Fibromyalgia and the Methylation Cycle Block Treatment

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by richvank, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, debilyn (I'm posting this again, in a new thread, in case others are interested)

    I haven't heard from very many people who have what I would call "pure fibromyalgia," who have tried this treatment approach. Also, I have not strongly encouraged these people to try it, because I don't have a theoretical basis that would say it should work, as I do for CFS. Fibromyalgia appears to be a different disorder from CFS, even though many people end up satisfying the diagnostic criteria for both.

    The hypothesis that is the basis for using this treatment in CFS is the Glutathione Depletion--Methylation Cycle Block hypothesis. There is good evidence now from lab testing that many and possibly most people with CFS have both depletion of glutathione and a partial block in the methylation cycle. So far, I don't know of such evidence in "pure fibromyalgia." Oxidative stress is intimately connected with glutathione depletion, and there are many papers giving evidence for oxidative stress in CFS. Recently a paper was published showing that oxidative stress is not present in fibromyalgia. So a different basic disease mechanism must be involved.

    At present, I am considering the hypothesis offered by Dr. David Gregg for the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia. He has suggested that FMS results from a herpes family viral infection in the brain and nervous system. I think this is a plausible explanation, and I have not been able to shoot it down with the available published information on FMS, but it is certainly not proven, either.

    If a herpes family virus is indeed involved in producing FMS, I can see how that would fit in with the observation that many people who start out with CFS develop FMS in addition over time. The explanation for this would be that among other effects of glutathione depletion, methylation cycle block and folate metabolism depletion, which occurs in many or most cases of CFS, the cell-mediated immune response is inhibited, and the proliferation of herpes family viruses is not prevented, as is normally the case. This could possibly allow herpes family viruses to invade the brain and nervous system, and that would explain the development of FMS symptoms in addition the CFS symptoms over time.

    One thing I can tell you is that in the clinical study Dr. Nathan and I did of this treatment, most of the women in the study satisfied the criteria for both CFS and FMS, and most reported that they had a greater degree of freedom from pain after 6 months of this treatment. But there were no patients in the study who had only FMS.

    In case you are interested, Dr. Gregg is encouraging people with FMS (as well as rheumatoid arthitis and some other diseases that are autoimmune in nature, whereas FMS is not) to try taking L-lysine at 6 grams per day. His website is at www dot krysalis dot net. The rationale is that raising the ratio of lysine to arginine in the body has been found to suppress at least some of the herpes family viruses. The reason appears to be that the proteins these viruses make require a lot of arginine, and lysine competes with arginine and suppresses synthesis of these proteins. Dr. Alan Gaby has written a paper citing another source to the effect that 6 grams per day of L-lysine (which is an essential amino acid, present in the proteins we eat in our diet) is safe, at least in the relatively short term. Apparently it has not been tested in the very long term. Going much higher in L-lysine than 6 grams per day is not a good idea, because the liver and kidneys will have to get rid of the excess above what the body can use, and this will put more stress on them. Also, I've heard one report of a person who developed pain in their muscles from taking double this dosage, i.e. 12 grams per day. So going much higher is not advised, but 6 grams per day appears to be O.K., based on Dr. Gaby's paper and the small amount of experience reported on Dr. Gregg's website.

    I am interested in hearing from more people with FMS who decide to try the 6-gram per day L-lysine treatment, to know what the results of it are. It's also helpful to lower the intake of foods that are high in argnine, such as chocolate and nuts. Dr. Gregg has a table on his website showing other foods, also.

    Best regards,

  2. debilyn

    debilyn New Member


    Thanks for this information. I'm going to look into some of the sources you've listed and see what I think about trying the L-lysine treatment.

    Thanks again,

  3. mrlondon

    mrlondon Member

    Rich - Studies have shown that lysine acts as a partial benzodiazepine agonist, and also acts as a partial serotonin receptor 4 antagonist. Lysine thus has neurological properties that may help some people with fibromyalgia. - Mark