Mycoplasmas – Stealth Pathogens

Mycoplasmas are a specific and unique species of bacteria – the smallest free-living organism known on the planet. The primary differences between mycoplasmas and other bacteria is that bacteria have a solid cell-wall structure and they can grow in the simplest culture media. Mycoplasmas however, do not have a cell wall, and like a tiny jellyfish with a pliable membrane, can take on many different shapes which make them difficult to identify, even under a high powered electron microscope. Mycoplasmas can also be very hard to culture in the laboratory and are often missed as pathogenic causes of diseases for this reason.

The accepted name was chosen because Mycoplasmas were observed to have a fungi-like structure (Mycology is the study of fungi – hence “Myco”) and it also had a flowing plasma-like structure without a cell wall – hence “plasma”. The first strains were isolated from cattle with arthritis and pleuro-pneumonia in 1898 at the Pasteur Institute. The first human strain was isolated in 1932 from an abscessed wound.

The first connection between mycoplasmas and rheumatoid diseases was made in 1939 by Drs. Swift and Brown. Unfortunately, mycoplasmas didn’t become part of the medical school curriculum until the late 1950’s when one specific strain was identified and proven to be the cause of atypical pneumonia, and named Mycoplasma pneumonia.

The association between immunodeficiency and autoimmune disorders with mycoplasmas was first reported in the mid 1970s in patients with primary hypogammaglobulinemia (an autoimmune disease) and infection with four species of mycoplasma that had localized in joint tissue. Since that time, scientific testing methodologies have made critical technological progress and along with it, more mycoplasma species have been identified and recorded in animals, humans and even plants.

While Mycoplasma pneumonia is certainly not the only species causing disease in humans, it makes for a good example of how this stealth pathogen can move out of it’s typical environment and into other parts of the body and begin causing other diseases. While residing in the respiratory tract and lungs, Mycoplasma pneumonia remains an important cause of pneumonia and other airway disorders, such as tracheobronchitis, pharyngitis and asthma. When this stealth pathogen hitches a ride to other parts of the body, it is associated with non-pulmonary manifestations, such as blood, skin, joint, central nervous system, liver, pancreas, and cardiovascular syndromes and disorders. Even as far back as 1983, doctors at Yale noted:

“Over the past 20 years the annual number of reports on extrapulmonary symptoms during Mycoplasma (M.) pneumoniae disease has increased. Clinical and epidemiological data indicate that symptoms from the skin and mucous membranes, from the central nervous system, from the heart, and perhaps from other organs as well are not quite uncommon manifestations of M. pneumoniae disease.”(15)

This single stealth pathogen has been discovered in the urogenital tract of patients suffering from inflammatory pelvic disease, urethritis, and other urinary tract diseases (8) It has been discovered in the heart tissues and fluid of patients suffering from cardititis, pericarditis, tachycardia, hemolytic anemia, and other coronary heart diseases.(9, 10, 14) It has been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with meningitis and encephalitis, seizures, ALS, Alzheimer’s and other central nervous system infections, diseases and disorders.(11-13) It has even been found regularly in the bone marrow of children with leukemia.(16- 18) It is amazing that one single tiny bacteria can be the cause of so many seemingly unrelated diseases in humans. But as with all mycoplasma species, the disease is directly related to where the mycoplasma resides in the body and which cells in the body it attaches to or invades.

Today, over 100 documented species of mycoplasmas have been recorded to cause various diseases in humans, animals, and plants. Mycoplasma pneumonia as well as at least 7 other mycoplasma species have now been linked as a direct cause or significant co-factor to many chronic diseases including, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, ALS, nongonoccal urethritis, asthma, lupus, infertility, AIDS and certain cancers and leukemia, just to name a few.(1-6) In 1997, the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, published the article, Mycoplasmas: Sophisticated, Reemerging, and Burdened by Their Notoriety, by Drs. Baseman and Tully who stated:

“Nonetheless, mycoplasmas by themselves can cause acute and chronic diseases at multiple sites with wide-ranging complications and have been implicated as cofactors in disease. Recently, mycoplasmas have been linked as a cofactor to AIDS pathogenesis and to malignant transformation, chromosomal aberrations, the Gulf War Syndrome, and other unexplained and complex illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and various arthritides.”

Mycoplasmas, unlike viruses, can grow in tissue fluids (blood, joint, heart, chest and spinal fluids) and can grow inside any living tissue cell without killing the cells , as most normal bacteria and viruses will do. Mycoplasmas are frequently found in the oral and genito-urinary tracts of normal healthy people and are found to infect females four times more often than males, which just happens to be the same incidence rate in rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and other related disorders.(7) Mycoplasmas are parasitic in nature and can attach to specific cells without killing the cells and thus their infection process and progress can go undetected.

In some people the attachment of mycoplasmas to the host cell acts like a living thorn; a persistent foreign substance, causing the host’s immune defense mechanism to wage war. This allergic type of inflammation often results in heated, swollen, and painful inflamed tissues, like those found in rheumatoid diseases, fibromyalgia and many other autoimmune disorders like lupus and MS, Crohn’s and others. In such cases the immune system begins attacking itself and/or seemingly healthy cells.

Some species of mycoplasmas also have the unique ability to completely evade the immune system. Once they attach to a host cell in the body, their unique plasma and protein coating can then mimic the cell wall of the host cell and the immune system cannot differentiate the mycoplasma from the body’s own host cell.

Mycoplasmas are parasitic in nature because they rely on the nutrients found in host cells including cholesterol, amino acids, fatty acids and even DNA. They especially thrive in cholesterol rich and arginine-rich environments. Mycoplasmas can generally be found in the mucous membrane in the respiratory tract. They need cholesterol for membrane function and growth, and there is an abundance of cholesterol in the bronchial tubes of the respiratory tract. Once attached to a host cell, they then begin competing for nutrients inside the host cells.

As nutrients are depleted, then these host cells can begin to malfunction, or even change normal functioning of the cell, causing a chain reaction with other cells (especially within the immune and endocrine systems). Mycoplasmas can even cause RNA and DNA mutation of the host cells and have been linked to certain cancers for this reason. Mycoplasmas can also invade and live inside host cells which evade the immune system, especially white blood cells. Once inside a white blood cell, mycoplasmas can travel throughout the body and even cross the blood/brain barrier, and into the central cervous system and spinal fluid.

FOOTNOTES

Baseman, Joel, et.al., Mycoplasmas: Sophisticated, Reemerging, and Burdened by Their Notoriety, CDC, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol 3, No.1, Feb 1997

S-C. Mycoplasmas and AIDS. In: Maniloff J, McElhaney RN, Finch LR, Baseman JB, editors. Mycoplasmas: molecular biology and pathogenesis. Washington (DC): American Society for Microbiology, 1992:525-45.

Nicolson G, Nicolson NL. Diagnosis and treatment of mycoplasmal infections in Gulf War illness-CFIDS patients. Intl J Occup Med Immunol Toxicol 1996;5:69-78.

Wear DJ, et.al. Mycoplasmas and oncogenesis:persistent infection and multistage malignant transformation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1995;92:10197-201.

Ekbom A, Daszak P, Kraaz W, Wakefield AJ. Crohn’s disease after in-utero measles virus exposure. Lancet 1996;348:516-7.

Taylor-Robinson D. Mycoplasmas in rheumatoid arthritis and other human arthritides. J Clin Pathol 1996;49:781-2.

Dr.Harold Clark, The Intercessor, June 1993, The Road Back Foundation, Delaware OH.

Goulet M, et.al., Isolation of Mycoplasma pneumoniae from the human urogenital tract. J Clin Microbiol 1995;33:2823-5

Daxbock F, et.al., Severe hemolytic anemia and excessive leukocytosis masking mycoplasma pneumonia. Ann Hematol. 2001 Mar;80(3):180-2.

Higuchi ML, et.al., Detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydia pneumoniae in ruptured atherosclerotic plaques. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2000 Sep;33(9):1023-6.

Socan M, Neurological symptoms in patients whose cerebrospinal fluid is culture- and/or polymerase chain reaction-positive for Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 15;32(2):E31-5.

Bencina D, et.al., Intrathecal synthesis of specific antibodies in patients with invasion of the central nervous system by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2000 Jul;19(7):521-30

Smith R, et.al., Neurologic manifestations of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections: diverse spectrum of diseases. A report of six cases and review of the literature. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2000 Apr;39(4):195-201.

Umemoto M, Advanced atrioventricular block associated with atrial tachycardia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. Acta Paediatr Jpn. 1995 Aug;37(4):518-20.

Lind K. Manifestations and complications of Mycoplasma pneumoniae disease: a review.Yale J Biol Med. 1983 Sep-Dec;56(5-6):461-8.

Alexander FE. Is Mycoplasma Pneumonia associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia? Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Sep;8(5):803-11.

Hall JE, Mycoplasma pneumonia in acute childhood leukemia. Pediatr Pulmonol. 1985 Nov-Dec;1(6):333-6.

Murphy WH, Gullis C, Dabich L, Heyn R, Zarafonetis CJD. Isolation of Mycoplasma from leukemic and nonleukemia patients. J Nat Cancer Inst 1970;45:243-51.

To understand how mycoplasmas can cause widespread disease, we must first look at the species’ unique properties and interactions with host cells. Unlike viruses and bacteria, mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living and self-duplicating microorganisms, as they don’t require living cells to replicate their DNA and growth.

HOW MYCOPLASMAS INTERACT IN THE BODY

Mycoplasmas are able to hide inside the cells of the host (patient) or to attach to the outside of host cells.

Whether they live inside or outside the host cell, they depend on host cells for nutrients such as cholesterol, amino acids, etc. They compete with the host cells for these nutrients which can interfere with host cell function without killing the host cell.

A mycoplasma has very little DNA of its own, but is capable of using DNA from a host cell. When a mycoplasma takes over the DNA of the host cell, anything can happen – including causing that cell to malfunction in many different ways and/or die, or can cause DNA mutation of the host cell.

Mycoplasmas attach to host cells with a tiny arm coated in protein which attaches to the protein coating of host cells. For this reason, antibiotics like tetracycline, which are classified as “protein synthesis inhibitors” are often used against mycoplasma infections. While these antibiotics may block this protein attachment and very slowly starve it from the nutrients it needs from host cells to thrive and replicate, it still takes a healthy immune system to actually kill the mycoplasma for good.

Mycoplasmas are highly adaptable to changing environments and can move anywhere in the body, attaching to or invading virtually any type of cell in the body.

The mycoplasma adhesion proteins are very similar to human proteins. Once adhered to the host cell, the mycoplasma can completely mimic or copy the protein cell of the host cell. This can cause the immune system to begin attacking the body’s own cells; an event that happens in all autoimmune diseases.

Certain Mycoplasma species can either activate or suppress host immune systems, and they may use these activities to evade host immune responses. Mycoplasmas can turn on the chain reaction called an immune system response. This includes the stimulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers of the immune system) which is generally found in most autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and disorders.

Mycoplasma can also attach to or invade immune system cells, like the very phagocytes (natural killer cells) that are supposed to kill them. Inside these phagocytes, they can be carried to new locations of inflammation or disease – hidden away like a spy who has infiltrated the defending army.

When a mycoplasma attaches to a host cell, it generates and releases hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radicals which cause oxidative stress and damage to the surrounding tissues.

The Main Human Mycoplasma Pathogens. Pathogen / Implicated Disease (1-6)

Mycoplasma genitalium Arthritis, chronic nongonococcal urethritis, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, other urogenital infections and diseases, infertility, AIDS/HIV
Mycoplasma fermentans Arthritis, Gulf War Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, AIDS/HIV, autoimmune diseases, ALS, psoriasis and Scleroderma, Crohn’s and IBS, cancer, endocrine disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes
Mycoplasma salivarium Arthritis, TMJ disorders, Eye and ear disorders and infections, gingivitis, periodontal diseases including even cavities.
Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum Two mycoplasmas commonly found in the urogenital tracts of healthy persons. However, over the years, the pathogenic roles of these mycoplasmas have been proven in adult urogenital tract diseases, neonatal respiratory infections, and a range of other diseases usually in immunocompromised patients.
Mycoplasma pneumonia Pneumonia, asthma, upper and lower respiratory diseases, heart diseases, leukemia, CNS disorders and diseases, urinary tract infections, Crohn’s and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune diseases.
Mycoplasma incognitus and
Mycoplasma penetrans
AIDS/HIV, urogenital infections and diseases, Autoimmune disorders and diseases
Mycoplasma pirum Urogenital infections and diseases, AIDS/HIV

FOOTNOTES

Krause DC, Taylor-Robinson D. Mycoplasmas which infect humans. In: Maniloff J, McElhaney RN, Finch LR, Baseman JB, editors. Mycoplasmas: molecular biology and pathogenesis. Washington (DC): American Society for Microbiology, 1992:417-44.

Murray HW, Masur H, Senterfit LB, Roberts RB. The protean manifestations of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in adults. Am J Med 1975;58:229-42.

Baseman, Joel, et.al., Mycoplasmas: Sophisticated, Reemerging, and Burdened by Their Notoriety. CDC, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol 3, No.1, Feb 1997

Blanchard, A., et.al., AIDS-associated mycoplasmas. Ann.Rev.Microbiol. 1994; 48:687-712.

Hawkins, et.al., Association of mycoplasma and human immunodeficiency virus infection: detection of amplified mycoplasma fermentans DNA in blood. J.Infec.Dis. 1992: 165:581-585

Hussain AI, et.al., Mycoplasma penetrans and other mycoplasmas in urine of human immunodeficiency virus-positive children. J Clin Microbiol. 1999 May;37(5):1518-23.

Treatment Options For Mycoplasmal Infections

The negative impact of a mycoplasmal infection on the human immune system is undisputed. Due to it’s ability to either activate or suppress the immune system, it is now being considered one of the culprits of many autoimmune diseases. Yet, scientists still argue over the “chicken or egg first” type of sequence of events. Do the mycoplasmas begin growing and replicating first and then weaken or deregulate the immune system? Or does a weaken immune system caused by stress, poor diet or other illness allow the mycoplasmas to take hold and begin their opportunistic growth and infection resulting in chronic disease and to weaken and deregulate the immune system even further?

The answer is probably both, and it becomes one of the most critical treatment aspects of mycoplasmal infections. In immunodeficient patients it can be very difficult to treat these mycoplasma infections with appropriate broad spectrum antibiotics which are immunosuppressive themselves. Although the tetracycline and erythromycin types of antibiotics are effective for some mycoplasmal infections, M. fermentans, M. hominis and M. pirum strains are usually resistant to erythromycin, and tetracycline-resistant strains of M. hominis and U. urealyticum have been reported.

However, these antibiotics have a very limited ability to directly kill these mycoplasmas, and their efficacy eventually depends on an intact host immune system to eliminate the mycoplasmas. These types of protein inhibiting antibiotics will stop the protein adhesion of the mycoplasma to host cells but won’t directly kill the mycoplasma itself. With an already weaken immune system, many patients lack the ability to mount a strong antibody response against these deadly stealth pathogens to kill them effectively.

Regardless, many physicians and rheumatologists are treating their arthritis, CFISD, fibromyalgia and other mycoplasma infections with long term antibiotic therapy. One of the more popular conventional protocols involves rotating multiple 6 week cycles of Minocycline or Doxycycline (200-300 mg/day), Ciprofloxacin (1,500 mg/day), Azithromycin (250-500 mg/day, and/or Clarithromycin (750-1,000 mg/day) among others.(1) Sometimes the side effects of these strong antibiotics can be as bad as the symptoms of the diseases they are treating since a minimum of 6 months and up to two years of antibiotic therapy may be required.

Many doctors now believe that antibiotics should not be used solely or exclusively to treat mycoplasmal infections, without addressing rebuilding the immune system which is imperative for a complete recovery and eradication of infection. Others are using more natural antibiotics found in plants which can be as effective or more effective with fewer side effects or negative impact on the body. These include Raintree Nutrition’s Myco + multi-herb formula specifically formulated for mycoplasmas, olive leaf extracts, neem leaf and oil extracts, and other plants documented with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

One of the main side effects of antibiotics, whether it is a natural plant antibiotic or a chemical antibiotic, is the loss of friendly bacteria that is needed in the gastrointestinal system for proper digestion and elimination. No antibiotic can differentiate a friendly bacteria from a harmful one. Therefore, any time an antibiotic must be taken, especially long term, taking a probiotic formula to replace friendly bacteria is indicated and helpful in avoiding side effects like candida and fungi overgrowth which can cause digestive and elimination difficulties and other side effects.

Several probiotic products are widely available over-the-counter which combine these friendly bacteria – live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilous, Lactobacillus bifidus and other bacteria with FOS (fructoologosaccharides) to promote growth in the gastrointestinal system. It’s important to take this type of supplement when taking antibiotics of any kind and best to be taken either 3-4 hours prior to, or after taking the antibiotic dosage. Full live-cultured yogurt contains acidophilous and is a good food source for these friendly bacteria.

Another common side effect when taking antibiotics is called a Herxheimer Reaction. This occurs from the organism die-off and generally is the first indication that the antibiotic therapy is working. Symptoms that are associated with a Herxheimer include: chills, fever, night sweats, muscle aches, joint pains, lymphatic pain, mental fog, and extreme fatigue. Depending on the severity of the infection and resulting die-off, these symptoms can last 1-2 weeks and sometimes longer and can vary in intensity.

Drinking at least two quarts of filtered or distilled water every day to flush the organisms from the body is helpful in reducing the length and severity of a Herxheimer reaction. Another natural remedy to reduce Herxheimer reactions and thought to be helpful in helping the lymph glands to filter and remove dying organisms is a Whole Lemon-Olive Oil Drink. To prepare this natural remedy, place one whole unpeeled lemon (washed) in a blender with 1 cup of juice or water and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Blend in blender until smooth, then pour through a wire strainer. Discard pulp and drink liquid.

Once the mycoplasmas are being controlled by some form of effective natural or chemical antibiotic, re-nourishing and replacing the nutrients drained from the infected host cells can help speed recovery and reduce symptoms. A general multi-vitamin supplement plus extra C, D, E, CoQ-10, beta-carotene, quercetin, folic acid, bioflavoids and biotin are necessary and helpful when recovering from a mycoplasmal infection.

Supplementing back the depleted amino acids has been reported to be helpful in some recovering from these infections. These include L-cysteine, L-tyrosine, L-glutamine, L-carnitine, and malic acid. Remember, however, that mycoplasmas thrive on arginine! Avoid L-arginine supplements and multi-amino acid formulas containing L-arginine, as well as foods rich in arginine to avoid feeding the mycoplasmas. The richest food sources of arginine (to avoid) are nuts and seeds, including the oils derived from seeds and nuts which should be eliminated or drastically reduced in the diet.

Vitamins A, C and E, and other antioxidants found in natural plants, have also been reported to help speed recovery and to minimize the oxidative stress caused by mycoplasmas. One of the most popular antioxidants sold today are various extracts of grape seeds. Remember however, most seeds are rich in arginine, including grape seeds, and should generally be avoided.

Other helpful supplements to replenish drained nutrients from parasitic mycoplasmas are generally indicated based upon which specific cells the mycoplasma might be feeding on and which nutrients are being depleted. Specifically with fibromyalgia patients, leading research indicates that many of the hormones and enzymes produced in the neuroendocrine system and Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis are depleted or malfunctioning which have the ability to cause many of the symptoms found in these patients. Some hormonal replacement therapy with thyroid hormones, or other natural hormone supportive supplements like DHEA, progesterone and pregnenolone, and the endocrine supportive herb, Maca (Lepidium meyenii) have been shown to be helpful with many fibromyalgia patients.

Finally and most importantly is nutritionally supporting the immune system. There are various natural products sold today which can stimulate and support immune function. One of the most effective is a rainforest plant called Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), which has been awarded 4 U.S. patents on it’s immune stimulating alkaloids. Cat’s Claw is also a good source of antioxidant proanthocyanins, just like grape seed, but without the arginine which makes it an excellent natural nutrient for mycoplasmal infections.

Other available natural immune system builders include IP6, mushroom extracts, Echinacea/goldenseal combinations, and colostrum supplements. Another important consideration is the elimination of drugs that might suppress immunity. Dr. Garth Nicolson, one of the world renown experts on mycoplasmas states: “We have recommended that patients be taken off antidepressants and other potentially immune-suppressing drugs. Some of these drugs are used to help alleviate certain signs and symptoms, but in our opinion they can interfere with therapy, and they should be gradually reduced or eliminated.”(1) This of course would be indicated for many fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue patients who are routinely prescribed antidepressants.

FOOTNOTES

Nicolson, et.al., Diagnosis and Integrative Treatment of Intracellular Bacterial Infections in Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndromes, Gulf War Illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Chronic Illnesses. Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine 2000; 1(2) 42-102

Raintree Nutrition’s Nutritional Protocol for Mycoplasmas

The following protocols and products were developed by Raintree Nutrition’s owner and general manager, Leslie Taylor. Ms. Taylor is a board certified Naturopathic Physician who began her research on mycoplasmas over a year ago in search of a treatment for her own fibromyalgia, of which she is symptom free today. Raintree’s nutritional protocol is combining the three products described below to assist the body in killing mycoplasmas, keep fungi in check, and to nutritionally support the immune system in the process.

Experienced professionals using pharmaceutical and/or natural protocols agree that addressing these types of pathogens can take some time. Generally a minimum of two months on the above protocols should be anticipated. In some cases this is enough, however, it can take as long as 6 months on these formulas for some individuals depending on the nature and location of the infection. Many people report a significant reduction in symptoms after only a few weeks, however if they stop taking the supplements, symptoms return. It is suggested that people start with a two month protocol then stop taking them for two weeks.

If symptoms return, another 2 month round may be required. In some persistent and long standing infections, even a third two month round of supplementation might be indicated. See Testimonials on the Myco Products. Mycoplasmas and Raintree’s Myco was also featured in the July, 2001 Member’s Alert of the Health Sciences Institute.

MYCO Capsules

This natural herbal formula combines seven plants with documented antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This formula is available in capsules (120 capsules per bottle) as well as a concentrated liquid extract (four ounces / 120 ml) for persons with digestive difficulties or poor gut absorption. Suggested use is 2 capsules 2-3 times daily or two dropperfuls (2 ml) of the liquid extract 2-3 times daily. The retail price for both capsules or the liquid extract is £29.95 This formula combines the following plants:

Mullaca (Physalis angulata) has demonstrated antibacterial properties in vitro against numerous types of bacteria.Clinical research performed in 2000, demonstrated it be active against several strains of mycobacterium and mycoplasmas.(1) Other research has documented it’s immune stimulant,(2) antiviral, antitumorous and antileukemic activities.

Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus molle) has clinically demonstrated antimicrobial activity against numerous bacteria and fungi in several studies(3) and two U.S. patents awarded for it’s use in bactericidal preparations.

Anamu (Petiveria alliacea) has demonstrated in vivo and in vitro antimicrobial properties against numerous bacteria, fungi and protozoa(4, 5) as well as in vivo immune stimulant properties.(6)

Clavillia (Mirabilis jalapa) has been documented with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties in over 16 clinical studies. Several antiviral proteins and peptides from this plant have been patented and synthesized.

Macela (Achyrocline satureoides) has been documented with antimicrobial/antimycoplasmal,(7) immune stimulant(8) and antioxidant properties(9) in various clinical research.

Fedegoso (Cassia occidentalis) has demonstrated antimicrobial properties against various bacterial, viral and fungi pathogens in clinical research performed over the last 20 years.(10, 11) It was just documented to provide in vivo immunostimulant and immune protective qualities in clinical research published this year.(12)

Amazon Immune Support

Raintree’s proprietary formula to nutritionally support the immune system combines the rainforest’s most effective plants for this purpose, including Cat’s Claw. The product is sold in bottles of 120 capsules and the recommended dosage is two capsules twice daily. This product retails for £29.95 and is now available from Raintree in the special “Myco Stealth Pack”.

The formula contains the following powerful rainforest plants:

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is quickly becoming one of the most popular natural immune supportive supplements in the market today. Clinical research performed worldwide by many scientists have verified it’s immune stimulant properties. It’s immune stimulating alkaloids have been awarded 4 U.S. patents.

Mullaca (Physalis angulata) has shown in several in vivo animal tests and in vitro lab tests, immune stimulant properties by strongly enhancing blastogenesis, antibody responses and increased production of immune cells.(2)

Simarouba (Simarouba amara) is a rich source of quassinoids and saponins, classes of plant chemicals which are known for their beneficial effects to immune function as well as their antimicrobial properties.(13)

Suma (Pfaffia paniculata) is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body, as an immunostimulant, and is used to treat exhaustion. It’s beneficial effects to the immune system are linked to a class of saponins and sterols found in Suma root.(14, 15)

Sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis) Its blood-purifying actions was demonstrated when sarsaparilla demonstrated the ability to attack and neutralize microbial substances in the blood stream.(16, 17) The majority of Sarsaparilla’s immune properties and actions have been attributed to a pharmacologically active group of phytochemicals called steroids and saponins.

Amazon A-F

Another Raintree formula which combines the rainforest’s most effective antifungal plants. All of the plants in the formula have been documented with antifungal properties and many have demonstrated antibacterial effects as well. This formula complements the Myco + formula, adding more antibacterial herbs and will help keep the fungi and candida in check while taking the stronger antibiotic herbal formula. The product is sold in bottles of 120 capsules and the recommended dosage is two capsules twice daily. This product retails for £29.95 and is now available from Raintree in the special Mycopack.

The formula contains the following powerful rainforest plants:

Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) is the leading natural remedy in South America for fungi and yeast. Researchers around the world have documented it antifungal properties.(19, 20)

Clavillia (Mirabilis jalapa) Several US patents have been filed on the antimicrobial and biocidal constituents of Clavillia. Recent research in 1999 documented it’s antifungal properties against 5 species of fungi.(21) Reseach in 1992 demonstrated antifungal activities against 13 species of fungi.(22)

Anamu (Petiveria alliacea) has been documented with antimicrobial properties against numerous pathogens including several strains of fungi, bacteria and mycobacteriums.(4, 5, 23)

Fedegoso (Cassia occidentalis) has demonstrated antifungal properties against various strains of fungi.(23-25)

Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus molle) has been verified by clinical research to possess strong antimicrobial properties against various fungi and candida. One study indicated the essential oil in this plant to be better than the antifungal drug, Multifungin.(3, 26)

Pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetignosa) has antimicrobial properties which have been demonstrated in clinical studies over many years against various bacteria and fungi including candida.(27-29)

FOOTNOTES

Pietro RC, et.al., In vitro antimycobacterial activities of Physalis angulata L. Phytomedicine. 2000 Jul;7(4):335-8.

Lin YS, et.al., Immunomodulatory activity of various fractions derived from Physalis angulata L extract. Am J Chin Med. 1992;20(3-4):233-43.

Gundidza, M., et.al., 1993. Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oil from Schinus molle Linn. Central Africian J Med 39 11: 231-234 (1993)

Caceres A, et.al., Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of protozoal infections. I. Screening of activity to bacteria, fungi and American trypanosomes of 13 native plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Oct;62(3):195-202

Von Szczepanski,c. et.al., Isolation, Structure Elucidation and Synthesis of an Antimicrobial Substance from Petiveria alliacea. Arzneim-forsch 22 : 1975- (1972)

Queiroz ML, et.al., Cytokine profile and natural killer cell activity in Listeria monocytogenes infected mice treated orally with Petiveria alliacea extract. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2000 Aug;22(3):501-18.

Vargas, V.M.F., et.al., 1990 Mutagenic and Genotoxic Effects of Aqueous Extracts of Achyrocline satureoides in Prokaryotic Organisms. Mutat Res 240 1: 13-18 (1990)

Wagner, H., et.al., 1985 Immunostimulating Polysaccharides (Heteroglycans) of Higher Plants. Arzneim-Forsch 35 7: 1069-1075 (1985)

Desmarchelier, C., et.al., Antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects in extracts of the medicinal herb Achyrocline satureioides (“marcela”.). Braz J Med Biol Res, September 1998, Volume 31(9) 1163-1170 (Lam.) D.C.

Samy RP, et.al., Antibacterial activity of some folklore medicinal plants used by tribals in Western Ghats of India. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jan;69(1):63-71.

Perez C, In vitro antibacterial activity of Argentine folk medicinal plants against Salmonella typhi. J Ethnopharmacol. 1994 Aug;44(1):41-6.

Bin-Hafeez B, Protective effect of Cassia occidentalis L. on cyclophosphamide-induced suppression of humoral immunity in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Apr;75(1):13-8.

Wright CW, Use of microdilution to assess in vitro antiamoebic activities of Brucea javanica fruits, Simarouba amara stem, and a number of quassinoids.Antimicrob Agents Chemother 32(11)

Nakai, Shiro, et.al., 1984., Pfaffosides. Part 2. Pfaffosides, nortriterpenoid saponins from Pfaffia paniculata. Phytochemisty 1984, 23(8). 17-3-5

Nishimoto, N., et.al., 1984., Pfaffosides and nortriterpenoid saponins from Pfaffia paniculata., Phytochemistry 1984., 23(1), 139-42.

Mowrey, Daniel B., 1996. The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT.

Tschesche, R. “Advances in the chemistry of antibiotic substances from higher plants.” in Wagner, H. & Horhammer, L. Pharmacognosy and Phytochemisty. Springer Verlag. N.Y. 1971, pp 274-276.

Jahodar L, [Antimicrobial effect of arbutin and an extract of the leaves of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in vitro]. Cesk Farm. 1985 Jun;34(5):174-8.

Rouquayrol, MZ., et al., 1980. Antifungal activity of essential oils from Northeastern Brazilian plants. Rev Brasil Pesq Med Biol. 13: 135-143.

Rahalison, L., et.al., 1993. Screening for antifungal activity of Panamanian Plants., Inst J Pharmacog 31 1: 68-76.

Vivanco JM, Characterization of two novel type I ribosome-inactivating proteins from the storage roots of the andean crop Mirabilis. Plant Physiol. 1999 Apr;119(4):1447-56.

Cammue BP, Isolation and characterization of a novel class of plant antimicrobial peptides form Mirabilis jalapa L. seeds. J Biol Chem. 1992 Feb 5;267(4):2228-33.

Caceres, A., et.al., Plants Used in Guatemala for the Treatment of Dermatophytic Infections. 1. Screening for Antimycotic Activity of 44 Plant Extracts. J Ethnopharmacol 31 3: 263-276 (1991)

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TESTING FOR MYCOPLASMAS

Testing for mycoplasmas is much harder and more complicated than testing for all other bacteria, which is one of the main reasons conventional medical practitioners mis-diagnose or miss these types infections. The most reliable testing method offered today is with a lab test called a PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction).

Even performing a PCR lab test on a standard whole blood sample may not find the mycoplasma, simply because the mycoplasma may be residing in other fluids and tissues in the body and not the blood (i.e.; the fluid in the joints, in the spinal fluid, or in any tissue cell like heart, liver, pancreas, endocrine organs, etc.). A PCR test is generally performed by specific mycoplasma species.

These laboratory tests can be expensive, but are insurance reimburseable if ordered by your primary care physician. Specific mycoplasma PCR tests are available through these companies, both of which have more information on mycoplasmas in general and testing at their websites:

The Institute for Molecular Medicine

15162 Triton Lane ,

Huntington Beach, CA 92649

714-903-2900 Immunosciences Lab, Inc.

8730 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 305

Beverly Hill, CA 90211

310-657-1077

 

 

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