Nutritional Medicine Research
Newsletter. December 2002

FAQ Ė Frequently Asked Questions

1. - Can GDNF be taken by mouth as a medicine?
GDNF is a protein formed by 211 amino acids. If taken as a pill, it will go through the normal digestive systemís enzymatic breakdown. As soon as GDNF reaches the stomach and intestine, digestive enzymes will break it down into its original amino acids components. It will follow the same path as any foodstuff. Almonds, peas and lentils for example, contain all the amino acids present in GDNF. By swallowing 100 mgs of GDNF we will obtain nothing more than the same amino acid components as if we eat 100 grams of almonds or 50 grams of lentils.

2. - Can GDNF be injected in a similar way as is done with insulin?
Insulin is also a protein like GDNF, both are formed by sequentially ordered amino acid constituents. Injected insulin, is able to exert an immediate response because it is not required to cross the blood brain barrier. On the other hand, GDNF, to be able to exert its therapeutic effect, has first to cross the blood brain barrier. But since no protein can cross the blood brain barrier, research efforts are presently being undertaken in many laboratories to discover how we may introduce GDNF into sensitive areas of the brain where it is required.

3. - How GCRF acts in the brain?
GCRF, Glial Cell Regenerative Factor, is purely a fruit and vegetables extract. Its components act by inducing the endogenous repair of damaged glial cells. For example, in Glioblastoma, a form of cancer affecting glial cells, GCRF is able to reduce the number of malignant glial cells forming a brain tumour. GCRF is a strong inducer of  differentiation in cancer cells. In other words, GCRF is able to re-establish normal paths of development in damaged glial cells. We have postulated that GCRF can repair damaged glial cells also in MSA and PD and consequently, regenerate damaged systems responsible for the synthesis and secretion of GDNF by glial cells in the brain.

In summary:

1. - GCRF has been shown to induce an immediate repair in damaged glial cells.
2. Ė Re-activated glial cells will now be able to secrete normal amounts of GDNF.
3. - GCRF provides all the essential factors [in addition to the amino acids precursors] needed for the synthesis of GDNF
4. - GCRF is a food extract and is, therefore, the safest way to induce secretion of GDNF in the human brain.
5. - Increased concentration of GDNF in the brain activates  the maintenance, repair and nutrition of dopaminergic neurons damaged in MSA-P, Shy Drager Syndrome and Parkinsonís disease.
6. - Any candidates suggested to act as repair agents for glial cells, have to demonstrate first, that they are able to effectively induce normalization of glial cell degenerative conditions, as in the case of glioblastoma.

4. - How can I participate on a Dietary Intervention Programme for
MSA or PD?
There are various pilot studies being undertaken at present. Because the number of patients suffering form MSA or PD who are interested in nutritional approaches are proportionally very few, patients participating in a pilot study usually do not live in the same area or town. For this reason, our studies have been planned to take place with the collaboration of doctors from various locations in different parts of the world. Anyone with enough faith in nature and nutritional medicine will be able to participate and benefit from these studies. On many occasions, the family doctor and sometimes the patientís neurologist are collaborating with our studies. 

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