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Natural Killer Cells And IP6

  1. So I went to see a Lyme Literate doctor. I really liked the guy and we're investigating my problems here. He wants to go to work on the viral activity that's going on first and see what turns up with the Lyme in three months.

    I'm a little confused by this approach, but I can see where he's coming from. There are two Lyme guys now who say viruses are my problem -- or what are making me feel so sick.

    I am actually really scared of my viruses. They just keep messing with you and there is nothing you can do about it really until your "immune system" puts them back into the proper order of things.

    This doctor, though, suggested that since my Natural Killer cells were low that I take a product called IP6. IP6 is basically phytic acid. I remember reading -- and seeing all over the net at one point -- that IP6 raised Natural Killer cell activity but I can't find a single study on pubmed that states this. I can go through page after page of Google results and see lots of sites selling IP6 based on this claim, but I can't find the science.

    My other problem is that IP6 is basically phytic acid. No -- IP6 -- IS phytic acid, the exact reason that Dr. Peat tells people not to eat beans and grains. I wrote to him and asked him about this, and told him I think maybe the way that IP6 "raises Natural Killer cell" activity is because the immune system thinks the IP6 actually is a virus. He didn't answer me about that, he just said you raise natural killer cell activity with thyroid, progesterone and vitamin D.

    Does anyone have experience with this IP6 thing? Or with raising NK cell activity to kill viruses? Or raising NK cell activity by any other means?
  2. Doesn't it lower iron? :shock:
  3. That's what I read here. I think it also interferes with all mineral assimilation. I'm not completely against taking IP6 if it will raise my ability to fight off viruses but from everything Peat that I know it seems like it would do the exact opposite.
  4. I think Ray Peat has talked about iron poisoning the immune system.
  5. That's not my issue though. I have documented extremely low iron and I'm just now getting it back up to "normal." I might need something else chelated ( even though I took a hair mineral test that said all levels were normal) but not iron.

    IP6 has shown anti-cancer activity in vivo, but there are *so many* compounds that show anticancer activity. I feel like the IP6/NK cell idea was a theory maybe taken up by salesmen in order to sell phytic acid.
  6. I think you're smart to research this and ask around before you make a final decision. Many doctors operate from a paradigm of destroying and kill rather than nourish, support and heal. That's not necessarily a condemnation but just a reflection of their training and our current culture. Not that any of that will help you decide whether to take the supplement but I think looking at the suggestions by Dr.Peat and checking your current levels of vitamin D, progesterone and thyroid and optimizing those would be more likely to promote eradication of the viruses.
    I personally had really good results when I added back vitamin D after becoming deficient. A lingering upper respiratory tract infection resolved and a wart on my leg is nearly gone so it obviously helped my immune response.
    I would trust your instincts on this one until you find some legitimate and convincing evidence for the supplement. It sort of sounds like a sales pitch to me at this point too.
    I lived with an extremely high titer of Epstein Barr virus at one point so I can relate to your concern and anxiety! I hated the fact that some virus was replicating in my body and I didn't know what to do about it! You do have your own knowledge, Peat's insights and a slew of helpful forum members so I'm confident you have the best chance of overcoming this issue. I'm following your story and cheering you on mess!
  7. I was actually told to stop taking Vitamin D since my serum levels were moving into the toxic range, so that's not it. My thyroid is not "fine" but tsh is under 1.0 so supplementing that seems...hasty. And I have practically bathed in progesterone, so I don't know if that's a miracle fix for me.

    What did you do about your high EBV, Blossom?

    I'm thinking you probably just supported your health the best you could until it calmed down. No matter how long it takes, this seems to be my only real option.
  8. I just basically slept my life away. The doctors had nothing to offer me. That was 1999 so it was challenging to find any helpful information back then...

    Sorry to hear that vitamin D, thyroid and progesterone aren't the issue since that seems like it would be an easy fix. How long ago did you stop taking the vitamin D?
    Perhaps getting it down to a reasonable level will help. Rest and good nutrition certainly never hurts but you're well informed about that already! If I happen to run across anything that might be of interest I'll post it here. :)
  9. If you take it on an empty stomach, it should be fine. It can have an anti-inflammatory effect and on an empty stomach it's not going to bind minerals in your food.
  10. It's been about a month. When I was supplementing I didn't think it made any difference but at least I fixed whatever deficiency there might have been. I mean to get my progesterone levels checked too -- I could have gone overboard with that too, with no result.

    Thanks Blossom!
  11. That's a good point.
  12. You're welcome. I'm glad ecstatichamster replied about the IP6. Please update if you decide to take it and it works for you!
  13. I found two studies and this was one of them. From 2005, ten years ago - it said that IP6 increased natural killer cell activity and this resulted in smaller colon tumors in rats.


    The other one was from 1989, and said that IP6 increased natural killer cell activity.

    But that's it, thats all that's on the roster. It seems like this line of inquiry was abandoned for some reason. I decided to start taking it since the only bad side effects seem to be mineral chelation, and that it might be a potential gut allergen. Which leads me back to my other idea, that the body thinks it's a virus and starts replicating NK to fight the threat.

    I dunno. I'm so lost with this stuff lately.
  14. Past year I went through a session of ct scans which killed my immune system and blood numbers, only things which worked for me have been Shiitake and Shark liver oil, I think it's worth you take a look.
  15. Thanks -- earlier in the year I tried to take Lion's Mane mushrooms and had bad weirdness. It always seems like I run into mushroom remedies that I react badly to but my immune system was clearly different then. I think there is a brand of IP6 that also has AHCC -- the apparently the fractions of Mushroom that are the most potent for the immune system.

    I'm going to try more stuff, I just have to go slowly so I know what is doing what, if anything.
  16. That's a good one. See there are all kinds of things that work against cancer, especially in a test tube. But this doesn't really tell us how they're working against the cancer or if there is another factor involved. Natural killer cells are a totally different part of the equation -- they're not a cancer cell line, they're a type of white blood cell. So a thing, any compound, can show anti-cancer activity having nothing to do with a person's state of health or their immune system.

    There's a line in the section about Leukemia where it says that it "increased cell differentiation" -- and that's what we want. Natural Killer cells are the most differentiated immune cell, in other words it is the last one to differentiate. So that's good, at least it is talking about cells.
  17. Bump!
  18. @messtafarian sorry to hear about your viral infection and @Blossom EBV is terribly debilitating and good to hear you have managed to overcome it. Though you can never be complacent and allow yourself to get run down as the damage can be devastating. Good diet and optimised diet and thyroid function all important. Yes plenty of rest and sunshine. Luxuries these days.

    I always wondered about the IP6 and Dr Peat's opinion on it. Peat advocates eating lots of ripe melons and orange juice from sun ripened fruits which are rich in inositol. I guess if you had to pick between fruit or beans; Peat will always favour fruit.

    Among the fruits, cantaloupe and citrus fruits (with the exception of lemons) have extraordinarily high contents of myoinositol [8]. Cells normally derive inositol from three sources: (1) de novo biosynthesis from glucose-6-phosphate by the 1-d-myoinositol-phosphate synthase (MIPS) and inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) pathways; (2) dephosphorylation of inositol phosphates derived from the breakdown of inositol-containing membrane phospholipids; and (3) uptake from the extracellular fluid via specialized myoinositol transporters [9].

    Inositol - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

    I assume you have read the work by the researcher who did the research on IP6.

    I read his work years ago and have always wondered what Peat's opinion was on this research. I have used IP6 on reducing high ferritin levels. I am sure he has good reason not to favour it as he does not even mention it as an iron-chelating agent, preferring coffee, tea and milk.

    Maybe someone could ask him to be more specific on why he does not recommend it. Many integrative MDs are using it, so it would be helpful to learn why he does not recommend it.

    I wish you a speedy recovery.
  19. Thanks @Ella. I'll admit to getting a little scared last year that it might resurface. Fortunately I've remained fine but I think once you make it to the other side you never forget the experience or take feeling normal/good for granted. I'm 19 years post the initial onset and just made it through one of the most stressful experiences of my lifetime. I had to return to working 12 hour nights for a year during that time to support my family and that's what concerned me the most with regards to EBV. The most obvious differences I can pinpoint are that I'm now managing my hypothyroidism and celiac disease properly and getting adequate nutrition. Thanks for the tips about rest and sunlight. My rest is improving now that I'm working days again and with the seasonal changes I'm doing better with sunlight too. It's definitely a multifaceted approach we need to take to keep everything functioning optimally.
  20. I hear you @Blossom I experienced CFS after I had my first baby. You're right; you never forget. Drs thought I was making it up and told me it was normal to be fatigue as a new mother. BS, this was no fatigue. No-one checked my thyroid. I wish I'd known then what I know now. Peat is such a wonderful resource. Nightshift + stressful job is such a b****. I did quite a few years of revolving shifts and my health spiralled out of control. Of course I was well aware of the research and nightshift but I too had no option but to keep working and it allowed me to drive kids to school in the morning. The money on day shift did not allow me to earn the money to support returning to my research work. Then I started my Phd which was offered to me on a plater. All this going into menopause and my body just broke. I had to walk away from everything.

    @messtafarian, I don't mean to hijack your thread only to highlight that viruses get activated/reactivated when the body's energy needs are exhausted. Our genome is scattered with viral genes. So rest, rest and more rest.
    Nourish the body with fresh organic healing foods. Fruits are rich in minerals and Vitamin C and offer benefits that surpass beans and grains. Eating a slice of grained bread during my CFS years would knock me out for 3 days. I can eat bread now and suffer no effects. I was eating a diet that I thought was healthy. It was far from healthy, it was killing me slowly. Peat has thought deeply over which foods offer the most benefits. Nutrition is only one part of the equation as @Blossom mentioned.

    Infared Sauna/red light are good options to heat up the body in mimicking a fever. When immune system is weakened, raising the body's internal temperature not only helps with virus killing but heavy metals too. This is why optimisation of thyroid function is so crucial- to raise the body's internal temperature. These infections come hand in hand with heavy metals. A good healthy diet will take care of heavy metals and proper digestion to absorb nutrients. If you are in a weakened state then sauna therapy maybe too much and perhaps red light would be better.

    Pulse electromagnetic fields therapy is excellent. I have been most impressed with it. I had the parvo virus detected in my carotid artery. I suffered as long as I can remember with pain in my neck. After one treatment it completely disappeared, never to return. Part of my research was looking at non-invasive therapies and detection methods in the treatment of stealth infections in the cornea.

    My energy levels at time of detection were as low as low can be. This was when I was doing shift work but had taken a sabatical to focus on my research overseas. After 2 weeks living in the mountains and travelling each day to Rome my energy levels improved substantially. You would think the stress of travelling would have zapped my energy further, instead I was invigorated. The professor I was collaborating with, had the most cutting edge equipment. One such equipment took a scan of the body showing areas of low energy. It was quite shocking to me and the Professor warned me to give up my shiftwork and solely focus on my research work because he feared for my health. He was right, as I entered menopause, working on my research work, my body broke. I had to walk away from everything to find a way to heal my body.

    BTW, you should never determine iron status via hair tissue analysis, always on iron panel. Iron is one element in which HTMA is not reliable for. The best marker on HTMA for infection is the sodium/potassium ratio. When this ratio is < than 1, then it is a pretty good indicator of infection.

    ARL : A Persistent Low Sodium/Potassium Ratio

    As stated in ARL newsletter, be careful with Vitamin C as it can quickly deplete copper. Copper is required to fight infections.

    I would add to be careful with supplementing iron and zinc as these too compete with copper. Do you need copper to optimise your iron levels?

    Have you checked your copper status? The zn/cu ratio on hair is useful.
    @Blossom is spot on here. We can't look to just one solution as being the answer. It's never been proven to work and it will never work. There is no magic bullet. Just sheer hard work, consistency and discipline in optimising the body's needs. You need to take a multi-pronged approach.

    It is also helpful if you have someone to take care of your daily needs. Having energy to shop and prepare nourishing and timely meals can be too much. Extra help can help enormously; going at it alone is too stressful. Unnecessary stress you can ill afford when trying to heal. Stressful relationships are a death knell. You need to get rid of energy vampires (or minimise interactions if these are family members) and minimise all life stresses. Work towards a lifestyle that is supportive of health. From personal experience, incredibly hard to do, but never give up on moving forward. With each day comes hope, new awareness and knowledge.
  21. That's a great link @Ella. Very informative!
    Me too- lots of whole wheat/grains, nuts/nut butters and my own fresh baked bread of course-very anti thyroid and the worst things I could have been eating with (undiagnosed) celiac disease.
    So true. I can honestly say despite everything life has thrown my way I'm doing better now in my late 40's than I was in my 20's! I have Peat's work and this forum with it's numerous helpful contributors to thank for that!
    @messtafarian, neither do I and I hope things are going well for you. I also hope this conversation can help others who are struggling with viral issues and provide some hope.