Most people know that medications are not the perfect solution to their health problems, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Dr. Thomas Cowan, a family doctor and founder of the Weston Price Foundation (WAPF), is an active advocate of using low-dose naltrexone (LDH) for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist and was originally developed in the early 1960s for the treatment of opioid addiction (for example, with heroin addiction), which was common at the time. It blocks the effects of the drug by attaching to opioid receptors in your body.
“Naltrexone is a pure opiate antagonist; that is, it has no metabolites. An agonist means the substance has a positive effect, but this medicine has no positive effect on the activity. opioid receptors. It has an analgesic effect. And he just blocks the opiates, – explains Dr. Thomas Cowan.
In heroin overdose, Naltrexone in a dose of 30 to 50 milligrams was, and remains, the primary means for preventing fatal respiratory depression from a narcotic overdose.
However, the drug not only blocks exogenous narcotic opiates. Many drug users (drug addicts) refuse to take Naltrexone because it makes them feel terrible, and this condition of drug addicts led to the discovery of endorphins.
Endorphins – These are endogenous (internal) opiates, which means getting them into the body from the inside. They are naturally produced by your body. That is why a person often suffers from dysphoria (the opposite of euphoria) when taking Naltrexone, because the drug blocks access to natural opioid receptors (endorphins).
Detection of the benefits of low doses of naltrexone
Dr. Bernard Bihari began to show interest in Naltrexone in the late 1980s, as many of his drug addicted patients also had immunological problems. Many of them were sick with AIDS, which is a disease with the development of cellular immune collapse. Bihari noted that often his patients had immune problems, who died from HIV while using drugs. Then he became interested, maybe endogenous (external) opiates are somehow related to the immunological function of the body.
He decided that perhaps these people with immunological problems have a lack of endorphin, says Dr. Cowan. “What led him to try to figure out a way that would stimulate the production of endorphins. And he found that if you use a very low dose of naltrexone, blocking opioid receptors, maybe an hour or so, and then your body reacts with a sharp increase in the synthesis of internal opiates. As a result, you will receive hundreds or thousands of times more endorphins and improve the functioning of the immune system. ”
In fact, when using very low doses, about one-tenth of the dose from the dosage to treat opioid dependence, or even less, Naltrexone works as a form of hormesis, when a compound that is toxic in high doses eventually shows the opposite effect in small or small doses.
Naltrexone is probably the only pharmaceutical medicine I regularly use for my patients, says Dr. Cowan. “I have seen a large number of examples of improvement in the use of Naltrexone than any other medicine I have ever used. When you look at natural substances, such as ginseng, which stimulates the function of the adrenal cortex, you see only this effect – stimulation of the adrenal glands and the production of natural hormones.
Similarly, although in reality it is not natural, Naltrexone stimulates the production of endorphins. And the patient must respond to this exposure. If they do not respond to the medication, then you will not get the therapeutic effect. But if they respond, then these people produce much more endorphins than they could get with natural medicine. And then people get the greatest effect from the normal amount of endorphins. ”
Naltrexone Dosing Recommendations
Naltrexone stimulates the immune system, so a similar treatment protocol may not be used for all people. Using Naltrexone requires an individual approach, taking into account all the nuances of the immune system.
The normal range for receiving Naltrexone is from 1.5 to 4.5 mg per day, which should be ingested approximately one hour before sleep (but not in the morning). There are several reasons for this time of admission. First, since you blocked the endorphin receptors during your sleep, it does not allow you to feel bad. Secondly, endorphin production occurs to a greater extent at night.
As for side effects, Naltrexone has an enviable level of security. The most common side effect is unusual and sometimes more vivid dreams.
Dr. Coven usually prescribes 1.5 mg of Naltrexone for two weeks. Sensitive people, such as those with thyroid problems, can start with a lower dose, for example, 1 mg per day, but as a rule, a dosage of less than 1.5 mg is usually not effective for adults.
If a positive effect is obtained, the patient will remain at that dose. If there is no effect, the dose is increased to 3 – 4.5 mg per day. If there is a negative effect, the dose is reduced. It is important to understand that the key of naltrexone in its low dose. Therefore, if the patient feels positive changes, then it is necessary to reduce the dose of admission.
“If you gave someone 2.5 mg, and it did not work, then you need to reduce the dose. You gave 1.5 mg and it did not help, then give the same dose, but on any other day , – says Dr. Cowan. “Because the principle of therapeutic effects is a rebound in the production of endorphin, and not the level of the drug in the body. With conventional medicines, this does not work, they always give you more, but here it is the opposite. ”
The table is an example of the action of naltrexone. Cytokines that are activated by Naltrexone are shown in red, suppressed cytokines are shown in blue.
Opiates are powerful suppressors of immunity.
There is a well-known study of prostitutes in Europe, when it was shown that the main factor behind HIV infection was not sexual contact, but the use of opiates (drugs). According to Dr. Cowan, you see a similar picture in cancer patients. Once they start taking opiate medications for chronic pain, their health quickly declines along with a weakening of the immune system.
Opiates are very strong suppressors of the immune system, – he explains. “This is more related to external, exogenous opiates, for example, heroin. This is what Dr. Bihari noticed, who noted the rapid transition to the AIDS stage in those HIV-infected people. In fact, endorphins are the reverse side of exogenous opiates and the point of stimulating the production of endorphins is a more effective fight against alien or cancer cells.
… In the late 90s I had a very good friend who was at the terminal stage of lymphoma. And then he turned to Dr. Bihari, who recommended him to take Naltrexone in a dose of 4.5 mg and intravenous infusion of vitamin C. And my friend entered remission. And I went with him on vacation 15 years after his remission. This situation caught my eye, ”says Cowan.
Dr. Cowan’s Autoimmune Diet
Unlike opioid drugs such as heroin or prescription pain medications, your diet can also be a source of exogenous opiates. Many naturopathic doctors recommend cleaning wheat and dairy products from your diet, since these products, as a rule, cause complications in the health of a large number of people.
Many do not understand that some of these health problems are due to the fact that gluteomorphins , also known as gliadorphin (an opioid peptide formed during the digestion of gliadin, a component of gluten) and caseomorphins (protein fragment arising from the digestion of milk protein casein) act as exogenous opioids.
“Basically, when you go on a diet without wheat and dairy products … you get rid of exogenous opiates. Such a diet really eliminates opiates that suppress the immune system, which further leads to dysfunction of the immune system. Removing these foods from the diet helps the body increase the production of healthy endorphins, ”notes Dr. Cowan.
Virtually anyone suffering from autoimmune problems, whether multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, or Hashimoto disease (an autoimmune thyroid disease), will be wise to try to get rid of gluten and dairy products in their diet to help optimize their immune system. By the way, in the melted butter, which was obtained from cows with natural walking on pastures and without feed in the diet, there is very little casein.
In the practice of Dr. Cowan with more than 1000 patients, it was found that only an autoimmune diet or only taking Naltrexone, as a rule, are not as effective as these treatments are used togethere.
In addition, Dr. Cowan’s dietary recommendations are very similar to a diet to restore the intestinal microflora. My recommendations in the diet, in fact, is getting rid of exogenous opiates and restoring the intestinal flora with fermented food“- says Dr. Cowan. This diet contains animal proteins (meat and fish), plant seeds, but not grains, as well as a wide variety of vegetables and fermented milk (fermented by lactic acid bacteria, and not kefir or yogurt with casein) foods.
Count the variety of vegetables in your diet.
Fresh vegetables with a high content of dietary fiber also help in treating the body, feeding healthy microbes in the intestines. Some of these bacteria create short-chain fatty acids from dietary fiber, which is important for your health. The key to the health of the intestinal microflora is the diversity and variety of plant foods. Most modern city dwellers eat too few different types of vegetables per year, whereas our ancestors ate hundreds of different varieties.
Part of the problem is that most people only have access to seasonal vegetables sold at the grocery store. To change this situation, Dr. Cowan grows his own vegetables. It has a large garden with about 60 different varieties of vegetable crops, some of which are perennial.
In most cases, people who are fully committed to maintaining their health, inevitably and invariably come to the conclusion that they must grow their own food and pay attention to the quality of the soil. In addition to the fact that they are difficult to find on sale, perennial vegetables have the undeniable advantage of growing and production all year round.
I recently read statistics from FDA (American Food and Drug Agency): people who ate three or four different parts of a plant a day – we are talking about the main part, about leaves, flowers, fruit – had 40% less chronic diseases, than people who did not. I think that we do not need vegetables for calories, fats or proteins. This role is performed by other foods in the diet. We eat these vegetables for phytonutrients, dietary fiber for intestinal flora, vitamins, minerals. Therefore, you should not strive to eat a huge bowl of Romain lettuce, but rather prepare a salad with the greatest variety of flowers, leaves and other plant parts to get as much variety as you can afford. It is in this diversity that the role of vegetables in traditional and therapeutic nutrition is made, ”explains Dr. Cowan.
“I urge everyone to grow their own vegetables and use them at the time of their greatest nutritional value for their bodies. For example, zucchini should be eaten within a few hours after harvest, because the sugars in this plant degrade and the nutrients decompose over a short time. At the same time, the salad from leafy vegetables should not be eaten right away because when cutting leaves and stems, they begin to produce internal substances that promote healing of the plant. And the maximum in its concentration, these substances reach in about 12 hours.
More information on the treatment of autoimmune diseases
The experience of Dr. Cowan indicates that the use of opiate antagonists, in particular Naltrexone, can be an incredibly valuable therapeutic aid. Many Cowan patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases, such as sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, pemphigus, or Graves’ disease, have been able to significantly improve their condition or put the disease in remission. And this was achieved by including in the treatment protocol small doses of Naltrexone with a change in diet, which allows you to avoid exogenous opioids contained in wheat and dairy products, and to improve the condition of the intestines along with the intake of fresh and fermented vegetables.