Marshall Protocol

…part 2 of Slowburn Treatment for Chronic Disease

UPDATE: Science-Based Medicine (no relation) has a nice balanced post on the Marshall Protocol in which it is pointed out that it has all the tell-tale trademarks of a sCAM (spurious Complementary and Alternative Medicine):

The Marshall Protocol has all the characteristics of modern alternative therapy: a single discoverer, a hitherto undiscovered biology, an unproven therapeutic intervention and one of the most aggravating issues in sCAM’s: Taking a scientific truth the size of a molehill and transmogrifying it into a Cascade Range of exaggerated disease etiology and treatment. Unlike most sCAM’s, however, as best as I can tell Dr Marshall does not seem to be in the business of making a business from his discovery, although he does have patent applications for his protocol.

Staphylococcus epidermidis, Credit:NIAIDThe Marshall Protocol was originally designed to treat sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition, and utilised the drug Benicar, subsequent claims that it could also treat non-inflammatory conditions such as CFS and fibromyalgia, smack of the kind of reaching out for a panacea that is common in efforts to find cures for what conventional medicine considers incurable. Indeed, the list of diseases supposedly caused by L-form bacteria continues to grow and includes the spurious condition, mania.

One of the underlying principles of the Marshall Protocol is that patients must avoid vitamin D. Apparently, the patient’s immune system cannot kill L-form bacteria effectively until vitamin D is eliminated from their diet so they must also avoid sunlight as much as possible.

What we refer to as vitamin D is actually a steroid. Marshall argues that his molecular models show that the precursor form of vitamin D will actually inhibit the vitamin D receptor and consequently the innate immune system. It is possible that any “feel good” effects are simply a result of L-form bacteria surviving and so no spewing out their toxins when they die. But, none of this has been tested or proven in vitro and certainly not in vivo.

A deficiency of vitamin D has been implicated recently as a causative agent in certain forms of cancer, then a treatment that perhaps reduces vitamin D levels below safe thresholds for long periods may indeed effect a resolution of chronic symptoms of one disease or another, but could concomitantly increase one’s cancer risk. That could be a red herring, however, it is thought that vitamin D will temporarily decrease a patient’s level of inflammation but only in the short-term. In the meantime those L-form bacteria could have a field day, if they actually exist.

There is certainly the feeling that long-term, low-level use of antibiotics among individuals with various non-specific disorders could be storing up real problems for the immune system by allowing low levels of real pathogenic bacteria to evolve resistance. And, that’s not to even mention probiotics, which millions of people imbibe on a daily basis in the belief that they will boost levels of so-called good bacteria.

A paper in the Lancet in February 2007, suggested that prescribing antibiotics in healthy volunteers is a very risky strategy. Macrolide [antibiotic] use is the single most important driver of the emergence of macrolide resistance, the researchers conclude, physicians prescribing antibiotics should take into account the striking ecological side-effects of such antibiotics.

Proponents of the Marshall Protocol point out that it uses carefully selected, extremely low-dose antibiotics. Particularly minocycline, which is used long-term for acne treatment and has not evolved resistance yet. Indeed, minocycline is actually one of the few antibiotics active against MRSA (multiple-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that has not triggered resistance, although it is only weakly active.

Claims that go against the grain of conventional medicine often take years to filter through, especially if those claims suggest a simple answer to a wide range of illnesses. But, more often than not those claims turn out to be nothing more than a sCAM (spurious complementary alternative medicine). Humans have always sought panaceas, an elixir of life, a cure all for our ills. They don’t, unfortunately, exist. I suspect the Marshall Protocol, with its bizarre claims about naked bacteria and vitamin D will fall at the first hurdle when properly tested.

I too am curious as to why Marshall allegedly holds a patent on his eponymous Protocol.

Back to the introduction.

89 thoughts on “Marshall Protocol

  1. I’m not sure why this post has suddenly garnered new interest almost 3 years after it was written, but I have not got time to field a new tranche of comments for and against this bizarre claim, so am closing feedback.

  2. First of all, I am not sure the MarshallProtocol is already patented. You can ask Marshall himself on one of the sites. Try eg.

    Second, if I am not mistaken, the patent has a specific cause and hopefully effect:

    – The MarshallProtocol is not a simple thing. There are a lot of factors, meds, rules of compliance, do’s and don’ts, etc. that must be in place in order for the protocol to work as it is supposed to. Some elements, and especially the combination of those elements, are critical to achieve success.

    Which means that if others start studying the MarshallProtocol as it is patented, they absolutely have to make sure the patented criteria are met in order to use the term: MarshallProtocol.

    For example. Olmesartan Medoxomil is a fundamental cornerstone of the MP, as are the pulsed antibiotics that are part of the MarshallProtocol. Olmesartan makes the pulsed antibiotics extremely more potent. The combination is what makes the MarshallProtocol effective.

    Now, if one does a study on the effectiveness of the MP, but only looks at Olmesartan, or only the pulsed antibiotics, one is definitely NOT studying the MarshallProtocol.

    In this case, the patent is supposed to make sure researchers do not use the term MarshallProtocol in their studies, which makes sense, since they are not looking at the MarshallProtocol as it is supposed to be implemented

    I hope this helps.


  3. More to the point, the site I cited actually emphasises that the MP appears not to be seeking financial recompense! Just curious as to whether you read that quote…

  4. Bryon, no one mentioned scams. The post on the site I reference uses the phrase “Spurious Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, which just happens to be abbreviated as S.C.A.M. Coincidence I am sure. But, an actual scam needn’t involve an exchange of money. Scams can involve all kinds of losses to the scammed, not just financial.

  5. A scam is most often when someone convinces you to give them your money. Where is the MP looking for your money? As a microbiologist that studies bacteria and fungi in their chanable morphology the sessile or dormant phase often finds a protective coating of calcium. To produce this the bacteria will produce and/or collect vitamin D in there slow to establish biofilm. There are at least six separate biofilm research centers in the USA. A biofilm can only be held together with electrons pushed into them by a milieu of calcium and magnesium. Cationic agents displace these and in hospital medicine they will give a cationci agent one hour before the antibiotic. These are often gentamycin one hour before penicillin. The first is to displace the calcium to break down the biofilm and alow the penicillin to penetrate. As Albert Einstein once stated, “a great spirit will be violently challenged by mediocre minds”.

  6. I hope that MP physicians (and proponents) realize that low dose antibiotics stimulate transmissible antibiotic resistance amongst pathogenic bacteria. And that there are also minocyline-resistant bacteria out there (MRSA strains in fact), and mobile genetic elements (transponsons, conjugative plasmids) that can transmit minocycline resistance genes between different bacterial genera. But I’m sure they all did their homework…

  7. The best way to find out if the MP will help you is to try it! I did and I am glad as it has quickly improved the quality of my life.

    I think that most of the information that is out there about Vitamin D is quite inaccurate. It is not a vitamin at all. It is a HORMONE and should not be taken as though it is some harmless substance.

    It has been added to many of our food products and this is wrong.

  8. Can somebody update me abt MP,very recently it is lernt that i am suffering from lungs are getting affected.can MP help me to come out of this deadly disease.I am based in INDIA,is the treatment available here in india.

  9. Frans,
    There are MANY people who could not go on the MP because no doctor would prescribe all the meds used. You seemed to forgotten that…

  10. @Liz: You can join
    It’s free and moderated by people who themselves are on the MP.
    You can ask everything you need to know about the MP and also ask for physicians in your area.
    Every single person on the MP has a doctor (MD) prescribing the meds.

    Hope this helps,

  11. how does one get involved with this study. My future soninlaw has uveitis and I would love to have him seen. Hoping someon, some dr can actually maybe help him.

  12. George,
    Why is it that people who are cured in an unorthodox way that can’t be proven by a short term study is anecdotal? I believe that these studies that you are talking about need to go back to the drawing board to figure out precisely why the Marshall Protocol works before they tell us that it is okay to “up” the dose of Vitamin D.

  13. Hi David,

    I don’t mind Dr. Crislip questioning aspects of what I said in my paper except that – and I mean this in the kindest way possible – I do feel he might need a better background in metagenomics to understand what I was saying.

    Dr. Crislip aside, the paper has been well-received by members of the research community. For example, it was given a “Must Read” rating by the literary awareness tool/community, Faculty of 1000.

    I was asked by a top publisher to expand on the content in the paper in a 60-page book chapter that will be published this June in what is supposed to be the most up-to-date textbook on metagenomics.

    By the way, you don’t have to consider only our molecular data in order to conclude that vitamin D is immunosuppressive. For example, here is a link to a paper by Arnson and Shoenfeld, which clearly states “Vitamin D has multiple immunosuppressant properties.”

    There are other papers that say the same thing.


  14. Would one of you medical types that know so much please explain the placebo effect. Last time I heard in some research projects it has been over 50%. Could it be that all healing takes place because of the placebo effect? All you folks with huge investments in education and big incomes from that source will never be open minded enough to ever figure it out.

    Your failure to get your collective heads around this issue is making you a lot of money and causing immeasurable suffering.

    I forgive you, because that is human nature. But I have a suggestion, STFU and get a life, and oh yes, just call me healed from an ‘incurable’ disease by using a protocol that all of you tell me could not possibly work just because you can’t get your head around it.

  15. George,

    Does Vitamin D help the immune system or does it just compound the underlying cause of the disease? For instance current pharmacological best practice is to give patients immune suppressants, because the disease causes the immune system to go into overdrive. This in turn causes many symptoms. They don’t have the answers to curing the disease, therefore they take the easy route and disable the one system that is fighting the disease. That’s the immune system. Vitamin D2 is a natural immune suppressive substance. This is why past practice was to give people D2. It blocks the action of the Vitamin D Receptors (VDR) and thus stops D3 from doing its job and the doctor is seen as a life saver because the patient feels better. The problem with this is that D3 starts to build up in the body in fat cells and the liver. Over time the body runs out of space to put the D3. D3 has an affinity for attaching to the T Cell Immune sytem Receptors blocking the action of the T Cells from their job.

    This is a domino effect that can affect healthy people if too much D3 is taken. If you take 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 a day as some studies are showing, then in just a few month your system will become toxic for all that extra D3.

    Taking some vitamin D3 in the winter months is prudent. Maybe a 500 IUs a day, but how much is too little or too much is anyones guess unless you are testing weekly or monthly for excessive D3 levels.

    Enter the MP. The MP says that if you have an L-Form Bateria infection, then they produce VDR immune suppressive substances to protect itself. Between them and the immune suppressant D2, they crowd out the D3. D3 builds up in the system over long peiods of time. Eventually D3 goes on to reek havoc with the rest of the immune system. This is all without taking Vitamin D3 suppliments!!!! Now start taking D3 in any amount and you’re just accelerating the process many times over.

  16. This works by placebo effect. Vitamin D has been proven to help the immune system in dozens of studies and this protocol is only antidotal .
    Do not get me wrong, I am happy for anyone who gets their health back, but steering healthy people wrong is suspect.

  17. Hi Bill,

    Good question, Bill. Is it possible that the treatment was discovered and is producing results before it is actually possible to be proven in vivo?


  18. Ok, wait…. So I just read the “To D or not to D” article linked on this page. In it was this quote:

    “While calcitriol activates the VDR, Marshall’s in silico data demonstrates that calcidiol has the opposite effect.”

    I just looked up ‘in silico’, it basically means a computer model. Not even in vitro, or better yet, in vivo!

    Can any one of the Marshall protocol folks show me some in vivo data in live human demonstrating that higher 25D levels indeed suppress the immune system… i.e. take baselines before supplementation or extra sun exposure of their 25D, 1,25D and levels of some key antimicrobial peptides or other markers of immune function, and then demonstrate that when 25D levels rise above 20ng/ml that their levels of antimicrobial peptides indeed fall and other measure of immune competence decrease (20ng/ml is their breakpoint for when 25D becomes immunosuppressive).

    This would be definitive, and I believe we have the technology to do this RIGHT NOW. Why hasn’t this been done?

  19. Hi David,

    Thanks for fishing out the better version of my post yesterday.

    Looking back on my comment, I didn’t mean to imply that sick people can not recover by using the MP in it’s current state. I just wanted to stress the that MP is not a quick fix and for those people who have been ill for some time, decreasing bacterial load requires time and patience.

    For example, I started the MP with a very serious case of CFS. It took me about four years to really get my life back and I dealt with some really difficult periods of IP. Then again if I hadn’t done the MP, I’d still have been sick during those years and I’d still be sick right now..and for the rest of my life.

    However, my Mom started the MP right after a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome, before she had taken any immunosuppressive medications or supplements. Although she experiences IP it is so mild that she can still work out for several hours and day, dances salsa, tango and is able to keep up her pre-MP life with only some harder days here and there. She’s doing very well and has not been on the MP for very long.

    So the time scale needed to recover from the MP and the amount of IP one must experience to recover greatly differs from person to person. We cannot guarantee at all that everyone who starts the MP will be able (or willing) to tolerate their IP, although many of our sickest subjects have been able to improve and/or recover.

    Of course, I still anticipate that what we now call the MP will evolve over time.



  20. Hi All,

    Sorry that this comment originally got posted to the wrong place (I think!)….

    Is the MP a panacea? A better initial question might be, “what kind of evidence is growing to support as Marshall hypothesizes that chronic pathogens are the driving force behind nearly every chronic inflammatory condition?”

    Such evidence is indeed growing as the Human Microbiome Project and independent organizations like the Venter Institute continue to use new molecular technology to sequence an ever-greater number of previously unknown bacterial species that reside in the human body – bacteria with pathogenic characteristics. Areas of the body once considered to be completely sterile have been shown to harbor these microbes.

    For example, Stanford researchers recently discovered 18 different taxa in the amniotic fluid of women who give birth prematurely. Furthermore, the Marshall Protocol is based largely on the hypothesis that many of these bacteria survive by dysregulating the VDR, a type I nuclear receptor that controls the bulk of the body’s antimicrobial peptides and subsequently the innate immune response.

    When David wrote this article, Marshall had identified a group of biofilm bacteria with these properties. But, just over the last few months, research has shown that HIV, Borellia, EBV, and M. Tb all dysregulate the VDR, providing increasing strength for Marshall’s hypothesis.

    I encourage you to read more about this topic in a paper, we (I am part of Dr. Marshall’s research team) recently published in Autoimmunity Reviews.

    But back to the panacea question. The Marshall Protocol is based on the hypothesis that these different bacteria whose presence overlaps in different chronic disease states have similar properties that allow them to be targeted in the same manner, namely the use of a potent VDR agonist to prime the immune system itself with the help of biofilm-targeted subinhibitory antibiotics to target a wide range of chronic bacteria.

    This is plausible. For example, penicillin is one drug but can be used for a multitude of conditions. Is that a panacea? Not really. It has broad applicability.

    If you want data on recovery rates, Tom Perez presented data at the 2008 International Congress on Autoimmunity:

    But if you want more definitive data, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Phase III trials of the Marshall Protocol are commencing shortly at West China Hospital, the largest clinical center in the world and the center for the Cochrane Collaboration:

    The first results will hopefully presented at Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2010.

    Remember though that I personally believe the Marshall Protocol can help people recover from a wide range of diseases, the word panacea conveys the idea that the treatment is easy like popping a pill. On the contrary, seriously ill patients are generally on the MP for years before they experience improvement, and as they they progress they must deal with difficult rises in inflammation caused by bacterial death. Some patients simply have too high a bacterial load to deal with these bacterial die-off reactions (called immunopathology). So, the MP in its current state cannot work for them.

    Therefore, the primary goal of our non-profit foundation and our colleagues at West China Hospital is to figure out ways to mitigate immunopathology with compromising the immune response. Also, we continue to stress that the MP should be used as early as possible after diagnosis or even as a preventative. Immunopathology reactions are barely a problem if people start the MP sooner rather than later before their bacterial loads have escalated out of control and their illness level mirrors that of someone with end-stage cancer.

    Hope this helps,

  21. As you can see here: , West China hospital is officially enrolled in the prestigious evidence-based Cochrane Collaboration.

    At the above site’s home page, I am sure you can read all about what that entails.

    It is not something they are claiming without a basis, clearly.

    You use the rather pejorative term, panacea, which seems to prejudge it. I don’t know if you intend to do that. Many of us have seen evidence of effects on numerous illnesses and conditions. But of course, establishing how many conditions it will work on, to the satisfaction of the scientific community will take time and a lot of funding.

    It may seem too good to be true, but if chronic persistent bacterial infections have been largely missed or ignored, it makes sense that they may underlie a large proportion of the unexplained common chronic diseases. I think of biofilm and cell wall deficient bacteria as analogous to a new class of organism — evolved to persist, often in a latent form. To me, it makes a lot of sense that they could explain many diseases and this is supported by people’s responses to the Marshall Protocol.

    I feel a bit like those people must have felt who first discovered viruses. They thought most things must be caused by them. But when it comes to many chronic diseases, viral causes have been studied for decades and yielded very little. A growing minority of scientists think bacterial causation revealed by more advanced methodology will end up as the answer.


  22. David,

    On this page at (scroll down a bit), you will find this exact text:

    Chinese Cochrane Centre

    Mingming Zhang
    Chinese Cochrane Center
    West China Hospital
    Sichuan University

    I Hope Cochrane doesn’t take offense to their own title ;-)

    Sincerely, Frans

  23. Thanks for the feedback Frans. Not sure about the use of the phrase the “Chinese Cochrane center”, is that an official title or are you speaking figuratively? If the latter how does the actual Cochrane centre feel about the comparison? Just curious.

  24. David,


    The scientists at West China Hospital, which is the Chinese Cochrane center, take the protocol and thus implicitly also Marshall’s views about the role of Vitamin D and hard to culture bacteria in chronic disease very, very serious.

    Some results have been presented by cpt Tom Perez -who used to work for the FDA- at The International Congress on Autoimmunity in Porto last year. They will be published later this year, see:

    Sincerely, Frans

  25. Many thanks for the update Amy I hope it inspires others to dig deeper. I hope that Harvard researcher who proclaimed Dr Marshall a putative Nobelist hasn’t stymied his chances. The Nobel committee is notoriously reluctant to uphold such prophecies.


  26. Hi David,

    Awareness of the Marshall Protocol is moving ahead at full speed, not to mention the fact that each day new patients are reporting recovery. The study site is growing at an alarming rate with new patients who want to start the treatment apply for admission to the study daily.

    A team from Autoimmunity Research Foundation (the non-profit organization that runs the MP) was just at the Days of Molecular Medicine Conference in Karolinska Sweden (I was among them). Our work got great attention. The following article describes my reaction to the event and has video footage at the end showing bits from our presentations. As you can see, a researchers from Harvard came right out and said, “Wow! Dr. Marshall is going to win the Nobel Prize!.”

    Next Dr. Marshall and team are headed to Porto Portugal in order to attend the 6th International Conference on Autoimmunity where Dr. Marshall will be charing an entire session on vitamin D and the Vitamin D Receptor. I will be presenting a poster that describes the molecular mechanisms which may explain why women are more severely impacted with many “autoimmune” diseases than their male counterparts.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Waterhouse is working on a paper on Vitamin D that will be published soon. A group is also co-authoring another paper that will be published in a similar journal that discusses the implications of a huge amount of data collected from the MP study site on patients and recovery rates.

    The Foundation’s next project is to use molecular technology to do single DNA sequencing of cells from select people on the treatment. Essentially the study will sequence the DNA in a particular cell. Then, after a study subject has been on the MP for several years, cells in the same area of the body will be sequenced again. It is almost certain that the DNA sequences in the cells will have changed quite a bit because bacterial DNA will no longer be present.

    There’s more too, but that’s the main stuff for now!



  27. I haven’t seen anything new on research into the Marshall Protocol, have there been any significant advances or trials, do leave a comment to let readers know.


  28. I have heard cases of participants who have decided to terminate the MP before the suggested time and were told by staff that their disease would only get worse unless they were treated with the MP.

    Since there hasn’t been any clinical trials done yet in a more conventional setting, is it appropriate to make such a statement to these participants, who, for whatever reasons, are deciding not to continue the MP? In addition to the fact that these type of comments are posted publicly for other participants who are trying to stick with the protocol.

    I can understand the zealousness/excitement of those proponents of the MP. But what happens if 5 to 10 years or more down the line it is proven that some or all of the theories were flawed. Is it appropriate to be promising that the MP is the only cure for there malady?

  29. Thanks for the follow-up Amy, my “anecdotal” comment wasn’t meant to suggest that effects are not being observed, just that in the strict sense of a clinical trial, there would have to be observable and reproducible evidence of the type you mention, in fact ;-)


  30. Hi David and anonymous,

    I should point out that not all the evidence showing people on the MP are improving is anecdotal. In many cases blood work improves or tests show that the patient is no longer sick anymore. For example, there are patients who had sarcoidosis who before the MP have X-rays showing granulomas in their lungs, then after the MP their lungs are clear. Despite what some doctors will tell you, sarcoidosis does NOT go into spontaneous remission. Then their lung volumes are better, their oxygen levels improve. There are people with other diseases reporting EKG tests that no longer show signs of the heart conditions they once had. Most people blood pressure which is often high or low before the treatment stabilizes in the normal range after a few years of therapy. People’s liver enzymes have returned to normal. Tryglycerides have come back into range when they were extremely elevated before the MP. Several people have had cholesterol come back into range after it being extremely high pre-MP. People with Lyme disease often don’t test positive for Borrelia anymore after completing the MP, titers to certain bacterial species go down or are absent, viruses such as Epstein Barr and HHV6 no longer show up on blood tests. All of this is difficult to explain by a placebo effect.

    Yes, people can talk to each other, but the MP site is NOT a support board or a place where people can talk about anything other than the treatment and how to follow the guidelines. Compliance is facilitated by the fact that patients report symptoms in weekly progress reports which are closely monitored by board staff. They must report their level of meds, sun exposure, activity level etc.

    Yes, people are encouraged to eat a healthy diet but if a healthy diet were able to cure diseases such as sarcoidosis, Lyme, MS, lupus, arthritis and all the other diseases the MP aims to treat I think that would be known by now. What you may fail to realize is how desperately sick most people are when they start this treatment. Then, when they claim to feel normal again several years later it is nearly impossible to say that lifestyle changes could have made such a difference.

    It is true that other types of clinical studies should be done on the MP. But if you were to fall ill with a devastating disease, or someone you loved all of a sudden because bedridden and unable to do anything, you might stop worrying about clinical trials at the moment. Especially when you go to the doctor and they tell you the only thing you can do is “manage” your condition with palliative drugs and immunosuppressive steroids, dooming you to a life of relapses and permanent illness. When a curative option like the MP is showing so much promise it is a shame to condemn it based on a lack of a double blind study. Instead energy would better be focused on finding funding for such a study while still embracing and investigating the new ideas Dr. Marshall has put forth.



  31. Of course, we would love it if the government and/or private foundations/individuals would be more forthcoming with funding for more in depth research, randomized controlled trials etc… to provide much more data. The ARF and Dr. Marshall has been seeking this funding for several years. There is some signs of increasing interest, but sufficient money is not yet there. It is sad that the mainstream research community is not more open to new approaches and did not jump on this opportunity back in 2002 or 2003. So, until now, the ARF’s volunteers, like Dr. Marshall, Amy, Meg, Belinda, myself etc… soldier on, doing our best.

    If you know anyone who would like to donate money that could help revolutionize the treatment of chronic disease, send them to

    Thanks are due to you, David, in helping make the public more aware of this wonderful opportunity for restoring health by writing about the Marshall Protocol.

    Those of us who have tried numerous alternative and mainstream approaches for many years with little benefit and have had our lives turned around now, understandably feel pretty confident about what the MP is able to do. But in light of so many claims being made all the time about one treatment or another, it is also understandable for others to take a skeptical look. Most of us viewed it skeptically initially.

    Joyce Waterhouse, PhD

  32. I totally agree David.

    One more additional thought I would like to add pertaining to any “internet” protocol is that participants can say/type anything they like on this medium. So until testing is done in a more controlled setting, face-to-face, any results or purported results wouild not be totally reliable.

  33. Thanks for your comment “Anonymous 2”. Extracting effects due to treatment from the effects of other changes, such as diet, and placebo is very difficult with any trial. It could be next to impossible with the kind of treatment used in by the MP. It will take some almost devious approach to making the treatment blind to both patients and clinicians if its proponents are ever to produce conventional trial results demonstrating efficacy.

    To quote from your comment, “Besides, even in controlled studies, not everyone can be successfully treated,” this is of course the underlying difficult of any medical trial. If you’re testing efficacy of any particular treatment you can never be sure from the beginning whether it works or not. Regardless of the theory, the same principle applies to MP and other non-conventional approaches to disease. One must always remember that an anecdote is not evidence.


  34. How does the MP know if the members following the protocol are following it to the letter of the law? If members were not adhering to all the suggestions and not posting the deviations wouldn’t that affect any data collected and be difficult to tell which protocol helped improve conditions?
    Also, MP requires a change to a much more healthier diet. One that gets rid of processed foods, sugar, low fat, etc. How can one differentiate between improvements in health based on diet alone and not the MP? There are so many factors that could affect the results.
    Also, regarding Immunopathology (Herxheimer). If there are numerous lists of symptoms that the members can expect, couldn’t this affect what the member perceives in their body? After all, the mind is a very powerful. If one is constantly focused on looking for every ache and pain in their body, and writing it down, would it not be expected that it would at least exaggerate their symptoms?
    I do applaud the MP staff and other scientists who are trying to find answers. But I can understand the need for carefully controlled studies too since there are so many factors that could affect the results. Besides, even in controlled studies, not everyone can be successfully treated.

  35. This is a good review article to give more of an idea about L-forms and then you could also get the 2001 medical textbook by Dr. Mattman on Cell Wall Deficient Bacteria (another term for L-forms):

    L-forms typically are present to some degree at the same time as classical forms, probably with most bacterial species. Their creation is enhanced by various factors such as beta lactam antibiotic use (eg., penicillins). They remain, often in a latent form, after the acute infection disappears).

    Joyce Waterhouse, PhD
    also see discussion in article and in the links (eg in Townsend Letter article) at

  36. David,

    That is not a easy question to answer, but I want you to contemplate the following paper:
    PMID: 17293459

    You might want to start reading the discussion to get the gist.

    The most important observation is that molecular analysis by eg PCR of bacterial 16S rRNA is finding bacteria that normally should be cultivable but cannot be cultivated from the same specimens.

    Consider what that means. Are these the elusive L-form bacteria ?

    One thing is clear: Cultivation as golden standard has done us no favors.

    Research into L-form bacteria started somewhere around 1912 by a guy called Hindle. A lot of people have done so ever since, eg by Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel of the Lister institute who, in 1951 !!!, published the paper “Filterable Forms of Bacteria” PMID: 14847983, and eg Virginia Livingston et al and Lida Mattman.

    This research has been disregarded for about a century. Mostly because they didc’t adhere to the normal cultivation methods, but ventured out and tried things never tried before.

    A simple conclusion from a layman: the new molecular findings might prove these people have been right all along.

    Another conclusion is that clearly, hundreds, if not more, species of bacteria can remain undetected in humans for a lifetime, wreaking all sorts of havoc, most probably being passed from parent to child.

    Another conclusion is rather simple: we still have hundreds of diseases that are called idiopathic. Which part do you think might be due to these elusive bacteria?

    But the most important conclusion should be that, since we have clearly been missing a very big piece of the puzzle because the current methodology of cultivation clearly doesn’t work, most animal models of disease are and have been a waste of time and money and should be cancelled right away to make the funds available for testing all sorts of diseases, tissues, cancers and the like for these bacteria that are clearly there and the put every resource into finding out the pathogenicity of these bacteria.

    In fact, these new molecular tools are finding bacteria everywhere, even in cancers, see eg PMID: 16688821.

    Maybe, just maybe, this will lead to vindication of people like Livingston and Mattman, whose laboratory was even closed because she found bacteria where others couldn’t. Now, whose fault has that been, hers ?? I don’t think so.. they used the golden standard…

    The abstract of the last paper I mention above (PMID: 16688821) ends with: “Helicobacter spp. infection is related with HCC, which needs further research.”

    The understatement of the century…

    Just some thoughts,

    SIncerely, Frans

  37. Pip,

    Please read Amy’s piece again and you will see that the 50% she talks about is the 50% that would not be cured in a double blind etc trial since they would be given placebo.

    Secondly the 4 or 5 years Amy talks about is total recovery. The fact is simply that what Marshall calls total recovery is something far beyond not being symptomatic anymore.

    Most stop begin symptomatic after 2 to 3 years and have gotten their lives back, have gone back to work again etc., but still experience herxheimer/immunopathology long after that. What is interesting is that all sorts of things just keep on improving in that period.

    Hope this helps.

    Sincerely, Frans

  38. Hi Pip,

    The 50 % of people we were talking about was under the hypothetical situation that somehow a double blind placebo controlled study could be done on the MP. In that case, 50 % of people would get the MP meds and 50 % of people on the trial would get placebo drugs.

    That number has nothing to do with MP recovery rates. Right now Dr. Joyce Waterhouse is in the process of compiling a large number of statistics about the MP. However i can tell you that nearly 100% of people on the treatment are herxing – a situation that can really only be explained by bacterial death. This means that at some point all these people should completely get rid of their bacterial loads and return to wellness.

    The amount of time it takes to complete the MP is completely different depending on a person’s disease, severity of infection, the length of time they have been feeling sick etc. Some people start to feel great improvement after two years and feel pretty much recovered at 3. However, quite a few people who have started the MP are severely ill. Namely because before starting the treatment they spent years on immunosuppressive medications and ingested high levels of vitamin D. People improve gradually, so at the three year mark they are certainly better but yes, many of these seriously ill people will need about 4-5 years to feel completely normal again.

    Take someone like David who could potentially do the MP for asthma. In his case the infection is contained in one area of the body and probably not so many strains are involved. I would say his level of herx would be quite manageable and he might only need 2 years or so on the treatment. But people with MS, fibro, CFS are often infected from head to toe.

    In any case, i wouldn’t let the idea of herx scare you away from the MP. You can control the level of herx by keeping your antibiotics at a low level if necessary. Your two options are to manage the illness with minocycline (where you will still be symptomatic) or gradually herx over the course of several years, but with the possibility of complete recovery at the end. I say go for it!



  39. Amy –

    I am a bit confused. When I found the Roadback in 4 or 5 of ’06 there was talk of the MP – and that it took approximately 3 years for the ‘cure’. This is my condensed version of what was said. I opted for Dr. Brown’s version of AP because I was concerned about herxes. Since then I’ve become steadily better and am now to the point of considering the MP. Apparently his targets have changed. From your recent post, it’s now 4 – 5 years and a 50% chance of ‘the cure’.

    What’s up with that? Have early adopters become ill again on dropping the medication? What tracking is Marshall doing of MPer’s? Since nobody tracks the APer’s, from anecdotal evidence, I’ve surmised that about 5% go on to be antibiotic free. The lure of being antibiotic free is being overrun by the lure of just living my life to the fullest – on 6 100 mg Mino caps a week.


  40. It is definitely a tough call Amy, especially given the length of the treatment course. As to keeping the groups separate, that should be possible, unless of course the participants have come to the trial because they have prior knowledge of the Marshall Protocol. Then it might be difficult to “blind” the groups and those prescribing the drugs/placebo


  41. Hi David,

    I suppose that could happen as long as nobody in the placebo group knew anything about the treatment or ever spoke to anyone in the other group.

    The problem I see is finding a group of people who are seriously ill but are willing to participate in a study that would last for at least 4-5 years (that the average time needed for recovery) when they have a 50% of being in a group who will receive no treatment at all. It would almost be unethical to deny the placebo group 4-5 years of any treatment for their disease so that they could be compared with people actually taking the meds.


  42. Amy, you said “a strong and calculated herxheimer (or immunopathological) reaction due to bacterial die-off which constitutes a rise in symptoms. The placebo group would know by the absence of this reaction that they were being given a placebo in a number of days.”

    How would the placebo group know that this rise in symptoms was due to the drug unless you told them or they had read up about the treatment in detail. A random cohort wouldn’t need to be told what to expect and could be requested not to read the medical literature on the subject prior to taking part in the trial.


  43. I’m confused by Barrie’s comment. When Dr. Marshall’s upcoming paper “Vitamin D discovery outpaces FDA decision making” is published February 1st in BioEssays, the public and the medical community will be able to see the complexity with which we are now aware of vitamin D’s actions in the body. Nothing about the Marshall Protocol is based on speculation.

    What vital factors impinge on the expression of L-form bacteria? L-form bacteria are merely classical forms of bacteria which have transformed into a cell wall divergent form. In this form they are more easily able to infect the macrophages and evade the immune system. Bacteria in the biofilms also contribute to chronic disease.

    There are hundreds of papers which have been published on the factors that cause the expression of L-form bacteria over the past hundred years. So to say that we don’t know what factors impinge on their expression is completely inaccurate. Two new papers were just published on the expression and characteristics of L-form bacteria. Read about the here:

    “New paper in BioEssays and a review in the Journal of Bacteriology discuss important new research on L-form bacteria”

    Vitamin D has no direct effect on L-form or biofilm bacteria. Vitamin D affects the immune system. Thus the only relationship between the two factors is that if the immune system isn’t working up to par then L-form bacteria are able to spread with greater ease. Also, L-form bacteria have evolved one of the most logical of all survival mechanisms. They create ligands that bind and block the Vitamin D Receptor (which controls the activity of the innate immune system and antimicrobial peptides), further decreasing their host’s ability to target them effectively.

    In terms of the Marshall Protocol, it is impossible to perform a double blind placebo controlled study trial on the treatment. That is because those people given Benicar and the MP antibiotics experience a strong and calculated herxheimer (or immunopathological) reaction due to bacterial die-off which constitutes a rise in symptoms. The placebo group would know by the absence of this reaction that they were being given a placebo in a number of days.

    It would be convincing to have laboratory tests showing that the people on the MP are infected with L-form bacteria at the start of the treatment and then fail to test positive for them at the end of the treatment. The issue of how to create these laboratory techniques is being addressed by veteran L-form researcher and retired professor emeritus at Tulane University Dr. Gerald Domingue in an upcoming book.

    In the meantime it’s important to understand that vitamin D is a problem for our population regardless of whether or not someone is suffering from a disease caused by L-form bacteria. It’s inactive form 25-D is a secoosteroid that inactivates the Vitamin D Receptor, and while it’s active form does the opposite (activates it) all excess vitamin D that we consume remains in the inactive form. In the name of evading Rickets we have added vitamin D to milk, cheeses, yogurts, cereals, pasta, orange juice in a population that is NOT deficient. The end result – most of the population is reaping the effects of a secosteriod, which, if they are infected with L-form bacteria, lowers their inflammation in the short-term. They feel better and researchers think they have improved. It’s the same response as a patient reporting that their symptoms and inflammation have been palliated by a corticosteroid such as prednisone. Now consider that most of the population is infected with L-form bacteria and you can see why what is called a “wonder substance” is exactly the opposite.

    In the same vein, we are often told that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for chronic disease. Again, misunderstanding reigns supreme – namely mainstream medicine fails to realize that the low levels of 25-D seen in patients with chronic disease are not CAUSING the disease, but are simply a RESULT of the disease process. As patients accumulate L-form bacteria, the level of the active vitamin D metabolite 1,25-D rises as a result of bacterial-induced blockage of the VDR. As described by Marshall in his upcoming paper, blockage of the VDR affects numerous feedback pathways – resulting in a downregulation the body’s level of 25-D. This means that what is commonly interpreted as a deficiency is nothing more than a marker of L-form infection. To the point looking for diseases in which vitamin D “deficiency” is sighted as a risk factor is a good way to tell if it is caused by L-form bacteria or not.

    In any case, this is complicated science that turns mainstream beliefs on their heads – but it should not be taken lightly. In the meantime all mainstream medicine will tell you is that whatever disease you have be it heart disease, autoimmune or cancer is of unknown cause. All the more reason to take the Marshall Protocol seriously.



  44. Thanks for the links Joyce. As you say, there is a dearth of double-blind placebo-controlled results on this, which means it’s very difficult to make a judgement; anecdotes are, of course, not evidence. But, I will be interested to see whether this leads.


  45. David,
    I have been meaning to do a search for you on the site on asthma, as I did recall some reporting improvements in asthma and allergies. I went to the two required reading forums and the side topics and clicked the “search in this box only”. I found these three links (look through them for references to asthma (at least a couple people have reported improvement, but I think there are more elsewhere on the site):

    Sorry we don’t have more systematic data gathered on that, but there are so many diseases that improve on the Marshall Protocol, that data on all of them hasn’t been gathered yet, but data will be compiled eventually.

    Hope that helps,

    Joyce Waterhouse

  46. That’s exactly right Barrie, there does seem to be some evidence that L-form bacteria may underpin certain conditions for some individuals. But like you say there are so many confounding factors that it is difficult to disentangle what’s what and there are no funding bodies will to carry out the requisite enormous double-blind placebo-controlled trials that would be needed to get even close to answer.

  47. I am firmly of the opinion that we humans are always (gestation to death) struggling with “malnutrition” in its broadest sense. This becomes even more true when we get past the life-span that nature so obviously intended. (You can define – I am 70 and know!) The vitamin D discussion would be fine if we could be sure that no other vital factors impinge on the expression of L-form bacteria – or any other lurking agent, come to that. I suggest that trying to pin down SIMPLE cause and effect in a massively interactive system like the human organism, is as impossible as knowing both location and momentum of a sub-atomic particle. A touch of Taoism required: as you approach certainty, you are inexorably more in error. In the end, what counts is “what works”. I am currently cheating a lot of “diseases of old age” by trial and error with supplements. I remain out of the clutches of my doctor but could meet a cheerful, active death at any moment from “side effects”. See you on the other side – I’ll be the one with the healthy glow.

  48. I’d look into it. There are (comparitively) a lot of studies on the use of Minocin/Minocycline to reverse fibrosis in lungs for people with various autoimmune diseases. I looked at AP as the pre-cursor to the MP. You might run a search on Google or PubMed for ‘lungs, antibiotics, mycoplasma, minocycline and see what pops up.


  49. Amy Proal, via email, suggested that those of us who suffer bronchospasm (asthma) ought to check out the Marshall Protocol with a view to ultimately side-stepping the standard treatments for asthma (bronchodilators and corticosteroids). I have my annual asthma review with my GP coming up soon, anyone have any additional thoughts on this?


  50. Thanks for the link Mark. I saw your page when I first wrote about MP. It’s useful to have the link here, Joyce and others have apparently addressed many of the points you raise.

  51. I would suggest Mark and others read a new article I have online at

    I think between Amy’s articles on Vitamin D at and my own article, you will find that the objections raised by Mark and others are answered. The more deeply I read the vitamin D literature and the more of the newer studies I read, the more support I find for Marshall’s approach.

    Other issues raised by Mark are addressed on the SynergyHN site articles, Amy’s site and the web sites connected to the Marshall Protocol:

    Numerous peer reviewed papers are cited at the above links.

    Joyce Waterhouse, PhD.

  52. Interesting query David. This from Joyce’s website

    “Dr. J.C. Waterhouse graduated from the University of California, Irvine, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor’s in Biology (much of it pre medical). Dr. Waterhouse received a Ph.D. in Systems Ecology with a minor in Statistics from U.T. Knoxville, did research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and published several papers in scientific journals before becoming ill with chronic fatigue and immune dysregulation syndrome (CFIDS or CFS), fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease, and has since spent nearly 20 years studying these and other illnesses.”


  53. Hello, I’m new to this forum and was wondering what Joyce has her PhD in. Also, has anyone read any books by Henry Scammell? And if so, do you think his treatment of RA would work on individuals with sarcoidosis?

  54. I would add that it is complicated by the fact that what illness one is diagnosed with seems to depend on the combination of bacteria one has acquired from the womb to the present. This is certain to differ among family members and contacts. So, one family member may be diagnosed with sarcoidosis and another with fibromyalgia and another with CFS. Another family member may stay pretty healthy, but just acquire heart disease and arthritis in their 60s and that is just attributed to aging. Those types of patterns are not studied much in epidemiology, but should be. There are numerous stories of family members with Th1 diseases of various sorts and often we know have multiple family members on the MP. The Chicago conference dealt with this issue ( )

    And then if one adds in the many years it may take to develop the illness, one can see how these patterns can be overlooked.

    It is interesting, too, that it seems like everywhere you look there is another study that finds higher rates of one disease among patients with another disease. One example is the link between depression and heart disease. Another is all the diseases they link with periodontal disease or obesity. On the MP, people find all these various conditions improving.

    If one thinks about it, this is extremely exciting. Most of us who have experienced this feel it. The mind boggles when one thinks of the suffering that could be relieved and the wasted money on palliative and extremely expensive treatments both for the U.S. economy and the world. Think about how politicians and business grapples with the looming crises of chronic disease as the baby boomers age and drugs get more and more expensive.

  55. Yes, you do have a point Gene, regarding infectiousness. That said, there are other diseases that are described as idiopathic, having no known cause, but of which the medical profession can be fairly certain that an infectious pathogen is not to blame on the basis of epidemiology. Although, as I typed that sentence it occurred to me that an illness caused by an L-form bacteria may have been caused by some infectious agent contracted much earlier, which shed its metaphorical skin and cell well to fester and cause the symptoms of the chronic illness towards which the MP armoury is aimed.


  56. When I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis the doctors assured me it wasn’t contagious. However, they also said they didn’t know what caused it. That made me skeptical because, if they didn’t know what caused it, how could they know if it was contagious or not? And, how did I contract the disease if it was not contagious.

    I have been on the Marshall Protocol almost two years and am convinced the science is sound. That said, I also believe Th1 illness is infection by bacteria. Thus, I would think it is also contagious between individuals.


  57. David,
    Of course, you are right that one needs to work with one’s doctor and both patient and doctor should study the protocol and follow it closely — free help and support can be obtained from the Marshall Protocol study site ( ). Certain blood tests should be monitored, particularly in people who are more ill or older.

    There is a two part article I wrote for “The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients” . It can be accessed online at:

    The first part is mainly on implementation and the second is more on the scientific background, with some data and brief case histories.

  58. Okay, point taken Joyce. The phrase “runs in families” usually implies a genetic link as opposed to a transmission between spouses via infectious transmission. I was perhaps being a little flippant in the centre of a serious discussion.

    Regarding those who participate in the MP, I presume collaboration with one’s GP is also recommended and that anyone intending to seek out this therapeutic approach is best advised to discuss it fully with the practitioner and with their GP.


  59. David,

    Of course, among those of us on the Marshall Protocol, we see things as running in families as often being due to sharing bacteria or having them passed down to us at birth or in the womb. Often a primary genetic role is assumed and not proven among diseases that seem to “run in families”. It is complicated by the ability of intracellular bacteria to induce mutations.

    I also want to add that one should not do just pieces of the Marshall Protcol or do any part of it without studying it carefully. Benicar has to be used in a certain way, at certain doses. It can greatly enhance the ability of antibiotics to kill bacteria and cause serious die-off reactions in some people (Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions). Even Benicar alone can have significant effects and should not be used casually.

    So, if anyone is interested, they should study Amy Proal’s site (, particularly the articles on how to do the protocol and the site .

  60. Rico, thanks for your thoughts on this. I am not sure about the connection between your spouse having the problem and it running in families though…unless you come from my part of the world where families really can get very close sometimes ;-)


  61. I’ve been on the Marshall Protocol for 16 months now. I had no diagnosis prior to starting the protocol but was having slowly progressive symptoms. I researched and came to the conclusion that perhaps I should also have my D-metabolites measured as Th1 disease seems to run in families (my spouse has a Th1 disease). Sure enough, my active 1,25D metabolite level was high.

    The protocol starts with Olmesartan for a week or two prior to starting any antibiotics (after stopping any intake of foods or supplements containing Vitamin D). When I awoke the morning after taking my first 40mg capsule of Olmesartan, I felt like I hadn’t in years! My leg soreness was completely gone, my mood issues were gone and my head was clear. I felt happy and positive like I hadn’t in many years. I felt like a big weight was taken off my chest.

    Till that point, I hadn’t realized the extent of my problems. I had attributed these issues to things like aging, lack of exercise, bad diet and personality traits all those years. This all happened without one antibiotic. As it so happens, Olmesartan has the effect of lowering the 1,25D level. I now know that this is what happened since my hormone levels were readjusting (this is a secosteroid hormone after all). I’ve eliminated Vitamin D from my diet for over 16 months now and I feel better than I have in years. There are hundreds (perhaps more?) of people with all sorts of diagnoses on this protocol all avoiding Vitamin D and from my knowledge, no one has perished or worsened as a result – in fact, most people appear to be getting relief, albeit many do have problems with immune responses, but that’s a known before one even starts the treatment. So, all this to demonstrate that there is more to this than just killing L-form bacteria with antibiotics – there is a definite link to the D-metabolites and “Vitamin D”. I know this because of what I experienced. Dr Marshall has definitely connected all the dots and it appears just about everyone who’s persisted with the protocol appreciates this.

  62. I was typing quickly before and my comments might have come off as overly harsh. The cpn treatment and the Roadback protocol are definitely on the right track and I’m very happy for patients who feel better because of these therapies. It’s possible that patients on these treatments may be killing some L-form bacteria. What I’m trying to make clear is that there are many, many species of L-form bacteria. Over 50 species of bacteria are now known to transform into the L-form and surely more will be discovered in the coming years. Some of these strains may be more virulent and difficult to kill that others and the only way that all strains will be targeted is if the patient’s immune system is functioning correctly. As previously discussed the 25-D obtained from supplements and excessive sun exposure starts to turn the innate immune system off. Consequently, it’s counterintuitive to try to kill L-form bacteria while taking supplements that decrease immune function. I also urge people to take the antibiotics specified by the Marshall Protocol. They have been carefully chose based on decades of research to most effectively target the widest range of L-form bacteria. I say this because I want all of you out there to reach the best state of health possible and to kill every single one of the pathogens making you sick. In a few days, there will be an article up on my website, that describes exactly how the MP antibiotics work.



  63. Amy –

    What both the MP people and the CPN people fail to realize is that to outsiders the 2 camps are diametrically opposed to each others scientific basis. Those of us struggling to understand the science behing both arguements get more of ‘our side only’ than non-rhetoric arguements.

    Yes, many Roadback people do decide to ‘go for the cure’ and move on to either the MP or the CPN protocols. We do realize that we are only ‘controlling’ the disease with antibiotics not entirely eradicating the L-forms.

    That being said – there are only a handful of MD’s in the country treating patients with EITHER protocol. It’s hard enough to find a rheumy willing to prescribe an approved DMARD like Minocin/Minocycline let alone an ‘advanced’ protocol like the MP or the CPN one.

    To non-APer’s reading this site – the place to start (no matter which protocol they later choose in the future) – is the Roadback. The value in a place like the Roadback is open discussion on the treatment of Autoimmune diseases with antibiotics. Which is NOT information they are getting from their doctors. Once they chose to ‘buck the system’ and start healing, once they realize that antibiotics work; once they learn how to manage a ‘herx’ – they then decide on whether or not to ‘go for the cure’ or two stay on a mild drug for the rest of their lives.


  64. David,

    The low 25-D is observed in patients with chronic disease is not causing the disease but a result of the disease process. The
    mechanisms by which L-form bacteria dysregulate the ability of the Vitamin D Receptor to correctly control the feedback pathways that
    keep 25-D in the correct range is discussed in great depth in section 3 of the following article:

    “The Truth About Vitamin D: 14 Reasons Why Misunderstanding Endures”

    To those of your on the Roadback protocol – I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better! However the antibiotics you are using will
    not allow you to kill all types of L-form bacteria. You will need to use all of the three antibiotic combinations used by the Marshall
    Protocol to target every species. Also, without using Benicar to activate the immune system, you will kill bacteria at a much slower
    rate than necessary, and some people may not be able to kill any bacteria at all. in a few days, I will be putting up a piece on my
    website that details exactly how the MP antibiotics work.



  65. Hi anonymous,

    I commend you for spreading the word that chlamydia pneumoniae is indeed a cell wall deficient pathogen that is involved in many chronic diseases. Lida Mattman certainly detected high levels of the chlamydia pneumoniae in patients with heart disease. However there are certainly many more species of cell wall deficient bacteria in patients ill will the chronic diseases you mention.

    But patients on cpn therapy are not effectively killing Chlamydia pneumonniae and other L-form bacteria if they are taking vitamin D. Please take a look at the video ‘Molecular Mechanisms Driving the Currently Epidemic of Chronic Disease” that David has posted in the first section of the article. It is commonly accepted that the Vitamin D Receptor controls the activity of the innate immune system and now, new models show that the precursor form of vitamin D (the steroid 25-D) binds and inactivates the receptor.

    Furthermore, L-form bacteria create proteins that bind and inactivate the Vitamin D Receptor. Patients on the Marshall Protocol take a medication that activates the receptor, allowing it to function despite these bacterial proteins and the presence of 25-D. Patients on the Marshall Protocol do not experience the immunopathology that results from killing L-form bacteria unless they are taking Benicar and not consuming vitamin D. Do patients on cpn deal with strong immunopathology? If not, they are not killing L-form bacteria and vitamin D and lack of a VDR agonist medication is likely to blame.

    But if you insist that patients on cpn therapy are killing L-form bacteria and healing while taking vitamin D, then can you please describe the molecular mechanisms that allow vitamin D to benefit the patient? Can you tell me which pathways vitamin D is affecting that would result in enhanced health? Can you please give me any specific data on exactly how vitamin D elicits its supposed beneficial effects? I would be very interested to know this information so that I could compare it with Marshall’s molecular models and the work of many other researchers who are elucidating the actions of the Vitamin D Receptor.


  66. Thanks for the input Frans, which appears to address the point raised by an earlier Anonymous correspondent.


  67. For readers who are not aware of the details of Palindromic Rheumatism – “Palindromic rheumatism is characterized by sudden and recurrent attacks of painful swelling of the joints and surrounding tissues. Attacks may last for several days or just a few hours. Between attacks, pain and swelling completely disappear.” (SOURCE: Mayo Clinic)

  68. David, I will respond in short about vitamin D and its proclaimed beneficial effects. Amy or Dr Marshall will probably respond in kind.

    The whole issue is based on a misconception.

    The research into the vitamin D Receptor regarding cancer entirely focuses on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is the right thing to do, since 1,25D is actually the only form of vitamin D that activates the vitamin D receptor. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) indeed transcribes genes that are associated with proliferation and differentiation.

    The problem is that these research groups talk about vit. D instead of 1,25D. If you look at pubmed and type in ‘cancer dihydroxyvitamin’ (without quotes), you will see what I mean.

    There is therefore an extremely important discrepancy between what researchers who are looking at the VDR understand under vit. D and what the public, but also e.g. epidemiologists perceive as vitamin D.

    The vitamin D that we take in vitamin pills, is not the one activating the receptor. In fact, when levels of vitamin D rise, you get competition for the VDR, ultimately resulting in totally shutting down this receptor.

    You might want to look over the presentation which you have just put online where Dr Marshall explains the intricacies of the VDR in detail. The transcript is downloadable here:

    You might be extremely interested in looking over the Ki and Kd values of 1,25D and 25D in the following document. These are slides Dr Marshall presented at the FDA last year.

    The slides are the top two on page 4.

    Hope this helps…

    Sincerely, Frans (The Netherlands)

    BTW Here in Holland we start supplementing vit. D to children starting at birth…

  69. I wanted to add my voice to these comments. Like Pip, I have been diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatism. When reading what this meant I could not believe the hopelessness that overtook me. Here was a disease that doctors did not seem to know anything about. No one knew what the cause, the prognosis, or any real treatment. It was a nightmare! Fortunately for me I did not sit in my hopelessness. I found the Road Back Foundation and began antibiotic therapy. Six months later my symptoms have receded and my blood tests had improved dramatically! I do not think the infectious theory is in any way a “simple” answer, and antibiotics are not a panacea for everything that ails us, but it certainly deserves more research attention. I can’t help but think that some of these diseases, if caught early and treated aggressively, could be defeated.

  70. Hey David –

    My bad! I forgot to mention I’m darn near remission (stupid RF is still sky high, all my other markers are now NORMAL!). I’m so much better hubby is making me go get a job! LOL


  71. Sorry to hear about your troubles Pip. The issue of off-patent and unpatentable medications is certainly topical. I am currently investigating the background to a small molecule for which significant anticancer claims have been made but for which there is no financial backing because this compound is unpatentable.


  72. After 3 separate attacks 6 months apart I was diagnosed with extrememly rare Palindromic RA in March of ’06. I went from ‘only’ excruciating pain to being on a walker at night 4 months later to having to use a wheelchair 3X in the 5th month after diagnosis. My ‘early onset severe’ diagnosis devastated my life – I could no longer work and take care of my then 5 year old daughter or husband.

    The Roadback Foundation saved my life by helping me learn and work through the Antibiotic Protocol which was developed by Dr. Thomas MacPherson Brown and used to successfully treat over 10,000 patients.

    Dr. Gary Marshall’s Nobel Prize winning research into H. Pylori shows the struggle we have getting traditional medicine to recognize the validity of research into the infectious etiology of chronic disease. Twenty-five years after his discovery AND getting the Nobel Prize and STILL only 46% of gastro MD’s routinely prescribe antibiotics for H. Pylori.

    An American College of Rheumatology approved DMARD has little chance of widespread use by rheumatologists when use of biologics has such a financial incentive on the office bottom line. What chance does an off-patent drug drug have?


  73. Anonymous thanks for pointing out that other antibiotics work on chronic illness. Personally, I did have some reservations about claims that vitamin D must be eliminated, particularly given the results of other work that suggest vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for certain forms of cancer. Dr Marshall or Amy Proal may be able to respond to this point here.


  74. There is some mis-information in this report which claims that only people not taking vitamin D recover from chronic illness. Many patients are having success in eliminating cell-wall deficient bacteria and recovering their health with a protocol that includes antibiotics and vitamin D as well as other supplements. It is a treatment aimed specifically at chlamydia pneumoniae in multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome/ ME/ fibromyalgia, see
    The research has been conducted at Vanderbilt University, see this site for details and patient reports…….

  75. I just wanted to add that L-form bacteria are more than a “notion.” They are also known as cell wall deficient bacterial forms and there is an excellent scientific textbook on them by Lida Mattman, PhD. Amy also has several articles covering research on these bacterial forms. Dozens of scientists have researched them for decades (see for some articles on them and links). Some of the CWD forms targeted by the MP are also well-known species, such as Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma, which are naturally cell wall deficient and are intracellular parasites.

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