Overselling the microbiome award #2: The Marshall Protocol

Wow - until I started sniffing around actively, I never realized how much crap was out there in regard to the microbiome.  But there is so so much.  Certainly, the human microbiome (the microbes that live in and on people) is more important than people used to think.  The microbes in and on us show some interesting correlations relative to disease and health states.  And almost certainly changes in the microbiome likely cause some alterations in health state.  Recent studies on fecal transplants, for example, suggest even that altering the microbiome is both possible and could be helpful in some cases.  But we are really early in the work here.

But right now, for many health and disease states
(1) we don't know if the altered microbiome is a cause or an effect or not related at all and
(2) even if there were a causal relationship between microbes and various health/disease states, there will also be enormous complexities relating to history and genes that will be very hard to sort out
(3) even if we knew a causal relationship this would not mean we would know how to change the trajectory (e.g., what microbes are there) in a useful way

Because there is so much iffy stuff out there relating to the microbiome and because some are starting to use studies of the microbiome to indirectly lend credence to their crap, I have decided to start giving out an "Overselling the microbiome award". I gave out the first one a few days ago: Overselling the microbiome award: Stephen Barrie on pre and probiotics at the Huffington Post

Interesting, Barrie posted a comment on the blog trying to defend his post, but I was not convinced.  I think he did not understand my point about correlation vs. causation but am not sure.

Anyway, after I wrote the response to Barrie I looked around the web for others using the term microbiome in what seemed to be unsavory ways.  And I found a really painful one.  This is something called the "Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base."  This so called knowledge base is a web site set up to promote, you guessed it, the Marshall Protocol.  The Marshall Protocol is "a curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease."  In turn this protocol is based on the Marshall Pathogenesis which is "A description for how chronic inflammatory diseases originate and develop."  It follows that this Marshall Pathogenesis "posits that chronic diseases (termed Th1 illnesses), are the result of infection by an intraphagocytic, metagenomic microbiota of chronic bacterial forms that are often referred to as the Th1 pathogens."  I have read the last sentence dozens of times and I still do not know what it means.  What is a metagenomic microbiota?  I just do not know.

Anyway, I am sure everyone will be shocked to find out that the Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base, the Marshall Protocol and the Marshall Parthogenesis are being promoted by someone named, well, Marshall (Trevor Marshall) who seems to be the head of the Autoimmunity Research Foundation which is the place promoting the Marshall Ps (I swear, I will not call it the Marshall Plan, I will not, I will not).

Based upon what appears to be little if any actual published research, the Marshall Protocol promotes the treatment of all sorts of ailments with in essence long term
high dose
cocktail of multiple antibiotics at apparently low dosage and a long term attempt to alter Vitamin D levels by treating in part with very high doses of a drug called olmesartan.  Among the ailments that this protocol is claimed to help are Crohn's, Type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease, and many many more.  (I note they say "The Phase II clinical trial conducted from 2002-2008 by the Autoimmunity Research Foundation has demonstrated applicability of this antibacterial therapy to a wide range of chronic Th1 immune illnesses " and then cite a powerpoint presentation).

I could go on and on.  But it seems clear to me that they are both making mistaken claims about what we know about the effect of microbes on health as well as making almost absurd claims about how one treatment system can cure a series of diseases by fixing ones microbial content.  Note I am NOT saying microbes have no connection to these ailments - studies are supporting the microbial diversity in people with these ailments is different than in people w/o the ailments.  Nor am I saying that Vitamin D is unimportant.  In fact, it is becoming clear that Vitamin D is much MORE important than people realized.  But importance alas, is different that saying we know exactly WTF is going on.  And certainly the treatment outlined by the MP folks here is not as far as I can tell supported by any evidence of effectiveness not is it obvious how it connects to scientific knowledge about microbes and vitamin D.

Fortunately, others have taken on the MP folks here and have written about how it appears to be a scam of sorts, and a potentially dangerous one at that.  See for example:
I know, there are lots of medical scams out there.  But this is the first one I have seen discussing metagenomics and the microbiome. And for that, I am giving the Marshall Protocol and the folks behind it, my second "Overselling the microbiome award".

UPDATE 7/18/2012 - some stories worth looking at

94 comments:

  1. I lump this guy with other quacks, such as those who promote the false idea that vaccines cause autism. These are the snake oil salesmen of the internet age. While most can be ignored, many play on the fears or desperation of those with chronic diseases that have no real cure. My mother is one example. She suffers from recurring/remitting MS, although it's now simply unrelenting. Because she's pretty much exhausted all other therapies, it becomes very easy for her to find stuff like what this Marshall promotes, and wonder if it might help her.

    So while I agree and appreciate your "overselling the microbiome award", I also tend to feel that these guys are borderline criminal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,

      Yes Marshall really overstates stuff. But no matter what crap he states the fact is this type of therapy does work for many and there are others out there effectively using the therapy. I am one, this type of therapy may or may not help MS, but my doctor when I introduced this type of therapy looked at it seriously and was willing to put me on it because she felt that if carefully monitored it would do me no harm, and my doctor has been really pleased with my improvements.

      Delete
  2. absolutely right - i started this series as imagining I would just find overselling -- instead I found carnival hucksters, scam artists and borderline criminals

    ReplyDelete
  3. The antibiotics are used in low doses only. The hypotheses is to slowly restore innate immune system competence primarily with the aid of a VDR agonist thus allowing the host to sort out it's microbial content rather than doing it with direct brute intervention with high dose antibiotics.
    The science is still terribly lacking, and Trevor Marshall has discussed the problem of orders of complexity relating the human microbiome with chronic disease states.
    I'm not sure if this one should get shit-canned so quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks bannock eater - i meant to say high doses of olmesartan not antibiotics and have corrected that - the apparently low doses of antibiotics are still a concern to me but many are more concerned about the olmesartan at 4-5 times the recommended dosage

    I note that despite your statement that Marshall has commented about the complexity, they still claim to have effectiveness against all of those diseases, yet they have yet to publish any evidence of that - still smelly like a scam to me

    ReplyDelete
  5. My brother had Rhumatoid(spelling?) arthritis to the point he could barely get out of bed! He has been on the Marshall protocal for several years and he is now back to work and has very few symptoms now! I can promose everyone that there is something to this other than a "scam". There is really no money being made by anyone. it's just people trying to help others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi,

      Send some objective evidence to prove these claims. I am a GMC-UK registered medical practitioner, specialise in my speciality, working for some 17 years now & i have not seen any proveable, objective evidence to this 'marshall-protocol' with an angiotensin-2 blocker. I have prescribed AT-2 receptor blockers for several years without any measure of immune-modulation in my patients. In all fairness VDR acts on some 900 human genes incld. cathelocidins but does AT-2 blockers partially agonise VDR has never been proven and even if it does, how does it convert into clinical effect are questions still on the table. So, Mr. Marshall's protocol need to undergo clinical trial before it should be dished out. In all fairness, mankind are not guinea pigs.

      Delete
  6. My brother had Rhumatoid(spelling?) arthritis to the point he could barely get out of bed! He has been on the Marshall protocal for several years and he is now back to work and has very few symptoms now! I can promose everyone that there is something to this other than a "scam". There is really no money being made by anyone. it's just people trying to help others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Steve

    I appreciate the comment and accept that many people think the MP helps them. But anecdotal stories like this are not evidence ... since many other things could have affected your brother's health status, including a placebo effects. What I am looking for is any evidence that the MP works for the large array of health issues the supporters claim it does. I do not see really any such evidence. Given that there are many known and theoretical ris,s to the MP, I believe promoting it so strongly is a very very bad idea.

    As for a scam, I agree it does not seem to be a money making scam. But there are lots of other kinds of practices that are deceptive even if they do not go for money and even if they practitioners are trying to help. the MP supporters here as far as I can tell do seem to care. They also make repeated overstatements of the known proven benefits of the MP. Call it whatever you want, but they need to clean up their act.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I understand your point, but trust me when i say that mt brother was bed ridden! I has been nothing short of a miracle what has happened to him on the MP. I have Ulcerative Colitis and it has been getting worse. I'm strongly considering doing the MP. My brothers doc wo wants to remain unknown due to the fact the MP isn't standard practice is absolutely blown away at my brothers recovery. I am serious! I's amazing. M whole family thought he was crazy at first, but now my siser who had Fibro is doing it and she has already begun to see the effects. I is true that these autoimmune diseases run in families as my brother has Arthritis, My older sister has MS, my Youngest sister has Fibro, and I have Ulcerative Colitis.There is no Placibo effect on my brother.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I also believe that the reason there hasn't been much follow up on this by research groups or whomever it would take to make this thing take off is because there isn't much money to be made because it doesn't involve any new drug. The drugs used have been around and are very cheap. thats just my opinion.If there isn't money to be made, drug companies or whomever aren't interested. Thats just the world we live in.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is one reason I am sure but private funding was offered to Trevor Marshall.
      I heard him speak at the FDA hearing. They are refusing to let the new pure form of the drug cross the border for testing. Now sue me but....shouldn't the protocol, or any protocol, be allowed by the FDA to be tested?

      There is one statement in the above article I I felt was not correct. The protocol used by Dr. Marshall in its original form causes the body to become
      extra sensitive to antibiotics. Therefore you take very small doses to avoid any harm. Is this a bad thing> And wouldn't it be interesting to find out why this occurs? Also there is no cocktail of multi antibiotic, it is just one depending on the person's doctor-monitored reaction. In addition it is currently stated on the protocol.s site that antibiotics are not necessary at all in many cases.
      I am going to send this link to Dr. Marshall for comment along with my response attempt because, I am sure both have some inaccuracies.

      Delete
    2. Stick to your guns Steve I have met several people who were helped by the MP.

      Delete
  10. Just wondering why my other two replies werent posted. Thx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry Steve

    Blogger SPAM blocker flagged your comments and I missed that --- they are now there

    ReplyDelete
  12. I guess I should have proof read my comments! LOL I notice alot of typos!.......

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Jonathan,
    I think you have not understood the Marshall disease model.
    It is the first comprehensive disease model to take into account the fact that of our human body 10% is of human and 90% of bacterial origin. All other disease models (even new ones) just neglect 90% of the 'team mates'.
    I imagine you, too, think that there has been a co-evolution of men and microbiota? Thus the next step to think that microbiota do exploit the human metobolism and vice versa is just a logical one.
    There is high evidence that chronic diseases of which the causes could not yet be explained (inspite of millions and millions of dollars of research which usually has neglected 90% of the humand body regarding DNA) may be caused by an increasing amount of microbiota over lifetime. Since new technology enables researchers to find microbiota via their DNA the Marshall thesis is supported every day by new studies.

    According to the Marshall disease model the therapy (the Marshall Protocol) supports the innate immune system via activating the VDR (Vitamin D receptor which plays a pivotal role) with olmesartan.
    The amount of people having started the MP and show enormous improvements (me included) comply to a phase 2 clinical trial. Trevor Marshall and all interested in the MP wish for an official phase 3 trial. But this costs money. As the MP uses already known drugs there is no big business in the MP for the pharma industry. YOu can be sure if there was a new drug the MP would have been an approven therapy for several years!! Money makes a world go round.

    So, if you want to prove the MP wrong, please give a donation to the Autoimmun Research Foundation which supports the MP to make a big trial more possible.
    When it is proven wrong you will have saved many, if it is proven right (I am sure about that) you will have helped a lot!

    Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I and my wife are doing the MP. She for 4 months and I for 18 months. She suffers from many problems including frequent Migraine headaches and several other problems including food senitivities, aching body, mild chronic fatique and other things. She has not had but one migraine since she started the MP 4 months ago (after crying for 2 hours one night) Much of the aching body goes and comes depending on the drug doses. My skin rashes have gone away for the most parts, my sleeping has not been better in 20 years,and more. I personally know 5 other people that are on the MP and all are recovering from serious chronic illness. Some are getting out of bed and even working for the first time in years. There are 1000s of people doing the MP and posting thier histories/blogs of progress on the MP website. Most are, for the first time, in getting releif from their chronic illnesses.

    The biggest issue is to get doctors over the fear of the high doses of Olmesartan. One can read the info found on the on MP website, the web and Cipla website to see that it is perfectly safe in high doses.

    I spoke with a customer of mine last week that has studied Vitamin D for the last 8 years. To make a long story very short Dr. Stender said that she had concerns about the MP but could see the possiblity of the protocol working. Vitamin D is a steroid and she said, "We really do not know much about what vitamin D does", Yet doctors want to give high doses of it to patients.
    Sure there needs to be a lot of research done but until MP can come up with a hundred million dollars to prove their hypothesis in a way that scientist around the world will accept, we will just continue to be cured the best way we have found. Every person on the MP has first gone to every doctor possible that could help them with no results in terms a cure for their illness. Only drugs are given to treat symtoms for the most part. These people desperate for help and they are getting it from the MP. If you are going to "Bash" and call it a scam then please do so with more understand of what it is and how it works. Just because the scientific community does not UNDERSTAND it that does not make it a scam. No one is making money from the MP and that is the first definition of any scam! This man, Trevor Marshall, is helping people help themselves since they cannot get it anywhere else. There is so much more I would like to say what you get my point!! Blake

    ReplyDelete
  15. Blake

    I am completely open to things the scientific community does not understand - I am open to the possibility of all sorts of "alternative" medicine practices being useful and I even use some myself. My issue with the MP is the attempt by the supporters of it to overstate the evidence that it works. Certainly, many people think it works. But that is different that showing/proving it works. And on the MP site and in many forums, the MP supporters make claims implying more evidence than exists. When people overstate evidence for a medical treatment such as this, I get very worried. It suggests either purposeful deception or lack of understanding of science. Either one has potential to be dangerous.

    Again, I am not saying MP cannot work. I am saying that I have yet to see any evidence that it works. Just because some people on MP improve does not mean it works - there are factors such as the placebo effect and sampling bias that need to be considered. For example, without data and clinical studies, it is hard to know how many people have started the MP and how many show no improvement. Testimonials from people who think it works are not enough. And the MP people seem disinclined to state the current state of knowledge, which seems to me to be that we just don't know if this works for real.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I guess I do not understand how I can say 6 out of 6 people I know have basically "come back from the dead" and you say I have seen no evidence that it works. You need to go to the website and read the history over years of people posting how they are being healed from illnesses that are not curable. These are not placebo affects. The percentages are never this high especially on uncurable diseases. Trevor openly admitted yesterday, on video, that we are just beginning to understand how this works and all the different pathways that are open to investigate. Please, most people trying this have given modern mainstream medicine every opportunity to help them and all they get are more drugs. Please don't discourage the hopeless sick people out there from trying this. There are no other options except a life of pain and suffering. Thx. Blake

    ReplyDelete
  17. The MP has given data which show its success which would meet a phase 2 trial. Phase 3 trials are needed and for this money is needed.
    The Marshall Disease Model has a profound scientific basis.
    Jonathan, you repeat your former statements that without those
    phase 3 trials something is missing. Randomised trials might be no problem but blinded is not possible regarding the kind of therapy. These are themes specialists for trial design have to think about.
    Nevertheless, a a responsible scientist should have informed himself thouroughly about the available data (www.mpkb.org) before he tries to discourage others.

    Meanwhile the book 'The Metagenome of the Human Body' has been published, edited by Karen E. Nelson from the Craig-Venter-Institute. Trevor Marshall has written the chapter regarding autoimmune diseases. I, naively, just imagine, that Karen E. Nelson did not fall for fairy tales?

    Wish you all the best,
    Roswitha

    ReplyDelete
  18. Blake and Roswitha- sorry - I am not convinced by this "evidence". Testimonials are great and you can encourage people to participate. But I would like to see some sort of study where comprehensive data is presented and where careful controls are done. As for a book chapter - that does not really make any difference. The MP supporters need to conduct and publish a series of clinical studies testing how well the protocol works, comparing its effectiveness to other treatments and to placebo, and such. I have yet to see any such studies published. Given the misleading claims I have seen made by some MP supporters and on the MP site, I therefore remain unconvinced that the MP works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there is something to the MP because I'm severely vitamin d deficient and when i was prescribed some, it is making me worst. I tried researching stories of people being on vitamin D and found a link. When I read the comments it seemed that they weren't getting better but getting worse. I think there is something about the VDR getting suppressed by vitamin d as Trevor Marshall has mentioned and avoiding vitamin d so that the VDR can work to help the immune system might be plausible. Vitamin D deficiency is related to many diseases... but what if this indicates that low Vitamin D points to disease? and it is the disease process to help the VDR from being suppressed so that the VDR can fight diseases. People that are taking vitamin D seem to be getting worst not better. Vitamin d deficiency has been linked to thyroid problems, chronic fatigue, hair loss, bone problems etc. But how come supplementation is not helping people but hurting them? Just look up in google "vitamin D makes me feel sick/ worst". http://www.medhelp.org/posts/recovery-after-vitamin-D-deficiency/Skin-symptoms-and-success-stories/show/1419232

      Delete
    2. I think there is something to the MP because I'm severely vitamin d deficient and when i was prescribed some, it is making me worst. I tried researching stories of people being on vitamin D and found a link. When I read the comments it seemed that they weren't getting better but getting worse. I think there is something about the VDR getting suppressed by vitamin d as Trevor Marshall has mentioned and avoiding vitamin d so that the VDR can work to help the immune system might be plausible. Vitamin D deficiency is related to many diseases... but what if this indicates that low Vitamin D points to disease? and it is the disease process to help the VDR from being suppressed so that the VDR can fight diseases. People that are taking vitamin D seem to be getting worst not better. Vitamin d deficiency has been linked to thyroid problems, chronic fatigue, hair loss, bone problems etc. But how come supplementation is not helping people but hurting them? Just look up in google "vitamin D makes me feel sick/ worst". http://www.medhelp.org/posts/recovery-after-vitamin-D-deficiency/Skin-symptoms-and-success-stories/show/1419232

      Delete
  19. this will be my last post on this. All I am asking is that you please stop posting (no offense meant) in ignorance, things that would discourage someone from trying the MP.

    At some point after so many people are cured and none killed you have to say it works. The system here in the USA is set up for super rich companies to get approval. There simply will never be enough money to run FDA trials because no one can make money off of the MP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I wonder if you have a chronic condition? I have and have been on antibiotic therapy for three years not Marshall Protocol. It has done wonders for me as a Sarcoidosis patient. It may be just my story but I know lots of others have the same story. I am far form 100% well but am a darn site better than I was before I started. I think people like you are very damaging and short sighted. Even the Cleveland Clinic states 'However, some types of bacteria have recently emerged as possible candidates and continue to be closely studied.' Maybe you could be more productive by tackling this in another way and proving it does not work. Good luck on that score too

      Delete
  20. Dr. Denise Faustman and the Mass. General Laboratory can't even get funding for her trials, from pharmaceutical corporations, with the BCG to [possibly] cure diabetes, because the drug is non-patentable.

    It takes 1 billion dollars to bring a new drug to market and those companies need revenue. That revenue comes from patentable drugs.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Christopher - I don't really follow. How does Dr. Faustman's work connect to the Marshall Plan?

    ReplyDelete
  22. For those of you who do NOT think that Dr. Marshall of the MP is a scam artist, consider this. He is not a medical doc and while he now says he is a PhD in bio-engeneering, actually he holds Ph.D. qualification issued by the University of Western Australia, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Also, his "foundation" is not a foundation but an incorporated, and readily accepts donations which are used for undisclosed purposes. He also has been applying for grants for his "foundation" (we're talking to the tune of 1/4 mill!. This is of course in addition to the websites he has where he is selling stuff! I would like to see his portfolio and see if that BP med he keeps pushing is part of it!! He also uses litigation threats to shut down any post or group (including yahoo groups) that dare speak out against him. That to me sounds like the actions of someone running a scam, or at least someone suffering from egomania, not a legit HEALTH PROFESSIONAL who is helping poor suffering people out of the goodness of his own heart. Have you read some of his posts? If someone has the audacity to question him he is arrogant and rude and snarky to them... and this is on his own website! - where he professes to be Dr. M. implying that he is a medical professional when he is very much not!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Erica
    First, how should Dr. Marshall sign his name that would make you happy?  Something like Dr. Marshall Not MD but PhD. 

    There are so many things I could say to you as a person that has been on the MP for 3 years but I will limit myself to just a few.  First, you speak with so much foolishness and ignorance that it is hard to have an intelligent conversation. The issue here is not whether Trevor Marshall is a MD or how he speaks to the cohort when they ask him questions. The issue is, "Does the Marshall Protocol work?". That is the first and really the only thing that matters. I personally know 8 people here in Memphis that have seen every medical doctor that they could possibly see to get help with their chronic illnesses with no results other than what steroids can do for a person.  With the Mp they are getting well and feel better than they have in at least 10 years. One lady one has been sick and in bed for 15 years. She is now getting ready to start a job!!  My wife has not had a migraine for 15 months and used to suffer from them almost daily. Several have so many illnesses that I cannot list them all, mental and physical. A scam is where someone lies and deceives and makes money off the victims. Dr Marshall takes donations from the people that want to support what he is doing because they are getting better. I just received my first email in 3 years asking for support in order to receive match of a $50k grant.  Stop reading about the MP from critics and go read what the science is and what the patients say that are on the MP! The treatment was published in a publication of Nature.com called Cellular and Molecular Immunology. Craig Venter, (who is considered by TIME MAGAZINE to be one of the 50 most important scientists in history, credited with unlocking the Human genome and started the CRAIG VENTER INSTITUTE) asked Dr Marshall to write a chapter in this book titled THE METAGENOME AND THE HUMANE BODY. Dr Marshall may not be a MD but that does not mean that he is a scam-artist, quack or deceiving thousands of sick people that report in their blogs that they are getting better after being on the MP for a few years. Everyone of them has seen Medical Doctors for decades and only now are getting better. 

    In my 55 years I have seen the "practice of medicine" become just that MEDICINE!! give the patient more medicine and forget the cure....Pharmaceutical drugs  have influenced at best and corrupted at worst, the practice of medicine. You should not go around pontificating about things which you obviously know nothing about. 

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jonathan - I found your blog post as a result of a recent curiosity I developed in researching scams. And let me tell you - just in case you're still on the fence about it - everything written on the marshall plan just reeks of pseudoscience. In terms of shakiness of evidence and duplicitous, hype-generating marketing tactics I'd group it right there with the "sea salt cured my lyme disease" people.

    I'm writing because I want to say that while it is commendable that you're engaging in open debate with these so called proponents of the MP, I've noticed that it is a very common thing for internet scam artists to make fake accounts to comment on articles criticizing their scams as such and offering tons of anecdotal and unsupported "evidence" for why the criticism is wrong.

    This is just an FYI in case you've taken the criticisms in this thread to heart. And to parhprase Blake - "All I am asking is that you please stop posting your honest opinion that would discourage someone from trying the MP."

    Because as someone with no experience in the medical field it is very good for me - and for anyone else who googles "Marshall Plan" after reading their website and having their bullshit radar pick up that's something's amiss - to find posts like yours that offer their views and analysis on the subject.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the perils of googling and not discovering criticisms of the MP is largely why I wrote this post ...

      Delete
  25. Jonathan - I found your blog post as a result of a recent curiosity I developed in researching scams. And let me tell you - just in case you're still on the fence about it - everything written on the marshall plan just reeks of pseudoscience. In terms of shakiness of evidence and duplicitous, hype-generating marketing tactics I'd group it right there with the "sea salt cured my lyme disease" people.

    I'm writing because I want to say that while it is commendable that you're engaging in open debate with these so called proponents of the MP, I've noticed that it is a very common thing for internet scam artists to make fake accounts to comment on articles criticizing their scams as such and offering tons of anecdotal and unsupported "evidence" for why the criticism is wrong.

    This is just an FYI in case you've taken the criticisms in this thread to heart. And to parhprase Blake - "All I am asking is that you please stop posting your honest opinion that would discourage someone from trying the MP."

    Because as someone with no experience in the medical field it is very good for me - and for anyone else who googles "Marshall Plan" after reading their website and having their bullshit radar pick up that's something's amiss - to find posts like yours that offer their views and analysis on the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Kefa, Does being published in a journal of Nature Publishing Group give any credence to the MP? 'Cellular & Molecular Immunology' would be where one would find the peer viewed article. 10 Dec 2010, published first online: 31 Jan 2011. To call this a scam shows me that you are a scammer, not Trevor. You are the one that does not do his homework before you write trash on the IN. Maybe you work for some of the pharmaceutical companies that stand to loose big if this treatment ever became popular.

    Do you know who Craig Venter is? He may be the most famous geneticist in the world. If not, he is probably most famous for mapping the human genome in the year 2000. If not you might want to research it. Dr. Karen Nelson PhD is the Director of the Rockville Campus of the JCVI where she has worked for the past 15 years. She edited a book that is call Metagenomics of the Human Body. For more info follow the link. http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/knelson/ She asked Trevor Marshall and his team to write a chapter in their latest book about his discoveries while developing the Marshall Protocol, not the Marshall Plan which took place after WW2. The Chapter is call, Autoimmune disease and the human metagenome. Look it up if you truly care about understanding what you write about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously? Having a "peer reviewed" publication is not proof that something is sound. Peer review is a very very very simple filter - a low bar. See Stop Deifying Peer Review for a discussion of this. One has to read the papers themselves and also see how other people respond to the papers to have any idea whether what is in a paper is sound.

      As for having a chapter published in a book edited by someone from the JCVI -- seriously? That is the bar you are setting? Book chapters are generally not even peer reviewed so that is an even lower bar.

      How about presenting actual evidence that the MP has any effectiveness? How about - rather than review papers and commentaries the proponents of the MP could actually present some detailed data in some papers? Or maybe do a clinical trial?

      Delete
  27. Kefa, Does being published in a journal of Nature Publishing Group give any credence to the MP? 'Cellular & Molecular Immunology' would be where one would find the peer viewed article. 10 Dec 2010, published first online: 31 Jan 2011. To call this a scam shows me that you are a scammer, not Trevor. You are the one that does not do his homework before you write trash on the IN. Maybe you work for some of the pharmaceutical companies that stand to loose big if this treatment ever became popular.

    Do you know who Craig Venter is? He may be the most famous geneticist in the world. If not, he is probably most famous for mapping the human genome in the year 2000. If not you might want to research it. Dr. Karen Nelson PhD is the Director of the Rockville Campus of the JCVI where she has worked for the past 15 years. She edited a book that is call Metagenomics of the Human Body. For more info follow the link. http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/knelson/ She asked Trevor Marshall and his team to write a chapter in their latest book about his discoveries while developing the Marshall Protocol, not the Marshall Plan which took place after WW2. The Chapter is call, Autoimmune disease and the human metagenome. Look it up if you truly care about understanding what you write about.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I want to add also that my mom is also vitamin D deficient and when she took the supplement as directed by her doctor, she broke out in disgusting zits that she never had before. It was so gross. I looked up online that other people where having the same problem. Vitamin D making me sick, tired, sleepy, breakout, etc. If vitamin D deficiency is linked to a host of diseases why are we getting sicker with supplementation? I'm thinking that for people that have disease there might be really something to our bodies lowering the vitamin d so that the Vitamin D receptors can work for our immune system. They were saying that the VDR is responsible for over 2000 gene expression and to fight disease. I'm not on the MP, but I'm open to it. I'll let you know what happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda

      When you say "Vitamin D making me sick, tired, sleepy, breakout, etc." that is one person's anecdotal story. And even the googling around the web to find discussions of what people think Vit D does to them is still anecdotal. We need to have more than just anecdotes but actual scientific studies. Note - I am not saying Vit D is a good thing - I don't know - it is not my area. But as far as I can tell most/all of the claims of the people supporting the MP are still without scientific support.

      Delete
    2. Jonathan, There will never be any "scientific support" because there is no money to be made. Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever, but thats just the world we live in. I have witnessed the MP work on my Brother, and thats good enough for me.

      Delete
    3. Jonathan, There will never be any "scientific support" because there is no money to be made! Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever, but thats just the sad world we live in. The only proof i need is watching my brother go from being completely bed ridden with R arthritis to working and living a normal life.

      Delete
    4. Steve

      I am very sympathetic to those suffering chronic illnesses like your brother. I know many who have been through such things and it is awful. And it is wonderful that he is doing better. But though you may believe the MP is what cured him, that is simply not enough evidence for me. There are many other possible explanations such as the placebo effect and that he got better for some other reason and that the MP was unconnected to it. And thus there needs to be careful research into treatments that go beyond stories like yours.

      As for whether there is enough money available to do such studies I think there could be if there was more out there on case studies about the MP. A case sturdy / case report does not require 100s of millions of dollars to publish. There are simple presentations of cases describing patients, treatments, and outcomes so that others can at least have a summary of the details behind stories like the one you describe for your brother.

      The medical literature is filled with 1000s and 1000s of case reports involving single patients. There are even journals deduced to publishing medical case reports. It does not cost millions of dollars to write up one of these reports. It takes a bit of time of the MDs treating someone but usually not much more. There are case reports out there about every frigging topic one can imagine.

      So I ask - where are the case reports for all of these apparently successful uses of the MP? I am not saying having case reports would prove the effectiveness of the MP but at least that would give people something to examine in more detail. And then, over time, if the MP really worked, one would see more and more case reports.

      While one can argue that pharma companies might not be interested in some treatments I think medical professionals want to help their patients (generally). So where are all the case reports from these medical personnel making use of the MP? As far as I can tell there is one published paper with some case reports from some of the proponents of the MP hidden in a paper entitled "Immunostimulation in the era of the metagenome" which clearly does not seem to be focused on case reports.

      I could go on and on, but I won't Again, I am thrilled your brother has recovered. But, call me a conspiracy theorist or a skeptic but I see no reason or evidence to believe the MP had anything to do with it or has actually helped anyone else.

      Delete
    5. Sorry you talk such nonsense. Get in the real world. - I think medical professionals want to help their patients (generally). Most medics have no idea about Sarcoidosis. That's why I did my own research and decided to give this treatment a go as main stream medicine had failed me.

      Delete
  29. Oh yeah sorry I forgot to mention both my mom and I have problems with Hypothyroidism. She's on synthroid right now. I don't want to take any hormone yet as I heard that you'll be on it for life after you start. I'm having problems with joint pain, gout, mood swings, depression, and weight gain. I was on anxiety meds and stopped because I just don't want to take it anymore. So yeah like I said I'll update after the protocol if I can somehow get on it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. So what you are saying is this...unless a company spends $50-$100 million to prove that something is valid then it is just bad science??? Therefore you rule out everything that someone may discover that is not worth a billion dollars to justify spend a $100 million. This is why medicine is run by only the rich and the pharmaceutical companies. A cure for some disease that is cheap is considered junk or as you put it, a scam. (BTW you need to look up the definition of a scam. The MP has no markings of a scam. No money is involved!) I was involved with a start-up pharmaceutical company here in Memphis called Greystone that got a drug approved, It was done with much less evidence than the MP has an much less science. I watched from the inside as they even talk 3M into licensing the drug. The drug work and it was approved without any real evidence that it worked. there were no double blind studies etc. Everything was anecdotal evidence. If the public knew what I know about the process of getting a drug approved the would be suspect of the whole process of drugs being approved for medical use. It is all about how the
    "Science" is packaged and delivered, not about the true facts of the drug. The MP is fantastic and your blog is the real scam going on here.

    ReplyDelete
  31. BTY
    The paper in Cellular and Molecular immunology has several case studies that were done and noted in the paper.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Why would he let his director publish something like this book I mentioned? She asked Marshall to write one of the chapters in the book to back up their findings. The double blind method in order to prove something like this is a joke and it you don't agree it just shows your shallowness of thinking. It is quite sad to see someone like you fighting for the pharmaceutical companies BS.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Why would he let his director publish something like this book I mentioned? She asked Marshall to write one of the chapters in the book to back up their findings. The double blind method in order to prove something like this is a joke and it you don't agree it just shows your shallowness of thinking. It is quite sad to see someone like you fighting for the pharmaceutical companies BS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - now I am fighting for the pharmaceutical companies. You really have no clue do you? I think this proves you are willing to attack anyone who disagrees with you and your belief in the Marshall Protocol. I want EVIDENCE, plain and simple. And I see virtually NONE coming from the proponents of the MP.

      Delete
  34. This is to the chapter in the book:
    http://autoimmunityresearch.org/preprints/Proal_MHB_Chapter_preprint.pdf

    The paper costs money as far as I can tell. I have a pdf of it. If you want to email me at onlineorder3@gmail.com I will email it to you. This is an email that I use to purchase things online.
    http://www.nature.com/cmi/journal/v8/n3/pdf/cmi201077a.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jonathan Eisen...I think it is fair to write that you are puffed-up with ego. Perhaps you could learn some humility from "The Good Book". Good luck, young man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! You nailed it. Here is yet another academian who thinks he knows it all! The reason you are getting so many heartfelt responses Mr. Professor is that you are just plain wrong. Get off your academic high horse and get into the real world. When you are someone you love is diagnosed with a disease that this bold treatment cures, then you will have the right to comment. Until then, you have no right. I am cured and I tried everything under the sun. That is evidence enough for me. As far as allopathic medicine goes, it is NOT the answer to auto immune diseases. Evidence based medicine is holding us back. Lack of "evidence" as defined by your training and background is what curtails ingenuity and advancements. By the time a new therapy passes the "tests" of "evidence", if it is lucky enough to get funding because Big Pharma certainly won't fund anything that may hurt their palliation industry, then it is already outdated! Get your head out of the books and out of your ass. You don't know as much as you think you know! As far as Trevor not being an MD, well MDs are grossly over rated! It was not the dozens of MDs with all of their academic accalades that cured me, it was the bold science behind Inflammation Therapy and Marshall Protocol theory base. Frankly, your ego is infuriating.

      Delete
  36. It is quite obvious that money drives these things and not necessarily what is good for people. Evidence is there for all to see...just not the kind that you would like to see. You can only see things from one prospective and millions of $ are needed to show it. Open your mine to something other than what you want to see.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It is quite obvious that money drives these things and not necessarily what is good for people. Evidence is there for all to see...just not the kind that you would like to see. You can only see things from one prospective and millions of $ are needed to show it. Open your mine to something other than what you want to see.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks Jon. Your post has saved me a great deal of time and money.
    $300, to be exact.

    During my search for a new GP in Vancouver's overstretched market, I came across a physician who looked too good to be true.

    Dr. Greg Blaney, M.D., has published in peer-reviewed journals, ranks 4.9/5 on ratemds.com with 15 glowing reviews, and patient testimonials on his website dub him "the magic bullet."

    Dr. Blaney employs the "Stillpoint Protocol," which he claims is a cure for everything from the common headache to heart and lyme disease. This is the Marshall Protocol in disguise, rebranded to reflect the private clinic where Dr. Blaney practices. The Stillpoint Centre funds Blaney's published work, which is, unsurprisingly, related to Vitamin D and chronic illness.

    Dr. Blaney charges $300 for intake and $150 for follow-up appointments. Evidently, pseudoscience is a highly profitable venture in an age of hyper-Googling and hypochondria.

    We must do more to visibly shame practitioners who take advantage of ill-informed patients with costly, unscientific claims. Blog posts such as yours are one of the few resources available to patients who choose to educate themselves about the loosely regulated options available to private payers.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks Jon. Your post has saved me a great deal of time and money.
    $300, to be exact.

    During my search for a new GP in Vancouver's inaccessible market, I came across a physician who looked too good to be true.

    Dr. Greg Blaney, M.D., has published in peer-reviewed journals, ranks 4.9/5 on ratemds.com with 15 glowing reviews, and patient testimonials on his website dub him "the magic bullet."

    Dr. Blaney employs the "Stillpoint Protocol," which he claims is a cure for everything from the common headache to heart and lyme disease. This is the Marshall Protocol in disguise, rebranded to reflect the private clinic where Dr. Blaney practices. The Stillpoint Centre funds Blaney's published work, which is, unsurprisingly, related to Vitamin D and chronic illness.

    Dr. Blaney charges $300 for intake and $150 for follow-up appointments. Evidently, pseudoscience is a highly profitable venture in an age of hyper-Googling and hypochondria.

    We must do more to visibly shame practitioners who take advantage of ill-informed patients with costly, unscientific claims. Blog posts such as yours are one of the few resources available to patients who choose to educate themselves about the loosely regulated options available to private payers.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just because a doctor is charging for the services he is giving does not discount the treatment. If you are calling this abuse of people is done with every good thing that exists though I think you would have to ask his patients if he is really fraudulent and not make a judgement based on the fact that he charges for his services. This is pretty shallow thinking on or part. You can do the MP for free if you want to fine another doctor that will help you with it. You will have to pay someone though as doctors tend to charge for their services. The fees Blaney is charging is pretty much the normal charges for any doctor. Your accusations against him only serve to show that you are not sick enough yet to try something other than what the narrow treatments that modern medicine has to offer...Basically steroids.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Just because a doctor is charging for the services he is giving does not discount the treatment. If you are calling this abuse of people is done with every good thing that exists though I think you would have to ask his patients if he is really fraudulent and not make a judgement based on the fact that he charges for his services. This is pretty shallow thinking on or part. You can do the MP for free if you want to fine another doctor that will help you with it. You will have to pay someone though as doctors tend to charge for their services. The fees Blaney is charging is pretty much the normal charges for any doctor. Your accusations against him only serve to show that you are not sick enough yet to try something other than what the narrow treatments that modern medicine has to offer...Basically steroids.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Guys, interesting stuff - I did the marshall protocol treatment for a few months under the watchful eye of my consultant (who is a very senior and respected guy in his field) - I was about to go onto high dose steroids and his view was that the olmersatan and minocyline were ultimately a less damaging combo that high steroids over the time frames involved. So he basically said "give it a go" and we'll monitor things carefully. So after a few months my sarcoidosis went into remission and stayed that way for a couple of years - flared up recently so will try the treatment again. As my consultant observed - its totally unproven and no one has done a control group test - so my sarcoidosis may have cleared up by itself in anycase.. I think the Marshall Protocol site is only helpful as a start for research, I certainly did not slavishly follow all there advice, but there is independent evidence on the successful use of mynocyline on sarcoidosis, but olmersatan is the bit where "the black magic" occurs - however as its in effect a blood pressure regulator its less dangerous than some of the other sarcoidosis treatments (ie steroids and metotraxate for example)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have been on the protocol for 4 years....I was diagnosed by Semmes Murphy Neurological Institute in Memphis with "incurable poly neuropathy"

    During my 3rd year on the treatment, most and then all of the neuropathy disappeared, along with heart arrhythmia and tendonitis in my right knee.

    In the beginning I experienced light sensitivity associated with immunopathology, which also remitted. Before treatment I had very high levels 1,25D(way of of normal range at 60 pg/ml) I would say from years of study combined with experiencing disease along with remission of morbidities while on the Marshall Protocol, that there is more to the methodology of this treatment than most of us can fathom. So,(to the initiator of this blog) your speculation would be expected.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My pulmonary Doc, at a renowned research hospital in Montreal, looked at the protocol, and said outright: "This is an unorthodox treatment for sarcoidosis, but there is NO ORTHODOX treatment for Sarcoid that actually works, either." An Honest Doctor.

    Based on the benign nature of the meds, he agreed to give it a go. (This was after the original hits of prednisone had left me "in remission" but with life-altering chronic constellations of ongoing symptoms). The MP immediately and gradually returned me to the best health I've been in for several decades. (26+ years since sarc first diagnosed.)

    So, while much of what you criticize is justifiable, it is unorthodox, that doesn't make it unhelpful.

    What I do question in your blog, is that you commit pretty much the same wrongs that you charge Marshall with. You present your case in a dismissive way to a naive audience. Better, would be an actual scientific case study of why the MP does/does not work.

    Anyway - thanks for allowing me to post my comments and experience.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Skepticism is healthy. I do not think Jonathan is intentionally causing any harm to the MP or anyone else. He is just being cautious. As far as the MP being a scam it seems the major concern is the emphasis and usage on the microbiome. Then the conversation turned into the MP being a complete scam by fellow posters. So there are two issues here, is the story of the MP Pathogenesis a scam? And does the MP actually work and could it cause harm? So what is the MP and is it dangerous?

    The MP (might be missing something)
    1. Avoid vitamin D2/D3 in food and supplements (not dangerous there is limited proof that supplementing vitamin D helps). In fact the latest government guidelines put a low limit for Vitamin 25-D in serum at 20 ng/mL. Which is the high threshold for the MP.
    2. Avoid light and possibly wear 400nm wavelength light blocking sunglasses that also block 95%+ of light? No harm in that; some might consider this silly but doesn't cause any harm.
    3. Take 40mg of Benicar every 4 to 6 hours. Antibiotics are no longer taken by MPers to reduce the risk of an over active immune system in later stages.

    Do these harm people?
    1 & 2: No
    3 (Benicar at high dosages): No, it is clearly defined in the literature that doses higher than 40 mg have no effect on BP lowering as the AT receptors are fully blocked and therefore there is no more BP lowering to do.

    So unless Marshall has stock in 95% light blocking or more sunglasses and in Olmecip/Benicar then I don't see how this could be a scam. I would say juice fasts are more of a scam than the MP as they cost more money for people to do and cause more harm than Benicar.

    OK we have debunked the MP as being some sort of scam. But what about the usage of the microbiome? With Sarcoidosis there is merit that it is an infectious disease; similar with Lyme disease. But nothing 100%, yet. So I see can why Jonathan is skeptical here with limited microbiome proof.

    As far as what the MP community claims Benicar does besides lower BP? It activates the immune system while at the same time reduces inflammation.
    1. Crosses the cell wall and is an agonist for the VDR, thereby allowing the VDR to function and produce 1000+ genes and antimicrobials such as cathelicidin and beta-defensin?
    2. Dampen cytokines and Nuclear factor kappa-B and other pathways.

    So all the things the MP claims the VDR does is correct and proven, just not the part about Benicar docking into the VDR and activating it, but it isn't unproven either. Pure scientific studies on this still need to be done so there involves faith from MPers on this one. However MPers do produce metabolites in their blood that line up with the VDR being active. Higher creatinine and BUN in the blood, higher CRP at first and increased SEDRate, etc... So some empirical data.

    And on the inflammation reducing side these things are proven that Benicar does, just do some pubmed searches.

    Good luck everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Things do not have to be designed to make money to be a SCAM.

      2. Over the years the diseases that supporters of the MP claim can be treated or cured include

      "Th1 inflammatory diseases and symptoms currently being treated with the Marshall Protocol include:
      ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Ankylosing Spondylitis, Asperger’s, Back pain, Barrett’s esophagus, Bipolar disorder, Candidiasis, Cardiac Arrythmia, Celiac disease, CFS / CFIDS / ME, Chronic Lyme/Borreliosis, Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes insipidus, Diabetes type I, Diabetes type II, Dementia, Depression, Epilepsy, FM (Fibromyalgia), Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Interstitial cystitis (IC), Inflammatory bowel disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, Kidney stones, Lofgren’s syndrome, Lupus In ‘Overlap’ With Other Connective Tissue Diseases, Mania, MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), Migraine headache, Morgellon’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia gravis, Neuropathy, OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Osteoarthritis, Panic attacks, Parkinsons, Pervasive Developmental Disorders- Not Otherwise Specified, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), Prostatitis, Psoriasis, Psoriatic arthritis, Raynaud’s syndrome/phenomenon, Reactive Arthritis (Reiter Syndrome), Restless leg syndrome, RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Sinusitis, Seasonal affective disease (SAD), Sjogren’s, Ulcerative colitis, Uveitis, Vertigo , Other Th1 diseases which should respond to the Marshall Protocol: Alzheimer’s, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulbous pemphigus, Cystic fibrosis, Macular degeneration, Polymyalgia rhuematica, Polymyositis, Schizophrenia "

      ( see http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-marshal-protocol/ for examples of some critiques).

      The claims are simply ludicrous. If they want to enter into some sort of responsible discussion of science and medicine - that would be great. Until then I view this as quackery.

      Delete
    2. Jonathan I can see what you mean it does seem outrageous to make the claims you highlighted in #2. It takes belief that the MP does activate the VDR, that most disease is infectious in nature, and that Benicar is as big of an anti-inflammatory as it is claimed to be. So until the starts align on that there will always be a lot of skepticism around the MP and Benicar.

      I am not going to defend the MP and argue if it is quackery or not. I merely wanted to highlight that the MP (quackery or not), isn't extremely harmful. No more harmful financially than a juice fast. And it does have a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting it.

      And even if the MP doesn't work as it claims, the Benicar drug itself is proven to be quite effective any many areas through many publications: increased insulin-sensitivity, managing heart complications, organ protection, cytokine dampening, the list goes on.

      For anyone who reads the comments they can take the MP for what it is, and if they want to try it that is up to them and their physician. I think most physicians let people try it on the premise that Benicar isn't a very dangerous drug.

      The MP isn't going to satisfy the microbiome story today.

      Some research links on Benicar, I have more to share but here are a few:

      High Dosages:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11361048

      Nuclear factor-kappaB:
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0026286207000593

      Diabetes:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303198
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21061834
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15127887
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2039939/pdf/12477969.pdf

      Alzheimer's:
      http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Dementia/34670

      Kidney:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22418908
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22149003

      Cancer:
      http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v106/n2/full/bjc2011565a.html

      Migraines/Headaches:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12503978

      Cardiovascular:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21504378
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21386934
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22906847
      http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/CHF/29359
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307868

      Delete
    3. Jonathan,
      Reading your profile, it seems you have had a charmed life and been educated at some of the most affluent and respected schools in the US. I am a Medical Technologist with many years experience and would never consider myself as knowledgeable as someone like you but I have read most of the info on the MP and it sounds reasonable and low risk for most people if they do exactly as stated. The people with these autoimmune diseases have gotten no help from highly educated scientists all these years so why criticize them for trying to get relief on their own? Wouldn't the best way to discount MP be to prove it doesn't work scientifically? You would be the perfect one to do so. Also, Dr or Mr Marshall, has been on this for 11 + years himself for Sarcoidosis

      Delete
    4. Jonathan,
      Reading your profile it seems you have had a very charmed life being educated in some of the most affluent and respected schools in the US. I am a Medical Technologist with many years experience and the MP seems reasonable to me. People suffering from autoimmune diseases have been helped very little by scientists over the years and who can blame them for seeking to help themselves with alternative means? I am not on the MP but I am considering it. Wouldn't it be better to disprove his theory scientifically than on a blog try to discredit him? You have the background and probably the means as well so you seem the perfect person to put this at rest by proving his methods don't work. There are many testimonials that say otherwise with nothing to gain for doing so except some long desired relief from misery.

      Delete
    5. Perhaps your intent here is to do good. That being said, have you personally suffered from an auto-immune disease and sought treatment? If you have, you will know that the standard treatment for those of us unfortunate enough to have this experience is to bombard our immune system with Prednisone- effectively shutting off the immune system while throwing the entire endocrine system into chaos.

      I have no doubt that my personal positive experience with the Marshall Protocol will be written off as anecdotal evidence, so I will spare us all the wasted time of that discussion. But perhaps an objective discussion of the extremely harmful side-effects of conventional treatments available to those of us suffering from auto-immune disorders, and the lack of efficacy of those treatments, might be useful to include in your assault of a therapy that you yourself admit you don't understand.

      Delete
  46. The disproportionate number of responses alone from MP proponents is enough to make one think that something's fishy as hell...


    PS- I do have a chronic illness so don't give me the "you don't understand" line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not a coincidence. You are correct. You should try it. You have NOTHING to lose. It costs less than most therapies and works much much better. I was bedridden and tried EVERYTHING under the sun available that our respected doctors of Western Medicine prescribed based on "evidence" and none of it worked. I am well now. I can walk. I can think. I have a normal life now. Placebo effect? Yeah, right! Thank you Marshall Protocol!

      Delete
  47. If you don't want to try it now then you can continue to suffer as doctors use the normal treatment of stroids to treat your symptoms. After things get bad enough you can try the MP. You will be like most people on the MP that shows the same route. Fortunately it seems to work after everything else fails.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The disproportionate number of responses alone from MP proponents is enough to make one think that this might actually work. ( It's all in the way you look at it! ;) )

    Skeptical negation doesn't require much insight. In fact it doesn't require anything at all. A monkey could tell you when a paper is placed on the evidence pile. Offering opinions on what may or may not work even theoretically would be helpful without buzz words such as quackery and scam. This is simply hollow 'skeptical' posturing. So much of it around. Monkey see, monkey do.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Paul,I like what you said a lot. last month my wife tried to get off to Marshall protocol after two and a half years of being on it. she suffered from severe migraines very often for her whole life. she got rid of her migraines almost immediately when she started the Marshall protocol and when she tried to get off the MP last month immediately they came back. Needless to say, she started back on it again. I know it takes a long time really cure someone of a disease like this but in reality at least is a very good treatment for the relief of symptoms of migraine.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have spent the last few days reading about the Marshall protocol. It seems very interesting. I have read three negative articles, and so far, I find very little presented by the negative side that is convincing of anything. To Mercola and the other negative naysayers, tell me why the protocol is flawed. I don't yet have a position on the MP, but it seems very logical and interesting. That Marshall is not a doctor seems to be irrelevant.

    All that is needed here is scientific analysis. Marshall seemingly discovered a phenomenon:

    1. Healthy people have a certain microbiome no matter where they are in the world.

    2. Sick people have a different microbiome.

    3. Marshall's hypothesis is that that different microbiome is the cause of the illness.

    4. The VDR is being blocked by the bad microbiome and Vitamin D.

    5. Unblocking it will allow the body's own immune system to go after the undesirable microbiome.

    6. A side effect is that the bad pathogens will create endotoxins as they die that will cause temporary escalation of symptoms, and this must be managed.

    7. But eventually as they die, and the microbiome is restored, the person regains heath.

    So, in opposition to Marshall, I see people saying nonsense, rubbish, scam, etc. But why is it those things? I read the success stories. What is going on if not MP success? Now, obviously, the MP forum contains only the good stories. But they are not all perfect. That lends credibility. What is specifically, scientifically wrong with the theory?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a million hypotheses. When I write about them here or in papers or when I present them at meetings I am VERY careful to refer to them as hypotheses and present what evidence there is for them. Marshall and many of the MP proponents have a clear history of presenting his ideas as FACTS, implying that there is evidence that his protocol works. I have yet to see any such evidence. When someone presents their own hypothesis as a fact and misleads people about what evidence there is for it I believe they are dangerous and misleading ... And I stand by that critique of the MP generally.

      Delete
    2. Jonathan, thank you for your reply. Again, I am not an MP supporter (yet), but I find it a fascinating hypothesis.

      Your comment though, seems to be backing off your original position. Your comment is basically that the MP is a hypothesis not supported by evidence that is being presented as fact. But your article was more negative than neutral. You say it is mistaken and a scam: "I know, there are lots of medical scams out there. But this is the first one I have seen discussing metagenomics and the microbiome."

      And you ask for evidence. I think that Marshall does provide evidence. First, he provides clinical results of his treatments. Lots of it. Is that definitive, convincing evidence? Maybe not. But it sure is something. And, I believe he provides evidence that healthy people have a different microbiome than sick people.

      So, if MP is a scam and full of mistakes, what is the scam? What are the mistakes?

      I am not promoting the MP, but I would like to find out about it. One would think that if it is really as implausible as some say, there would be someone that could scientifically take it apart and prove its falsity. Thanks again for your reply.

      Delete
    3. Why should it be necessary to falsify and /or "disprove" every random hypothesis that people make? It is up to the promoters of the MP to provide some evidence. Testimonials are not evidence. They have presented basically no data of any kind to support any of their claims. I want case studies where all the medical details are reported. I want papers that can be peer reviewed in some way. Until then I consider this no different than all the claims out there by 1000s of people about how some miracle diet helped them lose weight or some miracle herb cured their child's cancer. When someone claims to cure all sorts of ailments and presents no evidence to back it up I consider that a scam. It preys on people who are weak or in need.

      Delete
    4. "Why should it be necessary to falsify and /or "disprove" every random hypothesis that people make?"

      Two reasons. 1) That is the scientific method. By attacking the MP hypothesis with science, you would be furthering the science one way or the other. 2) You chose to write about it and call it a scam.

      Testimonials are evidence. They are relevant in determining whether the MP hypothesis is true. Are they the best evidence? Do they, alone, prove beyond a doubt that the hypothesis is true? No. They do not. I would also like to see some of the things you cite. I am not certain that they don't exist.

      What if there were a hypothesis that some herb cured cancer. Then what if there was a forum where dozens or more people tracked their progress in real time over years of their cancer cure. What if those dozens of people were cured. Would you want to know more? Or would you call it a scam without any evidence that it was a scam?

      I just want to know more. And I want to see the hypothesis proven false or proven true. It would seem that it would doable with the medical knowledge out there.

      Thanks again for your reply.

      Delete
    5. Well, other's have critiqued the science including those that I cite in my original post. Do those not count?

      See for example ScienceBase and Science Based Medicine and This journal club .

      Here are some other things worth looking at:

      Mercola on the MP (note I have critiqued Mercola for many of his overzealous claims about microbes but this post is worth reading)

      Rational Wiki on the MP which writes: "It's one thing to use molecular modeling to open up promising avenues of research; it's quite another to use it as the basis for making actual clinical recommendations. The suggestion to take antibiotics when no positive tests for bacterial infection have been made is particularly disturbing, as overuse of antibiotics can breed antibiotic resistant bacteria"

      See also Information About Trevor Marshall, Ph.D which is a bit of an attack on Marshall (perhaps unnecessary or much) as well as the MP (with some useful comments).

      Delete
    6. Jonathan,

      I had reviewed some of your citations. I don't remember if you cited this one, but it is worth reading:

      http://stuff.mit.edu/people/london/universe.htm

      I admit that I have not fully read or digested it yet, but it is more on the level that I am talking about.

      The Mercola one, however, is just terrible science. If I were Mercola, I would scrap that article and write another one. When I initially responded to you, it was really more Mercola that I was talking about. See my original post.

      Mercola's argument against MP is 1) Marshall is not a doctor, 2) Sarcoidosis is the only disease where vitamin D levels are an enigma, 3)One size doesn't fit all, 4) Our ancient ancestors had sun exposure, 5) Inflammation requires a holistic approach, 6) taking antibiotics long term is a disaster, etc.

      Marshall's education and background do not prove or disprove his hypothesis. Nor does the fact that our ancient ancestors had sun exposure. For all we know, there were just as many photosensitive people back then, but they just died quickly. Pretty much none of what Mercola writes helps determine the validity of the MP. Just about the only thing he says of value is that we need more information. Great. And, Mercola seems to have a financial interest in promoting Vitamin D and tanning beds, etc. But, it could be that some sick people should avoid Vitamin D. That is very plausible and the fact that healthy people need Vitamin D doesn't do anything to prove or disprove that some sick people should avoid it.

      With regard to the "one size fits all" issue, there is something very interesting about autoimmune disease that the MP at least addresses in theory. Symptoms seem to overlap. There isn't a clear line between one autoimmune disease and another. The idea that autoimmune disease is due to a combination of bad bugs living in the body is very interesting. That would explain why there is such a wide range of differing symptoms experienced.

      Now here is the thing. Odds are that you and Mercola are right. But that doesn't prove or disprove the hypothesis either. Just because there is "only" a 25% chance that MP is valid doesn't mean we should dismiss it. (Just an example, I have no idea the probability of its validity). And, I can see genuine sincerity in your concerns because people with chronic diseases are likely to latch on to anything that can give them hope.

      Further, what are possible explanations for the lack of research out there on the MP? Could it be that there is little financial interest? MP already has a drug that seems to show results. Who is going to pony up a bunch of money to test this?

      Just asking. I certainly wouldn't want to encourage a loved one to endure years of additional pain going down a road based on hope alone.

      Thanks again.

      Delete
    7. Jonathan,

      Here is an excellent critique of the MP:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-microbial-metagenome/

      I believe that you linked to the author's first piece on the subject. I find this a very well written, convincing critique asking all the right questions.

      So, where are these bacteria? Why has no one seen them with an electron microscope in the tissues that Marshall claims them to be present? I would like to hear that answer. What happened in the China phase III trials? Note that Amy Proal makes a comment to that article whereby she basically runs for cover.

      Then the question might become, what exactly is the reason behind the seeming success of the MP? Can the results of those clinical patient histories be used to find out what is really going on? Is Marshall inadvertently on to something?

      Delete
  51. Jonathan,

    One thing that doesn't make sense to me is the concept of "autoimmune" disease. Why would the body just up and start attacking itself? And then the medical community responds by suppressing the immune system. I guess it is not impossible, but that seems backwards. Would it make more sense that there is something attacking the body? And that the immune system is actually trying to attack that? Or that the infection is inhibiting the immune system?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm ... not sure what you mean here. Are you suggesting that all things labelled as autoimmune diseases are not the body attacking itself? I think it is pretty clear in most cases that it is in fact the body attacking itself. A key question is why this happens - what triggers it and such. But I have never heard of anyone seriously questioning whether the body is attacking itself. There are 1000s of papers on this by the way ...

      Delete
    2. Jonathan,

      I am not suggesting that the body is not attacking itself. It just seems counter intuitive that for some "unknown" reason it would do so. It would make sense that it is really attacking something. But what? Where is the bacteria that Marshall claims are there? Why has no one photographed them with an electron microscope?

      Delete
  52. Just go to youtube and watch some of the videos where Trevor Marshall is a speaker at medical conferences. In several of these video he gives the info that you are looking for. Anecdotal evidence is used to get approval of drugs from the FDA. It does count for something if the evidence is gather correctly. I was involved with a start up pharmaceutical company that mainly used Anecdotal evidence to get their drug approved. The drug was bought by 3M. They changed the name of the drug to Tegaderm as I recall. There were no controlled double blind studies done to get approval from the FDA.

    I just quit the MP after 4.5 years. It did not help me very much but it did help some. My health was not that bad when I started and the treatment was a little worse than my disease. My wife on the other hand has had great results from the MP and her health issues fall into the parameters of the MP much better than mine did. She tried to stop the treatment along with me but within days she regained her Migraine headaches and began to suffer again many symptoms. She has been on the MP for 3 years but does not adhere to the strict regiment of diet and daily living. She started it again after only 2 weeks of trying weening herself.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Just go to youtube and watch some of the videos where Trevor Marshall is a speaker at medical conferences. In several of these video he gives the info that you are looking for. Anecdotal evidence is used to get approval of drugs from the FDA. It does count for something if the evidence is gather correctly. I was involved with a start up pharmaceutical company that mainly used Anecdotal evidence to get their drug approved. The drug was bought by 3M. They changed the name of the drug to Tegaderm as I recall. There were no controlled double blind studies done to get approval from the FDA.

    I just quit the MP after 4.5 years. It did not help me very much but it did help some. My health was not that bad when I started and the treatment was a little worse than my disease. My wife on the other hand has had great results from the MP and her health issues fall into the parameters of the MP much better than mine did. She tried to stop the treatment along with me but within days she regained her Migraine headaches and began to suffer again many symptoms. She has been on the MP for 3 years but does not adhere to the strict regiment of diet and daily living. She started it again after only 2 weeks of trying weening herself.

    ReplyDelete
  54. There is no doubt that the pharmaceutical companies have influence the medical community. I'm pretty sure there is some intentionality involved to some extent. They need to make drugs in order to make money!! I don't fault them too much for that. Their model is; 1 disease, 1 path, 1 drug to treat the disease. They forget, on purpose in my opinion, the idea that the body has tens of thousands of metabolites that work in harmony and that if you change one of them it affects many if not all of the others. For the most part treating symptoms is a great business model to make money. That is pretty much what doctors do in the case of chronic disease and TH1 diseases.

    ReplyDelete
  55. There is no doubt that the pharmaceutical companies have influence the medical community. I'm pretty sure there is some intentionality involved to some extent. They need to make drugs in order to make money!! I don't fault them too much for that. Their model is; 1 disease, 1 path, 1 drug to treat the disease. They forget, on purpose in my opinion, the idea that the body has tens of thousands of metabolites that work in harmony and that if you change one of them it affects many if not all of the others. For the most part treating symptoms is a great business model to make money. That is pretty much what doctors do in the case of chronic disease and TH1 diseases.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What are your thoughts on people exploring fecal transplants to alter gut bacteria? I dont like the idea of taking antibiotics for long periods of time but a lot of research is being put out that describes our sterile lifestyle causing issues with autoimmunity.

    ReplyDelete
  57. well, i have no idea about the science and i am hugely suspicious BUT i did have CFS for 25 years and the only things that helped me were self prescribed adrenal extract from NZ Cows and then i started on Benicar and i had no CF for 5 years, i don't take the antibiotics. i have no fucking idea why i had CF and doctors are 95% retarded in my estimation. They have less of a clue than i do.

    ReplyDelete
  58. it's mostly conjecture and speculation. From experience it is obvious that the only scientist or Dr. who can help is the one with the actual disease or some kind of genius. Why did benicar cure my CF when nothing else did for 25 years? I don't take antibiotics and actually i take less and less benicar, i don't even follow the protocol BUT i did see dozens of Drs. i had hundreds of tests and i was living a 1/2 life or less. Then for 5 years on benicar i had normal energy?? what's going on?? I can probably stop now, possibly i could have stopped after a few years. You don't know what is going on, none of you do, possibly Marshall does.

    ReplyDelete
  59. It's really interesting to think that you have microorganisms that live on you. My sister would freak out if she heard me say this. She is kind of a germ freak so she doesn't like this topi

    c.

    http://sevenoaksdental.ca/dentists-in-abbotsford-sevenoaks-dental-team/

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am seek of people who says they are open minded, but just don't give a second thought to an issue.
    I think our argument is going in a circle. Jonathan you tell me how many people you personally know are doing Mp and what is the result? then you tell me. just don't make a judgement bases on drug used on the protocol.
    Make this clear in your mind that many people are in mp because standard and clinically proven or tested treatment whatever you want to say has no answer for them.

    ReplyDelete