Lyme Disease - Cat's Claw   Last updated: November 14, 2003



Lyme Disease: Nutraceutical Breakthrough Using TOA-Free Catís Claw  

Study Shows Pentacyclic Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa to be Effective In Treating Chronic Lyme Disease (Lyme Borreliosis)

INVESTIGATORS: William Lee Cowden, M.D. Hamid Moayad, D.O. Joan Vandergriff, N.D. Luis Romero, M.D., Ph.D. Svetlana Ivanova, M.D., Ph.D.

 Control Group: A few patients experienced slight improvement, and the rest remained with no positive change in their clinical condition at the end of study.

Experimental Group: 100% of patients experienced marked clinical improvement; 85% were seronegative for Lyme disease at the end of study.

Pilot Study Results

A 6-month pilot study was recently conducted with 28 patients suffering from Advanced Chronic Lyme disease. All the patients tested positive for Lyme disease utilizing the Western Blot blood test for Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb ), the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The control group was treated with conventional antibiotic treatment, and at the end of the study, from 14 patients in this group, 3 slightly improved, 3 got worse, and the rest remained with no change in their clinical condition. The experimental group was treated with Pentacyclic Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa. At the end of the study, 85% of the patients in this group tested negative for Bb, and all the patients experienced a dramatic improvement in their clinical condition. A full report will be available soon.

 Pentacyclic Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa, also known as TOA-Free Cat's Claw, is a rare chemo - type of a medicinal plant commonly known as Cat's Claw, botanical name Uncaria tomentosa. Unlike traditional Cat's Claw products, this chemotype does not contain a group of chemical antagonists called tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs) that act upon the central nervous system and can greatly inhibit the positive effect of the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). The Pentacyclic Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa that was utilized in the study contains a standardized amount of POAs that primarily affect the immune cells responsible for non-specific and cellular immunity, and demonstrate powerful immune system modulating properties. According to re search conducted in Austria, traditional Cat's Claw products may contain as much as 80% TOAs, and as little as 1% TOAs can cause a 30% reduction in immune system modulating properties that POAs provide.

 How Pentacyclic Alkaloid Chemotype Uncaria tomentosa May Eliminate the Pathogen

The latest research on Bb shows that it exists in at least three different forms: the spirochete, the spheroplast (also known as L-form), and the cyst. During the course of infection, Bb can shift among these three forms, converting from the spirochete form to the others when presented with an unfavorable environment (antibiotics, changes in pH of body fluids in chronic inflammation, etc.), and reverting back to the spirochete form to grow and reproduce upon being released from naturally aging and dying infected cells. It is during the growth period after re-conversion to the spirochete form, as well as in adult spirochete form, that Bb is most vulnerable and susceptible to antibiotics and natural elimination by the bodyís immune system. The severity of Lyme presentation is directly related to the spirochete load: low load results in mild or even asymptomatic infections. With increased spirochete load from subsequent re p e a t e d infections and/or reactivated dormant infections, the severity of the disease increases. Higher loads also impair key cells of the immune system and modify the immune response, thus making the immune system unable to fight the pathogen. The negative effects on the immune system increase the longer the spirochetes are present. To prevail in the effort to fight Lyme disease, it is necessary to not only restore the immune system to normal functioning, but to boost it as well.

 Even a normal functioning immune system is unable to attack and eliminate Bb in all its forms. The results of research on TOA - f re e Chemotype Catís Claw demonstrate its powerful immune system modulating and stimulating properties, along with pronounced anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-infectious effects. The diverse spectrum of the biological activities of TOA - free Chemotype Catís Claw is due to its biologically active compounds. The pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs) contained in this Chemotype are generally accepted as the principal immunomodulating and immunostimulating agents. POAs are actively involved in the repair of many elements and functional mechanisms of both the innate and acquire d immunity damaged by Bb and other coinfections, assisting in restoration of structural and functional integrity of the immune system, enhancing its ability to eliminate the pathogens in a natural way. In addition, this Chemotype contains quinovic acid glycosides Ė compounds with strong natural antibiotic properties (the latest generations of conventional synthetic antibiotics, ďQuinolones,Ē are based on quinovic acid glycosides), which further enhance the medicinal effect of TOA - free Chemotype Catís Claw in fighting the infection.

 Considering the life-span of intracellular forms of Bb equivalent to the life-span of the cells invaded by these forms, they are constantly released into the surrounding environment upon natural cell death and destruction. The release of intracellular forms of Bb is gradual over time due to the various life-spans of various invaded cells. Since about 90% of these forms reside in various cells (including all blood cells) which have a life-span of 2-3 weeks to 6-8 months, it may be assumed that within a 6-8 month period, a significant majority of all intracellular forms of Bb will be released into the environment where they can be successfully attacked by a properly functioning immune system and a natural powerful antibiotic.

 Taking into account all the above, it can be assumed that continuous use of TOA-free Chemotype Catís Claw over a period of time consistent with the lifespan of several generations of various infected cells (8-12 months), would more likely result in gradual killing and eliminating of Bb and co-existing infectious pathogens, with subsequent reduction of infectious load in the body and restoration of the personís health.

Dormancy And Subsequent Activation Caused By Weakened Immune System

It is believed that years can pass before symptoms appear in a patient who has been infected with Bb. In 1998, a study conducted in Switzerland demonstrated that only 12.5% of the patients that tested positive for Bb developed clinical symptoms confirming that the infection is often asymptomatic. A report fro m Germany outlines the case of a 12 year old boy that developed Lyme Arthritis 5 years after being bit by a tick. The case indicates that the latency period between tick bite and onset of L y m e Arthritis may be as long as 5 years. All asymptomatic carriers of B b a re at risk of developing Lyme disease at some point. Stress, an increasing health concern for physicians worldwide, may have been the trigger that activated Lyme disease in a patient in Sweden, a 26 year-old woman with latent Lyme borreliosis that was concurrently activated with a herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. Immune suppression by stress may have caused activation of both infections.

This article was featured in the October 2003 Allergy Research Group Newsletter Focus.