So, I'm thoroughly confused now. I've been reading up on biofilms, auto-immune diseases, and the Marshall Protocol. The Marshall camp suggests that Vitamin D supplementation, while being extremely effective in the short term, will likely be detrimental in the long term because it impairs the function/activity of the vitamin D receptor. Like taking a conventional corticosteroid, it can dramatically reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system - but greatly increases the chance and severity of relapse in the long run.
They suggest low dose, pulsed antibiotics to destroy low-grade biofilm bacterial infections, and the vitamin D receptor agonist "olmesartan" to promote vitamin D activity while also remedying vitamin D metabolism (for serious "chronic inflammatory diseases", as they define them). The protocol seems to be supported by very little documented empirical evidence, but does have intriguing anecdotal and circumstantial support.
What concerns me most is their critique of vitamin D supplementation. Among other charges, they suggest that Vitamin D studies are flawed by their short term focus, that many populations with low vitamin D levels nonetheless show high vitamin D "activity" and are healthy in terms of chronic disease incidence, and that both observational and interventional studies on vitamin D have had wildly inconsistent results. On a more emotionally charged note, levels of vitamin D in breastmilk are very low, despite supplementation in pregnant women.
So what gives? I was hoping the community had already grappled with this, but I couldn't find anything terribly relevant when searching. Can some people smarter than me please explain?
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Found this on another forum... not my answer but someone elses
Mercola has done reasonable job of explaining why the Marshall Protocol doesn't work. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/14/Clearing-Up-Confusion-on-Vitamin-D--Why-I-Dont-Recommend-the-Marshall-Protocol.aspx)
Mark London's refutation of the Marshall protocol. (http://stuff.mit.edu/people/london/universe.htm) the study a 2009 study has shown just the opposite, that 25(OH)D has agonistic activities similar to that of 1,25(OH)2D: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19944755)
Marshall claims Vitamin D blocks the Vitamin D receptor, in fact the above paper shows calcidiol works in synergy with Calcitriol.
We see the same effect with curcumin Curcumin: a novel nutritionally derived ligand of the vitamin D receptor with implications for colon cancer chemoprevention. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20153625) there's other research I can list that supports similar action in other conditions. (cancer Alzheimer's)
What matters ultimately is what happens in practice. People with higher 25(OH)D levels live longest. If Marshall was right all the evidence would prove that those with lowest D3 levels were the healthiest. As they aren't it's not worth wasting time on his theory. Ron_Mocci
I was intrigued by the Marhshall protocol once too, but the more I looked into it the more they seemed like a cult. Like the the fact that Vitamin D studies have been short term, they equally have no evidence to support the long term assumptions of there theories. Likewise, I am sorry but I have huge skepticism for anyone that prescribes a long term prescription for antibiotics .. and then not even acknowledge the damage that such a use would do to the body and the immune system via destruction of commensal flora.
I have read success and some people who have had absolutely no success with it. Moreover, I just really don't understand how basically denying your body a key nutrient it needs to function gets you any better.
The only thing that I think is worth really considering with the Marshall Protocol is the idea that supplementing with Vitamin D could weaken our own Vitamin D receptors, much in the way that supplementing with hormones weakens our own bodies production of it.
But again.. what about those tribes that ate Vitamin D rich fish? Does getting D from a dietary source weaken your own bodies receptors?
I think his research brings up alot of important questions but the problem is that he throws them into a patened protocol and calls it good, and anyone who is a naysayer is pretty much attacked and cast out.
I thought Charles Washington was a nut over at ZIOH but damn then I saw Amy Proal and Trevor Marshall and they really give those guys at ZIOH a run for their money.
I think you also need to consider evolutionary history. We evolved to receive a full daily complement of Vitamin D with about 30 minutes of full sun exposure and this in a time when we were outside most if not all day. The point being, anything less than at least 30 minutes of full body sun exposure is likely to put you at a selective disadvantage. That works out to around 10,000IU / day. The idea that we don't need Vitamin D completely denies evolution.
There is a missing piece here, and there are published studies on it. Some people have a genetic mutation known as VDR Bsm. I'm one of them. Homozygous, which is the worse form. In this case, what happens is that that the body very quickly converts D3 (which is what is normally tested on a vitamin d test, and is normally the best way to check) to D1, the active form. D3 levels typically show low or low normal, so it is ASSUMED that a person is low in vitamin D. However, if the D1 test is run, it will often come back HIGH - hypervitaminosis D, which is KNOWN to be toxic. I just had this test recently after another 2 1/2 years of being ill with a lot of pieces, but no real complete puzzle picture. Vitamin D is good for your immune system, but too much is hyper-stimulating and has been linked to autoimmunity. It also raises calcium levels too high, depletes magnesium, increases zinc absorption, displacing copper.... This genetic mutation (which most people do NOT have tested) may be at the root of why the Marshall Protocol DOES work...but not for everyone. The difficulty is that most doctors, even holistic ones, are still trying to treat everyone with the same symptoms or even the same condition, the same way. Genetics is a very new science, and only about 1/4 of the genome has been mapped. I believe as scientists and doctors learn more about it, it will really give us a better idea of how to treat people individually.
I've read Dr. Mercola's explanation as to why he opposes the Marshall Protocol but he doesn't seem to know the connection with the VDR Bsm mutation or take it into consideration. I am a big fan of Dr. Mercola, but obviously no one provider knows all the answers.
Not that I'm supporting the Marshall Protocol, but I believe this is a thought provoking read on why supplementing vit d may not be advantageous in certain cases: http://gettingstronger.org/2012/11/why-i-dont-take-vitamin-d-supplements/