Last week, I had a guest on one of my live-streaming television shows on the USA Global TV & Radio network. During the interview, I learned that his wife has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig was a major league baseball player for the New York Yankees for 17 years. He was known as ‘The Iron Horse’ because of his hitting and durability – playing in 2130 consecutive games – a record that stood for decades.
ALS took Lou out of the lineup, ending his baseball career at 38. Lou lived for two years after being diagnosed with ALS. Today, more men than women contract the disease, usually after the age of 40, but it can happen earlier in life. The usual lifespan is less than ten years – often just a few years. However, Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, lived over 50 years with ALS.
I am a researcher. I research the human body at the cellular level, looking for cause-and-effect relationships, chemically speaking. Treat a cause and fix a problem. Treat symptoms, and you will always treat symptoms. I had some time and decided to do a shallow dive into ALS to see if there was some insight I could offer to my friend.
The first thing I found was that all the queries came back with no known cause no effective treatments, and it is incurable. Like most subjects in longevity and age-related disease/health, I had to ‘reverse ask’ my questions to find answers. Several nutrients and anti-inflammatories positively affect motor neuron health. ALS is a fatal motor neuron disease. Many people with ALS can only drink liquids.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21678421.2018.1440738. I started with turmeric (curcumin). It is a major anti-inflammatory (almost in a category by itself). The link above did not discuss curcumin with piperine, but curcumin is not very bioavailable in the body. Piperine (black pepper extract) increases the bioavailability hundreds of times. It is available in numerous places as a liquid supplement.
The next ‘go-to’ item is the number one anti-inflammatory that I know. The active ingredient to shut down the primary cause of swelling, redness, soreness, etc., associated with any trauma is gamma-mangostin (one of 40+ xanthones found in mangosteen juice – not mangos).
One enzyme, the COX-2, remains dormant in our bodies until something happens. Then, it starts a cascade of events beginning with Arachidonic Acid inside a damaged cell to activate the COX-2 enzyme. COX is cyclooxygenase. When you can shut down COX-2, the body can heal without disrupting the body’s autoimmune response (swelling, heat, redness, soreness, etc.). It can be found in liquid form.
This may also be obtained by drinking whole-fruit mangosteen juice. Whole fruit is key because the xanthones are contained in the pericarp (rind) of the fruit. The link above refers to alpha-mangostin rather than gamma-mangostin. I have researched gamma-mangostin and understand how it gets involved with the autoimmune response to trauma. Alpha-mangostin might be a better option for motor neuron health.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16356650/. My next focus was on green tea – the EGCG catechin (epigallocatechin gallate). It works in the brain to change the molecular structure of the beta-amyloid protein that starves neurons to death in Alzheimer’s disease. EGCG shuts down the starvation process by changing the molecular structure of the beta-amyloid protein so that it cannot attach itself to the neuron. Scientists also discovered that the ‘dead’ neuron was replaced or returned to life.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842587/. Glutamate excitotoxicity seems to be a potential cause of ALS – too much glutamate in the body. The bad news is that we make glutamate, one of two fuel sources for cancer cells. The glutamate levels and the process to shut it down are decently documented and easily found.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842587/. My next ‘go-to’ was PQQ – pyrroloquinoline quinone. Our bodies make it, and they make less and less as we age. It is available in liquid form. It passes easily through the blood-brain barrier, stabilizes brain health, and improves mitochondrial health. I noticed that some scientists think that ALS starts in the mitochondria inside the cells. Targeting mitochondrial health might be a potential focus area.
There are many things to work on in that regard. An interesting side note is that significant success in cancer treatment is treating mitochondria as a cause of cancer and not treating the genetic disorder in the DNA. Treating stage-4 cancer (like pancreas cancer) as a genetic disorder has a survival rate of 4% after five years, whereas treating the cancer as a metabolic disorder yields about 95% cure rate after five years—lots of data on that approach in the link above.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034986/. Another cause I found was mercury (fillings in our mouth). The link above provides some insight into how removing mercury improved ALS symptoms.
https://karger.com/cmr/article/24/3/175/67556/Healing-of-Amyotrophic-Lateral-Sclerosis-A-Case. We think there is one cause of a disease, and it turns out that there are many. We treat that one cause and it appears to work, and then the disease comes back – think about cancer. Brain diseases have many pathways. One of the major pathways for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases is a deficiency of one of four phospholipids our body makes – phosphatidylserine. Our bodies make less and less as we get older. I have seen remarkable success with Alzheimer’s symptoms by supplementing phosphatidylserine. It is also available in liquid form.
https://n.neurology.org/content/65/11/1834. My quick look at Co-Q-10 (Coenzyme Q-10) indicated that there is insufficient evidence at this time to treat ALS effectively. And it can be expensive. I did find one study that looked promising – see the link above. Co-Q-10 is usually sold as ubiquinone. It is not very bioavailable. However, several years ago, ubiquinol was synthesized and has several times the absorption rate as ubiquinone – and a bit more expensive. Ubiquinol is the chemical your body makes from ubiquinone.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24414863/. Another option to consider is resveratrol – it also needs piperine to be more bioavailable.
https://www.alsuntangled.com/how-to-use/. Ginger is another go-to for brain and body health. It might be of value to consider in treating ALS.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35543124/. EMDR is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is an established treatment for PTSD and other emotional issues. EMDR will not address the symptoms of ALS, but it may be of benefit to treat depression and other emotional issues that develop from ALS.
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2020.00063/full was informative for general information.
The information I provide on health and wellness is educational. I am not a doctor and have never practiced in the medical or pharmaceutical industries. I provide links to my research for those wanting to know more.
Live Long & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com