PEMF & Mitochondria
My Study of N=1

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
June 4, 2018 [printfriendly]


PEMF & Mitochondria





Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy may be a game-changer when it comes to the health of our mitochondria.

PEMFs are low-frequency, pulsating magnetic fields with wavelengths that can completely penetrate the body.  They are supportive to the body’s natural functions. PEMFs are different from dirty electromagnetic fields (EMFs), sometimes called “electro-smog”.

Dirty EMFs are constant and are contaminated with very high frequency, short-wavelength surges, all of which are damaging to cellular health. Some sources of dirty EMFs are power lines, metal plumbing, and wireless communication devices.

Mitochondria are organelles inside the cytoplasm of all the cells in our body except red blood cells. These mitochondria have various roles, one of which is the creation of energy so that our cells can function. Just as a flashlight requires fresh and strong batteries to shine its light brightly, so do our cells require healthy and peak-performing mitochondria to create the energy for our cells to do their jobs efficiently.


Creation of Energy

Most of the energy for our body is created in the mitochondria. Energy is produced through a biological process called the “Electron Transport Chain” (ETC). Electrons are transferred through the ETC in steps – starting with a protein complex called Complex 1 and then progressing to Complexes II, III and IV. The process ends with Complex V, where energy is produced in the form of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).

If damage occurs in any of these Complexes, then there is dysfunction in the mitochondria. Dysfunctional mitochondria could lead to decreased ability for a cell to do what it was designed to do. Ultimately, chronic disease would be the result of dysfunctional mitochondria.


My Study of N=1

There is some evidence that PEMF therapy may improve the health of mitochondria.[1],[2] However, based on my search of PubMed, there has never been a study to demonstrate that damage to the ETC in mitochondria could be repaired by PEMF therapy.

One challenge has been that there was no non-invasive test to determine the health of the ETC in mitochondria – until now. A recently commercialized, non-invasive test for mitochondrial dysfunction is called MitoSwab Plus. I wrote about this test HERE.

I set out to do my own human research.

My wife was my test subject to study the effects of a PEMF Mat. While there are many PEMF devices in the marketplace today, some are not as “clean” and “biologic” as others. I chose the PureWave Full Body Therapy System

While I am reporting the results of only one person, I believe I had control of all potential “confounding factors”. The only change in my wife’s daily routine over the course of my continuing study was her sleeping on the PureWave PEMF Mat every night.

This PEMF mat has a shape and feel of a soft yoga mat. I placed the mat under the mattress-cover on our bed. The mat is controlled by a timer that turns itself on for a 24-minute session just after my wife goes to bed and then turns itself on for another 24-mintue session just before she wakes.

To begin, I tested her mitochondrial function at the start of this experiment and repeated the test 4 weeks later using the MitoSwab Plus test. The Lab results were impressive.



The baseline data at the start of my Study showed that her mitochondria-per-cell from the sample that was taken were overproducing mitochondria. The test also documented deficiencies in Complex I and Complex III. The overproduction of mitochondria was to compensate for her deficiencies in both complexes. I performed a second MitoSwab Plus test at the 4-week mark.

The results from the 4-week mitochondria test reported a significant decrease in the overproduction of mitochondria and significant improvements in both Complex I and Complex III.

I will continue to test my wife’s mitochondria over the next couple of months for more confirmation of improved mitochondrial function. However, these are only the results from one individual. I did not have any control group.


My Next Step

My next step will be to design a Protocol for a double-blind, randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the PureWave PEMF Mat on the health of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. Then, I will present it to an Institutional Review Board to get the ball rolling.

To prove the PureWave PEMF Mat is repairing the ETC in dysfunctional mitochondria, my Protocol will consist of a control group and an experimental group. The control group would lay on a mat that was not generating a magnetic field, and the experimental group would lay on a mat that was producing PEMFs. MitoSwab Plus testing would be performed at the beginning and at the end of the study period.

My goal at the completion of the study is to prove a causal relationship between PEMF therapy and the repair of dysfunctional mitochondria.




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What Gets Me Inspired?
… My Double-Blind Study …

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
March 12, 2018 [printfriendly]




My Double-Blind Study


I get inspired about things to which others may just respond with a yawn. Well, it’s the geek in me coming out. For example, here is a study, which was published in July 2017, that gets me inspired – inspired enough to write a protocol for a double-blind study, which will be fully funded by a US company.


According to Dr. Figueredo and the other authors [1], their paper was the first published research that showed IBD could directly affect the gum tissues in the mouth.


What is IBD?

IBD is the acronym for inflammatory bowel disease. This term relates to a group of chronic intestinal diseases characterized by inflammation of the large or small intestines. The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD creates endotoxemia [2], and endotoxemia compromises the immune function and contributes to systemic chronic inflammation. [3]


Dr. Figueredo’s Study

Dr. Figueredo and his investigators recruited 21 patients with IBD and chronic periodontitis. The research showed those patients with active IBD had increased gum tissue inflammation compared to those patients with their IBD in remission. The authors suggested that changes in one mucosal surface in the body could affect other mucosal surfaces anywhere else in the body.


My takeaway from this study is that the gut directly affects the mouth and the progression of gum disease. If the gut microbiome can be restored to a state of balance along with repair of the gut membrane and elimination of chronic inflammation, then I can infer from this medical trial that there could be a reduction and possible remission of active gum disease.


Current, vigorous medical research is uncovering the importance and the causal relationships between dysbiosis in the gut and the proliferation of many chronic and autoimmune diseases. With this supporting science by Dr. Figueredo, there may be a potential path originating from the gut that may improve what I treat daily – periodontal disease.


Studies that Support My Premise

Brian K McFarlin and other researchers [4] published a paper in 2017. The investigators selected 28 participants whose blood tests demonstrated significant endotoxemia after consuming a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. This select group of individuals were divided into two groups. Both groups took two capsules of a daily supplement for four weeks. One group took placebo capsules, and the other took capsules containing five different spore-based bacillus probiotics.  At the end of the trial, participants ate another high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. Their blood was tested before the meal and then retested after the meal. Five hours after the meal, the results showed an average 42% decrease of endotoxemia in the group taking the probiotic capsules. However, the group taking the placebo actually had a 36% increase in endotoxemia. The authors suggested that the positive results might be improved significantly if the probiotics were taken for several more months.


In 2016, Xue Li and others [5] published their medical research. They used healthy human gum tissue cells for their experiment. These tissue cells were exposed to lipopolysaccharides (LPS), which are present in the pathogenic bacteria of periodontal disease. The results of the research showed that mitochondria in the gum tissue cells exposed to LPS created excess reactive oxygen species (ROS). Following the production of excess ROS, the gum cells produced excess cytokines that could lead to periodontal destruction. However, when the mitochondria of these gum tissue cells were treated to reduce excess ROS production, chronic cytokine production also was reduced even in the presence of LPS.


Melissa Vos and others [6] published a paper in 2012 using an animal model. In summary, they demonstrated that vitamin K2 was able to rescue damaged mitochondria, which had been altered at the beginning of the research to represent damaged cells of Parkinson’s Disease.


My Double-Blind Study

The articles above have inspired me to connect the dots.


The questions I ask myself are:

  • “Can a healthy gut heal or prevent gum disease?”
  • “Can vitamin K2 rescue the mitochondria in unhealthy gum tissue cells?”


I want to investigate the potentially beneficial effects on active gum disease of a daily Supplement. In the study, participants will consume this daily Supplement once a day with meals over the course of 30 days.


I am collaborating with a microbiologist and a medical doctor specializing in immunology and toxicology to write the protocol for this double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Half the selected group will take a Placebo; half will take the Supplement, which will consist of 5 spore-based bacillus bacteria as well as a high-dose of vitamin K2-MK7. At the beginning of the trial and 30 days later, dental hygienists will document active gum disease in these individuals and will obtain gum tissue cells using a non-invasive “gum swab”. Laboratory analysis of the cells will determine the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction.


Currently, we are enlisting dental offices that may want to participate in this study. As you may know, human research requires various regulatory steps. After receiving approval from an Institutional Review Board, our team will initiate the study in several dental offices in the US and Canada.


Stay tuned for the results!



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