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.]

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