6 Aug 2019

Arsenic in Antibiotics!


This article published today in the Czech Republic:

In Poland, large-scale counterfeit medicines, arsenic and gypsum are put into them




Hi Markus,

I am not interested because I have so many questions about Lycotec and its owner.  For example, if the product is so ground-breaking, why isn't it available on Lycotec's website or really any other place (Amazon said it had 1, but now none). If it was so good, they'd be trying to sell it everywhere!

Also, Petyaev participated in the 2017 study, but he didn't express a conflict of interest as both CEO and researcher.

Then, the article about lycopene was reviewed on this site last year, and it was determined that the research was flawed.



I think I have a severe case of cpn,in the brain which I got about 8 months ago (Oct. 2018).  

I have a lot of issues with depression, balance, eyesight, ear and teeth problems.  Most important, I have brain shrinkage, and some strange symptoms of that. Does anyone share these issues?

Hi Jean,

I just read the review of the lycopene article on this site by Norman Yarvin and Markus.  Based on Norman's analysis, I am quite certain that he is not an organic chemist.  When I worked in the pharma industry, we always had a problem with formulating compounds for in vitro studies due to poor aqueous solubility.  The pharmacologists always used a DMSO stock solution of the compound followed by dilution with an aqueous buffer, but there is a limit for the amount of DMSO.  Too much DMSO can alter the integrity and permeability of cell membranes.

Cyclodextrin was not considered an acceptable formulation vehicle by the pharmacologists.  Nevertheless, there is a reason for the higher lycopene concentration used with cyclodextrin.  It is due to the partitioning of lycopene between the lipophilic cavity of the cyclodextrin and that of the surrounding aqueous solution.  Lycopene is highly lipophilic and prefers the lipophilic cyclodextrin cavity.  As a result, the amount that partitions into the surrounding aqueous solution is quite small.  Thus, the "effective" concentration of lycopene is that which has partitioned into the aqueous phase and not the concentration of the stock solution.  So, I would not consider the research to be flawed.

As for Markus' comment regarding the IgG half-life, I was always under the impression that these half-lives are on a sliding scale and concentration-dependent.  Markus is much more knowledgeable than I with respect to these immunoglobulins and may have something further to comment.

Lycopene is well documented as a beneficial supplement.  It is an exceptional antioxidant.  I suspect that it also interferes with intracellular lipid trafficking, but I have no documentation of this.  I base this on the very similar physicochemical properties and chemical structures of components in Buhner herbs and the lipophilic amine inhibitors of acid sphingomyelinase described by Professor Jason Carlyon.

Yup, I'm definitely not an organic chemist, though I have picked up enough of the subject that your explanation makes complete sense.  I've heard of cyclodextrin as sopping up a wide variety of molecules, somewhat like activated charcoal -- it's the main ingredient in Febreze odor remover -- but I didn't know about the mechanism (its interior being lipophilic).

Another thing about IgG levels is that when you kill a deep-seated pathogen that's been hiding itself from the immune system, it's half-expected that its new visibility makes the immune system react more.  So decreasing IgG levels aren't necessarily a positive sign; one could also interpret them as the antioxidant action of lycopene calming down the immune system inappropriately.  (Or, as I wrote originally, they could just be a statistical artifact: regression to the mean.)

Hi Norman, I asked the doctors many times to measure my IgG levels but they refused.  Unfortunately, I live in a country that is anti-science with a collapsing healthcare system in which most of the doctors are incompetent and negligent.  My GP thinks that N-acetylcysteine should be available by prescription only!

Hi Markus,

Just formulate your own lycopene in the kitchen!  The only unique ingredient here is phosphatidylcholine, which you can get cheaply from lecithin powder (most are about 18% phosphatidylcholine).

I ordered a few bottles of lycopene.  I will do a test and first crush one tablet to see how well it dissolves in sunflower oil.  These tablets contain excipients which may not dissolve in sunflower oil.  Even if that happens, you will probably get a suspension which is fine as well.  If that works, I will pulverize an entire bottle (60 x 10 mg tablets), suspend in a measured volume of sunflower oil, and add a calculated amount of lecithin.  Now you have a stock solution with a known concentration (mg/mL).

Lycopene is a good antioxidant, but I do not believe that this is the mechanism of action with respect to Cpn.  Rather, it likely interferes with intracellular lipid trafficking.  trans-Lycopene is a tetraterpene which is metabolized to many tetraterpene isomers by the liver.  Those Buhner herbs contain a significant amount of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, and highly lipophilic polyacetylenic compounds.  It does not matter that there are hundreds of different structures.  If they are all performing the same function, then the pharmacological effect appears as if it is a "single agent".

Thank you, Scott! Your response was so thorough. I really appreciate it.

Four questions:

How about eating tomato paste and adding some oil to it and taking a citicoline capsule or lecithin at the same time?

Also, do you think taking Buhner's herbs is also a good idea?  I have  extracts of coptis, scute, biden's pilosa, alchornea, reishi, lion's mane, cordyceps, etc.

What was it about the formulation of lycopene in the study that made it proprietary and capable of lowering cpn levels? What is GA lycopene? 

Again, thanks for all the work you've done.  


I think I have a severe case of cpn,in the brain which I got about 8 months ago (Oct. 2018).  

I have a lot of issues with depression, balance, eyesight, ear and teeth problems.  Most important, I have brain shrinkage, and some strange symptoms of that. Does anyone share these issues?

Jean, I will try to answer your questions as best as possible.  First, you could eat tomato paste and add some oil, but I am concerned that you would get tired of eating tomato paste every day.  I think that there are better alternatives.  Do not take citicoline - it will not generate phosphatidylcholine in the stomach, which is where you need it.  I do recommend taking a capsule of lecithin along with the lycopene supplement.  If your supplement is a gel cap, then just take them together.  If the supplement is a tablet (I ordered tablets and expect to get them later this week), then it is best to pulverize first and suspend in cooking oil (I will use olive oil).  I ordered lecithin capsules earlier today because lecithin powder is not available in Sweden.  Unfortunately, there is no way for us to confirm that co-administration of lycopene with lecithin is working, but I think that it is better than taking the lycopene supplement alone.

I am not the best person to ask about Buhner herbs.  I only looked up the chemical composition of Biden's pilosa out of sheer curiosity.  I personally have no interest in Buhner herbs, but there are those that claim it works.

I do not know what the "GA" stands for in GA lycopene.  The authors state the purpose of the formulation very clearly in the 2018 publication: "As result of this, even lycopene which has been absorbed cannot be incorporated into its lipoprotein carriers and people develop not a nutritional but a functional deficiency. To overcome this problem, the GA lycopene formulation contains a phospholipid chaperone molecule, which can serve as scaffolding and facilitate lipoprotein–lycopene coassembly."  I suppose that they could patent this and maybe they have.  It is a rather unique and clever formulation actually.  There is a problem in marketing this product - it requires an educated consumer.  Most people will not research why this product is better and pay more for it.

I am rather excited about trying lycopene.  As an organic/medicinal chemist, the science makes perfect sense.  As I have stated previously, I believe that lycopene has other pharmacological activities opposite Cpn in addition to being an exceptional antioxidant.

I understood everything you said except how regression to the mean would apply here.  Would you please explain if you have time?

Thanks again.

I think I have a severe case of cpn,in the brain which I got about 8 months ago (Oct. 2018).  

I have a lot of issues with depression, balance, eyesight, ear and teeth problems.  Most important, I have brain shrinkage, and some strange symptoms of that. Does anyone share these issues?

When they did that study, they selected people for the study by picking ones who had high IgG against Cpn.  In any given person, IgG is going to fluctuate up and down randomly.  (I'm not sure by how much, but there are always fluctuations in these things.  The lab test also has some randomness that adds to these natural fluctuations.)  So say you have a treatment that does exactly nothing.  If you pick people with high IgG, treat them, and measure their IgG four weeks later, you'll still find that the average IgG has decreased, just because you originally picked people that were at the high points of their fluctuations.  Your treatment did nothing, but you still got a "positive" result.  This is "regression to the mean".  And the sloppier your lab work, the more randomness it'll add, so the more positive your result is going to be.

This is part of why they include placebo arms in studies, which they didn't do here: yes, it's partly because telling people they're going to get better has a psychological "placebo effect" on them which can translate into a physiological effect, but also it's because of regression to the mean.  Indeed, I've seen arguments that the psychological placebo effect is almost nonexistent, and the main use of placebo arms is to deal with regression to the mean.