The Marshall Protocol is a controversial alternative treatment based on the belief that Vitamin D in the body combines with bacteria to shut down the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to chronic illnesses like sarcoidosis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Science writer and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Mark Crislip, explains that the protocol uses an angiotensin (olmesartan) to shut down Vitamin D receptors on a cellular level and long-term antibiotics like minocycline to get rid of the bacteria. The treatment plan has side effects that should be considered.
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Effects of Vitamin D Restriction
Researchers have known for more than a decade that the body requires sufficient levels of Vitamin D to prevent certain autoimmune diseases. For example, there is very little multiple sclerosis along the equator, but the disease increases dramatically in relation to latitude. Vitamin D, according to the Mayo Clinic, is needed for the body to maintain levels of calcium and phosphorus. The proper level of Vitamin D in the body helps fight osteoporosis, muscle weakness and bone deformities.
Effects of Long-Term Antibiotics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overusing antibiotics for things they cannot cure will make them less effective over time. Wide overuse has led to bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and this has become a worldwide health crisis.
The Jarisch-Herxheimer Effect
The side effect of Jarisch-Herxheimer is the illness you feel a day or two after starting an antibiotic. It comes from endotoxins that are released into your body when injured and dead bacteria hit your bloodstream at the same time. Meg Mangin, a registered nurse at the Autoimmunity Research Foundation, explains that some patients report increased fatigue, joint and muscle pain, headaches, rashes, muscle cramps, dizziness and mental confusion, among other things, and symptoms wax and wane throughout the Marshall Protocol treatment.
Risks and Benefits
All medical decisions require analyses of risks and benefits. Good use of logic and reasoning, along with a willingness to stay abreast of the latest research will help you make the decision that's right for you.
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- Science-Based Medicine: The Marshall Protocol
- National Institutes of Health: Pubmed.gov: Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis
- mayoclinic.com: Vitamin D and Related Compounds (Oral Route, Parental Route)
- cdc.gov: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work
- joimr.org: Journal of Independent Medical Research: Observations of Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction in Sarcoidosis Patients