NanoTekTM Chitosan (Chitosan oligosaccharides)
New Hope for Lyme-Related Herxheimer Symptoms
Steven Hines, N.D., N.E. Hope Clinics International San Angelo,Texas
Success rarely comes without a price, and treating Lyme disease and related complexes is no different. Often, the treatment may be worse than the disease. At our clinic in Mexico, we have been treating Lyme disease for many years. However, it seems the better we get at killing the spirochete borrelia, the more our patients hurt. I have read many books on Lyme disease, and most have a section regarding the dreaded Herxheimer reaction. One book goes so far as to say that the Herxheimer reaction is the symptom of a bad treatment protocol. I am not convinced, however, that those who claim to eradicate this miserable organism without pain are actually killing the organism. I believe they are only driving the organism into the cyst form.
I have my suspicions that homeopathic treatments for Lyme may do the same thing. We know that the organism quite readily reverts to the cyst form within two hours of being exposed to Doxycycline and many other antibiotics. I have seen many patients who have been “successfully treated” with antibiotics for their Lyme, but whose live blood showed massive amounts of cyst-form spirochetes even though their western blot Lyme test came back negative. Yes, their symptoms were indeed resolved, but possibly only because most of the spirochetes were driven into the cyst form. I can only speculate here, but spirochetes in cyst form may not produce toxins, replicate or invoke an immune response. All of this reinforces my belief in the adage, “No pain, no gain.” We are not entirely without tools for the Herxheimer reaction. Among the useful tools are Vitamin C IVs, acetyl-L-carnitine, phosphocholine/serine/ethanolamine, lipoic acid, and all manner of TNF-alpha inhibitors and zeolites. The zeolites have been the most beneficial until now, but we are still working handcuffed.
We desperately need help in this area, which leads me to my enthusiasm about nano-particle chitosan. Earlier this year I was sharing some thoughts on the subject of neuroborreliosis with a colleague, specifically how some patients respond well and others not at all, even though they both have advanced Lyme disease. In recent years we have ordered some genomic tests on these patients, with some interesting findings. All but one of our neuroborreliosis cases have had a genetic defect in their ability to produce glutathione. Most notably, a Glutathione S-Transferase deficiency. Also, several have shown impaired ability to remove biotoxins. We believe deficiencies in detoxification may be the reason some Lyme cases have neurological symptoms more than others with seemingly comparable levels of infection. Either way, we have desperately needed something that could pass through the gastric mucosa and into the blood stream and the CNS to bind up the toxins. We've discovered something very powerful in this regard.
The compound is nano-particle chitosan (NPC). It differs from standard chitosan in that its particle size is small enough that it easily passes through the gut. We do not know if it passes the blood-brain barrier.
Small Clinical Trial
Following are the results of a small clinical trial of short duration. The product was in short supply at the time, so we used it sparingly. Each patient took one-fourth of a teaspoon three times a day for a week on an empty stomach. The product was encapsulated due to its less-than-enjoyable flavor. One capsule contained one-fourth teaspoon powder. The patients ceased taking their zeolites during the trial.
Seventeen patients were chosen from our general population. All 17 were positive for Borrelia borgdorferi. Symptoms measured were: joint and muscle pain, sleep disturbance, headaches, depression, and fatigue. Three patients reacted immediately with allergy symptoms and ceased taking NPC immediately. All three patients said they had known shellfish allergies.
|Number of patients with
with each symptom:
|Number of patients improvement in each category:
|Sleep disturbance 13/17
||Sleep disturbance 10/13
The most profound improvement was in the symptom of pain. All of the participants with pain reported improvement. Four of the eight said their pain was totally resolved. After cessation of the NPC, three of four said their pain returned. One patient reported no pain several weeks after cessation.
The second most improved symptom was sleep. Most of the patients said they slept deeply. Many woke in the same spot in which they fell asleep, indicating they didn’t toss and turn. Some still woke in the night, but not as much as usual, and most reported waking much more rested.
Adverse reactions were few, withstanding the shellfish allergies. One patient said NPC “wired” her. Three patients said NPC had a Valium-like effect (the patients did not regard this as a negative reaction). Most patients reported feeling very relaxed. One patient said NPC provided a little too much relaxation.
One of the patients was a 32-year-old male with symptoms of multiple sclerosis with a positive Romberg test. His symptoms included disorientation and visual disturbance, primarily due to the neuroborreliosis, we believe. After three months of treatment with cat’s claw, IV ozone, high-dose vitamin C IV, two grams of Ceftriaxone twice daily, three milligrams of Neltrexone daily, a no-grain diet, and aggressive anti-fungal treatments (just a partial list), he was still walking into walls, stumbling, confusing his words, and experiencing extreme fatigue. We suspected that we were successful in killing the organisms but were still failing at removing the borrelia toxins from the brain. After administration of three capsules the first day, he reported sleeping like a baby and experienced major improvement in his pain. After four days he was able to walk a mile a day, and after 14 days he was walking three miles a day. We continued him on NPC because of his dramatic improvement. His cognition is much improved. He is now negative for Romberg, and his visual disturbance and disorientation have improved by 70 to 80 percent. This case is quite profound.
One of the patients was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The patient reported an inability to sleep for six to seven days at a time, extreme anxiety, and outbursts of rage.After starting on NPC, he reported “feeling almost human.” His sleep has improved as well as his anxiety and rage.
Standard Chitosan Not The Same
I have previously tested standard large-particle chitosan with lackluster results. The small-particle size seems to make a significant difference. Its sleep benefits alone are worth whatever it might cost. We have seen some very exciting results with NPC. We are looking forward to longer trials with a larger patient population.