I'm not against research into the cause of chronic fatigue sydrome. In fact, as someone who's suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome since well before they ever had a name for it (I literally collapsed from unrelenting fatigue in college, back in 1977, and have never been the same, since), I applaud such research. I am perhaps more interested than anyone in finding the cause for this most debilitating of maladies.
Is Looking for "THE" Cause the Right Approach?
My suspiscion, however, is that looking for "the" cause -- such as a single bacteria or virus or toxin -- is going to end up being a misguided approach.
Why? Because the likelihood is that there are multiple agents -- including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and perhaps a variety of toxins -- that cause the same general set of symtpoms common to victims of chronic fatigue, i.e., overwhelming fatigue, malaise, depression, pain and other neurological and neurocerebral symtoms.
So rather than focusing solely on the agent or agents of cause, researchers should be also focusing on what can be done for the body nutritionally to help victims of this insidious disease overcome the symptoms.
Nutritional Support for Beating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
As Dr. Brian McCoy, ND -- the doctor who finally diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome back in 1994, after 17 years of being bounced from doctor to doctor -- told me:
"The human body lives with hundreds or even thousands of pathogens on a daily basis. When conditions in the human body become ripe for one or more of those pathogens to take hold and spread, and to do their damage, the only way to resolve the situation is to change those bodily conditions. You have to get the body back up on top of the pathogen. Period. Give the body the right nutrition, for the right reasons, and your immune system will find a way to suppress the pathogen and eliminate the debilitating symptoms."
Dr. McCoy and others taught me how to use nutrients to strengthen my body and my immune system in order to overcome the most debilitating of the symptoms of chronic fatigue. And over the years I've done my own research on nutritional support, learning even more.
Today, instead of suffering debilitating bouts of chronic fatigue syndrome on a regular basis, I suffer them only rarely, particularly when I allow my body to get out of whack, which is to say, when I allow myself to get overly stressed, over-worked, or over-tired, and I fail to pull back, relax, and give myself the nutritional support needed.
As I said, that happens only rarely now, because I've learned to do the following:
- I make sure my body gets plenty of vitamins and minerals by taking a good daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
- I make sure my brain gets the extra nutrition it needs by taking a good Omega 3 fish oil supplement (pure Salmon oil works best for me), often in high doses of 7 to 10 one thousand milligram capsules a day, whenever needed.
- I make sure my body gets the immune system support and antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal support it needs by taking small daily amounts of colloidal silver.
- If I'm feeling "toxic," or know I've been doing things I shouldn't such as taking over-the-counter drugs for pain, or drinking alcohol, or breathing in smog or other chemicals, I'll take a good antioxidant and detoxifier such as n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) each day for a few days, or even for a week or more if needed.
- If I'm experiencing "brain fog" or any serious decline in mental clarity, then I take my Vinpocetine in order to boost blood flow, oxygen and glucose to the brain, and enhance ATP production within the brain.
D-Ribose: Energy Booster Extraordinaire
But the chief weapon in my anti-chronic fatigue syndrome arsenal is D-Ribose, the amazing energy-boosting nutrient that revs up the cellular mitochondria in your body's 100 trillion cells, allowing every cell to start producing the prodigious quantities of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) your body needs for energy.
As Dr. McCoy explained to me some 15 years ago, it's very easy for your cells to become damaged or worn out by viruses, or other pathogens, or by exposure to chemicals or other toxins. And as a result your cellular mitochondria may fail to produce enough ATP to keep your body moving.
But if you can give your cellular mitochondria the specific nutrition it needs to start producing its own ATP in sufficient quantities again, then often you can "jump start" your body's entire energy system, which in turn boosts immunity, mental clarity, physical dexterity and puts that bounce back into your step that you always had before the chronic fatigue struck.
My Not-So-Secret Weapon
I used to call D-Ribose the "secret weapon" in my battle against chronic fatigue syndrome. But I haven't been keeping it much of a secret since I found out how potent it is at revving up my body's energy systems and defeating most chronic fatigue symptoms. In fact, I've been shouting from the rooftops about it for over a decade now.
I no longer worry about whether or not they'll ever find "the cause" of chronic fatigue syndrome. I hope they do. I'm definitely rooting for them. But what's more important for me is that I know how to deal with chronic fatigue syndrome, and alleviate most of its awful symptoms from my life, naturally.
New Swine "Cryptovirus" Identified in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy
National CFIDS Foundation
Needham, MA May 31, 2006
Recent independent scientific research funded by the National CFIDS Foundation, Inc. (NCF) of Needham, MA provided preliminary confirmation of a new virus identified in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The Foundation’s medical research dovetails with that completed to date by Cryptic Afflictions, LLC *, a private company.
Dr. Steven J. Robbins, virologist and Chief Executive Officer of Cryptic Afflictions, LLC has discovered a major neuropathogen identified as an RNA virus designated as Cryptovirus. Substantial clinical and molecular evidence indicates that this virus is involved in the development of neurological disorders that include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) by the World Health Organization, Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) and Idiopathic Epilepsy of unknown cause.
According to the company, “This previously undetected virus appears to be of significant importance to researchers looking for a cure to Multiple Sclerosis and many other neurological illnesses. Antibodies to the newly discovered virus were found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood of over 90% of the patients tested with Multiple Sclerosis. It is believed that this newly discovered virus may prove to be responsible for a host of neurological disorders. Tests are currently being prepared for tissue samples of lesions within the brains of patients with Multiple Sclerosis. This will be the final round of tests before approaching the FDA for approval of the diagnostic tests.”
Dr. Robbins’ evidence includes the presence of virus-specific antibodies in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients suffering from these disorders, the ability of the virus to cause virtually identical disease in experimentally-infected animals, and nucleotide sequence data that indicates that the virus is pandemic and represents a single virus species much like measles.
A recently published medical journal article suggests that Cryptovirus is most similiar to Parainfluenza Virus-5, a rubulavirus in the paramyxovirus family. Another rubulavirus related to Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5, that has gained national attention for its large outbreak, is the mumps virus. Rubulavirus infections have been associated with encephalitis, meningitis, orchitis, inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, spontaneous abortion, and deafness.
The NCF has conducted its own preliminary research into the potential role of Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5 in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Professor Alan Cocchetto, Medical Director for the Foundation stated, “Our own funded research first confirmed the lack of a vital protein, known as Stat-1, in the blood of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Stat-1 plays an indispensable role in immunity.
Without this protein, patients are unable to effectively fight viral and bacterial infections. Thus, the next logical question to be answered was ‘Could a virus be causing this Stat-1 depletion?’ Cocchetto continued, “Parainfluenza Virus-5 is a virus that had to be seriously considered as a possible piece of this medical puzzle because it directly targets and destroys the Stat-1 protein.”
Gail Kansky, President of the NCF stated, “Once we determined the status of Stat-1 in patient blood samples, we knew that we had to look for possible evidence of Parainfluenza Virus-5 infection. It was during this phase of our own research that we actually learned of Dr. Steven Robbins’ discovery of Cryptovirus specific antibody reactivity in patients with CFS.”
Dr. Robbins had tested fifty-six serum specimens from patients who had been diagnosed with CFS along with eleven matching cerebrospinal fluid samples obtained from physicians in Brisbane and Southeast Queensland.
Dr. Robbins had determined that 96% of the blood samples and 91% of the spinal fluid samples tested positively for Cryptovirus specific antibodies in these CFS patients.
The National CFIDS Foundation’s own research began to dovetail with that of Dr. Robbins. Scientists funded by the Foundation performed numerous tests for Parainfluenza Virus-5 that included antibody as well as PCR specific probes. Antibody testing provided some initial hints, however a PCR specific probe picked up the infection in a former patient of David S. Bell, M.D. and Paul R. Cheney, Ph.D., M.D., both considered well known specialists in the field of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Kansky commented, “Though our funded research continues in diagnostic testing, our findings have served to highlight the important work of Dr. Robbins and the role of Cryptovirus and Parainfluenza Virus-5 infection in CFS.”
NCF scientists utilized the NIH Genbank database to find the nucleotide sequence for a specific viral protein of Cryptovirus that matched 100% to the porcine (swine) strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 known as the SER strain. In 1994, scientists at Bayer AG in Germany first isolated the SER strain from swine with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome.
“This may represent a zoonotic process since zoonotic viruses are those that can be transmitted between animals and people” stated Cocchetto. Kansky commented, “Here we have what appears to be the same viral strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 on two continents and in two different populations, swine and humans. Given that the NCF found Parainfluenza Virus-5 in one CFS patient in the United States certainly raises the bar.” The Foundation is currently funding further research.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has several ongoing grants in the Parainfluenza Virus-5 field. Currently, however, there is only one U.S. scientist specifically funded for research on the SER strain of Parainfluenza Virus-5 by the NIH.
Founded in 1997, the National CFIDS Foundation has grown to become the largest, all-volunteer patient organization of its type in the United States. The Foundation has no paid employees and is funded solely by individual donations for the primary purpose to fund medical research into the cause and treatment and/or cure of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS/CFS).
* “Limina Biotechnologies, Inc. is a recently formed subsidiary of Global Medical Technologies, Inc. that was established for the purpose of merging Cryptic Afflictions LLC and Global Medical Technologies, Inc. It is the intent of management to spin off this newly formed corporation once the merger is completed so Limina can raise capital through its own IPO,” according to the company’s website.