websites that provide information and ordering assistance on African herbs, including "Impi," can be found at and In Canada, IMPI is being imported in Canada by Black Herbals, that also has a book on "Traditional African Medicine" by Tariq M Sawandi MH. Blackherbals can also be reached at RGL Enterprises in Scarborough, Ontario at 416-265-2753. In the US call 914-309-7058 to obtain IMPI or the book.

From North America - Essiac tea Anecdotal report of increases in NK cells

Essiac Tea was first formulated in Canada in the 1920's by Renee Caisse, who obtained her original formula from a patient who recovered from breast cancer, and claimed to have been cured by local native Indians. The tea has become a legend in its own time as a cure for Cancer. It contains Sheep Sorrel, Indian Rhubarb, Burdock and Slippery Elm. Ralph Moss, in his book, "Cancer Therapy," (Equinox Therapy, NY), reports on tests that show Burdock kills HIV in vitro. In May, 1993, I talked to Al of Tampa, FL, who claimed to have three friends who are long term AIDS survivors, who feel well, and he said they - "all used "Essiac Tea and have used it for several years."

Al told me he has used various brands of Essiac tea for the past 4 years and is very pleased with the results he has obtained from a competitive product. He did not know his NK counts, but reported a T8 count of 1050 and a CD4 count of 922 recently. He takes 1/4th cup (2 ozs) twice a day. He claims Essiac tea is all he has used for 4 years.

Al told me he always boiled up his own batches at home. In Dec. 1995, I received a letter from a PWA who had zero NK cells. She reported that after using Essiac tea for 2 months, her NK function was now in the low end of the normal reference range. Sheep Sorrel, a key ingredient in Essiac, stimulates "complement" activity (1). Complement is a substance circulating in the blood that punctures hole in viruses and makes them more easily seen and identified by immune cells.

Note: a cancer patient I spoke with in Nov., 1995, said she tried several versions of "Essiac" tea made by different companies, but found that the original Essiac tea (from Essiac, Int'l Canada) gave her the best results in terms of pain relief and well being. She said that while competitors sold the same ingredients at lower prices, they did not know when to harvest the herbs at the proper time to obtain the maximum potency of active ingredients.

She said: "I tried various cheaper brands of Essiac to save money, but they did not relieve the pain." Note: for cancer and KS, the suggested dose for the first 3 months is 3/4 cup daily. After this, reduce the dose to 1/4 cup twice daily. Boiling it with distilled water makes a batch of Essiac tea. 1. Hitoshi Ito, Japan J. Pharmacol, 40, 435-443 (1986) Where to buy the original "Essiac" & a low cost alternative The original Essiac formula, which Rene Caisse received from the Ojibwa Indians in the 1920's, is available from Essiac Int'l - Ph. No. 613-837-3673. Essiac Int'l, 2211-1081 Ambleside Dr., Ottawa, Ontario K2B 8C8.

Some health food stores carry the original Essiac formula. It costs about $40 for one ounce, a 12 day supply, or about $100. a month.

A low cost formula (Ojibwa Tea of Life) is available from Ojibwa Tea of Life, PO Box 200041, Denver, CO 80220 Ph No. 303-322-7930. Cost 6 weeks supply is $18.00 plus $3.00 for shipping. There is a lot of competition in the market place. I advise against buying liquid extracts of Essiac tea or capsules. When boiling the herbs, make no more than a 30-day supply at one time and refrigerate it. It is important to follow procedures that are known to be effective and not to go for the convenience of premade solutions or capsules that are not proven to be efficacious.

One person who used the less expensive Ojibwa Tea of Life Formula reported a condition of chronic candidiasis cleared up.

Manganese inhibits HIV's reverse transcriptase - also helps thyroid function

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Johns Hopkins scientists have found that simply increasing manganese in cells can halt HIV's unusual ability to process its genetic information backwards, providing a new way to target the process's key driver, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. By measuring DNA produced by a related reverse transcriptase in yeast, the Hopkins team discovered that higher than normal levels of manganese, caused by a defective gene, dramatically lowered the enzyme's activity. The scientists then proved that HIV's reverse transcriptase responds to manganese in the same way. Hopkins graduate student Eric Bolton determined that the defective gene is PMR1, whose protein carries both manganese and calcium out of cells. Using special yeast developed by others at Hopkins, he discovered that manganese stops reverse transcriptase, the team reports in the April 26 issue of Molecular Cell.

"These results really point to a never-before-proposed way to try to stop HIV in its tracks -- that simply manipulating concentrations of a metal, manganese, can have a profound effect on reverse transcriptase," says Jeff Boeke, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology and genetics at the school's Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. "We expect the human equivalent of PMR1 could be a good target for developing new drugs against HIV."

Retroviruses like HIV use reverse transcriptase to make copies of their DNA from RNA, the opposite of how genetic information is usually processed in cells. Each retrovirus has a distinct version of the enzyme, identical in function but different in form and sequence, says Boeke, also a professor of oncology. The scientists found that each reverse transcriptase they studied has at least two places where manganese and the similar metal magnesium can "dock." Having these spots filled with the right metal is crucial for the enzyme's activity -- its ability to read a particular set of RNA, the scientists learned. When the metals' balance is out of whack, the enzyme doesn't work properly, they report. "Most reverse transcriptases we studied prefer to bind magnesium. At the very least they were more active when magnesium was bound to them," says Boeke. "But a little extra manganese changes the activity of the enzyme."

Normally, charged magnesium ions outnumber those of manganese by the thousands inside cells. Having just three times more manganese than normal can cut the activity of HIV's reverse transcriptase in half, the scientists report, even though there's still much more magnesium. HIV's ability to adapt and overcome drugs means that current treatments like AZT, which target reverse transcriptase directly, generally stop working over time. Using a combination of drugs helps block the virus on many fronts, but finding new drugs or a new class of drugs is needed to help keep the virus at bay. The new work suggests that targeting a cell's manganese transporter could be an effective way to stop HIV from replicating, without targeting HIV's reverse transcriptase directly.

"We've been working under the idea that studying reverse transcriptase in yeast may help improve understanding of retroviruses and lead to new ways to deal with HIV," says Boeke. "By studying yeast genetics we made an important discovery about how HIV works and have identified a target for a new class of anti-retroviral drug. It was completely unexpected, but very satisfying." The yeast that were missing PMR1 appeared fine, suggesting that targeting the manganese transporter in humans may be relatively safe, the scientists suggest. It's not known whether targeting manganese levels will have a therapeutic benefit, but the mantra of HIV treatment is to reduce the number of copies of the virus.

The studies were funded by the National Institutes of Health. Albert Mildvan, M.D., professor of biological chemistry, is also an author of the report. Food sources: Pineapple and oat bran have the highest amounts of manganese. A glass of pineapple juice has about 2 mg of manganese, the minimum amount recommended for daily intake.

If taking supplements, 10 to 15 mg daily should be sufficient. I would try manganese oxide or citrate capsules, but would avoid any "amino acid chelates" due to the failures of the so-called selenium as an amino acid chelate unless manufacturer can prove actual absorption takes place and has lab results to back up their claims. Thorne makes a Manganese Citrate with 30 mg in each capsule, the highest I have found.

Case Study Suggestion for HIV: Take one capsule with 30 mg manganese (Thorne brand) every other day or 3 days per week (i.e. Mon, Weds, Fri) and have your physician monitor blood manganese levels. Increase to one capsule a day, if needed, until blood serum levels of manganese have tripled. At this point you can determine its effectiveness by monitoring the viral load at the same time.

San Damiano Apparitions and the Miraculous Water

The Virgin Mary first appeared to Mama Rosa Quattrini on September 29, 1961, the feast day of St Michael. In her first appearance, the Virgin Mary touched Mama Rosa and cured her instantly of an affliction - abdominal wounds that would not heal. Following this, Rosa Quattrini met with Padre Pio, who told her to return to San Damiano and await a great mission.

A series of weekly visions began in October 16, 1964, with messages from Mary to the world that ended in 1981. Her first message to Rosa was:

"My little one, I come from far away. Announce to the world that all must pray, for Jesus can no longer carry the Cross. I want all to be saved, the good and the bad. I am the Mother of Love, the Mother of all; you are all my children. That is why I want you all to be saved. That is why I have come: to bring the world to prayer because the chastisements are near.
"I will return each Friday and I will give you messages and you must make them known to the world."
Rosa replied: "But how will they believe me? I am only a poor ignorant peasant. I have no authority. They'll throw me in prison!"
The Madonna replied: "Do not fear, because now I will leave you a sign. You will see it, this tree will blossom."

On October 16th, 1964, Mary left a sign of her presence - the pear tree over which she appeared that was full of ripe fruit, then broke out in blossoms later that day. Photographs of the pear tree full of pears and blossoms at the same time were widely published in newspapers throughout Europe.

On May 26th, 1967, St Michael appeared to Rosa Quattrini and gave her a message on how the Miraculous Water will protect us during evil times, and said:

"when the great moment of disaster arrives, because they have not listened to "Her" word, many gases will be sent into the world, many evil things, plunge your face in this Water which has been poured into little basins and you will be safe." Protection from SARS too?

The Healing Water from San Damiano - Jack Fristoe's experience

CA: 8/13/02: Jack called to tell about his experiences with the Miraculous Water that had arrived Aug 9th. He used two capfuls daily with the accompanying prayers. Placed some of the water on the tumor on his right leg that was painful and the size of a silver dollar. In 4 days, it shrunk to a half-dollar size and the pain is now mostly gone. Before Aug 9th, he would wake up several times each night to urinate. Now, he sleeps through the night without waking up. August 23rd: Jack calls to tell me that the tumor on his leg has now shrunk to the size of a quarter. He says his overall health continues to improve. August 30th update: Jack called to tell me the tumor is down to the size of a dime. He said: "The water is miraculous .I feel more energy than I have in a long time…. my colon health has improved too."

Note: Jack called in March 2003 to say his tumor has since shrunk to the size of a dime.

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