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Phenol intolerance

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by Athene, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Does anyone else have a phenol intolerance? Or know much about it?

    I recently read that getting ill from just about anything with phenols in means you don't have enough of the enzyme phenol sulfo-transferase.
    If I understood correctly, this therefore means that phenol intolerance develops out of sulfite intolerance/interruption in the transsulfuration pathway.

    My sulphur problems all started abruptly when I first got ill with CFS. It took me years to figure out that the link between most of the other things that make me feel particularly ill was phenols, so I could not say whether this also started at the same time or came on later.
    Does everyone with sulfite problems have phenol problems too? Or are they separate issues?

    Anyway, I have pretty well sorted out how to avoid things with phenols (unless people stinking of perfume dare to come near me), but I want to know if there is anything that can be done to fix things?

    I did read that copper comes into this, and that making copper more bioavailable by taking zinc and molybdenum might help. I've been taking both of those for a while and there has been a bit of improvement, but starting from an extemely low base, therefore the problem is still pretty severe. My excess stored copper level is absolutely off the scale so this problem has clearly been extreme for many years... well, I already knew that.

    Does anyone know any more about the whole process? Even very basic stuff would help me. When I start reading about enzymes and chemical reactions I am afraid a pea-souper of a brain-fog always descends!
    Gondwanaland likes this.
  2. kaffiend

    kaffiend Senior Member

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    I was having reactions (absence seizures, muscle twitching) to phenols this past year. Fortunately, there is a digestive enzyme called xylanase that might help. It's available commercially in a product called No Fenol made by Houston Enzymes.
    Gondwanaland likes this.
  3. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Thanks for the tip kaffiend. Does it help deal with phenols from things like smoke and other smells, or only phenols in foods?
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Hi I have the same issue. Hair analyses testing showed an extremely high copper reading. (I had a copper IUD when I was younger may of added to this issue. Ive been tested for genetic copper issues but none of those showed up).
    Tests also showed I was extremely deficient (nearly none showing at all!!) in molybdenum.

    So my doctor put me on a product called molyzinc (molybdenum/zinc) and also started selenium at the same time (I cant remember why the selenium, I think it was to do with it helps with heavy metals in the body, thou that didnt show to be a real issue for me).

    Starting those things certainly has helped my ability to think, (I was noticing improvement within 4-5 days of starting those things.. I could suddenly do maths in my head again for the first time in years. It was an amazing improvement for me). I think I was needing those things for the past 25 years.

    Molybdenum deficiency was causing my intollerances to some things I think (or causing the degree of intollance I have).. affecting my body in its ability to break down chemicals which get in my body eg perfumes, alcohol etc
    Gondwanaland and Star-Anise like this.
  5. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Athene.

    Phenol sulfotransferase conjugates phenols to sulfate, which makes them more water-soluble and thus easier to excrete. So, for this to work properly, one needs a functioning phenol sulfotransferase enzyme as well as sufficient sulfate. Sulfate has been found to be low in autistics. Some PWMEs are also low in sulfate. High mercury can cause more sulfate to be excreted in the urine, because mercury blocks the sulfate reabsorption transporters in the kidneys.

    Sulfate is produced from sulfite by the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which requires molybdenum to make its cofactor. If a person does not have enough molybdenum on board, sulfite can build up, and sulfate can drop. Elevated sulfite can produce headaches, rashes, and difficulty in breathing. It also lowers glutathione. Lack of sufficient sulfate makes the sulfation process of detox less effective, so that toxins such as phenols can build up. Also, lack of sufficient sulfate affects the cartilage in the joints (where it is normally used to retain water) and also prevents sulfation of DHEA to DHEA sulfate, which is the active form of this hormone.

    There is an interaction between copper and molybdenum. If either of them is present in excess, it makes the other unavailable, so it is important to keep these two essential minerals in balance.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    Gondwanaland likes this.
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Athene, I researched this a long time ago. Except for detox issues which Rich mentioned I don't think phenol and sulphate tolerance are related. Phenol sensitivity is very similar to salicylate sensitivity, both phenols and salicylates are based on a phenylic ring structure. Chemically they are very very similar. Do you know if you are salicylate sensitive too? Indeed a great many of the chemicals we are sensitive to seem to have a phenylic ring.

    I have a relative who is sulphate sensitive, and I am salicylate sensitive. One one occasion I came into contact with phenol (disinfectant?) and I crashed. So I probably have some sensitivity. I do not know if phenylic compounds attack the same hormone pathways that salicylates do, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do, athough they may be toxic in other ways as I have not investigated this in a long time. In any case Rich is right in saying that improving sulphur based detox may help I think.

    Industrially most of these chemicals are made from benzene I think, but I don't think thats true of biological systems. You can find a discussion of toxicology at:http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=146&tid=27

    Bye
    Alex
    Star-Anise likes this.
  7. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Athene,

    I'm convinced (after yeeeeeaaars of thinking there must be some connection) that I definitely have a phenol/salicylate intolerance issue. Some fruits and vegetables are extremely high in sals/phenols, and can cause a great deal of distress -- that "No-Fenol" does seem to help alot -- I have to get some more.

    I agree with what Rich and Alex said (and Alex has written about an omega six connection (depletion?) that is interesting. Hopefully he'll be able to chime in more here. I have heard that some can have an intolerance so built up that indeed they can become intolerant even of supposedly 'safe' things like essential oils that are high in natural sals.

    Re copper: I'm curious -- how did you test for that? I had a hair tissue mineral analysis -- mine was low, as were most minerals -- but because my sodium and potassium were both sky high, the practitioner said my adrenals are in 'burnout' phase, causing fast oxidation, which she is trying to slow down via minerals, and an adrenal/thymus supps. But I bet that salicylates have played a huge role in this overstimulation as well.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1007119/?page=1

    d.
  8. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Oh Dannybex, thank you for that really interesting article!
    I had no idea that this was connected in any way with the adrenals. Have you seen the thread I started on the adrenal therapy I'm doing?

    I had my copper level tested in a provocative urine test. I was given DMPS and DMSA (if I remember correctly) and had a 2 hour urine collection. I really don't know which of the metals testing methods is most reliable. I keep reading contradictory things. The opinion I have finally settled on, as it seems most plausible to me, is that hair samples can deceive because some minerals settle in certain organs, and whether or not they are deposited in the hair is an indication of whether they are bioavailable.
    The deal with having too much copper, apparently, is that we don't make enough metallothionein and some other thing (the word currently evades me), partly as a result of having low cortisol, i.e. burnt out adrenal glands. This means the copper in our bodies is not bioavailable, so we have the symptoms of copper deficiency (which I did have), yet our livers are so full of it they are getting poisoned.
    However all of the above may possibly be BS because, as I said, there seem to be as many opinions as there are experts in this field.

    Anyway, I've been taking zinc, molybdenum and all the adrenal nutrients and have recently had a few indications that I may actually have available coppper now, eg. after looking like an albino for many years I suddenly got a deep suntan this year.
    And I do think my phenol intolerance has improved slightly, though nowhere near as much as I would wish.
  9. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    BTW I recently found out that phenols in food are broken down by oxygen, eg. when you cut fruit and it goes brown, the phenols have been destroyed by the air. That means, to eliminate phenols from fruit and some other foods, you can puree it and eat it once it looks all brown! Some people may find that too yucky, but the taste is not affected at all, it is only an aesthetic thing. I prefer using this natural method to taking tablets, to be honest.
    Gondwanaland likes this.
  10. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    Hmmm, My doctor "prescribes" oxidised, grated apple as a recovery food for gastric/stomach upsets. I never really knew why but perhaps it's phenol related?

    Like Tania, I also tested with next to no molybdenum. When I first started taking it I seemed to get rid of a lot of stored chemicals in a hurry!

    Yet another super-interesting thread started by Athene <----- :thumbsup: I'm learning a ton of stuff from your posts lately! :)

    Anne.


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  11. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Athene,

    Yes, I did see your thread a couple of times on adrenals. Glad to hear you're doing better!

    According to the practitioner I'm working with, (and test results from spring), I'm still putting out cortisol -- it's very low in the morning, but then jumps up high at noon -- and then 'okay' levels in the afternoon and evening -- even after 12-13 years of very stressful times -- so she says no supplemental cortisol at this time. If I have time I'll get over there and mention this, as it's probably really important to get a salivary cortisol test done before trying adrenal or cortisol extract supplements.

    I think you have the copper thing correct -- that's what I'm told too -- that we can be both deficient and toxic at the same time, due to not enough metallothionein, and I think the other is ceruloplasmin (sp)?

    I don't understand the 'tanning' and copper connection???
  12. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Ah yes, ceruloplasmin, that's the word!

    Copper is a major component of suntan, without copper you cannot go brown, even if you have plenty of the other requisites like vitamin A, beta carotene etc.
    It's also essential to use iron properly, and to fight candida infections. (I think it is important for other aspects of the immune system but I don't know details).
  13. taroki

    taroki Senior Member

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    bump ....

    @Athene
    Do you mean you started out with sulphur sensitivity, then eventually developed phenol intolerance?

    I just recently found out I have sulphur/sulphite sensitivity and it has gotten much worse over the last few weeks! It started with the liver flushes/colonics and then it went downhill very fast.

    I am now supplementing with molybdenum amino acid chelate and eating only rice and chicken. Everything else seems to make me worse.

    I also have very high copper, plus mercury, Lyme, etc.

    Do you have mercury and Lyme as well?

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