Reactive Metabolite Response – Part 3

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

Read Part 1 | Part 2

Nutritional Approaches to Reactive Metabolite Response

There are no effective medications to reduce Reactive Metabolite Response. In fact, most make the situation worse. Nutritional approaches remain the best option, if carried out properly. They include:

Utilize your diet to maintain healthy metabolite levels

  • Antioxidants titrated and delivered properly in low doses that can remove reactive oxygen and other free radicals to generate a net positive effect.
  • Various kinds of thiols and molecules containing sulfur to neutralize existing reactive radicals and help with the recycling of antioxidants. Glutathione is the most important of these. The proper dosage and delivery system is critical as the liver can be overloaded easily if approaches are too aggressive. IV therapy and potent delivery systems need to be avoided.
  • Enzymes that can remove certain types of chemicals such as superoxide, can be considered. Excess enzymes can lead to diarrhea and other GI distress. Not all enzymes are the same. Strong enzymes are not necessarily good and in fact can be negative for the gut when it is weak. Taking in the “strongest” enzymes is often a clinical mistake. The same can also be said about prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics, in particular, can worsen constipation. More is not necessarily better. The key is the right amount that is needed by the body at every stage along the recovery process.
  • Diet rich in vitamins, taurine, and methionine can be considered. Sulphur amino acids found in foods, containing protein, can be encouraged if tolerated. Taurine found in meat and fish can support such function. Vegans and vegetarians are therefore may be at a disadvantage. Good fat can be important and helpful, but assimilation can take more energy and is not well tolerated by those who are weak. There is no “standard” diet as each person is different. The GI tract and microbiome plays an important and foundational role in regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin that are responsible for our neuro-affect behavior. One of the early signs of recovery therefore includes mood stabilizing when the reactive metabolite response is balanced.
  • Slow and gentle decongestion of the extracellular matrix to allow faster and more efficient excretion of reactive metabolite response, as they are carried from the liver to the kidney is critical. This area is seldom attended to and often overlooked.
  • Treating the body holistically is an important focus to offer the body all the help it can get. Lifestyle changes, stress reduction, proper exercise and mental adaptive training techniques can be introduced as needed. They are conducive to the healing process and allow the body faster recovery.

    Adequate sunshine is one of natural approaches to reduce Reactive Metabolite Response

    The compartmentalization approach of conventional medicine needs to take a back seat other than in acute situations. Common sense needs to prevail. For example, instead of taking vitamin D orally as a supplement which has to be metabolized by the liver, adequate sunshine should be provided to allow the body to self regulate. Adrenal breathing exercises focusing on the parasympathetic nervous system can balance sympathetic nervous system overtone. Mental adaptation and resilience training can reduce excitatory neurotransmitters and focus on inhibitory ones such as GABA for better sleep. Many different strategies are available. The exact protocol varies from person to person. What works well for one person can make another worse.

Nutritional Strategy Challenges

To be effective in neutralizing negative reactive metabolite responses, multiple nutritional strategies are needed within a comprehensive healing framework to slowly help the body and give the body tools to help itself.

Laboratory test can be helpful if properly given at the right time and under the right circumstances. Generally, this is when the body stabilizes and is not in the beginning phases. Remember, not every “abnormal” lab needs to be administered. The right thing, done at the wrong time, can worsen the situation.

One of the most common clinical mistakes is a shotgun approach to treat laboratory abnormalities, as if they were the “smoking gun”, without looking at the body from afar holistically. It is easy to patch symptoms compared to solving the root cause. Over reliance on laboratory tests, and instituting aggressive therapy, including methylation, chelation, detoxification, antibiotics, mineral rebalancing, acupuncture, tissue manipulation, hydrogen peroxide therapy, IV nutrition may sound good and appear logical on paper. Temporary benefit may be experienced in some case, but generally, they lead to worsening overall outcomes, with time, unless the body is strong. The reason is simple; they all have the potential of increasing reactive metabolite responses.

There is no “bad” modality. They all can be good and can also be bad, depending on the body’s state. What is commonly “good” can be bad if the body is not ready. Antibiotics prescribed for Lyme, or nystatin for systemic Candida, for example, can crash a body easily. Even well intentioned tests, such as the ACTH challenge test (to rule out Addison’s Disease), is not without risk. The use of drugs such as cortisol, can backfire right from the beginning and defy conventional medical logic.

What is needed, is a program titrated to fit the body’s need, in each step of the recovery process. Well intentioned physicians ultimately are at a loss and eventually give up in such situations. One can get lost in the forest if too close to the trees. Yet if one steps back and looks at the entire clinical picture within a reactive metabolite response perspective, some clarity should emerge, and with that, a better sense of direction for the clinician.

Close clinical monitoring is needed in order to fully understand the degree of resilience and reserve the body actually has at every step of the recovery. The exact path varies from person to person and that is why extensive clinical experience is critical.

Recovering from metabolite reactions is possibleYes, the road to recovery is tedious and complex, and necessarily so, if a long term positive outcome is the goal. Short term plans don’t work well because the problem is deep seeded. Those who are successful invariably have a positive outlook on life, realistic in their expectations, patient, and have an experienced clinician to guide them each step along the way. Occasional setbacks are inevitable. Young people tend to recover faster, but they also are more susceptible to relapses. Older people need not give up. Remember that reactive metabolite response is simply a process that alerts us to underlying root dysfunction. Always focus on the cause rather than symptom control, while providing the body and allowing it to heal. This, in our experience, is the preferred methodology that has repeatedly proven to yield positive long term results.

Read Part 1 | Part 2

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.