Nerve Regeneration Protocol
AnonymousOctober 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm
Greetings. I am a registered nurse, very likely suffering from Chronic Inflamatory Demyelinated Polyneuropathy (CIDP), a neural disorder with similarities to multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Over the last few years and before I had ever begun exploring the possibility of an autoimmune component to my ailment, I had put together a nerve-regeneration protocol to deal with my neuropathies. Being convinced that I had acquired some sort of nerve damage, the focus of my research has been simply finding those supplements which promote the regeneration of damaged neural tissue, whatever the cause may be. I believe that this information could be extremely helpful to sufferers of MS, CIDP, or GBS and hope you will share it with your friends.
Taking a New Supplement
Before I get into specific recommendations I feel there are a few general issues regarding dietary supplementation which need to be addressed. I want to mention, first of all, that I usually advise people to begin taking new supplements one at a time. Many Americans have grown accustomed to coming home from a doctor’s visit with a handful of new prescriptions which they begin taking all at once. This approach seems quite careless to me and contrary to science. How will I know which compounds are achieving desirable or undesirable effects when I begin taking them all at once?
I usually recommend taking each new supplement for 1-2 weeks before trying any others. This allows an individual to get a feel for how it affects their own body, what the optimum dose may be, what time of day to take it for sleep, etc. Remember, most of us will not have the motivation to take a hundred different supplements each day simply because we read a positive review about them at some point in the past. We want to know how each product affects our individual bodies to determine whether it is worth taking
Secondly, as someone who has been prone to allergies and food intolerances in the past, I personally take steps so as to prepare my body to accept and utilize new compounds by gradually acclimating myself to a therapeutic dose. This means that when I purchase a new supplement I do not immediately begin consuming the target dose. Instead, I begin consuming microscopic quantities of the supplement, gradually increasing this amount for a few weeks before I begin taking an amount which I believe will produce a therapeutic effect.
This may seem like far too much precaution to some, and you are free to ignore it, but as someone who has gone through a lot of suffering myself I desire to have the greatest possibility of healing that I can. If I learn of a new supplement which may significantly improve my health I don’t personally like to risk becoming allergic to it by introducing it into my system immediately in large quantities.
This may be especially important for supplements which will be applied to the skin as I’ll describe below The digestive tract has been described as the means by which the body becomes accustomed to new chemicals. Placing a new compound immediately onto the skin might sensitize the body against it for some time. Ingesting it orally for a period of time before beginning to apply it to the skin may, in my understanding, greatly decrease the risk of allergy when the same subtance is applied to the skin.
After becoming convinced that my nerves had been somehow damaged, I commenced a search for natural substances which could cause genuine nerve regneration. What I share here represents, in my opinion, some of the best product available on the market today for nerve regeneration. I have high expectations that if one takes these supplements properly and with due precautions they stand a good shot at rebuilding dead neurons (not necessarily a complete healing, but a good possibility of partial regeneration).
The three main supplements I’ll describe below are:
-Vitamin B12 (as methlycobalamine or hydroxocobalamin)
-Hericium (aka Lion’s Mane Mushroom)
-Reindeer Antler IGF
The case of B12: How Do You Take a Supplement?
B12 is mentioned very positively in the treatment of certain neural disorders (spend some time researching the use of methylcobalamin in Multiple Sclerosis) and has appeared to provide great benefit to me personally. Unfortunately, I would guess that very few people ever experience the true potential of this vitamin and I thus offer a fairly long-winded explanation below on how to actually take B12.
Oral administration of drugs/supplements is, in my opinion, highly overrated. Many supplements do not absorb well when you swallow them. This is especially true in the case of B12. Some supplement manufacturers are producing sublingual B12 but I have not heard good reviews regarding absorption by this method either. The gold-standard for B12 administration is injection (usually intramuscularly), but many people do not have easy access to injectable formulations.
One of the least talked-about methods of administering supplements is via transdermal administration (across the skin). The skin is permeable to most substances to one degree or another, but it takes significant amounts of time for them to pass through. This is the concept behind drug patches which often deliver a concentrated drug dosage across a small, 2” x 2” surface area. Another option, however, is to spread a less-concentrated drug or supplement across a much wider surface area of the skin in order to maximize absorption over a shorter period of time. It has been my own experience that transdermal administration, performed correctly, can be immensely superior to oral absorption in many instances (and much more economical for expensive supplements which can then be reduced to less than 1/4 of the oral dose).
It is also helpful to understand that many medicinal compounds tend towards being lipophylic (fat-soluble) as opposed to being hydrophylic (water-soluble). Test this out by opening a capsule of any herb and pouring it onto the surface of some water. Does it tend to float on the surface? Now pour the same herb into some oil. Most will sink right in.
Lipophylic compounds pass through the skin more easily that hydrophylic substances, but they may need to be dissolved in an oil or some other lipophylic concoction such as a lotion to be applied. The ability of a preparation to remain on the skin is also significant. In years past my practice was to use olive oil to dissolve various supplements and to then apply the mixture to my hamstrings, which happens to be both a good broad surface as well as the main area of my neurologic pain. The problem with this, however, is that once I had greased my legs up with a nice thin layer of the herb/oil mixture I had to wait in my room naked for 4 hours while the supplement absorbed through my skin. This was a major inconvenience, but still worth it to me based on how well these supplements were helping me (especially the expensive ones, whose dose I could cut way down because of increased absorption).
I am currently experimenting with a concoction that may solve both the problems of time and convenience described above as well as the issue of absorbability in supplements which are not lipophyic. The key to this solution is lecithin, a special class of molecules which are both hydrophylic and lipophylic. Lecithins are used as emulsifying agents to combine water and fats in many food products. Dissolving supplements into solutions with added lecithin seems to bridge the gap between hydrophylic and lipophylic solutes and solvents. This may not only increase solubility, but hopefully overall absorption as well.
Here’s what I recommend: Purchase a small bottle of methylcobalamin B12 (not cyanocobalamin) available from swansonvitamins.com and get a tub of sunflower lecithin (not soy lecithin—too much estrogen). The B12 may come in 5,000 mcg (5mg) tablets. Crush one tablet into find powder and dissolve into about 4 tablespoon. of water. Next, add in about 1/4 teaspoon of lecethin granules and pour all three ingredients into a kithen blender. Finally, squirt about a teaspoon of lotion into the blender and turn it onto high speed for 30 seconds.
Very likely there will still be undissolved lecithin granules in the mix that escaped the blender’s blades. No problem: just let the solution sit for an hour or two and blend again. Right now I’m playing it safe and re-blending about three times at one-hour intervals to ensure the B12 molecules become coated in lecithin, but I need to keep experimenting with the total amount of lecithin needed. It is my understanding that both lipophylic and hydrophylic compounds (such as B12), processed with an appropriate amount of lecithin will absorb through the skin quite well.
Now for the application. This solution, which should be mildly viscous due to the lotion, can be applied to every surface of the body which is not overly hairy. The goal is to get it spread in an extremely thin layer over the largest body surface-area possible in order to maximize absorption. As opposed to my original olive oil formula, the lotion tends to dry onto the skin in such a way that allows you to put your clothes back on after a few minutes and to go about your day.
When I first tried this method of applying B12 I woke up the next day feeling wonderful. The nerve pain in my hamstrings had decreased and my endurance for physical activity was much higher. Consider, I had taken the very same product sublingually in the past with zero perceived benefits.
Again, I strongly recommend acclimating yourself to the B12 beginning with microscopic oral doses for a few weeks and increasing up to about a 1 mg oral dose before trying transdermal therapy. If you put it on your skin without ingesting it for a few weeks first your body may react against it.
You might apply the transdermal B12 twice a week if not experiencing side effects (eg headache). If there is any place in your body that is particularly affected by neuropathies you can apply a more thick coating to that area. The effects of the B12 may be improved even more by adding benfotiamine (a fat-sluble form of Thiamine also available from Swansons) to the mixture and other nerve-building substances. One may need to supplement with methyl-folate (methlated folic acid) when taking B12 as well.
Hericium (Lion’s Mane Mushroom)
Lion’s Mane Mushroom contains natural medicinal compounds which stimulate the body’s production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Unlike NGF itself, these chemicals can also cross the blood brain barrier and have been mentioned in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
A few months ago after overworking my body on a friend’s farm I experienced an exacerbation of my nerve-pain which did not self-resolve after a few days. I reached for my Lion’s Mane Mushroom powder and took a ver large dose (one heaping tablespoon). I woke up the next day and, as I recall, my neuropathy had returned to the state it was in before the work I had done.
I have yet to experience the same level of benefit from Hericium since this incident and have come to suspect that its effects on the body will gradually wear off if one takes it regularly (perhaps via receptor down-regulation). In the case of supplements to which the body becomes tolerant I would typically take a supplement every 4 days to maintain the desired effect, but this as well failed to produce the dramatic effect with Hericium that I noticed the first time I took it. I’m now experimenting with taking it only at extended intervals such as, perhaps, once or twice a month (at which point I would take an extremely large dose). This is an approach to nerve regeneration which I have not heard many people talking about, but which I expect may be extremely effective. One basically surprises the body with high doses of powerful healing compounds on a sporadic basis.
Bulk powder of Lion’s Mane mushroom can be purchased from from http://www.mushroomharvest.com. It’s also available from Swansons but probably much more expensive in the long run. I’ve take Lion’s Mane orally but might experiment with transdermal absorption at some point to see if this improves its effectst.
There are a number of other substances which one may take along with Hericium in order to increase NGF. These include carnosic acid (an extract of rosemarry; available from beyond-a-century.com), hops herb, chrysanthemum, gajutsu, and ashitaba.
Reindeer Antler IGF
Reindeer antler supplements have been some of the most talked about products on the market over the past few years. Used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine, Reindeer antler sprung into public awareness it was banned by Major League Baseball in 2011. Reindeer antler contains a number of compounds including Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). Although it does appear to have anabolic effects that rival those of dangerous steroids, natural Antler supplements appear to be free of many unwanted side effects and actually quite beneficial to overall health and longevity. The following article from the Life Extension Foundation goes into more detail (http://www.lef.org/magazine/articles/velvet.htm).
IGF-1 causes growth of multiple body tissues including muscle, blood vessel, and neural tissue. After coming to understand more about it’s effects I became interested in trying it out on my hamstring neuropathies. Most reindeer antler suppliers appear to have moved away from powders and capsules to liposomal IGF sublingual sprays (similar to the lecithin containing solutions described earlier). While this may be better than powders, I did not personally experience any noticeable benefit from sublingual administration. It occurred to me, however, to mix up about a tablespoon of the sublingual spray in my homade liposomal lecithin mix with some lotion and to apply that mixture to my hamstrings. I believe this mixture may greatly complement the Lion’s Mane Mushroom described above if both are taken on the same day, once every few weeks (the Lion’s Mane taken by mouth, and the antler extract applied to the skin).
A Few Other Supplements
Astaxanthin is, in my opinion, one of the greatest supplements on the market for overall body health and has a number of properties which I suspect will complement a nerve regeneration protocol. One can find numerous articles on the web regarding its benefits.
Ipriflavone is another supplement I have found to be excellent for my neuropathies. I generally include it in all my transdermal mixtures.
Colostrum is a natural source of immunoglobulins and has been mentioned by some as an alternative to IVIG.
Disclaimer: The information presented above represent personal opinions and is not intended to fall under the realm of medical practice or the practice of any other licensed healthcare profession. No responsibility is assumed by the writer for any outcome related to the use of this information.
October 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm
I happen to take a B12 supplement, but don’t make any claim for it, as it is not possible to draw valid conclusions from anecdotal evidence. Most of the post above is just promotion of quackery, in my opinion, although it may be harmless enough. Herbal “medicine” is no substitute for recognized science-based treatments. That this may be promoted by an R.N. doesn’t give it any authority. R.N.s are people too, and there are R.N.s and M.D.s promoting a lot of quackery. What counts is the consensus of science-based medicine.
October 12, 2013 at 3:32 am
CIDP damages the Myelin sheath surrounding the nerve fibers. Myelin is like the insulation on electrical wire and without it; the nerve signals short out and don’t reach their destination. Myelin can grow back at the rate of 1 millimeter a day, which is only 0.0032808 ft, this is extremely slow but there has been little that can be done to speed up the process, except for the very expensive and experimental stem cell transplant treatment.
I think you may be on the wrong track trying to find some non-scientific cure that rebuilds damaged Myelin. Many very bright scientists have been working on the problem for years and have been running clinical trials to test different treatment approaches.
I’m not sure anyone on this forum would follow recommendations from a nurse who doesn’t seem to have a scientific grasp of CIDP in the first place. According to your post, it seems you don’t even know if you have CIDP and have no confirmation from a specialist, nor have you sought any of the proven treatments for CIDP.
B12 and Alpha Lipoic Acid may be some of the only non-prescription supplements that have a fair chance of helping some CIDP sufferers. Newer prescription drugs like Dalfampridine and time-proven treatments like IVIG or Plasmapheresis are much more likely to help treat CIDP than the supplements you suggest.
Posting your experimental home remedies under “success stories” is misleading to forum readers in my opinion.
October 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm
My Neuro Docs have prescribed & I take B-12, B-Complex, and Vitamin D3.
AnonymousJanuary 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm
I was taking supplements for a while and then I stopped after I went raw vegan and now that it’s winter I’m eating some cooked vegan food and honestly once I stopped taking supplements I felt no difference at all. I did however notice a significant jump in my recovery rate once I started eating vegan/raw vegan. At least look into it. I started a youtube channel and facebook page about my experiences with CIDP along with my recovery and what I’ve done to recovery thus far. Check it out, and be sure to subscribe if you want to see more of my videos!
I also have a facebook page that I actually post to even more often; same types of things though.
I also have a skype account where people can ask me personally any questions they want about CIDP and my recovery
My skype account name is battlingcidp
Well good luck with everything my fellow GBS/CIDPers!
June 15, 2015 at 10:26 pm
I am interested in natural medicines and formulas.
It is interesting to find improvements in nerve damage and the possibilities about nerve repair.
One of the discoveries that has fascinated me is Nerve Growth Factor and that Lion’s mane mushroom stimulates production of Nerve Growth Factor by human astrocytoma cells. Then my Chinese friend mentioned that you can find these mushrooms at Traditional Chinese Medicine shops and herbal medicine shops in many parts of China town.
Another discovery is by from Boston’s Children Hospital where a team of scientists
have combined 3 elements or factors to create nerve growth & regeneration.
According to Dr. L. Benowitz who is head of the team that made the discovery, the 3 combined factors produced synchronicity which
translates into a 10 fold increase of nerve regeneration compared to one factor or pathway. The one pathway usually means just one factor or ingredient.
According to one company, all 3 factors are possible with natural means and can be combined into 3 ingredients.
These ingredients are now prepared into a remedy. The data and explanation is at their website
However, the formula is not for conditions that actively destroy nerves, it is
a formula where the cause of damage to nerves are not present
(for example, nerves damage by accident or damage caused by virus but the
virus is not present.)
June 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm
My acupuncturist who is also a neurologist recommends this protocal every three months.
Vitamin B12 2500mcg sublingual, one a day for 14 days.
Vitamin B6. 200 mg. one dose every other day for one month. Start taking on an even day to help keep track.
Vitamin B1. 250 mg. one every other day.
For one month. Take on odd days.
After finishing 14 days of B12 start taking: niacinamide 500mg.
One tablet twice a day for 10 days.
One tablet once a day, after meals, for 20 days.
Repeat in 3 monthe
These vitamins are inexpensive and I have more faith in the doctor who recommended the regimine who has no financial incentive.
February 15, 2016 at 2:36 pm
My dad was diagnosed with GBS in January of 2015 and later with cidp after a relapse. He was receiving Ivig treatments every 3 weeks. He had extreme weakness and lack of dexterity in both hands and both legs were weak with the left foot more affected with a nearly fused ankle. Some progress was made after 7 months of treatments but his hand dexterity was still quite compromised and was completely reliant on a walker for mobility. I came across your post and decided to give your b 12 protocol a try. Within a couple of weeks of applying the crushed b 12 and lotion and oil, his overall strength and agility have improved considerably to the point that he is now walking with a cane and can now do up buttons with just the slightest bit of struggle. We have stretched out his IV ig treatments to 4 weeks apart. I don’t know if this was a coincidence or if the b 12 worked but we’ll take this improvement. I apply the concoction at least once a week and rub it over both arms from the elbow down and the hands and both legs from the knee down and over the entire foot. I know many will think this may have happened anyway and it was finally his time to start healing and I cannot prove anything scientifically but we will thank our lucky stars for every inch of recovery from this debilitating disease. Thank u for sharing your findings.
July 3, 2017 at 2:51 am
Hi all, I just want to ask if someone ever tried using shrooms or truffles for medical purposes? I was reading some articles about this magic truffles and shrooms before engaging my self for the first time. They say that it has a very potent effect on the brain and hallucination. Unlike marijuana does it have any medical use? In one article that I’ve read magic truffles or shrooms are use on reducing the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. It can also help people to quit smoking and alcohol addiction. Some studies also suggest the property of magic shrooms/truffles can be useful for cancer patients. I would really want to hear other insights regarding this new possible alternative meds. Thanks
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