Archive for the ‘Supplements’ Category

The Facts About Candida Overgrowth & How to Overcome It

The Facts About Candida Overgrowth and How to Overcome It

June 28, 2018
candida overgrowth

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Candida is an essential fungus, a form of yeast, that lives in the human body. You can find it in the mouth and the intestines. Although it is normal to have some of this fungus in the body, candida can also invade the body beyond what is acceptable. This is called candida overgrowth, and it can have some detrimental health effects.

Candida Overgrowth

Having too much candida in the body can result in several health problems. This includes all types of digestive issues because too much candida can break down the walls of the intestines. In addition, candida overgrowth may cause problems such as depression, lack of energy, and a whole lot of annoying ailments.

When the production of candida in the body is out of control, it can manifest the following problems:

  • Allergies, sensitivities and intolerance to anything or any place that’s damp or moldy.
  • Hay fever and asthma.
  • Higher sensitivity to typical allergens, such as perfumes, smoke, odors, pets, dust, molds, pollen, and other airborne substances.
  • Athletes’ foot or fungus growth on other parts of the body.
  • Low body temperature, resulting on cold hands and feet.
  • Cold-like symptoms, including excessive mucus, as well as flu-like symptoms.
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation, abdominal bloating or pain, acid reflux, and gas.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), ear infections, ear aches, and abnormal wax build-up.
  • Fatigue, chronic fatigue and general feeling of being drained of energy.
  • Swollen salivary glands, dryness in the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Dry or itchy scalp, dandruff, scalp sores, and hair loss.
  • Headaches, migraines, brain fog, and dizziness.
  • Fungal infections of the skin or nails.
  • Joint stiffness, swelling or pain.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sinus inflammation or infections.
  • Muscle aches and pains, including numbness and tingling, as well as lack of strength and coordination.
  • Dry skin, acne, hives, itching skin, and rashes, including eczema and psoriasis.
  • Sleep problems, such as frequent waking up and restless sleep, as well as insomnia.

FREE ONLINE EVENT: The Candida Summit – register today

The sad part is that candida overgrowth may be easily mistaken for other illnesses. Therefore, medical professionals often treat the symptoms of candida overgrowth, and not the actual problem of candida.

Why Does Candida Get Out of Control?

One of the biggest culprits in candida overgrowth are antibiotics. These medications wipe out all bacteria, including beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. On the other hand, antibiotics do not affect candida, because it is a fungus. As a result, taking antibiotics can create an imbalance in the body.

Now, if the immune system is strong, it can usually handle the effects of candida overgrowth. Unfortunately, many people have a weakened immune system because the typical western diet lacks the nutrients necessary to maintain strong immune function.

The standard diet consists of lots of carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, sugar, white flour products, and processed foods. In addition, food growers often treat live foods with pesticides and herbicides. As well, they grow these foods in nutrient-depleted soil and radiate them to extend shelf-live.

Consequently, mainstream food choices do not give us the nutrients and healthy probiotic properties necessary to maintain a healthy immune system. As a result, when candida overgrowth happens, the body frequently starts to break down.

Some other factors that may contribute to candida population growing beyond what is healthy are:

  • A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates,
  • Drinking too much alcohol, and
  • A stressful lifestyle.

Simple Home Test

The best way to know for sure if you have candida overgrowth is to see a holistic practitioner. However, you can try the following test at home:

  1. Make sure you conduct this test first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything.
  2. Fill a glass with room-temperature, filtered water.
  3. Work up some saliva and spit it into the glass of water.
  4. Wait 30 minutes (you may need to wait up to 60 minutes) and check the saliva. If you see string traveling down into the water from the saliva, or if cloudy saliva has sunk to the bottom of the glass, you may have a candida problem.
What You Should Do to Help with Candida Overgrowth

There is a process that you can follow to control candida overgrowth. The important thing is that you execute the following five steps simultaneously:

1. Eliminate sugary foods that feed candida.

These include foods with sweeteners such as honey and fructose. In addition, you may want to limit the intake of fruits because they are high in sugar.

When buying processed meats, always read the ingredients because many contain sugar. In fact, read the ingredients list for all processed foods. You’ll be surprised just how many contain sweeteners. Of course, don’t forget that alcohol and many drinks, like a chai latte and coffee drinks, also have lots of sugar.

2. Strengthen your immune system.

This requires a healthy diet, high in lean proteins, good fats and low carbohydrates. All the foods you eat should be fresh and as natural as possible. This means limit processed foods so you eat fewer additives, heavy metals, pesticides and other food industry chemicals.

Another step in supporting a healthy immune system is to supplement with essential vitamins and minerals. The best way to understand what supplements you need is to ask your healthcare practitioner to administer a blood test. Some typical supplements that typically help fortify the immune system are:

  • Chlorella, a whole food that has many vitamins and minerals. It helps the body purge heavy metals and pesticides.
  • Vitamin C, one of the biggest immune system boosters. Since we get lots of Vitamin C from fruit, you are more likely to be Vitamin C deficient when limiting fruit intake to eliminate sugar from your diet. Vegetables rich in Vitamin C include kale, spinach, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.

3. Kill off candida overgrowth.

The most effective way to start getting rid of excess candida is to fortify your diet with anti-fungal foods. These include the following:

  • Raw garlic, which contains Sulfur compounds with anti-fungal properties. Fresh garlic is most potent, especially if you first crush it and wait about 10 minutes before consuming it. Of course, you can eat the garlic with a meal to conceal the taste. Just keep it raw.
  • Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, preferably Bragg brand. It is best to dilute 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of room temperature water. Then, drink 30-60 minutes before a meal.
  • Olive leaf extract, which contains a phenolic compound with antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
  • Pau d’arco, which is sold as a tea or as a capsule supplement.

Remember that taking too many supplements can be a strain on the liver, so always check with your healthcare provider if you plan to take several supplements at one time. The ideal way to supplement is to eat a large variety of organic raw vegetables.

4. Introduce more good bacteria into the digestive system.

It is essential that you re-establish the balance of candida and good bacteria in your body. The best way to do this is by eating foods rich in probiotics, or “friendly” bacteria. These are also called probiotics.

Probiotics are present in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. The best way to get high quality probiotics into your system is to make fermented vegetables at home. Probiotic drinks are also very easy to make at home.

As well, you can buy probiotic supplements with a minimum of 50 billion CFUs (colony forming units). If possible, purchase probiotic supplements that require refrigeration.

5. Stay calm and expect the best results from your healing process.

When your body is already compromised, the last thing you need is stress. Stress on its own can make all the other previous four steps ineffective. In fact, it may have been a culprit in candida overgrowth in the first place.

It is important to utilize several stress relieving techniques during your healing process to help you stay calm. These include exercise, meditation and yoga. Also, don’t forget to have some fun!

Another important aspect of staying stress-free is to take it easy on yourself. Do your best following the steps above, and always be patient and kind to yourself.

Finally, having the right mindset is just as important as following a healthy diet. If you believe that your self-care efforts will pay off in improved health, then that will be your end result. There is a reason why the placebo effect works! The mind is one of the most powerful healing tools, so don’t forget to use it.

About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.


This article (The Facts About Candida Overgrowth and How to Overcome It) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commonslicense with attribution to Anna Hunt and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.

Jen Springer, 2016

3 Reasons You Can’t Get Rid Of Candida Yeast : HCL, estrogen, thyroid.
  1. The first thing most people miss is restoring the pH to the proper level in the stomach. pH of 2-4. If you don’t get to that level your stomach doesn’t catalyze the pancreas to make enzymes, the gallbladder to make bile, and the proper growth of acid loving good bacteria: acidophilus. Betaine HCL is what you need before any other supplements. SIBO is caused by low stomach HCL. Low good bacteria is from low stomach HCL. The right pH needs to be first before anything else.
  2. Estrogen dominance / imbalance. Many people have estrogen higher than testosterone and progesterone. Even excess environmental estrogenic toxins. This causes high insulin and blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is YEAST FOOD!!! Yeast loves sugar. You be come a puffy loaf of bread.
  3. The thyroid!!! The candida likes to grow when the body is not operating at 98.6. When the body is low, like 97.5, the body can’t cook off the pathogens and keep them in check.
In my search for answers I found this:
This chiropractor resolved her candida with this treatment:
  • 1 drop clove essential oil mixed with olive or coconut oil in a capsule in the am and pm (so twice a day)  
  • Increase to a maximum dose of 6 drops of clove in oil per capsule twice a day
  • Use for 14 days then take a break for a week or two
  • It might take a few cycles to resolve
  • She noticed a “yeast dump” on day 8 of the first cycle
  • Clove oil is supposedly 75% more effective than Nystatin
  • Make sure you use reputable sources for all ingredients
Please work with your medical practitioner on all treatment suggestions.

For more:



The Cocktail Effect

The following article is a reminder that we must be ever diligent about what we put into and onto our bodies and I would add into our minds.  It’s also a reminder that we need to consider everything we are taking and understand the possible synergistic effects of those substances.  It’s common for patients to not be completely honest with their medical professionals about everything they are taking.  They will be open about all the pharmaceutical agents but they often are reticent to mention the so-called “natural” substances as they fear the potential negative reactions; however, this is a mistake from numerous standpoints – 1) trained professionals can only truly help if they know everything the patient is taking 2) “natural” substances have effects as well 3) the combination or synergy of everything we are taking might interact into what Dr. Brogan calls “The Cocktail Effect.”

Be honest with yourself and your practitioners.

Also, remember that people have vested interests and it’s often about sales not you.  Only you truly care about you.  Take the time to learn.  Ask your pharmacist questions.  Learn.  Never quit learning.  It won’t be wasted.

And lastly, if you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, it’s become clear that scientists and researchers have vested interests as well.  And these interests do not concern primarily you.  Their heads have been turned by the bombshells in the corner:  money & power.

The Cocktail Effect

Be skeptical.

Be very skeptical when you are delivered platitudes of reassurance about the safety of chemicals and pharmaceutical products from those who stand to profit from their sales. It can take more than a decade for signals of harm to trickle into consciousness.  We have an even more complex problem at play here: scientists are not doing the right types of studies.

I specialized, in residency and fellowship, in the “safety” of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. After memorizing every study on the subject, I furrowed my brow and said, “Hold on a minute…these studies aren’t asking the right questions!” They ask – are babies born on time, are they big or small, and are they born with ten fingers and ten toes.

In today’s modern day toxic soup, these questions miss the mark of establishing the risk of chronic disease and neurodevelopmental delay and dysfunction. These studies tend not to control for important variables of biochemical individuality such as inflammatory markers, the gut microbiome, and obesity. And they definitely don’t ask questions about synergy.

What’s Synergy?

It’s the dynamic effects of toxicants in combination. It’s the new toxicology. One that acknowledges that even low doses of chemicals, particularly when combined, can sabotage cellular processes. It also acknowledges the role of hormones in this reaction, from cortisol to estrogen.

A powerful new study published in Nature Communications meets the science head on, exploring the Cocktail Effect. It looks at the effect of a synthetic estrogen in the birth control pill  on the toxicity of a pesticide. The endocrine disrupting potential of the more than 150,000 chemicals in our environment may have the capacity to disrupt our metabolism when combined with pharmaceutical exposures as common as oral contraceptives.

Delfosse et al are the first to identify how this can happen by showing that independent chemical molecules can help each other plug into the same hormonal receptor and activate it in a supercharged way. The amazing fact is that these chemicals have this hormonal effect at doses at which they are inactive when separate. In their non-user-friendly jargon, they state:

Our results suggest that the formation of ‘supramolecular ligands’ within the ligand-binding pocket of nuclear receptors contributes to the synergistic toxic effect of chemical mixtures, which may have broad implications for the fields of endocrine disruption, toxicology and chemical risk assessment.

What this means is that one chemical/toxicant can make you more vulnerable to another, as we have seen with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and that multiple chemicals can wreak more havoc than individual chemicals alone.

Here’s one more reason to ditch birth control, go organic, and clean up your products!



Great, great reminder.  If you haven’t begun this life “clean up” process, take a deep breath and realize it took you decades to develop your habits.  It’s going to take some time to change them.  Please, don’t beat up on yourself now, just start.  Take one thing and then when you are able, take another thing.

I remember feeling so overwhelmed when I first found out both my husband and I were infected with numerous tick borne illnesses.  I knew we were at the precipice of something monumental and my mind went crazy with the implications – from how we were going to pay the monumental out-of-pocket medical bills, to the implications of homeschooling 3 teenagers (something we were already doing but now were ill & broke to boot), to the timing of the plethora of medications, to considering dietary, and other changes that needed to be made.  It seriously made me want to scream in frustration as I was having trouble remembering why I walked into a room!  The insomnia was maddening and I couldn’t handle stress at all.  The pain sent me to the fetal position in bed, and trying to unravel my husband’s hallucinations made me feel as if I stepped into a Sci-Fy novel of the worst kind – the kind where reality and fantasy are inseparable.

So just begin by putting one foot in front of the other.








Methylation – What You Need to Know

Methylation: What You Need to Know

by Dr. Bill Rawls | Posted June 9, 2018

If you haven’t yet heard the term methylation, there’s a good chance you’ll soon start hearing it a lot more. Many people are beginning to clue into the importance of this biochemical process, which is a key component of overall wellness, and yet myths and misconceptions are more common than facts. Understanding methylation, and knowing how to optimize it, can give you an edge on staying healthy as you age.
So what is methylation? In biochemical terms, methylation is when a “methyl group” consisting of three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom are linked to another molecule. Attaching a methyl group to an organic molecule (a chemical compound that contains carbon) makes it less reactive.
In more laymen terms, methylation is a process of making molecules more stable, which is important for a wide range of metabolic functions in the body. For starters, it balances hormone and neurotransmitter activity, and regulates protein synthesis and cellular energy. It processes DNA/RNA, the molecules that are responsible for storing and reading our genetic information, and repairs DNA. And it optimizes the functions of T-cells, white blood cells that play a key role in immune response.
Methylation also helps neutralize toxic substances: When methyl groups attach to organic toxins such as heavy metals, it reduces their toxicity and allows for easier removal from the body. When you consider that the modern world is loaded with higher concentrations of artificial toxins than ever before in history, maintaining optimal methylation is increasingly vital.
One of the most important roles of methylation is regulating the expression of genes. At any given time, you are using only about 1% of your genetic material; the rest of it is in “off” mode. But there are certain factors notorious for turning on “bad” genes that are associated with chronic illness, many of which are unique to the modern world. These include eating a poor diet high in processed food products, exposure to environmental toxicants, dealing with chronic stress, and having a sedentary lifestyle.
This is where methylation comes in — the way the body turns off “bad” genes is by attaching methyl groups to genetic material. Of course, if you don’t change your diet and lifestyle, the bad genes will turn on and/or stay on. Keep stressing your genes, and all the methyl groups in the world aren’t going to help you stay well.

The role of poor methylation in chronic illness

This is a huge misconception: People with symptoms of chronic illness — typical ones being fatigue, neurological symptoms, mood disorders like anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few — are being told that poor methylation is the cause of their illness. But in fact, it’s those same stressors that activate bad genes that increase susceptibility to illness; poor methylation just compounds the problem.

The Western diet is the biggest culprit. The body relies on a steady stream of methyl donors from certain foods to support the metabolic functions that are dependent on methylation. (Methyl donors are any substance that can transfer a methyl group — three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom — to another substance.) It can use a variety of methyl donors, but the four most important components are methionine (an amino acid) and the B vitamins: methylfolate (B-9), B-12, and B-6.

Unfortunately, modern grain- and meat-based diets are very poor sources of methylfolate and other B vitamins. Food companies often try to compensate for the loss of natural folate by adding folic acid to their products, but it’s not an adequate substitute. What’s more, people who over-consume processed foods tend to develop gastrointestinal problems and lose the ability to produce a substance called intrinsic factor, which is essential for absorption of vitamin B-12.

Genetics also play a role in methylation proficiency. About 50% of the population carries a mutated gene (MTHFR) for an enzyme called 5-MTHF reductase. This gene is necessary to convert homocysteine (an amino acid most abundant in meat) into methionine, an amino acid that’s essential for the methylation process. About 40% of the population carries one MTHFR mutation, and 12% of the population carries a double mutation.

Having MTHFR mutations, however, may be less of a factor in chronic illness than some experts suggest. The evidence linking concerns such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease to the presence of a mutated 5-MTHF reductase gene is mild at best. Scientific investigations have shown only a very slight increased incidence of chronic illnesses in affected individuals.

That’s because this genetic pathway is only one of a variety methylation pathways. The human body would never rely on a single option for a function like methylation which is so essential for life. In addition, for most of history, humans consumed large amounts of plant matter that provided all the components necessary for methylation (methionine, B-9, B-12, and B-6). It’s only in recent history, as our diet has become more plant- and nutrient-deficient, that this particular genetic methylation pathway has become “essential.”

How to know when it’s time to test

People often ask which symptoms indicate they should get tested for poor methylation, but there are no pure telltale signs. My answer is, if you have classic symptoms of chronic illness such as fibromyalgia or ME/CFS, and you eat a lot of processed foods and very few vegetables, it’s pretty safe to assume have poor methylation.

The biggest reason to have the test is to determine whether you have a double mutation, in which case supplementation with natural folates may be valuable. Determining whether you have a MTHFR mutation requires a simple blood test that costs about $150.

Checking for elevations of homocysteine in your blood can tell you the degree of the problem: The higher your homocysteine levels, the lower the formation of methylfolate for making methionine, if methylation mutations are present. More than anything else, elevations of homocysteine indicate over-reliance on grains and meat as a food source.

6 ways to support proper methylation

Maintaining proper levels of methylation is important for health, but it must be part of a more comprehensive strategy. Again, nothing can balance the damage that comes from eating a nutrient-poor diet, living in a toxic environment, allowing stress to get the best of you, and sitting all day. Follow the simple steps below to help ensure optimal methylation, and whether or not you carry a MTHFR mutation will become a non-issue:

1. Eat your veggies.

Focus especially on dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas and beans (preferably sprouted). A healthy, plant-based diet containing these foods is the number one way to ensure you take in plenty of methylfolate, one of the primary methyl donors.

2. Get plenty of B vitamins.

Folate is a B vitamin, but vitamins B6 and B12 can be important methyl donors, too. You’ll find them in salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds, plus bananas, avocados, and soy.

3. Look for active forms of B-vitamin methyl donors.

If you take daily vitamin and mineral supplements to support your health, check ingredient lists to be sure they contain bioactive forms of the B vitamin methyl donors, which means they’re in a form your body can actually use. Here’s what they’ll look like on the label:

  • Folate (active forms: 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate or l-Methylfolate) Note that folic acid found in most multivitamin products is not satisfactory. It is not absorbed and utilized in the body properly, especially if you have a MTHFR mutation. This is particularly true if you are pregnant, in which case supplement with methylfolate, instead of folic acid, and consume plenty of leafy greens.
  • B6 (active form: Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate)
  • B12 (active forms: Methylcobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin)

4. Supplement with glutathione, if needed.

Glutathione is an essential antioxidant and another methyl donor, and it’s important for a myriad of processes in the body. Supplementing isn’t as necessary for young, healthy people, but chronic illness and aging put extra pressure on the body, so extra glutathione can be beneficial. Taking SAMe is another way to support the methylation process, but again, it’s unnecessary for young, healthy people, or if you’re getting adequate bioavailable B vitamins.

5. Consider restorative herbs.

Opt for herbs that support your immune system, microbiome and other functions such as andrographis, Japanese knotweed, milk thistle and sarsaparilla. “Any of the restorative herbs will help counteract a wide spectrum of stress factors in the body, and therefore help take pressure off of detoxification and healing systems,” Dr. Rawls says. “Cordyceps and reishi are also good examples, because they support immune system functions.”

6. Stay active, manage stress, and cut back on alcohol.

It’s common sense that living a healthy lifestyle helps keep everything in your body running smoothly. But research has started connecting the dots between lifestyle factors such as sedentary behavior, stress, and toxins such as alcohol with changes in DNA methylation.

Proper methylation impacts so many health systems of the body, and the simple steps outlined above can help support and enhance the process — MTHFR gene mutation or not. Enjoy your favorite produce, take steps to stay active and keep stress in check, and supplement with the right nutrients and herbs, and you’ll be paving a path toward a long, healthy, vibrant life.

1. Richardson, B. “DNA methylation and autoimmune disease.” Clinical Immunology 2003 Oct;109(1):72-9
2. de Vega, WC et. al. “DNA Methylation Modifications Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” PLoS One 2014; 9(8): e104757.
3. Sokratous, M. et. al. “Deciphering the role of DNA methylation in multiple sclerosis: emerging issues.” Autoimmunity Highlights. December 2016, 7:12
4. Varela-Rey, M. et. al. “Alcohol, DNA methylation, and cancer.” Alcohol Research. 2013;35(1):25-35.
5. Phillips, T. “The Role of Methylation in Gene Expression.” Nature Education 1(1):116
6. Jones, MJ et. al. “DNA methylation and healthy human aging.” Aging Cell. (2015) 14, pp 924-932
7. Jones, Meaghan J. et. al. “DNA methylation and healthy human aging.” Aging Cell (2015) 14, pp 924-932
8. De Vocht, F. et al. “DNA methylation from birth to late adolescence and development of multiple-risk behaviours.” Journal of Affective Disorders. 2018 Feb; 227: 588–594.


For more:



Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme: Living With Lyme Podcast


Episode 30: Using Low-Dose Naltrexone For Lyme Disease Treatment

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by author Dr. Darin Ingels, who discusses his experience with using low-dose naltrexone as a treatment for Lyme disease.
Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine, with more than 26 years experience in the healthcare field. He received his bachelor of science degree in medical technology from Perdue University and a doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. He has worked as a clinical microbiologist/immunologist and he is board certified in Integrated Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of “The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Autoimmune Response and Beat Lyme Disease,” a comprehensive natural approach to treating Lyme disease. He specializes in Lyme disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health. For more information, see his website.
Please know that LDN will not “treat Lyme/MSIDS” in an anti-microbial sense.  It will help with symptoms.  We found it very effective but it will not kill pathogens.  For more on LDN, please see second link below.
For more:

Autophagy Finally Considered For Disease Treatment

Autophagy Finally Considered for Disease Treatment

June 27, 2018

by Dr. Mercola

Story at-a-glance –

  • Autophagy refers to your body’s process of eliminating damaged cells by digesting them. It’s an essential cleaning-out process that encourages proliferation of new, healthy cells, and is a foundational aspect of cellular rejuvenation and longevity
  • Autophagy also destroys foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, and detoxifies the cell of harmful materials
  • Autophagy slows down with age, and autophagy defects are known to contribute to a wide variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • By activating autophagy, or repairing the mechanism in cases where dysfunction has set in, researchers believe neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be successfully treated
  • There are a number of ways to activate and increase autophagy, including fasting, exercise, eating autophagy-boosting foods and AMPK-activating supplements such as berberine and PQQ

Autophagy literally means “self-eating” and refers to your body’s process of eliminating damaged cells by digesting them. It’s an essential cleaning-out process that encourages the proliferation of new, healthy cells, and is a foundational aspect of cellular rejuvenation and longevity.

Autophagy also destroys foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, and detoxifies the cell of harmful materials. Autophagy slows down with age, and autophagy defects are known to contribute to a wide variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The good news is there are a number of different ways to activate and increase this natural process, thereby preventing many health problems before they begin.

Autophagy Activation Is a Powerful Way to Treat Many Diseases

Researchers are now also latching on to autophagy as a viable way to treat disease.1 As explained in the 2012 paper, “Autophagy Modulation as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Diverse Diseases:”2

“Autophagy occurs at a basal rate in most cells, eliminating protein aggregates and damaged organelles in order to maintain cytoplasmic homeostasis. This includes the degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria via mitophagy, a cytoprotective process that limits both the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the release of toxic intramitochondrial proteins …

In addition to its vital homeostatic role, this degradation pathway is involved in various human disorders, including metabolic conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, cancers and infectious diseases … Autophagy may be dysregulated in several disorders, including metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, infectious diseases and cancer.

In some conditions, autophagy is inhibited and this can occur at different stages of the process to enhance disease, whereas in other cases autophagic activity may be permissive toward pathogenesis. In addition, the induction of autophagy has been shown to increase longevity in a large panel of species, thus raising the possibility that ageing and longevity may be therapeutic targets for autophagy induction.

Given these observations, pharmacological approaches to upregulate or inhibit this pathway are currently receiving considerable attention. For example, autophagy upregulation may be of therapeutic benefit in certain neurodegenerative diseases … whereas autophagy inhibition is being investigated as a strategy for treating some cancers.”

Autophagy May be Used to Treat Parkinson’s Disease

In 2016, the Nobel Prize in medicine was given to the Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi3 for his discovery of the actual mechanisms of autophagy, i.e., how cells recycle their contents. As reported by The Conversation:4

“Ohsumi identified key genes and molecules behind autophagy. In so doing, he shifted scientific paradigms about cellular quality control. He opened the gate for researchers … to understand how defects in autophagy are associated with neurological diseases

In neurodegenerative diseases, toxic proteins accumulate within brain cells called neurons. Neurons are irreplaceable. They must continue to recycle proteins and break them down into small amino acids to avoid a toxic buildup of abnormally large proteins. That is what autophagy lets them do.

The process works by sequestering unwanted proteins into pipelines called ‘autophagosomes.’ Then they dump those proteins into a part of the cell called a ‘lysosome,’ where they are recycled. When this process doesn’t work properly, harmful proteins can accumulate.”

Activating Autophagy Helps Prevent Neurological Degeneration

By activating autophagy, or repairing the mechanism in cases where dysfunction has set in, researchers believe neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be successfully treated, as the autophagy process will naturally clear out harmful proteins.

Interestingly, researchers have demonstrated that certain cancer drugs can trigger autophagy by activating a protein called parkin. Parkin is involved in the autophagy process, and some cancer drugs specifically activate this protein. As reported by Charbel Moussa, assistant professor of neurology at Georgetown University:5

“Keep in mind that cancer drugs work by killing cancer cells and can also be toxic to other cells. So our first step was to find out how these drugs worked in cancer cells and neurons. Our initial observation in cell culture models was stunning: Cultured cancer cells died while cultured neurons survived after treatment with several autophagy-stimulating cancer drugs.

Next we introduced toxic proteins into cultured neuronal cells and treated them with several cancer drugs that activate autophagy and destroy tumors. The cells treated with these drugs survived and cleared their toxic proteins, while untreated cells died.

Activating autophagy is a double-edged sword. One the one hand, the process clears toxic or infectious materials from cells. On the other hand, if the autophagy process goes beyond ‘recycling’ and clearing out proteins, it can start to destroy the cell, leading to cell death. This means that autophagy must be carefully manipulated to avoid the death of nonrenewable and irreplaceable neurons.”

Cyclical Autophagy, the Natural Way to Improve Health and Longevity

Likely the safest way to achieve these benefits is simply to boost autophagy naturally, and there are many healthy lifestyle strategies that will do just that. Perhaps one of the most important and most effective is fasting. As explained in “Autophagy Modulation as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Diverse Diseases:”6

“Autophagy is stimulated during various pathological and physiological states, such as starvation … Starvation induced autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved response in eukaryotes, enables the degradation of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, which allows the cell to adapt its metabolism and meet its energy needs.

Indeed, the induction of autophagy in newborn mice has a major role in maintaining energy levels in various tissues after the maternal nutrient supply via the placenta ceases. Moreover, starvation-induced autophagy has a cytoprotective effect by blocking the induction of apoptosis by mitochondria.”

Longer water-only fasts are a form of “starvation” that will induce autophagy. As little as 200 calories can thwart the process, and the starvation period needs to be at least 16 hours or 72 hours or even longer, so it’s important to be strict if autophagy induction is your chief aim. On the flip side, autophagy cannot remain continuously activated all the time. You also need to allow the cells to rebuild and rejuvenate, which occurs during the refeeding phase, which is why cyclical fasting and feeding is so important.

Fasting Is a Powerful Way to Activate Autophagy

Based on the research that has emerged in recent years, I’m now convinced that multiple day water fasting is one of the most profound metabolic interventions you can do to radically improve your health, as it allows your body to upregulate autophagy and mitophagy to remove damaged senescent cells, including premalignant cells. It’s also an extremely effective way to shed excess weight and extend your life span.

For a refresher on how to do water fasting safely, see my interview with Dr. Jason Fung, who wrote “The Complete Guide to Fasting.” Many have irrational fears about water fasting, even for a few days, and Fung expertly shreds many outdated myths about fasting.

There are a few caveats, however. If you’re on medication, you need to work with your doctor to ensure safety, as some medications need to be taken with food and/or can become toxic when your body chemistry normalizes. Those taking hypoglycemic or antihypertensive medication are particularly at risk, as they may end up overdosing.

It’s also recommended to continue taking nutritional supplements during your fast. You also need to take a high-quality salt. Certain health conditions may also need more stringent medical supervision to ensure safety when fasting.

A gentler way that can still improve autophagy is intermittent fasting, provided you’re not eating for at least 16 hours at a stretch. This is the time needed to activate autophagy. That then means you need to eat all of your meals for the day within an eight-hour window, and not snack on anything during fasting hours.

If you want to try a water-only fast, I recommend starting out by intermittently fasting about 16 hours a day, and slowly working your way up to 20 hours a day. Once you’ve done that for a month, it will be a lot easier to do a water fast for five days.

Fasting Regenerates Your Pancreas

A powerful example of the regenerative power of fasting was demonstrated in a recent study7 that showed a fasting-mimicking diet — characterized by periods of feast and famine — can reverse diabetes and actually regenerate your pancreas. The experiment, conducted on mice, was led by Valter Longo, Ph.D., professor of gerontology and biological sciences and director of the USC Longevity Institute.

What they discovered was that by starving and refeeding the animals in cycles, insulin-producing beta cells were generated, resembling that observed during pancreatic development. Beta cells detect sugar in your blood and release insulin if blood sugar levels get too high. As a side effect of restoring pancreatic function, diabetic symptoms were also reversed. Insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis were restored in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes models. According to Longo:

“Our conclusion is by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back — by starving them and then feeding them again —the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that’s no longer functioning …

Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we’ve shown — at least in mouse models — that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes. Scientifically, the findings are perhaps even more important because we’ve shown you can use diet to reprogram cells without having to make any genetic alterations.”

The fasting-mimicking diet developed by Longo involves restricting your calories to 75 percent less than your normal calories per day for five days each month. This approach greatly improves compliance, as many find a five-day, water-only fast to be too difficult. During these five days of calorie restriction, it’s important to select foods low in carbohydrates, low in protein and high in healthy fats.

The rest of the month, you are free to eat whatever you want. The goal is to mimic periods of feast and famine. However, while it may sound simple enough, Longo is quick to suggest this particular diet is best undertaken with medical guidance, as it’s far more sophisticated than most people realize. You can learn more about the fasting-mimicking diet in my 2017 interview with Longo:

Other Strategies That Will Activate Autophagy

Aside from fasting, there are several other ways to boost your autophagy process, including the following:

• Time your nutrient intake appropriately. In her book, “Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life,” Naomi Whittel, former CEO of Twinlab, shares a number of different strategies specifically aimed at boosting autophagy. One of them involves the timing of nutrients. As a general rule, eat fats first and healthy carbohydrates last, whether you’re intermittently fasting or not. In a recent interview, embedded above for your convenience, she explained:

“On a low [protein] day, when you’ve done an intermittent fast, your first meal will be about fat, and fat first. Then at the end of the day, you’ll have carbohydrates, and we talk about the quality carbohydrates that we need for health. When you’re eating carbs … as your last meal, you’re getting all of the benefits, from recovery to helping you relax and get ready to go to sleep. So, fat first and carbs last is my second principle.”

• Cyclical exercise. Every other day, do 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training or resistance training. The acute stress of exercise triggers autophagy much in the same way as fasting.

Eat autophagy-activating foods. In her book, Whittel includes 140 different types of foods that help activate autophagy — such as citrus bergamot tea, green tea and turmeric.

Activate adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) through proper diet and nutritional supplements. AMPK is an enzyme that stimulates mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as five other critically important pathways: insulin, leptin, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), insulin-like growth factor 1 and proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha.

(It also increases nerve growth factor and helps protect against the type of oxidative stress that leads to Parkinson’s disease.)

With age, your AMPK levels naturally decline. Certain dietary habits, such as eating too much unhealthy fat and not enough of healthy fats and getting insufficient amounts of flavonoids (antioxidants) also inhibit AMPK activity. Insulin resistance is also a powerful inhibitor of AMPK. So, keeping this enzyme activated through proper diet is another important factor for maintaining healthy autophagy.

Two dietary supplements known to activate AMPK — thereby triggering mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis — are pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and berberine. Both of these supplements also benefit your mitochondrial function and health.

Activating Autophagy — A Simple Way to Boost Health and Prevent Disease

Considering your health is dependent on well-functioning cells, addressing autophagy is of significant importance and can go a long way toward preventing disease, including neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Without autophagy, your cells will eventually become gunked up with toxins and debris, and once they start to malfunction and/or die, your body will be unable to efficiently clear those cells out, which will further exacerbate the problem.

The good news, it’s not very difficult to optimize autophagy. Fasting appears to be the most efficient way, but exercise and adding certain foods and supplements are also helpful strategies. If you’re truly dedicated, you’d do your best to incorporate all of these strategies.

+ Sources and References
1 STAT News June 14, 2018
2, 6 Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2012 Sep; 11(9): 709–730
3, Yoshinori Ohsumi
4, 5 The Conversation October 10, 2016
7 Cell February 23, 2017; 168(5): 775-788


Dr. Steven Phillips, a prominent Lyme/MSIDS doctor has talked about the promise of autophagy for some time now.  In this interview he mentions the need for research funding to look into it as it clears out accumulated abnormal proteins in the central nervous system that cause neurodegenerative illness:

 Approx. 1 hour

Dr. Steven Phillips on Autophagy Cure? or Curse?

Lyme Connection / Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force
Published on Jan 18, 2016


The Role of Retroviruses in Chronic Illness – A Clinician’s Perspective

The Role of Retroviruses in Chronic Illness- Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD

The role of retroviruses in chronic illness is greatly disputed in academic circles. However, at the Sophia Health Institute Dr DIETRICH KLINGHARDT, MD, PhD, reports seeing significant improvement in treatment outcomes – in the most severely affected patients with chronic illness – when anti- retroviral strategies are included.

The results we are seeing at the Sophia Health Institute at our locations in Seattle and Marin County would not have been possible without the brilliant work of Judy Mikovits, PhD.

What is published and what illnesses are potentially caused by, or have as a contributing factor, activated retroviruses?

  • CNS-related illnesses: ME/CFS, Gulf War Syndrome, Autism, MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, Schizophrenia
  • Auto-immune diseases: Lupus, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Polymyositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Bechet’s Disease, primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Cancer: prostate, breast, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, mantle cell lymphoma, hairy cell leukaemia, bladder, colorectal, kidney, ovarian.

To that I am adding a list of other illnesses that have responded under my care to retroviral interventions: intractable Lyme disease, mold illness, insomnia, brain fog and all stages of a deteriorating brain, most childhood illnesses including ADHD and behavioural problems, asthma, breast cancer, lung cancer and many more.

Working backwards

What are retroviruses? The more familiar DNA viruses such as those from the “herpes family” – and many others – work their way from DNA over to RNA and from there to the manufacture of viral proteins. Retroviruses work their way backwards – from the RNA to the DNA – and then forward again from there.

Retroviruses are subdivided into different- lettered classes – Beta Retroviruses: HERV-K. Gamma Retroviruses: HERV-H and HERV-W.

The generally accepted key contributors to chronic illness are inflammation, oxidative stress and microbial infection. All of these are known triggers for retroviral activity, and in turn are also caused by retroviral activity.

Both human and animal retroviruses can infect the central nervous system (CNS). These are associated with many diseases of the CNS and cause neurological disease by several mechanisms:

1. Directly through infection of immune cells which traffic to the brain;

2. Indirectly through increases in proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, or

3. In the absence of detectable brain inflammation indirect effects known as “bystander effects”- causing chronic retroviral replication of immune cells.

A retrovirus works via the enzyme “reverse transcriptase”. Once inside the cell, it uses the enzyme to force the cell to create viral DNA. This viral DNA becomes integrated into the host cell DNA. A retrovirus integrated into our genome may be passed from mother to child during pregnancy (Sakuma et al, 2012).

Only 2% of our DNA is protein-coding, but 6-8% of our DNA is retroviral DNA – passed down to us from our ancestors as scars from our constant encounter with an often hostile microbial and virus-rich environment (Stoyle, 2006, Mayer et al, 2011; Li et al, 2001). These viruses are referred to as Human Endogenous Retroviruses or HERVs.

However, not all embedded retroviral DNA is bad. Some sections have become a functional part of our genome because they have given us an evolutionary advantage, such as the formation of the p53 gene regulatory network (Shin et al, 2013; Barbusecu et al, 2001). Other retroviruses have to be silenced throughout life, mainly through DNA methylation and acetylation.

The transcription of retroviral DNA makes the infected person susceptible to numerous de-novo genetic mutations, including MTHFR, DNMT and other genes which control methylation. Many other illness-producing effects are known, implicating HERV-K in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory and autoimmune illnesses. For a patient to get well today, it is rarely enough to just interpret the genomic testing and to substitute accordingly.

Acquiring infection

How do we become infected? Retroviruses can be acquired (inhalation, blood-based products, physical contact) or the viruses already present in our DNA can be activated through influences such as a viral infection or chronic inflammation (Manghera and Douville, 2013).

For example, the Epstein Barr virus induces expression of the HERV-K envelope gene and the transactivation of MSRV, the Multiple Sclerosis retrovirus (Mameli et al, 2007; Sutkowski et al, 2001). Herpes simplex type-2 activates members of the HERV-W family. These and other mechanisms are likely responsible for the activation of HERVs seen in rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, Sjorgens disease, schizophrenia, autism, MS and cancer. Cell phone radiation has disabled many of our protective proteins (Fragopoulou et al, 2012) and so have many of the food-based toxins such as glyphosate (Seneff et al, 2017) and air-based inhalants (aluminium etc).  An unintended source of retroviruses are some vaccines as reported in Frontiers in Microbiology in January 2011).


Currently PCR testing is only available to
the research community. We have to rely on indirect parameters:

  • decrease of CD56 NK cells (CD56 is involved in adhesion, migration, growth, differentiation and other cellular functions); down regulation of IL-13, IL-2, IFN gamma, TH-1 cytokines (J. Mikovits et al, 1998)
  • upregulated levels of TH-2 cytokines: IL-4, IL-10 and pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha.
  • elevated levels of TGF beta-1: has profound effects on innate and adaptive immunity through stimulation of mast cells (often mistaken as mould-related). This may be the true cause of mastocytosis.

Other practical markers from my experience: low wbc (white blood count below 4500), low CD 56. I always include the CD 57 to rule out an active Borrelia burgdorferi infection as compounding factor.


When the retroviruses are effectively addressed early in the treatment of chronic illness, other issues such as bacterial infections (Borrelia, Mycoplasma, Bartonella etc), mould illness, EBV, CMV, HHV-6, silent inflammation, parasites, heavy metal toxicity and many other problems become less symptomatic and often undetectable – and respond much better to treatment, even to interventions that have failed before.

Plants have been exposed to the same retroviruses as us, but for 300 million years longer – and many have developed potent adaptogens. Even though drugs like Truvada and AZT can be successfully used, I prefer the use of plant-based products that have unique anti-retroviral properties. A few examples with the key references:

  • Scutalaria root (Ruscetti et al: “Inhibition of HIV infection by baicalin – a flavonoid compound purified from Chinese herbal medicine”, Cellular & Molecular Biology Research 39, 2 (1993): 119-124).
  • Cistus incanus (Rebensburg et al: “Potent in vitro antiviral activity of Cistus incanus extract against HIV and Filoviruses targets viral envelope proteins”. Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 20394).
  • Broccoli sprouts (Furuya et al: “Sulforaphane inhibits HIV infection of macrophages through Nrf2.” PLoS Pathogens, 12.4 (2016): e1005581)
  • St John’s Wort (Meruelo, Lavie and Lavie: “Therapeutic agents with dramatic anti- retroviral activity and little toxicity at effective doses: aromatic polycyclic diones hypericin and pseudohypericin.” Proc Nal Acad Sci 85.14 (1988): 5230-5234).

In addition, I like to put my patients on a high dose of seleno-cysteine (commonly 800mcg, a dose that has been established as safe (Yang, G.; Zhou, R. (1994) “Further Observations on the Human Maximum Safe Dietary Selenium Intake in a Seleniferous Area of China”. Journal of Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Health and Disease. 8 (3–4): 159–165. Baum et al. “High risk of HIV- related mortality is associated with selenium deficiency.” JAIDS 15.5 (1997): 370-374).

Suramin, an old anti-parasitic, has turned out to be one of the most effective anti- retroviral agents. Retroviruses activate the “cell danger response” and the P2 purinergic receptor on each cell. Suramin downregulates this receptor and inhibits the binding of growth factors TGF-beta, EGF, PDGF to their receptors and thus antagonises the ability of these factors to stimulate growth of tumour cells. It can be given iv every six weeks.

I prefer giving daily homeopathic doses (Mitsuya et al: “Suramin protection of T cells in vitro against infectivity and cytopathic effect of HTLV-III.” Science 226.4671 (1984): 172-174).

When we use suitable liposomal extracts of plants in proper dose and frequency, together with selenium and “energetic copies” of immune modulators like suramin, olmetarsan (vitamin D receptor), rapamycin (mTOR), significant results can be achieved in the treatment of chronic illness that were not possible before. This new therapeutic approach should always be combined with the synergistic use of EMR protection, treatment of Lyme and co-infections, mould and metal detox.

• On June 10, Dr Klinghardt will present a one-day seminar on the correct and effective use of anti-retroviral interventions in chronic illness. For more information and to book see news story on page 9 and visit www.

About the author

Dr DIETRICH KLINGHARDT studied medicine and psychology in Freiburg, Germany, completing his PhD on the involvement of the autonomic nervous system in autoimmune disorders. Early in his career he became interested in the sequelae of chronic toxicity (especially lead, mercury, environmental pollutants & electromagnetic fields) in the course of illness.

While working in India he encountered Eastern concepts of disease aetiology and blended them with his Western training. This laid the foundation for his 5-level system of Integrative Medicine. In the US he spent three years as a full-time emergency physician before becoming Medical Director of the Santa Fe Pain Centre.

Increasingly aware of the limitations of conventional medicine when dealing with chronic conditions, he trained in Ericksonian hypnotherapy and began to include body-oriented psychotherapeutic and counselling approaches in his work, along with neural therapy, mesotherapy injection techniques and applied psychoneurobiology. Dr Klinghardt has contributed significantly to the understanding of metal toxicity and its connection with chronic infections, illness and pain. He has been instrumental in advancing various fields within biological medicine – non-invasive pain management, injection techniques for pain and orthopaedic dysfunction, anti-ageing medicine, toxicology, paediatrics (neuro-developmental disorders), energy psychology, biological dentistry and others. He has also developed Autonomic Response Testing, a comprehensive diagnostic system that has helped many practitioners to become accomplished holistic physicians. He founded Sophia Health Institute in 2012, and is actively involved in patient care at his clinic.



For more on Mikovitz’s work:

To hear the audio of the talk & slides, go here:











7-Part FREE Series About Medical Cannabis

Ty Bollinger: Season 2 – Healing Secrets Examined Docuseries

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018.

Register here:

The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth. This series will be available to you absolutely FREE online from June 20-27, 2018.

What is The Sacred Plant? Cannabis sativa. Its natural and non-toxic healing powers have been used for 5,000+ years to prevent, treat, and even beat hundreds of medical conditions and disorders. Including Cancer, PTSD, Autism, Seizures, Dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and hundreds more with no harmful side effects, which are common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Through the stories and expert advice of global health leaders, doctors, scientists, patients, and survivors…you’ll discover The Sacred Plant’s miracles and misunderstandings. The stories you’ll witness will inspire and move you. If you or a loved one is suffering right now from a debilitating disease or chronic condition, it’s important that you get educated and empowered on The Sacred Plant. It could change and even save your life and the life of a loved one.