Oxidized Phospholipids and Autoimmune Disease

December 03, 2023

Oxidized Phospholipids And Autoimmune Diseases

The Holy Grail of medicine is "just what starts it all". We have yet to find that unified hypothesis of disease that would explain how the human body gets in trouble. Inflammation is a pretty broad excuse and doesn't quite get down to the details that matter.

I have witnessed two remarkable events in the last month that might give insight. They both got my curiosity going. One was in a client with modestly abnormal oxidation of cholesterol and a high cardiac calcium score. On taking Plasmalogens, Nitric oxide, and a statin, showed the most dramatic improvement in oxidation levels I've ever witnessed. I've seen dozens of statins not changing much. The second was a person with interstitial cystitis who was desperate, having failed all conventional therapy. She started on Prodrome Glia, the plasmalogen designed to repair white matter in the brain and have potent anti-inflammatory effects. She took a 100 mg per kg dose and had 80-90% symptom relief in just 3 hours.

There have been reports in the literature for almost twenty years that oxidizing compounds are the actual cause of coronary artery disease. It was in 2006 that Tsimikas published in the J Am College of Cardiology the results of the Bruneck Study, a 10-year follow-up of 765 men for coronary artery disease with the finding that it was oxidized phospholipids (that's plasmalogens) that predicted future coronary artery disease better than any other marker. The sequence of disease in coronary artery disease is now widely acknowledged as being some sort of oxidizing stress that damages the endothelium, the lining of the arteries throughout the body. With damage to the endothelium, the cells that make up the lining pull apart, leaving gaps. Into those gaps come oxidized LDLs. Cholesterol accumulates. It was the oxidation of the plasmalogens in the endothelial cells that made the gaps. This leaves the "oxidizing stress" as the first initiator of coronary artery disease. The subsequent damage to plasmalogens makes for oxidized phospholipids, which are the acknowledged most accurate predictors of future stress. Lowering cholesterol with statins is a sideshow. Repairing oxidative stress is the main act.

We've also heard the recent report of 7 children from Seattle with COVID myocarditis and C-reactive proteins above 100 resolved in just 48 hours with Prodrome Glia. This suggests that the pathology of COVID myocarditis is plasmalogen loss in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (the membrane, made of plasmalogens, that surrounds all muscle cells and sequesters calcium releasing when needed it to allow contraction). COVID depletes that membrane plasmalogen content and heart symptoms follow. Replenishment repairs the damage in 48 hours.

These three disparate events can only be explained by depletion of membrane lipids (plasmalogens) by some oxidizing stressor. The body can only repair those membranes slowly in the environment of ongoing oxidative stress. Interstitial cystitis waxes and wanes with mysterious irregularity and can last a lifetime. Want to fix it in 3 hours? Want to repair your coronary artery disease? Your COVID? The Holy Grail of common pathways may be before us. Maybe all autoimmune diseases are caused by membrane damage, exposing naked tissue below that then develops antibodies. We've been chasing the antibodies. Perhaps we should be focusing on repairing the loss of phospholipid building blocks in the membranes.

www.What will Work for me? I'm letting these observations soak in. The more I look in the published literature, the more evidence I find to support the observations I'm seeing. The question is, "What is the source of oxidative stress and how can I fix it." Oxidate stress probably comes most reliably from processed carbohydrates and fructose. Table sugar and white flour converted into donuts, chocolate ice cream, fast food with no fiber, and just about every prepared food we eat puts us at some risk. Visceral fat is the manifestation in our abdomens that we have oxidative stress in abundance. My little poochy tummy is there. It's my job to lose it.

References: Subcell BiochemJr Am College of Cardiology, Biochem Cell Biol,  Matrix Biology, Arterio Thromb Vasc., Natur Clin Pract Urology

Pop Quiz

1. What is this evil Darth Vader called oxidative stress?                        Answer: Extra electrons that escape the mitochondria and cause the production of reactive oxygen species.

2. Why are the mitochondria so touchy?                        Answer: The mitochondrion is a miraculous organelle upon which all animal life depends. It is what it is. It functions best when it has food fed to it in a regulated fashion. A flood of calories from processed foods overwhelms it. Think putting gasoline into your gas can with a small funnel that overflows. That's oxidative stress. When you light the match. In human history, we have never had mounds of sugar on top of highly refined flour, on top of mounds of saturated fats that we call Thanksgiving or fast food, or a bag of chips during a football game. Our food has been so purified, it gets digested too fast with too many calories. That tips the balance.

3. Why do plasmalogens get depleted?                          Answer: A plasmalogen is a membrane lipid, making up some 20% of every cell membrane in your body, but 70% of your myelin in your brain and in the synapses in your brain. It is the only lipid with a precious, vinyl ether bond on the outer surface of the cell that is positioned to soak up peroxide, made by oxidative stress. They are the anti-oxidant of first resort. Vit C and E are intracellular. They come second. That saves the cell but depletes the plasmalogens. You get in trouble when you have ongoing oxidative stress that strips away your plasmalogens. As you deplete plasmalogens, you deplete cellular function. (This, in a nugget, is my explanation of the Holy Grail of Medicine). Let's see if this plays out.

4. Has this hypothesis been proven?                      Answer. No, not in large studies. But the clinical story is before us that can be explained in no other fashion, and the bench research supports it.

5. What's changed that this is just coming out now?                        Answer: Dayan Goodenowe has learned how to manufacture the plasmalogen supplements that survive digestion and show up in your blood as the missing, damaged plasmalogen building blocks to repair the oxidized membranes. We have never had the ability to repair damaged membranes before. We had to just wait. We are at the dawn of a revolution in medicine. Aren't we lucky?