I’m Thriving
– My 3 Cancer Killers –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
February 11, 2019 [printfriendly]


I’m not only surviving; I’m thriving! But I still have bone marrow cancer.


I know that IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma is not curable through conventional medicine. However, precancerous and cancerous cells may be susceptible to many natural therapies [1]. Although everything I describe below is controversial, there may be specific “cancer killers” out there that might help those with a personal challenge of malignancy.


Some medical research describes cancer as a mitochondrial metabolic disease [2],[3]. But most conventionally trained medical doctors are unaware of this concept. Most doctors don’t know about various natural therapies that have been suggested and used to treat cancer. Peer-reviewed research supports the use of many non-toxic products and technologies. Unfortunately, there are not many human studies that prove success with these alternative methods. The reason? – It would be rare for pharmaceutical companies to finance research that couldn’t be patented and made into money-making drugs! Yet, my alternative treatment plan includes many of these ideas, which are not part of mainstream medicine.


I’ve incorporated three natural and potentially powerful “cancer killers” in my comprehensive cancer protocol. These are core components of my extensive healing plan. My caveat and disclaimer are that these may not be effective or suitable for you:


  • Salvestrol [4]
  • Fucoidan [5],[6]
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy [7]


Let’s get into the nitty gritty of each of these potential life-savers.




I am excited about salvestrols because they have the ability to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.


Salvestrols are various plant-derived compounds called phytonutrients. They cannot be made in the human body; we get them from our diet. Beneficial salvestrols are produced by plants as a defensive mechanism and are mostly found in their skins and root surfaces. However, our eating habits, conventional farming practices, and food processing methods have destroyed most of the natural salvestrols, which were abundant in our primal ancestors’ diet.


In our DNA, there is a family of genes called cytochrome P450. The cytochrome P450 genes are critical for most of our detoxification pathways. CYP1B1, an enzyme created by cytochrome P450 genes, is highly concentrated in the cytoplasm of all precancerous and cancerous cells. This enzyme converts salvestrols into a metabolite that is toxic to the cell. Since CYP1B1 rarely exists in healthy cells, precancer and cancer cells are killed by the metabolites of salvestrols, but healthy cells are unharmed.


What can help salvestrols work better?


Eating nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory foods helps salvestrols to be more readily available and more effective in the body. Also, probiotics can improve the uptake of salvestrols. My choice of probiotics is spore-based probiotics because these survive the acids in the stomach and in the duodenum.


What can inhibit salvestrols?


There are many substances that can bind with the CYP1B1 enzyme and inhibit its ability to act on salvestrols. A strong inhibitor of the CYP1B1 enzyme is agricultural and industrial anti-fungal chemicals. Therefore, it is critical to eat only organically grown foods.


Also, the life cycle of the CYP1B1 enzyme is about 3 days. Then, it is replaced by a new CYP1B1 enzyme. So, newly formed enzymes will have the ability to bind with salvestrols or inhibitors. One way to offset the effect of an inhibitor would be to ingest a high concentration of Salvestrols in the morning without foods that could be competitors for the CYP1B1 enzyme.




Fucoidan has anti-cancer potential. It is a complex polysaccharide found in many species of brown seaweed. Laboratory studies suggest that it can prevent the growth of cancer cells and has antiviral, neuroprotective, and immune-modulating effects. As I mentioned at the outset, in-vivo human studies are lacking.


Reported benefits and actions of fucoidan include:

  • Increases both activity and number of natural killer (NK) cells
  • Inhibits the formation of new vessels by which tumor cells receive their required nutrients
  • Performs its activity by repairing damaged mitochondria
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents cancer
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Prevents blood clots
  • Prevents infections
  • Induces apoptosis
  • Inhibits tumor metastasis



Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

Cancer is a disease of mitochondrial dysfunction. And Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy may help repair dysfunctional mitochondria. To prove this to myself, I did a personal study of N=1. I found a significant improvement in protein complexes I, II, III, and IV in my wife’s mitochondria over four months of daily PEMF Therapy. These protein complexes are critical in the process of creating energy for the cell.


PEMF is an intermittent series of harmonic long wavelengths of low frequencies with no voltage spikes. These are similar to the natural magnetic fields of the earth. Current peer-reviewed research suggests that treatment with PEMF could improve the electrical potential of mitochondria, improve calcium channeling within the cell, and enhance the utilization of oxygen by cells. PEMF assists in healing bone and soft tissue and may be a noninvasive way to stimulate the natural stem cells in bone marrow. There is evidence that PEMF Therapy may play an important role in oncology by modulating the physiology and electrochemistry of cancer cells and influencing cell membrane systems and mitosis.


Here are several peer-reviewed articles where PEMF Therapy has been shown to have benefits:

  • PEMF promotes self-repair of bone tissues [8].
  • PEMF causes bone marrow stem cells to differentiate and create tissue repair [9].
  • PEMF therapy affects the body’s stem cells [10].
  • PEMF therapy affects stem cells, which may improve the reparative effects on nerve and bone tissues [11].


All this research has encouraged me to incorporate PEMF Therapy in my healing protocol. I use a full-body mat supplied by PureWave ([12]). I place this thin mat under my mattress cover and use it three times a day. Each session lasts 32 minutes (16 minutes at setting Basis-6 followed immediately by 16 minutes at setting Vital-2).



Summing Up

My unconventual treatment plan is comprehensive and includes many components. These three elements – Salvestrols, Fucoidan, and PEMF Therapy – may be the most essential for me. I must reemphasize that I am not suggesting my treatment path will work or will be appropriate for anyone else. The research I cited has not been proven using double-blind human cancer studies. I guess that’s why all these are considered “alternative therapies”.


That being said, let me quote George Bernard Shaw, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”


[1] https://blissatomic.blogspot.com/2016/02/natural-therapies-against-cancer.html

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4671449/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493566/

[4] http://www.salvestrol.ca/aboutsalvestrols.asp

[5] https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/fucoidan

[6] https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/13/4/2327/htm

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5119968/

[8] https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489206

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516580/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834823/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466452/

[12] https://www.purewavenow.com/


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Multiple Myeloma
– My Unconventional Fight –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
November 5, 2018 [printfriendly]




Multiple Myeloma - My Unconventional Fight


I have multiple myeloma. And, I’ve decided to take an unconventional path to treat the cancer in my bone marrow. My oncologist in Charleston, SC is a conventional physician. His original treatment recommendations reflected interventions with radiation, cocktails of chemotherapy, stem cell therapy, and IV bisphosphonates, most of which I rejected. But, he understands my philosophy. We have a great relationship as I navigate my body to get healthy again. He sees me monthly and orders monthly blood tests to determine my progress.


I am a living example and an experiment of N=1 for my unconventional fight. After being diagnosed two months ago, today I’m experiencing amazing results. Rumi (the great 13th-century Persian poet) once wrote: “When setting out on a journey, do not seek advice from those who have never left home.”


I have “left home”; and I am on a “journey”, traveling along an unconventional path. Follow my progress; it might offer a unique perspective.



Path to My Diagnosis

It all started with my chest and back soreness, which lasted a couple of months. The discomfort led me to seek advice from my personal medical doctor near the end of August. From August 30, 2018 through September 12, 2018, my MD ordered an MRI, CT Scan, PET Scan, CT spinal soft tissue biopsy, and various blood tests. He referred me to an oncologist to evaluate the results.


On September 19, 2018, my oncologist confirmed a diagnosis of IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. Based on how I presented to his office and these test results, he stated that my prognosis was dismal if I did nothing. He believed I only had 3 to 6 months to live.


I needed to get proactive ASAP.



Path of My Treatment

My only conventional treatment was on my oncologist’s advice. I had 10 consecutive radiation treatments to my sternum with the goal of stopping the stabbing pain I was experiencing continuously. (Everyone who knows me knows I am a wuss.)


On October 12, 2018, I completed radiation treatment, which was immediately successful allowing me to be pain free in my sternum. Radiation stops the pain, but it does not stop the disease. There is no conventional treatment today that can cure multiple myeloma.


Coupled with ending radiation treatment on October 12th, I also had new blood work. Results showed I have become slightly anemic. However, most of the other blood tests that confirm the severity of my disease did not continue to worsen – they decreased slightly.


My alternative treatment is being directed by an accomplished medical professional who has had success in treating multiple myeloma. We talk every other week, and he tweaks the supplements he recommends for me to take. Currently, I am taking 5 specific supplements without food first thing in the morning, at midday, and at bedtime. With breakfast and dinner, I take 18 different supplements. In combination, these are designed to support my immune system, break down biofilm surrounding cancer cells, destroy malignant plasma cells, reduce inflammation, assist in bone remineralization, and improve digestion and natural detoxification.


In addition to these supplements, I use cannabinoids three times a day to help destroy malignant cells and Megasporebiotic, MegaMucosa, and MegaQuinone K2-7 once a day to support the health of my gut microbiome and mitochondria. I also use PEMF Therapy four times a day to help slow tumor growth and repair mitochondria. For my PEMF Therapy, I use the PureWave Full Body Mat.


My diet, which is critical for healing, resembles an autoimmune, Paleo-type diet. It looks like this:

  • More than 50% of my plate of food are non-starchy vegetables
  • Less than 25% are pastured or wild caught animal products along with their incredible fats
  • Less than 25% are berries, seeds, and an occasional starchy veggie like sweet potatoes


When I have pain, I only use Advil – no narcotics and no other prescription meds.



Another Opinion

Although I am experiencing positive results, I wanted to get another opinion. I was referred to an oncologist 300 miles away from me. This medical doctor had an exceptional reputation for treating multiple myeloma. My Charleston oncologist sent all my records to him. The remote specialist’s nurse called me and suggested I email my questions to the doctor directly. She told me he would respond to my email and answer my questions. She also assured me he would review all my records, which were sent earlier. Since I believed he would be familiar with all my tests and scans, I hoped he would be honest with his answers. His response to my questions was surprising.


The myeloma expert apparently never reviewed my records. He never answered my questions. Except, his email response to me was that I was making a huge mistake by treating my disease with unproven alternative therapies. He encouraged me to travel 4 hours to his office, so he could explain his protocol. However, he could have written his thoughts and answered my specific questions in an email. He was arrogant with a “Holier-Than-Thou” attitude!



Moving Forward

Regarding my body, I am doing well. I am experiencing signs and symptoms of a body that is healing from this incurable disease. To my delight and to my oncologist’s surprise, the way I feel today is nothing short of amazing.


It appears to me that my unconventional treatments at least are reducing overall bone pain. However, I get tired during the day, so I take a couple naps starting just after noon.


I am trying to get back to my physical activities. First thing in the morning, I started to walk outside for about 15 minutes. However, I am unable to do other physical exercise. I plan to increase and diversify my exercise program as I feel better and gain more strength. My progress encourages me, but my skeleton is fragile because of the innumerable lytic lesions from this bone marrow malignancy. These lesions require me to be careful because of potential future bone fractures.


Every four weeks I will have new blood work to document my progress.


Figuratively speaking, I have “left home”; and I am on a “journey”, traveling along my unconventional path. Stay tuned for further results of my experiment of N=1.



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PEMF & My Multiple Myeloma

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
October 15, 2018 [printfriendly]

PEMFLet me be clear. There is no human clinical research that shows that PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) therapy will cure multiple myeloma. But, there is some research and anecdotal information that PEMF therapy could be an adjunct treatment for cancer. Successful treatment ultimately comes down to an integrative and personalized plan.

On 9/19/18, I was diagnosed with IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. This is a plasma cell malignancy of the bone marrow. I have chosen not to have chemotherapy. I am electing treatment that might help improve my immune system, reenergize my mitochondria, strengthen my bones, and naturally attack my cancer cells. I wrote an article describing my alternative approach HERE. Below, I discuss one of the alternative therapies included in my health plan – pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy



There have been many papers published about the positive effects of PEMF therapy for healing bone and soft tissue. In the past, I wrote several posts about PEMF, in which I included links to peer-reviewed research. HERE. HERE. HERE.

My way of thinking is this: PEMF assists in healing bone and soft tissue. It also might improve the health of dysfunctional mitochondria. In addition, PEMF therapy may be a noninvasive way to stimulate the natural stem cells in bone marrow, which could support tissue repair. If all these benefits were possible, adding PEMF Therapy into my Health Plan may help my malignancy at least to go into remission. Several medical articles, which were recently published, suggest PEMF therapy could be a plausible treatment in the world of oncology.


Medical Articles

  • This review article discusses how PEMF might be valuable in the treatment of cancer. Research demonstrates that PEMF therapy can modulate the physiology and electrochemistry of cancer cells and influence cell membrane systems and mitosis.
  • This article reviews how PEMF can promote self-repair of bone tissues.
  • PEMF has the ability to cause bone marrow stem cells to differentiate and create tissue repair. This article explains how this may happen.
  • The authors of this paper review the positive effects of PEMF therapy on the body’s stem cells.
  • And, this paper reviews the literature regarding PEMF therapy and its effect on stem cells and their reparative effects on nerve and bone tissues.


PEMF and My Health Plan

I am using the PEMF full body mat from Pure Wave Now. I position the mat under my mattress cover. There is no sensation from the mat when it is operating. It feels like I am just lying in bed. I use the mat four times a day for 16 minutes at “Basis-4” setting.

There is no evidence that PEMF therapy will improve my multiple myeloma. However, there is evidence that PEMF therapy may support many aspects of improving my immune system, the health of my mitochondria, and cancer healing in general. For these reasons, I have incorporated PEMF therapy into my overall Health Plan to treat my malignant plasma cells.


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PEMF & Mitochondria
My Study of N=1
…4-Month Follow-Up..

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
September 3, 2018 [printfriendly]


PEMF & Mitochondria


I posted my original article, My Study of N=1, on June 4, 2018. Please read my past post to get up-to-speed about my thoughts on PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field), mitochondria, and my investigation. In my article today, I report on my 4-month follow-up.


My Study

As you know from my previous writing, my wife was my “test subject”. “Test subject” is not an appropriate title. I should say my wife volunteered (or more accurately, I volunteered her) to be my participant in my research project. However, I am aware of the limitations of my study: (1) there was only one participant; (2) there was no control group; (3) I only investigated one PEMF Mat; and (4) my study was not submitted to an Institutional Review Board.

Nonetheless, my goal was to explore the possible mitochondrial benefits of the QRS PureWave Total Body Mat in my in-home study. This Mat generates a unique pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF).

To accomplish this, I placed the Mat under the mattress cover on our bed. In this position, the Mat was imperceptible and comfortable to lie on. The built-in timer of the control box was set to turn on for 24 minutes about a half-hour after she went to bed. Then, it turned on again for 24 minutes about a half-hour before she would wake. The evening setting was set to “Relax 3”, and the morning setting was set to “Basis 3”. There were no sounds or sensations from the Mat to disturb her sleep.

I proceeded to test my wife’s mitochondria using the newly developed MitoSwab Plus Test. MitoSwab Plus is a non-invasive test to evaluate the function of the four critical protein complexes that eventually create energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Most ATP is generated within the mitochondria of every cell in your body. The only human cells that do not have mitochondria are red blood cells. When these protein complexes within the mitochondria weaken and function less than optimal, the result is dysfunction in the mitochondria.

To evaluate my wife’s mitochondrial health with MitoSwab Plus, I needed to swab her cheek areas. I used a cotton swab to obtain mucosal samples from her cheeks adjacent to the back teeth on the right and left sides in her mouth. These samples needed to be frozen and then sent to the Lab for testing.

I did the first swab test before she began using the PEMF Mat to determine a baseline of her mitochondrial function. Then, I gathered samples of her cheek mucosa after one-month, 2-months, and 4-months from the start-date of the daily use of the Mat.



I was impressed with the results. Here is the PDF Summary of my wife’s MitoSwab Plus test results, which includes my overall interpretation.

Basically, the health of Complexes I, II, III and IV continued to improve over the 4-Month timeframe while using the QRS-PureWave PEMF Mat every day.

I believe the pulsed electromagnetic field generated by this Mat was able to re-energize my wife’s mitochondria in her buccal mucosa. It is important to note that this peer-reviewed research showed that the buccal mucosa is a reliable indicator of the health of other mitochondria in the body.


Next Step

My modest study could be a pilot model for further medical considerations and investigations. In my opinion, a future research protocol could be written and submitted to an Institutional Review Board. The protocol should incorporate a control group (using the Mat that is NOT generating PEMF) and an experimental group (using the Mat as I described in this post). A statistically adequate number of subjects would need to be included to allow reliable conclusions at the completion of the study.


My Thoughts

PEMF therapy might be an adjunct treatment for chronic diseases. Also, this method might be a means to offset mitochondrial damage from dirty electromagnetic fields (ex: cell phones, WiFi, and other harmful electromagnetic fields). If properly-designed PEMF devices could improve mitochondrial dysfunction, they might be game-changers.


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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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I was Interviewed for
Wise Traditions Podcast

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
May 28, 2018 [printfriendly]




Podcasts are an amazing vehicle to get a message to the listening public. I really enjoy the opportunity to voice my passion about what means a lot to me. Recently, I was interviewed by Hilda Labrada Gore for the Wise Traditions Podcast that aired May 28, 2018.


This Podcast Series, which launched in January 2016, is part of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Wise Traditions Podcast Series now has over 900,000 downloads. Interviews of guests are published weekly and consist of a 30-minute discussion relating to fields of health, food, and farming.


The Weston A. Price Foundation is an important organization. It is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999. Its goal is to disseminate the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who was the chairman of the National Dental Association from 1914 to 1928. Dr. Price studied isolated non-industrialized peoples. He established parameters of human health and determined optimum characteristics of human diets. His research demonstrated that humans achieve health when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble “activators” found in animal fats.


I had fun doing this interview. Take 33 minutes of your time and listen to me and my interviewer, Hilda Labrada Gore, as I describe my views for gut health and dental health including my 5 tweaks for overall health.



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Non-Invasive Test
Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
April 9, 2018 [printfriendly]


non-invasive test for mitochcondrial dysfunction

I’m going to discuss a unique, non-invasive test to determine mitochondrial dysfunction. But first, I’ll start with a discussion of mitochondria.



Mitochondria are the energy sources of the cell. They are embedded within the cytoplasm of our 30 trillion human cells. Some individual cells have only a few mitochondria; our most active cells (like heart muscle) may contain as many as 2,400 mitochondria per cell. The only human cell lacking mitochondria is the red blood cell.


However, energy production is not the only purpose of our mitochondria.[1] Mitochondria also produce heat as necessary, assist in calcium signaling within the host cell and throughout the body, and will induce cell death (apoptosis) when its host cell is damaged beyond repair. In addition, mitochondria regulate insulin in the cell, synthesize cholesterol and other steroids, and participate in other functions required by specialized cells. Another critical function of mitochondria is to interact intimately with other organelles of the cell, especially peroxisomes, to create cellular homeostasis.[2]


Causes of Mitochondrial Dysfunction

When the mitochondria within a cell cannot produce enough energy for these mitochondria to function properly, then the cell cannot function properly. When this occurs, it is called mitochondrial dysfunction.


Mitochondria can become damaged and dysfunctional when necessary nutrients are not available from the gut, when the energy created by mitochondria is less than the free radicals they produce, and when mitochondria are unable to repair themselves or increase their numbers in their host cell. Also, specific environmental elements and medications can be toxic to mitochondria. These include xenoestrogens (estrogen imitators) in the environment; acetaminophen (Tylenol); statins (anti-cholesterol drugs); glyphosate (Roundup); heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminum; and dirty electromagnetic fields that are all around us.


Why Test?

Most, if not all, chronic diseases may have mitochondrial dysfunction at its core. From a dental perspective, a research paper published in 2016 showed that active periodontal disease is a disease of mitochondrial dysfunction.[3] An important goal for healthy functioning cells is healthy functioning mitochondria. Current research suggests that supporting the mitochondria’s ability to maintain health and homeostasis in the cell is crucial for life.[4]


So, it would be helpful to determine the overall health of the mitochondria in the body.


The “gold standard” method to determine mitochondrial dysfunction is an invasive test involving a biopsy of muscle tissue. Other tests have been used with questionable success such as testing levels of lactate, pyruvate, and alanine-lysine ratio.[5]


In 2012, a medical study[6] reported a unique, non-invasive method to determine the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction.  The technique has been further developed into a proprietary test called Mitoswab(R), which has at least an 84% correlation with the results of muscle biopsy testing.


Since healthy mitochondria are required for the healthy functioning of cells, then testing the health of mitochondria could alert a person of a potential problem. Also, initial testing could establish a reference level before treatment. Then, a second test after treatment could confirm improved mitochondrial health and success of treatment. Periodic future testing could provide important information about tweaking diet, lifestyle, and other medical therapies.


How To Test?

The testing process using Mitoswab(R) is simple.  The test kit comes with 4 sterile cotton swabs that are rubbed on the mucosa of the cheek area on the right and left sides of the mouth – two swabs for each side. The swabs are inserted individually into 4 plastic tubes, placed in a package containing freezer packs, and sent by FedEx to Religen Labs to be processed.


The lab will create a report describing the efficiency of the energy production of the mitochondria from the sample. These results are highly correlated to the overall health or dysfunction of the mitochondria in the body.


Moving Forward

Healthcare professionals could order and perform these tests quickly and easily for their patients. Also, individuals could obtain these tests from their healthcare professionals and take their own cheek samples at home. Moving forward, information from these tests could help create a protocol for repair.


Incorporating nutrient-dense foods, efficient exercise, restorative sleep, reduction of stress, and intermittent fasting could support healthy mitochondria. There is evidence that pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) may also improve the health of mitochondria.[7],[8] If PEMF is considered for therapy, the device’s efficacy should be supported by published medical research. (QRS-Direct is the exclusive importer of a unique PEMF medical device.)


My recommendation would be for individuals to consult their healthcare practitioners to determine if Mitoswab(R) might be beneficial. If this test is selected, the results could help the healthcare professional and the patient tweak specific diet and lifestyle changes as well as choose other medical therapies.



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