The Anti-cancer Chemical DCA May Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

haidut

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Over the last 2 years, I posted a few studies on the stress-induced origins of CFS as well as some of details about the pathology such as downregulated activity of the enzyme PDH. That enzyme is crucial for proper glucose metabolism and is downregulated in many other conditions, especially cancer.
CFS Is Likely Hypometabolism Triggered By Environmental Stress
The Ability To Metabolize Glucose Is Impaired In CFS/ME Patients
CFS/ME Once Again Confirmed As A Metabolic Disorder

The drug DCA has been studied as a possible treatment for cancer and its main effect is suppression of the the enzyme PDK, which has the effect of re-activating PDH. Given that CFS is also postulated to be a manifestation of impaired glucose metabolism due to low PDH function, the authors of the study below decided to try it as therapy for CFS. In addition, just as I suggested in my posts above, the treatment also added 100mg vitamin B1 to the DCA treatment. Vitamin B1 is not only a co-factor for PDH but has been found to work similarly to DCA in terms of effects on PDK.
Thiamine Acts Similarly To DCA And May Be Helpful In Cancer
Pregnenolone As A Possible Treatment Of CFS/ME

As the study says, the treatment worked in about 45% of the patients and in those people who responded to treatment the majority of CFS symptoms disappeared or were greatly reduced. The people who did not respond turned out to have other disorders/conditions that prevented proper response. The conditions that prevented the remaining 55% to respond to treatment included hyperparathyroidism, hypogonadism, endocrine tumor, multiple sclerosis and encephalitis. I think if thyroid was added to the regimen and the infection in some patients was treated, the response rate would have been much higher. Also, the dose of vitamin B1 was likely not sufficient to produce optimal effect. In patients with neurological conditions or IBD, 600mg vitamin B1 (thiamine) daily was the minimum that produced meaningful improvement. So, I suspect at least 600mg would be needed to improve CFS as well. In people with IBD who have lower absorption of vitamins in the GI tract, even a dose exceeding 1g may be needed. As far as the hyperparathyroidism and hypogonadism, vitamin D, pregnenolone and DHEA may be able to help and at least the pregnenolone use is backed by another study mentioned above.

Treating patients suffering from myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) with sodium dichloroacetate: An open-label, proof-of-principle pilot trial - ScienceDirect

"...A nutriceutical is a composite food supplement containing natural ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and plant extracts, which are expected to act in synergism for correcting or preventing functional disorders or diseases, without causing adverse effects. The initial 10 patients were treated with a nutriceutical consisting of the 400 mg of sodium salt of dichloroacetate (DCA) plus 100 mg Vitamin B1. Afterwards the formulation was extended by adding alfa-lipoic acid (ALA), acetyl-l-carnitine and the oxidoreductase ubiquinone Q10."

"...Ten patients (45%) responded favourably, and their FSS decreased from an average of 6.00 points (SD: 0.68) before treatment, to an average of 3.48 points (SD: 0.98), corresponding to a decrease of 42.7% (SD:17.8%; student’s t-test for paired observations: P=0.0001). In the 12 non-responders the FSS was 6.43 points (SD: 0.47) before treatment, and 5.96 (SD:1.06) after treatment (P=0.13). In 2 responders with important fibro-myalgic complaints the pain visual scale value decreased from 8 to 2, and from 6 to 2 respectively. Responders also noticed important improvement of the cognitive functions, but this was not evaluated by any specific test."

"...Among the non-responders several organic diseases were detected, including among others, severe osteoporosis due to hyperparathyroidism, late onset hypogonadism (LOH), a neuro-endocrine tumour, early stage multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune limbic encephalitis. In these patients the ME/CFS complaints should be classified as secondary [2], explaining the lack of response to nutriceutical treatment."
 

debored13

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This was not double-blinded but I know anecdotally people have great success with DCA, and hopefully they do double-blinded trials soon too, and also test phenylbutyrate and high dose thiamine. What's your take on the toxicity of DCA though.
 

SB4

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I have also seen anecdotes for some success with this treatment. It appears worth a try if you have CFS.

Unfortunately I was a non responder. Which is weird because I have had some limited success with allithiamine and my organic acid test suggested pyruvate dehydrogenase problems. Perhaps I have one of the other conditions preventing it from working or something else entirely.
 

Obi-wan

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Biotin (B7) is a PDK inhibitor and as mentioned Thiamine (B1) is a PDH upregulator. PDH will turn Pyruvate into actyl-CoA which feeds the Krebs cycle. PDK causes Pyruvate to turn into Lactic acid. The cells consume glucose via glycolysis or fat via beta-oxidation. If fat is preferred it inhibits glycolysis and more Lactic acid is produced. Niacinamide is a FAO inhibitor and increases NAD+. I think all need to be considered. All B Vitamins should be made in the small intestine via bacteria. Maybe endotoxin prevents this...Thiamine(B1) seems to be a key player in proper cellular metabolism. Lets not forget Aspirin which is a COX1 and COX2 inhibitor and Prostaglandin E2(the real bad boy) inhibitor. The Krebs cycle feeds the ECT which creates ATP, carbon dioxide and water. Carbon dioxide reduces lactic acid...
 

haidut

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This was not double-blinded but I know anecdotally people have great success with DCA, and hopefully they do double-blinded trials soon too, and also test phenylbutyrate and high dose thiamine. What's your take on the toxicity of DCA though.

DCA is undoubtedly toxic in higher doses and/or when taken long term. So, instead of DCA I would try something like a higher dose combination of B1, B3, and B7 (biotin), together with some methylene blue.
 

Broken man

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Only my personal experience, I tried high doses of b vitamins mentioned here, its helpfull but its not practical for long term using. Inosine is key for me.
 

lampofred

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I suspect that it will be helpful in fibromyalgia + arthritis-related issues as well
 

milkboi

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Definitely want to try this now. In combination with MB, B1 megadose, nicotinamide, T3, magnesium, red light, creatine
 
Last edited:

milkboi

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DCA is undoubtedly toxic in higher doses and/or when taken long term. So, instead of DCA I would try something like a higher dose combination of B1, B3, and B7 (biotin), together with some methylene blue.

Do you think the dose in the OP study would be safe for a few months?
 
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