Biliverdin/Phycocyanobilin, Glycine, High-Dose Folate, and Metformin/Berberine as Antidotes to Endotoxin

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in hospitalized patients who have developed infections with gram negative bacteria. A cell wall component in these bacteria, known as lipopolysaccharide or endotoxin, triggers this syndrome by strongly activating immune cells known as macrophages, which subsequently secrete a wide range of pro-inflammatory, pro-coagulant and vasodilatory compounds that can collaborate to induce circulatory shock and damage to vital organs. There is reason to suspect that certain available nutraceuticals and drugs – including spirulina, the amino acid glycine, the vitamin folic acid in high dose, and the anti-diabetic drug metformin – could aid survival in sepsis by blunting the production and activity of the hormone-like compounds responsible for its lethality. This essay discusses these prospects. Moreover, the mechanisms whereby Ebola infections kill their victims are quite analogous to the mechanisms involved in septic shock; hence, the protocols suggested here for managing sepsis may also have potential to aid survival in Ebola.

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