Translocator protein test results

I was going to write this up as a post with questions but i dont have the brain power to sift through all this. I have decided to post the whole report as a blog in the hope that someone will take the time to read through it for me and explain what some of it means. I can understand bits and pieces but i'm too ill to get right on top of it, i certainly don't understnad the implications.

From Dr Myhill "Translocator Protein Test abnormalities initial examination:
Damage to the mitochondrial membrane structure the mitochondrial membrane is a phospholipid bi-layer, which requires the right fats in order to make it, freedom from toxic stress and good antioxidant status to maintain it. However mitochondrial membranes differ from normal cell membranes because they contain the phospholipid cardiolipin. This has come to medical interest because of the anti-cardiolipin syndrome first described by Graham Hughes in which he describes a group of patients who have a pro-thrombotic tendency as a result of possessing this antibody. Clinically these patients present with thrombosis and need anti-coagulants for life. This is not the problem here! Cardiolipin is what makes mitochondrial membranes different from normal cell membranes and cardiolipin is an essential part of energy production. Without cardiolipin the inner mitochondrial membrane cannot fold properly and this may account for some of the membrane abnormality described in this test.

Mitochondrial membrane binding of:
Lipid damage the mitochondrial membrane is a phospholipid bi-layer and the structure of these lipids is critical towards normal mitochondrial membrane function. There are two major sources of toxic lipids in our environment. The first are lipids that have become oxidised as a result of poor antioxidant status, a second possibility is that lipids have been hydrogenated as a result of eating fats which have been heated or hydrogenated in the margarine making process. A further possibility is the presence of transfatty acids. In nature most fats are present as the cis, or left-handed isomer and fit biological enzyme systems so that they can be excreted. Transfatty acid represent the right-handed version, do not fit biological enzyme systems and literally clog the system up. This is akin to throwing a handful of sand into a finely tuned engine. The problem with these abnormal lipids is that the immune system then has to try to clear them out of the way and this it does in the only way it knows how to which is to fire superoxides at them to try to break them down. The result of this is excessive free radical activity which causes damage in its own right and again attention to antioxidant status is required as a damage limitation exercise.

Presence of diolein - This is a markedly pro-inflammatory fatty acid probably produced as a result of poor antioxidant status. This means that correcting antioxidant status is likely to be a very important part of recovery. The chemical formulation of diolein is C18:1, cis-9. The base molecule consists of two C18 units that results in two main isomeric forms namely 1,2- and 1,3- diolein. Unfortunately the fluorescent probe doesnt tell us which is present. However the 1,3- form seems to be the most directly toxic while the 1,2- form is the more chemo-attractant (that is to say it attracts white cells which then try to destroy it with superoxides). They probably cause as much damage as each other but by slightly different mechanisms. The 1,2- form has the greater potential to leading to an autoimmune situation. Diolein can be produced directly in cell plasma membranes due to an, as yet, not fully described defect in essential fatty acid metabolism.

So finding diolein associated with mitochondria could also indicate one of three other main causes. There could be a defect in the production of energy from lipids within the mitochondria, there might be a defect in the production of the mitochondrial membrane itself or the diolein might be an import from any fat source in the body. In the latter case we would have to assume that the intra-mitochondrial chemistry rejects diolein as unsuitable for use as a fuel source.

The trans-isomers have been found in a few very toxic samples of vegetable oils. If ingested, they cause rapid and generalised toxic effects. If the patient survived the first few hours they generally do well, but some have developed a profound fatigue syndrome one to two months later.

High levels of aldehydes Justines poor antioxidant status has created other related problems. With poor antioxidant status one cannot detoxify lipid peroxides and aldehydes and so these get stuck onto mitochondrial membranes and possibly onto DNA. Aldehydes are the intermediate product between alcohol and acids. They are toxic to the body and therefore require detoxification by aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes which are dependant on co-factors such as zinc and B vitamins. They get into our bodies from the outside world as formaldehydes and glutaraldehydes, both of which can be used as solvents (e.g. in the building industry) or as disinfectants (farming industry, hospital disinfectants). They are also produced in the body in for example, metabolism of alcohol. Another possible source of aldehydes are artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is metabolised into formaldehyde -this makes it potentially toxic in susceptible people!

Aldehydes can be detoxed by oxidation or conjugation and so zinc and glutathione are essential to get rid of them. They can also be got rid of through doing sweating regimes.

Chemical on translocator sites:
Moderate levels of cyclopentasiloxane this is a silicone fluid commonly used in cosmetics such as deodorants, sunblocks, hair sprays and skin care products. It is becoming more common in hair conditioners, as it makes the hair easier to brush without breakage

Moderate levels of a sulphate/hormone complex this is a finding that I have not seen before and I am not quite sure what the implications are for management. John McLaren Howard makes the comment that steroid hormones are detoxified by sulphates and some of these products of metabolism are stuck onto translocator protein. It is certainly the case that when people start to detoxify and mobilise chemicals from the body, the intermediate products from metabolism (typically the offending chemical stuck onto glutathione) can appear on translocator protein. I can only think that this is a parallel situation steroids in the body need to be detoxified just like many other endogenous toxins so perhaps this represents an intermediate step. No specific management it is a case of more of the same.

Trace of p-dichlorobenzene - p-DCB is used to control moths, moulds and mildew. It is used as a disinfectant in waste containers and restrooms.

Essential elements associated with mitochondrial membranes
Justine has normal potassium but low normal magnesium and zinc levels. Taking magnesium transdermally or by injection will replete Mg levels. Zinc is required for so many enzyme reactions. Again if there are high requirements in one department, zinc will be drawn from others. Zinc is necessary for good antioxidant status (it is an essential part of superoxide dismutase), it is essential for DNA repair (damage occurs as a result of xenobiotic stress), and it is necessary for normal immune function and detoxification.

If you have got this far then thank you so so much. Its such a shame to have the tests done and then not be able to understnad what it all means!
x Justy.


Hi Justy, it is hard for me to interpret too, and I have a biochem degree. I will have a go though.

First, you have modified fats in your mitochondria. I am not sure hydrogenated fats are a huge problem, except that they tend to be straight, as in a straight line. This means they pack in a particular way that might well modify how the fat layer works - typically by making it more rigid. Trans fats do this too, for a similar reason, but they have an additional problem. If your cells are wanting to make hormones from fats, they might use these fats and create nonactive hormones. I dont know if there is much research on this that might be relevant, almost all the research I have read in the past was about cell membranes, not mitochondrial. Avoid every oil except cold pressed if trans fats are a problem.

One of the things that produces trans fats is damage - heat will do it. Do not store cooking oils at room temperature, if any oil smells or tastes funny, even if you just opened the bottle, throw it. The best oils come in dark glass bottles - the colour reduces light. Store in a cool environment. Buy in small bottles so it doesnt have time to go off. I recommend extra virgin olive oil but only if it tastes good - too much of it out there is old or stale or fake. Find a local manufacturer if you can. If you can get to a good foodie supply store, you can try different olive oils as a taste test. Its easy to tell the good from the bad - the taste is obvious when comparing. Some recommend other kinds of oils, and for energy production thats ok, but for cell membranes I think extra virgin olive oil is good, despite being largely monounsaturated. Small doses of cold pressed safflower or sunflower oil, cold pressed edible linseed oil, and high quality fish oil will also improve the mitochondrial membrane fat composition. Avoid unnecessary saturated fat - hydrogenated and saturated fats are very similar in their bad effects.

The fats are also under antioxidant stress. Fish oil and extra virgin olive oil will help with that too, but indirectly, by reducing one pathway that induces mitochondrial oxidative stress. However, addressing the antioxidant pentet is probably crucial - glutathione, C, E, CoQ10 and lipoic acid. CoQ10 in particular is an essential mitochondrial antioxidant that can only come through diet, and if there is any problem with synthesis it can only come from supplements or meat, particular beef heart (which I don't find appealing). There are plenty of threads on glutathione on PR, including the methylation threads, they might be worth reading if you haven't already. If you can tolerate it, you might also benefit from NAC as a glutathione precursor. Some have also had good results with liposomal glutathione, but its expensive.

With respect to adehydes, you also need molybdenum. So that means the minerals involved are likely to be magnesium, calcium (for balance), zinc, molybdenum and selenium. Get some good advice because overdosing on minerals can be more harmful than being mildly deficient.

The presence of diolein I am unsure about. It might or might not be a good idea to take olive oil if you have this, but it certainly is essential to not have anything other than extra virgin olive oil if you do. The heat stress used in making other olive oils, and most commercial oils, might well result in diolein, I am unsure. This is probably the case with most vegetable oils. Avoid everything but cold pressed oils if this is present, and keep up the antioxidants. I don't know enough about this to be sure of anything, I suspect its a deep topic.

Cyclopentasiloxane is a toxin, probably presumed safe in low doses but it might accumulate as I think its hard to detox. If you find any products you use that contain it get rid of them.

The suphate/hormone complex is a mystery. Until its identified not much can be said, or even guessed at.

If anything else occurs to me I will post again. Please be aware that my comments are really speculation to a large extent, its hard to say a lot without more knowledge, both of your individual biochemistry, and my own knowledge of the area.

I am not surprised by the high levels of aldehydes. This has been suspected in patients since the 90s, and I think that it fits with the problems I believe occur in essential fatty acid metabolism due to inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress. What to do about these is still contraversial, and we are still learning.

Thanks Alex for your sterling effort:thumbsup:

Of course its typical for me that i have an unknown problem (the sulphate hormone thing) The whole fats issue and how this all happened is a bit of a mystery to me, but i will be extra careful with my oil consumption. I do have low glutathione and selenium and co q 10 on other tests -Dr Myhill says my antiokidant status is very poor -i have a partial blockage also on my MnSODase gene I do feel much better with Selenium and im starting methyl b12 injections tommorrow (daily)
Everything i research leads me back to oxidative stress, which seems to be an essential key. But why this is happening is still a bit of a mystery.
Take care. Justy.
Hi Justy:

I've just read your blog and wanted to say hi. It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate. I think even a healthy person would find that report overwhelming.

Hope you have some good support to help get you through this.

Take care,


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