Members Alert for July 2001 Vol. 6, No 1

HSI Exclusive

Chameleon-like microbes may be causing

your chronic or autoimmune disorder

Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and lupus are insidious diseases that have stymied mainstream medicine for over a century. But growing research into stealth-like microbes may hold the key to offering patients the hope they’ve been searching for. These microbes now appear to be a common link among chronic and autoimmune disorders.In the April 1998 Members Alert, we told you about the connection between mycoplasmal infections and arthritis (mycoplasmas are slow-growing opportunistic microorganisms).

Since then, we’ve uncovered an enormous amount of research linking these infections to some of today’s most menacing illnesses. Although mainstream researchers and physicians are starting to address mycoplasmal infections, they’re concentrating on pharmaceutical therapies that, more often than not, do more harm than good.

These treatments frequently take a year or longer, relief is usually temporary, and relapses are quite common.What the mainstream therapies fail to address is that these infections are devastating to the immune system. The last thing your body needs when fighting these illnesses is to have to fight off the additional degenerative effects of antibiotics. This is where a complementary approach can prevail.

Stealth pathogens may be stealing nutrients from your cells

The reason mycoplasmas are hard to control and eliminate is that they have plasma membranes instead of cell walls, which allows them to hide or conceal their presence. And, even when they are detected, identification can be difficult, because mycoplasmas can change their appearance and structure depending on where they are in your body.

The plasma membrane coating around each mycoplasma is sticky, which allows the cell to adhere to another cell. Once attached to another cell, mycoplasmas start a parasitic relationship1 and feed on the nutrients and waste products of normal cells to nurture their own growth. Scientists believe this type of “feeding” makes it possible for mycoplasmas to camouflage their existence, which is why it took more than 65 years for scientists to link their existence to human diseases.

High cholesterol levels and mycoplasmas put you at greater risk

One of the essential nutrients mycoplasmas require is cholesterol. This is unique, as there’s no other known microorganism that must have this fat for growth. This adds another level of concern for people who suffer from mycoplasmal infections and also have elevated serum-cholesterol levels. Recent research indicates that greater quantities of cholesterol in the blood may increase plaque formation if mycoplasmas are present in the bloodstream. Scientists also think the concentration of cholesterol in arterial plaques may provide a nurturing environment for mycoplasma cells and could lead to ruptured arterial plaques, which can be fatal.2

Mycoplasmas put out the “welcome” mat for other disease-causing microbes

As mycoplasma colonies grow, they can compromise organs and alter their functions. Because the cells’ nutrients are constantly being depleted, they’re more vulnerable to mutation, damage, and invasion by other microorganisms. When other microbes work in concert with mycoplasmas, they can have a synergistic effect and make it easy for other diseases to develop or aggravate whatever disorder has already been established. Overlapping infections by different mycoplasmas and other bacteria, fungi, and viruses can cause symptoms that will change from one person to the next.

This makes diagnosis of specific chronic and autoimmune diseases tricky.When mycoplasmas are outside the natural habitat of the gut, such as in blood vessels and joints, they can grow uninhibited because the natural flora of the gut isn’t controlling their expansion. This gives mycoplasmas the freedom to colonize organs and eventually destroy systems. It’s believed that growth probably occurs when the immune system is weak, such as during times of illness or stress or when you’re poorly nourished.

How do you know if you’re at risk?

Special microscopes are used to identify myco-plasmas in blood samples, but that doesn’t guarantee detection. Even if blood tests indicate the presence of mycoplasma cells, your doctor may not take action if your disorder doesn’t fit a predetermined list of symptoms usually associated with a certain strain of mycoplasma.Many people suffering from mycoplasma-associated diseases have several of the following symptoms,3 which may be present all the time or may come and go:

chronic fatigue


joint pain or reduced mobility, including rheumatoid arthritis

headaches, vision problems, or light sensitivity

cognitive problems

muscle spasms or burning muscles

dizziness or balance disturbance

stuttering or difficulty speaking

breathing problems, cardiac problems, or chest pain or pressure

flatulence, bloating, or diarrhea

lack of bladder control or frequent urination

stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting

sinus pain or nasal congestion

impotence, loss of libido, or menstrual or genital pain

sore throat, tinnitus, or hearing loss

skin rashes, frequent sores or infections, or yeast infections

coughing heavily or frequent thick saliva clearing

allergies, chemical sensitivities, or dry or itchy eyes night sweats

The size of a colony increases and decreases depending on a variety of factors and conditions, such as the strength of your immune system, and that can affect the varying number of symptoms. Also, some people have multiple strains of mycoplasmas, since an immune system weakened by one strain seems to make it easier for other strains to establish themselves. This could account for symptoms that don’t necessarily fit the established stereotype of a disease.Pain seems to play a major role in chronic and autoimmune disorders, as evidenced by the many pain-related symptoms listed above. This isn’t coincidental, as new research shows that growth of a mycoplasma colony can cause an abnormal sensitivity to substance P,4 which is the neurotransmitter responsible for sending pain messages to the brain.

Nutritional supplements are the foundation of a full recovery

According to noted mycoplasma researcher Gary L. Nicolson, Ph.D., of the Institute for Molecular Medicine in California, “nutritional and vitamin deficiencies must be corrected” because a “fully functional immune system may be essential to overcoming these infections, and supplements and immune enhancers appear to be effective in helping patients recover.”5

Dr. Nicolson has found that high dosages of the following supplements will help increase your nutritional profile during recovery:6 vitamins B, C, and E; minerals, especially zinc, magnesium, chromium, and selenium; amino acids, especially L-cysteine, L-tyrosine, L- carnitine, and malic acid; coenzyme Q10; bioflavonoids and biotin; Beta-carotene; folic acid; flaxseed oil; intestinal flora replacer, including one containing fructoologosaccharides (FOS).

Dr. Nicolson suggests that you take sublingual tablets or oral sprays rather than pills to optimize absorption.

Other products suggested by Dr. Nicolson are olive leaf extract and milk proteins. While he mentions whey as an acceptable milk protein, lactoferrin may be as effective-possibly more so. It’s also a milk protein and a familiar supplement to many HSI members who have used it to bolster their weak immune systems. Read more about lactoferrin in the February 1999 Members Alert. See the Member Source Directory on page 8 for ordering information.

In addition to Dr. Nicolson’s recommendations, you’ll need to start a treatment plan that kills established mycoplasmas and other microbes while preventing future growths.Mainstream’s “cure” may cause mycoplasmal infectionsMainstream treatment of chronic and autoimmune disorders usually revolves around multiple cycles of numerous synthetic antibiotics.

Because mycoplasma cells grow very slowly, long-term treatment of a year or more is the norm. But this type of therapy can backfire. The longer mycoplasmas are exposed to conventional antibiotics, the more resistant they become and the greater their ability to evade detection and destruction by your immune system.

Prescription antibiotics can suppress your immune system, which slows your recovery and could make it easier for mycoplasmas to gain a foothold in the future. Some antibiotics, such as penicillin, may even increase symptoms of mycoplasma-related diseases. Additionally, these microbes compromise absorption of nutrients, which can leave you malnourished.

Botanical solutions may reduce recovery time substantially

Another drawback of most drugs is that they are very limited in the types of microbe they eradicate, which is one of the reasons you have to switch from one type to another. Botanical formulations tend to be more apt to kill many different strains and types of mic-robes. By simultaneously tackling many of them, you may be able to significantly shorten your treatment time.

Also, a botanical-based solution can do the job with fewer side effects than antibiotics, they’re not as harsh on the immune system, and they normally don’t cause antibiotic resistance. Such is the case with Myco from Raintree Nutrition, the same company that brought graviola, an anticancer botanical, to our attention.     (See the January 2001 issue of Members Alert.)

Powerful botanicals “search and destroy” mycoplasmal infections

The constituents of Myco are derived from rain forest plants that have been traditionally used to control infectious, life-threatening diseases. The ingredients include extracts of mullaca, Brazilian peppertree, anamu, clavilla, macela, fedegoso, and uva ursi. Besides destroying mycoplasmas, Myco has been used to kill many other unrelated bacteria and viruses that may be disease co-factors or aggravate symptoms in chronic and autoimmune diseases, such as Candida albicans.

Although Myco is a plant-based antimicrobial agent, it’s similar to antibiotics in that it indiscriminately kills all microorganisms-including friendly intestinal bacteria, which help limit mycoplasmal growth. Supplementing with a probiotic while undergoing treatment for mycoplasmal infections is highly recommended by Dr. Nicolson. Culturelle is a potent probiotic featured in the September 1998 Members Alert, and it can help establish a colony of friendly intestinal bacteria. See the Member Source Directory on page 8 for ordering information.

If you suspect you have a mycoplasma-induced disease, have your doctor order a PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction). While expensive, it’ll be covered by insurance so long as it’s ordered by your physician.

Because patients with chronic and autoimmune disorders often have a mixture of mycoplasmas, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeasts, a comprehensive treatment plan is more likely to have greater success in overcoming all the microbes. To “cover all the bases,” Leslie Taylor, N.D., of Raintree Nutrition has suggested two other products that are essential to a speedy and complete recovery.


Amazon A-F, a botanical preparation of eight herbs, can eliminate a wide range of pathogenic fungi and yeasts. Amazon Immune Support, a combination of seven powerful herbs, will bolster the immune system during recovery from a mycoplasmal infection. Incorporating these two supplements in your protocol could help shorten your treatment time and might make a relapse less likely.

While this combination of botanical formulations usually doesn’t take as long as pharmaceutical solutions, most people still need at least 60 days before they’ve completely overcome an infection. For some sufferers, a second or third course of treatment for another 60 days each is in order if they don’t feel completely better or they suffer a relapse. The extent of your infection and the number of mycoplasmas and other microbes will be factors that’ll determine the length of your recovery period and whether or not you suffer any relapses.

Feeling worse could mean you’re getting better

While feeling better is usually a sign of recovery, not feeling better could also mean you’re improving. If your illness isn’t caused by a mycoplasma infection, then treatment with a mycoplasma-specific therapy probably won’t affect your symptoms, and you’d likely see no improvement (hence the need to test first to see if mycoplasmas are your problem).

If you feel a little light-headed or dizzy after starting treatment, you may be experiencing a significant die-off of mycoplasma cells. Referred to as the Herxheimer reaction, this is due to the large numbers of toxins from dying cells, which your liver must process. If you find the die-off to be a bit overwhelming, you may want to temporarily reduce the amount of Myco+ you’re taking. After the die-off symptoms subside, you can go back to the recommended regimen.

Of course, you should work with your doctor when treating serious illness. If you suffer from any type of chronic condition or autoimmune disorder, especially if it’s multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s disease or lupus, and haven’t been tested for mycoplasmas, talk to your doctor again or seek another opinion from a physician experienced in this area. (To find a physician experienced in alternative and complementary therapies, call ACAM at (949)583-7666 .

1. J MICROBIOL METHODS, 44(3):217-23, 2001

2. BRAZ J MED BIOL RES, 33(9): 1,023-6, 2000

3. BIOMED THERAPY, 15:266-271, 1998

4. AM J PHYSIOL LUNG CELL MOL PHYSIOL 280(2): 1,286-97, 2001

5. J CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDR, 6(3/4):23-29. 2000

6. CFIDS CHRONICLE, 12(3): 19-21, 1999

Note: This article made extensive use of the excellent Why Arthritis? Searching for the Cause and the Cure of Rheumatoid Disease, Harold W. Clark, Ph.D., Axelrod Publishing of Tampa Bay, 1997. Unfortunately, the book is now out of print. We’ll keep you updated if it should return to circulation.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This article appeared in the monthly publication of the Health Sciences Institute © Copyrighted, 2001 by

Institute for Health Sciences L.L.C.,

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