Dementia is a growing problem worldwide and the numbers are overwhelming. Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates the global number with dementia reached 46.8 million in 2015 and is predicted to grow to 75 million by 2030, and 131.5 million by 2050.1
In the U.S. there are more than 5 million people with Alzheimer”;s, one form of dementia.2 This number is estimated to nearly triple to 14 million by 2050. One in 3 of older adults dies every year with some form of dementia, which is more than the numbers with breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
To put it another way, from 2000 to 2018, the number who died from heart disease dropped 7.8%, while the number who died from Alzheimer’s rose 146%.
The economic costs have reached $305 billion and could rise to $1.1 trillion by 2050. Primary care doctors are overwhelmed by the number of patients in their practices and half believe the profession isn’t ready for the growing number.
The development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is likely due to a number of reasons. Researchers have identified several factors that impact cognitive impairment, including insulin resistance,3 certain drugs,4 lack of sleep5 and low levels of some vitamins.6
Cholinergic Dysfunction May Drive Dementia
As explained in a recently published paper, scientists analyzed the effect proton pump inhibitors have on the development of dementia. They recognized indicators pointing to cholinergic dysfunction in the development of dementia. In a review article from 1999,7 other scholars outlined data to support the hypothesis that cholinergic dysfunction contributes to Alzheimer’s.
By 2008,8 the research community had identified areas of the brain where cholinergic dysfunction may influence dementia. Subsequently, acetylcholine was recognized for the central role it plays in the nervous system.9 It requires an enzyme to synthesize from acetyl-COA and choline. That enzyme is choline acetyltransferase.
Cholinergic synapses are found throughout the brain, including the basal forebrain, which is severely damaged in those who have the disease. With further research,10 scientists found using cholinesterase inhibitors could increase acetylcholine in the brain, which has proven to be clinically useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia.
The use of anticholinergic drugs has a known side effect, though, of causing short-term cognitive impairment in the elderly.11 These medications act on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in sending messages that affect muscle contraction. They also act on parts of the brain that handle memory and learning.
Anticholinergic drugs have been used for decades to treat diarrhea, asthma, insomnia, motion sickness and even some psychiatric disorders. Some of the more common side effects include blurry vision, dizziness, confusion, hallucination and drowsiness.12
As described in study published in JAMA,13 scientists looked at whether exposure could increase the risk of dementia in people 55 years and older. The data revealed that those taking strong anticholinergic drugs, which affect acetylcholine, was associated with a greater risk of dementia.
Gastric acid secretion is regulated in part by acetylcholine. The development of proton pump inhibitors for chronic heartburn became a mainstay of treatment. This resulted in people taking the medication for long periods of time. The intended use of the drug was to inhibit the cellular proton pump that produces acid.
However, proton pump inhibitors are not specific to stomach cells and will inhibit any cell with a proton pump. This may be the trigger for the long list of side effects associated with the drugs, including kidney disease, dementia and liver disease.14 While researchers found an association between proton pump inhibitors and dementia, the mechanism had yet to be discovered.
One Drug Selectively Inhibits Synthesis of Acetylcholine
One team of researchers15 looked at all proton pump inhibitors approved by the FDA and found that the drugs negatively affected the production of acetylcholine in the body.
Using computer simulations, they evaluated how different substances in six proton pump inhibitors interacted with choline acetyltransferase.16 While the drug was designed to limit cellular proton pumps and reduce acid production, the simulations showed they could bind with the enzyme that synthesizes acetylcholine.
The effect of this was to reduce production of acetylcholine. The researchers believe new studies are needed to determine if the effects in the lab also happen in the body. One of the team members commented:17
“Special care should be taken with the more elderly patients and those already diagnosed with dementia. The same also applies to patients with muscle weakness diseases such as ALS, as acetylcholine is an essential motor neurotransmitter. In such cases, doctors should use the drugs that have the weakest effect and prescribe them at lowest dose and for as short a time as possible.”;
Choline: Key Factor in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
Nonalcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common forms of liver disease in the U.S.18 It is initiated in part by obesity and insulin resistance. Scientists have found it may lead to fibrosis of the liver and then to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
There are two forms of NAFLD which are not associated with alcohol consumption. The first is simple fatty liver or nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) in which there are fatty deposits in the liver but very little, if any, inflammation or cellular damage.
The second is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This is a form of NAFLD in which you have fatty deposits in the liver and hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver. This results in liver cell damage that can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Most people with the condition have simple fatty liver while only a small number have NASH.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that between 30% and 40% of all adults in America have NAFLD. Those who have a higher risk are obese and have Type 2 diabetes. The condition can affect people of any age, race or ethnicity.
In one animal study, researchers found that by supplementing with choline they could normalize cholesterol metabolism, which appeared to help prevent NASH and improve liver function.19 As described in one paper, choline is necessary for liver health:20
“;Humans must eat diets containing choline because its metabolite phosphatidylcholine constitutes 40-;50% of cellular membranes and 70-;95% of phospholipids in lipoproteins, bile and surfactants; it is needed to form acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter; its metabolite betaine is needed for normal kidney glomerular function, and perhaps for mitochondrial function; and it provides one-carbon units, via oxidation to betaine, to the methionine cycle for methylation reactions.
When humans eat diets low in choline, fatty liver is one of the earliest adverse events, and in some people significant hepatic damage occurs (as assessed by release of hepatic enzymes into blood).”;
According to Chris Masterjohn, Ph.D., choline deficiency may be a more significant in development of the condition than taking in too much fructose. His degree is in nutritional science and he believes the rise in fatty liver conditions is largely due to more and more people avoiding egg yolks and liver.
In his review of the medical literature, Masterjohn found a link between choline and fatty liver, which was initially discovered in research into Type 1 diabetes. He describes the relationship:21
“Physicians and researchers had started pinning the blame on alcohol abuse for fatty liver back in the 1800s, so while research was first highlighting the role of sucrose in fatty liver, other research was doing the same for alcohol.
In 1949, however, researchers showed that sucrose and ethanol had equal potential to cause fatty liver and the resulting inflammatory damage, and that increases in dietary protein, extra methionine, and extra choline could all completely protect against this effect.
Conversely, much more recent research has shown that sucrose is a requirement for the development of fatty liver disease in a methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) model. The MCD model of fatty liver disease is the oldest and most widely used dietary model.
The MCD model produces not only the accumulation of liver fat, but massive inflammation similar to the worst forms of fatty liver disease seen in humans. What no one ever mentions about this diet is that it is primarily composed of sucrose and its fat is composed entirely of corn oil!
The picture that is clearly emerging from all of these studies is that fat, or anything from which fat is made in the liver, such as fructose and ethanol, are required for the development of fatty liver. But in addition to this [same] factor –; overwhelmingly, it appears to be choline deficiency –; must deprive the liver of its ability to export that fat.”
Choline Needed for Optimal Health
Your liver produces a small amount of choline,22 but the rest must be supplied through your diet. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of people living in the U.S. have a deficiency,23 which increases the risk of babies being born with neural tube defects.24
As I”;ve written before, groups at particularly high risk for choline deficiency include pregnant mothers, endurance athletes, postmenopausal women, vegans, and those who consume high amounts of alcohol.
Choline serves several vital functions in the body.25 It’s used in the manufacture of some phospholipids essential to the development of your cell membranes. Choline is also a precursor for intracellular molecules used in cell signaling.
The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is synthesized from choline and involved in memory, circadian rhythm and muscle control. Each of these specific functions contribute to the impact it has on cardiovascular health, liver diseases, neural tube defects and cognitive health.
Seek Best Natural Sources of Choline First
The National Institutes of Health26 lists the adequate intake for choline provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). At the time these were developed, there was not sufficient data to establish an estimated average requirement.
This is a number that’s usually used to determine the amount of nutrients needed to adequately supply diets for 50% of healthy individuals. Instead, the Food and Nutrition Board of the IOM established adequate intakes for all ages they believe would prevent the development of liver damage.
To date, men 19 years and older who get 550 mg per day and women who take in 425 mg per day have an adequate intake. This rises to 450 mg per day during pregnancy and 550 mg per day while breastfeeding. These are suggested values and may vary depending on your diet, age, ethnicity and genetic makeup.
It is best to first seek healthy natural sources for your nutrients. For instance, a single hardboiled egg weighing approximately 50 grams may contain from 113 mg27 to 147 mg28 of choline. This is 25% to 30% of your daily requirement. Only grass fed beef liver has more, with per 50 grams per serving.29 As noted in the Fatty Liver Diet Guide:30
“Eggs rank very high on the list of foods that are high in either lecithin, which converts to choline, or in choline itself. Note that this is the egg yolks only, not egg whites, which only have traces of this micronutrient.
Choline is essential in the production of phosphatidylcholine, a fat molecule called a phospholipid. But wait! Isn’t all fat bad? No –; especially if it is essential to overall health and in particular, liver health. Simply put –; if you don’t have enough choline, your liver can’t move out fat. It instead begins to collect within your liver, creating fatty liver.”
Other healthy choices can include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, organic pastured chicken, and krill oil. In 2011, the authors of one study31 found 69 choline-containing phospholipids in krill oil.
That said, supplementation is a potential option if you don”;t eat eggs, salmon or other foods with ample amounts of the nutrient. The tolerable upper intake for an adult is 3.5 grams per day.32 Be careful not to take too much, as side effects of excessive choline include low blood pressure, sweating, diarrhea and a fishy body odor.
1 Which of the following owns the equity firm that manages Gannett, the largest media company in the U.S. with more than 260 dailies, including USA Today, under their umbrella?
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The Rockefeller Foundation SoftBank (Tokyo, Japan)
In November 2019, Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, merged with GateHouse Media. Together, they now form the largest media monopoly in the U.S., with more than 260 dailies under their umbrella. The management of this vast news network is done by Fortress Investment Group, which in turn is owned by Tokyo’s SoftBank. Learn more.
Russian Media Group
2 Which of the following is “the smoking gun” proving SARS-CoV-2 was lab-created?
SARS-CoV-2 is the only coronavirus that does not have a furin cleavage site, making it entirely unique among coronaviruses SARS-CoV-2 has no genetic similarities to other coronaviruses There is no evidence SARS-CoV-2 was genetically manipulated SARS-CoV-2 is the only coronavirus with a furin cleavage site, making it entirely unique among coronaviruses
The presence of a furin cleavage site on SARS-CoV-2 is “the smoking gun” that proves SARS-CoV-2 was lab-created. Learn more.
3 What are human gammaretroviruses?
Nonhuman viruses that infect and integrate into human cells, which can result in long-term expression or chronic disease
Human gammaretroviruses are nonhuman viruses that integrate into human cells, resulting in long-term expression. Once they’re in your body, they can remain dormant, only to reactivate when conditions are favorable. They have also been linked to chronic diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, certain kinds of autism, cancers, leukemias and lymphomas. Learn more.
Viruses that, through mutation, can jump from animal to human Viruses that are harmless to humans but lethal to animals Viruses that cannot infect human cells
4 Who is the most visible mastermind behind the plan to vaccinate the global population with an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, despite the fact that coronavirus vaccines have a decades’ long history of causing a “paradoxical immune enhancement” that turns lethal when exposed to wild coronavirus?
Dr. Anthony Fauci Bill Gates
Bill Gates is the most visible mastermind behind the plan to vaccinate the global population with an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, despite the fact that coronavirus vaccines have a decades’ long history of causing a “paradoxical immune enhancement” that turns lethal when exposed to wild coronavirus. Learn more.
Bill Cosby President Donald Trump
5 In the past, coronavirus vaccine development has been hampered by which of the following problems?
Poor antibody production resulting in low protection Excessive antibody production resulting in autoimmune problems Paradoxical immune enhancement leading to severe infection and death when exposed to wild virus
Previous attempts to create coronavirus vaccines have failed due to coronaviruses triggering production of two different types of antibodies, one that fights disease, and one that triggers “paradoxical immune enhancement” that often results in very serious disease and/or death. Vaccines that caused paradoxical immune enhancement initially looked very promising as they produced very robust antibody responses, but when exposed to the wild virus, ferrets and children became severely ill and many died. Learn more.
No antibody production resulting in nonexistent protection
6 What is the biggest risk of Amazon’s gigantic empire?
Competition to brick and mortar stores Price fixing Unfavorable arrangements with third party sellers Surveillance and privacy abuses
Amazon’s many ways of collecting personal data threaten individuals’ privacy and permit social engineering. Learn more.
7 Who identified the 1978-1980 Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak as a case of biological warfare?
In 1992, Meryl Nass published a paper identifying the 1978-1980 Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak as a case of biological warfare. Learn more.
If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark”;s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I”;ll continue to publish these as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Folks, I have been grateful for every story that has come my way over the years. It”;s an incredible privilege being on the receiving end of your reflections and evolutions, and they are why I”;ve kept at it all these years–;knowing the message and information have made a difference in people”;s lives. I appreciate every single one. This success story comes from Registered Dietician, Primal Health Coach, and cancer survivor Martha Tettenborn. She takes us through her journey from learning to advise a low-fat, high-carb lifestyle to beating cancer using Primal principles. Enjoy! –;Mark
It has become my passion to share the power of nutritional interventions for improving health overall, but especially in the treatment of cancer. I have come to this from personal experience…
I studied at University in the early 1980’s to become a dietitian, because I had an overwhelming interest in nutrition and wanted to be in a helping profession. At that time, the cholesterol and saturated fat theory of heart disease and overall health was considered cutting edge science and we were fully indoctrinated into the low-fat approach to almost all health issues. The only exception was using a high calorie, high protein approach to under-nutrition (such as with failure-to-thrive or cancer patients), and in that situation, we recommended using sugar or honey, butter or cream, and other added fats and simple carbs to increase the caloric density of foods.
I have been a Registered Dietitian for over 30 years, basing my practice for most of that time on the standard paradigm of low fat foods, heavily carb-based meals, fruits and vegetables, lower fat meats. Personally, our family spent many years eating no red meats, using turkey “bacon,” ground chicken and other processed foods, but avoiding beef and pork -; and feeling virtuous while doing that.
Professionally, I have spent the last 20 years working in geriatrics, contracting my services to long term care facilities. I care for many residents with the end stage consequences of the Standard American (and Canadian) Diet – diabetes, strokes and of course, dementia, both vascular and Alzheimer’s. It is rare that a resident has simple osteoarthritis or other simple wearing out of old age. Most of them are younger and slowly dying for years with the chronic “diseases of civilization.”
About 10 years ago, I started down the path of alternative nutrition, starting with Seth Robert’s ideas, called the Shangri La Diet, using flavourless oil shots to impact on appetite control in the brain. I was successful in losing about 18 lbs that had been quite stubborn prior to that time. Shortly after that, I found Mark’s Daily Apple and the concept of the Primal Diet, eating an Ancestral pattern that suited our physiology. It resonated so strongly with me that this was correct, although it went against all of my training. The strength of the science won me over; however, I spent hours on the MDA forums, reading scientific discussions, success stories, recipe and meal planning ideas and journals from the MDA community.
About 3 years ago, I decided that I wanted to take my interest in low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) and start up a private practice. In order to update my knowledge, I completed the Primal Health Coach certification – an excellently presented and in-depth course. As an RD and member of a Registered Health Profession, with a regulatory college, I had to establish a private practice that met with the regulatory guidelines of my profession, so I started Primal RD in July 2017. Because of my counter-conventional approach, I have had no support from local doctors and getting my practice going in my small Ontario community has been slow.
Last summer, I discovered the presence of a large ovarian cyst in my abdomen and had it surgically removed in late September. The cyst was a simple fluid-filled balloon, but huge, holding 1.5 litres of fluid (over 50 oz – 6 cups!). Despite nobody expecting it, it turned out to be Stage 1 high grade serous carcinoma – ovarian cancer. It had been intentionally ruptured to make laparoscopic removal possible, so that was considered a “spill” and a second surgery for hysterectomy and chemotherapy were highly recommended.
I was 58 years old and in stellar health prior to this diagnosis. In fact, a great deal of my self-identity was wrapped up in being “super-healthy” and this sudden change to “cancer patient” was a huge crisis for me. However, as a naturally optimistic and curious person, I headed down the rabbit hole of research to determine what I could do for myself to impact on my health journey and return myself to my formerly stellar good health.
What I discovered was startling. That cancer is no longer considered by some to be a genetic disease, but rather a disease of disordered metabolism. That this information was first discovered and described by Otto Warburg in the 1920’s, for which he received a Nobel Prize. That this scientific information was then lost by virtue of it being of German origin, and the Germans lost the Second World War. And that this critical understanding of the metabolic nature of cancer has only been brought back to light in the past 10 years through the work of dedicated researchers who are working outside of the medical establishment.
Cancer, although it is thought of as a genetic disease, and that it is thought of as many different diseases, has one almost universal underlying common characteristic. Almost all cancers have damaged and malfunctioning mitochondria, the fuel-processing organelles that create the energy for all cellular life. Instead, they produce energy by the ancient process of fermentation in the cytoplasm of the cell, an inefficient process that is entirely dependent on glucose or glutamine for substrate. Cancer cells have no ability to burn fatty acids or ketone bodies. That’s their Achilles heel.
By using a ketogenic diet throughout my chemotherapy, I was able to deprive any remaining cancer cells from having access to elevated circulating insulin or glucose. And by producing ketones through the diet and through fasting for 72 hours each chemo administration, I was able to starve the cancer cells of their preferred fuel, while putting my body further into ketosis, thus supplying my healthy cells with adequate fuel. My healthy cells down-regulated their metabolism in response to the fasting, going into “stealth mode” and escaping notice by the chemo drugs (essentially poisons aimed at fast-metabolizing cells). This turned out to be powerfully protective in preventing most side effects. I had no nausea, emesis (vomiting0, gastrointestinal damage, nerve damage, tingling or neuropathy, no joint or muscle pains. I did experience hair loss and bone marrow suppression, the 2nd week effects of the chemo, but these were moderate, not requiring any additional medication. Overall, I sailed through chemo with a few “low energy” days, but mostly it was life as normal, just with no hair. This was decidedly NOT the expected course for this type of chemo.
A friend said to me when I was starting down the cancer path that it appeared that everything in my life to this point (becoming a low carb dietitian, the PHC certification, and my passion for researching health) had prepared me for this day – that I would be the “Keto Cancer Dietitian.” The idea stuck, and a passion for sharing what I had learned about how powerful nutrition can be in the cancer journey was born.
As I went through chemo, I started blogging about my experiences and my journey so that others could read my story and gain hope and understand the power that we each have to impact on our own health, even in the face of daunting obstacles like a cancer diagnosis. I write about my experiences at my website, Powerful Beyond Measure, at www.marthatettenborn.com.
I feel very blessed for so many reasons. Firstly, that I had found the low carb Primal way of eating and had a solid basis of good health prior to starting this cancer journey. Secondly, that I had the knowledge and skills to research the metabolic nature of cancer and implement specific nutritional interventions (namely ketogenic diet and therapeutic fasting) for impacting on the chemotherapy experience. And thirdly, that I am now able to share that knowledge with others so that we can change the cancer and cancer treatment experience for the better. I was not a helpless “victim” of cancer and I was not fighting a war against my cancer. I was an empowered and effective partner in my own healthcare, positively impacting my response to conventional treatment.
That’s what I wish to share with others.
Mark has been so generous to share his knowledge with the goal of changing lives and that’s what I hope to do as well, from the perspective of a Registered Dietitian, a Primal Health Coach, a lifelong “healthy eater” and a cancer survivor thriver. I’m just at the beginning of that journey.
I had not seen my brother in over 25 years. I had not seen him since we buried our father in the summer of 1994. But our disconnection ended in January, 2020, when I traveled back to my hometown of Dallas to see him for a weekend. Forty-eight hours is a minuscule amount of time compared to the loss of 25 years. But for me, it was intimate, it was validating, and it was healing.
My brother and I were extremely close as kids. He is seven years older than me, but we spent considerable time together until he got his real first girlfriend, who turned out to be his future wife. Because of the age difference, my brother was a mixture of older brother and second father. We had great fun together, but he also helped to guide me and teach me. He taught me how to play tennis. He taught me how to play the baritone ukulele. I looked up to him; he was smart and driven and self assured. He was destined to be successful. He was funny and sarcastic. He was unflappable. In contrast, I was this tall, lanky kid who was sensitive and shy and not very confident. So I was naturally drawn to my older brother who was a large figure in my eyes, someone who I could depend on and who looked out for me. I loved him.
My brother was uniquely important to me because my parents did not get along and they had an unhappy marriage. I relied on him to shield me and buffer me from their arguments and ongoing tension. He did that well. He did it despite receiving much of the brunt of our mother’s emptiness and anger, which she projected onto him. My brother was always loving and caring with me. I could never understand why my mother was so overly critical of him. It was unfair. It was extremely hurtful to him.
Our family strife ended with my mother’s death from cancer. My brother was in medical school by then and was about to be married. Our seven-year age difference was much more noticeable then. He was about to embark on adulthood; I was still a kid in junior high school under my father’s wing. I was close to my father for sure, but that was different than having my attentive and protective older brother.
I had a difficult time grappling with my mother’s death. We did not talk about her illness and imminent death in our family. So I was a 13-year-old kid who was sad and confused when she died. And I had “lost” my brother at the same time as he was now independent and busy. Hanging out with his kid brother was not a priority for him anymore. I felt lost and alone. My life had been turned upset down. It took me several years to get my grounding back.
My brother and I grew apart after I left for college and then graduate school and then life. To be totally honest and fair, our disconnection was more my fault than his. I felt the need to distance myself from him and other family members because of the years of tension and nagging uncomfortableness. I wanted to get away and hide. I felt like I was a huge disappointment to my brother. That feeling was especially pronounced because he had been my strongest ally growing up, and I felt that I had let him down. And so I kept myself in a kind of self-imposed purgatory.
I finally decided that I was going to reach out and see him. My wife and my son had been urging me to do so for years. My brother had recently gone through a stressful event, and I felt like he could use my support and encouragement. Plus, it was just time for us to be together. I knew I needed to do it. I wanted to. Neither of us is a spring chicken anymore and time is running out. What a terrible thought — time running out on our relationship. That was simply unacceptable.
Weirdly, I was not at all nervous about seeing him again after all these years. I assumed it would be like old times, and I was right. We both just dived back into our shared history. It seemed natural and comfortable.
Our weekend together was memorable. We talked about people, places, and us. We shared memories and feelings, both sad and happy. We drove around our old neighborhood and hang outs. We reminisced. We talked about our parents and the tension in our growing-up years. We talked about our close relationship as kids. We talked about our mother’s dysfunctional behavior and how it impacted him and me alike and differently. We talked about our frustrated father and how he was our anchor. My brother and I are both mental health professionals and so we talked shop a great deal. More stories. More similar interests and experiences.
My brother and I had lost those 25 years. Much had happened. Too much for us to talk about in just a short weekend. But we ended up talking about the most important stuff: our growing up years and how our shared experiences have shaped us. No matter what our separate journeys have been, we are brothers and each other’s witness. Twenty-five years apart could not destroy our core connection.
Our weekend visit together was life-changing for me. I left our visit feeling less like a confused kid brother and more like an accomplished man. I left our visit feeling like I had not been a huge disappointment to him. And I left our visit feeling emotionally connected to my older brother again. Despite being apart for 25 years, he was still open and funny and warm.
So what’s the moral of this story? It’s simple: it’s never too late to reconnect with an important family member or a past close friend. It can be done; it’s often easier than you think. It was a refreshing and invigorating 48 hours for me. It was meaningful. It was intimate. It was healing. It was the beginning of a renewed relationship with my lost but rediscovered brother.
I’m more than a little embarrassed that it took 25 years for me to reconnect with my brother. After all, I am a clinical psychologist who has spent a whole career trying to help people accept themselves and nurture important relationships. But sometimes the time just has to be right. Sometimes you have to find the courage to conquer a difficult roadblock, especially when it is self-imposed. And sometimes all it takes is a phone call or an email or a text message to climb over a wall that you thought was insurmountable.
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
Judy Mikovits, Ph.D. is a cellular and molecular biologist,1 researcher and was the founding research director of the Whittemore Peterson Institute that researches and treats chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in Reno, Nevada.
She is likely one of the most qualified scientists in the world to comment on this disease because of her groundbreaking research in molecular biology and virology. Mikovits is absolutely brilliant, but like many gifted researchers, her complex discussions on science quite challenging for the average lay person to follow.
For this reason, I present her interview in a different format, cutting and splicing pieces together to present a more cohesive and coherent presentation of her many important points. I would encourage you to watch the initial, very short, videos first, so you will be well-grounded, and if you are motivated, watch the entire interview at the bottom of this article.
Because there were so many surprising and important revelations in this interview I will present part 2 next week along with an interview with Bobby Kennedy, Jr which will revolve more on the vaccine issue.
Mikovits Doesn”;t Believe SARS-CoV-2 Is the Cause of COVID-19
One of the most shocking revelations Mikovits reveals is that she doesn”;t believe SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of COVID-19 but merely serves to activate or wake up a dormant XMRV infection. To support her assertion, she states that COVID-19 patients have the same cytokine signature as the gammaretrovirus XMRV, which she published many years ago.
XMRV stands for “;xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus.”; Xenotrophic refers to viruses that only replicate in cells other than those of the host species. So, XMRVs are viruses that infect human cells yet are not human viruses.2
The XMRV retrovirus is actually the virus that has the same cytokine storm signature as COVID-19, not coronaviruses, which are far more benign. (I delve into what retroviruses are in another section further below.)
Additionally, there may be other infections that also are contributing to the infection, such as Borelia and Babesia or parasites, which may be why some of the antiparasite drugs like Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are working.
Vaccine Gammaretroviruses Have Adapted and Are Aerosolized
Getting back to the issue of gammaretroviruses, Mikovits research showed that many of our vaccines are contaminated with them. How did this happen? In short, vaccine viruses were replicated and grown in animal cell cultures that were already contaminated with retroviruses. In other words, the root of the problem stems from the use of contaminated cell culture lines.
Vaccine manufacturing frequently involves the use of animal tissues and many vaccines are grown animal culture cell lines. As noted in the 2010 paper, “;Of Mice and Men: On the Origin of XMRV,”; published in Frontiers in Microbiology (which Mikovits did not work on):3
“;The novel human retrovirus xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is arguably the most controversial virus of this moment. After its original discovery in prostate cancer tissue from North American patients, it was subsequently detected in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome from the same continent …;
The detection of integrated XMRV proviruses in prostate cancer tissue proves it to be a genuine virus that replicates in human cells, leaving the question: how did XMRV enter the human population?
We will discuss two possible routes: either via direct virus transmission from mouse to human …; or via the use of mouse-related products by humans, including vaccines. We hypothesize that mouse cells or human cell lines used for vaccine production could have been contaminated with a replicating variant of the XMRV precursors encoded by the mouse genome.”;
Mikovits goes even further, explaining that, “;It became clear in 2011 that these [gammaretro]viruses had adapted to become aerosolized.”; This is a rather shocking finding, and this, Mikovits says, is what allows the gammaretroviruses to spread in laboratories from one cell line to another.
This could be related to research catalyzed by Charles Lieber, the former head of Harvard”;s chemistry department, who is a nanoscience experts and was arrested by federal authorities earlier this year for working with the Wuhan Virology Institute.
Lab workers may also be inadvertently spreading them as they are using cell lines contaminated with retroviruses in vaccine production that could result in the spread of these retroviruses via the finished vaccine. Mikovits suspects COVID-19 may in fact be a type of vaccine-derived or vaccine-induced retroviral infection.
“;I don’t believe [COVID-19] is infection from without,”; she says. “;I believe the spread across  countries4 is from injection, and there’s enough evidence to support that.”;
SARS-CoV-2 –; A Combination of SARS, Gammaretroviruses and HIV
Another of her theories is that SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to have had a zoonotic origin but is likely synthetically produced. She believes it originated in and escaped or leaked from a biosafety laboratory. Mikovits believes both scenarios might be at play, where a lab-created virus, SARS-CoV-2, is causing serious infection and/or death only in those who have underlying retroviruses in their bodies.
Mikovits suspects that people who do not have retroviral infections, SARS-CoV-2 causes no or only mild symptoms. Another possibility is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the result of growing coronaviruses in retrovirus-contaminated cell lines, producing a gammaretrovirus-carrying virus.
According to Mikovits, her 2009 through 2011 work suggested 25 million to 30 million Americans were carriers of XMRVs and other gammaretroviruses. That estimate is over a decade old now so the number is likely far higher.
“;There is a family of gammaretroviruses, most likely [in] contaminated blood supply and vaccines that are still to this day, almost 10 years later, being injected,”; she says.
“;We don’t need an infectious virus if you inject the blueprint, if you inject the provirus. And …; there are a lot of data to support COVID-19 is not SARS-CoV-2 alone, that it’s SARS-CoV-2 and XMRVs (human gammaretroviruses) and HIV.”;
Might Wearing a Mask Worsen Your Odds of Illness?
Mikovits is also highly critical of the recommendation (and in some places mandate) to wear a face mask or fabric cover such as a bandana around your face. She believes:
“;Wearing a mask is going to cause more secretions and give more cells a home and amplify any viruses. [Wearing a mask is] immune suppressive; it’s going to limit your body”;s ability to produce Type 1 interferon.
You’re driving the infection in yourself and you’re not preventing the spread. [Instead], you’re amplifying [replication of] not just [SARS-CoV-2] but also many other [viruses], including your XMRVs, influenza or other dormant viruses.
What keeps those dormant viruses dormant? Your natural killer (NK) cells, your mast cells, your macrophages. That’s where you’re getting the inflammatory signature.
So, every virus you amplify is driving the inflammatory signature, and you’re going to get sick. [The resulting illness] doesn’t have to be SARS-CoV-2 at all. You”;re making yourself sick [by bringing dormant viruses out of dormancy]. It’s insanity.”;
Wearing a face mask after getting a live flu vaccine may further worsen your odds, she says. Why? Because you”;re injecting three or more live flu virus strains into your body, which lowers your immune function. You”;re also going to shed the viruses contained in the vaccine. If you wear a mask, Mikovits says, you”;ll shed those viruses into the mask, which could encourage illness.
On the other hand, not wearing one might jeopardize the health of others. “;If you’re shedding [the viruses] into the air, you’re going to make somebody else get another upper respiratory infection that’s going to allow [SARS-CoV-2] to make them sicker,”; she warns.
Why PCR Testing Is a Bad Idea
We”;re also being lied to about the prevalence of infection. We”;re seeing inflated case numbers for the simple reason that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer requires doctors to do testing in order to confirm that a patient is in fact infected with SARS-CoV-2 or died from COVID-19. The numbers now include “;suspected”; and “;assumed”; cases.
Naturally, without widespread and accurate testing, there”;s no way to get a clear idea of how prevalent the infection is, and how many actually get sick and die from it. The initial emphasis on PCR testing resulted in massive false positives and greatly inflated numbers of those infected.
As noted by Mikovits, confirming each case through testing matters greatly, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of microbes that can cause upper respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza viruses. None of those should be lumped in with COVID-19 if we want to understand the true nature and danger of this disease.
What”;s more, the initial decision to use RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing instead of antibody testing was an unwise one, as it virtually guaranteed an overestimation of the problem. RT-PCR is now being used to diagnose an active infection by detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.5 However, by doing that, you end up with high rates of false positives. Mikovits explains how the RT-PCR test works:
“;We’re taking a swab and scraping some epithelial cells [from the back of the sinuses or throat] because that’s what coronaviruses infect …; We get a little RNA –; because it’s an RNA virus –; we reverse-transcribe that, meaning write it backwards with enzymes in the lab, and then we amplify it [through a] polymerase chain reaction …;
We’re only taking a piece of the virus, we’re not taking the whole virus …; The first thing about [the PCR] test is, it was admitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC that the tests put out by the CDC were contaminated.
And when you amplify something a million times, or 10 million times –; whatever they do in the 30 cycles or so –; it’s logarithmic that RNA then is way overestimated …; [But] no [viral] particle was identified or isolated from your saliva or from your nasal passages. Nobody took the secretions from your nose or your mouth and isolated the [actual] viruses.
[When I isolated] HIV in 1983, I isolated it from saliva. What you do is you take the virus and grow it in any human cell, in an appropriate cell line, and you make many copies. [Viral replication] means you have [a positive test for] that virus. Then you sequence the whole virus.
A PCR [test, on the other hand] can give you a lot of false positives [by amplifying RNA fragments].
We [also] showed the people that had [HIV] infection had antibodies; that they had been fully exposed and it was not a piece of nucleic acid in a biopsy or in their throat or in their nose. [A piece of nucleic acid] is not a virus. And it’s certainly not infectious.
If RNA is there and in the tiniest amount, I’m not going to cough it on somebody, especially if I’m not coughing. I’m not going to breathe that [out and infect] somebody because there’s no evidence of an infectious virus.”;
Better Testing Strategy: Antibodies
Rather than using PCR testing, “;what should have been done is test for antibodies,”; Mikovits says. This is what was done in South Korea. An antibody test will tell you whether you had the infection at some point, and have developed a strong immune response or immunological memory that will allow you to fight the infection should you encounter it again.
“;Epidemiology is not done with PCR. In fact, Kary Mullis who invented PCR, Nobel Laureate, and others, said PCR was never intended for diagnostic testing. So that puts that to bed.
It takes nothing to develop a really good serology [i.e., antibody] test …; [It takes] a few weeks. It’s pretty easy because the people who have recovered have antibodies. So, you isolate those antibodies, you take their plasma, you purify the antibodies, and then you can grow them.
Then you develop the tests… It’s usually ELISA or Western Blot [which check for] the protein and the antibody binds. You form an immune complex, and you detect it with a dye. You can do that test with a finger stick …; and it takes 15 minutes to get the answer, almost like a pregnancy test.”;
My belief is that the use of PCR instead of a proper antibody test was intentional, as it inflates the case numbers. Mikovits agrees, saying “;I wouldn’t get any tests right now. I’d simply wash my hands and drink hot lemon water as I always do for any flu season.”;
One piece of evidence is that the virus contains a protein envelope from the HIV virus. It”;s also very similar to SARS which, according to bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, is an engineered bioweapon.
As explained by Mikovits, an Indian paper6,7 detailed the presence of Gp120, a protein envelope from the HIV virus. That paper was quickly retracted due to political pressure. However, Mikovits colleague, Luc Montagnier, made a similar discovery, finding Gp41 in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the transmembrane domain of the HIV virus.
“;The folks from India also had GAG. That’s structural proteins. That gives you a clue that it wasn’t a CRISPR technique or a pseudotyping where the envelope was expressed in a gene therapy-type of way. If it were CRISPR, you wouldn’t put the GAG sequences in there.
What was done is, the virus was acquired as they grew SARS-CoV-2 in Vero-E6 cells –; the monkey kidney cells where you get HIV.
Simian immune deficiency virus was the origin, and we were told all the way back in the 80s that somebody forgot to cook their food in Africa and a few promiscuous men spread this [HIV] virus around the world. So, you can see again the patterns of the lies and of what people end up believing.”;
The addition of this envelope protein from HIV gives SARS-CoV-2 the ability to impair the immune system. It also contributes to its pathogenicity. Mikovits continues her explanation:
“;The first thing is, you must grow a virus to make a lot of it. So, you grow it in cell lines. They didn’t take [SARS-CoV-2] from the bat and it jumped into a human. It normally goes through another cell [from] a monkey or a smaller animal. The cell line that supports the growth and expansion [of viruses] are monkey kidney cells.
Maybe [SARS-CoV-2] is not engineered at all …; but the end result is, now it not only infects the epithelial cells of the lungs, it infects the white blood cells, it infects the immune cells. We see the splenomegaly in large spleens, we’re seeing penias, cytopenias. We’re losing cells like HIV-killing T-cells …;
So, it’s got not only an expanded host range, but also disease symptoms that make no sense for a coronavirus.
Hence, we’re killing people because they’re treating an upper respiratory infection, and you’re getting that inflammatory disease signature because you’re infecting the very innate immune response, the macrophages, the monocytes, the natural killer cells, the T cells. And it’s primarily the T-cells in the macrophages because those are the cells HIV 120 and Gp41 infect through CCR5 in the CD4 receptor.
So now you’re going to lose your adaptive immune response, you’re going to drive the inflammation. And it”;s the fire [of inflammation] that does the tissue damage.”;
Another piece that hints at SARS-CoV-2 being a manufactured virus is the construction of its spike proteins, which bind to ACE2 receptors to gain access into the cell. This appears to be an engineering feature. According to Mikovits, it”;s quite clear that the spike proteins came from the original SARS virus, which also infects through ACE receptors.
There are also “;single point mutations there that make it far more infectious, easier to spread,”; she says, “;and how those were acquired, nobody really can say.”; At least not yet. Nanotechnology may also have been used to aerosolize it for ease of transmission.
“;The nano[size] further increases the host range. So now you can go into every cell. Now you can go across the blood brain barrier. That’s nano. Now you don’t need a receptor. You can breathe it, it can go into every cell of the body. You don’t need the gatekeeper. You don’t need the receptor. You don’t need the lock and key.”;
Contaminated Cell Line Shared With Wuhan Biolab
According to Mikovits, one contaminated cell line is the Vero monkey kidney cell line called Vero E6, which was given by Fort Detrick –; a U.S. Army Medical Command installation that hosts many of our national biological defense programs and houses the National Cancer Institute laboratory where she used to work –; to the biosafety 4 laboratory (BSL-4) in Wuhan, China. This cell line is what the Wuhan lab used to grow and study coronaviruses, she says.
The Vero cell line is listed in the 2015 paper,8 “;A SARS-like Cluster of Circulating Bat Coronaviruses Shows Potential for Human Emergence,”; co-written by University of North Carolina researchers and Dr. Shi Zhengli, a Chinese virologist at the Wuhan lab who in 2010 published a paper9 discussing the weaponization of the SARS virus.
The contaminated Vero monkey kidney cells were also used in the production of polio vaccines, Mikovits notes. The original polio vaccines were passed through mice brains, as we didn’t have cell lines in the 1930s when that vaccine was originally developed. According to Mikovitz, the spread of this Vero retrovirus has occurred through laboratory workers and hospital caretakers for decades.
“;That’s why the family studies we did were so important,”; she says, referring to studies in which retroviral transmission was tracked to determine how it spread between family members.10
Alas, whenever patterns were detected, she was always directed to cover them up. Her refusal to hide the information from the public was what led to her firing in 2011. According to Mikovits, we”;re seeing the same pattern of sweeping evidence under the rug now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“;The patterns are the same as far as the science goes, and the patterns are the same as far as the political corruption, the plague of corruption, in covering up data,”; she says.
According to Mikovits, Fauci does not appear to have changed his stripes, and is still misleading the public and hiding the truth about SARS-CoV-2, just like he did with the HIV virus and retroviral-associated diseases.
“;I think the way to think about the background of what’s going on right now is to go back to my first interactions with Dr. Tony Fauci when I was a 25-year-old lab technician in the National Cancer Institute. At that time, we had isolated –; from blood and saliva –; the lymphadenopathy virus.
[Lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV)] was the name given to it by Luc Montagnier, the Nobel Laureate, [who] first isolated and discovered that virus and its association with HIV/AIDS.11
In that situation, Fauci delayed the serology testing [to find out] who was exposed [to HIV]. It was politicized such that the only people that were [said to be] susceptible to getting infected with HIV was gay men [and] IV drug users.
The country was told not to worry about it. It was only spread through blood and body fluids and shouldn’t be a problem for most other people. So, the testing that could have been done wasn’t done because of political reasons, and the treatments weren’t done because Fauci had patents, and –; we didn’t know this at the time –; the wrong type of treatment was used. That led to the spread and [death] of millions worldwide …;”;
The Discovery of Human Gammaretroviruses
Ultimately, Mikovits and her colleagues discovered that the HIV virus was spread through a contaminated blood supply. After that, they proceeded to look into other “;clearly retroviral-associated diseases,”; such as CFS,12 certain kinds of autism, cancers, leukemias and lymphomas.
Gammaretroviruses13 are viruses that can cause cancer, leukemia and immune deficiencies in various animals. Examples include murine leukemia virus, feline leukemia virus and mink focus forming virus. As explained in a 2011 paper on gamma retroviruses:14
“;Retroviruses are evolutionary optimized gene carriers that have naturally adapted to their hosts to efficiently deliver their nucleic acids into the target cell chromatin, thereby overcoming natural cellular barriers …;
Retroviral vectors are fascinating and efficient delivery tools for the transfer of nucleic acids. As a hallmark, all retroviruses are capable of reverse transcribing their single stranded RNA genome into double stranded DNA, which will be stably integrated into the host cell genome.
As highly evolved parasites they act in concert with cellular host factors to deliver their nucleic acid into the nucleus, where they exploit the host cell”;s machinery for their own replication and long-term expression occurs.”;
The key take-home here is that retroviruses are “;integrated into the host cell genome,”; and infection can result in “;long-term expression.”; In other words, once they”;re in your body, they can remain dormant, only to reactivate when conditions are favorable. In this regard, they”;re quite different from your average virus that, when you”;re exposed, invades your cells, replicates and causes symptoms, and is eventually eliminated from your body through your immune response.
In 2009, Mikovits and her team discovered and isolated the first human gammaretrovirus family of retroviruses, known then as XMRVs. As mentioned earlier, XMRV stands for “;xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus.”; Xenotrophic refers to viruses that only replicate in cells other than those of the host species. So, XMRVs are viruses that infect human cells yet are not human viruses.15
My Entire Interview With Judy Mikovits
To reiterate some of the key take-home messages Mikovits delivers in this interview:
; She believes COVID-19 –; the disease –; is not caused by SARS-CoV-2 alone, but rather that it”;s the result of a combination of SARS-CoV-2 (which appears to have been manipulated to include components of HIV that destroys immune function). Previous XMRV (human gammaretroviruses) infection may facilitate SARS-CoV-2 to express the COVID-19 illness.
Put another way, COVID-19 may be initiated by SARS-CoV-2 but dependent upon a preexisting infection with and awakening of other viruses such as XMRV, gamma retroviruses, possibly Lyme and other coinfections, including parasites, and this is why anti-parasitic medications like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin help.
; Blood products and vaccines are contaminated with XMRVs that can damage your immune system and cause CFS, cancer and other chronic diseases. The viruses spread within laboratories as they have adapted to become aerosolized, and contaminate cell lines used in vaccine production and other viral research, including research on coronaviruses.
; Flu vaccines have spread a host of dangerous viruses around the world, which can then interact with SARS COV-2.
; It is possible to develop safer oral vaccines, and interferon alpha could be a valuable treatment alternative against COVID-19. Aside from interferons, other treatment strategies discussed in our interview include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cannabinoids (CBD), peptide T and antioxidant support.
; SARS-CoV-2 is more dangerous and virulent than typical coronaviruses because it includes sequences of HIV, SARS and another virus, which enable it to infect more than just your respiratory epithelium. It can also infect blood cells and hematopoeitic organs such as the spleen.
In the new documentary Football, Prince William and our Mental Health, the 37-year-old Duke of Cambridge says that having his three kids –; Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2 –; was his “;biggest life-changing moment.”;
In the doc, Prince William talks with former soccer player Marvin Sordell, who suffered from depression after the death of his father. During their conversation, Prince William recalls the death of his mom Princess Diana.
“Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is,” Prince William shared. “I think when you”;ve been through something traumatic in life, and that is like you say, your dad not being around, my mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.”
The soccer player went on to admit that he “found it really tough” when he became a father, and Prince William agreed, saying, “Me and Catherine, particularly, we support each other and we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together.”;
Prince William continued: “I can completely relate to what you”;re saying about children coming along –; it”;s one of the most amazing moments of life, but it”;s also one of the scariest.”;
Football, Prince William and our Mental Health is set to air on BBC One in the U.K. on May 28.