A few of you may have seen the 2012 interview on ABC News Primetime by John Quinones in which he investigates and tries a supplement called Protandim.
Protandim, discovered by Dr. McCord of University of Colorado, is a natural source of Nrf2 working without side effects or potential damage to your liver and bone marrow. Key ingredients of this dietary supplement include Ashwagandha root, Green Tea, Bacopa, Milk Thistle, and Turmeric extracts. These five botanicals work by signaling the DNA in your body to increase the production of its own natural antioxidant enzymes to combat multiple sclerosis, oxidative stress and aging on the cellular level. It is NOT FDA regulated.
Animal studies indicate that Protandim increases the glutathione 300% in cells, which basically helps prevent oxidative stress implicated as mediators of demyelination and axonal damage in MS. Glutathione maintains intracellular health. It’s a small antioxidant molecule found in every cell that neutralizes free radicals that can build up in your cells and cause damage within a cell. Glutathione can neutralize free radicals thereby fight disease, especially those associated with aging. If you consume a diet high in fresh vegetables, fruit and meat, you probably get adequate glutathione. However, most people’s diets are poor so they don’t get enough.
Tecfidera, a pharmaceutical or synthetic medication that is FDA-approved, historically was used to treat psoriasis and most recently is being used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Like Protandim, it uses the Nrf2 pathway to create antioxidation. However, it also mutes the immune system in ways that have been linked to serious infections.
As I interviewed Dr. Gene DeLucia, board member for and user of Protandim, he explained that Protandim was a natural Tecfidera and claims everyone with multiple sclerosis ought to consider taking it. He takes it himself as well as prescribes it to patients, family and friends. He claims to see results proven by functionality, feeling, and MRI. He has seen proof of fewer relapses and even disease reversal. Dr. DeLucia went on to say that discovering how to activate Nrf2 is the “biggest breakthrough” in Western medicine.
It seems that one main reason more people haven’t gotten onboard with this is that 21st century medicine is trying to step away from pharmaceuticals while the current industry is driven by profit margins. As for me, I’m always a bit skeptical without proven research. To date, because Protandim is a nutraceutical and not a pharmaceutical, clinical trials have only been performed on animals. Only pharmaceuticals can be researched for a specific disease on humans.
Has the Holy Grail of eternal youth been discovered in Nrf2? And if so, is it safer and/or better to take a nutraceutical (Protandim) non-FDA approved or a pharmaceutical (Tecfidera) that is FDA approved? Many people’s knee-jerk reaction is to immediately choose one or the other based on their own assumptions. Does that mean either option is correct? My plan is to bring this up in conversation with my neurologist (who is a pioneer in treating people with MS) and then have a follow up conversation with Dr. DeLucia to obtain further information. For now, in my opinion the jury is still out.
Would you consider trying Protandim?
Barbara inspires hope through mindful health and a meaningful life. By combining healthy living, spirituality, and neuroscience principles, she helps people understand how to be proactive in their health care versus reactionary in their sick care so they can feel great in their body and in their life. Her greatest wish is to never hear a person say, “I should be taking better care of myself.” To learn more and receive her FREE guide, visit Appelbaum Wellness.
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