Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Wisdom Wednesday: Glandular Therapy
A basic concept of glandular therapy is that the oral ingestion of glandular material of a specific animal gland will strengthen the corresponding human gland. The early Egyptians are credited with this concept of “like cures like”. People with liver ailments were encouraged to eat liver. Those with kidney disease were fed animal kidneys.
The concept really dates back many thousands of years and is still practiced in its original format in primitive cultures throughout the world. If you killed your enemy in battle and especially if he was brave, you ate his heart to absorb his courage. This might be the heart of a lion, other ferocious animal or maybe the leader of a rival tribe.
Glandular extracts were in wide use all over the world until the early 1940s. With the discovery of antibiotics, modern medicine turned from the use of glandular extracts to research in developing antibiotics and other pharmaceutical drugs.
Purified extracts from the endocrine glands of animals are used today in alternative medicine to treat a host of illnesses. The most common extracts are thyroid, thymus and adrenal. However, pituitary pancreas, heart, liver, kidney, prostate, ovary, and other glandular extracts are readily available.
Protomophogens are specific extracts from the nucleus of the cells of specific glands. The process for extraction was developed in the 1940s by Dr. Royal Lee, using sea salt to concentrate the nuclear material. He stated that protomorphogens are tissue specific, not species specific. That is adrenal protomorphogen will support any adrenal gland, human or otherwise. Dr. Lee had two theories to explain the benefits of protomorphogens.
The first is that this nuclear material acts as a blueprint for glandular regeneration. This is an extension of the “like cures like” concept. Current research indicates that most of the protomorphogens found in these extracts are messenger RNA (m-RNA) and do actually function as blueprints.
The second theory states that the glandular extract acts as a decoy to autoimmune activity, allowing the gland to heal. I found significant research to support this theory when writing my article on Polyglandular Autoimmune Disease in support of my diplomate in nutrition. Clinically, I have seen significant reduction in thyroid autoantibodies and the TPO (thyroid peroxidase) with the use of thyroid protomorphogen (Thyrotrophin PMG).
Armor Thyroid is a well known example of a glandular extract. For many people with hypothyroidism, Armor Thyroid is much more effective that Synthroid. That is because it contains the active form of thyroid hormone – T3, while the Synthroid is the inactive form – T4. Conversion of T4 to T3 takes place in the liver (80%) and kidneys (20%) but is under the control of the adrenals. So patients that have conversion issues do respond better to Armor Thyroid. However, both are hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and better avoided if possible.
Purified glandular extracts have the fat removed and along with it all hormones and toxins. They have no direct hormone activity but can be very effective in restoring glandular function.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Please consider glandular therapy in lieu of HRT. When combined with herbal remedies, especially the adaptogens like Tribulus, Ashwaganda, or Korean Ginseng, HRT can often be avoided or eliminated.