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ImmunoPro

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Christopher, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Senior Member

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    There are some posts regarding ImmunoPro, but nothing in great detail. Has anyone tried this or is knowledgeable about it?

    I have taken it off and on for the past few years, and it usually reduces my symptom severity (neurological and physical), but I don't know why.

    IF anyone has anything to add, please do so.
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    If you search some of the old forums and yahoo groups (like CFSFMEXperimental) you will find lots of posts about using Immunopro to raise Glutathione. Rich VK who posts here is very knowledgeable about this area. Dr Cheney used to use it early on.

    It was a disaster for me and I couldn't tolerate even a tiny amount.
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Christopher.

    ImmunoPro has quite a history in ME/CFS. It was developed in the 90s by Michael Keenan, a guy who had CFS, and found that raw milk protein helped him (http://www.wellwisdom.com/pages/About-Us.html ). ImmunoPro was the first truly nondenatured whey protein product, meaning that it was the first one that was not made as a byproduct of cheesemaking, so that the milk had not been pasteurized at a temperature high enough to cause the shapes of the proteins to be altered or to fragment them, or acidified with lactic acid to promote curdling, and thus incidentally to cause the cysteine in the whey to be oxidized to cystine. It therefore preserved the lactoferrin and immunoglobulins that are naturally in milk, and it made the nonoxidized cysteine available to the liver cells, where it is usually the rate-limiting amino acid for making glutathione. Elimination of bacteria is performed by ultrafiltration rather than by pasteurization (sort of like Coors beer,which is filtered through a ceramic filter, rather than being heated to kill the bacteria).

    Other whey protein products include the isolates (designated by the misnomer "undenatured whey protein"), which are a byproduct of cheesemaking, but have received some additional filtering and processing to remove fragments of damaged proteins), and the cheaper commercial whey that comes straight as a byproduct of cheesemaking and is sold in the big plastic jars. From a nutritional standpoint, whey protein in general has the best proportions of amino acids for human nutrition of all the protein supplements available on the market, including egg, soy and the others.

    Dr. Gustavo Bounous, then at McGill University in Montreal, was the person who first showed the value of whey protein as a balanced protein supplement, and he also identified its important role in building glutathione, because of its high cysteine content. The average human diet supplies only about half the cysteine that the body needs. The other half is normally made from methionine via the methylation cycle and the transsulfuration pathway. However, in CFS the methylation cycle is partially blocked, and glutathione becomes depleted.

    Before Dr. Bounous did his research, whey protein was considered a waste product from cheesemaking, which uses the curd fraction. When dumping it became an environmental problem, European cheesemakers approached him to find a use for it, which he did. Now the production and sale of whey protein products has become a fairly large industry.

    Dr. Bounous and others formed the Immunotec company, which produces a whey protein isolate product called Immunocal. In whey protein isolates, the cysteine is oxidized because of the heating and acidification of the whey as part of the cheesemaking process, but this type of product is superior to the straight commercial wheys, because it is more refined. In some isolates, lactoferrin is added back in. Dr. Bounous discovered the deleterious effect of heating the whey, but he was confused about cysteine, thinking that the heating produced cysteine rather than cystine, which was not correct. I wrote him about this several years ago, but I don't know if he really accepted what I wrote him as fact. He said that they were getting some more equipment and would be able to check this. I never heard any more from him about this. Nevertheless, his work really launched the whole whey protein industry, including all its forms, and also did a great deal for raising the appreciation of the importance of glutathione in the body. Dr. Bounous deserves a lot of credit, in my opinion.

    Perhaps the availability of large quantities of processed whey from the cheesemaking industry was a factor in the business decision of Immunotec to produce an isolate, rather than a truly nondenatured whey protein product, starting from raw milk.

    Cystine is still usable by the body, but it has to pass through the kidneys to be reduced to cysteine before it is readily usable by the liver. Liver cells do not absorb cystine very well. They absorb N-acetylcysteine (NAC) somewhat more readily, and cysteine the most readily.

    Dr. Paul Cheney started recommending whey proteins, including ImmunoPro, in the late 90s, when he found that glutathione was depleted in nearly all his CFS patients. I learned about it from his talks, and later met Michael Keenan at a conference. I have corresponded with Dr. Bounous by email. and have a copy of his book, but have not met him in person.

    For about 5 years, I encouraged PWCs to try ImmunoPro, and it did help quite a few, at least temporarily, I think because it raised the glutathione levels somewhat. There were other people who could not tolerate it, and I didn't know why. Some people reported that Immunocal or other whey protein isolates were more helpful to them than ImmunoPro was. I later learned that the DAN! program for autism was not using whey protein because many of the kids are sensitive to casein, and even though casein mostly goes into the curd fraction when the curds and whey are separated, there may still be a small amount of casein in the whey. So perhaps that was one possible problem for some of the people with CFS, also. Freddd, on these forums, also found that whey protein was counterproductive for him and some others, and in his case it may be because when glutathione combines with B12, as it normally does, his cells are not able to utilize the B12, for genetic reasons.

    Over time, Dr. Cheney's enthusiasm for using whey protein supplementation cooled, as he also found that it did not produce as much benefit as he had hoped. Because of some lab data that he later received (which I suspect was misinterpreted, a view I have shared with him) he has come to believe that glutathione depletion is not as fundamental an issue in CFS as he originally thought. We continue to interact about this issue.

    In late 2004 I learned from the work of S.Jill James et al. in autism that there is a partial block in the methylation cycle in autism, which is upstream of glutathione synthesis in the metabolism, and that if this partial block is lifted, glutathione comes up automatically. I suspected the same might be true in CFS, and it has turned out to be so. So I stopped recommending ImmunoPro to raise glutathione, and switched to methylation treatment. That seems to bring glutathione up on a more permanent basis.

    I still think ImmunoPro is a very good supplement, and it has been used by people in my family (who don't have CFS, but benefit from protein and glutathione, as do all of us). So long as a person does not have an unfavorable reaction to it, perhaps for one of the reasons mentioned above, it should be a very good source of amino acids, which are often depleted in PWCs, and it should also help to support glutathione synthesis, in parallel with lifting the partial methylation cycle block.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    snowathlete and Nielk like this.
  4. Alexia

    Alexia Senior Member

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    Oh Rich you are always SO generous with your knowledge!! You are always willing to share you knowledge with everybody, you take the time to do so and ask nothing else in return! Many thanks for this.
  5. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Alexia.

    You're very welcome!

    Rich
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  6. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

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    I thought it was excitotoxic...? Is casein intolerance =excitotoxic?
  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, aquarius.

    Dr. Amy does list whey protein as an "excitoxic food ingredient" in her book. i don't know how much evidence there is for that. I'd be interested to hear from PWME's/PWC's as to whether they have experienced excitotoxicity symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, a "wired" feeling) from ingesting whey protein/

    Rich
  8. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    I tried it, it was expensive and did nothing at all health wise. I was very dissapointed!.
  9. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

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    Alexia, you took the words right out of my mouth! Rich you are a cherished treasure! Thank you!
  10. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

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    I was just reading what Rich (thank you, by the way, for the explanation!) has to say, after searching for whey info on PR.

    What do you guys think about the Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate? http://www.vitacost.com/Jay-Robb-Whey-Protein-Isolate-Unflavored-24-oz-1

    It is "cold-processed, cross-filtered." Would that negate that heat issue with the cysteine being oxidized? And if not, if I supplement with pure L-cysteine separately anyways, does it matter if I consume the oxidized form (i.e., is the oxidized form actually bad for us)?

    I tried ImmunoPro, and wasn't impressed. I am thinking I need something that is lactose free and casein free, which ImmunoPro is neither. The Whey Isolate should be mostly casein and lactose free, at least to the point that there is so little that my body could handle it.

    It is moreso the amino acids that I am goaling for, not necessarily the glutathione. Though of course glutathione is good too. :) But to me, it just makes sense to take whey protein, to get those aminos. But I need a form that has fewer allergans, which is why I'm considering the Isolate.

    The Bluebonnet brand http://www.iherb.com/Bluebonnet-Nut...tural-Original-Flavor-2-2-lb-1000-g/9476?at=1

    ....looks good too. The benefit I can see for BB over the Jay Robb is that BB's has no soy (Jay's has soy lechitan). However, the BB one uses heat, though mild enough heat to still be "undenatured." And the BB doesn't claim to be lactose free, so maybe their process of separation is a little less "pure."

    I may try one or both of these. Just throwing this out there, in case anyone has tried either of these.
  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    If cysteine is what you're primarily interested in (which makes a lot of sense under the Glutathione Depletion theory), you can supplement it by itself in the form of N-acetylcysteine. This has been very beneficial for me so far, though I'm still playing with dosages and timing.
  12. xrunner

    xrunner Senior Member

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    It didn't work for me. It didn't make me feel either better or worse.
  13. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

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    Thanks Val.

    Yup, I am taking Solgar's L-Cysteine in capsule form, for my hair loss.

    I wonder if oxidized Cysteine can actually hurt a person? (Rich mentioned that is what you get in a lot of these whey supplements). At any rate, I am thinking of ordering that Jay Robb Whey Protein Isolate that is cold-processed, so it is undenatured.

    Would be interested to hear if anyone has good/bad/neutral experiences with undenatured whey protein isolate? (which is different than ImmunoPro, which is not the isolate!) I thought about starting a separate thread for that, but haven't gotten around to it. I may just order it, but it's expensive so I kinda need a "push."

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