Muscular Dystrophy
Any Other Strategies ?


    Dear doctor: I have recently been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. I wasn't given much hope really, other than eventually I will lose independence. They will try to make my life as comfortable as possible with the use of--in the future--wheelchair and/or braces to help me get around. Obviously, I should be thankful that this hit me in later life. I am 60 years old. But rather depressed.

    The MD Foundation has given me a wealth of information and I am on an antidepressant....but still depressed.

    What can you tell me about this that I may not, and probably don't know already.    I am diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy.


    There is a problem with the nourishment of your muscles. The word Muscular Dystrophy (MD) comes from two words: "dys" from Latin, meaning 'difficult,' and the Greek word "trophe," referring to 'nourishment.'

    Muscular Dystrophy is a compilation in excess of 40 muscle diseases--all different. Three things are common:
  • It is inherited
  • Muscle groups demonstrate a pattern of weakness, and
  • You are correct: The disease becomes worse over time

    And I might add, there is no known cure, as you are well-aware of.

    Muscular Dystrophy quite often is inherited from one's parents. One or both can contribute to MD. It can come on at any age, but usually in the young. MD promotes several things:
  • Involuntary muscle contractions
  • Infections become dominant in a person's life as the disease progresses
  • Respiratory distress/disease usually is the cause of death
  • Muscle mass decreases with resultant weakness
  • Muscle is lost

    In 1978 to 2000, studies have shown the involvement of lysosomes and vacuoles in the destruction of muscle tissue. A lysosome is "a cellular organelle [a specialized cellular part (as a mitochondrion, lysosome, or ribosome) that is analogous to an organ] bounded by a single membrane that contains numerous acid hydrolases (any enzyme capable of splitting a molecule into components by inserting water--a hydrolytic enzyme). Its normal function is the destruction of ingested exogenous material or cellular components...Lysosomes can be stabilized by antiinflammatory agents such as aspirin."---Dictionary of Toxicology Second Edition, pp. 249, 285.

    As you can see, lysosomes are powerful digestants, able to digest muscle tissue. They digest and remove waste products of the cell. They are also involved in digesting and removal of bacteria. Lysosomes have been detected in muscle tissue and their generated products of free radicals.

    From the above, I assume you are on some sort of antiinflammatory?

    Vacuoles are membrane bound spaces that are formed when a certain substance, endoplasmic reticulum, surrounds an organelle for turnover (removal) and fuses with a lysosome.---Cell And Molecular Biology: Concepts and Experiments, Fourth Edition; Gerald Karp, pp. 312-314. In muscular dystrophy, there are more vacuoles with lysosomes indicating there is more turnover and gradually, over time, the turnover is removing more and more organelles from the cell than replacing them, or in some way weakening the cellular structure.

    It was discovered that the free radical damage can be ameliorated some by giving vitamin E to patients. The good news for you is that you are recently diagnosed. In patients who were diagnosed as such and given vitamin E when MD was getting started in the patient, as opposed to later, the patients fared far better than the ones given vitamin E in the disease's late stage.

Vitamin E

    Ingest 1200 IU of vitamin E daily in three divided doses (400 IU per dose), in the alpha tocopherol form. This helps stop free-radical (FR) damage at the site; but once the FR escape the immediate area, this form of E cannot go out to search for FR and destroy them. This is the job for a second vitamin E supplement known as Gamma E tocopherol. Recommended dose: 400 mg daily in one or two doses.

    A study relating to the Myotonic Dystrophy (MyD) you spoke of above, had patients ingesting Selenium, vitamin E, and CoQ10, because in that study the patients all demonstrated low levels of those nutrients. They also had lipid peroxides--strong fatty oxidizing agents, and free radicals---things you want less of.

    The study's conclusion: "...that increased levels of free radicals and lipid peroxides and decreased antioxidant levels play an important role in the pathogenesis of MyD"---Ihara et al. 1995.


    Treatment consists of controlling the symptoms to allow the person to achieve the best quality of life he can. You will be given physical therapy and orthopedic devices for achieving independence on a daily basis. In this type of dysfunction, MD patients will need exercise and therapy to keep the contraction of muscles from occurring around the joints. If the muscles spasm painfully, sometimes surgery can relieve this condition.


    Large amounts of CoQ10, when given to patients of MD, demonstrated significant improvement from symptoms in patients. Another substance is selenium, a trace mineral used in glutathione, a substance that fights free radical damage throughout the body, has been used with good results in fighting MD. According to Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Fourteenth Edition, glutathione is: "A universal component of the living cell. Contains glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine."

Drinking Coffee

    You might consider drinking fresh coffee at each meal, if you do not have any mental or chemical aversions to it (rapid heart beat, nervousness, etc.). This helps block iron absorption. Iron is used in creating free radical damage, and excess iron, which Americans are heir to, keeps infections hard to cure.

     Cirrhosis of the liver can be generated from alcoholism and hepatitis C. The latter (viral infection) uses iron to procreate cancer. According to Archives of Internal Medicine, 166:1190-1195, 2006, people who drank more than four cups per day demonstrated a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis and had a better liver enzyme profile (the profiles were lower). Coffee contains antioxidants, and one such is glutathione that protects liver cells from dysfunction.

    Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry And Molecular Biology, 2003, p. 270, defines glutathione this way: "...a tripeptide that is widely distributed in most if not all cells. It acts as a coenzyme for some enzymes and as an antioxidant in the protection of sulfhydryl groups (-SH; a thiol group) in enzymes and other proteins..." It reduces free radicals. From this we can garner that it is very necessary in protecting the muscles from attack and deterioration.

    In my practice, I have patients include N-acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) and Super Alpha-Lipoic Acid with biotin---both universal antioxidants and both adding the sulfhydryl groups to form glutathione. You should also ingest Super Oxide Dismutase, an enzyme we now know is not more than 50% affected by digestive juices in the stomach, and hence, at least 1/2 gets across to the blood stream to counteract the superoxide radical formed microsecond to microsecond in just normal reactions occurring in the body. Take according to label instruction and add another ingestion time. To control the chief knight radical of radicals, the hydroxyl radical, use Super Carnosine, 500 mg several times daily.

    You should consider taking the following too: Methylcobalamin, the biochemically active form of vitamin B-12. It is neurologically active in this form and does not have to be converted to this moiety from regular B-12. Where there is degeneration of the spinal cord, this active form of the vitamin seems to help in slowing down or may inhibit the demyelination of the spinal cord's lower part and its peripheral (to the arms and legs) degeneration of the respective axons and neurites (Cheliout-Heraut et al. 1997).

    In a mice study, when methylcobalamin was given to the laboratory animals with MD, nerve sprouts were more often observed along with motor nerve plates which were in a degenerating condition. You should consider ingesting 5 to 30 mg of this active form of vitamin B-12 daily in divided doses.

    Someone with muscular dystrophy can develop heart conditions, liver disease, cancer, and neurological dysfunctions as one who does not have MD. Suggestion: Take methylating agents such as, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), Trimethylglycine (TMG), the active form of B-6 (Pyridoxal-5'-Phosphate), and vitamin B-12 (methylcobalamin). Incidently, Norepinephrine (nor-adrenaline) is methylated by SAMe to Epinephrine (adrenaline) and you need this for flight or fight in the everyday life of your normal biochemistry. Ingest according to instructions on the label and add an extra intake of at least one more daily.


    Another substance science just found out more about is creatine monohydrate. Until recently, it was given for muscle contraction. It helped regenerate ATP, the energy currency of the body cell. We now know that creatine monohydrate increases the satellite cells found in muscles. Muscle cells are not like most cells of the body, they have many nuclei. Because of this, new protein can be added to those cells. These satellite cells, in effect, have the ability to build new muscle cells--increases the number of muscle cells which extrapolates to more muscle mass!---See Principles of Anatomy & Physiology Tenth Edition, Tortora/Grabowski; pp. 133, 277, 278f, 393t for more on satellite cells.

    Journal Physiology, published online March 31, 2006, reports that a Danish study lustrated that satellite cells increased and the number of nuclei in skeletal muscles did also when creatine monohydrate was added to the diet. This important study demonstrates that creatine not only enhances energy levels in muscle cells, but also affects, in a positive manner, cellular components that increase muscle growth.

    Nutritional Reviews 64:80-88, 2006, paraphrased in Muscular Development November 2006, page 104, 'Creatine Prevents Muscle Wasting in Muscular Dystrophy,' writes
    "Muscular dystrophy is a disease marked by a progressive degeneration of muscle tissue due to the absence of dystrophin--a protein that helps muscle cells withstand mechanical stress.

    "Physicians have had some success treating the disease with corticosteroids and clenbuterol, but these drugs can have severe side effects.

    "Researchers from Tufts University in Boston summarized the literature on the effects of creatine monohydrate supplements in reducing the symptoms of muscular dystrophy.

    "Creatine improves neuromuscular function in several degenerative diseases and delays the loss of muscle tissue and improves the quality of life in patients with muscular dystrophy.

    "Creatine monohydrate increases creatine phosphate levels, an important muscle energy source. It also appears to have a direct effect on protein synthesis and neuromuscular function (the satellite function spoken of above). It's an obvious boon to bodybuilders and power athletes, but also has important effects in medicine."

    We recommend 2 to 4 grams daily of Life Extension's 'Micronized Creatine Powder.' It is more convenient when taken in this form. See your health care professional first, before trying anything on this page, however.

Nitric Oxide
A Cell Signaler and Vaso-Dilator

    Nitric Oxide, NO, has now been discovered in the past few years to not only serve as a vasodilator, but enhances or increases cell signalling between and within neural components. This means better transmission of signals to not only nerves, but to muscle cells as well. Muscle injury can be reduced by nitric oxide and NO has the ability to reduce a serum marker (creatine kinase activity) indicating skeletal muscle injury. This being so, then NO reduces muscle damage, which is demonstrated with creatine kinase being reduced.

    We suggest you take NOX3, Gakic caplets, or any of the other compounds on the market that increase nitric oxide stimulation. See your natural foods store in the athletic section. Get the strongest you can purchase and ingest at least two to three several times per day, or follow the general instructions.


    Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate at 2 grams or more per day has been shown to reduce neuropathy. It is also good for mood, memory, cognitive function and muscular development. Many with MD have fatty knots accumulate and this may help get the fat across the mitochondrial membrane to be burned to Carbon Dioxide, Water, and Energy (ATP) formation. This is what L-Carnitine does, but its acetyl portion helps with absorption to quickly cross the blood-brain barrier, and the arginate
"...appears to give the molecule privileged access to nerve cells, priming them for the effects of nerve growth factor and other factors important in the development and function of nerve cells."---Life Extension, September 2006, pp.65-71.

    Propionyl-L-Carnitine increases muscle energy and its utilization. This form of carnitine is found in Life Extension's 'Peak ATP with GlycoCarn.' Ingest 6 capsules daily for approximately 3 grams of propionyl-l-carnitine.

    Former research illustrated that inosine benefitted the heart. We now know it benefits the heart and other muscles of the body by enhancing the neurites' (axonal and dendrites) growth between nerve cells. Ingest the powder form at 10 gms daily in two divided doses. Get Life Extension Inosine Powder, 100 grams.

Human Growth Hormone
(Prescriptions Needed From Your Physician)

    We could write volumes on human growth hormone (hGH) and the latest on testosterone, but not here. Suffice it to say, consult with your physician(s) and start on hGH for muscular development, connective tissue and tendon enhancement. This hormone also increases not only size, but the number of muscle cells. Testosterone increases size and strength components of the muscles, but not the number of muscle cells. You need them both, hGH and Testosterone.

    We would suggest one to three units of hGH for five days on; two days off, varying the I.U.s you take to protect from side-effects. We do not suggest 4 or more I.U.s daily as this is a supraphysiological (more than above normal human body doses).

How To Mix hGH And Calibrate Your IU Injection:

  • Take the 3 ml of the bacteriostatic water that comes with the lyophilized (freezed dried) powder, following sanitary procedures listed in the material that comes with the two vials.

  • Using a 3 ml (='s 3 cc) syringe, draw the air out of the lyophilized hGH powder, inject it into the bacteriostatic water; invert the vial and withdraw 3 ml of bacteriostatic water. If you use a 1 ml syringe, withdraw and inject 3 times to properly mix.

  • Inject this fluid just withdrawn into the hGH powder, letting the fluid hit/strike the side of the container.

  • Gently swirl, do not shake, or your compound will break down and you will be injecting water and amine fragments. Refrigerate between injections.

  • Read the instructions to find out how many IU.s are present in the dry powder. Let's take an example:

    • If the dry powder says 9 mg, which is approximately 27 IUs, Then:
    • 27 divided by 3 = 9 -IUs per 1 ml (='s cc) syringe
    • Half (1/2) of that syringe would contain 0.5 x 9 ml = 4.5 IU
    • 0.4 (the mark on a B-D Allergy 1cc Syringe) x 9 ml = 3.6 IU
    • 0.2 x 9 = 1.8 IU
    • And so forth...

  • We suggest you do a subcutaneous injection, which extends the life of the hGH in your body. However, intramuscular (IM) is fine but does not extend the life of the human growth hormone, and hGH is expensive. Most physicians do not know this. Use the Sub Q method!

    It is further suggested that you inject growth hormone in the morning between 8 - 9 AM. Not at night as you could interfere with your circadian rhythm for generating this precious hormone.

    We additionally suggest that you take Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate (spoken of above) as it allows you to get more mileage of the hGH metabolite, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), to build muscle mass and to strengthen cartilage and collagen connective tissue. Take as given above.


    Testosterone Cypionate (1 ml = 200 mg.). You can take this injection once per week or one every two weeks. Ask your physician for prescription. Or you may wish to use 20% gel or cream. However, given the circumstances, the injections would be better.

Final Note

    A substance, proteinaceous in form, called Nuclear Factor Kappa Beta, NFkB, when over generated, causes all sorts of problems in the body. Reduce NFkB by taking Super Curcumin with BioPerine to aid in absorption. Take 6 capsules daily. This is a tumeric spice with great potential to slow down neurodegenerative disorders.

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