richvank (deplin and seaweed)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Rich,

    I was talking to my doctor (Dr. Keith Berndtson) about folates the other day, and he brought up the fact that he has found Deplin to be really effective on certain of his patients for depression.

    It seems that occasionally he uses it in IV as well as oral form, though I'm not absolutely clear about that.

    Deplin is related to metabolized folate, and I'm thus wondering how it ties into the methylation cycle.

    Also whether this is something that PWC's might consider or best avoid like the plague!

    On a second topic, I found in my readings on recovering from mold poisoning some information from an osteopath (who got sick from mold herself) suggesting that a certain kind of seaweed can be useful for this.

    This is "brown seaweed." I am putting some information about it at the bottom of this post.

    I used some of the seaweed stuff (in a drink called "Limu") this week and have gotten quite a large detox reaction from it. I'm not absolutely sure whether this is a result of biotoxins or regular toxins though. I basically feel like I have a mild-to-moderate hangover every day. I decided to take a break for the weekend, and the feelings have subsided.

    I can't tell for sure whether this stuff is picking up biotoxins or regular toxins though. It's not giving me the specific intense reactions that cholestyramine has, and so I'm not sure its effects are purely on biotoxins. On the other hand, my reactions to the methylation/glutathione support had slowed down so much that I feel a bit surprised that I'd be getting a big effect from another detoxification method.

    Delia (who has been looking solely at regular toxins rather than biotoxins) told me that she had heard a few mentions of brown seaweed from the Yasko-type people, and so perhaps it's not totally unprecedented there either.

    Do you think that this is a good way to remove toxins from the body? How exactly _does_ it remove toxins? And if it's getting biotoxins, do you think that (for those of us who have the genetic problem in identifying mold or lyme toxins) it escorts the toxins all the way out of the body?

    (Loosening them up and having them move elsewhere hardly is productive! Unfortunately, it's hard to tell from Ritchie Shoemaker's works whether he is so excited about cholestyramine because he's sure it works better than alternatives or because he only feels comfortable treating with prescription drugs.)

    Thanks very much for sharing whatever thoughts you have. It's really nice of you to check up on us.

    Best, Lisa


    Also, brown seaweed is effective in many of my mod toxic patients. Many report feeling better with it, although if they are really loaded with mold toxins, they initially feel worse on the limu which is expected. Why is it expected? Well, all the mold toxin removal substances cause a worsening of symptoms because as you pull out the toxins, you are mobilizing toxins out of deeper tissues into the bloodstream. In some cases I have noticed that symptoms seems to get much better once you have been on it for a few weeks. But for others recovery may take months to years.

    What is this brown seaweed supplement? The one I use is called LIMU MOUI. The word Limu Moui basically means brown seaweed in the language of the people on the island of Tonga. It is a seaweed that grows deep in the pristine Pacific ocean waters off the island of Tonga. For centuries the native people of Tonga have eaten this brown seaweed and attribute their unusual longevity, excellent health, strength and stature to regular consumpton of this brown seaweed.

    The two main components of this brown seaweed are fucoidan and alginate. Fuicoidan has been studied extensively. There are over 650 research studies on fucoidan in the scientific literature which can be accessed by searching Fucoidan is a carbohydrate called a complex polysaccharide. It is composed mostly of fucopyranoside and natural sulfate. It also has trace elements of galactose, xylose and glucoronic acid.

    Fucoidan has been shown to help with;

    improving immune system function

    relieving stomach problems


    improving liver function

    inhibiting blood clotting

    reduction of free radicals

    reducing cholesterol levels

    improvement of skin health

    lowering high blood pressure

    lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics

    fighting cancer

    fighting inflammation in the body

    removal of toxins from the body

    Alginate is another very important component of Limu moui. Alginate, along with fucoidan too, naturally absorbs heavy metals, radioactive heavy metals, toxins and free radicals. Once bound to alginate and fucoidan these toxins do not get reabsorbed back into the body, but get excreted out into the stool. It is a perfect way to elliminate toxins from the body because it just removes them instead of having to rely on the detoxification abilities of one's body. As a holistic physician I am well aware of the fact that some people have better detoxification function than others. So a product such as this that pulls toxins out of the body is very important for maintaining health.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/05/2008]
  2. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Lisa.

    I'm not up to speed on brown seaweed yet, but I can comment on Deplin.

    Deplin contains 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which is the same as FolaPro or Metafolin. However, the dosage is 7.5 milligrams or 7,500 micrograms, which is quite high compared to the dosages people are using in autism and CFS. I don't know how a person with CFS would respond to taking Deplin alone, without an active form of B12. If their B12 is blocked, as I think it is in many, it might not cause a problem. On the other hand, if they were also taking a significant amount of hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin, or if their B12 status had been built up by previous supplementation, I think such a large amount of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate would generate a very strong detox reaction, and it might be quite intolerable.

    Here's some background on Deplin: It's made by PamLab, a pharmaceutical company in Louisiana. PamLab has a license from Merck Germany to use 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in what are called "medical foods." Merck Germany holds the patent on the method of production of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, and it has been licensing some other companies, including Metametrix and Source Naturals, to sell it in supplements, which are used in the Yasko treatment program and in the simplified treatment approach, which was derived from it.

    The PamLab deal is more recent. Medical foods are food supplements that go through testing to obtain FDA approval to be sold as treatments for diseases. Usually there is no financial incentive for a firm to do this testing, because most food supplements are not patentable, so there would be no protection from competition, and they therefore could not control the selling price and recoup the cost of testing as well as making a tidy profit. In this case, the situation is different, because the method of production is patented.

    So PamLab has brought several medical foods to market for treating various disorders, and from what I have heard from a couple of doctors, they are promoting them to the doctors fairly vigorously. These include Metanx, Neevo, Cerefolin, and Deplin. There are no drugs in these products, only nutritional supplements. The others have additional supplements and are targeted at other disorders, but Deplin has only 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and is targeted at depression.

    I think that Deplin works for depression primarily by increasing the level of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), which as you may know is not available as a supplement in the U.S., though some people have devised ways of getting it from Switzerland or Japan and reselling it in the U.S. As you also may know, BH4 is being used by some people on the Yasko treatment program, for autism or for CFS. It can pack quite a wallop, according to people who have tried it.

    BH4 is necessary in the reactions that convert tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine into the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in depression.

    Deplin probably also boosts the methylation cycle in people who don't have a B12 problem, and that would impact COMT, which metabolizes some of the neurotransmitters. Methylation is also used in the conversion of serotonin to melatonin.

    As you also may know, Amy Yasko shows a diagram linking the folate cycle to the biopterin cycle, and argues that the MTHFR reaction can work backward so that 5-methyltetrahydrofolate will support the conversion of dihydrobiopterin to tetrahydrobiopterin. This explanation is controversial, but it is true that there is a connection between 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and tetrahydrobiopterin. I'm not completely clear on the chemistry here yet, but building BH4 appears to be the link between 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and building the neurotransmitters to treat depression.

    I think this use of 5-methyl THF in medical foods is a very interesting development. In general, I favor use of nutritional supplements over use of pharmaceuticals, because the former are not regarded by the body as toxins and usually don't have toxic side effects (unless very large, nonphysiological dosages are used). I suspect that the medical foods will bite into the market for some of the pharmaceuticals, but it's still a pharmaceutical company that is making it, and they will be able to control the price because of the patent on making it, so I guess that's just fine with them! One thing I'm a little concerned about is that I wonder whether Merck Germany will stop licensing the supplement companies to sell Metafolin or FolaPro, or whether their prices will be raised, to avoid competition with Deplin. I suspect that the prices are much lower for them than for Deplin, which went through testing and FDA certification, an expensive process, but I don't have any inside information about all of this. I hope it doesn't raise the prices of FolaPro and Metafolin, because not many of the PWCs are rolling in cash, and this seems to be the key to effective treatment for many of them.

  3. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    We know that soluble fiber helps pull biotoxins out of the body by binding with bile in the intestines and escorting it out. It sounds similar to cholestyramine, just a lot gentler. Alginate is a soluble fiber.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/07/2008]