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BF: What's your treatment protocol for ALS?
DS: We use a variety of agents, especially stem cells, to seal the injured area in the spine where the poisons are entering the cord. We inject stem cells directly into the injured cervical spinal areas to stop the leak and the progression of the disease. Intravenous and intranasal stem cells are helpful in this regard and also for overall treatment.
I do a lot of testing to identify the biofilm bugs and then try to treat them appropriately. The biofilm is usually the number one enemy, and to treat that effectively, one must use a variety of treatments all at the same time. In our clinic we throw everything we can at biofilms including antifungals and antibiotics plus electrical stimulation to open up cell membranes. Ultrasound. Photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, hyperthermia, intravenous vitamins and minerals. Ozone – IV and topical. Autohemotherapy. Oxidizing agents. I have a microbiology laboratory to do some really fancy testing. Our stem cells are from our own laboratory.
We have a few patients in remission. We're the first clinic in the world, as of the autumn of 2015, that can do T cell therapy against ALS. This involves taking blood from someone with ALS and converting their T cells into immunologically stimulating cells that work well against yeasts or whatever infections they have in their system.
We believe that we are on the cusp, here in our clinic, of getting people truly well. Now that we've identified one of the principle causes, it's just a question of identifying the best therapy. I think each patient will be different in terms of the bugs involved. I'm open to suggestions about therapies, by the way. I solicit ideas.
BF: Could you provide some nutritional advice that might be helpful for an ALS patient?
DS: I recommend a ketogenic diet, which is high fat, adequate protein, and low carb. Stay off all sugars – fruits, fruit juices, candy, cakes, ice cream, alcohol. Avoid acidic foods such as tomato sauce, processed foods, dairy products. Avoid salt. Eat small, frequent, bland meals. Wear a neck collar; avoid injuries to the neck, including twisting. Take as many natural antifungal agents as you can, such as caprylic acid and garlic. Take a level teaspoon of freshly crushed raw garlic 3 times a day. Mix a quarter teaspoon of calcium EDTA, a chelating agent, with this, if you tolerate it. Coconut oil is very good – it's the cheapest and best antiyeast product we have – 4 tablespoons a day is great, up to as much as 8 to 10 tablespoons a day. Scale up slowly. So, definitely, the natural things are good, but as I say, you also need the antifungals and antibiotics, and stool tests and so forth.
Interestingly, arginine, which is found in abundance in nuts and seeds, may well help the immune system fight biofilms. But at the same time, arginine stimulates the growth of yeast, so when arginine is consumed, one needs to treat yeast with antifungals and a no-sugar diet. Nuts and seeds should not be taken intact by ALS patients, since nuts can irritate the gut and worsen the condition. Ground nuts like almond butter or peanut butter should be used instead of whole nuts. Arginine in the form of a supplement is OK if used with antifungals and a no-sugar diet. Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) is especially helpful.
BF: What is your view of mainstream ALS research?
DS: For the most part, ALS researchers are very academically oriented; they're located at big universities and big research centers; they talk about the mutations that cause the familial form of the disease, and how those mutations might help us figure out the spontaneous form, how we can extrapolate from the one to the other. Some lessons from familial can be applied to spontaneous, but really, in terms of the spontaneous, I think I've pretty well pinned it down in terms of primary causation.
BF: Is there anything new in the mainstream that's interesting to you?
DS: There's a new technique called CRISPR whereby it will be possible to cut out bad genes and maybe put good ones in, but this has a ways to go before we can use it to treat the familial form. We're starting to look at it in our clinic.
BF: Some ethical concerns about that, yes?
DS: That's right.
BF: With regard to research priorities – I'm not clear why most research focuses on the familial form of ALS, since it represents just a small fraction of cases.
DS: This focus happens because you can use a mouse model in dealing with the familial. The PhDs doing the research can look at mouse genes and say, "Oh! Here's an interesting gene! You get the misfolded SOD with this!" They've found about 170 different mutations of familial ALS. What does that have to do with spontaneous? Not much.
The researcher can take a mouse or rat and tear it apart and look at every little detail and run it through a lot of high-powered technology, and write papers, and boy, that's great! Writing papers and getting published – then you get more money from the government, and you can keep running on your happy little treadmill. They work 20 years and they say, "We have a lot of really interesting discoveries, but we need at least another 20 years." You say, "What have you come up with that's practical?" They say, "Well, we haven't really come up with much that's practical, but we sure know a lot about the disease now! And one of these days we're going to have the answer! This has a lot of potential!" And nothing ever happens because there's nothing there.
The lack of practical knowledge on the part of the PhDs is a real problem. They don't see patients, generally; they're in laboratories and attending research conferences. They talk about things that are very academic, very complicated, and very detailed, and they need to spend all their time doing that if they're going to get ahead. They study the most minutely detailed material such as genes and proteins, RNA, DNA. Yet they really don't have a clue about the spontaneous form of the disease.
BF: Can you elaborate on how your training in alternative medicine, and de-cades of experience in the field, helped you arrive at your causation theory?
DS: I would never have solved this if I had not been looking holistically at the microbiome and seeing that yeast infections are a problem; if I had not known about certain metabolites found in the urine; if I had not known about serotonin problems associated with ALS and why they are occurring. And so on. My training and experience in alternative medicine have actually been more important to me than anything else for understanding and better defining this disease.
BF: You have established the Steenblock Research Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that accepts donations that are tax deductible. Suppose someone donates $5 million for ALS research. How would you spend it?
DS: First of all I'd buy a couple of very special machines such as a MALDI-TOF spectrophotometer, and some new molecular-weight mass spectrometers, to look at the aggregates in the cerebrospinal fluid, and try to better identify what they're made of, and what we can do to dissolve them. I think the thing that can lead to a cure is solving these aggregates, and superoxide dismutase, and the prions, and the neurofilaments that are involved. Mass spectrometry allows us to look at the yeast and bacterial metabolites in the blood and intestinal tract and cerebrospinal fluid. So that's close to $2 million right there. Then you need a laboratory to fit around these machines, and qualified personnel. So $5 million would get me up and running for about 3 to 5 years and then I'd be out of money. But by that time I would probably pretty much know what was going on, and what to do, and how to do it.
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