Early Detection & Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases with Dr. Aristo Vojdani: Rational Wellness Podcast 345

Dr. Aristo Vojdani discusses the Early Detection and Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases at the Functional Medicine Discussion Group meeting on January 25, 2024 with moderator Dr. Ben Weitz.  

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Podcast Highlights

6:52  Predictive Autoimmunity.  Antinuclear antibody, ANA, is the best overall screen for autoimmunity and if the person is ANA positive, there is a high probability of autoimmune disease in the next 5-10 years.  There has been a sharp increase in the positivity of ANA in the US population, which corresponds to the rise in autoimmune diseases, which is likely due to our toxic environment. 

16:19  Autoimmunity.  Autoimmunity is a condition that takes years to develop.  Stage 1 is silent autoimmunity where testing will indicate auto-antibodies but the patient does not have any symptoms. Stage 2 is when the antibodies are elevated and there is some symptoms and a minimal loss of function. Stage 3 is when you have elevated antibodies, significant symptoms, other labs abnormal, and lots of loss of function.  The goal of immunology is to detect stage 1, so you can then find and remove the triggers in order to prevent full blown autoimmune disease.



Dr. Aristo Vojdani is the Father of Functional Immunology and he has dedicated his life’s research to helping us figure out what are the triggers for autoimmune diseases and many of the tests he has developed for Cyrex Labs are focused on this.  Dr. Vojdani has a PhD in microbiology and immunology and he has authored over 200 scientific papers published in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Vojdani is the co-owner of Immunosciences Lab in Los Angeles, which offers testing for various types of infections, including Lyme Disease. He is the Chief Science advisor for Cyrex Labs, whom he has developed all of the testing for, including the Lymphocyte Map test, Array 2 for Leaky Gut, and Array 5, The Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Panel, and from Immunosciences, the Autoimmune Viral Trio Panel

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.  Dr. Weitz has also successfully helped many patients with managing their weight and improving their athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:                            Hey. This is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field. To bring you the latest in cutting edge health information, subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates. And to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me, and let’s jump into the podcast.  Welcome everybody. We’re going to get started. I’d like to introduce Steve Snyder. Steve, why don’t you come on up, and tell us about Integrative Therapeutics, which, we appreciate, is one of our sponsors this evening.

Steve:                                  No bright lights though. Hi, I’m Steve. Most of you know who I am. Is that working?

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. Hold it close to your mouth.

Steve:                                  Like that?

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah.

Steve:                                  So, normally, we have samples and literature stuff, but because it’s the new year and we’re rebranding, we don’t have any of that stuff now, but I’m going to mention a couple of products, and if you’re interested in any of them, we can just connect and I can get you full sized trials of them.  For autoimmune, we have 3 ones in mind to talk about. One of them is our Glutathione Cell Defense. Quicksilver has done a really good job of convincing everybody that you have to have liposomal glutathione to increase glutathione levels. That’s not true. We happen to have one that has been shown to increase glutathione levels at a dose dependent manner. It’s a higher potency, less expensive per milligram, and less expensive per day than the Quicksilver one. It’s in capsule form. It’s a great product.

                                                The other one I wanted to mention, and if you’ve been here before, we mention it for every topic, because it’s good for everything, is the Curalieve, which is our new high bioavailable curcumin. If you’re familiar with our Theracurmin, it’s about 5 times more bioavailable than Theracurmin. So, some of the guys that helped create Theracurmin spun off on their own. They created this new product. They came to us and said, “Hey. We think this is better. We’d like you to market it for us.” And we looked at it, and went, “Ugh, God, it’s better.” So now we have both. We’re not discontinuing Theracurmin, but the Curalieve is the real deal. New delivery technology, not a whole lot more expensive.

                                                And then, the other one that we want to talk about real quick is vitamin D. It’s not anything sexy, but we have some really, really tasty chocolate chewable vitamin D tablets that everybody who uses them loves them. So, all of those are something that I’m happy to let you try, and just find me later, and we can talk about that.

Dr. Weitz:                            By the way, if you happen to be watching or viewing this on Apple or YouTube, these offers are for practitioners only.

Steve:                                   Good point. Yeah.

Dr. Weitz:                            Heather Sunshine from Cyrex.

Steve:                                  Integrative Therapeutics, yeah.

Dr. Weitz:                            Please come up and tell us about Cyrex Labs, our other sponsor here this evening. Thank you for that.

Heather:                              Hello everyone. My name is Heather Sunshine. I think most of you guys probably know me in the past as Heather Ngo. So, I recently got married, and you know why I didn’t appear at the last meeting, right? So anyway, I am going to be territory manager at Cyrex Laboratories. We are a specialty lab. We focus on environmentally induced autoimmunity. We understand the environment plays a huge role, such as the foods that we eat, and chemicals that we’re exposed to, pathogens, so those are in our environmental trigger panels. And then, we also have barrier panels, since we understand that’s the gateway to autoimmunity. Neural autoimmunity.  So we have intestinal permeability screen, our blood-brain barrier [inaudible 00:04:03]. And this is a serum kit, okay? And it is done by ELISA methodology, which sets us apart from all the other labs. This is our 4 pillars of excellence. We have antigen purification system, because Dr. Vojdani understands that a test is only as good as the purity of the antigen. We also optimize antigen concentration. We understand that each food have different proteins, so we validate each and every single one. You get a reference range specifically to that food. And then we also do side by side testing, duplicating. And then we also have our flow cytometry test, which is our Lymphocyte MAP test, which is an advanced laser technology, providing you with B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells,  [inaudible 00:04:55] providing you ratios, counts, and percentages, so looking at your immune system right now.  So, I have a lot of materials at my booth. Please come by and grab those. And if you don’t want the hard copy, I can send you a PDF as well. Thank you so much.

Dr. Weitz:                            Thank you, Heather. And our speaker for this evening, the esteemed Dr. Aristo Vojdani, the father of functional immunology. And he’s going to be speaking about the Early Detection and Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases. Dr. Vojdani has a PhD in Microbiology. He’s a very prolific researcher. He’s published hundreds of scientific papers. I’m a member of ResearchGate. I don’t know if you’re on there, but constantly, another paper by Dr. Vojdani. He’s just unbelievable. And he’s also published 2 books. He’s the CEO and Technical Director for Immunosciences Lab. And he’s the Chief Science Officer for Cyrex Labs, and he’s developed all of their tests. He’s also a professor at the Department of Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University. He was awarded the Linus Pauling Award, and he was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Jeffrey Bland, Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Dr. Vojdani, thank you.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Thank you, Ben. And I’m extremely happy to be here in person, finally, finally. And all of us wish you optimal health. Thank you. Okay.  So, as you and I get about 30 different journals every month, immunology related medicine [inaudible 00:06:50] journal. And, in past 2-3 years, I read more and more articles about predictive immunology, predictive immunology. And that’s what all of you are doing. So, tonight, specifically, I’m going to talk about maybe predictive autoimmunity, which is major part of predictive immunology.

                                                So, I decided to start with this slide. Just look at the title. You know what is ANA, antinuclear antibody. All of you know what it is? Antinuclear antibody is the best test for screening for autoimmunity, majority of them. If ANA is positive, probability of the next 5-10 years the person will develop some kind of autoimmune disease is very, very high.  So, up to like 5 years, 10 years ago, they were looking at antinuclear antibody, and in healthy population, so called, found between 3-5% had antinuclear antibodies.  And, because they didn’t have any symptoms of autoimmune disease, either they just disregard that, antinuclear antibodies.  So, Dr. Frederick Miller, who, I think retired about a year ago, before that published this fantastic article in Archives of Arthritis and Rheumatology, where he looked at occurrence of antinuclear antibodies between 1990-2000 something, 10, 12, in 15 years, and he found that, you see the increase. So, in 1970, let’s say it was only 8%, sharp increase in positivity of our U.S. population. So the question I am asking, what do you think the reason is?  This is indication of the rise of autoimmunities. Please.

Dr. Yahner:                         Exposure to a toxic environment.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Thank you very much. I’m glad you did not mention improvement in testing. Okay. That’s what rheumatologists are saying. But believe me, I work in clinical lab for past 40 years, 50 years. They’re saying that the technology we used to use 40 years ago, we are using the same method. Nothing has changed. So don’t try to sell me that. So, thank you so much. Okay. Now, that’s one issue.

                                                The second issue is this. Our genome is different from each other. Our fingerprint is different from each other. Our immune print is different from each other. So the question I’m asking… three different individuals, if you look up there, with three different immune prints… let’s take like 10 different individuals. Six of them will be in the middle, only 6 of them. They enjoy from balanced immune system. They are in the right sweet spot. Three of them will have hyperactivation of the immune system. One of them, hypoactivation of the immune system, autoimmunity and immune deficiency. So, why is it then, when we get sick, when I got sick from COVID, I went to see the when I went to Cedar’s Sinai, they put me right away on dexamethasone, without looking whether I was falling in the middle, in the right, or to the left. I was lucky that I was among this group. I had hyperactivation of the immune system, and the cytokine storm and all of that, so this medication helped.  But think about that individual, what dexamethasone would do to that person. Probably will kill that person. So, we cannot take everybody and say, “Okay, one medication for all.” That’s why the beauty of personalized medicine, and also, in scientific journals, we read a lot about personalized treatment.

                                                So, the other thing is, the third thing I would like to say, when we do measurements, there are 3 groups. There is a pattern. So, if you look at total immunoglobulin in the middle, that’s the best level of total IgG. Start from 700 all the way to 1,500, but to me, that’s the best, around 1,000. This individual is at 1,812. It’s very high, so hyperactivation of the immune system. Ask yourself. And then that individual, low total IgG. And if you look at secretory IgA, there is a pattern, also is low. Then, TNF alpha is low. That is humoral immunity, the soluble factors in the blood.  We look at cell-mediated immunity. The lymphocytes are low. B-cells are low. CD4/CD8 ratio is low. Here is high. F1 is in the middle. So therefore, there is a pattern, correlates with each other. And the main reason is that, the person having low total IgG, who is making the IgG? The B-cell. So, don’t be surprised why we have no B-cells. And the same with the visual. So, the same thing. So therefore, there is a pattern in the immune system. And that’s why we measure so many tests simultaneously in order to detect, to increase that detection, probability of detection of immune disorders by testing more components of innate adaptive immunity, humoral cell-mediated immunity, and mucosal immunity.

                                                So, yesterday, I gave a lecture through Rupa, and the lecture was about systems immunology. What I was talking about right now is all about systems immunology. And system immunology is really, you have to look at the immune system as a whole, holistic. Cannot look at IgG only without looking at B-cells, which is producing it. Right?   So, just look at the title of this article from August 2023, “Making Human Immune System More Interpretable Through Systems Immunology,” and then, “Predictable Human Immunology Boasts Implications for Better Diagnostics and Purity Precision in Patient with Infections and Immune-Associated Diseases.” That’s almost everything. 

So, now, let’s talk about autoimmunity. We do not go to bed, wake up in the morning with autoimmune disease. It takes many years to develop an autoimmune disease. So, the green is the ideal place to be. But then there are 3 different stages of autoimmunity. Stage 1, which is silent autoimmunity, you do testing, like ANA, rheumatoid factor, immune complexes, [inaudible 00:17:10] antibody, mitochondrial antibodies, and then you see some elevation, but patient doesn’t have any symptoms. So that’s 1. Stage 2 is, antibodies are elevated with some symptoms and loss of functionality, some. And then, of course, stage 3 is elevated antibodies, significant symptoms, and signs of lab and other types of abnormal, and lots of loss of function.  And so, the art of immunology, the art of medicine, is to detect at least at the stage 1. So, by finding the triggers, as you said before, try to remove the triggers, and prevent progression from stage 1 to stage 2 and stage 3. I think this is the central message.

                                                Now, let me share with you also very important information. Again, the reference is right there, published in Journal of Autoimmune Disease, or Autoimmunity, where Dr. Ma, or Professor Ma, looked at predictive antibodies for different autoimmune diseases. And again, in the interest of time, I choose only one slide from very important article.  So, first of all, we know that genes plus environmental factors play a role in autoimmunities. Gene is one third, environment is other two third. Okay? So that’s given. So, they found that antibodies appeared in the blood 3 years after 19 years for some disorders. Look at anti-mitochondrial antibody, so the antibody we produce against our own mitochondria. And then, for almost 19 years, we do not develop, for example, liver autoimmunity. But, in other cases, maybe 3 years, anti-myelin basic protein antibodies are detected 3 years before development of multiple sclerosis. So therefore, these antibodies, even 3 years, can help us to stop, at least, progression of autoimmune diseases. That’s why it’s important to do testing.

                                                Another slide, which I like, that the antibody is a driver, but is a crazy driver. He’s driving 250 miles per hour with Toyota. Okay? Now, if T-helper 1 and T-helper 17, the car also crazy, together, that car will have an accident, and that accident is going to be an autoimmune disease. So there is collaboration between antibodies and cell-mediated immunity as well, that we should not forget that. We call Th1 and Th17 autoreactive lymphocytes. They are important for our functionality, but, these are the one that cross the blood-brain barriers and attack the neurons, or they release, for example, IL-17, which is a cytokine, and that cytokine can activate microglia and other cells to attack the neurons. So, this is the panel that we view at Immunosciences Lab. It’s not very expensive.

Dr. Weitz:                            Are these T-cell mediated factors also triggered by the same types of triggers for antibodies?

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yes. Yes. Thank you for asking. Example, very well established that T-helper 17 become activated with too much salt. Very well proven. And infections, toxic chemicals can activate T-helper 17, T-helper 1 as well.

                                                So, there, gene plus environmental factors, food, infections, toxic chemicals, and their effect on our gut microbiome, when I published this was about 2-3 years ago, but, in last 2-3 years, I became a little bit more [inaudible 00:22:58], because I read more articles about mycobiome. And our mycobiome is equally important as our microbiome. These in our food, molds and mycotoxins in food are really major sources of activation of T-helper 17 and downregulation of Th1, or overactivation of Th1, downregulation of T Reg cells, responsible for induction of autoimmunity.

                                                So, that’s why highly recommend also for patient with autoimmunity, not only are fixing the gut microbiome, you have to try to fix also the mycobiome. We used to talk about Candida albicans in… many, many years ago, I published an article in 1988 that Candida albicans cross-reacted with human tissue, including thyroid. And our friend, mutual friend, with Dr. Cast, and Dr. Rosenblum, Michael Rosenblum, we mentioned his name tonight. So, he was, at that time, treating patient with autoimmunity for Candida albicans, tropicalis, and there are many other molds [inaudible 00:24:39]. So, in my opinion, when they test for urine mycotoxins, those urine mycotoxins are coming from molds and mycotoxins from food, and they are not coming from exposure in the building, at least 80% of them. Let’s go with that. Okay?

Dr. Weitz:                            But are you suggesting that the mycotoxins in food are equally problematic as the mycotoxins-

Dr. Vojdani:                        More.

Dr. Weitz:                            More.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Way more. Based on what I’m reading, now is way, way… you know I published at least 20 different articles about molds and mycyotoxins in different journals, started 25 years ago. But now, today, I’m standing here saying that yeast and molds in the food are significant, very significant induction of autoimmunities, particularly autoimmunity of the gut, including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah.

Dr. Vojdani:                        So, an article, yes, environmental factors continue to change our microbiome and mycobiome. I didn’t put the other slide. You agree with that? Okay? So now we know the environmental factors are changing. And these are some of them. It’s a beautiful slide. It’s in my book. That stress can do that, abnormal gut microbiome, gut microbiota composition. This is about leaky gut now. Okay? We take it one step further. Medications. When we make lots of inflammatory cytokines, undigested food, especially lectins and the glutens, food colorings, and gums, and later on you’ll see the plastic. Plastic, I have a slide for it that is changing the gut microbiome. You’ll see the slide later.

                                                So, when we have disturbed gut microbiome and mycobiome, this is what is going to happen to our tight junctions. Release of lipopolysaccharides, cytolethal distending toxin, and some enzymes, such as enolase, which is involved in many autoimmune diseases, is released by, for example, Candida, all can break down the tight junctions, occludin, zonulin, and so forth. The consequence of that is entry of unwanted large molecules through the submucosa and in circulation. Immune reaction against that now would have 5 different type of antibodies against food, against tight junctions, against lipopolysaccharide, against cytolethal distending toxin, and other antigens. So this is the mechanism, is the consequence of environmental factor effect on our gut microbiome, mycobiome, resulting in some of these autoantibody production.  

                                                So, in 1998, I was working on a test development. That’s one of my specialties, my fun. And I developed this test called intestinal barrier function. In year 2000, I got a patent for it. And it was about measuring antibodies against 5 most common food, eggs, soy, corn, wheat, and milk, gram negative bacteria and gram positive bacteria, aerobic, anaerobic bacteria, and yeasts. If the antibodies were elevated simultaneously against all of these, we said the patient is only then, again, I’m talking about 1998, leaky gut syndrome.  And, as you know, then was just the beginning. Nobody was aware of leaky gut and gut microbiome and all of that. And so, this is a new version of the test, which was started in 2015. So what we do, we measure antibodies against active components that you saw in the slide. The toxins break down the tight junctions and also destroy the epithelial cells. So, actomyosin, or actin, we make antibody against them. Tight junctions are occludin and zonulin. You make antibody against those. Right? And then, lipopolysaccharides produced by the E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Klebsiella, namely.  So, this is one of the best tests that I recommend to order when, for the first time, the patient walking in your office, and you do not know where to start. Not to spend too much money, just this will be the test. And you see, for example, this individual is having antibodies [inaudible 00:30:53] and significant level of IgA antibody, which is much more important, because its origin is from the gut and against lipopolysaccharides. So this individual suffered from gut dysbiosis and leaky gut.

                                           Now, lots of you know Dr. Kharrazian. Okay? Right? And I had the pleasure of working with him for many, many years. In fact, he did his PhD thesis in my lab, actually.

Dr. Weitz:                           Oh.

Dr. Vojdani:                        So, they looked at couple hundred blood samples sent by different doctors to Cyrex Laboratories for this test. Right? For this test. And then, they found some of them, like half of them, for simplicity I’m saying that half of them were positive for leaky gut, the other half completely negative. It’s possible. Right?   Then, the doctors also ordered Array 5, which is Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity, against 24 different tissue antigens. And the tests were done a year or 2, 5 years later, they went and took the data, and analyzed the data. And the findings were unbelievable, that if the individual had leaky gut, the probably of having autoantibody against their own tissue was between 5-30%, 30-fold, from 5 to 30-fold more.  So, I think in one of the magazines, they wrote this article based on that publication, that if you have leaky gut, probability of developing autoimmune disease is 30-fold. So here, when they were negative for leaky gut, [inaudible 00:33:29] level of antibodies against fibrillin, which is involved in rheumatoid arthritis. The same thing arthritic [inaudible 00:33:39]. And the red shows the level of antibodies in individual with leaky gut. And there are 7-8 different slides, and it just shows one, and the same thing are other cell antibodies, ASCA and ANCA. What is ASCA? Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae IgA antibodies. That’s a yeast in the food that we should remove it from our diet, whether it’s in beer or in bread. And ANCA is Antineutrophilic cytoplasmic IgA antibodies. So, ASCA is in Crohn’s, ASCA antibodies, ANCA antibodies in ulcerative colitis. When the neutrophils become activated due to some environmental factors, they release these antigens that make ANCA antibody.

                                                So, that was fascinating. So, here in the article they say, when they did logistic regression analysis, there was a 3 to 30-fold increase, so that’s, maybe I said 5-30, but they said 3 to 30-fold increased probability of developing autoimmune disease if you have leaky gut.  And in another study, I did not put the slide in here, but if you do, leaky brain, meaning blood-brain barrier, 70% correlation between… that’s my publication with Dr. Kharrazian in 2020. If a person is making antibodies against components of gut barriers, is going to make also 70% probability of making antibodies against blood-brain barrier proteins.  And so, this test, Heather was talking about in the introduction, I call this, or we call this, the essential barrier panel. I’m not sure if still this is available, Heather, the combination of all 3 I highly recommend it to be done at the same time. So, it is leaky gut, leaky brain. This is for irritable bowel and SIBO. What we are testing is antibodies against bacterial toxins. It’s just more than just irritable bowel syndrome and SIBO. LPS is different antigen, and bacteria cytolethal distending toxin is different antigen produced by a different bacteria. So, I highly recommend this tests.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah, I think most people are not aware that SIBO is actually an autoimmune disease.

Speaker 7:                           Yes.

Speaker 3:                           Yeah.

Speaker 7:                           Yes.

Speaker 3:                           Chronic SIBO.

Dr. Vojdani:                        So, these are the major, major panels offered by Cyrex. So, I’m not going to do this, but it is all about environmental factors and their role in induction of inflammation, autoimmunity, and neurodegenerative disorders. Okay?  So, I started with this, saying that the immune system in people is as diverse as height, beauty, intelligence, and other features, and you remember that why 3 people getting the same medication. And that is because there are so many cells in the blood. And by the way, there are receptors on those cells. It’s called CD, cluster differentiation. Today, I believe that we have 350 different cluster differentiation and different type of lymphocytes. But today, clinically, these are the most important ones.

                                                So, in addition, looking at antibodies, for autoimmunities, you have to access the cell-mediated immunity. And this is the most comprehensive way. You look at T-cell; then B-cell; then the ratio CD4/CD8, or helper cytotoxin; their ratio; T-helper 1; T-helper 2; their ratio; regulatory T-cell, which regulate immune system; T-helper 17, protect us against pathogens, but also causing autoimmunity if overactivated, that’s why we look at the ratio of TReg and T17; natural killer cells… Just an article published 2 days ago, in journal called Microorganisms. You can go online and download it, if you’d like, [inaudible 00:39:31] article in Microorganisms about natural killer cell, and you’ll get that.

                                                So, we used to just look only at the first 2, CD56, CD16. Add KT cell. It’s not natural killer cell; it’s T-cell with receptor for natural killer cell, and it’s there first, but these are the new development. CD57, wrongly they used to use that for diagnosis of Lyme’s disease. But how can a natural killer cell could be used for diagnosis of a specific infectious disease? So, they turn around, they were wrong. But, these cells, CD57, is a major cell, fighting virally infected cells and tumor cells, and also, it’s doing immunoregulation, regulating the immune system, because they produce cytokines.

                                                Now, when you combine CD57 with CD16, they become super killers. And guess what? When we get older and older, we get more of the CD57, because, when we develop autoimmune, we become prone to autoimmunity. It seems that the body makes more of these cells in order to prevent autoimmune disease and cancer as well. So these are cells fighting against cancer and autoimmunity. So, that’s why we should have more of them. And then, finally, CD57 joined forces with cytotoxic T-cells, CD8 cell. Also, they become super killer. So all of these are being reviewed in that journal article called “Natural Killer Cell,” Journal of Microorganisms.

                                                So, the complete picture of the immune system only could be discovered if we look at humoral immunity antibodies and cell-mediated immunity. So the antibodies you see there lyse up, plate, we take drop of blood, dilute it, circle around, and then we add in duplicates to the plate coated with an antigen, let’s say lipopolysaccharide. After addition of several reagents, finally color develops. The color, strength of the color, is proportioned to the amount of antibody in the blood of the patient. And so, ELISA reader is going to read that, and we get information, how much antibody that person is making.

                                                So the sample [inaudible 00:42:58] we take another tube of blood. This time is [inaudible 00:43:01]. We take drop of blood. In that drop of blood, there are lots of cells, T-cells, B-cells, Th1, Th2, and so forth. There are monoclonal antibodies against those 350 cluster differentiations available. We add them to that drop of blood, and the cells become red, green, blue, can be different colors. The flow cytometer is going to separate them based on their colors. The computer is going to count them, and then, now we get also assessment of our cell-mediated immunity. So, we take that integrated data between humoral and cell-mediated immunity, and we then, hopefully, you are going to translate that into your practice to take care of your patient. This is the best way to do at the immune system.

                                                Now, environmental factors can effect both humoral and cell-medicated immunity. In fact, cell-mediated immunity are more even sensitive to environmental factors, because, again, antibodies are produced by the cells after all. Right? So, any miscommunication between different cells of the immune system results in abnormal production of antibodies, less antibodies or more antibodies. So foods are one of those, undigested food, and that’s the book that I wrote few years ago. But soon that book is, I had [inaudible 00:44:49] 20 years [inaudible 00:44:49].

                                                So, many years ago, I asked this question, when it came to, for example, if we test so many proteins, like hundreds, why we measure antibody against one only, which is [inaudible 00:45:19] 33 amino acids? So, that became evolution of Array 3, and today, we are measuring antibodies against 12 different proteins, 3 different transglutaminases, and one which is called microbial transglutaminase, or wheat glue, which is everywhere, in the restaurant and everywhere in some different foods that we purchase. So then, around 2008, I asked this question, and I am going to ask Ben. Do you eat raw potato?

Dr. Weitz:                            No.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Do you eat raw beans?

Dr. Weitz:                            No.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Thank you. So why laboratories are doing testing for food sensitivity, which all copy, many years ago, I developed IgG testing in 1986. So, why they measure antibodies against raw potatoes? Do you get the same information if you cooked the potato and measured antibody?

Dr. Weitz:                            It would be different.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Beans especially. Right? If you don’t cook them… Who is the nutritionist in here? What will happen to us if we consume raw beans? The fact that we cook them and we can eat them without [inaudible 00:47:01] change in antigenic structure after cooking. So that also is going to affect the testing. So they, those labs, either giving you a false positive or a false negative results. So, when I developed Array 10 for Cyrex, we testing, if we eat food in the raw form, we measure antibody against raw form of that. If we eat it in the cooked form, we measure antibodies in cooked form. And if we eat it all raw and cooked, then we measure antibody against both of them. And so, that’s how you get the most reliable test results, by testing Array 3, 4, 10, and so forth. Okay?

                                                So that’s, major environmental factor is food that we discuss. And, you’re seeing here that different [inaudible 00:48:11], even gums, gums, they’re everywhere. But you know what is molecular size of the gum? Lipopolysaccharides, for example, is the antigen produced by E. Coli, Salmonella. What is the size? 65,000. Like albumin. Albumin in our blood is about 60,000. Gums are 5 million. Okay? So, they thought they’re going to be in and out, that’s why they add it to everything, but in reality, we are going to digest them to smaller molecules, like 5 million becomes 8 or 10 times 50,000, or 100 times of that, and then, we react against them, and we make antibodies.

                                                [inaudible 00:49:13] are proteins found in the oils. Nobody’s testing any of this [inaudible 00:49:19]. And, of course, lectins and glutamines that contribute so much to autoimmune disease, for example, in one of our publications, we found that [inaudible 00:49:39] glutamine cross-react with thyroid peroxidase. So, definitely, patient with thyroid autoimmunity will have to remove lectins of the glutamine from their diet. So that was [inaudible 00:49:49].

                                                Now, toxic chemicals. Just look at this slide. Definitely, toxic chemicals, when they get into digestive tract, can change the integrity of the gut, can change our microbiome, can change our mycobiome, and therefore cause permeability problems. And chemicals, by themself, do not challenge the immune system directly, but when they bind to human tissue, for example, if we take some heavy metals, [inaudible 00:50:38] those heavy metals rebind to hemoglobin or albumin, and now, our immune system is going to attack the combination of heavy metals with hemoglobin or albumin. And now, this kind of autoimmunity against our own proteins. So that’s the mechanism. We call, the terminology for that is neoantigen formation, or new antigen formation, the chemicals bind to human tissue proteins.

                                                Now, I would like to… back to this issue. It was in the news [inaudible 00:51:31]. Okay? Hundred times more tiny pieces of plastic that was previously estimated. This was on the news almost 10 days ago.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Right? Right. And then, I think it was sort of [inaudible 00:51:48], and then, the guy added something, said, “But we don’t know really what is the clinical effect of these particles.” So he completely destroyed the views, because it is against the industry. They had to say something about it. Now, I was lucky enough, the next day, I read this article in Journal of Molecular Science, “Polystyrene Microplastics Exacerbate Candida Albicans Infection Ability In Vitro and In Vivo.” so here, the best evidence that toxic chemicals [inaudible 00:52:50], competing with our hormones, can change our gut mycobiome.  So these are some of the antibodies that, at Cyrex, we are measuring against these chemicals for neoantigen with human tissue. And you see, bisphenol A, bisphenol binding protein, tetrabromobisphenol A, tetrachloroethylene, and then, cosmetics parabens, heavy metals. So, this is about contribution of toxic chemicals to autoimmunity. Pathogens.

                                                These are the 3 amigos, right? And so, SARS-CoV-2, I published, by now, 10 different articles about contribution of SARS-CoV-2 to autoimmunity to international groups, including Professor [inaudible 00:54:05], who organizes the International Conference of Autoimmunity, which, this May, is going to be in Slovenia. But, we knew already about Epstein-Barr virus and HHV-6 for more than 30 years. These viruses are responsible for development of many autoimmune diseases. An example of Epstein-Barr virus [inaudible 00:54:38] rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis. Same thing for for HHV-6, and now we know SARS-CoV-2 is doing the same.   So, in the case of long COVID, it is not just SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 infection causing reactivation of latent viruses, EVB and HHV-6, and therefore, viral persistence, resulting in inflammation and autoimmunity. How are we doing with time?

                                                So that’s why we test against 29 different pathogens, part of there are only 12, which share [inaudible 00:55:41] with human tissue. Every single item that you see in here, including oral pathogens, which are the first two, [inaudible 00:55:53], they have special group of amino acids, peptides, which share [inaudible 00:56:03] with human tissue, and antibody against them may contribute to autoimmune diseases.

                                                So, here’s some example of looking at Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and at least one and two herpes viruses. This patient is having reactivation of Epstein-Barr. Why? Because every antigen is positive. Under normal condition, that is absolutely negative. Make IgM antibody against cytomegalovirus, so there is ongoing infection with cytomegalovirus. And look at herpes 5, 6, at the highest level. So, one nation, 3 different viruses, and this patient most probably was in the process of developing autoimmune disease if it was not going to be treated for these 3 viruses. This is one of the articles that, [inaudible 00:57:18] article I published in January 2021, when we took [inaudible 00:57:28] antibodies made against SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins [inaudible 00:57:34], and added that to about 70 or 80 different tissue antigens that I have in my lab, and found that about 25 of them became highly positive. That was the best truth that SARS-CoV-2 [inaudible 00:57:59] contributes to autoimmunity. That article by now was viewed by more than 200,000 scientists. Most of my articles got to 10,000, 20,000, but this one, 200,000.

                                                So that is contribution of SARS-CoV-2 to autoimmune. So, I already gave you some introduction about contribution of SARS-CoV-2, EBV, and HHV-6, that, together, contributing to the inflammation and autoimmunity. This article, you can download it from journal called Viruses. And, in relation to long COVID, yes, the viral persistence reactivation of EBV, HHV-6, release of super antigens, changes our gut microbiota, and change or effect on the immune system, all together [inaudible 00:59:15] in multi-tissue autoimmunity. And that’s why this is one of the tests that I developed for Immunosciences Lab for long COVID, which is a blood test. We measure antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, EBV, and HHV-6. And another version of that also, we measure also autoimmune panel as well. But, combination with other tests, like leaky gut and L MAP by Cyrex is going to make the picture more [inaudible 00:59:43].

                                                Okay? And here, you see the example of an article that autoimmunity is the whole work of post-COVID, many patient with long COVID, they develop autoimmunities. And you see the percentages. In fact, they call that polyautoimmunity, not only one autoimmunity, different autoimmunities. So, testing for long COVID and this overlap within myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome I summarize it right here, that the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies [inaudible 01:00:37] Immunosciences Lab, EBV, HHV-6 Immunosciences Lab, lymphocyte [inaudible 01:00:37] Cyrex, antigenic [inaudible 01:00:41] Cyrex, and the biomarkers of autoimmunity that autoimmune panel, which is right here, [inaudible 01:00:51] that we do at Immunosciences Lab.

                                                And here, example of a patient, positive for SARS-CoV-2, positive for HHV-6, positive for EBV, [inaudible 01:01:06], and [inaudible 01:01:09] antigens. So this patient should be treated for EBV and HHV-6 in order to prevent autoimmune disease for this individual with long COVID. And indeed, when we did the autoimmune panel, please look, ANA was negative, but [inaudible 01:01:30] was, although it’s not very high, but that is the beginning of autoimmunity. The same thing rheumatoid factor. The same thing [inaudible 01:01:44]. And the same thing for anti-actin antibody. So this individual was in the process of developing autoimmunity due to EBV, CMV, and HHV-6.   And just to take something home, different treatments based on different articles that I read in scientific journals, including [inaudible 01:02:24] low-dose hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. And then some even had [inaudible 01:02:33] this publication. All of these, anyway, please, if you want to take a picture, take this home with you. So that’s the message.

                                                Then, finally, a couple slides that tie everything together, how unhealthy lifestyle can lead to inflammation in the brain. So, fire in the gut break down the gut barriers, and the [inaudible 01:03:12] breaking the blood-brain barriers, now inflammation is the brain, resulting in multiple autoimmunity, including autoimmunity in the brain.

                                                So with that, I would like to read something for you, and then present only 2 or 3 slides on this article. So, my friend, Dr. Weitz, says that, “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” So please pay attention to the title of this article, “How to Diet: A Lifestyle Improved the Gut Microbiota and Helped Combat Fungal Infection,” which is also part of the gut microbiome.

                                                And beautiful pictures right here. Okay? Unhealthy diet contributing to inflammatory pathogenesis and [inaudible 01:04:31]. So look at all of this. Alcohol, unhealthy lifestyle, antibiotics, chronic stress all together affects the gut barriers, the blood-brain barriers, the immune system, humoral immunity, cell-mediated immunity. That’s what. The second, look please at these options. [inaudible 01:05:01] defect of a diet high in vegetables, fiber, vitamins, micronutrients, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics on the gut microbiota. I think the picture is beautiful.

                                                And finally, the last slide. Okay? So, again, these are all antifungals, so the emphasis now is not just on microbiome, but mycobiome. And these are some which are good for preventing [inaudible 01:05:46] of the microbiome. I’m not going to read all of that, just look at the picture and please take some of these pictures with you and share with your patients. And you can download this article in the same journal, Microorganisms, that they published my article 2 days ago about natural killer cell.  Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoyed the presentation.

Dr. Weitz:                            Would you give us an example of a patient who, say, has tested positive for leaky gut and tests positive, say, for infections or toxins, how the lymphocyte MAP test helps us to manage that patient?

Dr. Vojdani:                        Thank you. Okay. In early 90’s, I was dealing with many, many patients who had history of exposure to different toxic chemicals, example, people who were working for [inaudible 01:06:58] became sick because, at the end of the day, they were washing their hands and their body with solvents to get rid of grease and all kind of things that they used for cleaning, and they developed immune responder. And when we tested their blood, we found that about 30% of them, you remember the 3 babies, the 3 individuals? 30% were on this side, hyperactivation of the immune system, 10% hypoactivation, and then, in the middle, of course, were some that were okay, because we have different immune print.  How did we do that? We found then, based on looking at CD4/CD8 ratio, T-cell, B-cell, CD4/CD8, elevation in CD4/CD8 is indication of inflammation and autoimmunity. And reduction in CD4/CD8 ratio below 1.5, especially 1.0, is indication of immune deficiency, just with that knowledge, CD4/CD8. And then we used to call that chemical-induced AIDS. Yes, everybody was thinking about AIDS, virus, virus, but here, chemicals can do the same thing. So, lymphocyte MAP then was very helpful to us.

                                                But today, because we are looking at Th1, Th2, for example, yesterday, I presented a case about… for a second, mast cell activation syndrome. Okay? How can we detect that? By looking at Th2. The patient had very high Th2 and low TReg. And also, looking at Th1 and Th2, and TReg, Th17, low TReg, high Th17, high Th1, that’s the finger prick of autoimmunity as well.  And then natural killer cells, [inaudible 01:09:31] where the body is calling more soldiers to fight, either the patient’s having viral infection, bacterial infection, parasitic infection, or cancer. I’m talking about, let’s say, NK cells are 50%. Now, you find in one of them 50%, 40% of the cells became natural killer cells. When 40-50% become natural killer cells, the number of T-cells become much lower, the number of B-cells become lower. And so, complete immune dysregulation. We have absolute fingerprints, [inaudible 01:10:24] print, based on L MAP.

                                                And so therefore, for a patient walking for the first time in your office, if you want to spend the buck the most efficient way of spending the money is to order Array 2 and L MAP, and if you want help with interpretation of results, either you call Dr. Sasha, which his wife is here, or you call me, and I’ll be very happy to help you in interpretation of test results. I’m just looking because Cyrex has 3 or 4 different clinical consultants, but some of you like to call me, and I appreciate it.

Dr. Weitz:                            And are there any actual strategies, supplements, et cetera that can accentuate findings on the [inaudible 01:11:18] to-

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yes, yes, yes, yes. Maybe for now, could we just think about nutritional immunology for next year?

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Okay? There is a chapter, again in the [inaudible 01:11:36] Immunology, it’s called, “What is the Immuno [inaudible 01:11:41],” very sophisticated, but the one I like the most is nutritional immunology, based on hundreds of articles that I’ve collected. For example, for regulatory T-cells, we made these flowers with a kind of, for example, for TReg cells, which is regulation of the immune system. It’s got vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C. Why there are receptors, and TReg has a membrane for those. Then, [inaudible 01:12:22] vegetables. [inaudible 01:12:26], cabbage, broccoli, all of those, also have receptor on their surface, [inaudible 01:12:38]. Finally, acetate, butyrate, and propionate. And I think there are amino acids, which is in [inaudible 01:12:54].

Dr. Weitz:                            [inaudible 01:12:54].

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yeah. [inaudible 01:13:00] also binds to certain receptor of TReg cell. So here is example of flowers with petals for TReg cell. We have the same thing for Th1, Th2, Th17, and so forth. I think you have a copy of, right?

Dr. Weitz:                            Yes, I think from last year or the year before, right?

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yeah, yes. But if I will have more time, I’ll have to improve that based on more articles. Like last week, another article came up that, if you do [inaudible 01:13:35] juice from red cabbage, then you give it to your patients with Crohn’s, they improve significantly. What do you think? How does it work? It’s going to act to regulate the TReg cells. That’s the mechanism. Okay?

                                                Yes, please.

Speaker 7:                           How do [inaudible 01:14:07] ozone for [inaudible 01:14:09] autoimmune?

Dr. Vojdani:                        I honestly don’t know, because there is no solid research about ozone. I don’t know there’s more studies, for example, but I might have missed it. [inaudible 01:14:23] I publish 4 different articles 15 years ago. 20 years ago, I was working with [inaudible 01:14:31], and we gave 5,000 mg of oral vitamin C for a group of athletes, and we collected blood and urine. We tested the natural killer cytotoxic activity. 24 hours later, the majority of the NK cytotoxic activity went up from 3 to 10-fold. And after 48 hours, it went back to normal, meaning you have to take it every day in order to maintain healthy natural killer cells. But for ozones, unfortunately, we don’t have similar research projects or articles available.   Okay? So, we have to leave, right?

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. It is closing. We have time for a few more questions, so, if anybody has questions.

Speaker 8:                           [inaudible 01:15:42] dose matters, but these ingredients [inaudible 01:15:46], they’re enough to kill [inaudible 01:15:50] mold. So, according to this slide, these ingredients will not treat [inaudible 01:16:11]. Did I understand that correctly?

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yes.

Speaker 8:                           So-

Dr. Vojdani:                        Well, I think all these products is effective with immune function in the gut, and improved immune function in the gut is going to fight the microbiome and the mycobiome.

Speaker 8:                           Are you familiar with at what dose, for example, how much [inaudible 01:16:44] you would need in order to make a difference on living yeast in the mycobiome?

Dr. Vojdani:                        No, I don’t know the exact amount.

Speaker 8:                           Yeah.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Good question. Maybe we should do that article [inaudible 01:16:57].

Speaker 8:                           It’s impressive.

Dr. Vojdani:                        [inaudible 01:17:01].

Dr. Weitz:                            There are nutritional products on the market that have extracts from coconut oil that are known to have the antifungal properties.

Speaker 8:                           So, [inaudible 01:17:11] saying you’re not supposed to take coconut oil because it will kill healthy bacteria in the gut, because it’s-

Dr. Weitz:                            Who’s saying that?

Speaker 8:                           [inaudible 01:17:20] in one of his autoimmune… so, ingesting-

Dr. Weitz:                            That’s kind of an ongoing debate-

Speaker 8:                           Exactly, exactly.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Was it based on an article of recent? Because-

Speaker 8:                           It was based on, it might have not been him. I do remember him saying you shouldn’t take it [inaudible 01:17:40] unless you’re [inaudible 01:17:44]. But the coconut oil thing is, depending on who you ask, they’re going to say something different, so I was wondering if there was dosing you were familiar with [inaudible 01:17:58] that dose makes a difference.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Please.

Speaker 9:                           I noticed you have tests for lectins, but are you testing in [inaudible 01:18:11] acid? Is that anything that’s come on your radar?

Dr. Vojdani:                        No, no, no. I know of one of the [inaudible 01:18:18] was talking about a stomach acid.

Speaker 9:                           Because they think that [inaudible 01:18:23] seems to be affecting joints, and there’s been a fair amount of weird small group interest in that, but I’m beginning to see some promise in finding out more about it.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Okay. I don’t know how we can measure that.

Speaker 9:                           It’s hard.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Because it’s not easy.

Speaker 10:                         Oxalates.

Speaker 9:                           Oxalates?

Speaker 10:                         Yeah, you can measure them. Organic acid urine test shows oxalates.

Speaker 9:                           Okay. So that would also show urine-

Dr. Vojdani:                        Yeah, but where are they coming from?

Speaker 10:                         Plants.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Okay.

Speaker 10:                         Everything.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Okay. So because, recently I read this article about organic acids and organic acids in the urine, all the claims that the [inaudible 01:19:08] are making [inaudible 01:19:08].

Speaker 9:                           [inaudible 01:19:08].

Dr. Vojdani:                        Excellent questions.

Speaker 9:                           [inaudible 01:19:08].

Dr. Vojdani:                        Sorry.

Speaker 9:                           Were there… okay. But, I’m interested, I want to hear about that next year. Okay.

Dr. Vojdani:                        Okay. Thank you so much.

Speaker 9:                           Thank you.

Dr. Vojdani:                        [inaudible 01:19:32].

Dr. Weitz:                            Thank you everybody. See you next one.



Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, I would certainly appreciate it if you could go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and give us a 5 star rating and review, that way, more people will discover the Rational Wellness Podcast.  And I wanted to let everybody know that I do have some openings for new patients, so I can see you for a functional medicine consultation for a specific health issues, like gut problems, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic conditions, or for an executive health screening, and to help you promote longevity and take a deeper dive into some of those factors that can lead to chronic diseases along the way. And that usually means we’re going to do some more detailed lab work, stool testing, sometimes urine testing, and we’re going to look at a lot more details to get a better picture of your overall health from a preventative functional medicine perspective. So, if you’re interested, please call my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Office at 310-395-3111, and we can set you up for a new consultation for functional medicine. I’ll talk to everybody next week.


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