CISRA’s Synergy Health Newsletter

Issue 8. Some Recent Topics of Interest: Immune Enhancement, Toxoplasma and Other Parasites, Reducing Menstrual Symptoms (2002)

by J.C. Waterhouse, Ph.D.Immune Modulation

I have been hearing good reports about transfer factor, a supplement that is usually dairy-derived but is supposed to be free of dairy allergens. It is thought to support immune function and help the body fight infections. You can look for it at a health food store or order it from CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Health Resources (800-366-6056), or order one of the brands sold by NEEDS (The National Ecological and Environmental Delivery System, 800/634-1380, you can ask for information on which transfer factor products they recommend).

I read about another immune enhancing treatment in Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum’s newsletter (From Fatigued to Fantastic Newsletter, Nov. 2001, 800/333-5287). The treatment is low dose naltrexone, a treatment developed by the Harvard-educated Dr. Bihari, based on a lot of research on the interaction between endorphins and the immune system. He has found low dose naltrexone helps in CFS, FM, some autoimmune illnesses, some cancers, Parkinson’s Disease and AIDS, especially if started early. One takes a very low dose that acts for only a few hours in the evening. By blocking the opiate receptors briefly, it encourages one’s own opiate production (which occurs in the early morning). There are essentially no side effects and since the amount is so small, it would not be likely to cause allergies. It also is thought to help the immune system by balancing the TH2:TH1 ratio and boosting NK function, which are typically abnormal in CFS. You or your doctor can see the web site at for more information. Compounding pharmacies prepare the special low doses (usually 3 to 4.5 mg, e.g, Key Pharmacy–800 878-1322; or Cape Apothecary–410-757-3522). Some people have a little more trouble sleeping the first few nights, and if this problem persists, the dose is lowered by 1 mg.

Toxoplasma and Other Parasites

A conference on Multiple Chemical Sensitivities held in Aug. 2001 in Santa Fe, New Mexico was discussed in a newsletter from Share, Care & Prayer (, the conference is available on videotapes loaned through the mail by their library or the videotapes can be purchased from Chemical Injury Information Network, at, 406- 547-2255). At the conference, a talk was given by Dr.Grace Ziem, who found a number of patterns based on testing her patients. She found taurine, glutamine and glycine were the most deficient amino acids in her studies. Also, 87% were deficient in secretory IgA, 37.5% had Entamoeba histolytica, 57% had Toxoplasma, 62.5% had Candida, 73% had a deficiency in the pancreatic enzyme chymotrypsin and small percentages had Helicobacter pylori, Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Clostridium dificile.

The Toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gondii) finding particularly interested me. I don’t remember having seen it mentioned in the arena of MCS, GWS, FMS, CFS before. I looked it up in Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (1997). It said it was an obligate intracellular parasite (bacterial) that you can get from undercooked pork and lamb and even a single cyst can cause infection. Cats can also get it. I noticed that it required 2 antibiotics for treatment (pyrimethamine plus sulfadiazine). Since these antibiotics are not mentioned for treating Mycoplasma or Lyme (Borrelia burgdorderi), it seems there would be potential to miss its contribution to illness and this might explain some of those who don’t respond to other antibiotics. Apparently, healthy people infected with Toxoplasma are frequently without symptoms, but those who are immune compromised can have a lot of problems (even brain infections).

Dr. Ziem also found that for food intolerances, 67% of those tested were positive for milk and soy, 57% for egg and 12.5 % for gluten. The majority had molybdenum and magnesium deficiencies. She found 27% deficient in glutathione (she recommends nebulized glutathione without preservatives, from Key Pharmacy in Kent, WA 800-878-1322). There were a number of other interesting presentations, including ones by Pall, Abou-Donia, Kilburn, and Meggs. There seemed to be varied opinions on the use of hyperbaric oxygen. Dr. Ziem preferred oxygen at a lower pressure than is usually used.

Reducing Painful Menstruation

For those who suffer a lot of symptoms during menstruation, like pain, poor sleep, diarrhea or increased susceptability to infection, there is now the option of less frequent menstruation. Research is currently being carried out using a birth control pill that allows the patient to only have a period 4 times each year. If you talk to your gynecologist, you may be given the option to do this even before the research is complete. You can take a birth control pill with estrogen and a progestin continuously for nearly 3 months and then stop the pill for a week and have a period. Birth control pills (such as lo/ovral) are now at lower doses than before and may produce even lighter periods even though taken for 3 months without a period. If you are taking the pill for birth control purposes, however, it would probably be best to wait until the research is complete and use the type that has been tested and approved by the FDA to be sure that it is effective in preventing pregnancy (or use another birth control method in addition to the pill — 2006 Editorial Note: The research is now complete and this new birth control pill is being marketed under the name Seasonale). Reducing food allergies and progesterone and/or estrogen desensitization can also help reduce menstrual symptoms (for these options, see Issue 5 on food allergy or find an AAEM trained doctor:, phone: 316-684-5500).

Editorial Note (August 12, 2006): For my current views on the best approach to a variety of chronic illnesses, see the transcript of a talk I gave before a Support Group in 2005. I give an overview of what has helped me most, with an emphasis on a new approach, called the Marshall Protocol (MP). It may be that many conditions, including immune dysregulation, food intolerances, menstrual difficulties and various coinfections are the result of infection with cell wall deficient bacteria and can be treated by the MP.

Editorial Note (2008):  Also for more information on the MP, see,, and

Written by synergyhn

October 29, 2008 at 7:14 pm

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