Detoxification and Free Radical Damage in Autoimmune Diseases
Posted Sep 11 2009 4:56pm
The problems in autoimmune conditions run much deeper than a messed up immune system, wiped out enzymes, oxygen depleted cells and pathogens making a comfortable home in your guts.
When your liver can’t effectively detoxify your body because its enzymes have been wiped out, toxins build up in your cells. Especially so if mycoplasma are also producing toxins in them. So toxins build up in them. This toxic buildup causes much damage. Damage that can persist even if the autoimmune response is turned off.
Dr. Cheney explains that once the toxicity begins, the toxins themselves inhibit and injure the very enzymes needed to detoxify them. Plus, the cells’ principle detoxification agent and a major viral inhibitor, glutathione, gets used up early on. Making it difficult for cells to detoxify, and inhibiting their ability to kill the pathogens infecting them.
Glutathione deficiency has been found to be virtually universal in autoimmune diseases. This deficiency has two major implications: detox failure and viral/microbial activation. Glutathione plays a major role in detoxification. This deficiency impairs the body’s ability to get rid of toxins.
Consequently, people slowly become toxic, storing away poisons in fatty tissue, muscles, organs and the brain. This cellular detox failure can make people canaries to their environment.
To detoxify successfully, this glutathione deficiency must be addressed.
Because glutathione is a potent antiviral and anti-microbial weapon, glutathione deficiency compromises antiviral and anti-microbial defenses, and actually stimulates viral replication. Raising glutathione levels inside the cells can stop the replication of almost any pathogen.
A glutathione deficiency compromises our ability to keep old viruses dormant and fight off bacteria. This is why so many people test positive for EBV, CMV, HHV6, Mycoplasma, and Chlamydia Pneumoniae, etc.
Indications are that glutathione can stop the replication of any intracellular microbe, including HHV6, Chlamydia Pneumoniae, and mycoplasma. Dr. Cheney found that some of his patients were becoming virus free after using a glutathione-creating undenatured whey protein for approximately 6 months. Showing that the increased levels of glutathione were indeed able to handle the viral infections.
There has been a good deal of research that show how important glutathione is.
Immune depressed individuals have lower glutathione levels when fighting disease. Lymphocytes, cells vital for your immune response, depend on glutathione for their proper function and replication. Immunology 61: 503-508 1987.
Cellular depletion of Glutathione has been implicated as a causative, or contributory factor in many pathologies including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, malnutrition, aging, and AIDS (Bounous et al., 1991).
In addition, Glutathione is essential in supporting the immune system, including natural killer cells (Droege et al., 1997) and in the maintenance of T-lymphocytes (Gutman, 1998).
It is known that as we age, there is a precipitous drop in glutathione levels. Lower Glutathione levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging, including Cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, atherosclerosis and others. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-28 1994
Antioxidants are well documented to play vital roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. Glutathione is our cell's own major antioxidant. Why not use what is natural? Biochemical Pharmacology 47:2113-2123 1994
Low glutathione has been demonstrated in neurodegenerative diseases such as MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's, among others. The Lancet 344: 796-798 1994
Glutathione detoxifies many pollutants, carcinogens and poisons, including many in fuel exhaust and cigarette smoke. It retards damage from radiation such as seen with loss of the ozone. Annual Review of Biochemistry 52 : 711-780 1983.
The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. In the liver we find very high concentrations of glutathione, as it is a major factor in numerous biochemical detoxification pathways. Numerous studies have demonstrated that patients with compromised liver function due to alcohol abuse have significant reduction of glutathione in the liver. (Lamestro, 1995)
Glutathione is essential for the maintenance of Vitamin C and vitamin E levels according to Mrtensson. He found that as glutathione levels decreased, a corresponding decrease in ascorbic acid and vitamin E followed, which led to systematic mitochondrial death, which in turn leads to a cessation of cellular metabolism.
(It is this mitochondrial death, at first just a dysfunction, that may cause the fatigue found in autoimmune illnesses.)
The over-toxicity causes extensive free radical damage. Inhibits cellular function. Disrupts energy production by the mitochondria. Consequently the primary energy the cells produce is anaerobic which leads to extensive lactic acid buildup in the cells. And more toxicity.
Cheney explains that fatigue becomes worse. Pain increases. You feel sicker. Memory suffers as the brain is damaged by toxins and free radicals, and not enough oxygen gets into the brain. Deep brain structures like the hypothalamus eventually are injured and cause problems with virtually every hormone in your body. They lose their ability to rise and fall according to signals or demands from the body making it harder to respond to changing situations. Actual damage to the DNA of the energy producing mitochondria can occur. Further limiting energy.
As toxins cause free radical damage, you end up with low levels of all the free radical scavengers. They get used up dealing with excessive free radicals produced by the excessive toxins.