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In Brief: Muscles and the 'myalgia' in ME/CFS
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Pycnogenol inhibits HIV

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by starcycle, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    I wasn't sure what forum to put this in - ADD led me to choose this one as it's closer to the top. :D

    I wonder if pycnogenol would inhibit XMRV, too? It's a potent radical scavenger, including of peroxynitrite, and also has some cognitive enhancing properties. Seems custom made for CFS. I tried it a few years ago and was intolerant to it because of some apparent alpha adrenergic effects (undoubtedly related to the reported ADHD benefit), but I might start trying it again at VLD (very low dose) and see if I can build up.

  2. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    Wow, look at this, from 1997:

    seems almost prescient in a weird kind of way.
  3. fresh_eyes

    fresh_eyes happy to be here

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    mountains of north carolina
  4. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Hmmmm....

    I can't afford any XMRV test until Medicare pays for it, or the price goes way down, and am wondering after reading this if it will even be worth risking being dropped by another PCP by bringing up the testing, since it looks like I will be negative after reading the above.

    I took Pycnogenol for over 2 years at maximum doses early in my illness, at the advice of my ARNP in Rheumatology, since my second diagnosis from 1986 was FMS, and she thought pycnogenol would help. It did nothing.

    I've now been taking Epicor for two years at max doses, because a friend who can afford an LLMD was told to take it by her doctor, as it is proven to raise NK cells by 400%. My latest diagnosis is Lyme, made in 2003. Epicor has also done nothing, and in fact, I have deteriorated dramatically in the past couple of years, developing end organ problems that will eventually prove fatal, and that are listed at the very end of Dr. Cheney's long list of the way in which the progression of CFS proceeds if not stopped. Due to lack of funds, I am dropping Epicor after my current bottle is gone.

    Has anyone else taken either of these NK boosters and had a noticeable change?

    klutzo
  5. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    I don't know - what's in Epicor?

    I have Lyme, also. I'm trying chinese herbs and mushrooms to try to raise NK cells, and taking pine cone extract to see if it will shift the immunity. I don't know how long these things take to start giving results, I figure at least 1 month minimum, but probably more like 2-3 minimum. By six months I would expect to see some indication of results, but I've heard HIV people say it can take even up to a year for antiretrovirals, etc. to start working. So I don't really know, but would be interested to know if anyone does.
  6. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Epicor

    A partial excerpt from the label on my bottle:
    "Epicor is derived from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a non pathogenic yeast commonly used in baking and brewing. In vitro laboratory data has shown that Epicor beneficially influences cellular processes that impact immune health. High metabolite immunogen that modulates Immune System Function. Shown to activate Natural Killer (NK) cells in vitro."

    A Google search should turn up several articles about it raising NK cell counts by 400%. I remember that was what decided me to take it. My friend with Lyme never did buy any Epicor, despite her LLMD's recommendation,so I only have my own experience with it and with pycnogenol to offer.

    As for mushrooms, I took Maitake, Reishi and Cordyceps for a long time with no result except that my TCM doc said I developed an allergy to Cordyceps and should stop it. I had done the Zhang Lyme Protocol for 6 months which includes large amts. of Cordyceps and apparently developed an allergy.

    This negative report on pycnogenol, Epicor, and mushrooms may make it seem that I am anti-supplement. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would literally die without some of the supplements I take. We all have different problems from this illness and different activated infections, so our results will not be uniform and I would never discourage anyone from trying these things just because they did not work for me. I will always try the supplement before the drug, and I've learned that the hard way.

    I MUST have Magnesium, B Complex, L-tryptophan, Benfotiamine, and Pregnenolone. I take other supps. too, but those are the essentials. I am terrified that Codex will take them away from me, esp. the pregnenolone, since the governments already under Codex always take away the hormone supps. first when they enforce it.

    klutzo


    P.S. For those of you (like me) who take Candex or it's cheaper generic knock-offs to fight candida yeast overgrowth, you are taking what I think must be a relative of Epicor, Saccharomyces boulardi.
  7. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    No, you don't seem anti-supplement at all. Believe me, I know what it's like to struggle with being able to tolerate things, trying things that don't work and just seem to waste your money -- or worse, make you worse. My CFS was triggered in fact from some kind of immune reaction to a supplement that caused a transient fever, swollen glands, fatigue, etc. that never fully resolved. Just one capsule is all it took, and now it looks like I'm pretty screwed.

    I've also just started taking cordyceps (dr. zhang's hepapro remedies! :D), so it's very interesting to hear your report of allergy. I seem to be allergic to just about anything in existence, so that was a huge concern of mine in starting that (and the other mushrooms). I have a big bottle of Saccharomyces here from a few months ago when I was going to try it, but was afraid of allergy (or fungal worsening) from that, to. So I hear where you're coming from, and it's very interesting to hear other people's experiences.

    One thing I haven't tried yet because it seemed like a weaker alternative to some of these other supposed heavier hitters is that earthworm peptide stuff that Dr. Cheney mentions - have you tried that? Earth dragon peptides or something like that, I think it's called. That's next on my list anyway, if the cordyceps fails.

    How did you know you had an allergy to the cordyceps, btw? I mean did you have overt symptoms, or was that just the assessment of your TCM doctor?
  8. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    TCM Allergy testing, yeast types, worms!

    Hi Starcycle,
    My TCM doc used muscle testing and told me I was allergic to Cordyceps so I dropped it, but I was already very near the end of the six months I gave myself on the Zhang Protocol. Recently, I was taking a multivitamin that had Maitake, Reishi and COrdyceps with no problems.

    I had also had to drop one other supp. from Zhang because it raised my already high blood pressure, but I can't remember the name of it now.....it was such a long time ago. It began with the letter P, but that is all I remember now. I smelled SO bad from the garlic on the Zhang Protocol that my husband would not come near me and slept facing the other way in bed. I'm sure people who encountered me in public thought I hadn't showered! :D

    Epicor is NOT the type of yeast that causes problems like Candida. They are totally different animals. The only thing to remember when taking it is not to take yeast killers at the same time, since they do not discriminate between good and bad yeasts.

    I have not taken the Dragon product, but have heard of it. I have taken serrapeptase, which I believe is similar. It did not seem to do anything after two months, so I dropped it, since it was expensive, and after the very expensive Zhang Protocol, I was tapped out.

    The only alternative Lyme Protocol that ever helped me was The Cowden Protocol, which I was on for four years. I could not take the Quina (for Babesia), due to a severe dangerous reaction to quinine and all it's derivatives. The Cumanda made me herx for about a month but then I made it up to full dosage with no trouble. The Samento made me herx for the entire four years and I never made it past half the minimum dosage, no matter how slowly I ramped up, but it did help me hold the line on further damage. It also caused so much brain die-off toxicity that my Lyme rages became unbearable for my peace loving husband, and I had to stop taking it to save my marriage. Things went downhill from there. If you have not looked into Cowden you might check it out, in case the Zhang stuff you are currently using does not do the job....but I hope it does!

    klutzo
  9. starcycle

    starcycle Guest

    Pueraria? normally I think that lowers BP, but I think it could possibly have the opposite effect in some circumstances.
  10. klutzo

    klutzo Senior Member

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    Zhang Protocol

    Hi Starcycle,
    The product you mentioned did not ring a bell, so I went to the Hepapro site and found it right away. It was "Circulation P". Maybe that is no longer on his protocol. I don't know. Zhang was the first thing I tried back in 2003 and protocols can change. I went on and off the product twice, checking my blood pressure several times daily to be sure, and it was definitely the product raising the pressure. That should help most PWCs, since they have low blood pressure.

    I wish I had low blood pressure, because I could really use some help with my adrenals, and all the strong stuff raises blood pressure, so I can't take it. Every alternative practitioner I've ever seen has told me my adrenals are my weakest organ system.

    The Cowden Protocol has become massively complicated compared to the way it was when I started on his very first protocol. I updated mine a bit, but did not add all the bells and whistles of the newest version, so I would not be surprised if the Zhang Protocol you are on is different than the one I did.

    Merry Xmas,
    klutzo

    P.S. I loved garlic before doing Zhang. After 6 months of Zhang, I could not stand to eat garlic again for well over a year! I hope you don't smell as bad as I did.
  11. FunkOdyssey

    FunkOdyssey Senior Member

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    I have noticed dramatically different results with pycnogenol depending on whether I take it on an empty stomach, or with food. Same with green tea extract / EGCG. For anyone that has experimented with pycnogenol but didn't religiously avoid combining it with food (by taking pycnogenol a minimum of 30-45 minutes before meals or 2-3 hours after meals), I'd suggest another trial with these careful practices.

    It seems to be proteins that are responsible for inhibiting the absorption of various polyphenols by forming insoluble or indigestible complexes with them.

    If you successfully absorb a significant dose of pycnogenol, you will feel an adrenergic stimulant-like effect which is normal. You will develop tolerance to that and it will subside with continued use (at least in my experience).
  12. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Funk -- that's great that you're seeing benefits from pycnogenol and green tea!

    I would just caution that the stimulant feeling you're experience may -- may -- eventually lead to a salicylate or phenol intolerance, which is characterized by excessive anxiety, OVERstimulation, and concentration problems.

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