Herbal Approaches to Supporting a Healthy Libido in Menopause
Note from Mimi: Applicable for both men and women.
By Meagan Purdy, ND
Menopause is associated with many often-lamented symptoms that can drastically affect a woman’s comfort, happiness, and daily life activities. Hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings are commonly discussed, yet low sexual desire is a prevalent symptom in menopausal women that is commonly overlooked. One cross-sectional study of over 2,000 women found 52.4% reported low sexual desire compared to 26.7% of pre-menopausal women. Not only because of the ubiquity but also because of the effect on quality of life, symptoms of sexual dysfunction in menopausal women deserve more attention and more treatment options, as the current choices leave much to be desired.
Testosterone and estrogen, critical hormones for sexual desire, decrease in menopause. Physical factors, such as vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, are largely common in menopause and can reduce interest in sex for many women. Many women also report increased levels of depression, cognitive symptoms, and mood swings during menopausal transitions. While these may not have a direct effect on sexual desire, they can diminish the appeal of sexual activity.1
As the research on risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) continues to grow, many women are opting out of the mainstream treatments and seeking alternative medicine interventions for relief from menopausal symptoms. Fortunately, there are several medicinal herbs that can be of support to women struggling with lowered desire by improving hormone health, decreasing stress, or by aiding physical parameters of arousal.
Lepidium meyenii, or maca, has risen to superstardom in the past decade, as its online health claims and subsequent demand have grown. This increased interest has established maca as one of the premium exports of Peru. Traditionally consumed as a health food addition to soups or juices with a unique flavor and caramel notes, Peruvian maca is now mostly utilized in medicinal forms such as powders, pills, and extracts. Maca has been touted for its ability to increase energy, improve concentration, and balance hormones, and can be a valuable tool for women in the menopausal stage of life, particularly those struggling with a diminished libido.
The precise mechanisms of maca are still relatively unknown, though its results have been promising both clinically and in studies. Maca appears to significantly reduce parameters of sexual dysfunction as well as scores on the Greene Climacteric Scale (GCS), a measurement of menopausal symptoms. One group of researchers hypothesized that this may be due to a hormone modulating effect of maca, yet in their study they found no significant changes in estrogen levels of postmenopausal women. However, the women in their study did experience a decline in menopausal symptoms and reported significant improvements in libido and sexual function.
It is feasible that maca’s profound effect on sexual function is related to its effect on psychological symptoms. Maca has been shown to have beneficial effects on anxiety and depression, which may increase parameters of sexual desire. Flavonoids present in maca inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity, the same mechanism of action of a prominent class of anti-depressant medications. Interestingly, many of the present studies on maca revolve around its use as a treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction (AISD). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of menopausal Chinese women suffering from AISD, maca reduced symptoms of depression and improved GCS scores, even with no measurable changes to serum hormone levels. Another 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study found similar results, with 3.0 g/day of maca supplementation showing marked improvements in AISD. These results suggest that maca can be a powerful tool for women who have opted to treat their menopausal symptoms with SSRIs, only to succumb to the side effects of low libido.
Turnera diffusa, or damiana as it is commonly known, is one of the most appreciated plant aphrodisiacs for both males and females. It was classically used in Native American cultures to regain strength after “alcoholic and sexual excesses” and has long been used in Latin cultures to stimulate sexual drive and performance. Damiana enhances nitric oxide synthesis, a mediator that plays a role in genital arousal in women as it does in men by relaxing smooth muscle tissue in the genitals and increasing blood flow to the region. It has also been shown to exhibit adaptogenic properties, which may reduce stress and mental fatigue, lessening inhibitions to sexual activity.7
One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the effects of damiana coupled with L-arginine, ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamins. After four weeks, women from both the perimenopausal and postmenopausal groups reported significant improvements in sexual desire compared to those in the placebo group. Another study observed the effects of a supplement containing damiana along with Tribulus terrestris, Gingko biloba, and Trigonella foenum. Researchers noted significant improvement in Female Sexual Function Index scores for the treatment group. The results of these trials suggest that damiana can be a valuable constituent of any herbal regimen aimed at improving libido and sexual function, particularly for menopausal women.
Shatavari, the common name for Asparagus racemosus, means “she who possesses a hundred husbands” referring to its historical use as a female reproductive tonic to increase fertility and vitality. In Ayurveda, it is known as the “Queen of Herbs” for similar reasons. Shatavari is an herb with a longstanding tradition of use for female sexual dysfunction and modern research is beginning to add validity to this history.
Shatavari exhibits phytoestrogenic activity and supports testosterone production both by enhancing primary secretion and increasing the availability of its precursors. This phytoestrogenic activity lends to additional benefits for menopausal women, providing relief from other symptoms of decreased estrogen such as hot flashes and vaginal atrophy.
Outside of direct hormonal effects, shatavari appears to have adaptogenic and stress-relieving properties.10 Stress can have major impacts on reproductive health by modulating ovarian physiology and reproductive hormones. These physical and chemical effects are in addition to the mental-emotional effects of stress, which can also have a direct effect on sexual desire and function. Shatavari has been successfully used to modulate the hormonal imbalances associated with stress and restore reproductive function, which also supports the hormones responsible for sexual desire.
Tribulus terrestris is primarily known for its actions with male hormonal dysfunction in historical circles. The same qualities that it’s touted for in males lend to it being an incredible tool for menopausal women with low libido. Tribulus increases the release of nitric oxide, supporting more blood flow to the sexual organs for enhanced sexual function. Additionally, one of the known saponin constituents of tribulus, protodioscin, increases the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a potent androgen that directly increases sex drive.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers observed the effect of tribulus extract on women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. They found that 7.5 mg/day of tribulus significantly improved desire, arousal, lubrication, and sexual satisfaction compared to placebo. Another prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial observed improvements in sexual arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and satisfaction for the tribulus group. The treatment group also exhibited increased levels of free and bioavailable testosterone. These findings suggest that Tribulus is an effective agent at boosting multiple parameters of libido and sex drive.
Sexual dysfunction, particularly diminished libido, can be distressing for the patient. Unfortunately, this prevalent symptom can carry a negative stigma leading many women to avoid asking their care providers for assistance. When not addressed, symptoms of low sexual desire can present with decreased quality of life, relationship issues, and low self-esteem. With an increasing number of women seeking alternative therapies for menopausal symptoms, it is vital for us as practitioners to expand our toolbox of remedies. Herbal approaches to low libido can be a great fit for many women who would like to avoid HRT or SSRI interventions but would still like to improve their symptom profile and quality of life. Herbs can provide a valid solution for hormone balance, mood support, and provide a direct benefit to the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause.
West, Suzanne L et al. Prevalence of low sexual desire and hypoactive sexual desire disorder in a nationally representative sample of US women. Archives of internal medicine. 2008;168,13: 1441-9.
Scavello, Irene, et al. Sexual Health in Menopause. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania). 2 Sep. 2019; 55,9: 559
Brooks NA, et al. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.
Thull U, Testa B. Screening of unsubstituted cyclic compounds as inhibitors of monoamine oxidases. Biochem Pharmacol 1994;47: 2307/2310.
Stojanovska, L et al. Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society 2015; 18,1: 69-78.
Dording, Christina M et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of maca root as treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in women. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine:eCAM . 2015; 949036.
Szewczyk K, Zidorn C. Ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and bioactivity of the genus Turnera (Passifloraceae) with a focus on damiana–Turnera diffusa. Journal of ethnopharmacology 2014; 152,3: 424-43.
Ito TY, et al. The enhancement of female sexual function with ArginMax, a nutritional supplement, among women differing in menopausal status. Journal of sex & marital therapy. 2006; 32,5: 369-78.
Palacios S, et al. Effect of a multi-ingredient based food supplement on sexual function in women with low sexual desire. BMC women’s health. 30 Apr. 2019; vol. 19,1 58.
Sharma K, Bhatnagar M. Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): a versatile female tonic. Int J Pharma Biological Archives. 2011;2(3):855-63.
Ebbesen SMS, et al. Stressful life events are associated with a poor in-vitro fertilization (IVF) outcome: a prospective study. Hum. Reprod. 2009; 24: 2173–2182.
Pandey AK, et al. Impact of stress on female reproductive health disorders: possible beneficial effects of shatavari (Asparagus racemosus). Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jul;103:46-9.
Chhatre Saurabh, et al. Phytopharmacological overview of Tribulus terrestris. Pharmacognosy Reviews. 2014;8,15:45-51.
Akhtari E, et al. Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo – controlled study. Daru : journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. 28 Apr. 2014; vol. 22,1 40.
Vale FBC, et al. Efficacy of Tribulus Terrestris for the treatment of premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder: a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecological Endocrinology. 2018; 34,5: 442-445.
Recently, I’ve noticed a trend in my clinical practice. I’m seeing far more instances of blood sugar dysregulation on screening labs, even in patients I wouldn’t otherwise suspect of metabolic issues. Many patients have joked that it’s due to quarantine weight or lifestyle changes that they know are less than ideal. Cultural changes that have taken place over the past two years have no doubt brought about changes to our overall health. Many people have opted for less nutritious foods and decreased their activity levels during times of quarantine, which can disrupt metabolic health.
Chromium is a trace mineral that’s often overlooked but of utmost importance for proper blood sugar regulation. Low chromium levels are associated with impaired glucose and insulin function, and subsequently, type II diabetes.3 Physicians first noticed the importance of chromium for glucose tolerance with patients receiving long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN). TPN patients developed symptoms of diabetes, yet their symptoms would not respond to insulin administration. However, they improved when supplemented with chromium, suggesting that the chromium deficiency may be a source for symptoms of glucose dysregulation, which spurred a much-needed area of study for diabetic patients.2
More recent research has shed light on chromium’s mechanisms as an integral piece of blood sugar regulation. Chromium increases insulin receptor numbers and affinity, allowing for increased insulin binding to cells.4 Chromium also activates intracellular signaling pathways involved in glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation, increasing glucose transport and enhancing insulin sensitivity.5 Long-term chromium supplementation leads to improved glucose tolerance because it potentiates insulin in the cell.
Chromium has also been shown to have acute effects clinically, with multiple studies documenting improved postprandial glucose levels when supplemental chromium was ingested with the meal.3 In clinical trials, it appears that levels above 200 mcg daily have been shown effective for improving glucose profiles and that chromium picolinate or polynicotinate are the most efficacious forms.2
Biotin can act as an important adjunct vitamin to chromium in blood sugar regulation. It has been shown to increase the efficacy of chromium when used to address blood glucose levels.3 Pairing biotin with chromium in clinical trials has resulted in improved HbA1c, fasting glucose levels, and decreases in current prescription medications for diabetic patients.3 These results may be due to biotin’s essential role in carbohydrate metabolism.3
Biotin functions as a gene modulator, as it alters gene expression. Proposed mechanisms for biotin’s hypoglycemic qualities include upregulation of hepatic and pancreatic glucokinase expression.6 Glucokinase is a critical enzyme that regulates glucose uptake by the liver and regulates insulin secretion in response to changes in blood glucose concentration. Biotin upregulates insulin production through these mechanisms in the presence of elevated glucose.7
Biotin deficiencies have been linked to impaired glucose tolerance tests and decreased glucose utilization, while supplemental biotin, particularly when paired with chromium, is linked to better glucose regulation. One RCT involving 447 subjects with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes were given 600 mcg of chromium picolinate paired with 2 mg of biotin or a placebo. Changes in HbA1c and fasting glucose levels were significantly different in the treatment group vs. placebo.7 Multiple studies have revealed similar results, suggesting that biotin and chromium can be used in concert to enhance their properties of glucose regulation.8
Fraxinus excelsior L. (European Ash, Ash)
Many American physicians might not readily recognize this botanical. Still, it has a long history of traditional use as a hypoglycemic agent, particularly in North Africa, where the tree that bears the seed is native. Locals know of the seeds as a health-promoting food and consume them regularly in the diet.9 While the exact mechanisms of European Ash remain unknown, some researchers suggest that the glycoside flavonoids present in it partially inhibit intestinal glucose uptake.10
In clinical studies, it has performed quite remarkably. One study looked at the effects of a liquid extract of F. excelsior L. seed on glucose-induced postprandial hyperglycemia in healthy, non-diabetic volunteers. The glycemic curve for the treatment group showed a gradual improvement over the first two hours following glucose ingestion compared to the placebo group.9 Another randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled study utilized Glucevia®, a branded standardized extract of Fraxinus excelsior, to observe its effects on insulin sensitivity and glycemic homeostasis for a group of overweight individuals aged 50-80 years old, a cohort with a high risk of diabetes development. Researchers observed that Glucevia® administration resulted in a remarkable reduction (28%) in glucose area under the curve (AUC) values compared to the placebo group.11 There were no changes to insulin levels in each of the studies mentioned above, suggesting that Ash inhibits glucose uptake without impacting insulin sensitivity. Likely due to this mechanism of action, Ash has a very high safety profile while effectively moderating postprandial glucose levels, positioning it as both a preventative and an effective interventional agent.
Berberine is well-known as a metabolic gem in integrative medicine. Its mechanism for lowering blood glucose rests in its ability to increase insulin receptor expression.12 Research also suggests that berberine increases AMP-activated protein kinase activity, stimulating glucose uptake in the muscles and reducing glucose reproduction in the liver.13 There is also some evidence that berberine increases glucagon-like-peptide-1 secretion in animal models.14
Berberine’s multiple mechanisms of glycemic control are consistent with its results in clinical trials. One clinical trial found berberine to be comparable to metformin in individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus. The measured parameters included HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, and plasma triglycerides, each significantly improved in the berberine group as well as the metformin group.15 Multiple clinical studies have repeated these results, with berberine consistently showing a reduction in both blood glucose and lipid profiles.16 Berberine is well-worth considering as a supplemental agent for patients struggling with impaired blood glucose regulation.
Insulin resistance and blood sugar dysregulation can each be a dangerous and deadly process. Unfortunately, we often see this process progress rather than regress once it has begun unless interventions are made. It is well-documented that diet and lifestyle play a significant part in the onset and also the progression of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Those interventions should always be discussed and implemented, as they are of utmost importance, particularly for the truly integrative approach. However, some patients might find these challenging and need supportive options while they are incorporating new lifestyle changes that may take time to become second nature. This is where natural interventions can really shine. When working with a patient who desires a natural approach to diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation but could use some speedy results, consider integrating one or all of these options. In doing so, you could support healthy insulin levels, postprandial glucose levels, fasting glucose levels, and a healthier HbA1c.
Lima-Martínez MM, et al. COVID-19 and diabetes: A bidirectional relationship. COVID-19 y diabetes mellitus: una relación bidireccional. Clin Investig Arterioscler. 2021;33(3):151-157.
Sirtori CR, et al. Nutraceutical approaches to metabolic syndrome. Ann Med. 2017;49(8):678-697.
A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance. Diabetes Educ. 2004;Suppl:2-14.
Anderson RA, et al. Effects of supplemental chromium on patients with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. Metabolism. 1987;36(4):351-355. x
Paiva AN, et al. Beneficial effects of oral chromium picolinate supplementation on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized clinical study. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015;32:66-72.
Fernandez-Mejia C. Pharmacological effects of biotin. J Nutr Biochem. 2005;16(7):424-427.
Albarracin CA et al.. Chromium picolinate and biotin combination improves glucose metabolism in treated, uncontrolled overweight to obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2008;24(1):41-51. 5
Fuhr JP Jr, He H, Goldfarb N, Nash DB. Use of chromium picolinate and biotin in the management of type 2 diabetes: an economic analysis. Dis Manag. 2005;8(4):265-275.
Visen P, et al. Acute effects of Fraxinus excelsior L. seed extract on postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion on healthy volunteers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;126(2):226-232.
Montó F, et al. Action of an extract from the seeds of Fraxinus excelsior L. on metabolic disorders in hypertensive and obese animal models. Food Funct. 2014;5(4):786-796.
Zulet MA, Navas-Carretero S, Lara y Sánchez D, et al. A Fraxinus excelsior L. seeds/fruits extract benefits glucose homeostasis and adiposity related markers in elderly overweight/obese subjects: a longitudinal, randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutritional intervention study. Phytomedicine. 2014;21(10):1162-1169.
Zhang H, et al. Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression. Metabolism. 2010;59(2):285-292.
Coughlan KA, Valentine RJ, Ruderman NB, Saha AK. AMPK activation: a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes?. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014;7:241-253. Published 2014 Jun 24.
Lu SS, et al. Berberine promotes glucagon-like peptide-1 (7-36) amide secretion in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Endocrinol. 2009;200(2):159-165. 9
Yin J, Xing H, Ye J. Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 2008;57(5):712-717.
Han Y, et al. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacological Activities of Berberine in Diabetes Mellitus Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021;2021:9987097. Published 2021 Aug 21.
DESCRIP: First of four video excerpts. His resume, credentials, education; and, some early history of the inventor of Bravo superfood yogurt, imuno and Praesidium. https://www.healthyenergetics.com/ ===
DESCRIP: Dr. Ruggiero shares his early adult biography in Italy, the 1970s, where he first encountered EMFs professionally. Several European countries were reporting strange physical symptoms of military personnel whose job was to be in radiowave frequencies and/or look at CRT monitors for hours on a daily basis. What was this known occupational hazard? Dr. R. was asked to investigate. https://www.healthyenergetics.com/collections/praesidium%C2%AE-emf-protection ===
DESCRIP: Fourth of four video excerpts. While the first focus for improving our microbiome is “gut health,” our whole-body microbiome is also an issue. Our microbiome is far away from our conscious mind; and, far away from direct sensory perception. How to measure improvement? Heart rate variability (HRV) is a good way to do this. Studies and testimonials from HRV-Praesidium studies are discussed.
Nick Pineault (The EMF Guy) received a ton of positive feedback from the EMF Hazards Summit he put together last Fall, but one guest really stood out – Dr. Marco Ruggiero.
Several of you wanted to hear more from Dr. Ruggiero, who’s not only a very esteemed scientist who has hundreds of peer-reviewed articles under his belt, but who’s also an inventor who has created a unique product which acts as an “Inner Shield” against EMF damage.
Nick asked Dr. Ruggiero to give a more in-depth, exclusive masterclass to his community in early November 2021, and hundreds of attendees were fascinated by Dr. Ruggiero’s unique take on why EMFs from cell phones, wifi routers, Bluetooth gadgets and others are harmful to our biology.
According to Dr. Ruggiero’s extensive research, the main damage happens on a microbiome level, and NOT on a cellular level!
Dr. Ruggiero’s team (The Microbiome Guys) recently reached out and asked Nick to make this masterclass available again, for a limited time. He agreed, considering this information is so important and very different from everything he had personally heard before.
If you missed this masterclass last year, you can get access to the entire replay, which is 1 hour and 40 mins long, starting today – but for 1 week only:
 Who is Marco Ruggiero? – https://youtu.be/dekpzGbRhEE (6:51 mins) This video includes his resume, credentials, education and some early history of the inventor of Bravo yogurt, imuno and Praesidium.
 Dr. Ruggiero’s first encounters with EMFs, Italy 1970s https://youtu.be/B5RFgE58Cmo (13:50 mins). This video includes Dr. Ruggiero sharing his early adult biography in Italy where he first encountered EMFs professionally. The militaries of Several European countries shared info on the occupational hazard phenomena military personnel were reported. Dr. R. was asked to investigate.
The “Golden Age” Of Antibiotics Is Over!Deadly new organisms, resistant to all known antibiotics, are emerging all over the planet and gaining ground FAST…It’s over! The truth is, the comfortable world as we have known it for the last 60 years is coming rapidly to an end.
Bacteria are deadly and the short period of time where we were able to control them is vanishing fast. Because of their fantastic power of multiplication (doubling every 20 minutes or so), that new strain could be all over the Earth within months, or even weeks. You’ve heard of MRSA, everyone has heard of MRSA. But did you know that in 2009 an even more virulent new strain of MRSA emerged, that is FIVE TIMES more deadly and kills 50% of its victims?
But it’s not just MRSA. Now we have VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus), which is far more deadly than MRSA (100% fatal septicemia). Also we now have PRSP (penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae). It is reported that out of 100,000 hospitalizations for pneumonia, 40% are now due to this organism! And don’t forget, resistant syphilis is back on the loose. Syphilis (Lues) was one of the most feared of all diseases for centuries and kept young men and women in terror of the act of sexual union. Our old enemy TB is on the prowl too, with a new strain which is classed MDR (multiple-drug resistant).
In Germany in the summer of 2011 A deadly new strain of E. Coli emerged, that is highly resistant to antibiotics and killed hundreds in Europe on it’s unstoppable rampage. If you are not worried about this deteriorating position, you should be. False reliance on drugs and pharma medicine has proven to be a weak strategy: the game is LOST! The Truth Is: You can’t hold back bacteria. They are too overwhelmingly numerous and powerful.
But there is GOOD news… In the days before antibiotics not everyone died of their infections. There were scores of great, workable non-drug solutions to infections. These remedies still work! You need to get to know them, get re-acquainted with our folklore and natural heritage again and fast. You never know when the next outbreak will sweep your neighborhood. It’s important to strengthen your immune defenses, of course. But you also need to go on a short education course of learning what your antibiotic-alternative options are.
To make it easy for you, Dr. Keith has compiled a comprehensive report of all the suitable alternatives, with scientific studies to support them. You’ll be amazed just how many humble home remedies and plant-based solutions have been studied scientifically and demonstrated to work effectively. PLUS, he has given you lots of very modern possibilities that were not even dreamed of in the era before antibiotics.
This is the AUTHORITY report you have been waiting for. Dr. Keith is well known for demanding minimum scientific standards, not just myth, “wise woman stories” and ignorant conjecture.
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From Mimi – This was shared with me recently and I think it is a well written summary of the development of GcMAF beginning in 2015. See my updates in [brackets]
When Dr. Jeff Bradstreet unexpectedly and tragically died in the spring of 2015, many of us wondered what would happen to the research he was doing with GcMAF, Goleic, and Bravo yogurt, which he was using to help children with autism. To my great pleasure, I am pleased to report that the research has continued, and treatment options have been expanded. We are now seeing even more powerful results for the treatment of autism, cancer, chronic Lyme, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various neurodegenerative diseases.
See our previously published article on Dr. Bradstreet’s Work and Death:
Is The U.S. Medical Mafia Murdering Alternative Health Doctors Who Have Real Cures Not Approved by the FDA?
Dr. Bradstreet’s previous research focused on the macrophage activating factors known as GcMAF and Goleic, which he used in his clinic. Dr. Bradstreet was able to help 3 out of 4 autistic children by treating them with GcMAF or Goleic. Approximately 20% to 25% of these children lost their autism diagnosis and another 50% experienced a reduction in autistic symptoms. [2, 3]
After the European manufacturing facility for GcMAF and Goleic was raided and closed down in the first months of 2015, Dr. Bradstreet focused his research on a special yogurt formula known as Bravo. The microbes in this yogurt produce molecules of GcMAF and a newly identified compound called Rerum. These molecules stimulate the immune system when this yogurt is eaten or taken as a suppository or enema. At the same time, the microbes in the Bravo yogurt restore the microbiome of the human gut and the microbiome in the human brain. 
Dr. Bradstreet learned about the existence of Rerum three days before his death, so he was not able to use this new macrophage activating factor in its synthesized form as he did with GcMAF and Goleic. Rerum is now being tested in clinics in Europe and is producing amazing results for many different health problems. [Rerum has since been improved in strength and is called imuno. Available at www.imunothesolution.com]
The newest research shows that when Bravo Yogurt and imuno are combined with the ketogenic diet, the power of the human body’s ability to heal itself is released. This therapeutic combination is now part of an autism treatment protocol, as well as being an essential part of a powerful protocol for reversing and eliminating late stage cancers.
This is a two-part series on using the combination therapy consisting of a ketogenic diet, imuno, and Bravo yogurt. Part 1 will focus on the results of a recent research study on this protocol and describe some of the basic science behind the treatments. Part 2 will provide information about how you can use the ketogenic diet, Bravo Yogurt, and imuno as treatments for illness.
How can Bravo,imuno, and the Ketogenic Diet Help both Autism and Cancer?
The answer to this question comes to us from scientists and medical providers who work in the medical field called “allgemeine pathologie.” They approach illness from a very different viewpoint. They are constantly thinking about how diseases are connected, and are looking for the common elements of illness, which could lead to the treatment of diverse illnesses with a single set of interventions.
In the U.S., most scientific investigations focus on researching and developing treatments for individual diseases. This practice results in compartmentalized medicine where diseases and their treatments are put into separate boxes as if they could not be connected.
Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, has worked extensively in the field of allgemeine pathologie and the research he is conducting with his European and American colleagues is opening the door to powerful new approaches for treating illnesses as diverse as autism and cancer.
Dr. Ruggiero worked closely with Dr. Bradstreet in the U.S., and was the scientific adviser for Immuno Biotech, which developed and formerly manufactured GcMAF in Europe.
Dr. Ruggiero described Allgemeine pathologie during an online interview conducted by Clive de Carle  in 2016. (Dr. Ruggiero’s first language is Italian. His comments, as presented throughout this chapter, have been edited slightly to improve sentence construction.) Dr. Ruggiero stated:
It was about one hundred and fifty years ago when in Germany and in Italy, but not in the Anglo-Saxon world, the concept of Allgemeine pathologie was developed. In English you could loosely translate it as general pathology but this doesn’t render the sense. Allgemeine pathologie, according to those Italian and German medical scientists, [tells us that] all chronic diseases have something in common that was independent of their cause (etiology—the study of the cause) but was strictly related to the pathogenesis of the way they develop. In other words, they taught that if you take cancer, if you take neurodegenerative diseases, if you even take infectious chronic diseases, they all have something in common. They thought that if they found what all these different diseases had in common, they could find a cure for possibly all human diseases. They developed this concept that is still taught in Germany and in Italy.
When I was in medical school and even afterward, I had difficulty in explaining to my colleagues that I was working at the Institute of General Pathology. Everybody in England and in the USA thought that I was dealing with dissections because pathology in the United States and in England means the dissection [of bodies] to find out the cause of death.
Now one hundred and fifty years later we know that those researchers were right at the molecular level. We know that the human genome is made up of about 20,000 genes, but out of these 20,000 genes about 200, not more than 200, are responsible for most of the functions. So, you find that in diseases as diverse as cancer and autism the same genes are involved. At this point now that we know which genes are involved in diseases as diverse as cancer and autism, we can try to target those genes and restore their functions. [2, 3]
Research Findings for Late Stage Cancer
In a study published in December of 2016 in the American Journal of Immunology , Dr. Ruggiero and his colleagues from Germany and the U.S. reported the results of using complementary immunotherapy for treating late stage cancer with six patients. Their protocol combined the ketogenic diet, imuno, Bravo yogurt, and various other supplements.
The Ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate-protein diet, which deprives cancer cells of sugar, which is their fuel source. imuno is a nano-sized emulsion made of chondroitin sulfate, vitamin D3 and oleic acid. Bravo Yogurt is a fermented milk and colostrum product.
Other supplements given to these patients were: Vitamin D3 (10.000-20.000 I.U. per day), curcumin, omega-3, ubiquinol, arginine, multivitamins and a low-molecular weight pectin preparation. [The pectin has been updated into a new product called Edestiny using fermented hemp seed protein and is available here https://www.healthyenergetics.com/collections/bravo-edestiny/Edestiny]
According to the article, low-molecular weight pectin inhibits the growth and metastasis of gastrointestinal cancer cells. In addition, pectin is effective for removing toxins. Oral administration of pectin has been shown to lower lead toxicity in children without side effects.
The strategy used with the treatment of these patients focused on the use of a nutritional plan and food supplements that were designed to stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation. Their approach produced low toxicity for patients and could be used in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy.
All the patients described in this report were administered the emulsion called imuno, which which was called Rerum and was manufactured in Germany by Dr. Reinwald Healthcare.  It is classified and registered as a food supplement, because it is composed of well-known supplements that have been in use for decades. The emulsion was administered orally or parenterally according to the clinical judgment of the therapist in each individual case.
The authors of this study issued this general warning concerning their research findings. They stated:
…Caution must be employed in drawing a cause-effect relationship between treatment and clinical outcome. This is particularly true considering the limited number of cases reported in this study, their heterogeneity and the limited time of observation. In addition, even though some of the approaches described in this article, such as the ketogenic diet or the use of supplements, may be implemented without medical prescription in some countries, it is essential that the information presented in this study is not construed as medical advice and we always recommend that patients affected by diseases are supervised by competent therapists even when only nutrition is concerned. 
The results of their patient studies are summarized in the following 6 case studies.
Case 1: Ovarian Cancer with Metastases in the Liver
A 70-year old woman with ovarian cancer had multiple metastases in the liver and the peritoneum. She had been treated with multiple cycles of conventional chemotherapy. This reduced the size of the peritoneal metastases but was ineffective against the liver metastases. The patient had developed severe neuropathy possibly as a consequence of chemotherapy and she could not walk for more than 30 feet due to extreme pain and fatigue. She had been labeled “incurable” by her conventional doctor.
After about five weeks of treatment with the nutritional immunotherapeutic approach, a PET scan no longer detected appreciable size liver metastasis. Blood analyses showed an elevated level of circulating monocytes (8.1%). The normal range is 3% to 10%. This supports the hypothesis that the integrated approach described above stimulated the immune system with particular reference to the monocyte-macrophage arm of immunity. Activation of macrophages following the subcutaneous administration of the emulsion described above was also confirmed by color-doppler ultrasonography.
The patient also had a decrease in her score for Transketolase-Like 1 (TKTL1). TKTL1 plays a crucial role in ovarian cancer metabolism and its expression predicts poor prognosis. Therefore, a decrease in the expression of TKTL1 may be interpreted as a sign of decreased aggressiveness of the cancer itself.
Case 2: Prostate Cancer
A 63-year old man with prostate adenocarcinoma, osteoporosis, and esophagitis was treated with the nutritional immunotherapeutic approach. He had previously been treated with radiation therapy, and a MRI scan showed residual tumor lesion.
After about four weeks of treatment with the nutritional-immunotherapeutic approach, his Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) was significantly decreased from 95 to 0.8. This was a return to a normal value.
During this time, he also received 3 subcutaneous anti-androgen injections from the Department of Urology of the University of Bochum, Germany. The dramatic drop in his PSA was noticed after the first administration of anti-androgens. The patient indicated that the abrupt decrease puzzled the oncologists who were treating him, stating that it was the first time they had observed such an occurrence.
After 4 weeks of nutritional-immunotherapeutic treatment, imaging studies showed significant reduction of the tumor mass. It appeared encapsulated with no metabolic activity. The percentage of circulating monocytes was close to the highest normal values (9.2%). Normal value is 3–10%. Activation of macrophages following subcutaneous administration of the emulsion described above was confirmed by color- doppler ultrasonography. Cumulative TKTL1 and Apo10 scores were decreased and, at the end of the treatment, both scores where within the normal values.
Case 3: Breast Cancer
A 66-year old woman had breast adenocarcinoma, gallstones, colitis and atrial fibrillation. Prior to nutritional-immunotherapeutic treatment, an ultrasound measurement of her tumor showed that it was 0.4 cubic centimeters in volume. Preliminary evidence indicated that after three weeks of the nutritional-immunotherapeutic approach, the tumor measured 0.1 cubic centimeters (a reduction of 75%). There was also a normalization of the cumulative Apo10 score (value: 123) that was consistent with the observed reduction in tumor size.
Case 4: Cancer of the Esophagus with Lung Metastases
A 55-year old man was diagnosed with recurrences of adenocarcinoma and adenosarcoma of the esophagus with lung metastases. These recurrences appeared after a previous surgical intervention, which targeted these lesions. The patient had been labeled “incurable.” The prognosis for esophagus cancer is quite poor with mostpatients dying within the first year after diagnosis.
After about eight months of implementation of the nutritional-immunotherapeutic treatment, the local lesions appear stable and encapsulated with no signs of progression. A CT scan of the thorax performed after about eight months did not detect lung lesions. The general condition of the patient significantly improved, and his feeding tube was removed, because it was no longer needed. The patient reported that the Specialists at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, who removed the feeding tube were utterly puzzled by the unexpected positive outcome.
Case 5: Pulmonary Nodule
A 59-year old man was diagnosed one year earlier with a pulmonary nodule of unknown origin. The patient declined the recommended surgery to remove the nodule, and chose to use a variety of other approaches, which included: low-dose naltrexone, coffee enemas, quercetin, multivitamins, oregano oil, and minerals. The patient continued to use medications for hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, and hypothyroidism. Tumor markers such as Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), CA 19-9, CA 27-29 and CA 15-3 were within the normal limits.
The level of the serum enzyme Nagalase was significantly elevated when the patient decided to implement the nutritional immunotherapeutic approach. His Nagalase was 3.10 Units, which was well above the reference range of 0.32-0.95 Units. Nagalase is used as a tumor marker, a marker of inflammation, and a marker of bacterial infection.
The patient’s Nagalase level was measured six months after implementing the nutritional immunotherapeutic therapy and it fell to 1.34 Units), which is approaching the normal value. These results indicate that the immunotherapeutic approach adopted by the patient was effective in decreasing the level of serum Nagalase in a manner consistent with what has been reported for other types of cancer.
Case 6: Bile Duct Cancer
Dr. Steve Hines from the Hope Wellness Center in San Angelo, Texas, reported his experiences with a 73-year-old woman with cholangiocarcinoma (common bile duct cancer). She was suffering with epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting and pitting edema in both feet. Her oncologist stated she was not a candidate for surgery and did not offer any treatment or hope for recovery. The tumor measured 5 cm by 6.5 cm.
We recommended the patient order 3 vials of the imuno emulsion. She was instructed to take 0.5 cc once daily for 5 days, then take 2 days off. One week later, when she returned to the clinic for other therapies, Dr. Hines asked her about her epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting and pitting edema. She answered, “No pain, no nausea, no vomiting and only a minor edema in the feet.” When she was asked how much product she was taking, she said she had finished all 3 vials the previous week. The 3 ampoules she had should have lasted for at least a few months, but she had already taken them all in one week! She had misunderstood the dosing recommendations and had taken 1 ampoule sublingually each day for 3 days in a row. Now, 6 months later, she still feels just fine and is living a normal life.
Autism is not an Incurable Illness
The occurrence of autism is rapidly rising among our children, and many parents are rejecting the “incurable” prognosis. The components of the complementary treatments described in the previous study also can be used for autism with great success.
Dr. Ruggiero was a close collaborator of Dr. Bradstreet and his pioneering work with autism treatment. Dr. Ruggiero reiterates the truth about autism. He stated:
I think that one of the worst things that can happen to the parent of an autistic child is to be given a final diagnosis as if autism was something forever—something that could not be improved. This has been demonstrated over and over again—when I say demonstrated, I mean you can find on PubMed that the symptoms of autism can be significantly improved with many children fully returning to a completely normal life. And, in the end, they will prove themselves to be smarter and brighter than their peers. …
We don’t yet have the cure that will absolutely work for all children — we are far away from that. … Sometimes we are lucky, and we can see results in a matter of hours other times it may take years. It is not wishful thinking—it is not a hope, it is a certainty that autism can be significantly helped.
We now have many [formerly autistic] children going back to normal school.
One year ago, a good friend of mind, Ms. Brianna, came with me on stage toward the end of my presentation [at the AutismOne Conference] and she reported the case of her son, who was diagnosed with severe autism. She explained that after only a few months of treatment with Bravo, he was able to go back to a normal classroom.
I can tell you that one year later he is now the smartest guy in his class. He is always in the top 90% of results in his class. Not only have we been able to help this child, but he is constantly improving and he may be needing a special class [in the future], but for specially gifted children. He is developing faster than his peers. [2, 3]
Ms. Brianna describes how her son was helped with a combination of the ketogenic diet, Bravo Yogurt, and imuno. Her presentation starts about 75% through the following presentation given by Dr. Ruggiero.
“Novel insights on the etiology and treatment of autism,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, AutismOne 2016. YouTube.com. [This has been taken down]
A Healthy Brain Requires a Healthy Gut
Dr. Ruggiero describes the gut/brain connection. He stated:
Just before Dr. Bradstreet tragically passed away, he made a discovery that had been ignored for the past thousands of years by the anatomists. He discovered that the brain lymphatic system was instrumental in carrying microbes from the gut into the brain. We do have microbes in our brain, and in fact when we have these microbes we are perfectly healthy. I am not talking about pathogenic microbes like those that cause encephalitis or meningitis. I am talking about the microbes that constitute our gut microflora and in more general our human microbiome.
We all know that we have microbes in our gut. We all know that we have microbes on our skin and on our mucosa everywhere, but until we published this paper with Dr. Jeff Bradstreet,  people thought the brain was a rather sterile organ in the absence of infectious disease. Now we know that this is not the case. There are the same microbes in our brain that we find in our gut. The two words brain and microbiome had never been put together until the publication of our paper in the journal called Frontiers of Human Neuro-science.
The influence of these microbes on the functioning and the development of the brain is immense, because they produce a number of molecules that influence the functioning of neurons and glial cells.
In autism, as in neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation is present in lymph nodes located inside the neck called the deep cervical nodes. Because of this inflammation, circulation is hampered and the lymph from the brain cannot drain. [This means] there cannot be a recirculation of microbes between the gut and the brain, and toxins and neuronal bodies and all types of junk accumulate in the brain. Eventually this leads to all the dysfunctions that we observe in neurodegenerative diseases as well as in autism.
Another important point is that these microbes don’t travel all by themselves from the gut to the brain. They are carried by macrophages. [2, 3]
Macrophages and Macrophage Activating Factor
Dr. Ruggiero described the functions of macrophages and their ability to orchestrate the activities of the immune system. He stated:
Macrophages are cells of the immune system. Their name arises from the old Greek “macro” which means big, and “phage” which means eater. They are relatively big cells and they eat. What do they eat? Essentially whatever they find. They eat cells infected by viruses. They eat cancer cells. They eat pathogenic microbes. Their role is essentially of sentinels of the immune system. … Their first goal is to set-up the first line of defense in other words to detect the threat and then to tell the other cells of the immune system, notably the T and B lymphocytes, how to address that threat.
If, however, you don’t have enough macrophages, if they are not well nourished, if they don’t have enough tools in their kit, then you cannot count on an efficient first line of defense. This is when cancer arises or when neuro-degenerative or neuro- inflammatory infections take over.
There are a number of macrophage activating factors, both protein and non-protein. They increase the number of macrophages and activate them. So essentially this is … what macrophage activating factors such as GcMAF or like imuno do.
Three Steps for Restoring Normal Brain Activity
Dr. Ruggiero explained that there are three basic steps for treating people with neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism. These are in addition to the use of the ketogenic diet. Macrophages are designed to move freely through the lymphatic system and to enter the brain.
Dr. Ruggiero stated:
First of all, you need to have a good array of microbes in your gut otherwise you have a very bad starting point. If your gut microflora is made of pathogenic microbes or an over-growth of yeast or other pathogenic microbes, that is bad, because those microbes will end up in your brain and it won’t be good.
For this reason you have to reconstitute your gut microflora—your healthy core human microbiome. This can be rather easily achieved with Bravo yogurt used as a regular drinking yogurt or in some cases used as a suppository or as an enema. [Healthy Energetics has seen great result with yogurt on the skin.]
At this point you need to unclog the deep cervical nodes so that the lymph from the brain can easily recirculate. Now you can do this in two ways. You can use the Bravo yogurt inside the throat as yogurt or use the imuno as a cream applied to the neck and/or imuno systemically through a nebulizer.
Using the imuno as a spray such as from a nebulizer or from other means will reduce the inflammation at the level of the deep cervical nodes and will reactivate the circulation of lymph and the imuno will also activate the macrophages.
The activated macrophages will become like trucks loaded with microbes—in this case—good microbes. They will carry the good microbes from the gut into the brain. This will reconstitute the brain microbiome. [2, 3]
[Mimi has also experienced the “trucks” loaded with heavy metal from the brainstem coming down the spine to remove it through the colon. Was that also the macrophages?]
Summary: Insuring a Source of Healthy Microbes for the Gut and the Brain
The good microbes that are in the Bravo yogurt are designed to provide people with the primary set of microorganisms that can be found in a healthy baby. The Bravo Yogurt also contains molecules of activating factors that motivate the macrophages so they can transport these healthy microbes into the brain through the lymphatic system. The ketogenic diet provides many benefits among which is the proper nutrition that is needed to support a healthy population of microbes throughout the body. High consumption of carbohydrates feeds pathogenic microorganisms in the body and allows them to dominate the microbiome. This imbalance leads to inflammation, which inhibits proper detoxification and the proliferation of many different diseases. Rerum is present in Bravo Yogurt and can also be used as a supplement. It decreases inflammation and activates the activity of macrophages. It also contains ingredients that are known to have anti-cancer properties.
A Quick Look at the Next Chapter
In the next chapter, we will look at the specific details about how we can use the ketogenic diet, Bravo yogurt, and imuno for the treatment of various illnesses.
Additional Resources for Your Further Research
“Ketogenic Diet—Modern Diet,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, interview by Carolyn Twietmeyer, 2/25/2016, YouTube.com.
“From old GcMAF to the new Rerum: natural immunotherapeutic approach to autism,” Dr. Heinz Reinwald, PhD, AutismOne 2016, 5/28/2016, YouTube.com. [Rerum was made with Dr. Reinwald but was replaced by imuno]
 Clive de Carle conducted an extensive interview with Dr. Ruggiero, which was published on the internet in two parts. See references  and  below for the specific links and their topics. Clive de Carle is a health researcher who cured himself from an “incurable” disease using nutrition. http://www.clivedecarle.com/
 “RERUM & BRAVO. AMAZING RESULTS.” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, interview by Clive de Carle, (Part 1) 3/15/2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIWNgxipvzY
 “OVERCOMING CANDIDA, PARASITES & AUTISM,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, interview by Clive de Carle, (Part 2) 3/20/2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6S10UeCWow
 Michael Schwalb, Margit Taubmann, Steve Hines, Heinz Reinwald and Marco Ruggiero; “Clinical Observation of a Novel, Complementary, Immunotherapeutic Approach based on Ketogenic Diet, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin D3, Oleic Acid and a Fermented Milk and Colostrum Product,” American Journal of Immunology, Case Reports, 12/21/2016, Volume 12, Issue 4, DOI: 10.3844/ajisp.2016.91.98. http://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ajisp.2016.91.98
 Dr. Reinwald Healthcare, Germany, Product List.
 James J. Bradstreet, Marco Ruggiero, Stefania Pacini; “Commentary: Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels,” Front Neurosci, 12/22/2015, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00485. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686591/
 William G. Branton, Kristofor K. Ellestad, Ferdinand Maingat, B. Matt Wheatley, Erling Rud, René L. Warren, Robert A. Holt, Michael G. Surette, Christopher Power; “Brain Microbial Populations in HIV/AIDS: α-Proteobacteria Predominate Independent of Host Immune Status,” PLOS, 1/23/2013. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?
How to Cure Cancer, Autism, and other Neurodegenerative Diseases without Toxic Drugs
Dr. Marco Ruggiero. Image source. Steps for Using the Ketogenic Diet, Bravo, and imuno for Various Diseases
Effective treatments for chronic illnesses such as cancer do not need to be expensive and they don’t need to have life-threatening side effects. In Part 1 of this two-part article I reviewed the positive results of a research study for cancer treatment that combined the ketogenic diet, Bravo Yogurt, and a newly formulated macrophage activating factor called imuno. Research showed that this immunotherapeutic approach has successfully reversed late stage cancer.
This same approach has proven to be effective for treating autism and neurodegenerative diseases as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic Lyme.
In the previous chapter, I introduced Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, who worked closely with the pioneering autism researcher Dr. Jeff Bradstreet to develop highly effective autism treatments. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ruggiero was a scientist at the National Cancer Institutes. His research involving the use of natural compounds to treat cancer now spans three decades. His scientific training in Italy was rooted in an area of medical research called “allgemeine pathologie.” Those who work in this field of study seek to find links between different chronic illnesses, and to find the common treatments that will restore health for many seemingly unrelated diseases. This is in sharp contrast to the approach used by most researchers in America who seek a unique treatment for every individual disease.
The comments from Dr. Ruggiero were taken from online interviews conducted by Clive de Carle  in 2016. Dr. Ruggiero’s first language is Italian, and I have edited his remarks by adjusting sentence structure and making minor adjustments in grammar.
Nutrition is the First Step for Healing Autism, Cancer, and other Diseases
Dr. Ruggiero and his colleagues begin their treatment approach with a ketogenic diet. This is a very low carbohydrate, high fat, and moderate-protein diet. It is ketogenic because when the carbs are kept very low and protein is not too high, then the body will switch from a dependence on burning glucose for energy and will start burning ketones. This is especially important for cancer treatment, because cancer cells thrive on glucose. A ketogenic diet will keep glucose levels in the blood as low as possible, thus depriving cancer cells of their energy source, while properly feeding all other normal healthy cells in the body with ketones. 
Using ketones as a constant source of energy is not a departure from normal metabolism, but in fact is the normal form of human metabolism. Our body actually prefers ketone metabolism over glucose metabolism and thrives when burning ketones. We also suffer from much less chronic illness when glucose producing foods are severely restricted. 
Anssi H. Manninen, MHS, a Finnish exercise physiologist specializing in sports nutrition, describes dietary ketosis. He stated:
During very low carbohydrate intake, the regulated and controlled production of ketone bodies causes a harmless physiological state known as dietary ketosis. Ketone bodies flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain) for use as a fuel; this spares glucose metabolism via a mechanism similar to the sparing of glucose by oxidation of fatty acids as an alternative fuel. In comparison with glucose, the ketone bodies are actually a very good respiratory fuel. Indeed, there is no clear requirement for dietary carbohydrates for human adults. [emphasis added] Interestingly, the effects of ketone body metabolism suggest that mild ketosis may offer therapeutic potential in a variety of different common and rare disease states. 
Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Dietary Ketosis are Very Different
It should be understood that diabetic ketoacidosis and dietary ketosis are two very different conditions. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that is set in motion when diabetics consume a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet and do not have enough insulin. It only occurs when blood sugar is too high and insulin too low. Dietary ketosis, on the other hand occurs when people eat a low-carb high-fat diet, which is not harmful even for diabetics. Anssi Manninen further explained the differences:
Diabetic patients know that the detection in their urine of the ketone bodies is a danger signal that their diabetes is poorly controlled. Indeed, in severely uncontrolled diabetes, if the ketone bodies are produced in massive supranormal quantities, they are associated with ketoacidosis. In this life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus, the acids 3-hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetic acid are produced rapidly, causing high concentrations of protons, which overwhelm the body’s acid-base buffering system. However, during very low carbohydrate intake, the regulated and controlled production of ketone bodies causes a harmless physiological state known as dietary ketosis. In ketosis, the blood pH remains buffered within normal limits. 
Many type 1 and type 2 diabetics are able to manage their conditions without pharmaceutical assistance by using a low-carb high-fat diet, which keeps them in a metabolic state of healthy ketosis. Dr. Tim Noakes, M.D., is one of the leading researchers in the world on the ketogenic lifestyle and has used the ketogenic diet to manage his own diabetes.  The state of ketosis is not harmful and is actually beneficial for those who have harmed their health by the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet, which sadly includes most all of us who were taught to believe that we would be healthier if we consumed a high-carb low-fat diet. The high-carb low-fat diet actually sets in motion a pattern of physiological decline that leads to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which have come to dominate modern life over the past 40 years since the low-fat dietary guidelines were promoted.
The Foundation of Health Restoration is the Ketogenic Diet
Dr. Ruggiero described the powerful benefit of the ketogenic diet for addressing a wide variety of chronic illnesses. He stated:
Nutrition can account for up to 80% of the treatment in autism or in cancer, or in a number of other conditions. [6, 7]
The proof of whether a person has actually made the switch from glucose to ketones comes from measuring ketone levels in the blood. This is easily done with a ketone/glucose meter that has been manufactured for diabetic care. A drop of blood is taken and placed into the device and the meter will accurately measure the ketone level.
According to Dr. Ruggiero:
Forget about ketones in the urine. You want to measure blood ketones. If the blood ketones are above a certain threshold let’s say 0.5 or 0.7 you can be sure you are in ketosis, which is absolutely beneficial for the treatment of autism as well as cancer. [6, 7]
The Cost of a Ketogenic Diet is not Excessive
Many people raise an immediate objection to the ketogenic diet, because they say it costs too much. When you give up the expensive highly processed carbohydrate foods containing high sugar, high starch, low quality fats and oils, preservatives, artificial flavorings and colorings, etc., and substitute whole foods that can be prepared at home to make delicious and nourishing meals, the food budget will not increase.
The Ketogenic Diet Works for Both Autism and Cancer
Dr. Ruggiero describes how diet is linked to both autism and cancer. He stated:
“This is to tell you that the cure for cancer … and the cure for autism it is very simple and rather inexpensive, and you find it at the grocery store. Unfortunately, the cause of cancer can also be found at the grocery store. So, at this point it is up to you from which shelf you pick up your meal today.”
“The first time I was at the Congress for Complementary Cancer Therapy in Germany about three years ago I was astonished to learn that the cure for cancer can be at almost zero cost, and I fully agree. Now again I use very carefully the word cure so I hope you will forgive me because of my poor mastering of the English language because sometimes let me say things may be inappropriate. So, let’s say that the treatment for autism can be achieved at very little cost. For example, the first thing to be done with your child is to put the child on a ketogenic diet. This is very well assessed. As far as I know there are clinical trials right now in the United States assessing the efficacy of the ketogenic diet in autism. There is plenty of literature in peer review journals that you can review from PubMed.”
If you implement the ketogenic diet you expect to see wonderful results in a matter of days—weeks at the most. Again, the ketogenic diet doesn’t cost anything. However, it requires a very strenuous effort because it is easier for a heroin addict or for a cigarette smoker to quit heroin or to quit smoking than it is to shift from the high carb diet that we are used to, and [adopt] a ketogenic diet where carbohydrates are down to zero, and healthy fat and healthy protein constitute 90% of the daily caloric intake.
You may not have to use other remedies [with the ketogenic diet], unless there is a clear deficiency in some vitamin. For example, as in northern England, Scandinavia, and northern Germany, since you are not exposed to the sun light for a sufficient number of hours, the levels of vitamin D3 are typically low. [6, 7]
Adapting to the Ketogenic Diet
Most anyone who has used the ketogenic diet will report that one of the biggest hurdles in implementing the ketogenic diet is carbohydrate cravings. The second biggest hurdle is learning how to prepare food that does not contain carbohydrates. When a person begins to implement a ketogenic diet, he or she will usually experience intense cravings for fruit, bread, pasta, and anything else containing starch and high levels of sugar. These cravings are the body’s distress signal that it is going through drug withdrawal.
Dr. Ruggiero describes this in more detail:
It has been amply demonstrated that when you eat sugars, when you eat chocolate, or when you eat anything sweet, certain areas in your brain are activated. You can easily see this with functional magnetic resonance imaging. These areas are the same areas that are activated in [the brains of] heroin addicts when they inject heroin or when cocaine addicts [use cocaine]. It is simply an addiction and a great part of the food industry has based its fortunes on this addiction.
Once you begin eating carbohydrates you become addicted to them. It’s even worse if you begin at a young age and to try to stop eating them.
There are different strategies to overcome this difficult period at the beginning. But all these strategies depend upon perseverance and discipline. This period is called keto-adaptation, and my good friend Dr. Heinz Reinwald [in Germany] is a very good expert on this. The difficult period of keto-adaptation lasts one to two weeks, but then you begin to experience the [positive] effects. [6, 7]
Using Bravo Yogurt is Much More Than Taking Probiotics
Bravo yogurt can be added to the ketogenic diet to restore the microbiome of the gut and the brain, and to restore the functioning of the immune system. Probiotic capsules and pills cannot do this very well.
Dr. Ruggiero stated:
“If you want to spend some money on something that is not part of the [ketogenic] diet … then try some good probiotic yogurt. Of course, I am biased because I am the inventor of the Bravo yogurt, and I even make money out of the Bravo. Let’s say if you find a good probiotic yogurt that contains a number of healthy live microorganisms and contains a number of healthy molecules (I am not fool enough to say that Bravo is the only probiotic yogurt of course), then you add that on top of your ketogenic diet. Be advised however that probiotic yogurts are a completely different thing than probiotics without the yogurt.”
“Probiotics are nothing else but encapsulated microbes that are under the form of a capsule or a tablet or whatever that are supposed to recolonize your gut. Well let me tell you this, they don’t work or they work poorly in comparison to real yogurts or kefirs.”
“When you drink probiotic yogurt, you don’t drink microbes alone you drink microbes and their environment. When you swallow the capsule with probiotics you only swallow the microbes. Probiotics are one thing and probiotics with their environment is another. [6, 7]”
Dr. Ruggiero made mention of research from Canadian scientists who were testing yogurt for treating HIV AIDS in Tanzania.  In research published in 2010 and 2011 they found that locally produced yogurt containing cultures that the researchers provided, there was a substantial reduction in disease symptoms.
Dr. Ruggiero described their findings:
“Immediately after a few weeks they began to see extraordinary results. All the symptoms associated with HIV infection and AIDS, mainly diarrhea, wasting syndrome, and malnutrition, began to improve. And the CD4 count began to increase in a much higher way than what you would expect using antiretroviral drugs. [6, 7]”
Dr. Ruggiero described what happened when the researchers gave probiotic capsules containing the same microorganisms that were also in the yogurt to people with HIV AIDS in Tanzania. He stated:
“The results were zero—absolute zero—no effect. You may wonder how this is possible since the microbes were the same. Yes, the microbes were the same, but what was missing was their milieu … their micro environment … the microbes together with all the molecules that they [the microorganisms] produce by fermenting the milk. [6, 7]”
Additional Information about the Ketogenic Diet
The resources section at the end of this chapter list several resources that you can use to learn more about the ketogenic diet.
Combining Bravo Yogurt and the Ketogenic Diet
If a person adds Bravo yogurt to the ketogenic diet, then they are taking an even stronger step toward reversing many common chronic illnesses. Part of the power in this combination therapy is directly attributable to the removal of unhealthy “food like products” from the diet and replacing them with whole and unadulterated foods. Highly processed carbohydrate food made of white flour, sugar, fructose, and industrial omega-6 vegetable seed oils such as soy oil and canola oil must be completely eliminated. Fruit and sweet vegetables must also be strictly controlled, and for many people they will also need to be eliminated.
Dr. Ruggiero summarizes the effectiveness of an approach containing both the ketogenic diet and the Bravo yogurt. He stated:
“So, with a very limited budget you have 90% of what you need to treat 90% of the conditions. On top of that for the remaining 10% then you can use things like imuno.”
“I am not here to advertise Bravo, to say that Bravo is the panacea for all diseases, because it is not. It is simply one of the many tools together with imuno and all the rest that naturopaths, therapists, and doctors have at their disposal, so they have a number of different tools to fight the enemy. [6, 7]”
Bravo Yogurt is Very Different than Grocery Store Brands of Yogurt
Bravo yogurt is prepared at home from a special formulation of microbes. The yogurt starter kit includes the microbes and colostrum. It is mixed with whole milk and fermented for hours.
Dr. Ruggiero gives us more details. He stated:
“Bravo is a yogurt that was developed with the idea of exploiting the metabolism of healthy bacteria—healthy microbes—to produce a number of molecules that would exert a healthy effect on the human body. One of these molecules was GcMAF (Macrophage activating factor). This is a molecule that had been known for about 20 years, which was known to stimulate the immune system. Bravo reconstitutes the healthy human gut microbiome and the brain microbiome.”
“Don’t forget that in Bravo there are about a hundred and fifty newly formed peptides. What do I mean by newly formed? I mean that you take milk, and there are a certain number of healthy peptides and molecules, and then you take the microbes and let the microbes ferment the milk. At the end of the fermentation you will find a hundred and fifty newly formed peptides that weren’t present before, and they are the product of the microbial metabolism. All these newly formed peptides stimulate the immune system. It is an indirect action. It takes a few weeks if not months, but in the end, you see excellent results. [6, 7]”
Dr. Ruggiero addresses the concern about lactose (milk sugar) in Bravo since it is usually made from milk. He stated:
Lactose intolerance is not a problem because Bravo is highly fermented. It takes 24 to 48 hours to ferment the Bravo and in those 24-48 hours the lactobacilli microbes have used all the lactose so in the end you will have no lactose.
Actually, the Bravo is successfully used to treat lactose intolerance in children. After a few months of Bravo then they can eat cheese or drink milk with no problems. [6, 7]
Dr. Ruggiero addresses this concern:
Caseins are proteins highly represented in milk. A great deal of caseins are metabolized during the fermentation process, nevertheless in the Bravo there are caseins. The point with casein intolerance is that caseins by themselves are not allergenic. What is allergenic is the product of the degradation of caseins in the stomach. When caseins are degraded in the stomach by the acid and the proteases, some of those peptides are allergenic and they can cause diarrhea or a number of other reactions.
The solution is rather simple. Instead of drinking the Bravo it can be used as an enema, applied to the skin, or as a suppository. But since you introduced this rectally, it will not be digested by the acids and the proteases of the stomach and therefore there will not be the formation of those products that are allergenic.
The rectal route of administration is particularly useful because all the healthy molecules in the Bravo, which of course include the imuno and the GcMAF, will be rapidly absorbed through the rectal mucosa and they will directly go to the liver. So essentially the efficiency of delivery is equal to an inter-muscular injection. Obviously you cannot inject the Bravo as a yogurt so don’t even think about doing this, but if you use the Bravo as an enema or suppository, then all the molecules will be rapidly absorbed and go to the liver with the same efficiency as if you injected them.
Bravo is in the protocol of cancer treatment, autism treatment, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases as well as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic Lyme. We see wonderful results with Bravo. [6, 7]
Use of Bravo Yogurt as an Enema
It is important to distinguish between different types of enemas. Some enemas are intended to stimulate the bowel to empty itself of feces. These often use large amounts of fluid to mechanically cleanse the colon of its content. Other enemas use a small amount of fluid and are intended to be retained and not lost. These are called retention enemas. They may also be called implants when they contain microorganisms such as Bravo Yogurt. The goal when taking a yogurt implant is to retain it in the colon as long as possible. This is usually not difficult if the bowel has been recently emptied prior to inserting the yogurt with a large needleless syringe.
Dr. Heinz Reinwald from Germany is one of the authors of the cancer treatment research study that was summarized in part one of this article. He indicates the amount of Bravo yogurt that was used for a Bravo Yogurt enema in the case of a patient with colon dysfunction. [Dr. Reinwald’s first language is German. His comments were edited to improve readability.] He stated:
“The father of one of my new employees has severe health problems. He suffered from lung cancer, recovered, then suffered from prostate cancer. He had the classical treatments because he would not even listen to an alternative practitioner. He is completely addicted like most people to the established medical system and of course he did all the chemo and radiation and had surgery in the descending colon. For several years, he could not use the toilet without an enema. He can hardly walk any more.”
“His son brought him to me and I gave him the advice to do a Bravo enema twice a week—50 ML of Bravo and 50 ML of water and to add oil for better adhesion. … After 3 weeks during Sunday night to Monday he said my father has a pain attack and he sat at the toilet for hours, and now he is free [of bowel inactivity]. ”
Bravo Yogurt Enemas are an Alternative to Fecal Transplants
The microbes in Bravo can re-establish healthy microorganisms in the gut. This also makes available a supply of healthy micro-organisms, which macrophages can then carry into the brain. This helps brain activity, which is part of the reason that Bravo helps autistic children. Bravo yogurt enemas can be used as an alternative to fecal transplants, which are currently being discouraged by the FDA.
The Most Effective Probiotic is Free but the FDA Wants to Ban It (fecal transplant article).
(This article describes the use of fecal transplants and discusses the opposition of the FDA.)
Dr. Ruggiero compares the use of fecal transplants with the use of Bravo Yogurt enemas. He stated:
Fecal transplants have their own scientific validity that is fully proven. In other words, you simply take the microbiome from a healthy individual and you transplant it together with its environment (the feces) into an unhealthy individual. The principle is absolutely identical to that of Bravo.
In Bravo you have the healthy human microbiome with its own environment. In a fecal transplant you have again the healthy human microbiome with its environment. You choose which one you like the best and which is the more convenient, which is easier to perform.
An enema of yogurt is rather simple, inexpensive, and harmless. The algorithm is simple. First you try it with the [oral consumption] yogurt, then try it with the yogurt enema. If it works, then proceed in that way. If it doesn’t work, then think about a fecal transplant. I think a yogurt enema is much simpler and easier and much less expensive and not harmful at all, so it is the first choice. [6, 7]
Using Bravo Yogurt to Control Human Parasites
There are alternatives to the use of chemical pesticides for killing parasites that live in the human gut. Parasites can thrive in the bodies of people who eat the standard American diet, and in bodies of those who have chronic illness. Dr. Ruggiero explains how Bravo Yogurt can be used to fight parasites.
Dr. Ruggiero stated:
“The best way is to use their natural enemies instead of taking synthetic pills. Their natural enemies are nothing else than the microbes that constitute the healthy core microbiome. The Bravo works at two levels in fighting parasites.”
“On one level the microbes fight with the parasites, because they compete for territory. The territory is our gut. Microbes, like all living species, compete for territory, but they have an advantage [over parasites]. You replace the microbes by the billions every day, whereas the parasites they are always under numbered. The parasites will easily be overpowered by the Bravo microbes.
“The second [mechanism of action] is the acidity of the fermented foods. This is common to all fermented foods. When food ferments it becomes very acidic. In general, yogurts are acidic. Now the acid environment in the gut breaks down the biofilms. Biofilms are sort of barriers. Parasites and other pathogenic microbes form biofilms to cover themselves and protect themselves from the insults that may come from the environment. Biofilms are like bunkers and parasites hide in these bunkers. As you know it is difficult to fight somebody that is hiding in a bunker.”
“You need a special weapon—a bunker blaster. The special weapons are made by the microbes in the Bravo. The microbes themselves are not the explosive. The explosive is the acid molecules that they produce. These acid molecules disintegrate the biofilms. Think of these acid molecules in the Bravo like explosives that disintegrate the bunker. At that point the microbes can fight the parasites.”
“So, in the end, the Bravo is one of the best tools to get rid of the parasites. Again, you can use the Bravo by using both ends of the GI tract. The physiological end is by drinking it as a yogurt. The less physiological approach is through an enema, so you directly target the rectal mucosa and then the colonic mucosa. [6, 7]”
From GcMAF to imuno
Dr. Ruggiero describes the progression in scientific research as it moved from the GcMAF protein to the discovery of the imuno molecule. The GcMAF and Goleic molecules that Dr. Bradstreet and other physicians used were protein-based molecules that were derived from human blood. The process of their synthesis was very complex and had the risk of unintentional contamination from elements in the blood supply. GcMAF and the second-generation macrophage activating factor, Goleic, had to be shipped frozen to protect the proteins from damage.
imuno on the other hand is a sugar-based molecule (glycosaminoglycan), which can be synthesized in the laboratory to produce a shelf stable and safe remedy that can be used orally, injected, or used in other ways as determined by the healthcare provider.
Dr. Ruggiero describes how their research unfolded. He stated:
“We began researching the molecules that were responsible for the health effects of the Bravo. The first that came into mind was GcMAF. Why? Precisely because we had developed the Bravo with the goal of producing GcMAF in the most natural way.”
“We then went on dissecting in molecular terms the molecules [in Bravo Yogurt]. We processed them and nanosized them. Then we passed them through further filters so that particles that were only nanosized could go through, and then we performed a number of procedures in order to find out which were the molecules responsible for the healthy beneficial effects of the Bravo in addition to the reconstitution of the human microbiome by the microbes.”
“In the end, we found out that even though there is plenty of GcMAF in the Bravo, it was not the GcMAF protein that was responsible for the health effects.”
“We became very puzzled, because we had been working in the lab for years on the GcMAF protein and we had seen a number of very interesting biological activities such as the killing of cancer cells, the inhibition of oncogenesis, stimulation of macrophages and so on.
The Discovery of imuno
Dr. Ruggiero describes the development of imuno:
“At this point, unlike the old GcMAF and the old Goleic that were based on proteins, we were able to exploit the message contained in the glycosaminoglycans and to find the glycosaminoglycan that actually was responsible for the effects that we had attributed to the GcMAF or Goleic protein.”
“The effects that we and others had observed with the old GcMAF and old Goleic were not due to the moiety of the protein molecules, but to the moiety of the glycosaminoglycans, the vitamin nutrients, and the oleic acid. So, now we were able, by observing nature, to reconstitute the active part of the molecule without the need of the blood derived protein.”
“Because of this, we are now able to target those few hundred genes that are commonly altered in most chronic diseases. [6, 7]”
In my opinion, the AutismOne conference is the best opportunity that parents and healthcare professionals have for learning about treatments that can lead to children losing their autism diagnosis. This is also a great opportunity for physicians and other healthcare providers to obtain continuing education credits. Visit their website for details.
AutismOne: The Cutting-Edge Autism Conference(R)
“My final comment has to do with those who wish to obtain GcMAF, Goleic, imuno, or Bravo Yogurt starter. Please proceed carefully. There are many sources on the internet, which say they are selling these products, but are actually selling products of unknown origin. This is especially true for GcMAF and Goleic, which are made from human blood.”
“Personally, if I wanted to use a macrophage activating compound, then I would choose Bravo yogurt. If I was seriously ill and needed more intense therapy, then I would use imuno. The older generation GcMAF and Goleic products are still effective, however, but their authenticity is often hard to verify. Bravo Yogurt and imuno do not have a potential risk of unknown contamination from blood.”
Currently, Bravo Yogurt starter is manufactured in Switzerland and is sold online by just a couple vendors in the U.S. and is not hard to obtain. imuno is made in New Zealand. One of the vendors who has them both is http://www, healthyenergetics.com
I have used the ketogenic diet for many years and attest that it is safe and enjoyable. I have personally used the Bravo Yogurt as an oral health tonic. The Bravo Yogurt tastes good and is good for us. I plan to use it as an enema in the future to further build up the healthy microbiome in my gut and my brain and give my immune system another boost.
Additional Resources for Your Personal Study
Dr. Tim Noakes – The Idiot’s Guide to LCHF and Banting
(Dr. Tim Noakes, a scientist and doctor with much expertise in using the ketogenic diet, presents an overview of the details for adopting a ketogenic lifestyle, and refutes some of the false beliefs concerning this diet.)
Medical Doctors Punished & Silenced for Giving “Unapproved” High Fat Dietary Advice
(Dr. Tim Noakes and Dr. Fettke stand on decades of research that shows the safety and effectiveness of the ketogenic diet and are now being persecuted by the medical establishment because they are speaking the truth.)
The Real Meal Revolution: The Radical, Sustainable Approach to Healthy Eating (Age of Legends), Sally-Ann Creed, Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot, May 17, 2016.
“Ketogenic Diet – Modern Diet,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, interview by Carolyn Twietmeyer, 2/25/2016, YouTube.com.
“Novel insights on the etiology and treatment of autism,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, AutismOne Conference 2016, 5/27/2016, YouTube.com.
“From old GcMAF to the new Rerum: natural immunotherapeutic approach to autism,” Dr. Heinz Reinwald, PhD, AutismOne 2016, 5/28/2016, YouTube.com.
Sauerkraut: Anti-cancer Fermented Food that Restores Gut Flora
 Clive de Carle conducted an extensive interview with Dr. Ruggiero, which was published on the internet in two parts. See references  and  below for the specific links and their topics. Clive de Carle is a health researcher who cured himself from an “incurable” disease using nutrition. http://www.clivedecarle.com/
 Michael Schwalb, Margit Taubmann, Steve Hines, Heinz Reinwald and Marco Ruggiero; Clinical Observation of a Novel, Complementary, Immunotherapeutic Approach based on Ketogenic Diet, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin D3, Oleic Acid and a Fermented Milk and Colostrum Product,” American Journal of Immunology, Case Reports, 12/21/2016, Volume 12, Issue 4. DOI: 10.3844/ajisp.2016.91.98. http://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ajisp.2016.91.98
 “Dietary Fat, Not Glucose, is the Preferred Body Fuel,” Dr. Mercola, Mercola.com, 8/10/2012.
 Anssi H. Manninen; “Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism,” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6/22/2004, DOI: 10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-7. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-7
 “RERUM & BRAVO. AMAZING RESULTS.” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, Interview by Clive de Carle, (Part 1) 3/15/2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIWNgxipvzY
 “OVERCOMING CANDIDA, PARASITES & AUTISM,” Dr. Marco Ruggiero, M.D., PhD, Interview by Clive de Carle, (Part 2) 3/20/2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6S10UeCWow
 Irvine SL, Hummelen R, Hekmat S, Looman CW, Habbema JD, Reid G; “Probiotic yogurt consumption is associated with an increase of CD4 count among people living with HIV/AIDS,” J Clin Gastroenterol, October 2010, doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181d8fba8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463586
 “Interview with Professor Tim Noakes – The Banting Diet & building a lifestyle,” Quintessential TV, YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_VHuU_2p7A
 “RERUM…. 50x more powerful than GcMaf? – Dr. Heinz Reinwald explains why it is,” Interview by Clive de Carle, 3/10/2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMtVV0Isnw0