Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Weight Loss, part 1

When I moved to a new state just before starting fifth grade, I didn't adjust well. My social skills were slower to develop than average, and I ended up being bullied and mostly alone at school for the next two years. Simultaneously, I went from being a fairly skinny, active girl to being a rather chubby one. Maybe it was cortisol from the stress of being bullied, or maybe it was spending recess in the library instead of being active. I don't know the exact cause, but I then spent nearly all of the next three decades or so being overweight. I've had five children in the last 15 years, and my BMI last fall was over 27, which is officially "overweight."

Last fall, I read Jason Fung's The Obesity Code and started to apply the principles in it. I think Fung's conclusions about treating obesity are brilliant: 1) slow down and break up the utilization of carbohydrate-provided energy in order to reverse insulin sensitivity, and 2) fast intermittently to use up energy stored in adipose tissue.

Following the principles Fung lays out--and tweaking them with my own additions (would any readers of my blog expect any less of me? :) )--I have lost 30 pounds over the course of a year. My BMI is "normal" now. I can jog for 20+ minutes at a time and actually enjoy it, so I exercise more vigorously than I used to. Exercise is not how I lost the weight, though. Nutrition changes (and I was already a moderately healthy eater by US standards) and intermittent fasting were the primary factors in my weight loss.

In case my variations on Fung's principles are helpful to others, I'll post them later. I'm currently testing a recently-invented variation that shows great promise. In the meantime, if you haven't watched Fung's videos on the etiology of obesity and you want to understand weight gain/loss better, I highly recommend watching them. The first one is at this link:

Friday, December 7, 2018

New video: Hypothesis about glucosamine helping prevent developing pneumonia secondary to influenza

Back in June of this year, I recorded a short presentation about glucosamine possibly helping prevent developing pneumonia in connection with an influenza infection. I wasn't especially pleased with my diction during the presentation, but I haven't made a better video since.

It is winter now, so I'm posting the recording in case it can help people. I now take glucosamine capsules in moderately large doses when I come down with a respiratory illness, and it does seem to help protect my throat, larynx, and lungs. Here's the video:

I wrote a blog post about this hypothesis in February of 2018 at

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Could S. pombe be a source of TSC2 for treating conditions linked to androgen-induced mTORC1 over-activity?

In the past few months, I've read a lot about the mTOR (mTORC1 and mTORC2) pathways. They are vital to life, but inappropriate activation of them is related to many conditions. Two androgen-related ailments in which mTORC1 over-activation appears to be involved are acne ( and prostate cancer ( There are androgen-blocking medications available to treat acne and prostate cancer, but the side effects are sometimes quite unpleasant (

There is a complex that is supposed to be formed by the proteins TSC1 and TSC2 which is then supposed to decrease mTORC1 activity ( A 2014 study reported that androgen causes a shorter version of TSC2 to be translated which cannot properly form a complex with TSC1 and is ineffective at decreasing mTORC1 activity:

TSC2 (Tuberous sclerosis complex 2) is an important tumour suppressor gene, mutations within which are linked to the development of tuberous sclerosis and implicated in multiple tumour types. TSC2 protein complexes with TSC1 and blocks the ability of the Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain) GTPase to activate mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), a crucial signal transducer which regulates protein synthesis and cell growth. Here, we report the characterisation of a novel isoform of TSC2 which is under direct control of the ligand-activated androgen receptor. TSC2 isoform A (TSC2A) is derived from an internal androgen-regulated alternative promoter and encodes a 508-amino acid cytoplasmic protein corresponding to the C-terminal region of full-length TSC2, lacking the interaction domain for TSC1 and containing an incomplete interaction domain required for Rheb inactivation. Expression of TSC2A is induced in response to androgens and full-length TSC2 is co-ordinately down-regulated, indicating an androgen-driven switch in TSC2 protein isoforms. In contrast to the well-characterised suppressive efect on cell proliferation of full-length TSC2 protein, both LNCaP and HEK293 cells over-expressing TSC2 isoform A proliferate more rapidly (measured by MTT assays) and have increased levels of cells in S-phase (measured by both Edu staining and FACS analysis). Our work indicates, for the first time, a novel role for this well-known tumour suppressor gene, which encodes an activator of cell proliferation in response to androgen stimulation.

What to do when the body won't translate the correct form of a protein? I started searching for another source of TSC2. Other mammals make it, but I suspect the necessary cooking and sterilizing processes would damage the TSC2 we obtain from other mammals' secretions and tissues.

I found another TSC2 source: it's the mostly ignored (except by researchers, who use it all the time) wild yeast called Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S. pombe). S. pombe, unlike the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast used in nearly all brewing and baking (, contains versions of TSC1 and TSC2 that are similar to the human versions (

Guess where S. pombe often shows up? In the making of hard apple cider and its subsequent product, apple cider vinegar. S. pombe is a wild yeast that is frequently found on grape and apple skins; given enough sugar, it multiplies very quickly. Have you ever wondered why apple cider vinegar--and not other kinds of vinegar--is so widely recommended as a home remedy for a vast variety of ailments? I have. I've heard it so often that my immediate reaction is to start rolling my eyes when I see it popping up in my search results yet again. Nevertheless, while the placebo effect is real, I can't easily disregard so many anecdotes claiming that apple cider vinegar has helped them. However, I can accept that some apple cider vinegar fermentations include more S. pombe yeast than others and so contain more proteins from S. pombe that are uniquely able to help with mTORC1-related conditions; I can thus accept that non-equivalent fermentations lead to non-reproducible results from raw apple cider vinegar.

I'd love to know whether a researcher has tested TSC2 from disrupted S. pombe on something fairly simple (yet annoyingly difficult to treat) like acne. Any takers out there on the global web? If it works, you might have harnessed a way to help treat prostate cancer, too. Not a bad use for your extra pombe.... (In the meantime, I've got a jar of water, sugar, and cut apples sitting on my counter in hopes that the pombe fairy will visit me.)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

My daughter on what it means to be "created equal"

Dd14 read the short story "Harrison Bergeron" today for language arts. A pre-reading question asked her the following:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." (Declaration of Independence) Are people truly created equal? Explain your answer. 

I really liked her answer, despite its freshman feel. I thought it was great how she incorporates things I've told her about the importance of good diet and lifestyle during pregnancy. So today's blog post is her answer to the question above:

Well, I suppose the answer to that question would involve knowing what the definition of "created equal" is. Does it mean that everyone has the same rights and obligations in life? Does it mean that everyone starts with the same personality at birth? Does it mean everyone has the same circumstances that they're born into?
If this means everyone has the same personality at birth, then this would be false, because there are reports of twins having different personalities very early on due to one getting more space in the womb prior to birth. This also proves that "all men are created equal" would be false if "created equal" means "everyone being born under the same circumstances," especially given that even within a family, siblings can be radically different from each other because of what kind of diet and physical activity the mother did when she was pregnant with them.
However, if "created equal" means that we all have the same rights and obligations, then it is true, because no matter how we're born everyone needs to care for themselves as an obligation because if everyone stayed dependent on someone, people would die out. Since people must care for themselves, they can, and have the right to, find joy. That's a right.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The circle of life

Today we discovered that my secondborn child, a girl only 11 years old, appears to have grown taller than me. Right after that discovery, she happily lifted me off the ground and held me up for a while as I mock-screamed with unfeigned shock. This is the child that I brought into the world just a little over a decade ago; 11 years ago she was drooling on everything, sharing a new, happy smile with the world, and waking me too often in the night to nurse. A bit emotionally, I said to my husband that this was the baby I bore, and he responded easily, "The circle of life." Simple enough for him to say. He's half a foot taller than I. If she outgrows him, too, he'll understand my shock.

My once little baby, who could probably beat me up now.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Finishing up Summer 2018 country studies

August is coming to an end, and with it ends our family's month of focusing on Scotland. In connection with Scotland, we've eaten trifle ("tipsy laird" without the tipsy-making part), mock haggis, rutabagas, and fish and chips topped with malt vinegar (which is tastier than ketchup on fried potatoes). We've learned about Shetland Ponies, Black Agnes, and clan tartans. The children enjoyed the excuse to watch Disney's Brave again; two of them even made a tapestry for me that was inspired by Scotland and featured the wisps from Brave:

A kilt-wearing wisp playing the harp with two wisps dancing to its sides.

This was a fun summer--penguins, jerky, and chocolate bars for Antarctica; pita bread and Amr Diab for Egypt; bagpipe music, fish, and oats for Scotland; Balkan harp music, bell peppers, and swimming for Montenegro; and bison and water conservation for Colorado.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sage, caspase-3, and possible cognitive protection in aging

My mother turns 78 years old soon. She is quite worried about developing Alzheimer's disease, so I've looked to see if there is any overlooked thing she can add to her diet to try to help protect her from age-related cognitive decline. She doesn't want to eat horseradish (see my hypothesis paper about horseradish and its possible connection to protection from dementia at, so I looked for another diet element with potential to help her.

In Greece, there is an island called Ikaria where the people tend to live healthily to an old age, mostly retaining their cognitive abilities for a much longer time than do people who live in America. (See

Reporters looking at their dietary habits have noted that sage tea is a daily drink for many on Ikaria. (See Sage is high in the oil eucalyptol (also known as 1,8-cineole), which has been observed to reduce caspase-3 activity in neuron-like cells. (See This is relevant to Alzheimer's disease because caspase-3 cleaves tau and is implicated in early Alzheimer's disease (,,

So my mother is now putting lots of sage in her soup and bread. Will it make a difference in her cognitive ability? I don't know. She and I both think it worth the try, though.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Possible B12 connection to uncontrollable chewing behavior in a child

Over the past three years, I've read a fair amount about different forms of vitamin B12 (cobalamin). I discovered early on that one of my toddlers seemed to chew her hair and other things more after taking methylcobalamin. So I didn't give it to her. After all, this was a child who would sometimes chew on the wooden TV stand for no apparent reason.

Last night we had homemade mock haggis for dinner because we're learning about Scotland. Haggis is basically minced liver and onions combined with meatloaf. We don't make a habit of eating liver because I don't like the taste. But the toddler with the strange reaction to methylcobalamin actually liked the haggis and ate a lot for her size. Later in the evening, I noticed one of our pillows had a large wet spot on its corner. Then I found a wet, chewed hairband--we don't own a dog. This little girl turned out to be the culprit. She was so caught up in chewing that she had also started gnawing on her wallet, which she loves. Liver does contains methylcobalamin, although it seems to be much higher in other forms of vitamin B12. (See I'm curious whether there's a causative link between high B12 intake and her occasional outbreaks of gnawing. Not curious enough to give her a hydroxocobalamin capsule, though. I don't appreciate her slobbering on the furniture.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Two more anecdotes about molybdenum and migraines

A few days ago at a family get-together, I gave a bottle of molybdenum to a fellow mother so she could have it on hand for any future "stomach bugs." She told me later that in the time since I had given her the bottle of molybdenum, she had an occasion to try it for a headache that over-the-counter pain medications weren't helping her with, and the molybdenum apparently resolved her headache.

Then yesterday I found out that another member of my extended family regularly suffers from migraines. She happily accepted a bottle of molybdenum from me when I told her that it helps many people with migraines. She didn't mention that she had a headache coming on, and she took some molybdenum without telling me at the time; later on before we parted for the night, she told me that she'd already taken it and her headache was lessening.

So there's two more molybdenum anecdotes in which it appears to help with migraines. Of the many women I know who have tried molybdenum for migraines, only one reports that it hasn't helped her significantly. That's a pretty decent performance by an overlooked trace micronutrient! Especially when one considers how much some migraine medications cost.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sulfate as a temporarily effective laxative

Yesterday, I said at the end of my post on diarrhea and molybdenum that I have had only had one person report that taking molybdenum--which she did for migraines--gave her diarrhea. She says that she changed her diet and no longer gets diarrhea from taking molybdenum glycinate.

What happened initially to cause diarrhea for her? I have a hypothesis to explain it. Remember the molybdenum-using enzyme sulfite oxidase? It catalyzes the transformation of sulfite to sulfate. A sudden increase in molybdenum in her digestive tract would logically bring about a sudden increase of sulfate in her digestive tract. It has been repeatedly noted that a sudden increase in sulfate can bring on faster stool movement and sometimes even diarrhea initially. (See,,, and Sulfate ions act as osmotic laxatives in the colon. ( Sulfate salts are used to clean out the colon in preparation for a colonoscopy: "Sulfate salts provide sulfate anions, which are poorly absorbed. The osmotic effect of the unabsorbed sulfate anions and the associated cations causes water to be retained within the gastrointestinal tract....The osmotic effect of the unabsorbed ions, when ingested with a large volume of water, produces a copious watery diarrhea." (Excerpted from information on "ColPrep Kit" at

Notice that sulfate ions can cause osmotic diarrhea. In the last post, I talked about molybdenum's beneficial role in the small intestine in preventing secretory diarrhea. Hence molybdenum can have contradictory effects on two different mechanisms--secretion and osmosis--involved in diarrhea.

And I haven't even gone into intestinal sulfate-reducing bacteria, which turn sulfate into H2S, which is a precursor of sulfite; the gut microbiome affects gastrointestinal motility (for example, see I think the many factors of intestinal environment shifts, liver and biliary tract function, commensal bacteria in the intestines, immune system activity, diet, etc. make the issue of diarrhea quite complex. Molybdenum is an overlooked player in diarrhea-related processes that merits research attention.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Secretory diarrhea, adenylyl cyclase, and molybdoenzymes

There are several types of diarrhea: osmotic diarrhea, secretory diarrhea, inflammatory diarrhea, and diarrhea resulting from intestinal motility problems. (See Cholera, which kills via dehydration from awful diarrhea, has been extensively researched. Partly from the work done on it, we know the following about secretory diarrhea:
Secretory Diarrhea
Large volumes of water are normally secreted into the small intestinal lumen, but a large majority of this water is efficienty absorbed before reaching the large intestine. Diarrhea occurs when secretion of water into the intestinal lumen exceeds absorption.
Many millions of people have died of the secretory diarrhea associated with cholera. The responsible organism, Vibrio cholerae, produces cholera toxin, which strongly activates adenylyl cyclase, causing a prolonged increase in intracellular concentration of cyclic AMP within crypt enterocytes. This change results in prolonged opening of the chloride channels that are instrumental in secretion of water from the crypts, allowing uncontrolled secretion of water. Additionally, cholera toxin affects the enteric nervous system, resulting in an independent stimulus of secretion.
Exposure to toxins from several other types of bacteria (e.g. E. coli heat-labile toxin) induce the same series of steps and massive secretory diarrhea that is often lethal unless the person or animal is aggressively treated to maintain hydration.
In addition to bacterial toxins, a large number of other agents can induce secretory diarrhea by turning on the intestinal secretory machinery, including:
  • some laxatives
  • hormones secreted by certain types of tumors (e.g. vasoactive intestinal peptide)
  • a broad range of drugs (e.g. some types of asthma medications, antidepressants, cardiac drugs)
  • certain metals, organic toxins, and plant products (e.g. arsenic, insecticides, mushroom toxins, caffeine)
In most cases, secretory diarrheas will not resolve during a 2-3 day fast.

(Excerpted from

Secretory diarrhea can be caused by many things. In fact, inflammatory diarrhea often ends up stimulating secretory diarrhea:

The immune response to inflammatory conditions in the bowel contributes substantively to development of diarrhea. Activation of white blood cells leads them to secrete inflammatory mediators and cytokines which can stimulate secretion, in effect imposing a secretory component on top of an inflammatory diarrhea. Reactive oxygen species from leukocytes can damage or kill intestinal epithelial cells, which are replaced with immature cells that typically are deficient in the brush border enyzmes and transporters necessary for absorption of nutrients and water. In this way, components of an osmotic (malabsorption) diarrhea are added to the problem.

(Excerpted from

Contrary to its public image, cholera often does not cause any noticeable illness. In fact, around 75% of people with cholera are asymptomatic. ( Why the variation in cholera's effects on people? Why does the above chain of events involving adenylyl cyclase not result in diarrhea for so many people?

Based on the number of people who've told me that molybdenum glycinate (a supplement form of the trace micronutrient molybdenum) significantly lessens or ends diarrhea, I think dietary molybdenum helps explain why many people don't get diarrhea despite having cholera. How might it be doing so? Molybdenum is used as a cofactor by five known enzymes in the human body. All five of these enzymes have functions that tend to lessen the total activity of adenylyl cyclase:

Getting enough molybdenum in the small intestine therefore appears to be very important to moderating activity of adenylyl cyclase and in that way alleviating secretory diarrhea.

I've been told of an acquaintance with part of his small intestine removed who was suffering chronic diarrhea, probably because less small intestine surface means less removal of the water secreted into it early on in the digestive process; taking a molybdenum supplement once a week has given him great relief from the chronic diarrhea. I've heard of another man whose medications were giving him diarrhea, so he likely had secretory diarrhea as a drug side effect; molybdenum supplementation ended his diarrhea. And, as posted on this blog several times already, I've observed and been told of many people in whom molybdenum supplements greatly reduced or even eliminated diarrhea from viral gastroenteritis, which is likely secretory diarrhea overlaying inflammatory diarrhea. In over two years of telling people about molybdenum, I have only heard of one person who experienced diarrhea as a result of taking molybdenum; I will write about her experience in my next blog post [Update 7/20/2018: here's a link to that post] and explain the mechanism by which I think molybdenum induced diarrhea for her.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hyperbole-filled post

"Big Pharma is going to hate this post."

"Here is a secret your doctor doesn't know."

"Heal yourself from nausea and vomiting and diarrhea with this one simple trick."

You know how internet webpages and spam email often say obnoxious things like the three sentences above? These hyperbole-filled claims almost always waste time and can hurt gullible people. I despise them.

How did I find myself in a situation where those statements are actually true? For that is where I find myself with molybdenum. Molybdenum glycinate supplements are "one simple trick" that treats nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors by and large are ignorant of its desirable effects; if one is lucky, one has a doctor who even knows that molybdenum is an essential trace micronutrient for human health. And, lastly, pharmaceutical companies have sunk a lot of money into antiemetic and norovirus vaccine research, and here a couple housewives in Colorado have stumbled upon a highly effective treatment for viral gastroenteritis symptoms, a treatment that costs them $6.25 per bottle of 100 pills--it's absurd, and it's enough to make one want to go short certain pharmaceutical stocks. (Don't worry, I haven't done that. I don't play the stock market.) If I weren't living this story, I'd never believe it.

Please, prove my claims yourself. Go buy an inexpensive bottle of molybdenum glycinate (Amazon has a few brands) and test it the next time you have a norovirus infection. The doses that typically work are usually about 20 times the RDA and yet still less than the upper tolerable intake limit for molybdenum supplementation. People typically need just one or two doses. To my knowledge, I have no financial interest in any company that mines or sells molybdenum. I have nothing to gain from all these blog posts about molybdenum except for the satisfaction of helping many people suffer less.

If you are in the medical field or know someone in the medical field, once you've seen how dramatically molybdenum helps with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, for the love of all that is good, don't keep it to yourself. With great knowledge comes great responsibility.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Questions about molybdenum storage in the liver and its delivery to the digestive tract

For some time, I've been wondering why young children under 5 years of age tend to be more severely afflicted by gastroenteritis. Per the Medscape website:

Acute gastroenteritis is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Conservative estimates put diarrhea in the top 5 causes of deaths worldwide, with most occurring in young children in nonindustrialized countries.

As I and several others have observed, molybdenum (given in the form molybdenum glycinate) successfully treats the nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea of viral gastroenteritis. (See, The relatively high level of molybdenum in legumes--generally considered "poor man's food"--appears to be a plausible explanation for why travelers from wealthier countries often suffer to a much greater degree from viral gastroenteritis when visiting poorer countries than do the local people who eat a lot of legumes.

But children in these poorer, nonindustrialized countries are also being fed legumes....why are they dying from diarrhea in such large numbers even when their usual diet is relatively high in molybdenum? I think the tendency to avoid eating beans when feeling nauseated helps explain to some degree why people, including young children, continue to feel nauseated after they are already vomiting and starting to have diarrhea. But why doesn't molybdenum ingested earlier and stored in the body have more of an ameliorative effect in very young children? We store molybdenum in many parts of the body, especially in the liver. (See references at Because the liver, via the biliary tract, is well-situated to deliver molybdenum to the part of the digestive tract where the action of vomiting starts (see, the liver is the most logical source of stored molybdenum that could have an impact on emesis.

I think a clue to why very young children tend to be more severely affected by viral gastroenteritis symptoms might lie in the absence of CD10 in the liver bile capillaries (canaliculi) of infants and children under 2 years of age. (See and CD10 is also absent in the liver bile capillaries of people with Alagille syndrome (, a major feature of which is liver bile ducts which are narrow, malformed, and reduced in number ( Perhaps the tiny bile capillaries of small children, due to being without CD10 for the first two years of life, are malformed in such a way as to decrease the ability to mobilize molybdenum out of its liver-located storage; then after the bile capillaries start to have CD10 at about age 24 months, the livers continue to grow and liver cells undergo normal turnover, allowing substantial bypassing and repair of the earlier bile capillary defects by around age 5 years.

If insufficient delivery of molybdenum from the liver tissue to the proximal small intestine (duodenum) in very young children helps explain their greater mortality from gastroenteritis symptoms, then we should expect to see that obstructive jaundice--generally caused by an obstruction between the liver and the duodenum--is associated with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It looks like that could indeed be the case, for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are noted as symptoms that have been observed to occur together with jaundice. ( It would be interesting to investigate whether people with gallstones or other bile duct obstructions are more severely affected by norovirus than people without. It is already accepted that it is a bad thing to obstruct the biliary tract; maybe an impaired ability quickly to utilize molybdenum stores in the liver is an additional negative result of biliary obstruction. Due to the prevalence of parasites in many developing countries, it would also be interesting to investigate the effects of parasites on the transport of molybdenum within the biliary tract.

There is much new space opened up for inquiry into diseases of the gastrointestinal tract by the discovery of molybdenum's ameliorative effect on the viral gastroenteritis symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Despite notifying many researchers and public health officials at the beginning of 2018, I have no knowledge to date of any researchers or medical practitioners following up on my reports of molybdenum glycinate's effectiveness in preventing/treating those symptoms. Molybdenum keeps working as I've been reporting, and the number of successes I hear about keeps ticking upward. I'm disappointed in the medical world. A housewife in Colorado shouldn't be the only one trying to fit all this together.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Chondroitin sulfate for vocal flexibility in singers

I've been hesitant to post about this because only two people, my sister and myself, have tried it. But she is a voice teacher, so she's generally reliable on issues of vocal performance. Around the beginning of 2018, she asked me whether there was anything she could do to help her lungs not hyper-react to the grooming products used by a student. So I looked into it for her and suggested that she try chondroitin sulfate since it seems important to building healthy support structures for the surfaces of the trachea and bronchi.

She took chondroitin sulfate for a couple of weeks, and the bronchial hyperreactivity to her student's products went away. But even better--at least for a singer--her vocal range extended noticeably. So I tried chondroitin sulfate, too, and noticed that it helped me sing more easily and with a clearer tone. I find I get a noticeable result in my singing voice even if I take it only once in a while; the effect seems to kick in within a couple of hours.

The vocal cords (or folds) are supported by cartilage, and chondroitin sulfate is an important component of cartilage. Also, chondroitin sulfate has been found in the cover, ligament, and interstitial cells of the vocal folds (see and One or both of these things could contribute to the mechanism by which she and I are finding that chondroitin sulfate helps us sing better. I'd love to hear if anyone else has noticed similar vocal performance effects in themselves after taking chondroitin sulfate.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Video posted: "Hypothesis: Zika virus-caused microcephaly connected to chondroitin sulfate in Brazilian feijoada?"

I just posted a short video about the possible connection between high cartilage content in the Brazilian national dish feijoada and the high occurrence of microcephaly subsequent to Zika virus infection in pregnant women in Brazil.

I blogged about this possible cuisine connection over a year ago:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Egyptian food

Our family is learning about Egypt during the second half of June. We have eaten baba ganoush, kushari, pita bread, kofta kebab, fava beans, falafel, and lots of hummus. We found out from a friend who lived in Egypt that the word "hummus" just means garbanzo beans. So the next time you see black bean "hummus" at a store, go ahead and giggle at the silliness of calling it that.

While the food has been quite tasty, it has been unfriendly to weight loss efforts. I think our higher intake of pureed beans are mostly to blame. Breaking apart the cell walls of beans approximately doubles the insulin response after ingestion, per a 1986 study posted at So pureeing the garbanzo beans for hummus is not a good idea for those looking to minimize insulin responses. Also, mashing the fava beans in one's ful medames is going to cause an increase in insulin responses.

I wonder if the frequent consumption of mushy ful medames and hummus with tahini helps explain Egypt's unenviable position as one of the most obese countries in the world. (

I'm never going to look at a bean burrito the same again after seeing that 1986 study. Sigh. I like refried beans.

Friday, June 8, 2018

"Molybdenum: A micronutrient that can help alleviate nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and migraines"

Here's another segment of the library lecture I gave earlier this week. In this one, I talk about molybdenum. For more information on this topic, please refer to the past 2.5 years of this blog. :)

"Some Apparent Connections Between Nutrition and Autism Spectrum Disorders"

Here's the second segment of my library presentation. I focus on nutrition and autism spectrum disorders.

For more information, please read my blog series on this topic:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

"About Coming up with Hypotheses"

Earlier this week, I gave a lecture at a local library in which I talked about some of my hypotheses. My daughter helped me record the lecture so that I could post parts of it on YouTube. Here's the first segment of it, in which I introduce my main sources for information when I'm working on a health-related mystery:

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A great song about Colorado

We're learning about Colorado right now. Not only is it Rocky Mountain high and the land where the columbines grow, but the state of Colorado inspires many songs of longing. Such as this one:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Getting ready for our 2018 country summer studies

Every summer we study different cultures/countries/states for 2 weeks at a time. We learn about their music, their language(s), and their food, and we do activities related to them. It is very enjoyable and gives a nice form to our summer.

We finally decided on our study subjects for the summer: Colorado (the US state), Egypt, Montenegro, Antarctica (not really a country, but continents count now, too!), and Scotland. In looking for music to listen to this summer from each of those areas, I was introduced to Amr Diab. I am currently more than a little obsessed with his song "El Leila":

Luckily, my offspring like it, too. Doesn't it make you want to dance, habibi? (That means "my darling" in Arabic.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Followup to "Eggs, phenylalanine, and hyperactive behavior": Iron deficiency and ADHD

After noticing the egg consumption-related hyperactivity of my children and writing the post below, I looked at whether there has been any research on iron and ADHD. Indeed, there has! Several researchers have found lower serum ferritin levels associated with ADHD. (, and

One study in France even said that "iron supplementation (80 mg/day) appeared to improve ADHD symptoms in children with low serum ferritin levels....Iron therapy was well tolerated and effectiveness is comparable to stimulants." (

Hyperactive children in US classrooms are a common sight. Combine the apparent connection between ADHD and low serum ferritin with the frequent inclusion of dairy, which interferes with iron absorption, in the typical US school lunch, and it looks as though we might have a simple way to reduce hyperactivity via tweaks to school lunch menus. (See for a survey of diet factors affecting iron absorption in meals.) Why couldn't we have dairy-free, iron-rich meals that enhance iron absorption twice a week? We could easily serve orange juice instead of milk on those days. It would certainly make the Florida orange growers happy. Sure, "milk does a body good," but it doesn't have to be consumed at every single meal.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eggs, phenylalanine, and hyperactive behavior

This last Easter, I boiled dozens of eggs for my children to dye. During the next few days, despite my limiting of Easter candy to a very small amount, my two youngest children (3 & 6 years old) were hyperactive and "crazy." Their behavior differed markedly from their normal temperament. One thing we noted was that they were living off egg whites as much as they could; they love peeling boiled eggs and eating the whites, but they avoided the yolks. So I looked into whether there was something in egg white that could explain their changed behavior.

Phenylalanine. ( It is an amino acid that is very high in eggs. It is used by the body in two different pathways, one that leads to the production of dopamine and the other that leads to the production of NMPEA (, which has a similar effect on the body as amphetamine. The first pathway depends on an iron-containing enzyme (AAAH). My children weren't getting enough iron from their diet, I believe, for they were doing their best to live off of rice, eggs, cheese, and milk, all of which are either low in iron or hinder absorption of iron. I think that due to low iron, their body was utilizing the second metabolic pathway at a higher-than-usual level and so making much of their ingested phenylalanine into NMPEA, meaning that they were being affected to some degree as though they'd been taking amphetamines. Oops.

We took the boiled eggs away from them and instead gave them more foods high in iron, and our children calmed down within two or three days. I hesitated to blog about this observation, but today I was visiting a friend whose her young children were acting "crazy" during our conversation. I told her about what happened with our children at Easter time, and she said that her children do eat a lot of eggs.

Moral of the story: If unusual food patterns are occurring alongside unusual behavior, look for possible causation.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TET2 and vampires

I have many new ideas swirling around in my head these days--and making it so I have too many browser tabs open--because I've been trying to keep my blog focused on molybdenum recently in case some gastroenteritis researchers (I emailed hundreds of them in the past couple months) come across my blog during an internet search. Here's one of the new ideas, a result--as is often the case--of something thought-provoking posted by Glenn Reynolds at his Instapundit blog.

For some time, researchers have noted that if they take blood from young mice and put it in old mice, the old mice are rejuvenated. That led to many a joke about vampires on the Instapundit blog. Then a couple days ago, Reynolds posted a link to an article saying the young mouse blood increases the levels of the enzyme Tet2, which promotes rejuvenation. (; So I went hunting for something that can increase Tet2 expression, and found that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can promote its expression. ( And what can increase levels of H2S in the body? Garlic! (

If garlic consumption can help rejuvenate old bodies, then we should be able to see some sort of correlation between countries with high garlic consumption and longevity. One such piece of evidence has been apparent for some time: the life-extending effect of a "Mediterranean diet." ( People living around the Mediterranean Sea use a lot of garlic in their cooking. But the all-time highest consumers of garlic appear to be the South Koreans, who eat as much as 8-12 cloves per day. ( South Korea, interestingly enough, is forecast to lead the world in life expectancy for women:
There is a 90% probability that life expectancy at birth among South Korean women in 2030 will be higher than 86·7 years, the same as the highest worldwide life expectancy in 2012, and a 57% probability that it will be higher than 90 years. Projected female life expectancy in South Korea is followed by those in France, Spain, and Japan.

Not bad for a country that was mostly dependent on foreign aid into the 1970s. (

I think it's safe to say, at least on a population-wide basis, that eating large amounts of garlic can help rejuvenate our bodies without the necessity of turning to vampirism. That's amusing and ironic in light of the traditions about garlic supposedly being able to repel vampires. (

Friday, February 23, 2018

Garlic and H2S

As I've often discussed here on my blog and outlined in my published hypothesis about sulfite, "morning sickness," and molybdenum, I think that increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) usage in the body leads to excessive sulfite levels during pregnancy, and the sulfite excess then causes nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP).

Today while researching a different topic, I came across an article talking about how the organosulfur compounds in garlic are H2S donors. ( I think I finally know why I couldn't stand the smell of garlic during early pregnancy! We often tend to avoid --the scientific term for it is "conditioned taste aversion"-- things that have made us throw up in the past. ( If garlic made me more likely to throw up during my early pregnancies, then it is logical that I would have developed an aversion to garlic that manifested during subsequent periods of morning sickness. Even now, years later and not pregnant, I cringe a little internally at the sight of a ranch dressing bottle because of pregnancy memories of hating the smell of the garlic-containing ranch dressing within.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Steven Magee quotes about discovery

I found some good quotes about discovery by an author/writer named Steven Magee. His current areas of focus appear to be what many would consider "fringe" because he warns of dangers from ubiquitous electromagnetic radiation. Some of his ideas aren't out of the mainstream, though. For instance, talking about toxic effects of certain kinds of light is warranted in light of what has been learned about blue light suppressing melatonin at night. (; And then there are the recent mysterious injuries to US diplomats in Cuba, which some think might have been a result of radio waves. (

Regardless of whether every one of Magee's warnings about electromagnetic radiation exposure is warranted, he has some good things to say about why medical science exists:

“The human mind and body contains a myriad of secrets awaiting discovery.”

“Sickness is the motivator for research by those that recognize improved health is just a discovery away.”

“Curiosity is what powers discovery.”

“When walking alone on the path of discovery, have faith that you are illuminating the way for others to follow.”

“Research is an endless loop of failures interspersed with occasional profound discoveries.”

I like that he recognizes that a multitude of failures is an inevitable part of research but is still optimistic about all that awaits us as we continue to reach for more knowledge.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Glucosamine to protect cartilage during influenza infection

I like to research many things that don't have clear answers. I have only been taking so much time to post about molybdenum because it's relatively unknown and quite effective for nausea/vomiting and migraines. But the headlines these days have some scary stories about influenza and its toll. A friend lost her uncle a few days ago to post-influenza pneumonia. So here's what I've dug up on an overlooked nutritional intervention that appears to help protect against dying from influenza-caused pneumonia:

1) The flu infects chondrocytes, the cells in cartilage. They are the only cells in hyaline cartilage, which type of cartilage is coincidentally found in places--joints, rib ends, nose, larynx, trachea, bronchi--that are among the hardest hit by influenza. (

2) Influenza-infected chondrocytes don't seem to actually experience obvious damage until the body's immune system goes on the attack. (; [Edited 2/17/2018: Someone pointed out to me that chondrocytes are within an extracellular matrix that has no blood vessels, so other cells, including attacking immune cells, can't reach them. I looked more into that issue and found a 2015 cartilage transplant study which found that cartilage isn't as immune-privileged as it used to be believed it was ( I suspect that chondroblasts--the immature chondrocytes next to the blood-vessel-containing perichondrium--are the first chondrocytes which the immune system cells attack, and then due to their destruction the cartilage matrix becomes compromised; if that compromised state becomes severe enough, immune cells can then gain access to the mature chondrocytes within, as well.]

3) Cytokines are part of the immune system's attack arsenal. The cytokine IL-1beta is a critical component of lung inflammation during infection with influenza type A H1N1. (

4) Glucosamine--a natural compound found in cartilage--happens to protect chondrocytes by being a potent inhibitor of IL-1beta. (

5) Damaged cartilage in the trachea/bronchi could allow for more penetrating infection by viruses/bacteria that normally would not be able to do much harm and in that way make flu sufferers much more susceptible to pneumonia. Most of the people who died from the 1918 flu died because "bacteria that normally inhabit the nose and throat invaded the lungs along a pathway created when the virus destroyed the cells that line the bronchial tubes and lungs." (

6) People who take glucosamine (it's a common supplement for arthritis) are much less likely to die of respiratory illnesses than their peers. (

So if you're worried about influenza, it might be worth it to buy some glucosamine and take it when you're exposed to influenza so you can protect your hyaline cartilage and thus make yourself less likely to develop pneumonia. I tried glucosamine myself last week (I teach part-time, and influenza has been going around my classroom), and I never coughed at all despite having slight nasal secretions and some very short episodes of mild chills. I bought the glucosamine in loose powder form, mixed it into water, and sipped or gargled it, for the point was to protect my respiratory tract, not my intestines.

At the very least, drink some animal broth--which should typically contain a little glucosamine--when sick with influenza. I don't think it's prudent to be a vegetarian when dealing with influenza. A few years ago, a China-Diet-following relative of mine got the flu, then pneumonia, then barely survived ARDS. Also, India's 1918 flu statistics could be read to support the existence of some sort of protective effect correlated with acceptance of beef consumption.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Possible listeria infection

Here's the timeline for something that happened in our family almost a month ago. Enough time has elapsed that I feel pretty confident that it wasn't a norovirus, so I'm posting a blog entry about it now (February 24, 2018):

Jan. 29, 2018, Monday afternoon: I went shopping and bought some clearance produce, including a 2-lb package of pre-washed whole green beans. As I put them in the cart, I thought to myself, "I'd better wash or cook those before we eat them." The expiration date on the green bean bag was stated to be January 31, 2018.

Jan. 31, 2018, Wednesday afternoon: My teenage daughter needed treats for an activity that were supposed to be red and green colored. I said she could take the bag of green beans and a bag of red apples out of the refrigerator. I thought to myself, "I hope she remembers to wash them," but never said it to her. 

Jan. 31, 2018, Wednesday evening, 7:00-8:30 pm: My teenage daughter ate 2-3 medium-sized handfuls of the green beans at the activity. She didn't notice anyone else eating them. 

February 1, 2018, Thursday morning, 8 am: My teenage daughter made herself a sunny-side-up egg and did not cook the yolk all the way through.

February 1, 2018, Thursday morning, 11:25 am: My teenage daughter noticed "a faint, black rectangle pattern that was shimmering on the edges of her left eye." She thought it was due to looking at her computer screen for too long. It continued for about 15 minutes.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 11:30-12:00: She ate a large lunch.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 12:15 pm: While driving in the car, she was suddenly hit with a headache.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 12:30 pm: While still in the car, her stomach began hurting and she asked for some molybdenum. I gave her some.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 12:40 pm: I had to pull over because she felt like she was about to throw up. Fresh air and getting out of the car helped her not to throw up. I gave her more molybdenum.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 1:15 pm: After getting her to our house (with a break for her to sit in a parking lot for a while and try a piece of hard candy to increase saliva), I gave her more molybdenum, a container to throw up in, and a blanket to cover her while she rested on the sofa. She fell asleep on the sofa. She woke up about thirty minutes later and threw up. And then she felt much better. She still had a very mild headache and her stomach didn't hurt anymore.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 3:30 pm: She was acting normally and eating (practically dancing around in the kitchen next to all the family food preparation surfaces, to my chagrin). She says she had "the faintest headache [she'd] ever had." I gave her some more molybdenum since she'd thrown up the contents of her stomach earlier.

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 6:00 pm: She thinks she was totally recovered by then. She has not had diarrhea at all. To the contrary, she was constipated for a day or two afterward, which makes me wonder if excessive molybdenum can cause constipation.

Based on her headache and gastrointestinal symptoms and the suddenness with which they hit her, the most likely culprit for her illness appears to be listeriosis, i.e., infection with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The incubation period fits (, the visual disturbance symptom sounds similar to what one of her aunts experienced from suspected mild listeriosis in the past, and the apparent source--fresh produce--is a moderately common source of listeria ( 

My daughter has since checked with other people who were at her Wednesday night event, and only one other person recalled even eating any of the green beans, and that person ate just a few of the green beans. No one else got sick except for my daughter, who ate handfuls of the green beans.

I am fairly confident in ruling out norovirus or a similar virus because of the brain-related symptoms (e.g., visual disturbance and headache) and the fact that no one in the family has had an illness anything like this. After the past few months, we unfortunately have a good knowledge of how the more common gastrointestinal viruses affect our family.

I find it interesting that she hasn't had any diarrhea, as that is the one of the most common symptoms associated with mild listeriosis. ( Maybe the molybdenum she took helped prevent it. But molybdenum didn't stop the initial vomiting episode, even if it might have helped delay it. I suspect we've just run up against a limitation of molybdenum. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that we've used molybdenum for a probable bacterial illness. We have since watched this little animation of how the listeria bacteria infects and poisons our cells, and it made me very grateful for my child's well-functioning immune system:

I contacted the customer service hotline of the store and told them about her symptoms. They asked many questions and directed us to freeze the bag of green beans in case it becomes necessary for them to send someone to collect it and test it. I'm happy to see they take possible listeria in their produce so seriously. The green beans are still in my freezer. I wonder how long they expect me to hold on to them?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Molybdenum and Diarrhea

This is not a blog about feces. I think about feces as little as I can, as do most humans. A sure way to create a political firestorm appears to be mentioning feces. If you can't stand feces discussions, ignore this post.

When my sister and I first started trying molybdenum in our families and getting successful results in dramatically shortening and averting gastroenteritis symptoms, we did not discuss stools much. It seemed to me that we still had a little diarrhea sometimes in my family, but I didn't care that much about it. Diarrhea gets flushed down the toilet and so is less messy than vomiting, and as a mother of five children, the level of messiness was what I cared about. Well, that and my kids not going through the misery of vomiting.

In fall of December 2016, a friend from church who successfully tried molybdenum for migraines reported that it gave her really bad diarrhea and so she wasn't going to use it very often. But later, she said she'd "fixed her diet" and could now take molybdenum for her migraines and that diarrhea had ceased to be an issue. I don't know what diet changes she made.

Then a few weeks ago, another friend started giving her adult post-traumatic-brain-injury son molybdenum because his medications made him feel sick to his stomach. She was surprised and very pleased to discover that the molybdenum ended his diarrhea; he'd been having diarrhea constantly and required 6-7 clothing changes per day. Now he doesn't require any clothing changes outside the usual.

After I started emailing researchers, one responded back and mentioned that molybdenum, if as effective as I'm reporting, could help many young children. That gave me pause. I'd been thinking of molybdenum as more of a convenience intervention, something to end the gross vomiting. I looked into what he was talking about and realized that each year norovirus kills around 50,000 children < 5 years of age. That is a large, sad number! But the way it kills is dehydration, of which diarrhea is the major cause (although vomiting certainly doesn't help). Can molybdenum help all these little kids not die of diarrhea?

I went back and asked my sister and friends who were using molybdenum for gastrointestinal viruses and had young children whether molybdenum was having an effect on the presence of diarrhea. The answer was a clear "Yes!" Loose stools sometimes still, but the molybdenum is somehow helping them avoid most of the diarrhea which they would normally experience from these viruses. That indicates molybdenum has the potential to be a significant life-saving intervention in poorer countries.

How is molybdenum helping prevent diarrhea? I'd really rather leave that puzzle for the diarrhea experts. If pressed to state a hypothesis, I would suggest that sulfite might induce diarrhea and so molybdenum--by aiding the conversion of sulfite to sulfate--decreases diarrhea. Why? Because of my migraineur friend above. Molybdenum gave her diarrhea until she changed her diet. Why did molybdenum do so? I suspected back when she first reported it that molybdenum was helping her more quickly convert sulfite to sulfate in her stomach and so resulting in more sulfate reaching her small intestine. A sudden increase in sulfate ingestion has been observed to cause diarrhea. ( That indicates to me that she might have had an excess of sulfate-reducing (i.e., changing sulfate to sulfite and then hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which the body can turn around and catabolise, creating sulfite again) bacteria in her small intestine previously and that her diet shift changed her gut microbiome so as to substantially reduce the amount of sulfate-reducing bacteria. But that's just a guess.

One issue though: In poorer countries, they tend to eat a lot of beans and lentils, and yet they still have serious pediatric diarrhea issues. If molybdenum--which is highest in beans and lentils--is helpful against vomiting and diarrhea from gastrointestinal viruses, then shouldn't it already be protecting the people there? I think it does. There is a prevalence of asymptomatic* norovirus in many countries (which also means a lot of people are passing around viruses without knowing it--, and those countries seem to be ones where the diet has a higher whole bean and lentil content. Young children may be eating more starch and less of the pulses than are the older children and adults. Also, I've noticed that the effects of molybdenum appear to be dose-dependent. The larger the dose I give, the more dramatic the relief from gastrointestinal virus symptoms. I now often give my family the upper tolerable intake level of molybdenum when viruses come to visit us, and that makes a bigger difference than the smaller doses I used initially.

Naturally, I'd like to know when the doses are too high, and so I really need the professionals to research this and make official recommendations and protocols based on more evidence than I currently have. But my children's lives don't depend on whether I'm using molybdenum properly. That is unfortunately not the case in many poorer countries, so I hope that some researchers will energetically research and then effectively promote molybdenum as a viral gastroenteritis intervention.

* Or mostly asymptomatic. Many taxis in Manila advertise medicines for "LBM," which means "loose bowel movement."

[Edit: My friend with the post-TBI adult son also has a diabetic husband who constantly suffers "digestive issues" and diarrhea. She told me today that she started her husband on 150 mcg molybdenum every other day, and it has greatly alleviated his digestive issues and diarrhea.]

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Emailing researchers about molybdenum

In the past week or two, I've sent off around 40 emails about molybdenum's helpfulness with gastrointestinal virus-caused nausea to 60+ researchers/public health officials and cruise lines. I've had one cruise line respond and three researchers so far. I'm actually very pleased with that number of responses because I know how much spam mail I get inviting me to bogus conferences and asking me to submit papers to sketchy journals, and I expect many of my emails go immediately to spam folders due to my lack of an .edu or .gov email address. There are drawbacks to being an independent researcher.

Yesterday, as I was responding to one researcher, I had to laugh a little because I was literally taking a molybdenum tablet as I wrote to him. Remember my complaints about how "stomach bugs" keep circulating in my church and school circles? Monday, I visited a friend whose son was home sick with a vomit-causing virus and helped her wash dishes. Then Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn't feel so great. I think I took around 2000 mcg in 250 mcg doses over the past two days because my stomach kept feeling "wrong," for lack of a better word. I found out Wednesday night that my friend and her daughter were homebound with a "stomach bug," probably the same one her son had on Monday.

It's Thursday now. The weird feeling has moved to my lower abdomen, so I'm apparently nearly done passing this virus. I never threw up. My friend does know about molybdenum and uses it to shorten the duration once the vomiting hits, but I think I'm quicker to take molybdenum than my friend because I've had more experience with it (my 18 months versus her 1 month). If I recall correctly, I took some molybdenum right after leaving her house on Monday because I knew I had likely been exposed to her son's virus.

By taking molybdenum earlier on, I escape vomiting entirely and go merrily on my way, no doubt shedding viruses at some point. So I make a conscious effort to wash my hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food because I don't want to pass this to the rest of my family or anyone else. So here's a question: Is it better for society for me to stay home vomiting and isolated for a day or two or continually out in society due to being mostly asymptomatic? Considering we let children go back to school a mere 24 hours after vomiting and that viruses are being shed for weeks or more afterward (, I don't think it makes a difference as long as I am aware that I am potentially shedding viruses and so practice thorough handwashing.

Friday, January 19, 2018

"First, do no harm"

From wikipedia:
Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "first, do no harm." The phrase is sometimes recorded as primum nil nocere. 
Non-maleficence, which is derived from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of bioethics that all healthcare students are taught in school and is a fundamental principle throughout the world. Another way to state it is that, "given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good." It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.
In October, I reported that my husband's co-worker had seen a 2/3 reduction in her chronic migraines since she started taking a mere 70 mcg of a molybdenum supplement at bedtime. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for molybdenum is 45 mcg for an adult woman, and she wasn't even doubling that.
For three months she took molybdenum, during which she had only one major headache and only a few little ones. It was a dramatic lessening of migraines from what she had been experiencing before she started taking molybdenum. Then she told her doctor that she was taking supplemental molybdenum. 
The doctor's response was, "That's a metal! Stop taking it." So she stopped taking it. And now her migraines are back. 
This doctor's directive appears to be based on incomplete information, and it manifestly did harm to my husband's co-worker. Molybdenum is an essential trace nutrient. It is included in Pediasure and Centrum multivitamins. It is relatively high--for a micronutrient--in lentils and beans, meaning billions of people eat it regularly. Can molybdenum be harmful in excess? Yes, particularly if inhaling it in an industrial setting. ( Anything--including water and oxygen--is harmful in excess. But not getting any molybdenum at all will put a human in a coma. ( Blanket restrictions are inappropriate where a nutrient is clearly contributing to better health; at the very least, performing some extra investigation is appropriate before intervening in such a way.
Having experienced three months of substantial relief from migraines due to molybdenum, my husband's co-worker is now going to look into taking the Centrum multivitamin formulations that include 45 mcg molybdenum, as well as increasing her intake of lentils. She says she's "a believer" about molybdenum's effectiveness to decrease migraines.
I wish the researchers I've been emailing about molybdenum for migraines (and nausea/vomiting from gastrointestinal viruses) would take my reports seriously so that news about its effects would spread in the medical community. I'll keep sending out emails until it does. Come on, medical world! Don't let me down!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Unfortunate lack of knowledge about molybdenum in the medical field

Last weekend, I told a group of people about how molybdenum has been preventing nausea and vomiting from gastrointestinal viruses in lots of people. The listeners seemed interested except for one woman. She said, "Isn't that a heavy metal?" (Yes, as are iron, zinc, and selenium.) She reacted with horror when I said I'd given it to my children. "You gave it to your toddler?" (Yes, this oh-so-sketchy substance which is an added ingredient in Pediasure. I gave it to my toddler as-needed and at doses around the established tolerable upper intake level.) My attempts to protest in favor of molybdenum's nutritional value, for it is in many foods and has a set Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), were ineffective. And here's the strangest part of the story: she is a physician.

Molybdenum is essential--in the right amounts--to human health, and she apparently knew nothing about it except that it was a heavy metal. I thought she might just be an outlier. Surely her lack of information about molybdenum is not representative of what's going on widely in medicine, right? Unfortunately, she appears to have much company in ignorance about molybdenum. I'll tell a similar such story about another doctor (at least, it's statistically unlikely to be the same doctor) in my next post.

I'm not trying to be harsh toward anyone. Ignorance is a normal state of affairs until something has been learned. After all, I was totally ignorant of molybdenum two years ago. I still remember seeing it listed as a nutrient on a webpage about barley and thinking, "Molybdenum? What's that?" (And I definitely didn't know how to pronounce it. It took a couple of months before I could easily say it, which was rather comical when I tried to tell people about it.) I addressed my ignorance by seeking out more information about molybdenum. I clicked on the first webpage's hyperlink to a page on molybdenum, and as I looked at the second page's list of foods considered good sources of molybdenum, I recognized that they were the same foods as those correlated with less "morning sickness."

Rates of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy were correlated with high intake of macronutrients (kilocalories, protein, fat, carbohydrate), as well as sugars, stimulants, meat, milk and eggs, and with low intake of cereals and pulses. 

GV Pepper, SC Roberts. Rates of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and dietary characteristics across populations. Proc Biol Sci 2006;273(1601):2675-2679.

The only reason I knew about the 2006 diet study was because of my prior pregnancies, during which I scoured the internet for information about how to not suffer so much from my "morning sickness." When I saw the list of foods high in molybdenum, my brain made the connection between the 2006 study findings and those foods. It was one of the coolest "Eureka" moments of my life. And given how molybdenum has ended up being helpful for both nausa/vomiting and migraines, it was probably the most impact-making "Eureka" moment I'll ever have. I stumbled on something big because I was willing to learn about something I hadn't known about before. I hope others are also willing to learn. Just because ignorance is a normal state of affairs doesn't mean we have to remain there.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Will it ever end?

My kindergartner's classmate threw up at school yesterday. I was really hoping that the Christmas/New Year break would stop the sharing of gastroinestinal viruses that was going on for much of the first half of the school year. Oh, well. At least I can help my own family and friends. I sure wish researchers would get on this.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Profit vs. Nonprofit: And the race is on!

This past week, I emailed two kinds of organizations about the effectiveness of molybdenum supplements to avoid vomiting from gastrointestinal viruses: 1) academic/government researchers who specialize in viral gastroenteritis, and 2) cruise ship lines. I sent them all the information in the past two posts, and told them about the 70+ gastroenteritis-infected people who have thus far experienced relief as a result of taking molybdenum, an overlooked-but-essential micronutrient. (It's now 71+ successes due to yet another friend trying it yesterday, incidentally.)

Now we will see who takes this information seriously and spends the $7/bottle to buy some molybdenum and test it, and who doesn't take it seriously. Will it be the profit-motivated cruise lines who suffer public relations nightmares every time they have a norovirus outbreak sickening hundreds on a voyage? Or will it be the government- and university-paid researchers who the public gives money to in order to find solutions to health problems? I don't know.

I lean towards thinking that the cruise line doctors/nurses will be the first to realize that molybdenum is dramatically effective because I think that, in general, profit is a more powerful motivator than altruism. (I have nothing against altruism, of course; I teach it to my children all the time, and I wish everyone were motivated regularly by it.) However, cruise line medical staff are likely hired for non-research skills more relevant to their jobs, and they probably tend to do everything by their protocols in order to avoid lawsuits. Still, they have a perfect place to look at whether consumption of molybdenum-rich foods is associated with lower nausea and vomiting from viral gastroenteritis infections because their workplace also supplies their patients with nearly all their food. There's nothing controversial about putting more lentils on the menu in a few dining rooms.

On the other hand, what academic/government researcher wouldn't want to be part of a discovery this big? Also if the CDC and Johns Hopkins don't care about a report that there is a cheap, safe way to stop vomiting from norovirus-type infections, then every US taxpayer has a reason to feel sorely let down.

So, we'll see.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Molybdenum for Gastroenteritis Nausea and Vomiting, part 2

(continued from the previous post)

Gastrointestinal infections, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Sulfite 

A typical part of a viral gastroenteritis infection is damage to the mucosa (lining) of the proximal small intestine (the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach).[1] Our bodies make and use hydrogen sulfide (H2S) while working to protect the gastric[2] [3] and intestinal mucosa.[4]

It is still being investigated exactly how H2S is afterward transformed in the body, but one of its catabolic products is known to be sulfite. Moreover, it was recently discovered that there appears to be a previously-unknown H2S oxidation pathway using neuroglobin.[5] Neuroglobin has been discovered to be expressed in the cells of the stomach fundus and the small intestine after hypoxia.[6] I suspect that neuroglobin-assisted H2S catabolism results in more net sulfite than the better known sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase catabolic pathway and that it could be a major contributor to the presence of sulfite in the stomach and small intestine at levels high enough to trigger vomiting.

In most people, sulfite oxidase typically seems able to handle the amount of sulfite resulting from endogenous hydrogen sulfide metabolism. However, in the absence of sufficient molybdenum, magnesium,[7] or P5P (active vitamin B6 is involved in making heme, which is part of sulfite oxidase),[8] sulfite oxidase might not reach necessary levels of activity, for those three nutrients are needed to form sulfite oxidase and the molybdenum cofactor. The main result of insufficient sulfite oxidase activity is a buildup of nausea-inducing sulfite. It thus follows that supplemental molybdenum can reduce nausea.

mARC 1 and mARC 2

Two relatively recently discovered molybdenum-utilizing enzymes are the mARC 1 and mARC 2 enzymes. They appear to be involved with nitric oxide (NO) production,[9] and NO and H2S cooperatively interact in many ways.[10] [11] Thus mARC1 and mARC2 might also be involved in the pathophysiology of nausea and vomiting.


I have written this because I have seen molybdenum dramatically prevent nausea and vomiting from gastrointestinal viruses, as well as shorten the duration of gastrointestinal virus symptoms even after vomiting has already begun. I think current research supports a hypothesis that molybdenum does so by supporting optimal activity of the molybdenum-utilizing enzymes sulfite oxidase and possibly mARC1 and mARC2.

Because this discovery has great potential for improvement of public health, I think it urgent for professional researchers to explore molybdenum’s effect in alleviating gastrointestinal virus-caused nausea and vomiting and establish appropriate dosage guidelines for its use.

- CT


[1] Widerlite L, Trier JS, Blacklow NR, Schreiber DS. Structure of the gastric mucosa in acute infectious bacterial gastroenteritis. Gastroenterology 1975;68(3):425-430.
[2] Bronowicka-Adamska P, Wróbel M, Magierowski M, Magierowska K, Kwiecień S, Brzozowski T. Hydrogen sulphide production in healthy and ulcerated gastric mucosa of rats. Molecules 2017;22(4). pii: E530.
[3] Souza LK, Araújo TS, Sousa NA, Sousa FB, Nogueira KM, Nicolau LA, Medeiros JV. Evidence that d-cysteine protects mice from gastric damage via hydrogen sulfide produced by d-amino acid oxidase. Nitric Oxide 2017;64:1-6.
[4] Wallace JL, Caliendo G, Santagada V, Cirino G, Fiorucci S. Gastrointestinal safety and anti-inflammatory effects of a hydrogen sulfide-releasing diclofenac derivative in the rat. Gastroenterology 2007;132(1):261-271.
[5] Bilska-Wilkosz A, Iciek M, Górny M, Kowalczyk-Pachel D. The Role of Hemoproteins: Hemoglobin, Myoglobin and Neuroglobin in Endogenous Thiosulfate Production Processes. Int J Mol Sci 2017;18(6). pii: E1315. doi: 10.3390/ijms18061315.
[6] Emara M, Turner AR, Allalunis-Turner J. Hypoxic regulation of cytoglobin and neuroglobin expression in human normal and tumor tissues. Cancer Cell Int 2010;10:33.
[7] Mendel RR. The Molybdenum Cofactor. J Bio Chem 2013;288:13165-13172.
[8] Heinemann IU, Jahn M, Jahn D. Arch. The biochemistry of heme biosynthesis. Biochem Biophys 2008;474(2):238-251.
[9] Sparacino-Watkins CE, Tejero J, Sun B, Gauthier MC, Thomas J, Ragireddy V, Merchant BA, Wang J, Azarov I, Basu P, Gladwin MT. Nitrite reductase and nitric-oxide synthase activity of the mitochondrial molybdopterin enzymes mARC1 and mARC2. J Biol Chem 2014; 289(15):10345-10358.
[10] Farrugia G, Szurszewski JH. Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Nitric Oxide as Signaling Molecules in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Gastroenterology 2014;147(2): 303–313.
[11] Szabo C. Hydrogen sulfide, an enhancer of vascular nitric oxide signaling: mechanisms and implications. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2017 Jan 1;312(1):C3-C15.