Whey: Detox and
Antimicrobial / Antiviral Benefits
(Written by Carol Sieverling, based on a letter from Dr. Cheney
and a lecture transcript.)
In January, Dr. Paul Cheney informed those scheduled to participate in his study of undenatured whey that he was switching to a new, more powerful product: ImmunePro Rx. Based on sophisticated biochemical analysis, it is believed to be two to three times more powerful than the other two whey products currently used by his patients, Immunocal and ImuPlus. It also happens to be less expensive!
Why all the excitement about undenatured whey? Dr. Cheney's original study with Immunocal showed that it had the ability to restore intracellular glutathione levels, something that neither glutathione supplementation nor injections have been able to accomplish to any significant degree. Virtually all CFS patients have low levels of glutathione. Even if glutathione levels are at the low end of the normal range, other markers (elevated lipid peroxides, elevated citrate, depressed alpha ketogluterate) usually indicate problems with its functionality. Dr. Cheney believes that this deficiency is the key problem in CFS patients, especially over time.
Glutathione has many important functions, two of them critical for CFS patients. First of all, it is a major player in our detoxification pathways. Glutathione deficiency impairs the body's ability to get rid of toxins, whether they are environmental or the by-products of cellular metabolism. We slowly become toxic, storing away poisons in our fatty tissues, muscles, organs, and brain. This cellular detox failure can make us canaries to our environment. Good detox programs that have worked well on people with other illnesses can actually put some CFS patients in the hospital. Therefore the glutathione deficiency needs to be addressed before any serious attempt is made at detoxification. Immunocal, ImuPlus and now ImmunePro Rx appear to restore normal levels of intracellular glutathione in most patients, allowing the body to detoxify. (If the dose is too high it is possible to mobilize more toxins than the body can handle, resulting in a "crash". Reducing the dose eliminates this problem.)
Secondly, glutathione is a powerful antiviral / antimicrobial mechanism. A glutathione deficiency compromises our ability to keep old viruses dormant and fight off bacteria. This is why so many of us test positive for EBV, CMV, HHV6, Mycoplasma, and Chlamydia Pneumoniae, etc. These pathogens are likely not the cause of our illness, but simply opportunistic infections. Indications are that undenatured whey can stop the replication of any intracellular microbe, including HHV6, Chlamydia Pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma. Treating them can greatly reduce symptoms and improve well being, and in some cases lead to recovery.
Patients who tested positive for Chlamydia Pneumoniae and Mycoplasma before the original study tested negative at its conclusion six months later. One packet a of Immunocal, the original patented undenatured whey, was sufficient for the C. Pneunoniae. Regarding HHV6, only those on two packets a day of Immunocal tested negative after treatment.
The traditional treatment for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia Pneumoniae is 18 months of triple antibiotics, which can wipe out a patient's gut flora and leave them a gut ecology cripple for the rest of their lives. This treatment approach is much gentler and appears to be just as effective. Dr. Cheney recommends starting with one teaspoon twice a day, increasing to two teaspoons the second day, etc. In the current study half the patients are taking four scoops a day (a total of 20 grams, or 4 tablespoons), and the other half are taking eight scoops a day. Some patients may need to start with much smaller doses and slowly work up. Dr. Cheney recommends split doses in distilled water on an empty stomach. For those familiar with Immunocal or ImuPlus 10 gram packets, one scoop of ImmunePro Rx is 5 grams, though ImmunePro Rx has two to three times the bioactivity.