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  LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone  
 
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This information regarding Naltrexone is being presented here because of its potential importance to seriously ill individuals and its record of safety. Naltrexone is usually used in 50mg doses as a drug to help heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs. FDA-approved naltrexone, in a low dose (previously 3mg, optimal adult dose has been raised to 4.5mg), can boost the immune system, helping those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. LDN is currently under experimental use for many conditions. Preliminary results are very encouraging: Naltrexone increases the body's production of the beta and metenkephalin endorphins and blood tests have indicated that it can double or even triple the activity of natural killer cells. The web site that presents the current available information on this therapy can be accessed by clicking here.

Dr. Bernard Bihari, MD pioneered the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) in 1985. By blocking opioid receptors, naltrexone also blocks the reception of the opioid hormones ( endorphins) that the brain and adrenal glands produce. Many body tissues have receptors for the endorphins, including virtually every cell of the body's immune system.

LDN comes in 3mg. Capsules and is taken once a day at bedtime. It is non-toxic and has no side effects. Its only interaction with other drugs is with narcotics (such as morphine, Demerol and Percocet), which it briefly blocks.

The following diseases have been benefited by LDN use according to Dr. Bernard Bihari, MD.
HIV/AIDS
Pancreatic Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Carcinoid
Hodgkin's Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lupus (SLE)
Lymphocytic Leukemia
Psoriasis
Neuroblastoma
Behcet's Disease
Colorectal Cancer
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

How is it possible that one medication can impact such a wide range of disorders? The disorders listed above all share a particular feature: the immune system plays a central role in all of them. Indeed, research by others has found opioid (endorphin) receptors in brain tumors (both astrocytoma and glioblastoma), breast cancer, endometrial cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, myeloid leukemia, lung cancer (both small cell and non- small cell), and in neuroblastoma. These findings suggest the possibility for a beneficial effect in a wide variety of other cancers.

The brief blockade of opioid (endorphin) receptors that is caused by taking LDN at bedtime each night is believed to produce a prolonged improvement in vital elements of the immune system by causing an increase in endorphin production. Normal volunteers who have taken LDN in this fashion have been found to have much higher levels of beta-endorphins circulating in their blood in the following days.

The treatment seems to work by causing the body to secrete endorphins (metenkephalin and beta-endorphin) which attach to cancers having opiate receptors, shrinking the tumors and inhibiting their growth. When metenkephalin and/or beta-endorphins are attached to cancer cells while they are dividing, it seems to stimulate a process of programmed cell death or apoptosis, thus killing some cancer cells. In addition, it is believed that the endorphins act to increase natural killer cells and other healthy immune defenses against cancer.
 

 
 

LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone can help with the following:
 
 
Addictions  Alcoholism Recovery
  Addictions / Addictive Tendencies
 There are a number of practitioners who will use a naltrexone implant placed in the lower abdomen, and more rarely, in the posterior to replace oral naltrexone. This implant procedure has not been shown scientifically to be successful in "curing" subjects of their addiction, though it does provide a better solution than oral naltrexone for medication compliance reasons.

Aging

  Parkinson's Disease / Risk
 According to Dr. Bihari, LDN clearly halts progression in multiple sclerosis. As such its use has been more recently extended to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) whose etiology remains unknown but for which there is suggestive evidence of a possible autoimmune mechanism.

Autoimmune

  Multiple Sclerosis / Risk
 According to Dr. Bihari, LDN clearly halts the progression of multiple sclerosis.

The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.

This is perhaps the first, and so far only book on LDN, and as such represents a milestone in the effort to bring LDN into mainstream use. Written by Elaine Moore, a high level science writer with a portfolio of previous accomplishments, her LDN book is perhaps somewhat technical and may be difficult for the untrained non-professional to follow. It delves into the sophisticated jargon of the medical research world. For example, in Chapter 5 on LDN and Cancer, there is a discussion of Zagon's work on Cyclin dependent kinases, P53 and protein 21 and how this relates to inhibition of cancer by LDN.

However, in addition to the esoteric technical sections of the book, there are also chapters devoted to the lay reader interested in learning how LDN can help them on a practical level. A listing of dispensing practitioners was included which I found contained my own office address and phone number.

The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]

  Ulcerative Colitis
 The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.

This is perhaps the first, and so far only book on LDN, and as such represents a milestone in the effort to bring LDN into mainstream use. Written by Elaine Moore, a high level science writer with a portfolio of previous accomplishments, her LDN book is perhaps somewhat technical and may be difficult for the untrained non-professional to follow. It delves into the sophisticated jargon of the medical research world. For example, in Chapter 5 on LDN and Cancer, there is a discussion of Zagon's work on Cyclin dependent kinases, P53 and protein 21 and how this relates to inhibition of cancer by LDN.

However, in addition to the esoteric technical sections of the book, there are also chapters devoted to the lay reader interested in learning how LDN can help them on a practical level. A listing of dispensing practitioners was included which I found contained my own office address and phone number.

The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]

  Crohn's Disease
 As of September 2002, Dr. Bihari was following eight patients with Crohn's Disease on LDN. In all eight cases, within 14-21 days the signs and symptoms of disease activity stopped. All eight had remained stable since anywhere from 2 months to 36 months.

Dr. Jill Smithís original article, "Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy Improves Active Crohnís Disease," in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (2007;pp.102:1Ė9), officially presents LDN to the world of scientific medicine. Smith, Professor of Gastroenterology at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine, found that two-thirds of the patients in her pilot study went into remission and fully 89% of the group responded to treatment to some degree. She concluded that ďLDN therapy appears effective and safe in subjects with active Crohnís disease.Ē

The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.

This is perhaps the first, and so far only book on LDN, and as such represents a milestone in the effort to bring LDN into mainstream use. Written by Elaine Moore, a high level science writer with a portfolio of previous accomplishments, her LDN book is perhaps somewhat technical and may be difficult for the untrained non-professional to follow. It delves into the sophisticated jargon of the medical research world. For example, in Chapter 5 on LDN and Cancer, there is a discussion of Zagon's work on Cyclin dependent kinases, P53 and protein 21 and how this relates to inhibition of cancer by LDN.

However, in addition to the esoteric technical sections of the book, there are also chapters devoted to the lay reader interested in learning how LDN can help them on a practical level. A listing of dispensing practitioners was included which I found contained my own office address and phone number.

The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]

  Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk
  Sarcoidosis
  Periarteritis
  Autoimmune Tendency
 The experience of people who have autoimmune diseases and who have begun LDN treatment has been remarkable, according to Dr. Bihari. Patients with diagnoses such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Behcet's syndrome, Wegener's granulomatosis, bullous pemphigoid, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease have all benefited.

  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
 According to Dr. Bihari, LDN clearly halts progression in multiple sclerosis. As such its use has been more recently extended to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) whose etiology remains unknown but for which there is suggestive evidence of a possible autoimmune mechanism.

Circulation

  Poor/Slow Wound Healing
 The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.

This is perhaps the first, and so far only book on LDN, and as such represents a milestone in the effort to bring LDN into mainstream use. Written by Elaine Moore, a high level science writer with a portfolio of previous accomplishments, her LDN book is perhaps somewhat technical and may be difficult for the untrained non-professional to follow. It delves into the sophisticated jargon of the medical research world. For example, in Chapter 5 on LDN and Cancer, there is a discussion of Zagon's work on Cyclin dependent kinases, P53 and protein 21 and how this relates to inhibition of cancer by LDN.

However, in addition to the esoteric technical sections of the book, there are also chapters devoted to the lay reader interested in learning how LDN can help them on a practical level. A listing of dispensing practitioners was included which I found contained my own office address and phone number.

The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]

Immunity

  AIDS / Risk
 Since the mid-1980's, low dose naltrexone (LDN) has consistently demonstrated a markedly beneficial effect in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. There are a score of such patients who, even today, continue to successfully use only LDN. When combined with HAART, LDN has shown itself to be an absolute preventive for lipodystrophy, as well as a synergistic therapy that diminishes viral breakthroughs and bolsters the restoration of CD4 cell levels.

The Promise Of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy: Potential Benefits in Cancer, Autoimmune, Neurological and Infectious Disorders. By Elaine Moore, co-author SammyJo Wilkinson Foreword by Dr. Yash Agrawal, MD, PhD.

This is perhaps the first, and so far only book on LDN, and as such represents a milestone in the effort to bring LDN into mainstream use. Written by Elaine Moore, a high level science writer with a portfolio of previous accomplishments, her LDN book is perhaps somewhat technical and may be difficult for the untrained non-professional to follow. It delves into the sophisticated jargon of the medical research world. For example, in Chapter 5 on LDN and Cancer, there is a discussion of Zagon's work on Cyclin dependent kinases, P53 and protein 21 and how this relates to inhibition of cancer by LDN.

However, in addition to the esoteric technical sections of the book, there are also chapters devoted to the lay reader interested in learning how LDN can help them on a practical level. A listing of dispensing practitioners was included which I found contained my own office address and phone number.

The book is highly recommended for other health care practitioners who wish to get quickly up to speed in this new area of medicine which is destined to become the medical paradigm of the 21st century, casting a giant shadow over the rest of mainstream medicine.[ Comments on the LDN book by Jeffrey Dach MD]

  Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome
 According to Dr. Bahari, people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have had marked improvement using LDN, suggesting that these entities probably have an important autoimmune dynamic as well. Many have reported improvement - some noticing an immediate difference and others only after a prolonged period of use.

  Immune System Imbalance (TH2 Dominance)
 Low doses of Naltrexone can help reduce TH2 cytokines to assist in balancing the immune system.

Mental

  Autism
 Please see the link between Autism and Reading List.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Rheumatoid Arthritis
 Ten patients with this disease have been treated with LDN in recent years. In all ten patients the joint pain and swelling cleared, in some, leaving residual joint distortion. Two of the patients stopped LDN for several weeks because of travel. Both had an immediate exacerbation. One patient who was responding well on LDN had a mild exacerbation during a period of severe marital stress.

  Polymyositis

Organ Health

  Hepatitis
 Interview with Dr. Bihari in Honest Medicine.

Q: You're also using it for Hepatitis C?


Dr. Bihari: Yes, I am. With Hepatitis C, itís hard for me to identify how much it does, because Iím using it with purified extract of St. Johnís Wart, the plant, in which an ingredient called hypericon has been extracted from the St. Johnís Wart and added back in about twenty-two fold. So, since hypericon in the test tube is extremely effective against hepatitis C and hepatitis B, I had a company make this concentrated form up to use in treating people with those two kinds of hepatitis. And the combination of that with LDN looks very promising. It looks to me like the hypericon, the concentrated St. Johnís Wart, looks to be the more important of the two ingredients. I think the naltrexone is helpful with any chronic infection, but the more dramatic element here is the hypericon. In the test tube, it really suppresses these two viruses. In people it seems to suppress hepatitis B and Hepatitis C growth and markedly improve liver function.

Respiratory

  Asthma

Risks

  Increased Risk of Colon Cancer
  Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
 This report describes the use of alpha-lipoic acid and LDN in a man with pancreatic cancer. It seems likely that such a program would go far in preventing this condition in someone with an elevated risk. [The Long-term Survival of a Patient With Pancreatic Cancer With Metastases to the Liver After Treatment With the Intravenous alpha-Lipoic Acid/Low - Dose Naltrexone Protocol, Burton M. Berkson, Daniel M. Rubin, and Arthur J. Berkson INTEGRATIVE CANCER THERAPIES 5(1); 2006] Disease progression recurred when stopping the program, and progression stopped again on resumption.

  Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
  Increased Risk of Lymphoma
  Increased Risk of Leukemia
  Increased Risk of Rectal Cancer
  Increased Risk of Lung Cancer
 Although lung cancer tissue is low in opiod receptors and thus not so likely to respond to LDN, there may be benefit due to LDN's abililty to increase natural killer cell function.

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Eczema
  Psoriasis
 One party reported: "Although the response to low-dose naltrexone (LDN) may sometimes be slower in psoriasis than some other auto-immune conditions, it is effective in the long-term and, once the response is firmly established, it will remain stable as long as the treatment is continued.".

  Pemphigoid
 Dr. Bihari has had the opportunity to treat one patient with pemphigoid. An 82-year-old woman, over a period of three months, developed blisters on her ankles, the soles of her feet, her arms and her neck, which on biopsy proved to be pemphigoid. She was referred to a dermatologist specializing in this disease who treated her with prednisone 40 mg/day, which slowed disease progression but did not clear her blisters. When LDN was added, her blisters cleared and slowly healed over a 6-week period, during which time she slowly tapered her prednisone. On her last visit, she was on both LDN each night and prednisone 5mg every other day with no exacerbation.

Tumors, Malignant

  Leukemia, Chronic Lymphocytic (CLL)
 CLL is one of the cancers that may respond to LDN.

  Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  Multiple Myeloma
  Prostate Cancer
 Dr. Bihari, MD has recently found that the treatment does not seem to work for prostate cancer patients who have received or are receiving some form of hormone manipulation treatment prior to starting the low dose naltrexone. This includes patients who have received Lupron, Casodex, Eulexin, DES, or other drugs designed to reduce testosterone. In addition, patients who have been treated with PC Spes, the herbal preparation with estrogenic effects, also do not seem to respond.

  Colon Cancer
  Pancreatic Cancer
 The use of alpha-lipoic acid and LDN stopped the progression of pancreatic cancer in one man who adhered to a rather simple program. [The Long-term Survival of a Patient With Pancreatic Cancer With Metastases to the Liver After Treatment With the Intravenous alpha-Lipoic Acid/Low - Dose Naltrexone Protocol, Burton M. Berkson, Daniel M. Rubin, and Arthur J. Berkson INTEGRATIVE CANCER THERAPIES 5(1); 2006] Disease progression recurred when stopping the program, and progression stopped again on resumption.

  Rectal Cancer
  Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  Carcinoid Cancer
  Small Intestine Cancer
  Brain Cancer
 The presence of opioid receptors on tumor cells is considered necessary for low dose naltrexone to be beneficial. Glioblastomas and astrocytomas were thought to be low in these receptors, but this assumption has turned out to be inaccurate. These tumor types contain sizable numbers of opioid receptors on their cell membranes.

  Ovarian Cancer
 Dr. Bihari reports some success using LDN on ovarian cancers.

  Breast Cancer
 A few women with breast cancer have responded favorably to LDN alone. LDN needs to be studied further, but until that time, it appears to be safe, inexpensive, and possibly very helpful.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

AIDS:  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. An immune system deficiency disorder that suddenly alters the body's ability to defend itself. The AIDS virus invades the T4 helper/inducer lymphocytes and multiplies, causing a breakdown in the body's immune system, eventually leading to overwhelming infection and/or cancer, with ultimate death.

Apoptosis:  Programmed cell death as signaled by the nuclei in normally functioning human and animal cells when age or state of cell health and condition dictates. Cancerous cells, however, are unable to experience the normal cell transduction or apoptosis-driven natural cell death process.

Autoimmune Disease:  One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Carcinoma:  Malignant growth of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate the surrounding tissue and giving rise to metastasis.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:  CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a disorder of unknown cause that lasts for prolonged periods and causes extreme and debilitating exhaustion as well as a wide range of other symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache and joint pain, often resembling flu and other viral infections. Also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (CEBV), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), "Yuppy Flu" and other names, it is frequently misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression, because routine medical tests do not detect any problems.

Colorectal Cancer:  A cancerous tumor of the large intestine. It is marked by dark, sticky stools containing blood and a change in bowel habits.

Endorphins:  Natural polypeptide opiate-like substances in the brain. One function of endorphins is the suppression of pain.

HIV:  Abbreviation for human immunodeficiency virus, a retrovirus associated with onset of advanced immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Hodgkin's Disease:  Cancer of the lymphatic system and lymph nodes.

Hormones:  Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.

Immune System:  A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.

Leukemia:  Cancer of the lymph glands and bone marrow resulting in overproduction of white blood cells (related to Hodgkin's disease).

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Multiple Sclerosis:  Demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system, causing patches of sclerosis (plaques) in the brain and spinal cord, manifested by loss of normal neurological functions, e.g., muscle weakness, loss of vision, and mood alterations.

Prostate:  The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Psoriasis:  An inherited skin disorder in which there are red patches with thick, dry silvery scales. It is caused by the body making too-many skin cells. Sores may be anywhere on the body but are more common on the arms, scalp, ears, and the pubic area. A swelling of small joints may go along with the skin disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).