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Yes, You Do Sweat Out Toxins

Yes, You Do Sweat Out Toxins

By Dr. Mercola, May 30, 2018  

sauna sweating out toxins

Story at-a-glance

  • Sweating in a sauna is one of the simplest strategies to reap big health rewards, including releasing heavy metal toxins, urea, bisphenol-A and phthalates as well as improving blood flow, reducing blood pressure and improving cognition
  • Sauna use improves mitochondrial biogenesis, optimizes heat shock proteins and reduces your risk of cardiovascular events and stroke
  • Research data finds chemicals in your sweat may communicate fear or disgust to those around you
  • Sweating is not a fitness end goal; this means while sweating in a sauna may feel the same as sweating during your workout, it does not translate to the same cardiovascular and muscular fitness benefits

When it comes to your health, sometimes the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna is one simple change with many health benefits, including the ability to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve mitochondrial function. It also correlates well with a reduction in the risk for dementia.

A Finnish proverb says, “The sauna is Finland’s medication … and a poor [person’s] apothecary.”1 Saunas have been used for nearly 2,000 years in Finland for stress relief and to improve health. Not surprisingly, much of the research on the health benefits of saunas comes from Finland, a country where saunas are nearly as common as television sets.2 They’re often found in private homes, offices and factories, and are an integral part of Finnish life.

In addition to offering cardiovascular and neurological benefits, they are being used by athletes for post-workout muscle relaxation and as a means of improving athletic performance. Another important aspect to sauna use has been detoxification. While there has been more than adequate research demonstrating the ability of sweating in a sauna to detoxify the body of heavy metals and other toxins, one letter published in the Journal Environmental International has renewed the debate over its effectiveness.3

Experts Call Detox Sweating a Myth

Some experts teach that your liver and kidneys are the only way your body has of removing toxins.4 In essence, they believe using a sauna to detoxify from environmental toxins and heavy metals is nothing more than a myth. In making the argument, some have indicated there is usually a grain of truth to the heart of every myth, believing toxic sweat is no exception.

The authors of the correspondence5 published in the journal Environmental International suggest the amount of toxins the body is capable of releasing through sweat is minuscule, and that the amount of pollutants — such as persistent organic compounds such as pesticides, flame retardants and now-banned polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — in the human body is so low they’re essentially meaningless.

Yet these toxins and known carcinogens are banned from use because they trigger disease. According to the lead author, a typical person doing 45 minutes of high-intensity exercise could sweat a total of 2 liters each day, including normal everyday perspiration. This sweat would contain less than one-tenth of a nanogram of the pollutants discussed.

Hence, he believes there is no way to sweat enough to get rid of even 1 percent of the chemicals you ingest in your food in a single day.6 Ironically, and perhaps tellingly, this statement completely contradicts the claim that the toxic burden is essentially meaningless to begin with.

Another writer wrote an infrared sauna was nice and left her feeling euphoric after sitting in 30 minutes, but she believed the feeling was similar to an endorphin rush after working out,7 and that aside from the feelings of euphoria there was no science to back up the idea the sauna aided in detoxification. While these articles are circulated and read, they do not reflect the body of scientific and research evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of saunas to assist the body in eliminating environmental toxins and heavy metals.

Sweating Does Release Toxins From Your Body

Mixed with your sweat is a substance called urea, for which urine is named. In a paper published8 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers estimated up to 1.12 milligrams (mg) of urea is dissolved in every cubic centimeter of sweat. While this sounds like a small amount, the average person sweats up to 700 cubic centimeters of liquid each day, which means urea excreted in your sweat is responsible for up to 7 percent of your daily elimination of urea.9

Research has also determined that metals are excreted in measurable amounts, and many researchers consider sweating a safe and effective way to eliminate arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.10 This meta-analysis considered 24 published studies in which sweat collection and concentration were analyzed. They found individuals with a higher burden of toxins would generally sweat amounts exceeding plasma or urine concentrations.

These studies determined dermal excretion through sweating could match or surpass urinary excretion. Notably, cadmium was more concentrated in sweat than in blood plasma and mercury levels could be normalized with repeated sauna use.11 Another study evaluated the blood, urine and sweat from 20 individuals and analyzed them for approximately 120 compounds, which were found in varying amounts in each of the different fluids. According to the authors:12

Many toxic elements appear to be preferentially excreted through sweat. Presumably stored in tissues, some toxic elements readily identified in the perspiration of some participants were not found in their serum. Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.”

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a ubiquitous chemical contaminant associated with a number of adverse human health conditions. In a study designed to assess the relative concentration of BPA in blood, urine and sweat, researchers found BPA could be identified in the sweat or 80 percent of the participants, even in some who had no BPA detected in serum, blood or urine.13

They concluded biomonitoring using blood or urine may underestimate the total burden, and sweat analysis should be considered as it appeared to be useful for elimination of BPA.

Chemicals in the phthalate family are found in everyday consumer products, resulting in high exposure for some individuals and groups. Multiple studies have demonstrated statistically significant relationships between exposure to phthalates and disease. In one study,14researchers evaluated the effectiveness of excretion of phthalates and metabolites through sweat.

They found some phthalates were measurable in sweat but not serum suggesting retention and bioaccumulation. They concluded induced perspiration could be useful to facilitate elimination of toxic phthalate compounds, and that sweat analysis may help establish the existence of the bioaccumulation of 2-ethylhexl phthalate.15

Sweating Communicates Emotions

Although sweating is an important method of excreting waste products, researchers have discovered it also serves another function. Sweat leaves the body through one of three types of glands — apocrine, eccrine and apoeccrine glands. The latter were first discovered in 1987 and found only in the same places where apocrine glands exist.16

The human body will sweat as a means of regulating temperature. However, you may also begin to sweat when eating something spicy, or experiencing a highly charged emotional situation. Researchers have discovered emotion-induced sweating is a tool used for communication, as the scent you detect in the sweat will tell you how others are feeling.

In an experiment by Utrecht University,17 psychologists collected sweat samples from 10 men as they watched videos designed to stimulate feelings of fear or disgust. Thirty-six women were then asked to detect any emotional cues from the sweat samples. The scientists found when women smelled sweat produced during fearful situations, their own facial expressions suggested fear as well. The same was true when they smelled the sweat samples produce during situations meant to evoke disgust.

This suggested the sweat was an effective means of communicating an emotional state. Interestingly, the facial expressions made by the women while sniffing the sweat was independent of their subjective perception of the odor. Thus, a woman may show a look of disgust even if they reported the sample as pleasant. Similar results were found in other experiments, including one from Rice University when women exposed to sweat samples produced in a fearful situation performed better on word association tasks.18

In an experiment conducted by German psychologists and neuroscientists,19 sweat produced by men who were in an anxious state triggered women to make riskier decisions in a computer game. None of the studies determined whether people were aware of changes in their own behavior or decision-making as a result of exposure to sweat, but they do suggest sweat may communicate information about your mental state.

Sweating Cannot Replace Exercise

You sweat during intense exercise and while using a sauna, which may lead you to believe you can experience some of the same benefits using a sauna as you would doing intense exercise. Unfortunately, you’re not going to sweat off the pounds or build muscle in a sauna.

Sweating is not, in and of itself, a fitness goal. Sweating during intense exercise regulates internal temperature. Using the sauna may help improve athletic performance and recovery by boosting growth hormone secretion naturally,20 and definitely has additional benefits beyond excreting waste products from your body. However, it is important to include movement, strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular training in your fitness routine.

Saunas Do More Than Detoxify

Inside most of your cells are mitochondria that produce nearly 90 percent of the energy generated in your body, which is necessary for every muscle contraction and relaxation, biochemical cascade, cellular regeneration and more.

Your mitochondria also act as coordinators for programmed cell death, which helps rid your body of damaged cells that might otherwise turn into cancer. However, mitochondria are susceptible to damage from free radicals and require consistent regeneration. Sauna use places stress on your body in short bursts, which boosts mitochondrial biogenesis.21

Elevating your core temperature helps activate genes important for optimizing heat shock proteins (HSP) inside your cells. An accumulation of damaged HSP can lead to plaque formation in your brain or other vascular systems.22

HSP are involved in longevity and are important for preventing skeletal muscle atrophy. Researchers in Finland23 found men who use a sauna four to seven times per week for an average of 15 minutes had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia and 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those who use the sauna only once a week.

Sauna use may also improve brain function by lowering inflammation and blood pressure, thus improving vascular function and enhancing your feeling of relaxation and well-being. Research data24 demonstrates a link between heat exposure and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This factor activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers other chemicals promoting neural health. Exercising in the heat increases BDNF even further, suggesting heat stress, including sauna use, is beneficial for brain health.

Further research reveals men who used a Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week.25 When confounding factors such as smokingblood pressure and cholesterol levels were factored in, the findings remained the same. The greatest benefits were found in those who stayed in a sauna for 19 minutes or more each session.26

This suggests the adaptations your body makes to heat stress, including improved blood flow to your heart and muscles, positively impact your heart health. Another study27 evaluating the effects of a sauna on over 1,600 men and women found it helps reduce stroke risk by lowering inflammation, reducing arterial stiffness and improving blood flow through the circulatory system. Those who used the sauna up to seven times per week reduced their risk by 62 percent.28

Choose Your Best Sauna Option and Take Precautions

There are several sauna options from which you can choose, including a Finnish sauna, far-infrared saunas and near-infrared saunas. The difference between the infrared saunas and the traditional Finnish sauna is the Finnish-style heats you from the outside in, where the infrared heats from the inside out. Near-infrared saunas have additional benefits as they penetrate your tissues more effectively and at wavelengths not absorbed by water.

The near-infrared range affects your health primarily through interaction with chromophores, light-absorbing molecules found in your mitochondria and water molecules. Near-infrared light also has healing and repairing properties, helping optimize other biological functions. For more information about the benefits to using near-infrared saunas and precautions you should take before using a sauna, see my previous article, “Spending Time in a Sauna Can Reduce Your Risk for a Stroke.”



And don’t forget there’s ozone saunas.  Here’s a great article by Dr. Rowan on the effectiveness on ozone on Ebola. Of course he’s referring to blood ozone; however, ozonating the body via ozonated sauna would have many benefits as well:



Anaplasmosis – The Other Tick-borne Illness You Need to Know About  May 17, 2018“>  (News video here)

It’s carried by ticks, has been around for several decades and is often times misdiagnosed as the flu.

The other, lesser known tick-borne disease called anaplasmosis is yet another thing to worry about this tick season.

Last November, Kathy Grenier was bit by a tick, and what followed was a medical odyssey that’s left her with lingering symptoms and a better understanding that there’s more to tick-borne illnesses than Lyme disease.

“I actually thought I was going to die,” said Grenier. “And I would never have thought that one little tick could have taken me down.”

Jim Morelli@MorelliJim

ONLY ON @boston25: No rash, no problem after a tick bite, right? A local woman learns otherwise after she contracts a potentially fatal illness misdiagnosed in flu season as… what else?… the flu! Her story and her warning… all new at 11.

A few weeks after being bitten by that little tick, Grenier developed fever, chills and a bad headache.

“I had called the doctor to say, ‘ya know, I don’t know what’s going on’ and they said ‘yeah, you have a bad case of the flu.'”

Eventually, those symptoms eased, but then came back around Christmas, this time so bad that Grenier was admitted to the hospital.

Grenier underwent more than 100 tests to rule out other illnesses, and then, almost by chance, she happened to mention to one of her doctors that a month earlier she had been bitten by a tick.

At that point in time, Kathy’s arms were bruised purple from all the testing. Finally, doctors drew a sample which tested postive for anaplasmosis.

“Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by a small tick — the same tick that transmits Lyme Disease,” said Mark Klempner, MD, a professor at UMass Medical School.

Jim Morelli@MorelliJim

TAKEAWAY FROM TONIGHT’S TICK STORY on @boston25: Dr. Mark Klempner from @UMassMedical says if you’ve been bitten by a tick and see symptoms in subsequent weeks (chills, fever, headache) let your doctor KNOW YOU WERE BITTEN BY A TICK! Early treatment is essential!

Dr. Klempner says that, unlike Lyme disease, anaplasmosis usually doesn’t cause a rash, and it can be serious.

“When you wait, people can get very sick – and there are people who actually die from anaplasmosis,” said Dr. Klempner.

After spending more than a week in the hospital, and undergoing weeks of antibiotic therapy, Grenier recovered and is now sending a message to others.

“I think everybody’s more worried about Lyme Disease, but after having anaplasmosis, people need to educate themselves more,” said Grenier.



This idea that Lyme always causes a rash is a myth.  Pure myth.

Please, doctors, learn your stuff!  People are dying out here due to oft-repeated myths:

Diagnosis at the Center of the Lyme Wars  By Susan Carr

Diagnosis at the Center of the Lyme Wars

Controversy erupted soon after Lyme disease was discovered more than 40 years ago. Debates focused on both diagnosis and treatment are often characterized by heated exchanges and accusations. The existence of conflicting sets of clinical guidelines1,2—with their own societies and communities of physicians—reflects the way Lyme disease has travelled on two separate tracks since the 1980s.

The disease was identified as a tick-borne illness by Alan Steere in 1975 and named for towns in Connecticut where it was studied by Steere and his col- leagues.3 In 1980, other researchers linked a specific bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) to a species of ticks (Ixodes scapularis), which informed the use of antibiotics to treat the disease.4

By 1990, Steere was hearing about patients suffering from long-term symptoms associated with Lyme. He questioned both the diagnosis of a chronic version of the disease and long-term antibiotics used by some physicians to treat it, triggering a strong response from physicians and patients. During testimony before a US Senate committee in 1993, Steere was challenged by a physician and a young Lyme patient in a wheelchair who quietly pleaded that Steere help find a treatment for his afflic- tion. People in the gallery shouted, “He’s wrong! He’s wrong!” as Steere spoke.5

The rancorous environment, often referred to as the “Lyme Wars,”6,7,8 continues, and patients seeking treatment for persistent symptoms must choose between sides engaged in an active battle. Most patients who are diagnosed and treated early respond well to antibiotic treatment. The controversy surrounds those who remain ill after treatment or those whose diagnosis is delayed, for whom treatment becomes more difficult.9

People who find they or their children have been bitten by a tiny tick and turn to the internet for advice will find alarming information about where an untreated infection may lead. If they dig deep enough, they will find ugly comments common on the internet but unusual in the medical community.

On a brighter note, some are attempting to work collaboratively on issues related to Lyme, in groups that represent a diversity of expertise and opinion. While this is a hopeful sign, the process of working together on issues related to research, diag- nosis, and treatment is slow, with results not expected for years.

Problems with Diagnosis

Diagnosis is central to the controversy. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms that include a rash—sometimes but not always erythema migrans (EM)—and “flu-like” symptoms, including fever, chills, headache, fatigue, aches, and swollen lymph nodes, which occur within 30 days of infection.10,11,12 The patient’s history, including whether they have observed a tick bite or spent time outdoors in areas where Lyme is known to occur, may help the physician make a diagnosis. There is general acceptance that most cases of Lyme detected soon after infection are treated successfully with a 10-to-21-day course of oral antibiotics.13

Existing laboratory blood tests for Lyme disease are problematic especially in patients with acute Lyme.13 The lack of a dependable laboratory test and reliance on common signs and symp- toms often mean that the diagnosis is missed or delayed, which can lead to more serious ill- ness.14,15,16,17 In addition to the EM rash, which can emerge or recur long after infection, symp- toms of untreated Lyme disease include chronic pain, fatigue, neuro-cognitive and behavioral problems.11

Diagnosis at the Center of the Lyme Wars

The existence of other tickborne diseases that cause similar symptoms and can co-infect with Lyme further complicate diagnosis.18

Diagnosis of disease in patients with long-term symptoms is a central issue in the controversy. One side believes that Lyme disease is an acute infection and short-term treatment is curative. They conclude that on-going symptoms reflect “post-treatment Lyme disease” symptoms or syndrome (PTLDS).13,19,20 The other side believes that Lyme disease with persistent symp- toms—“chronic Lyme”—requires longer treat- ment durations or a combination of antibiotics to effect cure.

Those in the PTLDS camp say that most patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme either don’t have the disease—have something else—or have relapsed after initial treatment. The PTLDS camp says there is no evidence that the infection persists following treatment and recommend against long-term use of antibiotics.17 Some believe that individuals with chronic symptoms may have had an autoimmune response to the initial Lyme infection.

Patient Community Working on Research

Lyme is quite common—the CDC estimates that more than 300,000 people in the US are infected each year (see sidebar page 3)—but being common doesn’t mean the disease is well understood. Lack of definitive, large-scale clinical treatment trials leaves many questions unanswered.

Inspired by the experience of community and patient advocates who influenced developments in AIDS and cystic fibrosis, the Lyme patient community is working to accelerate progress in diagnosis and treatment

According to Lorraine Johnson, chief operating officer of and one of SIDM’s patient partners (see p5), the National Institutes of Health has funded only four studies of patients with persisting symptoms of Lyme disease, the largest of which had 129 enrollees. is conducting a research project called MyLymeData, which includes patient-reported health information for more than 10,000 Lyme patients (personal communication with Lorraine Johnson,March23,2018).

The large number of patients in MyLymeData will allow researchers to study biomarkers and treatment effects in subpopulations, potentially helping to understand why some patients respond well to initial treatment and others don’t. Patients involved in this research are long-term Lyme disease patients diagnosed by physicians. Johnson says that, in addition to conducting on-going observational data, MyLymeData will serve as a research platform to help conduct clinical trials—including trials that might lead to better diagnostic tools. The National Science Foundation has awarded an $800,000 3-year grant to a team of big-data researchers to explore predictive data analytics using the more than 2 million data points collected in the registry.23

Johnson takes heart from the experience of the cystic fibrosis (CF) community. During the 1960s and 1970s, without a definitive diagnostic test or initial agreement about optimal treatment regimens, physicians in a handful of hospitals were able to improve the quality of life and outcomes, including life expectancy, for cystic fibrosis patients. Working outside the box of traditional guidelines and in partnership with patients and families, physicians experimented with treatments, focused intently on patient response, and openly shared data about their results.24 Following those improvements and discovery of the gene that causes CF, stakeholders including patients and advocacy groups have continued to find synergies that promote research and learning beyond what would be possible acting alone.25

HHS Collaborative Working Group

The US Department of Health & Human Services’ Tick-Borne Disease Working Group currently represents the best hope of national collaboration for improvement in Lyme disease. Established in 2016 as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, members of the working group—13 members plus many more serving on subcommittees—represent a diversity of opinions and experience. The group is chartered to monitor and guide federal research and to provide expertise to research and prevention efforts. The group had its first meetings in December 2017 and February 2018 and is expected to issue its first report to Congress in December 2018. It will con- tinue to report every other year until its charter expires in 2022.26

No one expects quick solutions to the challenges posed by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. In addition to working on better options for diagnosis and treatment, many groups, including federal and local agencies, advise preventing tick bites through the use of insect repellent, checking for ticks after being outside, and seeing a physician quickly if symptoms develop. Patients with chronic symptoms associated with Lyme, whether or not they have been treated previously, must choose among competing expert opinions. Some will feel they need to become experts themselves and perhaps work with one of the patient-led information and advocacy groups.

Lyme activists cite the AIDS movement as a model for patient expertise and activism that fought against the medical establishment and ultimately affected the science of diagnosis and treatment.27 AIDS has been called the first “large-scale conversion of disease ‘victims’ into activist-experts.”28(p8) Reviewing a 1996 book about power struggles that occurred during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, David Rochefort says:
Epstein shows that scientific findings are seldom ‘definitive’; rather, they are constructed as
such on the basis of complicated, sometimes contradictory evidence that is filtered through
a politics of knowledge in which a variety of persons, organizations, and institutions compete to control the outcome.29(p262)

It will not be clear for some time who will win the Lyme Wars. It seems certain, however, that patients and their organizations will have played an important, perhaps leading, role in the final outcome. And even if the traditional medical establishment turns out to be correct in its appraisal of long-term Lyme symptoms, the Lyme Wars may be seen as a challenging and pivotal episode in the development of patient expertise and power.

1 Wormser GP, Dattwyler RJ, Shapiro ED, et al. The clinical assessment , treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease, human granulocytic Anaplasmosis, and babesiosis: clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2006;43(9):1089-1134.
2 International Lyme and Associated Disease Society. Treatment guidelines: evidence assessments and guideline recommendations in Lyme disease. http:// Accessed April 8, 2018.
3 Steere AC, Malawista SE, Snydman DR, et al. Lyme arthritis: an epidemic of oligoarticular arthritis in children and adults in three Connecticut communities. Arthritis Rheum. 1977;20(1):7-17.
4 Moore A, Nelson C, Molins C, Mead P, Schriefer M. Current guidelines, common clinical pitfalls, and future directions for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease, United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22(7):1169-1177.
5 Grann D. Stalking Dr. Steere over Lyme disease. The New York Times Magazine. June 17, 2001.
6 Specter M. The Lyme wars. The New Yorker. July 1, 2013. the-lyme-wars. Accessed April 1, 2018.
7 Becker D, Mitchell Z. CommonHealth: Lyme disease rehab center seeks to remain neutral in ‘Lyme wars.’ Radio Boston. WBUR. radioboston/2017/08/28/the-lyme-wars. Published August 28, 2017. Accessed March 12, 2018.
8 Baker PJ. Ending the Lyme disease wars. From the
desk of the executive director. American Lyme Disease Foundation website. uploads/2017/01/Ending-the-Lyme-Wars-1.27.17.pdf. Updated January 27, 2017. Accessed March 31, 2018.
9 Klempner M, Hu L, Evans J, et al. Two controlled trials of antibiotic treatment in patients with persistent symptoms and a history of Lyme disease. N Engl J Med 2001;12(2):85-92.
10 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Signs and symptoms of untreated Lyme disease. https://www. Updated October 26, 2016. Accessed April 1, 2018.
11 Mayo Clinic. Lyme disease: symptoms & causes. disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20374651. Accessed April 1, 2018.
12 Lyme disease diagnostics research. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. https:// diagnostics-research. Updated September 28, 2016. Accessed April 2, 2018.
13 ShapiroED.Lymedisease[ClinicalPractice].NEnglJ Med. 2014;370(18):1724-1731.
14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease home. Diagnosis and testing. https://www.cdc. gov/lyme/diagnosistesting/. Updated August 7, 2017. Accessed March 25, 2018.
15 CarusoC.TestsforLymediseasemissmanyearly cases—but a new approach could help. STAT. https:// Published June 28, 2017. Accessed April 1, 2018.
16 NigrovicLE,BennettJE,BalamuthF,etal;PediLyme Net. Accuracy of clinician suspicion of Lyme disease in the emergency department. Pediatrics. 2017;140(6): e20171975.
17 FederHM,JohnsonBJB,O’ConnellS.ShapiroED, Steere AC, Wormser GP; Ad Hoc International Lyme Disease Group. A critical appraisal of “chronic Lyme disease.” N Engl J Med. 2007;357(14):1422-1430.
18 About Lyme disease co-infections. Lymedisease.
org. co-infections/about-co-infections/. Accessed April 1, 2018.
19 Melia MT, Auwaerter PG. Time for a different approach to Lyme disease and long-term symptoms [Editorial]. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(13):1277-1278.
20 Halperin JJ. Chronic Lyme disease: misconceptions and challenges for patient management. Infect Drug Resist. 2015;8:119-128.
21 Daley B. Lyme disease figures soar, mostly in Northeast. The Boston Globe. August 20, 2013.
22 CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention.CDC provides estimate of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year [Press release]. August 19, 2013. lyme-disease.html. Accessed March 31, 2018.
23 BresnickJ.Predictiveanalytics,AIforLymediseasegets $800K NSF grant. HealthIT Analytics. September 19, 2017. analytics-ai-for-lyme-disease-gets-800k-nsf-grant. Accessed April 8, 2018.
24 GawandeA.Thebellcurve.TheNewYorker.
December 6, 2004. magazine/2004/12/06/the-bell-curve. Accessed April 1, 2018.
25 RamseyBW,NepomGT,LonialS.Academic, foundation, and industry collaboration in finding new therapies. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(18):1762-1769.
26 Tick-BorneDiseaseWorkingGroup.USDeptofHealth & Human Services website. advisory-committees/tickbornedisease/index.html. Updated February 21, 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018.
27 StrickerRB,JohnsonL.Lymediseasediagnosisand treatment: lessons from the AIDS epidemic. Minerva Medica. 2010;101(6):419-425.
28 EpsteinS.ImpureScience:AIDS,Activism,andthe Politics of Knowledge. 1996. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
29 RochefortDA,reviewer.HealthAff(Millwood). 1999;18(3):262-264. Review of: Epstein S. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge.

Another Conflict of Interest in TBD Working Group

URGENT ACTION: Replace Kristen Honey, Vice-Chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group

Jenna Luche-Thayer,

Friends from all countries,

We really need to replace Kristen Honey and FAST. Given the information I have verified and documented, every day I am more concerned regarding how she claims to represent Lyme patient priorities. Nevertheless, she continues to play a central role in the Report process of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. This Report may have GLOBAL ADVERSE IMPACT on access to diagnosis and care.

Once you’ve had a chance to read the complaint, and if you agree the information contained makes Honey an unsuitable Vice-Chair for the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, then …

…. please, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, copy, cut and paste the complaint and mail it in (revisions are fine). The complaint is addressed to the person responsible for FACA, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) of the Working Group and the alternate DFO.

I also ask that you share this GLOBALLY and ask others to TAKE ACTION.

Remember, we got rid of Wolitski! We can do this!

Thanks – Jenna




Subject:  Failure to meet 21st Century Cures Act requirements and other Concerns

Dear Ms. Dreher, Mr. Beger and Ms. Hayes,

I have sound reasons to respectfully ask that Vice-Chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, Kristen Honey be immediately removed from her post:

1. apparently she has not truly represented a federal officer for the Working Group

2. while serving as Vice-Chair she is apparently seeking financing to bring a patent to market ‘to cure’ Lyme patients (and perhaps other patient groups)

3. her documented orientations toward healing has caused great concern among many in the Lyme community

I ask she be replaced with a federal officer familiar with complicated and persistent Lyme and coinfections, including tick-borne diseases and treatment options that have meet internationally accepted standards for clinical practice guidelines.

Not A Federal Officer

The Vice-Chair of the Working Group, Kristen Honey, is a Senior Research Scholar from Stanford University on assignment to the Office of Management and Budget, and apparently not a federal officer [1].

Her resume is on LinkedIn [2] and states from “January 2017 to present Senior Policy Analyst via Stanford University Interagency Personnel Agreement (IPA)”. The Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) of 1970 allows the temporary assignment of skilled personnel between Federal and non-Federal entities.

However, since December 2017, Honey has been presented by HHS to the public as holding a White House post. Therefore, many of the those in the Lyme community assumed she was a federal official and met the criteria to be one of the seven federal voting members of the Working Group as required by law as required in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The SIX federal members are: 1. Charles Benjamin (Ben) Beard, 2. Commander Scott Cooper, 3. Dennis M. Dixon, 4. Captain Estella Jones, 5. Allen L. Richards and 6. Vanila M. Singh.

The EIGHT non-federal members are: 1. John N. Aucott, Chair, 2. Kristen Honey, Vice-Chair, 3. Wendy Adams, 4. Richard Horowitz, 5. Lise E. Nigrovic, 6. Robert Sabatino, 7. Patricia V. Smith and 8. Robert Smith

On June 16, 2018, during the Public Meeting of the Working Group I disclosed Honey’s legal status (in public comments) and now many in the Lyme community are disappointed to find that the Working Group leadership perpetuated what appears to be a deception regarding the Vice Chair’s federal status.

We also note that this failure to meet the basic membership requirements of the Working Group as cited in 21st Century Cures Act may invalidate all the Working Group’s efforts to date.

Fund Raising and Conflicts of Interest

Honey has a website  that claims [4] (see under Kristen’s Journey) “… based on limited scientific information and guided by my own personal tolerance for the unknown and risk (and after six months of FDA-approved antibiotics/antifungals failing to work), I ultimately chose the unknown. I went outside the bounds of FDA-approved treatments and self-administer intravenous injections of nanominerals … Fortunately, the treatments worked … Today, after two and a half years (from 2009 to 2012)… I am symptom free and 100% Lyme free.”

(See under Book) “… the novel IV nano-mineral solution — which Dr. Honey pioneered and calls her “lynchpin” for Lyme recovery and thriving wellness — has been patented using open-source intellectual property (IP)…If you or your organization wish to support Dr. Honey’s vision to bring this IV nano-mineral solution to market through open-source IP and open-source medicine, we welcome contributions and collaborations [5].”

Apparently, while ‘appearing to be a federal officer’ on the Working Group, Honey’s website is also actively seeking funding to bring her non-FDA approved technology for Lyme patients to market and indicates it will cure the disease. This does not appear ethical.

Optics, Orientation and Related Concerns

The follow information has been widely disseminated in the Lyme community and generated much concern regarded Honey’s claims to represent patient interests and priorities. 

Rachael Bleau [6] is a Doctor of Metaphysical Science. (Bleau’s Doctor degree can be earned on-line from the Honey is featured in Bleau’s book titled Clear Your Way to Freedom the key to unlocking your whole healing [7]. According to this book, Bleau uses a spiritual/religious belief in ‘Ascended Masters’ to heal persons [8].

Adherents of these Ascended Master Teachings, such as the Great White Brotherhood [9] believe that the All-Pervading Presence of God does not act nor create except through Its Individualizations. All creation comes forth through These Individual Identities and is sustained by Them. Included in this Cosmic Hierarchical scheme are Solar Logoi, Elohim, Sons and Daughters of God, Ascended Masters, Cosmic Beings, the Twelve Solar Hierarchies, Archangels, Angels, Beings of the Elements, and Twin Flames of the Alpha-Omega Polarity sponsoring Systems of Worlds and entire Galactic Systems.

Page 78 of this book describes Honey’s general background, confirming it is the same Kristen Honey who is the Vice Chair of the TBDWG [8]. According to this book, Bleau used her ‘spirit team’, which includes Ascended Masters, to heal Honey from illness including Lyme disease (page 76). On page 74, Bleau writes about finding an ‘unhappy attachment’ that was hooked on Honey’s left adrenal and ‘hanging on for dear life’. In this passage the author states she removed the unhappy attachment while Honey saw ‘black energy dissipating’. Bleau goes on to state that Honey then fills up with ‘a golden light like honey’ ‘just like her last name’.

On page 76, Bleau refers to the root energy of Honey’s debilitating Lyme disease as being evil. Bleau’s spiritual team was assembled and gave her instructions on where to place her hands on Honey. Bleau found ‘a dark seat of energy’ on Honey’s right thigh. Bleau then ‘profiled the energy’ to locate its home and claims to have heard a hissing sound, like that of a snake, when she pulled the evil energy from Honey’s body.

According to a 2013 blog by the Better Health Guy, Honey gave a presentation at the Integrative Lyme Solutions: The Evidence Basis Conference on June 21-22, 2013 in Dallas, Texas [10]. Honey shared her own personal recovery story. Honey spoke about how she was very sick, ‘likely from tick bites’ and struggled with Lyme infection, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Mold. In her presentation, Honey noted:

×    she did ‘mind, body and spirit work for her successful recovery’

×    much of healing ‘is the responsibility of the patient to work on the spiritual or ‘upper levels’ of oneself

×    her healing was supported by nanoparticles of gold and silver

Apparently, Honey said she ‘feels strongly that we [Lyme patients] can recover 100% if we choose to’.

Many in the Lyme community are concerned with Honey’s apparent orientation for healing from these complex diseases. Does she believe that persons suffering from Lyme disease, including chronic Lyme with serious debilitation and disability, choose to stay sick?  Does this mean that Honey believes that these patients, many who are impoverished by their illness, should pay $350 for a 90 minute session with Bleau? Or someone with Bleau’s special healing powers? Or will patients be encouraged to purchase her ‘novel IV nano-mineral solution’ to be cured of Lyme?

Please remove Kristen Honey immediately from the post of Vice Chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, thank you.





[2] source: LinkedIn, CV on




[6] Rachael Bleau’s website

[7] Clear Your Way to Freedom by Rachael Bleau MSC.D. Copyright 2014 by Balboa Press. Please note this book has a disclaimer, “the author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being”

[8] See pages 39,40,59, 61, 62, 76, 81

[9] Great White Brotherhood –

[10] Disclaimer from the blog of Better Health Guy: “Nothing in this text is intended to serve as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made only with the guidance of your own personal medical authority. This information was taken as notes during the conference and may not represent the exact statements of the speakers. Errors and/or omissions may be present. If you have any corrections to the content listed below, please Contact Me. [Better Health Guy]”



First, I’ll bet if you interviewed every single person on the Working Group about their beliefs, you’d hear 100 different answers.  Personally, I don’t care if someone “believes” the moon is made of cheese as long as they have the ability to weigh those “beliefs” and make productive decisions for really, really, sick people, despite personal preferences, beliefs, and experiences.

The only potential problem with Honey’s “beliefs” and personal experience is she may make the mistake of feeling her experience is the “right” one.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this journey to hell and back is that it hits everyone so differently and therefore requires different answers.  Long-term antibiotics DO work for some, and for some they do not.  To rule them out for everyone; however, would be foolish just due to the fact some continue to have symptoms.

What is super concerning is another conflict of interest.  Conflicts of interest got us into this mess and they keep rolling out like a barrel full of monkeys.  This HAS TO END!  Since Honey stands to make money on her patented “nano particle” treatment, she stands to gain by downplaying or eliminating long-term or IV antibiotics for Lyme/MSIDS.

If you have a conflict of interest, GET OFF THE WORKING GROUP.  Period.  If you stand to make money based on decisions the group makes – GET OFF THE GROUP.


Latest on Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and phone masts poses ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, report finds


Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, a new report suggests, as environmentalists warned the 5G roll out could cause greater harm.

An analysis of 97 studies by the EU-funded review body EKLIPSE concluded that radiation is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and plant health.

However the charity Buglife warned that despite good evidence of the harms there was little research ongoing to assess the impact, or apply pollution limits.

The charity said ‘serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out’ and called for 5G transmitters to be placed away from street lights, which attract insects, or areas where they could harm wildlife.

Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife said: “We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied.

“There is a credible risk that 5G could impact significantly on wildlife, and that placing transmitters on LED street lamps, which attract nocturnal insects such as moths increases exposure and thereby risk.

“Therefore we call for all 5G pilots to include detailed studies of their influence and impacts on wildlife, and for the results of those studies to be made public.”

As of March, 237 scientists have signed an appeal to the United Nations asking them to take the risks posed by electromagnetic radiation more seriously.

The EKLIPSE report found that the magnetic orientation of birds, mammals and invertebrates such as insects and spiders could be disrupted by electromagnetic radiation (EMR). It also found established that plant metabolism is also altered by EMR.

The authors of the review conclude that there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife.

“ In particular, there is a need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies.”


Effects of Cell Phone Radiation Just Released by the NIH:   The rodents in this study received whole body radiation while in utero, during nursing, and for up to 2 years after weaning.  The rodents were pulsed for 10 minutes of radiation on, 10 minutes off, for 9 hours each day. They used 2G and 3G radiation, the same frequencies and modulations currently in use for texts and voice calls in the United States.

The study findings:

  • Tumors found in rodent’s who were exposed to whole body radio-frequency radiation included: malignant schwannoma of the heart, malignant gliomas of the brain, pituitary adenomas, and adrenal gland pheochromocytomas.
  • It didn’t take long… for example, after only 14 weeks, the researchers found that the right ventricles of the hearts of male rats was already starting to increase abnormally, developing cardiomyopathy.
  • After two years of high exposures to cell phone radiation, exposures were found to affected male rodents more than female rodents: increasing the incidence of malignant schwannoma in the hearts of male rates… while female rats did not have an increased risk of this cancerous tumor. Male rats also had abnormal changes in the prostate gland, liver, pancreas islet cells (the cells responsible for producing insulin) and granular tumors of the brain, and glial cell hyperplasia of the brain.  These changes were not seen in female rats.
  • Both male and female rats had abnormal heart growth (in the right side of the heart, called right ventricular cardiomyopathy.)
  • There were changes in body weight (lowered birth weight in babies born with radiation in utero exposure) as well as genetic damage in both male and female rodents.
  • There was an interesting side effect of the whole body radiation in that the male rats that were exposed to radiation had a longer life span on average than the non-exposed male rats. Life span did not change for the female rats.
  • These changes reflect tumors that have already been reported in humans after prolonged cell phone use, most notably the cancerous gliomas of the brain.

Conflicts of Interest in Tick Borne Disease Working Group

May 16, 2018. Jenna Luché-Thayer’s Three Minute Public Comment to Tick-Borne Disease Working Group

“As of yesterday, (May 15, 2018) this Working Group effort appears to have:

  • Violated FACA law by obstructing the public’s right to properly prepare for public meetings with access to materials used by federal employees.
  • Shifted to maintaining the status quo while possibly channeling federal funding to specific organizations and individuals.

Most Subcommittee recommendations that could help to immediately improve access to diagnosis and treatment options were removed in favor of ideas that will take much time and money to yield results, such as establishing the Centers for Excellence and the establishment of a new federal website even as the National Guidelines Clearinghouse is defunded.

Pathogenesis appears to restrict Lyme to Borrelia burgdorferi and skirt the many borrelia strains that cause Lyme-like illness and are found in the USA. This restrictive approach will not help to open access to diagnosis and treatment options.

The Working Group’s conflicts of interest information needs to be made available to the public.

For example, the Chair John Aucott’s 2015 filed patent for measuring CCL19 cytokines could be used in relation to the sequalae and complications from Lyme he listed in yesterday’s meeting [1]. Aucott could make money while this restrictive technology is possibly misused to channel which Lyme patients:

·      receive extended antimicrobials to reduce infection or

·      biologics that modify symptoms and suppress the immune function.

The Subcommittee for patient access to care and support veered off their scope of work to identify Lyme groups mostly affiliated and associated with Lyme Disease Association as service providers for the Lyme community.

Such organizations only address ‘a drop in the bucket of need’ related to this epidemic and I sincerely hope the focus on these particular organizations is not an attempt to steer tax dollars to support their activities, as that would be extremely unethical and have limited results.

All Subcommittee Reports were not available until the May 10, 2018 public meeting and there is no evidence the 1000+ public comments were reviewed for these Reports.

These and other practices have obstructed public preparation for a high-stakes Report for diseases that may disable, bankrupt, and kill.

Additional Concerns

1.  The Vice-Chair is a Senior Research Scholar from Stanford University on assignment to the Office of Management and Budget, and apparently not a federal officer [2].

As seven federal members are required by law [3], I ask she be replaced with a federal officer familiar with complicated and persistent Lyme and coinfections, including tick-borne diseases.

2.  The Chair Aucott terminated Dr. Enid Haller without cause and to date, has not put in writing the defamatory accusations he made in the presence of the Vice-Chair, former DFO [Designated Federal Officer], current DFO James Berger and Co-Chair Scott Cooper.

I ask the Chair be replaced with a medical professional who has a reputation for ethical treatment of Lyme patients and advocates.

3.  Some advocates on the Working Group and Subcommittees have tried to inhibit advocacy efforts regarding FACA transparency; this is disturbing, unacceptable and now on public record.

4. Why were two security men with Flak jackets needed?

5. And, how high does the body count have to be for you to do something?”



“In a specific embodiment, a method comprises the step of prescribing or administering a second course of antibiotic treatment to a patient who is determined to have an increased level of CCL19 as compared to a control after completing a first course of antibiotics for Lyme disease.”




**Comment from Allison Caruana, treasurer at the Mayday Project and Owner of Lyme Disease Awareness Flags””

Did you know that John Alcott has a patent on CCL9 (MRP2), a cytokine associated with inflammation properties of Lyme Disease, and is directly associated with the ability to develop co-resistance to macrolides? Besides tetracycline, macrolides are the only antibiotic thought to have some (not complete) impact on the control of Rickettsia, a quasi cross-kingdom bacteria/virus. Did you know that macrolides have antiviral properties that help reduce inflammation through an “unknown” mechanism? But wait a minute…Alcott has a patent on CCL9 (MRP2) for its anti-inflammatory properties!!!! Excuse me? What does Alcott really know? Don’t you think he should answer that question?

Bartonella Neuroretinitis – Not Atypical

Bartonella neuroretinitis : An atypical manifestation of cat scratch disease

Lapp N, et al. Ophthalmologe. 2018.


Cat scratch disease (CSD) typically manifests as a febrile lymphadenopathy and is caused by a Bartonella henselae infection after contact with cats. This article describes the case of an atypical presentation of CSD in a 52-year-old patient with acute unilateral loss of vision and headache without fever or lymphadenopathy. Funduscopic examination showed an optic disc swelling and macular star exsudates, pathognomonic for infectious neuroretinitis.Bartonella henselae infection was confirmed serologically. Systemic antibiotic combination therapy was initiated with doxycycline and rifampicin for 6 weeks resulting in good morphological and functional results. A Bartonella neuroretinitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with loss of vision and papilledema, even in the absence of fever or lymphadenopathy. Immediate serological testing and initiation of antibiotics are important for the outcome.



Again, researchers need to seriously QUIT using the words “atypical manifestation” regarding anything Lyme/MSIDS and that includes Bartonella.  There is so much unknown about all of this that it is premature to announce that anything is “atypical” at this point.

After typing in Opthalmic Manifestations & Bartonella in the search bar:  and another:


And, cats aren’t the only perp here.  Quit saying they are.  Many are claiming ticks transmit as well as numerous other arthropods.  According to some, Bartonella may very well be the most commonly carried and transmitted pathogen.

More on Bartonella: