Proposed Biochemical Cause and Remedy for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
David W. Gregg, Ph.D.
This paper is for information only. It represents the observations, views and opinions of the author, but is not a recommendation for treatment. Anyone reading it should consult his/her physician before considering treatment.
When the remedies were first discovered, only people with Crohn’s Disease tried them. However, since then some people with ulcerative colitis have tried them and found them to be equally effective.
I am not a medical doctor and thus do not attempt to treat people; but, in an effort to help a new friend, Barbara, who suffers from Crohn's Disease (CD), I performed a literature search, and thought deeply about the disease. Within this process I identified two new potential approaches that I thought might be helpful. Neither approach had been used for CD before. I provided Barbara with the results of my search along with my first theory about how CD might be remedied. She discussed it with her physician. She told me that he said that he didn't see how trying it would do her any harm. She had abdominal pain, which had lasted for more than three months with varying degrees of severity, even though she was under a doctor's care and her disease was in partial remission. Barbara decided to try the suggested remedy. She was working half days because of the inflammation, went home at noon as usual, purchased the material at a health food store at minimal cost and applied it. Her abdominal pain was reduced to a mild sensitivity within an hour. That was in February 1995. She was able to return to work full time shortly thereafter. Her disease has been under control ever since then without other medications being required. She gradually recovered her full physical strength and general health, and has noticed no ill side effects from the remedy. She said that before this time she rarely had one good day a month. Shortly after starting the "treatment" she said she felt terrific and rarely had one bad day a month. Her disease management cost changed from approximately $5,000 per year (covered by insurance) with conventional medications, which did not work very well and had substantial negative side effects, to approximately $50.00 per year (no insurance coverage needed) with far better control of the disease and absolutely no negative side effects.
Since that time more than twenty other people with Crohn's Disease and several with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) have chosen to try it. It seems to work equally well with both diseases. They purchased and applied their own material. Their reported success rate has been better than 90%. They have been able to discontinue other medications and enjoy freedom from abdominal pain and intestinal inflammation. Once it works for an individual, there are no cases of a person becoming desensitized to its benefits. It continues to work, with additional applications as needed, indefinitely. According to my theory, the remedy does not just block the pain, it stops both diseases by stopping the common process that causes the degeneration of the intestine.
The time span between my first learning about Barbara's disease (I had never heard of Crohn's Disease before) to my identification of the first projected remedy was three days. She tried it the next day and to my amazement she said it took effect within an hour. This relatively brief time to effectiveness has been repeated many times with many people. I have been told of pain relief time ranging from 20 minutes to four hours.
I should make it clear that I am not selling anything and have no financial interest in the remedies. My motivation is strictly humanitarian. I would simply like to contribute what I can to help eliminate the horrible suffering associated with these diseases.
I. Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) as a Remedy for Crohn's Disease
In order to appreciate the profoundness of the remedy, which is deceptively trivial in appearance, I believe it is important not only to present the results, but also to take the reader through the technical reasoning I employed. I have a formal education in chemistry and chemical engineering and am now retired after spending more than 30 years performing research at a national laboratory. During that time I developed a personal fascination with the potential of nutritional supplements for helping a broad range of physical and mental problems. It started when I was on the board of directors of a youth home with 70 problem children (wards of the court) and wanted to explore possible approaches for helping the children. This gradually led me into making a serious study of nutrition, biochemistry, medical physiology and psychology and the interrelation between them. I was deep into studying textbooks and performing literature searches on Medline (on the Internet) when I first met Barbara. She was the secretary for the new group I had joined at the national laboratory. I found her to be an exceptionally pleasant person with an exceptionally serious, disabling illness. So, I told her that I would use the capabilities I had developed to try to find something that might help her. I was proud and shocked when the first suggestion I made, derived from my first technical analysis of the cause of Crohn's Disease, was totally successful.
Upon starting the literature search I quickly discovered that the conventional treatment for CD used steroids or sulfa drugs with only moderate success. Failure of the steroids frequently resulted in the need for surgeries removing the damaged part of the intestine. Multiple surgeries eventually end with the need for an ileostomy or a colostomy where excretion of the feces is diverted through the abdominal wall and is collected externally in a bag for disposal. Many other treatments had been tried with little success. The attempts at different treatments seemed almost random, possibly because there was no clear understanding of the cause of the disease. Some believed it was an autoimmune disease, but the evidence for that was not conclusive.
I decided to take a more logically tight, systematic approach, as I would do with one of my typical research projects. This involved first postulating a damage mechanism, checking it against the literature to see if it survives, and designing what should be a logically tight treatment based on the assumed mechanism. In order for me to have any chance of success with my extremely limited access to almost anything sophisticated, I knew I had to approach the problem with a very different thought process than the elaborate research facilities had. The first thing I did was to mentally separate the primary, complex cause of the disease from the damage mechanism, which I hoped may not be so complex. I then focused on the damage mechanism, which I hoped would be more amenable to a simple solution. I reasoned that the damage mechanism was very likely hydroxyl radical attack on the intestinal cells. From reading the medical literature, I discovered that there was considerable evidence that this mechanism might be a primary cause of colon cancer. They are well known to have the capability of destroying cells through oxidative attack and I thought Crohn's Disease might be another expression of their damage. A literature search identified more than 15 publications in the last five years in which the authors also felt this might be true.
In a previous Medline literature search I had done on DMSO, focused on evaluating its toxicity, I discovered not only a lack of toxicity but also that it had been measured to be a powerful antioxidant. The search over the previous five years of medical publications yielded 1117 abstracts describing instances where DMSO was used. Many of the abstracts openly stated that DMSO was a well-tolerated material, and there were no publications indicating any level of toxicity. DMSO had been used in a variety of medical applications, but never for Crohn's Disease. One paper presenting results for a number of materials being tested for antioxidant activity, listed the compounds in order of antioxidant effectiveness and then added the statement that none of them were as effective as DMSO.
DMSO has another very important feature that distinguishes it from commonly used vitamin antioxidants. It will rapidly diffuse through the skin into the blood stream. (There is no need or advantage to taking it orally.) According to my initial theory, this is not just an application convenience, but an essential feature that would make it more effective in the treatment of CD than other antioxidants.
I reasoned that if the damaging hydroxyl radicals are generated inside the intestinal cells, the antioxidants will have to penetrate the cell membranes to get at them. Vitamin antioxidants can have a difficult time penetrating the membranes, which may explain why they are ineffective for treating CD. However, DMSO cannot be stopped by any membrane. That is why it can rapidly diffuse directly through the skin. Thus, only DMSO (and now a second material with a slightly different mechanism, Melatonin, which I will discuss below) would be able to penetrate the cell membranes rapidly and quickly enough to deactivate damaging hydroxyl radicals generated inside the cells before they do damage. I postulated that because of this very unique penetrating characteristic, only DMSO, and now Melatonin, might be effective in reducing the intestinal damage associated with Crohn's Disease. If my theory is true, treatment with DMSO would also serve to illuminate the biochemical cause of CD.
With these thoughts in mind, I thought DMSO had a reasonable chance of helping Barbara with her CD. When I talked to her about it, she told me that she had owned horses for many years and was quite familiar with DMSOs frequent use in veterinary medicine. She felt it would be a safe thing to try, in small amounts, even though she was aware that its use for application to humans had been approved by the FDA only for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. She consulted her physician and he thought it could safely be applied topically. When Barbara started using DMSO she was working half days because she was trying to recover from repair surgery and the deterioration caused by a major relapse of her disease. She went home at noon, as usual, and bought some DMSO at a health food store. She applied "about a teaspoon full or less" to her abdomen. (The body location is not important!) She then went to an afternoon movie. An hour into the movie Barbara noticed that something was missing. Most of her abdominal pain was gone!
Shortly thereafter Barbara was able to return to work full time and was feeling "wonderful". After this success, I am amazed at how many people then called me to find out about it. I discovered that this horribly painful, commonly fatal disease is very prevalent. I am thus compelled to write this paper in an attempt to get this information into the Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis community so it can be further evaluated, and hopefully provide near-term, safe help.
If my theory is correct, DMSO does not stop the primary cause of Crohn's Disease. It only stops the damage mechanism, very rapidly. Thus, DMSO may have to be used on a continuing basis. The people using it so far apply it only when they feel the onset of abdominal pain. The DMSO quickly stops the pain (and the intestinal damage process) commonly in less than one hour but it can take up to a few days of repeated application. One of the benefits of its rapid action is that it does not have to be taken in a preventive mode, and there are no withdrawal problems. This is in contrast to the steroid treatment, which takes several weeks to take effect and thus often has to be taken in a preventive mode, and where withdrawal must be done with great care. The natural course of Crohn's Disease is to cycle between active and remissive states. The DMSO appears to prevent damage during the active state, and may be required sporadically during remission. It appears to be an extremely affordable remedy that a person can live with comfortably. I recently talked to Barbara and she said it continues to control her CD when it becomes active, but she had to use it only twice in the last year
II. Melatonin as a Remedy for Crohn's Disease
Melatonin is well known as an effective, nonprescription sleeping pill. In the book "Melatonin" by Ray Sahelian, M.D., he references research done by Hardeland, et al. that states "Melatonin has been found to be the most potent physiological scavenger of hydroxyl radicals ever detected. Melatonin stops damage immediately and is more effective as an antioxidant than even vitamins C and E." He also states that Melatonin has the advantage of being able to freely enter and permeate all parts of a cell.
Given the experience with DMSO helping Crohn's Disease, upon reading this, it seemed reasonable to me that Melatonin might be another likely remedy for C.D. I brought this to the attention of Barbara and discovered that she had just started taking Melatonin to help her sleeping problems. She decided to stop using DMSO and see if the Melatonin would control her C.D. It seemed to work for approximately two months when she started to get a recurrence of abdominal pain. At this point she returned to using DMSO, which controlled the pain in its characteristic short time.
Since Barbara's experience, many people have tried both DMSO and Melatonin and both have worked quite well. It is difficult to say if they would both work quite well on the same person because different individuals seem to have chosen one or the other approach and remained with it once it worked. There seemed to be one significant difference in that it appears that DMSO seems to take effect within an hour while Melatonin might take a week or so.
At this point approximately half of those trying this are happy with Melatonin and half with DMSO. It is difficult to say in advance whether DMSO or Melatonin will be the best approach for any particular individual. One of the most interesting points is that once an approach does work for an individual, it does not become ineffectual with time.
I want to remind people that this write-up is for information only and is not a recommendation for treatment. I strongly recommend that you discuss this with your physician and read the large amount of information that has been published about both DMSO and Melatonin before taking any action.
Proposed Biochemical Mechanisms for DMSO Mitigating Crohn's Disease
The Proposed Biochemical Cause of Crohn's Disease
I propose that the cause of Crohn's Disease is oxidative attack on the intestine, and not an autoimmune attack. Specifically, the attack follows the Haber-Weiss reaction where ferrous ions catalyze the dissociation of biochemically-produced hydrogen peroxide into highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. The excessively high production rate of hydroxyl radicals then produces cellular damage in the intestine. The reaction goes as follows:
H2O2 + Fe(+2) = Fe(+3) + OH- + HO
hydrogen peroxide + ferrous ions
react to produce
ferric ions + hydroxyl ions + hydroxyl free radicals
This reaction is always taking place in normal cells and can play a constructive metabolic role by helping with the initial oxidation of fats in the peroxisomes. However, for people with Crohn's Disease, it takes place to excess.
The Proposed Mitigation Mechanisms for Melatonin and DMSO
In the book "Melatonin" by Ray Sahelian he states that Reiter, one of the most active researchers on Melatonin, believes that it stimulates the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, one of the body's most powerful antioxidants. The details of how this enzyme operates to remove hydrogen peroxide are discussed in many books on biochemistry, and won't be reproduced here.
Mechanism 1: DMSO can be readily oxidized to dimethyl sulfone. DMSO has one oxygen atom and dimethyl sulfone has two. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide it can be oxidized, picking up one oxygen atom, converting the hydrogen peroxide to water.
Mechanism 2: In the process of carrying out literature searches, I discovered a paper in which it was reported that DMSO increased the number of transferrin receptor sites displayed on the outer membranes of two standard cell cultures with a response time of approximately ten minutes. ("A Rapid Redistribution of the Transferrin Receptor to the Cell Surface of HL-60 Cells and K562 Cells upon Treatment with Dimethyl Sulfoxide Due to Slowing of Endocytosis" D. Vestal et. al., Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Vol. 276, No. 1, Jan. 1990, PP. 278-284) This opens up the possibility of a surprise mechanism for DMSO mitigating Crohn's Disease. Transferrin transports iron in the blood. It picks it up from the intestine and brings it to all the cells in the body that need it.
If we postulate that this same effect occurs when DMSO is applied to the body, it will increase the rate of transport of iron out of the intestine and to other cells in the body. The immediate effect will be to lower the iron concentration in the intestine, and thus lower the rate of production of hydroxyl radicals in the intestine via the Haber-Weiss reaction (catalyzed by iron) discussed above.
It is interesting to note that the measured response time of the cells is fully consistent with the rapid response CD people observe for DMSO mitigating their abdominal pain.
It is also possible to postulate additional, downstream effects.
1) The increased transport of iron will specifically increase its transport to the bone marrow. This could increase production of hemoglobin, reducing any anemia that might exist, which is common with people experiencing a CD inflammation.
2) In normal people, the absorption of iron into the blood from the intestine is actively controlled. If this active control mechanism is sensing on anemia or the lack of it, then (in its simplest conceptual form) the existence of anemia would result in increased iron absorption in the intestinal cells, and the reduction of anemia would have a corresponding reduction of iron absorption. Thus, if the application of DMSO resulted in reduced anemia, it would reduce the rate of absorption of iron (from food) into the intestinal cells while increasing its rate of removal from the intestinal cells by transferrin in the blood, resulting in a two-pronged approach to reducing the Haber-Weiss reaction.
The actual control mechanism for iron absorption is complex and only partly understood. One mechanism that has been demonstrated to regulate the transfer of iron across the mucosal-capillary interface is the synthesis of apoferritin by the mucosal cells. When the host requires little iron, a large amount of apoferritin is synthesized to trap the iron within the mucosal cells and prevent transfer to the capillary bed. As the cells turn over (within a week), their contents are extruded into the intestinal lumen without absorption occurring, thus excreting unneeded iron. When there is a iron deficiency, virtually no apoferritin is synthesized so as not to compete against the transfer of iron to the deficient host. Considering this mechanism, one could postulate that the existence of anemia may prevent the formation of apoferritin. This would result in an increase in free (active) iron ions in the mucosal cells. If this is combined with an ineffectual removal of them into the blood by insufficient transferrin transport capacity, these free iron ions could then be very active in the Haber-Weiss reaction, producing excess hydroxyl radicals, and resulting in cellular damage. DMSO would cause increased transferrin transport capacity, reducing anemia, resulting in increased production of apoferritin in the mucosal cells, reducing free iron ion concentration, and thus reducing the activity of the Haber-Weiss reaction and cellular damage.
A Research Effort to Carry Out Needed Controlled Studies
I would like to strongly encourage the performance of controlled studies to evaluate the DMSO/Melatonin approach to mitigating Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis so as to place it on a sounder technical basis. The ultimate goal would be to satisfy FDA requirements to qualify one or both of them as approved treatments.
I just received the following e-mail, which I found to be particularly relevant and which stimulated some additional thoughts that might be helpful:
Subject: Melatonin & TNF concentrations
Sent: 10/31/19 2:35 AM
Received: 11/4/99 5:18 PM
Dear Mr. Gregg.
I wanted to share with you some observations regarding the use of Melatonin for Crohn's Disease. Since I have Crohn's, I read with interest your several publications on the web regarding the use of DMSO & Melatonin for use with Crohn's Disease.
I subsequently tried both & had little or no benefit from the DMSO, but did benefit from the Melatonin. I found a dosage of 1 MG., once a day at night worked best, and it took about a week to start to see some benefit. The benefit was a reduced level of pain, but most important, almost complete elimination of the diarrhea I had. It was a slow process, with improvement showing up each day.
So, I thank you for taking the time to get the word out about these two products.
I also have a science background, and started to think about how Melatonin was working. I subscribe to the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. This is a magazine that is devoted to alternative medicine, but is very professional in their approach. In any case, in the current issue, 1999, #195, page 37 is an article by Dr. Alan Gaby regarding Melatonin. In the article is mentioned the fact that Melatonin is known to inhibit tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF is an important part of the inflammation process that your body uses to attack foreign substances. Now what is really interesting about this, is that it is a known fact that all Crohn's patients have a very high level of TNF. Actually, the most potent recently released FDA approved drug for Crohn's, is something called Remicade, made by Centacor. Remicade works by eliminating TNF and has been shown in many clinical trials to have a marked beneficial effect on Crohn's. It would be very interesting to investigate if Melatonin is in fact eliminating TNF & if DMSO also works this way.
Again thanks for providing the Melatonin information since it has been a big help to me.
Should you find out anything regarding TNF & Melatonin, I would love to hear from you.
My Response/Comments/Thoughts: This e-mail caused me to revisit thinking about Crohn's Disease, which I had not done in many months. I had the following thoughts.
PROPOSED TWO DISCRETELY DIFFERENT MECHANISMS FOR CAUSING CROHN'S DISEASE, DICTATING TWO QUITE DIFFERENT TREATMENT PROTOCOLS
The information presented in this e-mail is new to me. It introduces the possibility that there are (at least) two discretely different causes of Crohn's Disease, each responding well to quite different treatment approaches, for very fundamental biochemical reasons. I have been long aware that there are those that respond well to DMSO and those that don't. And the distinction is quite sharp. The question is why? And, can this understanding lead to more successful approaches to treatment?
1) Those that respond to DMSO:
In this case the primary trigger is anemia. The anemia signals the intestinal cells to convert more inactive iron to active, soluble iron so it can be transported to the bone marrow to produce more hemoglobin. However, there is a defective iron transport system, which allows the soluble iron to stack up in the intestinal cells. This catalyzes the Haber-Weiss reaction (to excess) causing a high rate of production of hydroxyl radicals, which in turn cause excessive damage to the intestinal cells. It also prevents the correction of the primary cause, the anemia. The DMSO enhances the iron transport, reducing the immediate attack on the intestinal cells, and promoting the more gradual correction of the anemia. Once the anemia is corrected, the Crohn's Disease inflammation remains corrected, without the need for more DMSO, until the next incidence of anemia.
Transdermal application of vitamin B12 and folic acid in DMSO: For all those suffering from Crohn's Disease and particularly this case, I would suggest that you read my Health Notes on Anemia, Vitamin B12 and DMSO. It would appear that dissolving vitamin B12 and folic acid in DMSO and applying it to the skin (transporting it in through the skin) would be a profound help. All with Crohn's Disease have severely damaged intestines, greatly inhibiting vitamin B12 and folic acid absorption, which will cause anemia. The transdermal application will bypass this obstacle and bring the vitamins into the blood directly through the skin.
Could the anemia be caused by atmospheric nitrous oxide destroying vitamin B12 in the body, which in turn causes the Crohn's Disease? See the Health Note on Vitamin B12.
For this cause, one would expect that women would be the more vulnerable than men and would be more likely than to respond to DMSO.
2) Those that respond to Melatonin (or the drug Remicade):
In this case the primary trigger is a food allergy, or a "leaky gut". Foreign proteins from foods manage to penetrate the protective layer of the gut, before the digestive enzymes break them down, and trigger an allergic/inflammatory response. (Such an immune reaction is commonly triggered by protein molecules and rarely triggered by carbohydrates.) The TNF plays a role in this response. It may actively cause damage, or simply be an indicator of the inflammation.
It is common for the body to invoke an inflammation response to foreign invaders, such as pathogens. (The immune system often sees large protein molecules as invaders, much like pathogens and reacts the same.) The inflammation response is the body's approach to providing a very rapid defense, which is not highly specific. It is the initial emergency response to control the situation that provides time for a more specific defense to be developed. Because it is not very specific, it can also attack some normal cells, which get sacrificed in the process. In the extreme, the attack on normal cells becomes the dominant damage mechanism. Thus, it would give the appearance of an autoimmune disease, when it is really an inflammation response. This has led some researchers to conclude that Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disease when it really isn't.
Consistent with this theory, it would appear that both Melatonin and Remicade have the ability to suppress this inflammation response as indicated by both of them having the capability of reducing TNF.
For this cause mechanism one would expect an equal distribution between men and women.
APPROACHES TO PREVENTION
1. SELECTIVE DIET: This introduces another approach to prevention; selective diet. I am certain that this is not so new to many CD sufferers. However, I would like to draw attention to a recently published book "Eat Right 4 Your Type" by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, (1996). The underlying theory behind this book is that people with different blood types have different immunological responses to different foods. Each blood type has a set of foods that they are compatible with and a set that they are not. This is related to the evolution of the different blood types in times when different diets predominated. It also gets specific enough to allow an individual to take action. It may not be perfect, but it presents a good start, based on some scientific data.
The premise makes some sense, and it is right on the mark when addressing this proposed cause of Crohn's Disease. I would thus suggest the people with this problem read this book and initiate your own experiments, refining the specific diet to meet your own specific biochemistry.
2. PREDIGESTING (HYDROLYZING) THE PROTEIN BEFORE CONSUMPTION: If the food-allergy/leaky-gut theory presented above is correct, and I believe it is, then proper food processing could eliminate the disease at its source, preventing it from ever happening. Thus, eliminating the need for any drugs.
First, it should be understood that a protein molecule must be relatively large to cause an immune response once it enters the blood. Protein molecules are composed of a long chain of amino acids connected together, with different protein molecules having different lengths and sequences. However, they are all constructed from the same 20 amino acids. These amino acids do not cause an immune reaction for at least two reasons: They are recognized as "self" and they are too small. If the protein molecules in the food are first disassembled into their individual amino acids before consumption, no immune response will happen when the resulting amino acids are transported into the blood from the intestine. Also, since they will still be the building blocks your body needs to make protein, their protein nutritional value will not be diminished. In practice, it is not necessary to decompose the protein molecules all the way to individual amino acids. The same effect can be achieved even if the decomposition still leaves some amino acids connected in small chains a few amino acids long (called peptides).
The process of disassembling the protein molecules is called hydrolysis. It is the exact reverse of the process your body uses to construct protein molecules from individual amino acids. In the construction process, one amino acid is connected to another by removing a hydrogen atom from one and a hydroxyl radical from the other. The hydrogen and hydroxyl radicals combine to form a water molecule and the free bonds on the amino acids unite, binding them together. This is repeated many times, adding one amino acid after the next, forming the protein molecule. The process is carefully controlled by enzymes that determine the rate of protein synthesis and exactly which proteins are synthesized.
Hydrolysis simply reverses this process. A water molecule is split and added back to the same bond locations, recreating the original free amino acids, and consuming the water molecule.
HOME METHODS FOR ACHIEVING HYDROLYSIS (PROTEIN DISASSEMBLY)
1. Digestive enzymes: Digestive enzymes catalyze this disassembly process in your intestine, making free amino acids that are then absorbed into the blood. Thus, consuming supplemental digestive enzymes with your food should help greatly and may be sufficient to reverse or control The Crohn's Disease.
2. Boiling in water: Digestive enzymes will be slow to take effect in your intestine and thus may not be totally effective (in time). However digestive enzymes are not required to hydrolyze protein (or carbohydrate) molecules. If foods are boiled in water, hydrolysis will take place. In general, the longer the boiling, the greater degree the proteins are disassembled.
3. Crock Pot: A crock pot has been designed to allow one to keep foods close to boiling for many hours. This would be the next step towards further improving the protein disassembly process.
4. Pressure Cooker: The most effective approach achieving the greatest degree of hydrolysis would be to cook the foods in a pressure cooker. This allows the water to reach a higher temperature before it boils. Pressure cookers are well known to be able to greatly shorted cooking times, for the same reason. One could experiment with a pressure cooker for any particular food to discover how long it takes to hydrolyze the food to where its proteins no longer produce an adverse reaction.
I would suggest the following starting point: Start with a can of soup, add water and vegetables, and cook in the pressure cooker. The time of cooking required to obtain adequate hydrolysis of the protein is unknown. It is up to you to determine this. Thus, cook for a while. Cool down and try the soup. If you still have a negative, inflammation reaction, return the soup to the pressure cooker and cook some more. Repeat this until you no longer have an inflammation reaction. This will only have to be done a few times before you know how long to cook in the beginning.
I would also suggest including at least some soybeans in the list of added vegetables. They have been found to be exceptionally high in nutritional value.
Demonstration of Effectiveness?: I know a young woman (early 30's) who has been a vegetarian for essentially her entire life. Her choice was not made as a matter of principal or belief, but rather she found that she had an almost violent negative reaction to eating any kind of meat. She got severe abdominal pains and intestinal problems. As part of her vegetarian diet she periodically tried to eat beans. However, the high protein content of the beans most often gave her considerable abdominal discomfort (not as much as meat). I gave her a pressure cooker and she started preparing her beans in it. The result was she no longer had the abdominal discomfort from eating them. She has found that melatonin is helpful, which is consistent with the theory.
Protein Sources in Foods:
There may be a misimpression that meats provide proteins and vegetables do not. This is not true. All living cells must have some protein molecules to perform numerous essential tasks. Meats have a high concentration of protein and vegetables have a much lower concentration. Depending on the vegetable, the protein may invoke an allergic response as severe as meats can evoke even though it is in much lower concentration. Thus, vegetables will have to be thoroughly boiled also.
Boiling vegetables is usually avoided because there is a common belief that vegetables are more nutritious raw or near raw. This may be true sometimes but not always. In fact, it has been reported that for some vegetables, cooking enhances their nutritional value. However, for people with Crohn's Disease, eliminating the damage to the intestine, thus improving nutrient absorption, will outweigh any nutrient loss due to extensive cooking. The primary risk of loss is likely to be nutrients dissolving in the water and being dumped out. This could be minimized by consuming the water phase, or steaming the vegetables (for a long time). However, simple chemistry dictates that cooking the food in the liquid phase (instead of steam) predicts a more effective hydrolysis of the protein. The water is a reactant, not just a heat transfer agent, and simple chemistry predicts that as the reactant concentration increases, the production of the product (hydrolyzed protein) will go more to completion. The cook will have to work out the details. Taking the soup approach presented above solves this problem.
I have discussed this basic cooking approach with a number of people with Crohn's Disease as well as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In every case the individuals have independently discovered that boiling vegetables for a long time will convert them from being irritating to their intestines to something that causes no problem. This is a small sample, but when it is combined with what makes technical sense, it warrants others trying it.
UPDATE, 11/99 SUMMARY
It is likely that there are two different causes of Crohn's Disease, anemia and food allergies. The intestinal damage mechanism is quite different for each. It is also reasonable to expect these two damage mechanisms to be interactive. Once one starts, it is likely to initiate the other. Both can be addressed without drugs. Anemia can be addressed with transdermal B12 & folic acid in DMSO and food allergy can be addressed by pressure cooking foods. I would suspect that someone with Crohn's Disease may want to do both at the same time.
Most importantly, these approaches address the primary cause of the disease, stopping it or preventing it from starting. They don't just attempt to reduce the damage or pain while the disease continues.
I just received this e-mail and was given permission to post it.
Sent: 1/28/20 10:03 PM
I spoke with you several years ago, in relation to Crohns Disease. I have been taking Melatonin for three years and have had no on-set of the illness since. I cannot even express how this has dramatically changed my life.
Yesterday, I received a note from a friend who had just been diagnosed with CD and quickly went home to look up your name and number. I sent her the link to your website today. I would also like to order some Sparx. Can you please contact me for sending instructions.
Thanks again for everything!
P.S. It was the melatonin that helped, did not have much success with the DMSO.
I just received this e-mail and was given permission to post it.
Subject: I FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE IN 10 YEARS
Sent: 7/10/20 10:43 AM
Received: 7/7/00 2:15 PM
From: Adler, Adam, email@example.com
To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org', email@example.com
First of all my name is Adam Alder, and i am 22 and have had chrons for about 10 years, and i hate it. I have done prednizone which worked temporarily but the side effects were more than i could handle, eversince i have been on Asacal no side effects but still not verry useful. Just recently i was in Texas on business for 3 weeks and was having a bad flair up. blood, puss , diareah, pain, fever I was so sick, and sick and tired of being sick and tired. so I email my friend, just for a sholder to complain on. He wrights back, Im sick of you farting and complaining, I will find you the cure... ya right i think. withing 3 hours i have about 15 links to sites with info on chrons. Then he says I have a feelling this David guy is on the right track. Because all your body really is, is one big chemistry set. So that day I go out and buy DMSO and some melitonin.... Apply the DMSO ouch it burns and itches, oh well mind over matter, if it works anything is worth it.. 4 hours hmnm I feel better 8 hours wow when i push on my gut i do not fell the sores as much.... I take the melitonen and wake the next morning feeling better than i have in a long long time... so for the rest of that week I did the dmso and the melitonin. This was about 5 weeks ago and feel absolutly increadible absolutly no signs zero i mean, of the nasty guy named CHRON. All the plumbing is working perfectly. I contnue with the melitonin and do the DMSO about 3 times a week, I will continue the dmso for about one more month then i will go off of my asacal. well I cant thank you enough, I will send you an update in a month or so,
thank you for existing
ETWALD GOES: (The Netherlands) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have received a total of 8 seperate email's from Etwald Goes over the past two months. He has Crohn's Disease and upon reading my proposed use of DMSO to help mitigate it, he decided to do a thorough technical background search on the internet to try to independently evlauate its potential merrit. He progressed from an initial technical evaluation to a successful personal use. His technical analysis has continued thereafter. His accomplishments have been truly profound. They go far beyond what I will attempt to summarize here. However, very fortunately he has created his own web site where they are presented:
I strongly urge all those interested to read it and contact him directly for further dialog. As one example I will present a copy of his last email:
Subject: Re: Missing : http://www.krysalis-sparx.com/antiox.htm, Sent: 12/19/20 5:21 PM, Received: 12/17/00 4:20 PM
From: Etwald Goes, email@example.com
To: David Gregg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for posting my site address on your page. I've been working on this the last couple of days, and I've found some really nice articles :Also, on my website I've posted all medical studies I've found regarding the DMSO theory. I think I can proof every aspect of your theory...I've found medical studies which confirm :
- The increased amount of iron in intestines of Crohn's and UC patients
- The Haber-Weiss reaction, which creates hydroxyl free radicals, when catalyzed with iron
- The hydroxyl radicals make the cells create Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha !
- The Hydroxyl free Radicals cause the inflammation in the intestines
- DMSO is a Hydroxyl Radical Scavanger
- DMSO increases the transport of iron OUT of the intestines, to the bone marrow
The last piece of proof is me.. All of my symptoms are disappearing.
I feel better than I have felt in the last 5 years !I've also found some alternatives, that also work like DMSO :
Desferrioxamine is also able to remove the iron from the intestines, and yes, it is also a radical scavenger.. Just like DMSO...And yes, it also stops the inflammation in the intestines !It's on :
http://www.kalenderweb.nl/crohn/ga.php3?linkid=44 and :
http://www.kalenderweb.nl/crohn/ga.php3?linkid=55 Phase II trial of copper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) in treatment of Crohn's disease.
Quote : We obtained 19/26 very good short term responses, and 82% good results on long term
Note: This is also almost the same success rate as with DMSO !It's on :
Thanks for reading,
A Proposed Third Cause and Treatment for Crohn's Disease
Many with CD have been helped by either DMSO or melatonin, or both. However, sadly, there are still those who are not helped by either. Why is that so? It makes me suspect that there is at least one more fundamentally different biological cause for Crohn's Disease which would require a very different approach to treatment. I believe I know what it might be and how to treat it. This leads me to a different medical issue that I participated in helping in the past, autism, which is commonly associated with intestinal damage sometimes diagnised as Crohn's Disease.
Brief Background: I do not have an autistic child and do not treat autistic children. However, in 1997 Bernie Rimland, director of the Autism Research Institute, (4182 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116) put me in contact with Victoria Beck of New Hampshire. She had recently discovered that secretin (prosecretin), commonly used to check pancreatic function in medical evaluations, appeared to have helped her autistic son, Parker when used in such an evaluation. However, the doctors would no longer provide the treatment. Over the following year I had numerous phone conversations with her, helping her develop a method for treatment that she could employ at home, and an understanding of the operative biochemistry. It led to a dramatic breakthrough in the treatment of autism, applying to a majority of the autistic children that have been treated. In the beginning, the word spread quickly among parents of autistic children and many decided to try it, long before it received acceptance by the medical establishment. Within a couple of years its success received considerable public recognition with a review on Dateline in October 1998, and a feature article on the front pages of both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal, March, 1999. All this happened before the medical establishment accepted it. At this point I believe it still lacks FDA approval, but many doctors are using it successfully to treat autism.
Relevance to Crohn's Disease:
The best overall description I have found presenting an overview of the biochemistry of secretin is presented in the "Textbook of Medical Physiology" by Guyton & Hall, 1996, Published by the W.B. Sanders Company. The book presents the known effects of secretin, but does not address its recently discovered relationship to autism.
Briefly, secretin is an intestinal hormone that has a multitude of effects, but the best understood effect and possibly the one that best explains its benefit to autistic children is its influence on the digestive system. In normally functioning people, secretin is synthesized the cells of the duodenum and stored there as prosecretin. When the highly acidic food leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum the acidity causes the duodenum cells to dissassociate the prosecretin, releasing secretin into the blood. The released secretin then stimulates the release of a bicarbonate flush from the pancreas into the duodenum, as needed, which neutralizes the stomach acid. In addition, this same bicarbonate flush also transports the digestive enzymes, synthesized in the pancreas, into the duodenum. They are necessary for digesting carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There is a similar bicarbonate flush in the bile ducts that helps to transport bile into the duodenum. The bile is necessary for emulsifying fats, making them digestible.
A child lacking the ability to release secretin will have a multi-pronged attack on the digestive system. First, the unneutralized stomach acid will severely damage the intestine. Second, there will be a deficiency of digestive enzymes and bile to process food.
This results in the child having considerable intestinal pain and stools that contain obviously undigested food of all types. With such a damaged digestive system, the absorption of nutrients from the intestine is severely impaired. This lack of nutrients entering the blood could fully explain the deterioration of mental function associated with autism. When secretin (prosecretin) is infused, the first thing that happens is the intestinal pain vanishes and their stools turn normal, indicating an end to intestinal damage and improved digestion of food. With essential nutrition now getting to the brain, the presentation of autism diminishes greatly.
Can this process occur, producing intestinal damage without producing autism? A couple of years ago Bernie Rimland told me that recently there was a dramatic increase in the rate of both autism and CD in England. I told him that it wasn't CD, but rather the normal intestinal damage that goes with this form of autism. However, more recently I wondered if it wasn't just another cause for intestinal damage commonly diagnosed as CD, and thus was CD, which only sometimes progresses to autism.
Why would these have occur together? There appears to be considerable evidence that in some cases childhood vaccinations may have triggered the onset of autism, more specifically the rubella vaccination. If this is so, there may have been a bad batch of vaccine that was given widely and triggered both autism and CD without progressing all the way to autism.
If this is truly a third cause of Crohn's Disease, it would be easy to see why DMSO and/or melatonin would not be effective treatments. It would predict that treatment with secretin (prosecretin) could be very effective. To my knowledge, this has never been tried.
Secretin vs. Prosecretin: I would suggest you read my discussion at the end of my health note on autism. I believe there is an important distinction between treating with secretin vs. treating with prosecretin. I discuss that there. Only prosectetin should be effective. Secretin should not work. Briefly, prosecretin is stored in the duodenal cells and releases secretin when it is needed, timed with the arrival of acidic food from the stomach. The secretin then quickly stimulates the pancreas and is rapidly removed from the blood. Otherwise it could overstimulate the pancreas at the wrong times. Infusion with secretin will overstimulate the pancreas, not timed with its need for acid neutralization and digestion. Infusion with prosecretin will result in the absorption of the prosecretin into the duodenal cells where it is then used, timed properly. This distinction has resulted in an ongoing debate questioning the effectiveness of the synthetic human secretin vs. the use of prosecretin extracted from pig duodenum.
Pig Duodenum Powder, Freeze Dried: In either case, this leaves a person seeking out prosecetin infusions which require a doctor. It may not be feasible to find a doctor willing to try this as a treatment for CD. However, there is another option presently being explored, the use of freeze dried pig duodenum powder in the diet. It is simply an organ meat, but this organ meat also contains prosecretin. The original secretin infusions in Victoria Beck's son, Parker, were with material extracted from pig duodenum. They also continued to be the most effective infusions. I reasoned that freeze dried pig duodenum powder should still have the prosecretin in it most favorable state, as prosecretin, not secretin. It is a hormone so very little would be needed. Why not add the freeze dried pig duodenum powder to the diet. It is simply organ meat containing prosecretin in its best ant least expensive form (no expense of extraction). A couple of years ago I found a source of the powder — approved for human consumption and obtained a sample. However, the mother who was originally interested in trying it decided not to, so I stored it in my freezer. It took more than a year before I was contacted by the grandfather of the child who had a similar thought. He wondered why you couldn't just feed pig duodenum to the child. I emailed him back with "I have finally found you". He asked for the sample and the bottom line is the initial trial, adding a tablespoon/day to his diet had the child getting rid of his abdominal pain and his stools changing from having lots of undigested food into normal stools. He also became more alert. These are very early results, but they are what would be expected if the theory is right.
Relevance to CD: At present there may be some question as to how much this improved the autism, a difficult measurement, but the most objectively observed result was the reduction in abdominal pain and the normalization of stools. These are the most relevant observations as related to CD. If these results stand the test of time, and if this is truly one cause of CD, then adding freeze dried pig duodenum powder to the diet should be an effective, inexpensive, safe approach to managing that form of CD &endash; that does not respond to DMSO or melatonin.
ETWALD GOES (The Netherlands, email: email@example.com): Response to Update 1/01 Theory and the Presentation of a Fourth Proposed Cause for Crohn's Disease along with its Treatment, and its Relevance to Autism.
A very interesting and revolutionary new theory ! It's true that some people don't react well to almost any regular treatment.
Another point of interest.. You might want to consider to read another book : "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall. This book explains how people can break the vicious cycle inside their intestines. In short, it's like this :
Most intestinal mycrobes require carbohydrates for energy. When the host eats a lot of carbohydrates that can't be digested, these carbohydrates remain in the intestines and will be used by the mycrobes for energy. The mycrobes start multiplying and start creating acids and toxins. These acids destroy the enzymes on the intestinal cell surface. These enzymes are essential for digesting (splitting the carbohydrates) before they can be absorbed. The host responds by creating excessive mucus as a defence against the toxins and acids. Because of this mucus, the food can't be absorbed anymore. The cycle can be broken by eating a special diet, which only consists of specific carbohydrates. Only simple carbohydrates are allowed, like mono-sacharide (sugar found in fruit and honey). di-sacharide (table-sugar) is not allowed. Over time, the mucus will not be needed anymore and will vanish.. Food can be aborbed again.. Inflammation will stop. The toxins and acids created by the mycrobes get into the blood stream. The brain is not protected against these acids and starts to disfunction. After being on this diet for a week, lots of people notice that the brain-cloud starts to vanish. Many mental disorders are "cured" this way. Some people even get scars on their brain after having severe intestine inflammation a long time. In particular, milk-acid (lactic-acid I think) is very bad for the brain.
And now the parallel with your theory : Because the intestines are exposed to stumach acid, the mucus will start to form here also. As a result, this same vicious cycle is introduced. Acids will enter the bloodstream and start bothering the brain. Right now (after re-reading the testimonials on www.scdiet.org), I'm not sure anymore which treatment worked the best for me. A week before I started using DMSO, I also started this diet. In that week, my weight didn't improve, but I started to feel a bit better. When I started using the DMSO, my energy level improved a lot and my weight was going up very rapidly. Maybe, my 5 kilo weight gain is due to a combination of the two treatments. It might be interesting to read the book, because it explains it much better than I can:
Maybe, it would be nice to send an e-mail to Keith Reisman yourself (about the updated theory). He will be able to bring your theory to a wide audience of doctors/researchers/patients. Keith J. Reisman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By the way.. I went to my physician yesterday and he was amazed to see me in such good health. I think he believes it might be because of the DMSO. Also I left him a copy of your crohn.htm and some medical studies I had found. He seemed very interested. I also got my blood test results. My inflammation was completely gone (no flaws in the blood results). It seems like I'm completely healed! Still I don't feel like a 22-year old should feel. My energy level is still a bit too low. I hope this will get better over time.
You keep amazing me. I'm sorry there aren't many more people like you around. Medical doctors are too narrow-minded and don't "dare" to invent new theories. Also, I've sent a link about your new cancer treatment to a webmaster of a dutch alternative cancer treatment site. He has good success with treating his cancer by using a diet and supplements.. There are parallels with your theory. He was very interested and saw the parallel himself. I will try to write a dutch summary of your cancer treatment, so he can post it on his site. He will also put a link to your site there. His site is on : http://www.kanker-actueel.nl/index_e.html
Keep up the good work. Greetings from the Netherlands,
Email Update from ETWALD GOES 1/22/01 (A reversal due to change of diet.),
The following email clearly demonstrates the importance of the dietary advise presented by Elaine Gottschall in her book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle". I read it and found it to be a truly outstanding analysis of one cause of Crohn's Disease presented along with the successful dietary treatment/solution. Everyone with Crohn's Disease should read it. It clearly addresses one of the causes, and can only help with the treatment of the disease that might have another cause.
Subject: Combined Treatment,
Hi David: How are you ? Here it's been rather cold for a couple of weeks. Today, all the snow and ice melted. It's about 10 degrees celcius once again.. Much better ! Did you read my findings on melatonin ? I think the ultimate treatment for persons with (my type of) Crohn's disease is this : A week ago, I thought : What the heck, let's try some other foods again. I had been on the diet and I had used DMSO for about 6 weeks. At that time I felt real perfect. No single symptom was left of my disease. My energy level was also 100% again ! A week later (now), I discovered I had a lot more gas in my system, my energy level dropped, I couldn't sleep that good anymore, and the mucus returned in my intestines. I think the bad bacteria were just asleep after not having anything to eat for a month orso. When I started eating wheat, sugar, etc, they started to eat once again and the digestion problems returned very quickly. Now, I'm back on the SCDiet once again.. I'm even on a more strict diet, because I seem to allergic to baking yeast (no problem, because it isn't allowed in the SCDIet too), but I'm also allergic to cheese, tomatos, paprica, curry and some others. So right now I am on a diet which combines the DON'TS of the SCDiet with the DON'TS of my allergy diet.. It's amazing to see how much fruit and vegetable I can eat without problems.. I eat salads the size of which the entire family would eat of normally. Everything is digested perfectly, and I think my condition will return to the condition a week ago in one or two weeks. I always thought the DMSO was the part of my treatment that put me in remission. But it seems like the SCDiet also has a lot of influence there. My new theory is the following: In the inflammated intestines, two vicious cycles are occuring. One is on a chemical level, which causes the inflammation to go on and on. This part should be taken care of by using DMSO, antioxidants or even regular medicine. (because DMSO is the strongest and has the least side effects, the choice is clear) In short : Inflammation : cells put H2O2 and O(-2) in the intestines --> O(-2) extracts the iron from the intestine cells --> H2O2 + Iron turn into Free radicals --> Free Radicals start destroying the intestine cells -> Iron transport system collapses --> Because of free radical damage, the inflammation gets worse --> More H2O2 and O-2 are produced --> Iron which is ingested can't get out of the intestines --> Anemia --> Iron overflow in intestines --> Free Radical production gets very bad --> etc etc. The second vicious cycle is the one described by Elaine: Bad digestion --> Parasites Overgrow -> Parasites eat leftovers your intestines didn't digest -> Parasites drop acids in your intestines -> acids destroy enzymes and cells -> intestines starts a defence line : mucus --> Mucus prevents any food from reaching the enzymes --> even more leftovers are left for the parasites --> more acid.. etc etc. By combining both treatments, I think the remission rate will be very high. If you don't like DMSO, there also other alternatives : Antioxidants (vitamin c,e), Flavanoids (like in Green Tea), Iron Chelators, a large range of antioxidants.And ofcourse: prednison, which stops radical production by using steroids (heavy side effects) or ASA-5 asacol, which is a strong free radical scavenger..
I will be updating my website soon. I will also add the information about the secretin...
Your CD certainly did not damage your brain! Your melatonin discoveries amaze me. They are truly insightful. You are right. DMSO and melatonin are both noted for their antioxident properties and they both appear to be effective for reducing the effect of iron overload (each with a different mechanism). That is fascinating. The connection to MS is also profound.
I am both delighted and sad that you decided to run the test of the importance of Elaine's diet. You have demonstrated it is certainly important for your particular cause of CD, and it would appear that it is more important than DMSO. If the mechanism that Elaine presents is the cause of your CD, you would not expect DMSO to be very effective.
I did talk to one parent who has a son with severe CD for the past 10+ years. She said that she had tried Elaine's diet with him and it did not work. Thus, she is now going to try DMSO, melatonin and pig duodenum. We shall see what happens. I will let you know if she lets me know.
If the concept is correct that there is a number of quite different causes for CD, each needing substantially different treatment approaches, it would be profound to show that it is true. This should lead to people not just being diagnosed with CD, but being diagnosed with a particular form of CD requiring its particuar treatment protocol. I don't think anyone treating CD is thinking along these lines now. It would be powerful to get a community of research people working the problem from this viewpoint.
Valadation of Pig Duodenum for treating one form of Crohn's Disease?
Emails from one individual indicating the use of pig duodenum for treating Crohn's Disease is a promising option. The idenity of the author is not presented in order to protect her privacy &endash; at her request. Lets call her mother alpha for later identification. (email: email@example.com). You can email her direct for updated information.
This page, has an additional "footnote" shown HERE.