Low Dose Naltrexone: a very promising drug for treating cancer and 200+ other diseases. Bogus or beneficial?
Let's first get a history on what Naltrexone is and then I'll address the amazing claim. How's that?
Naltrexone was approved by the FDA in 1984 in a 50mg dose for the purpose of helping heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs. By blocking opioid receptors, naltrexone also blocks the reception of the opioid hormones that our brain and adrenal glands produce: beta-endorphin and metenkephalin. Many body tissues have receptors for these endorphins and enkephalins, including virtually every cell of the body's immune system.
In 1985, Bernard Bihari, MD, a physician with a clinical practice in New York City, discovered the effects of a much smaller dose of naltrexone (approximately 3mg once a day) on the body's immune system. He found that this low dose, taken at bedtime, was able to enhance a patient's response to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. [Note: Subsequently, the optimal adult dosage of LDN has been found to be 4.5mg.]
In the mid-1990's, Dr. Bihari found that patients in his practice with cancer (such as lymphoma or pancreatic cancer) could benefit, in some cases dramatically, from LDN. In addition, people who had an autoimmune disease (such as lupus or MS) often showed prompt control of disease activity while taking LDN. The Amazing Claim
David Gluck, MD, says, "LDN is absolutely unique. And that's part of its problem, in that it's a brand new paradigm, a new way of thinking of treatment. Instead of the medication actually doing the work, LDN goes into the body and essentially tricks the body by forcing it to double and triple its output of endorphins and metenkephalin, also known as opioid growth factor (OGF). Those endorphins and metenkephalin, in turn, cause the immune system to strengthen. A nice way to think about LDN is that it is not like any other medication whatsoever. It is a way to strengthen the immune system."
It also increases enkephalin. (See lowdosenaltrexone.org "How does LDN work?")
Volunteers who have taken LDN have much higher levels of beta-endorphins circulating in their blood in the following days. Research on animals shows a marked increase in metenkephalin levels as well.
What's more, people are using it on their dogs and seeing positive health benefits. Dosing for dogs is by weight and you need to ask around in the LDN forums or contact Skip's Pharmacy for the amount. Why do I mention dogs? Dog's can't read the so-called "hype" surrounding LDN, yet they are healthier after taking it. Therefore, all questions as to whether or not there's some kind of placebo effect going on is answered because it works on beings who can't read. (Unless dogs are holding back some information from us humans.)
I'm writing this because some medical professionals and others are very skeptical of anything that claims to work for a number of very different diseases. It is rather bazaar after all. However, before one writes off LDN, one should research it, talk other MDs who work with LDN, read the research by Zagon and/or his colleagues, look a the small clinical trials, and talk with PharmDs who compound it.
The key to answering the why LDN works on so many diseases is to understand is that it does nothing except, for a short period of time, shut down your body's opioid receptors. This brief switch off tricks your body by forcing it to double and triple its output of endorphins, metenkephalin, and enkephalin. This is what helps strengthen your immune system.
Essentially, people with diseases that are partially or largely triggered by a deficiency of endorphins (including cancer and autoimmune diseases), or are accelerated by a deficiency of endorphins (such as HIV/AIDS), restoration of the body's normal production of endorphins is the major therapeutic action of LDN. (LowDoseNaltrexone.org)
My Mother's story
I was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma (brain cancer) in February of last year . After a full course of chemo and radiation, in mid November, I learned about an inexpensive prescription medication, low dose naltrexone. Prior to starting this medication, I was deteriorating. I required a walker and could go only short distances. I had significant memory loss. With all the standard treatment, I was given 10 months to live. The average prediction is 14 months, even after excision, 3.2 cm of tumor remained. After I learned about and obtained a script for low dose naltrexone I gradually regained my ability to walk normally, without a walker, my thinking became clearer. In short, I regained function. — Laura Arasmo, RN
If you're wondering whether or not my Mother is taking other pharmaceuticals, the answer is no. She takes no prescription drugs except LDN. She ended her oral chemo (temozolomide) in
September 2011. She started going down hill within approximately 3 weeks. Before that, chemo's side effects were horrible. Among other side effects, it shut down all bowel activity (paralytic ileus) and she had two trips to the ER. In early November, we found out about LDN. I promptly got a script from an MD whom we've known since 1972, he's actually like family. Our MD friend was familiar with Naltrexone as well as other opioid antagonists from working in the ER with overdoses on heroin years ago. He was aware that at less than 10% of the 50 mg dose, the worst it could do is nothing.
You can read more user experiences at ook around Facebook, Yahoo, and all over the net for LDN groups.
LDN is a people powered medicine: a grass roots effort to share something that has helped so many people with MS, cancer, lupus, thyroid disease, AD, Parkinson's, AIDs, and more. Defeat Cancer: 15 Doctors of Integrative and Naturopathic Medicine Tell You How, page 395. Dr. Finn Scøtt Andersen, MD
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is another excellent cancer treatment remedy that we've been giving our patients for over ten years. Many Internet websites describe the benefits of low-dose naltrexone for treating cancer, so its use in treating cancer is becoming well known. It's also beneficial for treating autoimmune diseases. Patients who take [LDN] feel dramatically better within days because it releases endorphins, kills cancer cells via apoptosis, and reduces inflammation.
The first person to take this medication for cancer was a woman from France, who had four brain metastases from melanoma. This is a very agressive cancer and there was nothing that conventional oncologists could do for her. She had heard about Dr. Bernhard Bihari, the medical doctor who discovered the clinical effects of LDN, and went to hear him speak in Paris. She asked him for some LDN, which he gave her. She began to take it, in a dose of 3 mg daily. Seven months later, the brain metastases disappeared! She took LDN for twelve years, but after twelve years, she stopped, as every time she took a pill, she was reminded that she had cancer. About seven months later, she began to have multiple metastases on her lungs and on the skin of her arms. She called Dr. Bihari and resumed taking LDN for another seven months, during which time her lung and skin metastases disappeared.
She was 42 years old at the time, I don't know what happened to her since then. Now, LDN is given to many cancer patients. Endorphins strengthen the immune system.
Where's the research you say? There isn't much on endorphins and how they help you fight off disease and generally make you healthier. Do you think that something that is free, such as endorphins you can generate by aerobic exercise, is going to persuade pharmaceutical companies to fork over the millions upon millions to reasearch this? Because Naltrexone is generic and out of patent, there's zero initiative from pharmaceutical companies to fund research. But there is research, funded by patients, at the main site. Where do you get LDN and how much does it cost?
Low Dose Naltrexone is approximately $30.00 a month with shipping, depending on the pharmacy you choose. You must get it from a reliable compounding pharmacy found on the main LowDoseNaltrexone.org site. We use Skip's Pharmacy in Boca Raton. You will need an RX from your doctor. Here's some information about exercise, endorphins and disease:
Bernard Bihari, MD, says, "[Exercise is] a very good way to boost endorphins, and boost immune function. There is no question that people who do aerobic exercise—the kind of exercise associated with cardiovascular fitness—have raised endorphins. That’s been demonstrated. One interesting study was carried out in San Francisco in people with AIDS, all of whom were going to gyms. They were divided into two groups—all men: men who went to the gym regularly just for bodybuilding purposes and did relatively little aerobic exercise; and men who went to the gym on a regular basis to do aerobic exercise with much less attention to bodybuilding and weight training. Both groups had AIDS. Both groups started out with the same level of disease progression. Over a five- year period, the death rate in the group who were going to the gym for bodybuilding was double that in the group who were doing aerobic exercise. The number of opportunistic infections—the serious infections that kill people with AIDS—was much higher. And it wasn’t because of a harmful effect of bodybuilding. It was rather that the aerobic exercise by raising endorphins strengthens immune function and thereby helps to sustain the immune system’s ability to fight HIV. That’s the one study I know of that closely ties exercise with better health, or reduced disease in a disease that is associated with low endorphins. This is pasted, edited and massaged together from LDNinfo.org/LowDoseNaltrexone.org, HonestMedicine.com, video transcripts, and original content.
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