Design and development of novel compounds aimedat optimizing the function of microtubules andtubulin in the immune system and the brain

Design and development of novel compounds aimed
at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
Volume 13 Issue 6 – 2023
Marco Ruggiero
National Coalition of Independent Scholars, United States of
Correspondence: Marco Ruggiero, MD, PhD, National
Coalition of Independent Scholars. 125 Putney Rd Battleboro,
VT 05301, United States of America,
Received: October 11, 2023 | Published: November 27, 2023
This study describes the design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing
the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and the brain as they relate
to the Orch OR theory of consciousness.
These compounds are defined by the following molecular formulas:
These molecules, formulated under the form of drugs, health functional foods, or food
supplements, have the potential to positively affect a number of areas ranging from
prevention and therapy of neurological diseases to supporting the immune system.
Keywords: tubulin, microtubules, immune system, brain, consciousness, orch or
Journal of Neurology & Stroke
Review Article Open Access
Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
©2023 Ruggiero
Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
be properly described by crystallographic methods developed for
actual aperiodic crystals. In the context of biology, the term aperiodic
crystal is used to describe genetic material, such as DNA or RNA. In
other words, aperiodic crystals are solid materials with a specific but
non-periodic arrangement of atoms. The self-assembling aperiodic
crystals described here are based on the prescient intuition of Erwin
Schroedinger. In 1944, the Austrian physicist published a book called
“What is Life?” In this book, Schrödinger proposed a number of
hypotheses about the nature of life, including the hypothesis that the
genetic material containing the information for life is an aperiodic
crystal.11 Schrödinger’s hypothesis was based on the idea that genetic
information must be encoded in a physical structure that is stable and
can be copied accurately. He argued that a periodic crystal would
not be suitable for this purpose, because it would be too rigid and
would not be able to accommodate all of the possible variations in
genetic information. In contrast, an aperiodic crystal would be able
to encode a wide variety of information in a stable and reproducible
way. The key point here is that Schrödinger also argued that aperiodic
crystals would be able to self-assemble and this is the peculiarity of
the crystals described in this study.
The first type of crystals here described consists of poly-lysine
and glutamic acid; the second type consists of crystals of sulfated
polysaccharides containing fucose, galactose, xylose, arabinose and
rhamnose, and lysine, alanine, tyrosine and cyanocobalamin. In the
first type of crystals, poly-lysine constitutes the backbone for the
establishment of non-covalent bonds between the positively charged
amino groups of poly-lysine and the negatively charged acidic
moiety of glutamic acid. In the second type of crystals, the mixture
of lysine, alanine, tyrosine and cyanocobalamin is complexed,
through formation of non-covalent bonds, with the acidic backbone
constituted by the sulfated polysaccharides where the negatively
charged sulfate ester and carboxylic groups of the polysaccharides
interact with the positively charged moieties of the amino acids and
cyanocobalamin. The two types of aperiodic crystals interact in a
CO2-enriched hydrophilic medium with the resulting self-assembly
of complex structures composed of random-sized aperiodic crystals
of [poly-lysine/glutamic acid], and [sulfated polysaccharides /lysine/
alanine/tyrosine/cyanocobalamin]. The composition of the CO2-
enriched hydrophilic medium is the following:
Sodium (mg/L) 1.8
Magnesium (mg/L) 1.5
Calcium (mg/L) 8.4
Sulfates (mg/L) 7.8
Nitrates (mg/L) 6
pH 6.65
Resistivity (Ω) 18,000
Fixed residue as 180 °C (mg/L) 39
The aqueous medium contains dissolved CO2.
These crystals, because of their random-size and, therefore,
random distribution of electrical charges on their molecular surface,
contain an elevated degree of information according to Shannon’s
entropy equation. The Shannon entropy equation is a formula used to
quantify the uncertainty or randomness of a probability distribution.
It is named after Claude Shannon, the American mathematician and
electrical engineer who is considered to be the father of information
theory. The Shannon entropy equation is as follows:
H(X) ip(x_i)log 2(p(x_i))= − ∑
H(X) is the entropy of the probability distribution X
p(x_i) is the probability of the event x_i occurring
An additional level of information can be found in the molecular
structure of tyrosine, an amino acid taking part in the formation of the
aperiodic crystals and also a key constituent of tubulin proteins. In the
context of microtubules, tyrosine residues are involved in a number of
important functions, including microtubule assembly and stability.12
For example, tyrosine residues are involved in the formation of
hydrogen bonds between alpha- and beta-tubulin subunits. These
hydrogen bonds are essential for the stability of microtubules. Tyrosine
residues are also involved in the interactions of microtubules with
other proteins, such as motor proteins and microtubule-associated
proteins. These interactions are essential for the many functions of
microtubules in the cell. The main point here, however, is that tyrosine
has pi resonance clouds that are deemed essential for consciousness.13
Pi resonance clouds are delocalized electron clouds that are found in
aromatic amino acids such as tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine.
In order to have pi resonance, a molecule must have a flat ring
structure with alternating single and double bonds. This is because the
delocalized electrons are able to move freely around the ring, which
allows them to form pi bonds. Orch OR proposes that the pi resonance
clouds in microtubules can form quantum superpositions. This means
that they can exist in multiple states at the same time. When the brain
is processing information, these quantum superpositions are thought
to collapse into specific states, giving rise to conscious experience.13
Role of cyanocobalamin in the self-assembling
information-containing aperiodic crystals
Cyanocobalamin is a key component of one of the crystals; also
known as vitamin B12, it is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role
in many bodily functions, including red blood cell formation, DNA
synthesis, and nerve function. In the context of this study, however,
the main reason for its integration in the crystal is that it plays a role
in consciousness. Cyanocobalamin deficiency can lead to a variety
of cognitive impairments, including impaired memory, attention,
and executive function, whereas cyanocobalamin supplementation
can improve cognitive function in people with cyanocobalamin
deficiency.14 One possible way that cyanocobalamin could influence
consciousness is by affecting microtubule dynamics and stability
since it is a cofactor for the enzyme methionine synthase, which is
involved in the genesis of microtubules.15 Therefore, cyanocobalamin
deficiency could lead to impaired microtubule assembly and function,
which could, in turn, affect consciousness. Another possible way
that cyanocobalamin could influence consciousness is by affecting
the production of neurotransmitters. Cyanocobalamin is involved in
the synthesis of serotonin16 a neurotransmitter that plays a role in a
variety of cognitive functions, including attention, memory, and
mood. Therefore, cyanocobalamin deficiency could lead to impaired
serotonin production, which could, in turn, affect consciousness. The
relationship between cyanocobalamin and consciousness has a number
of important implications. For example, it could lead to new treatments
for disorders of consciousness, such as coma and Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, it could lead to new ways to improve cognitive function
in healthy individuals. One of the most interesting aspects of the
relationship between cyanocobalamin and consciousness is that it
suggests that consciousness is influenced by food or food supplements.
Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
©2023 Ruggiero
Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
For example, eating a diet that is supplemented with cyanocobalamin
may help to improve cognitive function and consciousness; and
cyanocobalamin supplementation could be used to improve cognitive
function in people with cyanocobalamin deficiency.15,17,18
The effects of cyanocobalamin on microtubule dynamics and
stability are also thought to be important for axonal transport that is the
process by which nutrients and other molecules are transported along
axons. In addition to its effects on microtubules, cyanocobalamin has
also been shown to have a number of other functions in the nervous
system. For example, cyanocobalamin is essential for the synthesis
of myelin19 and protects neurons from damage. All these effects of
cyanocobalamin on the central nervous system led to suggestions that
it may be used to prevent or treat neurodegenerative diseases such as
Alzheimer’s20 and Parkinson’s disease.21
Although cyanocobalamin is present in a number of commercially
available supplements for oral use, its absorption when administered
orally is relatively poor, with only about 1-2% of the ingested dose
being absorbed. Therefore, in order to overcome this obstacle, the
novel approach to oral supplementation of cyanocobalamin here
described was developed; in this approach, the vitamin is complexed
in the information-containing aperiodic crystals mentioned above.
Molecular interactions of cyanocobalamin with other
constituents of the self-assembling information-
containing aperiodic crystals
This section describes some notable interactions of cyanocobalamin
with other constituents of the self-assembling information-containing
aperiodic crystals in the aqueous carbonated medium specified above.
Interaction of cyanocobalamin with fucose
Cyanocobalamin and fucose are two very different molecules.
Cyanocobalamin is a large, complex molecule that contains a cobalt
atom at its center. Fucose is a small, simple sugar molecule that, in the
context of the crystals described in this article, is the main component
of a sulfated polysaccharide that is composed of fucose and sulfate
groups, in addition to other minor components such as mannose,
glucose, xylose, and uronic acid. Cyanocobalamin and fucose interact
with each other through hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen bonding is a
weak chemical bond that forms between two molecules that have
hydrogen atoms bonded to electronegative atoms, such as oxygen or
nitrogen. In addition, cyanocobalamin and fucose interact with each
other through electrostatic interactions. Electrostatic interactions are
forces of attraction or repulsion between two molecules that have
opposite or similar charges.
Following is the molecular formula for a novel compound that
contains both cyanocobalamin and fucose:
This compound is formed by linking a cyanocobalamin molecule
to a fucose molecule through a hydrogen bond. The hydrogen bond
is formed between the hydroxyl group (-OH) on the fucose molecule
and the amide nitrogen (-NH2) on the cyanocobalamin molecule.
Interactions of cyanocobalamin with glutamic acid
Following is the molecular formula for a novel compound where
cyanocobalamin interacts with glutamic acid in water:
This compound is formed by linking a cyanocobalamin molecule
to a glutamic acid molecule through a hydrogen bond. The hydrogen
bond is formed between the carboxyl group (-COOH) on the glutamic
acid molecule and the amide nitrogen (-NH2) on the cyanocobalamin
Interactions of cyanocobalamin with poly-lysine
Following is the molecular formula for a novel compound where
cyanocobalamin interacts with poly-lysine in water:
This compound is formed by linking a cyanocobalamin molecule
to a poly-lysine molecule through electrostatic interactions. The
positive charges on the amino groups of the poly-lysine molecule
are attracted to the negative charges on the phosphate group of the
cyanocobalamin molecule. The value of n in the chemical formula
depends on the length of the poly-lysine molecule.
As it is evident from the interactions briefly described above,
cyanocobalamin interacts with the two backbones of the aperiodic
crystals, the basic backbone constituted by poly-lysine, and the acidic
backbone constituted by the sulfated polysaccharide that is mainly
composed of fucose and sulfate groups.
The interaction between cyanocobalamin and the two backbones is
described by the following molecular formula:
This novel compound is formed by linking a cyanocobalamin
molecule to a fucose molecule and a poly-lysine molecule through
electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds. The positive charges
on the amino groups of the poly-lysine molecule are attracted to the
negative charges on the phosphate group of the cyanocobalamin
molecule. The hydroxyl group on the fucose molecule is attracted to
the amide nitrogen on the cyanocobalamin molecule.
Interactions of poly-lysine with fucose
Following is the molecular formula for a novel compound where
poly-lysine interacts with fucose:
This compound is formed by linking poly-lysine molecules to
fucose molecules through hydrogen bonds. The amino groups on
the poly-lysine molecules are attracted to the hydroxyl groups on
the fucose molecules. The values of n and m in the chemical formula
depend on the length of the poly-lysine molecule and the number of
fucose molecules that are attached to it. Poly-lysine can be composed
of anywhere from a few to hundreds of lysine molecules, and each
lysine molecule can have up to six fucose molecules attached to it.
It will not have escaped the attention of the reader that the structure
of the two aperiodic crystals are reminiscent of copolymer-1, a
synthetic polypeptide composed of four amino acids found in myelin
basic protein (MBP): L-Alanine, L-Glutamic acid, L-Lysine, and
L-Tyrosine. Copolymer 1 has a random amino acid sequence and an
average molecular mass of 6.4 kDa and its chemical composition is
as follows:
C9H11NO3 • C6H14N2O2 • C5H9NO4 • C3H7NO2
The significant difference here is that in copolimer-1 the four
amino acids are bound by peptide bonds, whereas in the aperiodic
crystals hydrogen bonds and electrostatic forces are responsible for
the self-assembly. Other significant differences are that copolymer-1
is not absorbed orally and does not contain cyanocobalamin.22
Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
©2023 Ruggiero
Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
An approach to microtubules and tubulin as they
relate to the immune system
Microtubules and tubulin play an essential role in the immune
system as they are involved in the following functions:
Cell migration: Microtubules are involved in the migration of
immune cells, such as neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes, to
sites of infection or inflammation.
Cell adhesion: Microtubules are involved in the adhesion of immune
cells to other cells or to the extracellular matrix. This is important for
the formation of the immune synapse, which is a specialized structure
that allows immune cells to communicate with each other and with
other cells in the body.
Cytokine secretion: Microtubules are involved in the secretion of
cytokines, which are signaling molecules that play a key role in the
immune response.
Antigen presentation: Microtubules are involved in the presentation
of antigens to T cells. This is an essential step in the activation of the
adaptive immune response [for review on microtubules in the immune
system, please see Kopf and Kiermaier 2021].23
Here, an approach to support and optimize tubulin function
in the immune system is described. This approach is based on the
self-assembly of Zinc, a micronutrient, with fucose according to the
following molecular formula:
This novel compound is formed by the coordination of two
fucose molecules to a zinc ion. The hydroxyl groups on the fucose
molecules coordinate to the zinc ion through dative bonds. A dative
bond, also known as a coordinate covalent bond, is a type of covalent
bond in which both of the shared electrons come from the same
atom. This is in contrast to a regular covalent bond, in which each
atom contributes one electron to the bond. Dative bonds are typically
formed when one atom has a lone pair of electrons and another atom
has an empty electron orbital. The atom with the lone pair donates the
electron pair to the atom with the empty orbital, and the two atoms
share the electrons equally. Interestingly, dative bonds can exist in
superposition states. A superposition state is a quantum mechanical
state in which a system is in multiple states at the same time. For
example, an electron can be in a superposition state of spin up and
spin down. Superposition states of dative bonds are important for
many biological processes. For example, photosynthesis involves
the transfer of electrons between different molecules. These electron
transfers are often mediated by dative bonds in superposition states.
Superposition states of dative bonds are also important for quantum
computing. Quantum computers use superposition states to perform
calculations that are impossible for classical computers. Therefore, it
can be hypothesized that the superposition states of the dative bonds
pertaining to the Zinc-containing novel compound described above
contribute to the quantum computations typical of Orch OR.
The novel compound described above is soluble in water, as the
fucose molecules are hydrophilic. It is also stable in water, as the Zinc
ion is tightly coordinated to the fucose molecules.
The rationale for choosing Zinc consists in the fact that it is
an essential mineral that plays a role in many cellular processes,
including those pertaining to the central nervous system.24 In
particular, Zinc is an important regulator of tubulin function and
Zinc deficiency may play a role in the development of a number of
diseases that are characterized by tubulin dysfunction.25–30 Therefore,
Zinc supplementation has been shown to have beneficial effects in a
number of animal models of diseases that are characterized by tubulin
dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.31
In the approach here described, Zinc is self-assembled with fucose
from Fucoidan. Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide that is found
in brown seaweed.32 It has been shown to have a number of health-
supporting properties, including:
Anti-cancer: Fucoidan has been shown to inhibit the growth and
spread of cancer cells in a variety of studies. It is thought to work
by targeting multiple pathways involved in cancer development and
Anti-inflammatory: Fucoidan has anti-inflammatory properties and
can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This may be
beneficial for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, inflammatory
bowel disease, and asthma.34
Antioxidant: Fucoidan is a powerful antioxidant that can help to
protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are
unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to a variety
of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.35
Immune-boosting: Fucoidan can help to boost the immune system
and fight off infection. It is thought to work by increasing the
production of white blood cells and other immune cells.36 In addition,
Fucoidan shows GcMAF-like activity as it reduces the expression of
nagalase in human colon cancer cells.37
Antiviral: Fucoidan has antiviral properties and can help to protect
against a variety of viruses, including HIV, influenza, and herpes
simplex virus.38 As far as viral diseases are concerned, Fucoidan has
been shown to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2.39 It is thought
to work by binding to the viral spike protein and preventing it from
attaching to host cells. Fucoidan has also been shown to inhibit the
activity of the viral main protease, which is an essential enzyme for
viral replication. In addition to its antiviral properties, Fucoidan also
has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. These
properties may also be beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19.40
Anticoagulant: Fucoidan has anticoagulant properties and can help
to prevent blood clots.41 This may be beneficial for people with a
high risk of blood clots, such as those with atrial fibrillation or deep
vein thrombosis. In addition to these health-supporting properties,
Fucoidan has also been shown to improve blood sugar control, reduce
cholesterol levels, and protect against liver damage.42
Orch OR, the immune system and the rhyzome
The approaches described in this article are based, on one side, on
the Orch OR theory of consciousness and its ramifications as far as the
immune system is concerned, and, on the other side, on the concept
of the rhyzome. The rhizome is a concept in philosophy developed
by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattary.43–45 It is a way of thinking
about the world that is non-hierarchical and non-linear. The rhizome
is a network of connections that can be extended in any direction.
It is not bound by any central authority or structure. Orch OR is a
theory of consciousness that proposes that consciousness arises
from quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons.
One relationship between the concept of the rhizome and Orch OR
is that they both suggest that consciousness is not a centralized
phenomenon. The rhizome is a network of connections that is not
bound by any central authority or structure. Orch OR suggests that
consciousness arises from quantum computations in microtubules,
which are interconnected throughout the brain. This suggests that
Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
©2023 Ruggiero
Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
consciousness is a distributed phenomenon that is not localized to any
specific part of the brain. Another relationship between the concept of
the rhizome and Orch OR is that they both suggest that consciousness
is dynamic and constantly changing. The rhizome is a network of
connections that is constantly expanding and evolving. Orch OR
suggests that consciousness arises from quantum computations,
which are inherently dynamic and unpredictable. This suggests that
consciousness is not a static state, but rather a dynamic process that
is constantly changing. The relationship between the concept of the
rhizome and Orch OR extends to the basic quantum features of Orch
OR, that are represented by pi resonance clouds. Pi resonance clouds
are often used to represent the uncertainty and ambiguity of the
quantum world. The rhizome is a concept that embraces uncertainty
and ambiguity. A rhizome can be envisioned as a network of roots that
spread out underground. The roots are interconnected and nomadic,
and they can grow in any direction. The rhizome is constantly shifting
and changing, and it is impossible to predict where it will go next.
Pi resonance clouds are like the rhizome in that they represent the
uncertainty and ambiguity of the quantum world. The electrons in a
pi resonance cloud are not bound to any one atom, and they can move
in any direction. The pi resonance cloud is constantly shifting and
changing, and it is impossible to predict where the electrons will go
next. The connection between pi resonance clouds and the rhizome
is a reminder that the world is a dynamic and unpredictable place.
It is a place where new possibilities are constantly emerging. More
in general, the relationship between the concept of the rhizome and
Orch OR suggests that there may be a deeper connection between
consciousness and the nature of reality than we currently understand.
Here, it is proposed that there is also a relationship between the
rhizome and the immune system since the immune system can also be
seen as a rhizome. It is a complex and interconnected system that is
constantly adapting to new threats. The immune system is made up of
a variety of different cells and molecules, all of which work together
to protect the body from infection. There is no central hierarchy
in the immune system; instead, the different cells and molecules
communicate with each other and work together in a decentralized
Here are some specific analogies between the concept of the
rhizome and the immune system:
Interconnectedness: The rhizome is a decentralized system that
is made up of interconnected parts. The immune system is also
a decentralized system that is made up of interconnected cells and
Adaptability: The rhizome is constantly adapting to new conditions.
The immune system is also constantly adapting to new threats.
Resilience: The rhizome is resilient to damage. The immune system
is also resilient to damage.
Creativity: The rhizome is a creative system that is capable of
generating new forms. The immune system is also a creative system
that is capable of generating new antibodies and other immune cells
to fight off new threats.
In the context of this article, the concept of the rhizome has
been instrumental for designing ways to optimize the function of
the immune system, for example, through the self-assembly of
Zinc with fucose. One way to think about the relationship between
Zinc and the concept of the rhizome is that Zinc is essential for the
interconnectedness, creativity and adaptability of the immune system.
The interconnectedness of the immune system is essential for its
ability to function effectively. Zinc is essential for maintaining this
interconnectedness by supporting the development and function of
many of the different cells and molecules involved in the coordinated
immune response. Zinc is also essential for the creativity of the immune
system. Zinc is involved in the production of antibodies, which are
“creatively” synthesized in response to antigens whose occurrence
is unpredictable. Finally, the adaptability of the immune system is
also essential for its ability to protect the body from new threats.
Zinc is essential for maintaining this adaptability by supporting the
development and function of dendritic cells, which are responsible for
detecting and presenting new antigens to the immune system.
Likewise, cyanocobalamin, the constituent of the approach
targeting microtubules and tubulin in the context of consciousness,
has a functional connection with the concept of the rhyzome. One
relationship between the concept of the rhizome and cyanocobalamin
is that they both suggest that the body and mind are interconnected.
The rhizome is a metaphor for the way that different parts of the body
and mind are interconnected. Cyanocobalamin is a nutrient that is
essential for the proper functioning of both the body and mind. Another
relationship between the concept of the rhizome and cyanocobalamin
is that they both suggest that the body and mind are constantly
changing. The rhizome is a dynamic network of connections that is
constantly evolving. Cyanocobalamin is a nutrient that is essential for
the growth and repair of cells. This suggests that cyanocobalamin may
play a role in the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the body and
mind. Both the rhizome and cyanocobalamin suggest that the body
and mind are interconnected and constantly changing.
This article describes novel compounds defined by the following
molecular formulas:
These compounds are able to support and optimize the function
of microtubules and tubulin in the context of Orch OR as well as in
the context of their role in the immune system. These formulas, once
integrated in drugs, health functional foods, or food supplements, have
the potential to prevent and treat a number of conditions, ranging from
neurological diseases to immune deficiencies, cancer, and diseases
caused by viruses.
The author wishes to thank Mr. Choi Hyuk of Dana Biologics
for encouragement in pursuing this line of research as well as for
inspiring discussion.
Author contribution
The author contributed solely to the work.
Conflicts of interest
The formulas described in this study are incorporated in health
functional foods and food supplements that are commercially
available. However, these products are not mentioned in this study,
neither the author receives any benefit from the sales of these products.
Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
tubulin in the immune system and the brain
©2023 Ruggiero
Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
Ethical approval
Not applicable. This article does not report experiments performed
on humans or animals.
Availability of data and materials
A pre-print version of this article was posted on
The author did not receive any funding for this study.

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  6. Miller A, Korem M, Almog R, et al. Vitamin B12, demyelination,
    remyelination and repair in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci. 2005;233(1-
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    supplementation and correlation with clinical outcomes in a large
    longitudinal study of early parkinson’s disease. J Mov Disord.
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    in multiple sclerosis and its potential for the development of new
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  10. Kopf A, Kiermaier E. Dynamic microtubule arrays in leukocytes and
    their role in cell migration and immune synapse formation. Front Cell
    Dev Biol. 2021;9:635511.
  11. Frederickson CJ, Suh SW, Silva D, et al. Importance of zinc in the
    central nervous system: the zinc-containing neuron. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S
  12. Drewes G, Lichtenberg-Kraag B, Döring F, et al. Mitogen activated
    protein (MAP) kinase transforms tau protein into an Alzheimer-like
    state. EMBO J. 1992;11(6):2131–2138.
  13. Hesketh JE. Zinc-stimulated microtubule assembly and evidence for
    zinc binding to tubulin. Int J Biochem. 1982;14(11):983–990.
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    and polymerization studies. Biochemistry. 1983;22(1):221–228.
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    from molecules to behavior. Biofactors. 2012;38(3):186–193.
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    diseases. Biomolecules. 2022;13(1):28.
  17. Wang FD, Zhao FJ, Jing NH. Effect of dietary zinc on microtubule-
    associated protein 2 expression in the brain of mice]. Sheng Li Xue Bao.
  18. Sikora J, Ouagazzal AM. Synaptic Zinc: An emerging player in
    parkinson’s disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(9):4724.
  19. Abdel-Latif HMR, Dawood MAO, Alagawany M, et al. Health benefits
    and potential applications of fucoidan (FCD) extracted from brown
    seaweeds in aquaculture: An updated review. Fish Shellfish Immunol.
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    a multifunctional molecule with anti-tumor potential. Mar Drugs.
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    anti-inflammatory effects of fucoidan: a review. Polymers (Basel).
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    activity of fucoidan from sargassum hystrix: effect of extraction method.
    Int J Food Sci. 2022;2022:3689724.
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    Mar Drugs. 2015;13(3):1084–1104.
    Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and
    tubulin in the immune system and the brain
    ©2023 Ruggiero
    Citation: Ruggiero M. Design and development of novel compounds aimed at optimizing the function of microtubules and tubulin in the immune system and
    the brain. J Neurol Stroke. 2023;13(6):158‒164. DOI: 10.15406/mojor.2023.13.00565
  24. Bakunina I, Chadova O, Malyarenko O, et al. The effect of fucoidan
    from the brown alga fucus evanescence on the activity of α-n-
    acetylgalactosaminidase of human colon carcinoma cells. Mar Drugs.
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    of antiviral activity of native and modified fucoidans from brown algae
    fucus evanescens in vitro and in vivo. Mar Drugs. 2020;18(4):224.
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    inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Cell Discov. 2020;6(1):50.
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    as an antiviral agent to combat viral infections. Carbohydr Polym.
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    activity of fucoidans from brown algae. Biomed Khim. 2008;54(5):597–
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    vesiculosus on liver fibrosis via the tgf-β1/smad pathway-mediated
    inhibition of extracellular matrix and autophagy. Drug Des Devel Ther.
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    introduction to deleuze and guattari’s anti-oedipus. Nurs Philos.
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    consciousness. J Neurol Stroke. 2021;11(5):131‒133.
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Dr Bernstein presents in Fatty Liver Summit

Mimi’s Kitchen Club carries this product at

We call it Liv-Alive.

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Michael J. Hursa

Mimi’s son

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Bravo Yogurt gets an “Organic Swiss” Colostrum Upgrade

Puzzled by the new look of the colostrum powder?

Bravo Yogurt Gets an Upgrade

When Bravo Yogurt began over 10 years ago, the starter powders were all made in Switzerland. But in 2016, the FDA had a chat with Dr. Ruggiero about being able to sell it in the USA and wanted FDA approved colostrum. Thus, they got FDA approved colostrum and the people of the USA rejoiced to have Bravo! 

Now, the yodeling cows are back! The colostrum is now 100% Swiss and organic from certified suppliers and strictly tested of course.

The colostrum will be more yellow and a bit more oily than before due to the ingredients changing their source. Assurances of its performance were given!

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The Iodine Crisis

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The brain microbiota as it relates to the orch or theory of consciousness

Marco Ruggiero  

National Coalition of Independent Scholars, USA

Correspondence: Marco Ruggiero, MD, PhD, National Coalition of Independent Scholars , 125 Putney Rd, Battleboro, VT 05301, USA

Received: June 25, 2021 | Published: September 8, 2021

Citation: Ruggiero M. The brain microbiota as it relates to the orch or theory of consciousness. J Neurol Stroke. 2021;11(5):131-133. DOI: 10.15406/jnsk.2021.11.00471

 Download PDF


It is proposed to incorporate the concepts of brain microbiota and microbial consciousness in the Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch OR) theory of human consciousness with the goal of increasing its explanatory and predictive powers. If consciousness arises from quantum computations in cytoskeletal structures inside human neurons, there is no theoretical impediment at hypothesizing that it might also occur in the cytoskeletal structures of the microbes resident in the human brains. If the concept of the brain microbiota is integrated in a general Orch OR theory, its explanatory and predictive powers would be vastly increased.

Keywords: consciousness, microtubule, Orch OR, brain, microbiota, quantum entanglement


A recent article by Hameroff describes Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch OR) as “the most complete, and most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness”.1 The Author proposes an experiment, based on exposure to anesthetic gases, that would confirm or reject the theory that consciousness is based on quantum computations occurring inside microtubules of brain neurons rather than in the plasticity of the web of connections established between cells of the central nervous system as proposed by the majority of theories of consciousness.2

The basic tenets of the Orch OR theory of consciousness

Orch OR is a revolutionary theory of consciousness published by Nobel Laureate Sir Roger Penrose and Professor Stuart Hameroff for the first time in the mid-nineties,3 and further elaborated in successive publications.1 A common denominator of the various evolutions and revisions of the theory is the concept that consciousness has its origin inside brain neurons, thanks to phenomena of quantum computing that occur in the context of subcellular structures, the microtubules, and involve the conformational arrangement of a protein, tubulin. This theory is fundamentally different from all other theories of consciousness that postulate the origin of consciousness in the web of synaptic connections between neurons. According to the Orch OR theory, consciousness is the result of a sequence of discrete phenomena, each being an instant of OR of a quantum state, where it is postulated that these quantum states are present as components of a biological quantum computing machinery operating inside the conformation of the protein molecular structure of neuronal microtubules. Actual consciousness is self-generated when these phenomena of OR are “orchestrated” in an adequate manner. Orchestration occurs thanks to inputs from other neurons through wireless transmission of resonant vibrations, quantum entanglement or classic synaptic transmission as well as to inputs arising inside the microtubules that constitute a sort of memory. Given the quantum nature of the computation events, these can be transmitted to a significant number of neurons across wide areas thus generating a quantum activity of large scale inside the brain. A point that differentiates the Orch OR theory from all other theories of consciousness is that its implications are not limited to neuroscience or biochemistry, but extend to general relativity and quantum physics with ramifications in the fields of philosophy and spirituality. A most intriguing aspect of the theory consists in the implication that the processes of quantum computing due to Orch OR, as they occur in neuronal microtubules, are intimately connected with the processes operating at the level of the fine structure of the universe. Minute perturbations of the space-time fabric at the Planck/quantum level are deemed to be responsible for OR both in the brain and in the universe. In other words, the OR events that are responsible for computing and generation of consciousness when orchestrated, are the same that are at work at the level of the basic structure of the universe where minute perturbations of quantum coherence of the space-time fabric are considered responsible for the OR or the collapse to just one single state as originally postulated by Penrose.4 In this interpretation, the Orch OR theory connects the working of the brain with that of the universe. In the decades after its inception, the theory has received many constructive criticisms that led to evolutions and revisions of the original theory, whose chore tenets, however, have never been proven false. Actually, as per the classical Falsification Principle by Popper, its falsifiability makes the theory stronger than many others up to the point that Hameroff entitled his latest article ‘Orch OR’ is the most complete, and most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness.4 In order to demonstrate the completeness and easy falsifiability of the theory, Hameroff proposes four paradigm cases:

  1. Conscious vs non-conscious states; is the theory able to distinguish between the two states?
  2. Small network criterion; how many neurons are necessary for consciousness to   arise?
  3. Reduced brain volume; there are people with significantly reduced brain volume, practically with no brain.5 How can consciousness arise if not through Orch OR?
  4. Minimization of mysteries; the Occam’s razor favors minimization of mysteries, thus favoring the hypothesis that Orch OR has explanatory value for a number of   mysteries ranging from neuroscience to general relativity and quantum physics.1 (Hameroff, 2021).

Here, it is introduced a fifth paradigm case that should be taken into consideration in designing experiments aimed at falsifying the Orch OR as well as any other theory of consciousness.

The fifth paradigm, the brain microbiota

Hameroff and all those concerned with theories of consciousness focus their attention on the human cells of the brain, neurons and glial cells, but do not take into account the presence of microbial cells that constitute the brain microbiota, whose influence on brain function is nothing less than “immense”.6 The first description of bacterial cells in the brains of healthy individuals was published in 2013;6 the term “brain microbiota” in the context of neurological diseases was used for the first time in 2016.7 In 2018, ultrastructural studies demonstrated abundance of microbial cells in the areas associated with reward-seeking, learning, memory and consciousness, i.e. the substantia nigra, the hippocampus and the pre-frontal cortex.8 The microbes in human brains are the same that are found in soil and water; it has been hypothesized that they reach the brain carried by cells of the immune system as well as travelling along the axons of peripheral nerves.6,8 Whatever the case, just as it would be unrealistic today to discuss the function of the gut, or that of the immune system, without considering the essential role of the microbiota,9 it is proposed that also the discussion on the different theories of consciousness, and, in particular, Orch OR, should take into account the role of the brain microbiota.

Microbial consciousness

If consciousness arises from quantum computations occurring in cytoskeletal structures inside human neurons, there is no theoretical impediment at hypothesizing that cytoskeletal structures of microbes could give rise to forms of consciousness or awareness. Microbial consciousness arising from the cytoskeleton was described in 201710 and this concept was further elaborated in an essay published in 2019 where the Authors postulate that subjective awareness emerged as an intrinsic feature of the first unicellular forms of life through the working of oscillating cytoskeletal structures, and structurally flexible proteins, that is, in a manner closely reminiscent to the concepts at the basis of Orch OR.11 If phenomena of quantum entanglement occur between the microtubules of adjacent neurons,12 they will also occur between the cytoskeletal structures of human neurons and those of the microbes of the brain microbiota as well as between the cytoskeletal structures of the different microbes. Wireless and quantum entanglement-based communication between microtubules of individual neurons has been theoretically conceived and experimentally demonstrated,13 thus supporting the hypothesis that the process of orchestration can take place on a large scale, in theory involving all neurons across the wholeness of the brain. According to what is proposed here, these phenomena of communication are not restricted to human neurons, but are extended to the brain microbiota. This is all the more conceivable when considering that wireless communication based on the resonance of vibrations inside microtubules does not require neurotransmitters or synapses14 and, therefore, can occur between neurons and microbial cells even though they are not anatomically connected by synapses. It is worth noticing that the interpretation of Orch OR described here is consistent with the concepts put forward by Barlow15 who described how the Orch OR theory can explain consciousness of plants.

Implications for the design of experiments

In designing an experiment to prove Orch OR, Hameroff proposes to expose the brain to anesthetic gases and observe whether dampening of quantum interference beats in tubulin and microtubules occurs.1 However, volatile anesthetics affect bacterial functions such as motility, biofilm formation and signal transduction. Of particular significance are the effects on biofilm formation since this phenomenon is paradigmatic of the so-called microbial intelligence.17 In short, in designing the experiment to prove or falsify Orch OR, the effects of volatile anesthetics on the brain microbiota should be considered in order to prevent potential misinterpretation of the results.


Orch OR might indeed be the most complete theory of consciousness even though it has to be considered special or relative to the human part of the brain; if the concept of the brain microbiota and the ensuing concept of the rhizome18 could be integrated in a more general Orch OR theory, its explanatory and predictive powers would be vastly increased. For example, the Orch OR theory postulates that consciousness may exist independently of biological substrates, namely human neurons.13 The cases of people with vastly reduced brains who lead normal lives appear to support this postulate.5 If the concept of the microbiota is incorporated in the Orch OR theory, the issue of permanence of consciousness independently of neurons would be further supported by the consideration that the microbiota survives the human body;18 if the Orch OR phenomena occurring inside the microtubules of human neurons are entangled and shared with the microbiota, an organ that has 10 times more cells and 100 times more DNA-based information than its human counterparts in our bodies, then survival of consciousness becomes a microbiological rather than a philosophical issue.


The Author wishes to thank the staff at Silver Spring, Switzerland, for inspiring discussion.

Conflicts of interest

The author declare no conflicts of interest.


  1. Hameroff S. ‘Orch OR’ is the most complete, and most easily falsifiable theory of consciousness. Cogn Neurosci.2021;12(2):74–76.
  2. Doerig A, Schurger A, Herzog MH. Hard criteria for empirical theories of consciousness. Cogn Neurosci. 2021;12(2):41–62.
  3. Hameroff S, Penrose R. Orchestrated reduction of quantum coherence in brain microtubules: A model for consciousness. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation. 1996;40(3–4),453–480.
  4. Penrose R. The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics. Oxford University Press. 1989. p. 480.
  5. Feuillet L, Dufour H, Pelletier J. Brain of a white–collar worker. 2007;370(9583):262.
  6. Branton WG, Ellestad KK, Maingat F, et al. Brain microbial populations in HIV/AIDS: α–proteobacteria predominate independent of host immune status. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54673.
  7. Ruggiero M. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and the Brain Microbiota in Neurological Diseases. Clin Endosc.2016;49(6):579.
  8. Roberts RC, Farmer CB, Walker CK. The human brain microbiome; there are bacteria in our brains! 594.08/YY23. Session 594. Neuroscience. 2018. Neuroimmunology: Regulating Systems. 2018.
  9. Wu HJ, Wu E. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes. 2012;3(1):4–14.
  10. Reddy JSK, Pereira C. Understanding the emergence of microbial consciousness: From a perspective of the Subject–Object Model (SOM). J Integr Neurosci. 2017;16(s1):S27–S36.
  11. Baluška F, Reber A. Sentience and Consciousness in Single Cells: How the First Minds Emerged in Unicellular Species. 2019;41(3):e1800229.
  12. Hameroff S, Penrose R. Consciousness in the universe: a review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory. Phys Life Rev. 2014a;11(1):39–78.
  13. Hameroff S, Penrose R. Reply to seven commentaries on “Consciousness in the universe: Review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory”. Phys Life Rev. 2014b;11(1):94–100.
  14. Sahu S, Ghosh S, Hirata K, et al. Multi–level memory–switching properties of a single brain microtubule. Appl Phys Lett. 2013;102:123701.
  15. Barlow PW. The natural history of consciousness, and the question of whether plants are conscious, in relation to the Hameroff–Penrose quantum–physical ‘Orch OR’ theory of universal consciousness. Commun Integr Biol.2015;8(4):e1041696.
  16. Chamberlain M, Koutsogiannaki S, Schaefers M, et al. The Differential Effects of Anesthetics on Bacterial Behaviors. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0170089.
  17. Westerhoff HV, Brooks AN, Simeonidis E, et al. Macromolecular networks and intelligence in microorganisms. Front Microbiol. 2014;5:379.
  18. Ruggiero M. The Human Microbiota and the Immune System; Reflections on Immortality. Madridge J Immunol. 2017;1(1):18–22.

Creative Commons Attribution License

©2021 Ruggiero. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

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Fenbendazole Joe Tippens Protocol: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

By Dr Frank Yap, MD – February 24, 2023

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, or have a loved one that is suffering from cancer, chances are you have heard about the Joe Tippens Cancer Protocol. The Fenbendazole Cancer Protocol has been gaining rapid interest over the past years following some fenbendazole advanced cancer success stories.

Joe Tippens founded the protocol after he was told a story about a scientist at Merck Animal Health that had been performing cancer research on mice. The research included injecting different types of cancers into different mice body parts. The scientists discovered, through trial and error, a product in their canine product line, fenbendazole, that was batting 1.000 in killing these different cancers in the mice. The scientist was later diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and was given a grim prognosis of only three months to live. She decided to try the fenbendazole, and after six weeks, showed a clean scan.

Joe Tippens had been initially diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. The cancer later spread to his neck, right lung, stomach, liver, bladder, pancreas and tail bone. Like the scientist from Merk Animal Hospital, Joe was told he only had three months to live. In 2017, after hearing the story of the scientist who treated her cancer with a canine drug, Joe decided he was going to do the same. However, in addition to taking the fenbendazole, Joe added his own ingredients to the regimen (curcumin, CBD oil, and vitamin E), thus creating the Joe Tippens Cancer Protocol.

Disclaimer: We in no way endorse the Joe Tippens Cancer Protocol as a cure for cancer, and as always, you should consult your physician before starting any new medications or treatment plans.

What Is Fenbendazole?

According to Wikipedia, Fenbendazole is a broad spectrum anthelmintic used against gastrointestinal parasites including: giardia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, the tapeworm genus Taenia (but not effective against Dipylidium caninum, a common dog tapeworm), pinworms, aelurostrongylus, paragonimiasis, strongyles, and strongyloides that can be administered to sheep, cattle, horses, fish, dogs, cats, rabbits, most reptiles, freshwater shrimp tanks as planaria and hydra treatments, as well as seals.


Common brand names include Pancur, Panacur C and Safe-Guard.

However, it is also being used by humans in a cancer treatment method known as the Joe Tippens Protocol.

Is fenbendazole a cancer cure scam? One study suggests that fenbendazole has “been safely utilized as an anti-parasitic for various different animal species and could be repurposed for treating human malignancies.” Other benzimidazoles, including albendazole, parbendazole, mebendazole and flubendazole have already been shown to have promising results in humans

Another study states that the “repurposing of veterinary drugs showing promising results for human use can result in considerable time and cost reduction required to develop new drugs.”

Fenbendazole Protocol – A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

The basic fenbendazole protocol people follow is surprisingly simple and includes a few added supplements to the fenbendazole:

** Mimi does not recommend CBD oil. It will scar the subtle energy bodies.

  1. Fenbendazole
  2. Curcumin
  3. CBD Oil
  4. Berberine
  5. Quercetin

1. Fenbendazole: One Packet a Day

Fenbendazole which has 222mg of Fenbendazole per gram: one packet of powder per day for seven days a week. It can be mixed with food such as yogurt or simply taken by itself. 


2. Curcumin: 600 mg a Day

600 mg per day of bioavailable curcumin, which is the active agent in the herb turmeric. Curcumin may help increase healthy p53 levels, and it has been shown to be a potentially effective cancer therapy supplement.

Click here to buy Theracurmin HP by Integrative Therapeutics (Amazon)

3. CBD Oil: 25 mg a Day

** Mimi does not recommend CBD oil. It will scar the subtle energy bodies.

25 milligrams daily, taken sublingually (under the tongue). The CBD oil should be high-purity level broad-spectrum. CBD has been shown to potentially modulate tumor growth.

Click here to buy medical-grade CBD Oil >> (use code RETHN2 for a 20% discount!)

A nurse’s tip: 

  • It is important to choose the right CBD for medical use: flower-derived, lab-tested, organic, whole-spectrum.
  • To enhance CBD healing response for cancer symptoms, slowly increase to 0.5ml of CBD twice daily for a total of 50 mg.

4. Berberine: 2-3 times a day

Berberine has shown important anti-tumor effects in numerous studies. These studies reported that Berberine could prevent the multiplication of cancer cells and inhibit metastasis and the spread of cancer cells. Berberine can work with Fenbendazole to further limit the cancer cells’ ability to take up glucose. This way, cancer cells are weakened and starved. 

Click here to buy Berberine (Amazon)

5. Quercetin: 1-2 a day

Due to its antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory activities, quercetin has been studied extensively. Quercetin can inhibit the spread of many cancers such as prostate, cervical, lung, breast, and colon. Quercetin is not harmful to healthy cells yet powerful against cancer cells, making it a good candidate for a supplementary factor along with other anticancer medications.

Read More: Best Quercetin Supplements


Can fenbendazole be taken in tablet, liquid or powder?

Fenbendazole is available in tablets (Happy Healing Store), liquid (Safeguard) and powder (Panacur). There may be other formulations available, but those are the primary products that patients are using.


Is it safe for humans to take fenbendazole?

Since fenbendazole is a veterinary medicine, and is not licensed for human use and there is no specific human safety data available. The similar human forms of this class of medications, mebendazole and albendazole, have been used for parasitic infections for many years and have a good safety record. Fenbendazole has been reported to have a very low degree of toxicity and a high degree of safety in animal experiments.

Is fenbendazole toxic for the liver?

Although fenbendazole is generally well tolerated, there have been reports of elevated liver enzymes from the use of fenbendazole, as well as the human medications mebendazole and albendazole. 

I’ve found a Fenbendazole brand which is not made by Merck, is it ok?

There are a variety of opinions on which product is best, but no research exists that compares the effectiveness of various formulations in humans. Merck and Safeguard are well established companies whose products have been safety tested in animals and used by veterinarians for many years. 

Would the fenbendazole protocol work with conventional treatment? – chemotherapy?

Yes, fenbendazole has the potential to synergize with conventional treatments, and possibly enhance treatment response. Some aspects of the protocol, such as vitamin E and curcumin, may interfere with chemotherapy and radiation due to their anti-oxidant properties. 

Some people take it 3 day on 4 off, some 1 gram a day, some 2 or even 4 grams a day. What is the correct dosage?

Joe Tippens, who popularized the use of Fenbendazole for cancer, recommends 222 mg for three consecutive days, then four days off. There are many people who take larger doses, more frequently. Since Fenbendazole is not licensed for the treatment of cancer in humans, there is no correct dose that is supported by research, pharmacists or physicians. The dose you choose to take should be assessed based on your other medications and treatments, your type of cancer, prognosis, organ function and lab values.


How long do I need to be on this protocol?

This will be up to you based on your treatment response to the protocol. It is reported that Joe Tippens continues to use the protocol for prevention.

How do I know when it is time to dose up?

This is an individual decision based on treatment response, tolerance, other treatments/medications and lab values. 

Q&A Session with Joe Tippens (Jan 2022)

Adam Payne

482 subscribers

Q&A Session with Joe Tippens


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0:01 / 1:19:47

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What’s Joe Tippens doing in 2022 to stay cancer free?

One of the contributors from met Joe in person and interviewed him in April 2022. Here’s what she discovered…

Joe’s scan was completely clear in early 2017. His scan in Feb. 2022 still shows no evidence of disease.

Since cancer is notorious for recurrences, Joe continues to follow his regimen for prevention… and plans to for the rest of his life. However, he recently revamped the rest of his entire cancer treatment protocol.

Joe has scaled back to three days a week on the FenBen, now that he’s been cancer-free for five years. He recommends staying on the seven-day fenbendazole protocol till you’re cancer-free for at least three years.

Based on his extensive research, he’s added things to his protocol. including Frankincense and berberine. All products are in a much more bioavailable form, too. He notes that getting absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream is a bigger problem than most people realize. His new protocol helps address this problem.

Joe spent much of 2021 collaborating with scientists and M.D.’s in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical space, to develop processes that dramatically improve nutrient delivery into the bloodstream at previously unheard-of levels.

Here’s the three-pronged approach he uses in 2022 (R):

1: Support healthy cell division. Joe consumes cryogenically extracted CEM™ Hemp. Getting the terpenes and cannabinoids from full-spectrum hemp is critical to gaining its best benefits. The product is now cryo-extracted to preserve these substances. It also includes Frankincense and a Nano MCT oil.

2: Support healthy cell life cycles and clearance of dead cells with curcumin. Curcumin was always part of Joe’s protocol. He previously used the most bioavailable curcumin product he could find. He cringes when he relates how much he was depending on a nutrient that’s so 

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Reversing Chronic Kidney Disease with Niacin and Sodium Bicarbonate


The Examiner of Alternative MedicineSaturday, December 3, 2022

Reversing Chronic Kidney Disease with Niacin and Sodium Bicarbonate

By Stephen McConnell and W. Todd Penberthy
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

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This story began with initial discovery, motivated by necessity. It would lead a few years later to reproducible documented reversal of chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 1 or 2. Success was achieved using 3 to 5 cents/day of 100-500 mg niacin TID [three times a day] along with 1.0-1.8 grams of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, 600 mg at lunch and 1.2 g before bed) with or without <2g/day elemental calcium, as calcium carbonate.

Excellent results from the use of niacin to treat CKD have now been documented for more than 25 case-studies. This approach is well supported by continuous basic and clinical research, including dozens of clinical trials that provide substantial evidence for the use of niacin and sodium bicarbonate. These approaches directly address the needs of the typical CKD patient. Unfortunately, this approach is rarely implemented in the clinical setting.

CKD commonly progresses with age as it is observed in 68% of Americans ≥60 years of age.1 Patients with CKD usually experience progressive loss of kidney function moving towards an increasing risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). CKD is the 9th leading cause of death in the US.2 Fortunately, there are several simple approaches including the addition of modest doses of niacin (immediate release- or IR-Niacin) that can reverse CKD in many patients as described here.

Approximately 786,000 people per year, in the US progress to ESRD (stage 5 CKD), which is generally considered an irreversible condition. Most of these become completely dependent on regular trips to dialysis. Estimation of the stages of CKD is based on (GFR) glomerular filtration rates starting with ≤60mL/1.7m2 for three months as definitive of initial CKD diagnosis. Unfortunately, a creatinine derived GFR (crGFR) is only as reliable as the serum creatinine measure. Use of this creatinine-based test has a “blind-area” in the earlier stages and frequently leads to an under-estimation of the true risk.

Stages of CKD

  1. Mild kidney damage, eGFR 90 or higher
  2. Mild loss of kidney function, eGFR 60-89
  3. Moderate loss of kidney function
    a. eGFR 45-59
    b. eGFR 30-44
  4. Severe loss of kidney function, eGFR 15-29
  5. Kidney failure or close to failure, eGFR less than 15

Niacin for CKD

Supplementation with daily low-dose niacin reliably reverses a large amount of the functional loss. This simple treatment is effective and critically important. Mortality rates with CKD are striking, as the five-year survival rate for patients doing long-term dialysis is 35% compared to 25% in those with diabetes [T2DM] in the USA.3

Routinely, the first treatment approaches utilized for CKD patients, in the later stages, generally targets control of dysglycemia and reduction of hyperphosphatemia according to KDIGO guidelines.4 Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing abundance of data revealing that simple niacin treatment is a profoundly effective treatment for reducing hyperphosphatemia—and that is just the beginning. In basic research the evidence in favor of niacin for CKD has continuously accumulated. Clinical research proves that the niacin stimulated pathways involving increased NAD synthesis, PCSK9 inhibition, sodium transporter effects, PPAR gamma activation, and more, are exceptionally well-suited to addressing CKD, multimorbidity, and ultimately all-cause mortality.5-41

The clinical and financial impact of CKD when it progresses to end-stage renal disease (dialysis-dependence; ESRD) is profound. Clinically, CKD progression quickly leads to lifelong dialysis with co-morbid life-threatening cardiovascular disease. Financially, the out-of-pocket cost of CKD is greater than cancer and stroke with ESRD dialysis costing 30.9 billion per year in 2013 or approximately 7.1% of total Medicare costs.42Medicare spends approximately $250,000/y for every CKD patient, prior to the transition to ESRD and dialysis. Annual costs per dialysis patient can range from $720k to $2.2m per year.43 These problems and their associated costs can be reduced by using 5 cents per day of niacin.

Originally, I (SM) was formally trained to operate a heart-lung machine, maintain full life-support and anesthesia, in the operating room monitoring patients undergoing open-heart surgery. Much later, I transitioned to working as a field scientist, MSL (Medical Science Liaison) in the advanced laboratory diagnostics industry. My primary clinical focus since that time has mainly been lipidology. Because of my initial education/training, addressing cardiovascular disease, I now focus on prevention: lipidology. This training gave me an appreciation for nicotinic acid (niacin, vitamin B3).

I have now personally observed more than 25 documented cases of individuals having their CKD progression not only halted but reversed with the addition of 3 to 5 cents worth of niacin, per day (with 1.8-2.4 g/day sodium-bicarbonate with/without 250-500 mg/day calcium-carbonate).

A Family Story

While I (SM) was learning lipidology in the period between 2002-2007, my father suddenly went to the ER late one Sunday night and my mother called me hysterically, “I took your father to the ER and now they are scheduling him for placement of stents.” I was concerned, as any son would be, but also as a scientist because I felt I may have ‘failed him,’ somehow: If only what I had already learned, I had only learned it, sooner.

My father was 81 at the time and he had been jumping rope for 30-minutes, twice daily. His body had a deceptively healthy look, and his triglycerides were low, but when we put it all together, he was “Pattern-B”—insulin resistant. He had always been a ‘stodgy,’ stubborn, stoic World War II veteran. He was very introverted and typically had a limited range of emotions: rage, laughter, and silence. Later, I would find out he had Asperger’s.

When I received the advanced laboratory data, it showed that he had low HDL2 and high ApoB. This is far more specific and confers much greater risk vs. an elevated LDL-C. Most importantly, this revealed he was insulin resistant (a.k.a. pre-diabetic). At the time, I really didn’t fully understand this. Even today, most clinicians really do not, due to continued reliance on using only tests for FBG and HbA1c. Ultimately, my father survived, and we continued to institute aggressive medical management: A hard lesson learned.

My father and my mother traveled everywhere together. They commuted, seasonally to Florida each winter, to escape the cold weather in Northwest Pennsylvania. On New Year’s Day, about six months after his MI and stent-placement procedure, I received a call from my mother, “Your father is in the hospital! They’re going to have to do open heart surgery!”

They needed to do an aortic-annuloplasty (aortic heart valve repair), in addition to a quintuple CABG (5 bypass grafts). I thought to myself, “this is getting worse and worse.” Having had previous personal experience working with thoracic surgeons during open-heart operations, I didn’t want the procedure to begin until my brother and I were able to be present. Fortunately, the young thoracic surgeon and the techniques planned were excellent.

Later, in the spring, they returned home to Erie, Pennsylvania, for the follow-up visit. Dr. Dave (the physician who asked me to set-up my 1st lipid clinic) said, “Hey I got some bad news for you. Your dad has renal insufficiency.” I said, “Oh my God, he’s in renal failure, what stage is he?” He did not know. That was a flag. Most clinicians don’t know what stage their CKD patients are because the lab doesn’t do calculations and the creatinine measure is not reliable or accurate. The creatinine measure has very little accuracy until after the CKD has ‘hit’ stage 3B, and beyond.44,45 So, a lot of these patients along the CKD disease continuum, through each progressive stage, appearing to have less risk vs. the ‘true’ risk that is present. It’s better to test a urine sample and see how much protein is recovered and run a Cystatin-C and a crGFR to calculate a more accurate value. At that time, I only knew he was in failure; but when I did the crGFR calculation, I could see that he was well into the latter portion, of CKD-stage 4.

Recently, I had been putting together a new treatment algorithm with substantial literature support, data, on CKD. I was lucky to have been mentored by Dr. William F. Finn.46 Even if a patient has not already been scheduled for dialysis, he explained, and especially if they are currently on dialysis, you must get the serum phosphorus down. Excessive phosphorous is toxic to the kidneys as well as virtually every organ system and the entire body.47,48 Phosphorus is a primary initiator of vascular calcification, among several other pathologies. If the kidneys start to lose a certain fraction of their normal function, the body can no longer efficiently clear phosphorous. When phosphorous serum levels reach abnormal levels, then you begin to saturate the tissues. Then phosphorous binds to calcium and it’s the phosphorous, not the calcium that starts the pathology leading to calcium phosphate stones.

Niacin Helps to Get the Phosphorous Down

Even after you bring serum phosphate down you still have it in the tissues. The only biomarker available in a clinical setting, Fibroblast Growth Factor-23 (FGF-23), reflects the pathology behind long-term exposure to elevated phosphorus. FGF-23 can be decreased, simply by administering niacin.14However, the sodium phosphorous transporter works through a feedback mechanism to make more receptors to compensate.

So, calcium carbonate (from an antacid tablet) is commonly used first to bind the readily available intestinal phosphorous. This is among the cheapest and most effective phosphorus chelator approaches. Calcium carbonate should not be used above 2g/day elemental calcium, which is 40% of most of the formulations: Total 5g/day as calcium-carbonate. This should be administered at mealtime. The idea is to ‘treat the meal’, as there is generally very little phosphorous available to bind, outside of mealtime. When the kidney is in ‘failure’, after meals, excess phosphorous remains uncleared and leads to deposition in the tissues: valve leaflets; at the endothelial barrier; arterial subendothelial space (Mönckeberg’s medial calcification: arteriosclerosis).49 When sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is administered, based on the landmark study,50,51 the transition from stages-3 & 4 to Stage-5/ESRD/Dialysis, can be reduced by ~80%, with just 1.8 grams sodium bicarbonate, alone. Mealtime dosing BID, (1X 600 mg at lunch and 2X 600 mg at dinner each day, i.e 1.8 g total per day), optimizes the therapy.

In that study, the fraction of people that went to dialysis by the end of two years was roughly 35% on placebo, but the fraction that went to dialysis with the modest dose of sodium bicarbonate, was reduced roughly >80%.50 However, the concerns about sodium intake are frequently expressed. The literature is quite clear on this. The chloride salt of sodium is the issue, not the bicarbonate salt of sodium. This is a key point. We just need to do a better job of identifying them early on. Do not assume the patient is stage 1 or 2 if the creatinine indicated that. We need better, more reliable biomarkers (EXAMP: Cystatin-C) and should insist the insurance companies reimburse for it.

This approach worked amazingly well for my father because he reversed his CKD, by more than two stages! I calculated it incrementally based on where he was at each stage. He was nearing end-stage renal disease (stage 5) and he reverted back to stage 2, which was a virtual miracle at that time! I had never heard of or seen anything similar.

Niacin interested me when I came across a company that was working on a new chelator for phosphorus. I had already seen some literature on an extended-release niacin (ER-niacin) study showing a phosphorus-lowering effect and IR-Niacin having an antiproteinuric effect. Niacin was so effective that it moved the GFR up enough to reverse the baseline status by a full stage, even at very low doses. This seemed to be the plausible explanation for this net result.

Niacin (as well as no-flush niacinamide/nicotinamide) inhibits the sodium phosphate transporter. There are at least twenty peer-reviewed publications demonstrating this.5-41,52-59 What was discovered was, if you want to control phosphorus, niacin is one the most effective methods and its efficacy is not affected by timing relative to meals. As little as 100 mg of niacin will effectively reduce the serum phosphorus.

Some studies refer to this niacin-mediated effect as the “phosphorous fix.” The additional CKD benefits of niacin include the antiproteinuric, as well. If you compare a blood test vs. urine test, then the urine is probably a much more reliable indicator because when the basement membrane is damaged, filtration is impaired such that the basement membrane between the podocyte processes no longer conserves plasma proteins and the amount lost, ‘leaked’ is present in the urine. The appearance of albumin (protein) in the urine is a ‘flag’ that loss of serum protein due to impaired renal function. Often, this is one of the earliest markers. Blood biomarkers have some variables that could result in misclassification of CKD stages. Protein leaking from the kidneys, is a direct correlate to the podocyte/basement-membrane damage. This is the gold-standard measure of endothelial function. I always like to use at least one blood marker (ideally CystatinC) in addition to the urine test, to facilitate extrapolating, “pinpointing” the true stage at baseline and where they are at follow-up.

I believe niacin is probably one of the best treatment options for a variety of chronic conditions/pathologies. CKD is a complex disease state. At its ‘core’, it is a vascular disease, but if you “hit all the right buttons” it is clearly possible to ‘drive’ CKD backwards.

With stage-5-CKD, a.k.a. end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the scarcity of donor organs is a primary challenge. The reality is usually that dialysis will be required for the rest of the patient’s life. That is a powerful motivator to the patient to consider niacin.

Ultimately my father’s CKD, reversed from stage 4 to stage 2. When the sum of all the data, connecting-the-dots with all the biomarkers, he was close to end stage renal disease as he was scheduled to have a first encounter with a nephrologist. So, he was likely headed to dialysis, sooner vs. later.

The Current State of CKD Treatment and the Importance of Addressing Multimorbidity

Read this issue now!

In regard to prevention, many physicians choose not to believe there is any way to prevent or reverse CKD. Unfortunately, most patients end up on dialysis, or at the very least their CKD continues to get worse.

Too often, a less than adequate job of correctly identifying pre-diabetes is implemented, early on in the CKD disease state. It is vitally important to have a method of measuring the glucose post-prandial (PPG) level at 1h and 2h post-glucose challenge (OGTT). Currently, this is the gold standard test for assessing pre-diabetes. There are blood biomarkers that have a VERY high level of precision determining the 1-hr PPG: 1,5-AG and AHB (Alpha-HydroxyButyrate).

Measures of fasting insulin, fasting glucose, and HbA1c can miss an unacceptably large number of pre-diabetics. The OGTT test, will reliably capture a pre-diabetes diagnosis. HOMA-IR (HOMA-IR; homeostasis model assessment as an index of insulin resistance) is an effective method to calculate and evaluate insulin resistance using conventional reference lab biomarkers: insulin levels, fasting glucose levels, and A1C.60,61 If you have these three, you can then calculate the HOMA-IR. This enables accurate documentation and validates spending the modest expense to do the proper tests.

As much as 70% of adults over the age of 30 do not have normal postprandial glucose (PPG). It’s that bad! They say it’s only 30% or 40%, but that’s likely based on poor statistics. In fact, during every year in the last several decades, the percentage of individuals over the age of 30 with obesity has risen. The antiquated Frederickson classification was based on cholesterol/triglyceride parameters, but we are presently in the ‘particle age’ of clinical lipidemia assessment. Like the Frederickson classification for lipid disorder sub-types (which was largely based on cholesterol measurements), current methods to assess the presence and severity of insulin-resistance (a.k.a. pre-diabetes) are essentially obsolete.

Donate to the Townsend Letter

Another aspect to consider is multiple comorbidities. Modern medicine currently generally takes the approach of treating one condition at a time, but there are nearly always multiple disease symptoms present that are tightly associated and anything that can ultimately address this is going to result in the most effective therapies, ideally prior to the fulminant disease.

The Academy of Medical Sciences declared in 2018 that multimorbidity is the number one top priority in healthcare research.62 Estimates for a cure of cancer reveal that this would only increase lifespan by a mere three years on average because the associated co-morbidities were not addressed.63 Niacin, however, addresses so many common denominators for disparate diseases that the impact of niacin treatment for CKD/ESRD is likely to benefit many more indications, especially the number one killer, cardiovascular disease.

At the end of the day, it is the effect on all-cause mortality that matters the most for any treatment. After the termination of the Coronary Drug Project-CDP trial, it was determined that all-cause mortality was reduced by 11%, nine years after stopping niacin treatment (avg. dose 2.4 g/day).64 This may be a feat unparalleled in proven clinical medicine. By contrast, statin all-cause mortality data has yielded mixed results.


In over 25 documented individual cases of CKD stages 2 through 4, after initiation of a combination-therapy of supplements based on GFR, including 500 mg TID IR-niacin, over a three-month period, it was possible to improve their disease by at least one stage.

In basic and clinical research the evidence in favor of niacin for CKD is strong. Clinical research proves that the niacin is exceptionally well-suited to treatment and prevention of CKD, multimorbidity, and ultimately all-cause mortality.

Sampathkumar explained the current CKD treatment with niacin situation best:

Pharmaceutical industry driven large-scale studies are unlikely to be undertaken given the low-cost of niacin. David is up against the formidable Goliath of players promoting costly non-calcium containing phosphorus binders. It is time that international bodies like Kidney Disease, Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) take a call on usefulness of niacin as a low-cost, effective, and low pill burden agent for phosphorus reduction in CKD with multiple pleotropic benefits.29

Recommended Doses to Address Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Low-dose immediate release-niacin, 100 mg – 500 mg, 1 to 3x/day. No-flush niacin or niacinamide will have equal efficacy on lowering phosphorus levels, but negligible cardio-vascular benefits compared with standard niacin.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) 1.8 g/d (1/3 at lunch and 2/3 at dinner).
  • Calcium carbonate antacid pills (400-1000 mg elemental calcium or 2-4 gms antacid tablets) with food to bind phosphorous in food.
  • Low-Dose-Thyroid Supplementation (25-50 µg T4/Levothyroxine or ½ grain of Desiccated Thyroid).
  • Methyl Folate (0.8 g to 2 mg L-MethylFolate).

Recommended Additional Monitoring

A full panel of metabolic parameters [baseline and 90-day f/u] can also determine ‘collateral’ benefit[s], especially related to cardiovascular health:

  • Apo-B decreases
  • Apo-A1 increases (INTERHEART Study)
  • Lp(a) mass decreases
  • Lp-PLA2 decreases
  • MPO/myeloperoxidase| decreases
  • AST/ALT/GGT hepatic parameters improved
  • Symptomology/Signs-Symptoms: TIA; Chronic Angina; Claudication; Dyspnea upon Exertion.

The views of the authors, who are not physicians, are presented here for educational purposes. All readers are reminded to be sure to work with their own health care provider(s) before commencing this or any nutrition-based approach.

Stephen D. McConnell is a lipidemiologist and researcher with an MSc in cardiovascular and renal pathophysiology. 

W. Todd Penberthy, PhD, specializes in writing about targeted pharmacotherapeutics, CME, and biomedical texts.

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Pump your nutritional iron with copper and Vit A

Table of Contents

The iron recycling system……………………………………………………………….1 Ceruloplasmin……………………………………………………………………………. 1 Copper and ATP production…………………………………………………………….1 Plague of iron-fortified foods……………………………………………………………1 Estrogen, estradiol, and hepcidin………………………………………………………1 Iron and hypothyroidism………………………………………………………………..1 Copper andVitamin C…………………………………………………………………….1 Copper and serotonin……………………………………………………………………1 Foods sources of copper…………………………………………………………………1 Zinc depletes copper…………………………………………………………………….1 Magnesium and zinc……………………………………………………………………..1 Ferretin ……………………………………………………………………………………1 Pregnancy………………………………………………………………………………….1 Morley Robbins and Root Cause Protocol (RCP)……………………………………..2

Anohter introduction to RCP

After listening to several of Morley’s interviews, I still wasn’t feeling the whole picture. This conversation between two women practitioners worked better for me. This is my reduced, adapted, revised version–while maintaining Emily’s and Amanda’s “voice.” It came from “Are You Menstrual? S1 E6: The Connection Between Copper & IronPodcast Sep 13, 2021 -

Bruce has no plans to publish this version. Produced for sharing with practitioner friends to interest them in RCP.page1image35794512

Okay for Amanda and Emily to use any of this for their own purposes. No restrictions from me.

Amanda Montalvo is a Women’s Health Dietitian. She is a Root Cause protocol consultant.

Emily, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I don’t see more info for Emily

In this text and elsewhere, “oxidation” is used synonomously with “inflammation.” Iron attracts oxygen. Wherever you have stored iron, you will have excess oxidation-inflammation, like how a cut apple turns brown in the presence of oxygen.

Both conventional and functional medicine focus a lot on iron. You probably have had your iron levels tested at some point. If levels are low, often there’s big recommendations around iron supplementation; or, making sure your multivitamin or prenatal has iron. A lot of times they’re not even measuring iron for this, they’re actually measuring your ferritin on your bloodwork; then, saying we need 80 to 100 ferritin levels in order for things like hair growth to happen.

The reality is iron deficiency is a lot more complex than either conventional or functional medicine communities present it to be. A lot of us already have too much iron accumulated in the body. If we’re adding more iron on top of this, we’re simply adding fuel to the fire and creating more inflammation which leads to a lot more hormone problems. if we don’t have enough copper, we have a harder time making energy. If ATP production slows down, our metabolism slows. This leads to hormone issues.

we’re told copper is toxic. I’m sure you’ve heard about copper toxicity, how we have to make sure we are getting rid of copper in the body. You’ll hear this especially if you’re someone diagnosed or has bloodwork showing high copper levels. Copper excess is really rare. In reality, the copper you have is not available for use. So, there’s just a lot more to the copper and iron picture. Historically, healthcare practs only want to measure minerals and see which are high or low and recommend based on that. [This is “two-body problem solving.” Mineral X is either high or low. If too low, we have to raise it. If too high, we have to lower it. RCP is “three body problem solving,” multiple factors in play, juggling multiple interaction, not just up or down with each mineral.] Doctors simply have not been looking deeply at how minerals interact with each other. [This is is why RCP is catching on and doctors are getting trained in it]. Patients are being told left and right that they are deficient in this mineral; when in many cases, their bodies are just not equipped with the vitamins they need in order to transport and make use of it. Think bio-availability.page2image36129840

RCP suggests copper is the biggest ignored trace mineral. Low levels of copper can lead to low levels (bio-availability) of other minerals, principally iron.

vitamin A is also absolutely critical to support our iron recycling system.

The iron recycling system

Most people, most doctors, including functional medicine docs, are unaware humans have an iron recycling system. Most people are unaware of how our iron recycling system works. This is why so much confusion exists around iron; and, why chronic inflammation is such an epidemic. When iron is not moving, when it’s stuck inside tissues, it becomes inflammatory. How? Because iron rusts. Rusting iron disturbs our cells and tissues.

Iron is so important, our bodies actually have a system which recycles iron. It produces (recycles) 24 milligrams of iron every 24 hours.

Our bone marrow uses this iron to makes red blood cells. of course, if you have too little iron, you’ll make fewer red blood cells. This impact your oxygen delivery system and definitely make you not feel great.

once red blood cells are getting their iron, they live for about 120 days; then they’re broken down, the iron is recycled; and, the cycle is repeated. This is a sophisticated iron recycling system. you have this system. It provides 24 milligrams of iron for you every day. It simply needs certain trace minerals to function properly.

The recommended daily allowance for iron is eight milligrams for men, and 18 milligrams for menstruating women. Given we recycle iron, this is where we ask, do we really need this much new iron daily? [What if the RDA-setters are only guessing, hedging their ignorance?] If we need 25 milligrams of iron daily to make those red blood cells; and, our iron recycling provides 24 milligrams daily, we really only need one more milligram of iron per day from our diet.

Emily and I like the Weston Price nourishing nutrition foundation. We believe we should have a mix of animal and plant foods which will give you well over one milligram of iron a day. So there’s no reason to supplement with more iron.

To make the iron already in your body bioavailable, it comes down to two things: your copper and your vitamin A. How do we keep our iron recycling system moving? how do you optimize how your iron recycling system is working? that’s really copper. Copper is how you’re going to keep the iron recycling system moving.


Here’s why. iron is meant to be in constant circulation within our recycling system. If iron is NOT circulating; if iron slows down and gets stuck in tissues, this creates unneeded oxidation-inflammation. We want to keep iron moving. It’s not a matter of pumping more iron in; that’s two-body problem thinking. To support recycling and recirculating iron we have, we need three-body problem thinking. Then we realize we are juggling copper, vitamin A and iron. Copper and vitamin A are the facilitators keeping iron moving instead of stuck.

There’s an enzyme for this activity. It’s called ceruloplasmin. It’s made from copper and vitamin A. It facilitates keeping iron in motion. Ceruloplasmin transports iron throughout our body and gets it to where it needs to go. if we don’t have enough copper or vitamin A in our diets, our iron cant stay in motion and circulate. If iron can’t stay in motion, it slows down and gets stuck in tissues. it gets stored in our organs. It get stuck in our weakest organs, where iron is moving the slowest. Without ceruloplasmin, iron can’t do what Nature intended it to do, keep moving around and around. If iron can’t be kept moving, our recycling system breaks down.

This may be the biggest pattern behind excess inflammation, obesity and many chronic diseases. And to think convention MDs and most functional medicine MDs are still stuck at the old idea of reading blood tests, only looking for, only aware of “iron deficiency.”

From now on I will refer to this not as “iron deficiency” but as “iron dysregulation.”

To digress for a moment, my husband has sickle cell. we’ve completely reversed all of it with using copper and vitamin A.

Copper and ATP production

Lets shine more light on copper. In conventional medicine, iron gets all the credit for transporting oxygen and hemoglobin. What’s more accurate is copper is the mineral responsible for regulating oxygen. Why? It’s the only metal which can catalyze oxygen and turn it into harmless water. This how our body “defuses” oxygen in our cells where it not wanted and not needed. This is why, in the area of iron and oxygen transport, we are studying the roles of copper-driven and copper-dependent enzymes.

Amanda: The typical patient associates iron with energy. I’ve worked with so many women who talk about they’re so low in energy and believe they need an iron supplement. they do typically get an initial boost when they first take it– then their fatigue comes back. if you don’t have the copper [and] vitamin A, iron recycling functions have not improved. How is iron recycling function relevant to energy? This requires us to look at ATP production.

copper is crucial for how we make ATP (cellular energy). if we don’t have enough copper, then we can’t make ATP, our cells’ main energy source. One heartbeat requires 1 billion ATP. So 1 billion of those energy molecules suggests how much we need copper in our diet.

remember we need vitamin A to use copper. If we don’t have enough, and we have too much iron, we aren’t going to produce enough ATP.

We did a whole podcast episode on metabolism. we talked about taking in enough energy. if we’re not producing enough ATP, our metabolism slows down. When our metabolism slows down, then we get hormone imbalances. This is why we’re talking about copper and iron today. they are crucial to our metabolic health and our hormone health.

Plague of iron-fortified foods

Emily: Earlier you described how we only need one milligram more of iron daily. This is why iron deficiency is so unlikely. 36% of the planet is actually made of iron. it is the fourth most common element.

Complicating matters is iron-fortified foods. Commercially, eight different types of iron are added to our foods, especially wheat flour. This means there is added iron in breads, pastas, wheat tortillas. That’s a lot of foods. even if we don’t eat red meat, most of us will still have enough iron from our diets. If you are still eating non-organic wheat, you are consuming extra iron. This is why RCP talks about an iron excess in our foods.

While we’re on red meat, much research says if you’re anemic, chances are it’s from a vegetarian diet; or at least, you aren’t eating enough iron-rich meat. what’s interesting about this is researchers say 20% of the population is anemic, yet only about 8% is vegetarian. So there’s a big disconnect here, right? This suggests something deeper is going on; it’s not just an iron problem. At the end of the day, it’s a copper problem or a vitamin A problem or both.

Unfortunately, our foods are not fortified with copper. Getting enuf copper in our diets is tougher. Farm soils in the US have been deficient in copper for so many years. this has led to lower copper levels, both in plants and animals. This makes it hard to get enough copper from only the foods we eat. Most everyone has their iron recycling system thrown off due to low copper and/or vitamin A.

if we don’t have enough copper and vitamin A, iron recycling slows down, iron gets stuck in tissues. we’re start accumulating iron where Nature does not intend it to be. My bloodwork can say low iron; yet, it doesn’t mean it’s low inside my tissues. The iron reading on bloodwork tells us nothing about iron trapped in our tissues.

Estrogen, estradiol, and hepcidin

Another whole layer to this is how estrogen relates to iron. when we have excess estrogen, the most common form is estradiol, this is our strongest one. When I think of all the PMS, period problems, I think “estradiol.” This is what typically leads to problems.

When we have excess estrogen, we get a decrease in a hormone called hepcidin. hepcidin is a hormone regulating iron balance. It’s in charge of suppressing iron absorption.

Let’s do some three-body thinking. Consider this sequence:

– When estradiol goes up, we become estrogen dominant.

– When we are estrogen dominant, hepcidin goes down.

– If we eat iron-fortified foods, when hepcidin goes down, our iron absorption goes up.

– When iron absorption goes up, if we have too little copper/Vit A, more iron is stored in our tissues.

– If more iron is stored in our tissues, there is more unwanted oxidation- inflammation,

– If there is more unwanted oxidation-inflammation, our metabolism slows down – If our metabolism slows down, a vicious cycle is reinforced.

While it useful to spell out these factors in a linear fashion, as above, it is more useful to visualize this as a 3D hologram, each element a node on the hologram; each node connected and interacting with every other node-element.

The basic takeaway on estrogen? As iron as estrogen goes up, iron absorption goes up.

The above cycle is a way to understand how estrogen dominance is exacerbated and perpetuates itself. So I think this is the relevance of estrogen to our iron recycling system. It’s not just minerals, foods and stress. our sex hormones impact our iron recycling system.

This is why you cannot just test one thing, right? There’s multiple interactions between multiple players when it comes to assessing iron status and what’s off with our our iron recycling system.

Emily: Right, when we do have extra iron stored in our tissues, it’s outside of our blood. here’s how doctors make this worse. We go to the doctor, we get a blood test, the iron hidden in our tissues doesn’t show up on the test at all. It can appear as if we need more iron. we get iron supplements thrown at us. Our iron goes higher, we are more fatigued, the cycle is continued and perpetuated.

It’s really good, like Amanda said, to be aware of what’s happening; and what can be happening.

Iron and hypothyroidism

How this all relates back to metabolism is if you’re someone who’s having cold hands and feet or a cold sensitivity, that is one big symptom of iron dysregulation. as many of you probably know, it’s also a symptom of hypothyroidism. there’s a study showing cold sensitivity due to iron deficiency anemia was accompanied by inadequate thyroid responses. So the two go hand- in-hand. it was Dr. Broda Barnes who discovered measuring your basal body temp is an excellent way to monitor your thyroid function.

we talk about this so much with our patients. Just by keeping tabs on your, your body temps every day and making sure they’re above a certain level is going to help you maintain thyroid health and make sure you’re staying in a good state, not letting your metabolism slip or your thyroid under function, if that makes sense. Hey, do I have these hypothyroid symptoms? It could be iron dysregulation as well.

How this all relates back to metabolism is if you’re someone who’s having cold hands and feet or a cold sensitivity, that is one big symptom of iron dysregulation. it’s also a symptom of, as many of you probably know, hypothyroidism. there’s actually a study which showed cold sensitivity due to iron deficiency anemia was accompanied by inadequate thyroid responses. So the two kind of go hand-in-hand. it was Dr. Broda Barnes who discovered measuring your basal body temp is an excellent way to monitor your thyroid function.

we talk about this so much. Just by keeping tabs on your, your body temps every day and making sure they’re above a certain level is going to help you maintain thyroid health and make sure you’re staying in a good state, not letting your metabolism slip or your thyroid under function, if that makes sense. Hey, do I have these hypothyroid symptoms? It could be iron dysregulation as well.

Copper andVitamin C

Optimal hormone health is also dependent on how copper and vitamin C impact thyroid hormone production. thyroid relates to metabolism. all these work together in the body.

Amanda: does it get any cooler? When I learned about vitamin C, it’s known for adrenal health, and your immune system. C also has a huge impact on making thyroid hormone [this is unsupported. Delete?] If thyroid is low on thyroid blood test, then we take thyroid hormone medication, right? We don’t think thyroid medication is bad. Emily takes thyroid medication.

Emily: I take thyroid meds on top of vitamin C and eat copper-rich foods. it’s a whole picture.

Amanda: And vitamin A.
Emily: Yes, and lots of vitamins.

Amanda: we have a blog on vitamin A and your thyroid, it’s a good one. So we know copper we need copper for iron, we need copper for a billion other things in the body. However, there are so many other things we could be checking. are we really addressing the whole picture? The iron recycling system? And why do you not feel better when you take your thyroid meds?

Copper and serotonin

excess iron appears to lead to a lot more stress and inflammation inside the body. Copper helps to balance this out. Copper also helps us with balancing serotonin.

“Serotonin, also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is a monoamine neurotransmitter. It also acts as a hormone. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin carries messages between nerve cells in your brain (your central nervous system) and throughout your body (your peripheral nervous system).” – serotonin#:~:text=Serotonin%2C%20also%20known%20as%205,(your %20peripheral%20nervous%20system).

A lot of people know serotonin for mental health and mood, right? What fewer people know is we can have an excess. Excess serotonin leads to a lot of gut and digestive issues. when we have excess serotonin, typically we’re dealing with more anxiety, depression, digestive problems. Copper is really important for keeping serotonin in check.

Emily: Speaking of the immune system, copper works well with vitamin C. Copper does several things with, in tandem with vitamin C. It strengthens your collagen, supports bone health, it also supports your adrenals, and helps to make enough adrenaline in order to appropriately respond to stress. This is important for hormones.

Foods sources of copper

Where do we get it? We really, really love beef liver. the main reason is because it doesn’t only have copper; it also has vitamin A. You can also get copper in the form of cacao or liquid chlorophyll; these give you a lot of copper.

Bee pollen, royal jelly those are going to have copper and B vitamins.

hopefully by now you understand even if you add in a bunch of copper, you may not be getting vitamin A you need from those foods, right? So we can’t leave out Vitamin A. Beef liver is our favorite. Duck liver also has very comparable vitamin A and copper levels. Chicken liver is lower in copper; yet, it’s still good.

If you say, “oh, I can’t do beef liver; what can I do?” We’ll probably get those questions. did I find a kosher beef liver supplement? I can’t remember. Do you know of one?

Emily: I don’t actually know off the top of my head.

Amanda: I don’t think that there is one? Let us know guys. Do you know of a kosher beef liver supplement? That’s a question that I’ve gotten quite a bit.

we have a few women in our group program that are kosher and they just get kosher…they buy kosher beef liver, cut it up, freeze it and swallow like capsules. I’ve looked online a million times and I usually come up empty-handed. beef liver is a big one, or duck liver, chicken liver. These are the most bang for your buck.

You don’t need a lot of it, which is nice. I would say start very slow. we love the Ancestral Supplements company for beef liver. It’s a great option and very nutrient dense. We always call liver Nature’s multivitamin, because it’s got lots of copper, vitamin A, B vitamins, zinc, selenium; there’s so many nutrients in there.

Some other great foods like citrus, you know, like, citrus has whole food vitamin C, which also has copper.

Zinc depletes copper

Shellfish, even oysters have so much zinc; yet, also have copper. Shrimp, stuff like that. then cacao I mentioned.

Emily: along with eating copper-rich foods, make sure you’re avoiding foods which deplete copper. two common supplements deplete copper in the body. the first one might surprise you. It’s zinc. I know everyone loves taking their zinc especially when they’re feeling under the weather or think they might have a cold. Zinc was praised during pandemic times for helping us with our immunity. zinc is not bad. We definitely need zinc. Still because they are antagonists, we need zinc and copper to be in balance. So when we supplement with zinc, this increases metallothionein production.

Amanda: Metallothionein

Emily: Metallotionein production. Thank you, Amanda. It binds to copper and makes it unavailable for use in the body. So just keep this in mind, if ever someone tells you to supplement with zinc, it’s going to throw off your copper.


Magnesium and zinc

Amanda: sometimes people get their bloodwork done. They come in and say, my zinc is low; we see this all the time. We have to remember if we run out of something like zinc, even if you take it daily, what else is deficient leading to an imbalance, right? minerals always work together.

Magnesium is a really important one. I think the majority of us do not get enough magnesium, even if we supplement you might just need more. The more physical-mental-emotional stress you have, the more magnesium we’re going to use.

[Bruce believes this is only true in three cases:- if you get charley horse pains in legs (liquid mag chloride topically),

– if you get neck pain due to fuzzy vertebrae (liquid mag chloride topically),

– if you see 20 or more clients in energy clearing work weekly (muscle test best magnesiums for yourself).

Everyone else seems to benefit more from more B5 Cal Pantothenate for high stress.]

magnesium and zinc have the same valence. So if your body runs out of magnesium, it’s going to use up zinc. whenever people have low zinc stores, a huge red flag goes up for me. we want to think about, do you need more magnesium [or B5]?

same thing with vitamin D. Typically low vitamin D is much more related to magnesium than actual vitamin D status. we’ll probably do a whole episode on that.

if people see low zinc levels, I would say, one: oysters are going to be the best source eating them or taking like a supplement. Oyster-zinc from Smidge is a great one. They’re very high in iodine, though. So talk to your doctor or practitioner before you start taking it.

[26:36 discussion of benefits of canned oysters omitted here. benefits of blood

and hair tests omitted here. ]

…the bloodwork is going to show you what’s going on outside the cell. The hair test is going to show you what’s going on inside the cell…


31:00 Ferretin Emily: I want to talk about ferritin. It’s the most common thing tested when we’re looking at iron in the United States. ferritin is a protein made inside our cells to help store iron. as stress and inflammation go up, we release more ferritin into the blood [they may be verging on an explanation of chronic fatigue here]. It’s usually not a good thing to have high ferritin. what doctors will say is if your ferritin number is low, you’re iron deficient. again, this is NOT the whole picture. This “up or down” view of iron is too primitive and uninformed given what we know now.

31:40 Amanda: Yeah, we’re always told ferritin is the storage form of iron. it is; yet, there’s actually two types of ferritin. There’s a heavy chain the heavy chain requires copper. So what doesn’t need copper at this point? then there’s the light chain. The light chain is what we see on your bloodwork.

I remember when I learned thais I was, wow, I’ve never even seen these two distinguished on a test before. when we have inflammation present, we’re going to see more of the light chain ferritin discharge. This is going to show up higher on the bloodwork typically. You can still have normal ferritin and have iron accumulated in the tissue. So again, when we work with someone, it is more complex, a lot more than we can explain in a podcast episode.

we like to mention ferritin as it’s confusing. yes, it stores iron; however, iron should be inside our cells. Right? It should be inside our mitochondria. when it’s outside our cells, in our blood, that’s actually not a good thing. if you have lower levels, 20 to 50 it doesn’t need to be higher than this. there’s even some research showing, we technically should not have any ferritin in our blood, right? It should all be inside the cells. I don’t like extremes like that; I don’t think it’s necessary. I also don’t think we should just be chasing a number on a lab, right? We want to keep everything in perspective.

33:07 Emily: For sure. Go for the Full Monty panel. you want to look at everything. Hemoglobin is a big one. 70% of our iron is in hemoglobin. it’s also important to look at copper levels and vitamin A levels as well.


33:22 Amanda: people don’t really look at hemoglobin anymore for iron status, except when you’re pregnant, right? Your third trimester that’s typically when your hemoglobin decreases. Because you have [hemo-dilution going on] you have

your copper [shared between] mom’s liver and baby’s liver.

they used to use cod liver oil for low hemoglobin; that’s what doctors used. There’s a really cool study. it compares using iron supplementation for hemoglobin; or, cod liver oil for hemoglobin levels. Two groups compared. In the group supplemented with iron, the hemoglobin goes up really high initially; then it comes back down. In the group supplemented with cod liver oil, hemoglobin goes up and it stays up. cod liver is packed with vitamin A, right? if you don’t have vitamin A, then you can’t use copper, then your hemoglobin isn’t going look great.

So keep all these factors in perspective. there’s a lot of misinformation out there. a woman often gets scared when they’re pregnant. they ask themselves, “Do I need to supplement with iron?” You might actually need more vitamin A.

34:54 Emily: Okay, to sum up, keep in mind our bodies are so smart y’all and they know what to do.

when we are exposed to too much iron, our immune system reacts, inflammation goes up. then we start storing iron in our tissues to protect from potential infection.

this is a protective mechanism, this is why we’re storing excess iron. when people are mis-led, told this is an iron deficiency, or they’re being treated for an iron deficiency, the important thing to remember is it’s more likely a copper issue and vitamin A deficiency.

Morley Robbins and Root Cause Protocol (RCP)

Amanda: I also highly recommend looking at Morley Robbins I’ve learned so much from Morley. He’s an amazing resource, and he has probably the most free content out there, especially if you like videos. He’s also been on so many podcasts. he has a whole page on his website of hours and hours of video interviews on RCP topics. sometimes it’s very dense. You’re unlikely to grasp the whole picture quickly. Yet there’s always so many little takeaways. I still listen to these videos all the time. I can’t recommend them enough. He has a ton of blogs with all the studies I’ve been talking about linked in the blogs. He’s so good at finding research. I’m like, how do you find all these research articles, especially for those topics? It’s not always easy using search engines. It’s work. So go check out the Root Cause Protocol, read the blogs we link to.

if you really want to do hair testing, if you’re really getting invested in “becoming all the way healthy,” consider joining the Master Your Minerals course. You can, once you purchase the course, you can get your hair test, we send it out to you; you send it back. then once you get test results, you can go through the course

videos on how to interpret your test results. What does it mean? What do high levels of certain things mean? Low levels, your ratios, how to start making changes. I personally think it’s the best thing you can do on your healing journey. it gives you a lot of direction. So if you’re revved up about this, definitely consider checking out Master Your Minerals.

37:31 Emily: For sure. You will not regret it. I am definitely biased. I think it’s seriously the best course out there right now.
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Hypocholoris Acid HOCI

Note from Mimi- what got my attention about this product is Dr. Klinghardt’s presentation in a workshop I attended.  He said that in England and Europe when there was a case of mad cow’s disease, they removed and burned the examination table and other contents.

Now they use hypochlorous acid.  He said it is gentle enough to use on eyelash mites.  (And it works with Covid 19 but his presentation was earlier.)

He sells it on his site.  But being who I am, I bought a machine to make it and put it in a spray bottle.  I clean rooms, air spray, and clean floors and outside furniture with it. 

I tried to put it in my pool but I would need a real chlorine generator to do that job.  I believe that this generator make this same ingredient.

Trouble free

Chlorine, and specifically the active chlorine compound hypochlorous acid (HOCl), is a very powerful oxidizer.

I bought this machine

I gave my chefs a machine and they LOVE it.

In food service and water distribution, specialized equipment to generate weak solutions of HClO from water and salt is sometimes used to generate adequate quantities of safe (unstable) disinfectant to treat food preparation surfaces and water supplies.[19][20] It is also commonly used in restaurants due to its non-flammable and nontoxic characteristics.

Hypochlorous acid (HClO, HOCl, or ClHO

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to search

IUPAC namehypochlorous acid, chloric(I) acid, chloranol, hydroxidochlorine
Other namesHydrogen hypochlorite, Chlorine hydroxide, hypochloric acid
CAS Number7790-92-3 
3D model (JSmol)Interactive image
ECHA InfoCard100.029.302 
EC Number232-232-5
PubChem CID24341
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)DTXSID3036737 
Chemical formulaHClO 
Molar mass52.46 g/mol 
AppearanceColorless aqueous solution
Solubility in waterSoluble
Acidity (pKa)7.53[1]
Conjugate baseHypochlorite
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
Main hazardscorrosive, oxidizing agent
NFPA 704(fire diamond)NFPA 704 four-colored diamond304OX
Related compounds
Other anionsHypofluorous acid
Hypobromous acid
Hypoiodous acid
Related compoundsChlorine
Calcium hypochlorite
Sodium hypochlorite
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).check verify (what is  ?)Infobox references

Hypochlorous acid (HClO, HOCl, or ClHO[2][3]) is a weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water, and itself partially dissociates, forming hypochlorite, ClO. HClO and ClO are oxidizers, and the primary disinfection agents of chlorine solutions.[4] HClO cannot be isolated from these solutions due to rapid equilibration with its precursorchlorine.

Because of its strong antimicrobial properties, the related compounds sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and calcium hypochlorite (Ca(ClO)2) are ingredients in many commercial bleachesdeodorants, and disinfectants.[5] The white blood cells of mammals, such as humans, also contain hypochlorous acid as a tool against foreign bodies.[6]

Like many other disinfectants, hypochlorous acid solutions will destroy pathogens, such as COVID-19, adsorbed on surfaces.[7] In low concentrations, such solutions can serve to disinfect open wounds.[8]



Hypochlorous acid was discovered in 1834 by the French chemist Antoine Jérôme Balard (1802–1876) by adding, to a flask of chlorine gas, a dilute suspension of mercury(II) oxide in water.[9] He also named the acid and its compounds.[10]

Despite being relatively easy to make, it is difficult to maintain a stable hypochlorous acid solution. It is not until recent years that scientists have been able to cost-effectively produce and maintain hypochlorous acid water for stable commercial use.


  • In organic synthesis, HClO converts alkenes to chlorohydrins.[11]
  • In biology, hypochlorous acid is generated in activated neutrophils by myeloperoxidase-mediated peroxidation of chloride ions, and contributes to the destruction of bacteria.[12][13][14]
  • In medicine, hypochlorous acid water has been used as a disinfectant and sanitiser.[6][8][5]
  • In wound care,[15][16][17] and as of early 2016 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved products whose main active ingredient is hypochlorous acid for use in treating wounds and various infections in humans and pets. It is also FDA-approved as a preservative for saline solutions.
  • In disinfection, it has been used in the form of liquid spray, wet wipes and aerosolised application. Recent studies have shown hypochlorous acid water to be suitable for fog and aerosolised application for disinfection chambers and suitable for disinfecting indoor settings such as offices, hospitals and healthcare clinics.[18]
  • In food service and water distribution, specialized equipment to generate weak solutions of HClO from water and salt is sometimes used to generate adequate quantities of safe (unstable) disinfectant to treat food preparation surfaces and water supplies.[19][20] It is also commonly used in restaurants due to its non-flammable and nontoxic characteristics.
  • In water treatment, hypochlorous acid is the active sanitizer in hypochlorite-based products (e.g. used in swimming pools).[21]
  • Similarly, in ships and yachts, marine sanitation devices[22] use electricity to convert seawater into hypochlorous acid to disinfect macerated faecal waste before discharge into the sea.
  • In deodorization, hypochlorous acid has been tested to remove up to 99% of foul odours including garbage, rotten meat, toilet, stool, and urine odours.[citation needed]

Formation, stability and reactions[edit]

Addition of chlorine to water gives both hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hypochlorous acid (HClO):[23]Cl2 + H2O ⇌ HClO + HClCl2 + 4 OH ⇌ 2 ClO + 2 H2O + 2 eCl2 + 2 e ⇌ 2 Cl

When acids are added to aqueous salts of hypochlorous acid (such as sodium hypochlorite in commercial bleach solution), the resultant reaction is driven to the left, and chlorine gas is formed. Thus, the formation of stable hypochlorite bleaches is facilitated by dissolving chlorine gas into basic water solutions, such as sodium hydroxide.

The acid can also be prepared by dissolving dichlorine monoxide in water; under standard aqueous conditions, anhydrous hypochlorous acid is currently impossible to prepare due to the readily reversible equilibrium between it and its anhydride:[24]2 HClO ⇌ Cl2O + H2O      K (at 0 °C) = 3.55×10−3 dm3 mol−1

The presence of light or transition metal oxides of coppernickel, or cobalt accelerates the exothermic decomposition into hydrochloric acid and oxygen:[24]2 Cl2 + 2 H2O → 4 HCl + O2

Fundamental reactions[edit]

In aqueous solution, hypochlorous acid partially dissociates into the anion hypochlorite ClO:HClO ⇌ ClO + H+

Salts of hypochlorous acid are called hypochlorites. One of the best-known hypochlorites is NaClO, the active ingredient in bleach.

HClO is a stronger oxidant than chlorine under standard conditions.2 HClO(aq) + 2 H+ + 2 e ⇌ Cl2(g) + 2 H2O  E = +1.63 V

HClO reacts with HCl to form chlorine:HClO + HCl → H2O + Cl2

HClO reacts with ammonia to form monochloramine:NH3 + HClO → NH2Cl + H2O

HClO can also react with organic amines, forming N-chloroamines.

Hypochlorous acid exists in equilibrium with its anhydridedichlorine monoxide.[24]2 HClO ⇌ Cl2O + H2O       K (at 0 °C) = 3.55×10−3 dm3 mol−1

Reactivity of HClO with biomolecules[edit]

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Hypochlorous acid reacts with a wide variety of biomolecules, including DNARNA,[14][25][26][27] fatty acid groups, cholesterol[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35] and proteins.[31][36][37][38][39][40][41]

Reaction with protein sulfhydryl groups[edit]

Knox et al.[39] first noted that HClO is a sulfhydryl inhibitor that, in sufficient quantity, could completely inactivate proteins containing sulfhydryl groups. This is because HClO oxidises sulfhydryl groups, leading to the formation of disulfide bonds[42] that can result in crosslinking of proteins. The HClO mechanism of sulfhydryl oxidation is similar to that of monochloramine, and may only be bacteriostatic, because once the residual chlorine is dissipated, some sulfhydryl function can be restored.[38] One sulfhydryl-containing amino acid can scavenge up to four molecules of HClO.[41]Consistent with this, it has been proposed that sulfhydryl groups of sulfur-containing amino acids can be oxidized a total of three times by three HClO molecules, with the fourth reacting with the α-amino group. The first reaction yields sulfenic acid (R–SOH) then sulfinic acid (R–SO2H) and finally R–SO3H. Sulfenic acids form disulfides with another protein sulfhydryl group, causing cross-linking and aggregation of proteins. Sulfinic acid and R–SO3H derivatives are produced only at high molar excesses of HClO, and disulfides are formed primarily at bacteriocidal levels.[27] Disulfide bonds can also be oxidized by HClO to sulfinic acid.[42] Because the oxidation of sulfhydryls and disulfides evolves hydrochloric acid,[27] this process results in the depletion HClO.

Reaction with protein amino groups[edit]

Hypochlorous acid reacts readily with amino acids that have amino group side-chains, with the chlorine from HClO displacing a hydrogen, resulting in an organic chloramine.[43] Chlorinated amino acids rapidly decompose, but protein chloramines are longer-lived and retain some oxidative capacity.[13][41] Thomas et al.[13] concluded from their results that most organic chloramines decayed by internal rearrangement and that fewer available NH2 groups promoted attack on the peptide bond, resulting in cleavage of the protein. McKenna and Davies[44] found that 10 mM or greater HClO is necessary to fragment proteins in vivo. Consistent with these results, it was later proposed that the chloramine undergoes a molecular rearrangement, releasing HCl and ammonia to form an aldehyde.[45] The aldehyde group can further react with another amino group to form a Schiff base, causing cross-linking and aggregation of proteins.[31]

Reaction with DNA and nucleotides[edit]

Hypochlorous acid reacts slowly with DNA and RNA as well as all nucleotides in vitro.[25][46] GMP is the most reactive because HClO reacts with both the heterocyclic NH group and the amino group. In similar manner, TMP with only a heterocyclic NH group that is reactive with HClO is the second-most reactive. AMP and CMP, which have only a slowly reactive amino group, are less reactive with HClO.[46] UMP has been reported to be reactive only at a very slow rate.[14][25] The heterocyclic NH groups are more reactive than amino groups, and their secondary chloramines are able to donate the chlorine.[27] These reactions likely interfere with DNA base pairing, and, consistent with this, Prütz[46] has reported a decrease in viscosity of DNA exposed to HClO similar to that seen with heat denaturation. The sugar moieties are nonreactive and the DNA backbone is not broken.[46] NADH can react with chlorinated TMP and UMP as well as HClO. This reaction can regenerate UMP and TMP and results in the 5-hydroxy derivative of NADH. The reaction with TMP or UMP is slowly reversible to regenerate HClO. A second slower reaction that results in cleavage of the pyridine ring occurs when excess HClO is present. NAD+ is inert to HClO.[27][46]

Reaction with lipids[edit]

Hypochlorous acid reacts with unsaturated bonds in lipids, but not saturated bonds, and the ClO ion does not participate in this reaction. This reaction occurs by hydrolysis with addition of chlorineto one of the carbons and a hydroxyl to the other. The resulting compound is a chlorohydrin.[28] The polar chlorine disrupts lipid bilayers and could increase permeability.[29] When chlorohydrin formation occurs in lipid bilayers of red blood cells, increased permeability occurs. Disruption could occur if enough chlorohydrin is formed.[28][34] The addition of preformed chlorohydrin to red blood cells can affect permeability as well.[30] Cholesterol chlorohydrin have also been observed,[29][32] but do not greatly affect permeability, and it is believed that Cl2 is responsible for this reaction.[32]

Mode of disinfectant action[edit]

E. coli exposed to hypochlorous acid lose viability in less than 0.1 seconds due to inactivation of many vital systems.[23][47][48][49][50] Hypochlorous acid has a reported LD50 of 0.0104–0.156 ppm[51]and 2.6 ppm caused 100% growth inhibition in 5 minutes.[44] However, the concentration required for bactericidal activity is also highly dependent on bacterial concentration.[39]

Inhibition of glucose oxidation[edit]

In 1948, Knox et al.[39] proposed the idea that inhibition of glucose oxidation is a major factor in the bacteriocidal nature of chlorine solutions. They proposed that the active agent or agents diffuse across the cytoplasmic membrane to inactivate key sulfhydryl-containing enzymes in the glycolytic pathway. This group was also the first to note that chlorine solutions (HClO) inhibit sulfhydrylenzymes. Later studies have shown that, at bacteriocidal levels, the cytosol components do not react with HClO.[52] In agreement with this, McFeters and Camper[53] found that aldolase, an enzyme that Knox et al.[39] proposes would be inactivated, was unaffected by HClO in vivo. It has been further shown that loss of sulfhydryls does not correlate with inactivation.[38] That leaves the question concerning what causes inhibition of glucose oxidation. The discovery that HClO blocks induction of β-galactosidase by added lactose[54] led to a possible answer to this question. The uptake of radiolabeled substrates by both ATP hydrolysis and proton co-transport may be blocked by exposure to HClO preceding loss of viability.[52] From this observation, it proposed that HClO blocks uptake of nutrients by inactivating transport proteins.[37][52][53][55] The question of loss of glucose oxidation has been further explored in terms of loss of respiration. Venkobachar et al.[56]found that succinic dehydrogenase was inhibited in vitro by HClO, which led to the investigation of the possibility that disruption of electron transport could be the cause of bacterial inactivation. Albrich et al.[14] subsequently found that HClO destroys cytochromes and iron-sulfur clusters and observed that oxygen uptake is abolished by HClO and adenine nucleotides are lost. It was also observed that irreversible oxidation of cytochromes paralleled the loss of respiratory activity. One way of addressing the loss of oxygen uptake was by studying the effects of HClO on succinate-dependent electron transport.[57] Rosen et al.[50] found that levels of reductable cytochromes in HClO-treated cells were normal, and these cells were unable to reduce them. Succinate dehydrogenase was also inhibited by HClO, stopping the flow of electrons to oxygen. Later studies[48] revealed that Ubiquinol oxidase activity ceases first, and the still-active cytochromes reduce the remaining quinone. The cytochromes then pass the electrons to oxygen, which explains why the cytochromes cannot be reoxidized, as observed by Rosen et al.[50] However, this line of inquiry was ended when Albrich et al.[36] found that cellular inactivation precedes loss of respiration by using a flow mixing system that allowed evaluation of viability on much smaller time scales. This group found that cells capable of respiring could not divide after exposure to HClO.

Depletion of adenine nucleotides[edit]

Having eliminated loss of respiration, Albrich et al.[36] proposes that the cause of death may be due to metabolic dysfunction caused by depletion of adenine nucleotides. Barrette et al.[54] studied the loss of adenine nucleotides by studying the energy charge of HClO-exposed cells and found that cells exposed to HClO were unable to step up their energy charge after addition of nutrients. The conclusion was that exposed cells have lost the ability to regulate their adenylate pool, based on the fact that metabolite uptake was only 45% deficient after exposure to HClO and the observation that HClO causes intracellular ATP hydrolysis. It was also confirmed that, at bacteriocidal levels of HClO, cytosolic components are unaffected. So it was proposed that modification of some membrane-bound protein results in extensive ATP hydrolysis, and this, coupled with the cells inability to remove AMP from the cytosol, depresses metabolic function. One protein involved in loss of ability to regenerate ATP has been found to be ATP synthetase.[37] Much of this research on respiration reconfirms the observation that relevant bacteriocidal reactions take place at the cell membrane.[37][54][58]

Inhibition of DNA replication[edit]

Recently it has been proposed that bacterial inactivation by HClO is the result of inhibition of DNA replication. When bacteria are exposed to HClO, there is a precipitous decline in DNA synthesisthat precedes inhibition of protein synthesis, and closely parallels loss of viability.[44][59] During bacterial genome replication, the origin of replication (oriC in E. coli) binds to proteins that are associated with the cell membrane, and it was observed that HClO treatment decreases the affinity of extracted membranes for oriC, and this decreased affinity also parallels loss of viability. A study by Rosen et al.[60] compared the rate of HClO inhibition of DNA replication of plasmids with different replication origins and found that certain plasmids exhibited a delay in the inhibition of replication when compared to plasmids containing oriC. Rosen’s group proposed that inactivation of membrane proteins involved in DNA replication are the mechanism of action of HClO.

Protein unfolding and aggregation[edit]

HClO is known to cause post-translational modifications to proteins, the notable ones being cysteine and methionine oxidation. A recent examination of HClO’s bactericidal role revealed it to be a potent inducer of protein aggregation.[61] Hsp33, a chaperone known to be activated by oxidative heat stress, protects bacteria from the effects of HClO by acting as a holdase, effectively preventing protein aggregation. Strains of Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae lacking Hsp33 were rendered especially sensitive to HClO. Hsp33 protected many essential proteins from aggregation and inactivation due to HClO, which is a probable mediator of HClO’s bactericidal effects.


Main article: Hypochlorite

Hypochlorites are the salts of hypochlorous acid; commercially important hypochlorites are calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite.

Production of hypochlorites using electrolysis[edit]

See also: Chloralkali process

Solutions of hypochlorites can be produced in-situ by electrolysis of an aqueous sodium chloride solution in both batch and flow processes.[62] The composition of the resulting solution depends on the pH at the anode. In acid conditions the solution produced will have a high hypochlorous acid concentration, but will also contain dissolved gaseous chlorine, which can be corrosive, at a neutral pH the solution will be around 75% hypochlorous acid and 25% hypochlorite. Some of the chlorine gas produced will dissolve forming hypochlorite ions. Hypochlorites are also produced by the disproportionation of chlorine gas in alkaline solutions.


HClO is classified as Non-Hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. As any oxidising agent it can be corrosive or irritant depending on its concentration and pH.

In a clinical test, hypochlorous acid water was tested for eye irritation, skin irritation, and toxicity. The test concluded that it was non-toxic and nonirritating to the eye and skin.[63]

In a 2017 study, a saline hygiene solution preserved with pure hypochlorous acid was shown to reduce the bacterial load significantly without altering the diversity of bacterial species on the eyelids. After 20 minutes of treatment, there was >99% reduction of the Staphylococci bacteria.[64]


For disinfection, despite being discovered a long time ago, the stability of hypochlorous acid water is difficult to maintain. In solution, the active compounds quickly deteriorate back into salt water, losing its disinfecting capability, which makes it difficult to transport for wide use. Despite its stronger disinfecting capabilities, it is less commonly used as a disinfectant compared to bleach and alcohol due to cost.

Technological developments have reduced manufacturing costs and allow for manufacturing and bottling of hypochlorous acid water for home and commercial use. However, most hypochlorous acid water has a short shelf life. Storing away from heat and direct sunlight can help slow the deterioration. The further development of continuous flow electrochemical cells has been implemented in new products, allowing the commercialisation of domestic and industrial continuous flow devices for the in-situ generation of hypochlorous acid for disinfection purposes.[65]

See also[edit]


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