The Low Down on LDN

LDN is a major breakthrough, but like other innovative therapies, it’s virtually ignored by conventional physicians. It’s the same old song and dance: “If it were any good, I’d know about it.” Yet this safe, economical drug stands to benefit millions—not only those with cancer and MS, but also people dealing with autism, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other autoimmune diseases.

Here’s How it Works. How can one drug have so many positive effects? It all has to do with the endorphin system. Endorphins are naturally occurring molecules that are similar in structure to morphine and other opioid drugs. Although endorphins are best known for boosting mood and blunting pain, they are active in almost every cell in the body. One endorphin, opioid growth factor (OGF), which regulates the immune system, is the target of LDN.

LDN binds to OGF receptors, which temporarily blocks OGF utilization. Due to the perceived shortage of OGF, there is a rebound effect where cells dramatically increase production of OGF and receptor sensitivity. Once the drug is excreted—and this only takes a couple of hours since the dose is so low—the OGF receptors are able to utilize all the extra OGF circulating in the blood. This has profound effects on several aspects of immune function. It puts the brakes on undifferentiated growth of cancer cells. It also prevents immune system overactivity, which is the crux of autoimmune disorders, and blunts the release of inflammatory and neurotoxic chemicals in the brain. Medical conditions marked by immune dysfunction are associated with markedly low levels of OGF, and LDN simply restores these disease-fighting endorphins to optimal levels.

Cancer in Remission. A promising area of treatment is cancer. Burton Berkson, MD, and colleagues published a paper describing four case histories of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who were treated with LDN plus intravenous alpha lipoic acid (a potent antioxidant). Before we go on, you need to understand that the prospects for patients with pancreatic cancer are terrible. Most of them live only a few months after diagnosis, and the five-year survival rate is a dismal four percent. It’s essentially a “get your affairs in order” prognosis.

Two of the patients Dr. Berkson reported on, each with well-documented pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to the liver, were alive and well 78 and 39 months after presenting for treatment. A third patient who had the same diagnosis was disease-free, as evidenced by a PET scan, five months after beginning LDN/alpha lipoic acid therapy. The final patient had a history of B-cell lymphoma and prostate adenocarcinoma in addition to metastatic pancreatic cancer. After four months of treatment, his PET scan demonstrated no signs of cancer.

I’m also aware of good results in patients with melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancer of the breast, lung, prostate, kidney, and colon. Let me make it clear that I am not suggesting that LDN is a cure-all for any kind of cancer. But this safe, inexpensive drug is certainly a reasonable adjunctive therapy.

Autoimmune Disorders Respond Well. A recent pilot study found that LDN improves mood, cognition, and pain scores in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. And researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine demonstrated that 67 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease who were treated with 4.5 mg of LDN for 12 weeks went into remission.

The buzz from patients is even better than the studies. Vicki Finlayson had suffered with debilitating multiple sclerosis. After 10 years of unbearable pain, horrible fatigue, growing depression, and dependence on Vicodin and morphine to control her pain, Vicki learned about LDN. Once she started taking it—after her doctor initially refused to prescribe it and she had to wean herself off opioid painkillers—she got her life back. She’s been back at work a year and a half now, she’s off all other drugs, and she’s feeling great.

To learn more about LDN, also visit lowdosenaltrexone.org or simply surf the Internet. This will give you a feel for the tremendous patient enthusiasm for LDN.

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