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Al’s Cancer Journey with Dr. Al Danenberg: Rational Wellness Podcast 96

Dr. Al Danenberg talks about his Journey with Cancer with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

3:20  Dr. Danenberg explained that he’s 71 years old and he has been a practicing periodontist for 44 years.  He wasn’t always a really healthy guy, but about 6 years ago he became primal (paleo) in his nutrition and lifestyle and dropped 30 lbs.  He was able to get off all of his medications and he was feeling great and was speaking at conferences about the paleo, primal lifestyle.  He was doing a seminar at a dental group in April 2018 and he was walking through the Atlanta airport and was carrying a heavy bag and felt some pain in his shoulder. Then he started to get some back pain and then he started to get a lot of pain in his chest and rib cage area. He though his pains would just go away but then in September 2018 he went to see his primary care MD and he had some blood work and everything was normal except he had an elevated CRP (3.5 or 4 instead of his normal 0.5).  Then he had an MRI and his doctor told him that he probably had either Lymphoma, Leukemia, or Multiple Myeloma. And there was a soft tissue mass next to his spine, two broken ribs, a cracked vertebra, and a cracked pelvis. He saw an oncologist and on September 19th, 2018 he was diagnosed with IgA Kappa Light chain Multiple Myeloma, which is a very aggressive form of cancer. The radiologist told him he had multiple lytic lesions throughout his entire spine, his ribs, and his pelvis. His bone is literally dissolving away, since the malignant plasma cells are creating a cytokine reaction and Interleukin 6 is destroying the bone. His oncologist recommended that he do a cocktail of chemotherapy and IV bisphosphonates to strengthen the bone and some focused radiation to his sternum for the severe pain he had there.  At some point, a bone marrow transplant would also be recommended, but the oncologist explained that this is not a curable disease. The oncologist explained that he would do better for a little bit but then the Multiple Myeloma would retake over and eventually he would die from the complications of the Multiple Myeloma.  This oncologist also told Dr. Dananberg that if he did not follow this course of treatment, that he would be dead in 3 to 6 months.

Dr. Danenberg decided that since it was almost certain that he would die from this disease, that he didn’t want to put himself through this chemotherapy that would tremendously decrease his quality of life and his family would have to deal with this dread for an extended period of time till he died.  He also didn’t want his wife to be saddled with 100s of thousands of dollars of medical bills after he was dead. He did agree to do some focused radiation to his sternum, which did decrease the sharp pain he was having there.  He decided to follow an integrative, alternative plan using diet and nutritional supplements and so far he feels great and has a good quality of life.  He feels his natural plan is starting to work but he understands that he could die next week.

12:40  Dr. Danenberg addressed the question of why he might have developed this cancer when he was leading such a healthy lifestyle.  He pointed out that when he went to dental school 45 years ago he was exposed to a lot of ionizing radiation from all the x-ray machines and being in the dental office all days for six years. Some research does show that dentists have a higher incidence of multiple myeloma. The other factor is that he was trained, like most dentists are, to put in mercury fillings. when Dr. Danenberg went to school they used to take the liquid mercury and mix it with some powder to make an amalgam. Then they put in a cotton square and squeeze the excess mercury out of it and throw the excess mercury on the floor of the dental clinic.

19:00  Dr. Danenberg’s natural plan changes every few weeks a little but it currently consists of the following: 1. Autoimmune, Paleo eating style, excluding sugars,  carbs from grains or legumes, processed foods, GMOs, and any chemical additives;  2. Intermittent fasting by having his last meal by 8 pm and not eating until 1-2 pm the next day; 3. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field mat that he lays on three times per day to help repair his mitochondria; 4. A variety of nutritional supplements to support his immune and detoxification systems, to help target cancer cells, assist in bone metabolism, and to help repair his gut including: 1. Salvestrol, 2. Fucoidan,  3. Andrographis Complex (Mediherb)–3/day, 4. Catalyn GF (Standard Process)–6/day, 5. CBD powder capsules–2/day, 6. Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Concentrated Butter Oil (Green Pasture)–1 tsp/day, 7. Mega Mucosa (Microbiome Labs)–1 scoop/day, 8. Megaquinone K2-7 (Microbiome Labs) – 4/day , 9. MegaPrebiotic (Microbiome Labs) – 1 scoop/day, 10. Megasporebiotic (Microbiome Labs) – 4/day, 11. Neurotrophin PMG (Standard Process) – 3/day, 12. Ostrophin PMG (Standard Process) – 6/day, 13. Turmeric Forte (MediHerb) – 4/day, 14. Vitamin D–5000 IU/day

 

 



Dr. Al Danenberg can be contacted through his website:   https://drdanenberg.com/   Here is the link for his book, Crazy Good Living: Healthy Gums, Healthy Gut, Healthy Life     https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Good-Living-Healthy-Gums-Life-ebook/dp/B073QD6FWV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500647091&sr=8-1&keywords=crazy+good+living  

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111.



 

Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:                            This is Dr. Ben Weitz with the Rational Wellness Podcast, bringing you the cutting edge information on health and nutrition, from the latest scientific research and by interviewing the top experts in the field. Please subscribe to Rational Wellness Podcast on iTunes and YouTube and signup for my free ebook on my website by going to drweitz.com. Let’s get started on your road to better health.

Hello Rational Wellness podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today, and for those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, please go to iTunes and give us a rating and review that’ll push us up in the ranks and more will people find out about the Rational Wellness Podcast. Our special guest today is Dr. Al Danenberg. He’s a periodontist and a certified functional medicine practitioner and a certified primal health coach and the author of “Crazy-Good Living: Healthy Gums, Healthy Gut, Healthy Life.”

But today, we’ll be speaking with Dr. Al Danenberg about his own health and his battle with a form of bone marrow cancer known as IgA kappa light chain multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a relatively uncommon cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Traditional treatment for active myeloma typically involves a combination of chemotherapy drugs. A stem cell transplant is sometimes done following the chemo with stem cells from a donor.  Bisphosphonates may be given to stimulate healing of the damage bones, and radiation may be offered to treat specific areas of bone pain. Dr. Danenberg has chosen to forego traditional chemo therapy and has decided to take a natural integrative approach. I’d like to give listeners one more piece of information that is gonna inform the discussion that we will have, which is that Dr. Danenberg has chosen to be very public about his own health care situation. He’s been publishing a series of blog posts where he’s been very openly and talking about his situation, and very courageously, facing down a terminal illness. I appreciate you talking about your situation, Dr. Danenberg because I think it’s a great glimpse into the human condition and I think it could be very informative and instructful for other patients out there. Al, thank you so much for joining me today.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Hey, Ben. Thank you. This is quite an exciting experience. As you know, you and I have had a conversation before about mundane things like gum disease and gut bacteria and all that great stuff.

Dr. Weitz:                         Yes.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Now we’re talking about a little higher level of a challenge that I’m actually personally experiencing.

Dr. Weitz:                         Why don’t you tell us what were your first symptoms of your cancer and when did you first find out about your diagnosis?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Sure. So, most people who know me, and if you don’t, I’m 71 years old and I have been in practice for 44 years, practicing periodontics. I didn’t start off as a really healthy guy, but about six years ago, I became primal in my nutrition and lifestyle and became amazingly healthy. I’ve dropped 30 some pounds from when I started at the age of 66 through last year. I completely eliminated all medications that were prescribed to me from previous issues that I had. And basically, I was a healthy guy.  So I was doing, and I speak around the country, so I was doing a seminar at a dental group somewhere and I was progressing to one of the airports in Atlanta, which is a very large airport, as you may know, if you have gone.  And when I do that, if I have time between flights, I don’t take the train, I walk the concourses. So, if you know Atlanta airport from A the E concourse or F concourse, it’s a long walk. I had a very heavy bag on my shoulders, it was April last year, 2018, and I just carried that from one flight to the other flight. I started to develop, by the time I got to my connecting flight, some soreness on my shoulder and I thought, well, maybe I pulled a ligament and did something stupid and it would go away like any muscle pain would go away. So, the next day it was still sore. Did my thing, got back to Charleston. It was sore on the rights of my shoulder and then it started to go away, to some extent, went into my back area.

And then, a few weeks later it went away from my back area, went into my chest area and it was starting to get really painful, and I thought this is not a normal muscle issue. So, I went to my physician in, Charleston around September or so, 2018, and he looked at me and press around my rib cage, which was very, very tender. And he said, “Let’s do some blood work.” So, he took some blood, did the conventional type of blood work, everything was pretty normal, and I see him every year. So, it’s basically the way it had been except my CRP, this C reactive protein was elevated.  Generally, my CRP was usually less than 0.5, very healthy, no chronic inflammation, and it was something like 3.5, 4.0. To me, that was an alarm bell. And so, he said, I don’t know what’s going on. Let’s do an MRI. So we do an MRI and he calls me up and says, “Al”, and he’s known me for 30 plus years. He says, “Al, do you want to come into the office, and we’ll discuss it or just talk about it on the phone.” I said, “Great, let’s talk about on the phone.” He said, “If I were you, I’d be very concerned.” He said, “My initial differential diagnosis is either, I think you have lymphoma, leukemia or multiple myeloma.” None of the three doors were the doors that I wanted to open.

He said, “In addition to that, I see a mass, a soft tissue mass on the side of your spine and I also see two broken ribs, a cracked vertebra, and a cracked pelvis. What happened?  Did you get beaten up?  Did you fall down some steps?  What happened?” I said, “I don’t know. I only was carrying this bag when it got sore, and it stayed sore.”  So he called in an oncologist, we did a CT scan, a PET scan, a tissue biopsy of the mass on the side of my spine. A whole bunch of more detailed blood work. And September 19th, 2018, I was diagnosed with IgA kappa light chain multiple myeloma, which is very aggressive. And the radiologist who read the CT scan said in his report there were innumerable lytic lesions throughout the entire spine. That means holes everywhere. That’s the reason why I had cracked ribs and vertebrae and pelvis because it’s almost like severe osteoporosis. Something’s happening and the bone is dissolving away.

What’s happening is malignant plasma cells are setting up a cytokine reaction and IL6 I believe is basically destroying the bone. Well, he said to me, and my family came in at that appointment, so they were all there, and he said to me, “Based on what I see today”, and that is in September 2018, “I’m gonna recommend what I think you should do, but if you don’t do anything, I predict that you have three to six months to live.” Now, here’s a healthy guy, at least I thought I was healthy until now, and I am side struck with this diagnosis that is truly life threatening. What would you do? I thought a little bit about it. We’re sitting there, and I’m telling, my doc’s name is George, and I said, “What do you recommend?”  He said, “Immediately I would recommend we start on a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs and then maybe IV bisphosphonates to strengthen the bone.” And because I had such severe sternal pain from the loss of the bone in that area, do some radiation and, and see what’s going on.” And he said, “But you have to understand this is not a curable disease.” I asked him to explain that, and he basically said what generally happens. You go through chemotherapy, you get remission cause you’re killing all these plasma cells. And in addition, which he didn’t obviously tell me so much, and that is we’re killing everything in the immune system and everything else in your body. And then, you’ll do fine for a little while. And then, the multiple myeloma, the malignant plasma cells were going to a retake it’s itself and we’ll have to use a different chemotherapy cocktail because it will not respond to the original chemotherapy, so it needs to be more aggressive.

And then, maybe even stem cells. Either we get them from you that we can cultivate, or we have to get it from a donor and maybe that will work. But just stem cell therapy, because of what I have, isn’t so successful. Eventually, I will die from the complications of multiple myeloma. I said, “Well, wait a minute. You’re telling me I’m going to die from this disease, and it’s going to be in stages and every time it exacerbates, it’s going to be even more caustic for me to get treatment, and I’m still going to die from this condition. Why do that? Why put myself through the tremendous decrease in quality of life and dignity of life?” And not to mention the practical side.  First of all, my family would have to deal with this dread for an extended period of time until I die. And then, financially, and let’s be realistic here, a lot of these drugs are not covered by medical insurance, and some of them that are just in the investigative stage, if you’re not in a clinical trial, definitely is not covered by medical insurance. So, I could die and my wife could be left with a $500,000 medical bill and then she’ll have to deal with that. It makes no sense to me. And it made no sense to me to treat my disease by killing everything else in it. So, I decided what I needed to do is get rid of the pain in my sternum, which is the mediate radiation treatment for 10 days that was successful, and I investigated an integrative alternative plan, which I’m doing now.  And by the way, it’s more than six months. I am still alive, and I feel fantastic. And my doctor says, “Wait a minute, maybe I made a misdiagnosis, I don’t know.” You didn’t make a misdiagnosis. Maybe my alternative therapy is starting to work. Now, I don’t know that that’s going to happen, and I don’t know that I’m not going to die next week, next month or five years from now. But I have taken a course that is keeping me alive in a way that creates quality of life. I feel great, a little things are bothering me we can talk about, but basically, I feel great and I’m grateful for that.

Dr. Weitz:                         Tell us about your natural plan that you use to help your body fight off and heal from this cancer.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Sure. As you know, diet is everything. And maybe I should go back and first give you an idea of why I think I contracted this because I have some people that read my stuff and they blurted back to me and said, “Well, everything you were doing that you thought was so healthy, doc, obviously didn’t work, doc.” And I’m saying, Oh my God, this is ignorance, but I need to address this. When I was in dental school, and that was a long time ago, 45 plus years ago, I was in undergraduate dental school, four years and then specialty school for periodontal training for two years, so six consecutive years. In the dental clinics, there were x-ray machines everywhere, and we learn how to take x rays on people and whatever.

In those days, I don’t know how well the x-ray was collimated, I certainly don’t remember wearing all the protective clothing that maybe I should have, so I am assuming that I was exposed to excess ionizing radiation, dental x-rays, over the course of six years on a pretty regular basis. Well, one of the actual causes that has been known for multiple myeloma is ionizing radiation, dental-x rays. As a matter of fact, there was a study that was done some years back that showed that dentists, male dentists in my age group have a higher incidence of developing multiple myeloma than the general public. Very interesting. Very interesting.  I had to dig for that research. So, I’m thinking that is a possibility. All you have to have is one malignant cell and then you have a malignancy because that cell doesn’t die naturally, it keeps growing, and it can replace other healthier cells.

Dr. Weitz:                         By the way, I noticed when I’m my dentist’s office, there’s no lead lined walls. There’s not even a complete wall separating one room from the other. There’s just these thin walls sometimes with little windows. So, it doesn’t seem like the x-ray machines in dental offices that there’s really a proper shield. Is there supposed to be …?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Today there is shielding and the walls, theoretically. I don’t think that you can even build a dental office and get it approved by the people to be that tell you everything is okay and you can start seeing patients. But without these lead shields built into the walls or the x-ray is behind some type of a lead device. It’s a scary thing. I mean, the amount of radiation that you can get just yourself in a dental office is not that much, but if you’re there all the time forever and ever, six consecutive years, I’m gonna tell you, I had a lot more radiation than you ever had in your life.

Dr. Weitz:                         Of course.

Dr. Danenberg:                 But you need to ask them questions when you go to doctors. If you had CT scans all the time, you are bombarded with a lot of ionizing radiation. I’ve refused to do more CT scans, for example, at this point because I’m not interested in exacerbating what’s already there.

Dr. Weitz:                         Or getting a secondary cancer somewhere else.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Exactly. Unless it was critical for that type of biomarker or x-ray picture, it’s not going to do my health any good. The other thing that when dental-

Dr. Weitz:                         And you’re opting for MRIs, is that right?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Correct. So, I am doing my next MRI at the end of this month and we’ll see where we are. It’s not completely telling, but it’ll tell a lot and that’s all I need. See if I’m progressing in a positive way. The other thing is, and this will amaze you, dentists have been, and even still are trained in many dental schools to put in mercury fillings. Oh my God, I can’t believe that, but it is true. In those days, here’s how we did this. It’ll blow your head away. We took the liquid mercury, which is a beautiful thing in a little jar, silvery liquidy mercury, and dropped it into a little dish and mixed it with some powder to make what’s called the amalgam. Now, you have this silvery mushy mess and it has a lot of mercury.  So, you put it in a little piece of cotton, like a cotton square, squeeze the excess mercury out of it. And we’re talking about with hands. Squeeze it and throw the excess mercury on the floor, on the clinical floor of the dental school.

Dr. Weitz:                         What?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Everybody did it. 45 years ago, everybody did it. I am sure that the entire dental school was toxic because this mercury vaporizes quickly and it’s everywhere. So, the excess mercury and the ionizing radiation on a continuous basis possibly created what went on in my bodies. But with me being as healthy as I have been, my oncologist who’s a conventional, but fantastic oncologist explained to me probably my lifestyle and diet kept everything under control and it didn’t manifest until it just got out of control. And that’s why I developed multiple myeloma. So, how am I treating it?

One of the things, of course, is a healthy, clean diet, and I don’t want anything that’s gonna interfere with my ability to having an enhanced immune system that I can. So, I am eating basically a Paleo type autoimmune diet, less carbs than normal, but not strictly keto. And I do intermittent fasting. I don’t do multi-day fasting, although I had done that every now and then, but I definitely do intermittent fasting. So, my last evening meal is literally ending by 8:00 PM one night. And then, I won’t have anything to eat until maybe 1:00 even 2:00 PM the next day. So, I have just a small window of eating. I basically am a fat burner. I had no problems with hunger. It’s just not a problem. But you have to develop to get to that point.  You just can’t say, I’m going to do intermittent fasting, have a piece of cheesecake last night, and then all of a sudden, not eat until 2:00 PM and not feel hunger pains. So, you have to get into that state. I’m doing that and I think that’s a critical factor. Another factor that I’m doing …

Dr. Weitz:                            Are you having any trouble keeping your weight up by doing the fasting?

Dr. Danenberg:                 No, because I do eat things like sweet potatoes. So, I got the starchy tubers that take care of my diet and my calories. I am not exercising like I used to because I just physically can’t. I do have some pain and I have a lot of tiredness. So, I know that could have a problem. Generally cancer patients lose weight, but a lot of that is because of chemotherapy, not necessarily the cancer cells are just digesting all this food so fast. So, my diet is critical. I’m working with an integrative physician, not in my town, but in another town. I have conversations basically every three weeks to tweak different supplements. So, I take a variety of supplements, which I’ve never taken before, but I take these supplements to support my bone metabolism, to support my immune system, helped me with antimicrobials that he feels are necessary.  Certainly, good digestion, I take a number of things to really improve my gut microbiome, spore based probiotics basically because they actually do germinate in the gut. They’re not killed by acids.

Dr. Weitz:                         Would you mind going into your whole detailed supplement program?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Actually, it has been like 30 supplements five times a day. It’s kind of crazy. I could send it to you for your perusal by …

Dr. Weitz:                         Would you want to go into some of the highlights?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yeah, so let me tell you what I think is really core. There is a product called Salvestrol. Salvestrol is a product from well ripened fruits and it is, especially the berries. And it is loaded with the FIDO nutrients. And what that Salvestrol does, which is unique, is that it gets into the blood system and it is attracted to certain enzymes that are dominant in cancer and precancerous cells. These enzymes are part of the Cytochrome P450 process of creating digestion and detoxification in the body naturally. And these enzymes are called CYP1B1 enzymes. They, like I said, are highly concentrated in precancer and cancer cells, very little is in or none is in normal cells.  So, these enzymes attach or bind in some way to the Salvestrols. The Salvestrols and the enzymes react and metabolites are created that literally kill the cell. So, if these Salvestrols were attacked by enzymes in normal cells, it would kill normal cells, but these enzymes are not in normal cells, are just produced by the cancer cells, interestingly enough. And there could be some rationale for the reason why it’s there. These are natural occurring phytonutrients. So, I do take quite a bit of this. There is some great peer reviewed research about Salvestrols. There are a variety of sources of Salvestrol I get from Canada. I know Europe has plenty. There is ongoing research, and I think that this is a major factor.

There is another product from a brown seaweed called Fucoidan, F-U-C-O-I-D-A-N.  Fucoidans have some other interesting properties. They do help cancer cells with apoptosis or self death, but it may be along the lines that it actually ends improving the mitochondria of the cancer cells because cancer for some researchers is basically a result of mitochondrial dysfunction. Every cancer cell has mitochondrial dysfunction, but all chronic disease has mitochondrial dysfunction. But if there are cancer cells that have mitochondrial dysfunction and you can repair the mitochondria, you can help these cells maybe create self death and or prevent them from becoming cancer cells.  So, Fucoidan has the benefit of helping the mitochondria and helping kill cancer cells. So, I do take this brown seaweed in a very concentrated state. Those are the two things. And then, a lot of general supplements to repair or help bone metabolism. I got a few products from MediHerb and …

Dr. Weitz:                         Standard Process.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Standard Process. Thank you. Thank you, my memory’s going away. Standard Process, and then a few other types of supplements that are going to help with digestion and antimicrobial.

Dr. Weitz:                         I noticed you include curcumin in your-

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yes, curcumin definitely. And there’s a lot of great research about curcumin in cancer cells. So, I’m doing certainly curcumin. There’s a MediHerb product that I use, but there are a variety of products. As long as you get a biologically active curcumin, that’s great. It’s not generally bioactive because it has to get absorbed properly, so you have to have a vehicle that’s gonna get absorbed properly.

Dr. Weitz:                         Are you monitoring any lab tests to go along with your supplement program to see if the interventions are …

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yeah, so the lab tests are very specific for multiple myeloma, and I get that every month. Originally, now, I’m only on every two months because my doc says things are more stable. But there are some tests that will determine the degree of the malignant antibodies that are floating around and the ratios of these malignant antibodies that are critical. Right now, I’m so way, way, way high, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. So, yes, I do monitor that. Now, let me tell you another thing that is, in my mind, a very critical element to what I’m doing.

And that is, I just touched upon it, and that is mitochondrial dysfunction in the cancer cells. The mitochondria needs repair and there is a process that actually can repair mitochondria. Let me just mention that one of the destroyers, there are a lot of destroyers of mitochondria, a lot of prescription drugs, certain foods that we’re eating, the chemicals that are in foods, but dirty electromagnetic fields that are generated between you and me right now because of what we’re doing are damaging the mitochondria. What they’re really doing is breaking down the calcium channel passages between cells and it’s also breaking down the protein complexes within the mitochondria that create ATP. And ATP, as you know, is the energy of the cell. If that energy is not there, the cell weakens and eventually dies, theoretically.

 So, what I am doing is using a process, a therapeutic process called pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to help repair the mitochondria in my body. I’m not, and I don’t think there’s any way to be specific to the mitochondrial repair, and I don’t care. I just want my mitochondria to get repaired as fast as possible. So, I lay on a mat from a company, now we can talk about later if you want, but it is a flexible mat, looks like, feels like a very thin, soft pliable yoga mat and it lays underneath my bed cover and we have timers that can go on and off on that mat and during the day I can lay on it and I do it three times a day. And there are different settings and the company that I work with has settings for cancer as well as many other things.

So, I use this mat to help stimulate the mitochondria to repair as well as to improve the calcium channeling within the mitochondria. I believe that this is repairing my body. Now, I do know from reading research, not my personal research, but I do know that NASA has used this type of therapy to help astronauts to prevent osteoporosis because they learned that astronauts being in space for a period of time develop osteoporosis for variety of reasons and pulse electromagnetic field therapy can prevent and cure that kind of problem. So, I’m using this mat that I do three times a day and I think that is a real critical element to my overall protocol to treat my cancer.

Dr. Weitz:                         Awesome. Are you able to exercise right now?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Starting to try that, and actually I got a good bit sore so I have to come back. Zach Bush has a four minute video or a four minute exercise video on YouTube. Easy to Google, “Zach Bush four minute video.” It is a great exercise program. It helps to stimulate and release nitric oxide. He’s a cool guy. Anyhow, brilliant physician. He’s got lots of degrees behind his name. It’s very noninvasive for me. It’s not particularly damaging to my body and I’ve tried to use that. I used to use that on a regular basis as well as other types of exercise, but this I think is the kind of exercise I want to get started with before I move on. My son actually owns a couple of clinics, one in Charlotte and one in Greenville, South Charlotte, North Carolina, one in Greenville, South Carolina, where he works with patients and athletes and does quite a number of therapeutic exercise programs, and he’s going to help me with that.

His company is called Performance Therapy, and he’s really astute in this exercise program. So, he’s going to help me develop a more gentle progressive exercise program as soon as I feel like I can get started.

Dr. Weitz:                         Cool. Maybe swimming might be something you want to integrate.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Swimming would probably be good. It’s not convenient for me. Walking is not a problem. Although walking a distance, I used to walk about five miles a day. Right now, that much walking really puts a lot of pressure on my spine and basically my pelvis and that’s why I have these fractures, so I gotta be careful.

Dr. Weitz:                         Right. Tell us about your latest report when you saw your oncologist.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yeah, so it’s kind of funny. So, I’m seeing, I guess maybe it’s been three weeks ago or something like that. I see my oncologist, and he is doing his examination, and I’m really feeling quite good. We just did some blood work and most of the results were relatively stable, not progressing in a bad way. And one of the ratios of these unhealthy antibodies has actually significantly dropped, which is great. Still on a very high level. Certainly I’m not cured from this disease, but it had dropped, and he said to me, “Possibly, maybe I made a misdiagnosis, maybe you have not this aggressive form of multiple myeloma, maybe it’s indolent and multiple myeloma.”

He wasn’t really joking at first and then he started to laugh with me, and I said, “Just give my alternative protocol the respect it deserves, maybe what I’m doing is helping me. It’s just that you’ve never seen this before.” He’s a traditional conventional oncologist with a big group working in a major cancer center. So, if he were to tell any of his patients to do what I’m doing, he probably would be kicked out of his group and maybe sued because of malpractice, he’s not following the norm of treating cancer. So, I understand that, but he is interested enough in what I’m doing that he requests me to send to the medical papers that I’m reading, that are supporting and giving me thought as to what I want to integrate with my protocol.

Dr. Weitz:                         Now, how are you supporting your bone health? Because this bone marrow cancer, it leads to damage to bones, and you mentioned that you have several fractures.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Two of the products that I get from Standard Process are bone complex and bios. So, I think maybe bone complex is actually from MediHerb, but MediHerb is sold through standard process. I’m not sure if that’s true or not. And bios, those are two things that are supporting my bone metabolism. That’s the only specific that I’m taking. I definitely do take vitamin D3. I take gobs of vitamin K2 which is so critical.

Dr. Weitz:                         How much vitamin D and vitamin K?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Right now, I’m taking 5,000 international units of D3. Of course, the way you eat, mushrooms or egg yolks, you’re getting vitamin D3 in certain things too, but I am taking an extra supplement of D3. I do take vitamin K2. I use MegaQuinone K2-7 from microbiome labs. It’s 320 micrograms, which is quite a large number. But there’s never been demonstrated any lethal dose to K2 and I think the more the merrier. And recent studies have shown that vitamin K2 actually helps repair and rescue damaged mitochondria, which is brilliant. Actually, this is an aside, but actually I’m doing a double blind study to demonstrate that spore based probiotics and a high dose with vitamin K2 taken orally changes the gut microbiome and eventually changes the oral microbiome to reduce gum disease and improve everything else that’s going on in the mouth. And that is underway right now. It’s been approved by the Institutional Review Board. It’s an exciting area.

Dr. Weitz:                         That’s amazing. Yeah, I think I heard about that.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yeah, I think maybe we talked about it, but at that time we talked, it wasn’t actually happening yet, but everything has gone through. To do these medical tests is, and they always need to be approved obviously, is a long lengthy process, but once they get approved I can start moving fast as long as you have the participants to do it.

Dr. Weitz:                         And you mentioned supporting your gut health is part of your program.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Yes.

Dr. Weitz:                         Why is that important?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Well, certainly, our immune system is dependent upon the gut microbiome and the intestinal layer which is only one cell layer thick. If I have dysbiosis, I have chronic disease period. And certainly cancer is a form of chronic disease. I need to get that gut as healthy as I can. I think it’s been healthy, but I am doing that much more intensely right now. So, I do take the spore based probiotic. I do take vitamin K2. I use a variety of products that microbiome has. This is not really a commercial. Other than microbiome is funding this study that I’m doing, but they have nothing to do with the independent results. I think they’re on the cutting edge of doing some cross products with lots of research behind them to support, not just the microbiome, which is a very important part, but the mucosal layer in the lumen, which is critical before anything happens to the actual layer of the intestines.  So, these are products that I take to support myself. I think that’s the chronic disease. I wrote a paper called the Big Bang theory of chronic disease a year or so ago that was published in Wellbeing Journal. I believe everything starts in the gut, but there are so many ways things damage the gut. It’s just not the food, but so many things. Well, once that gut is damaged and the immune system is compromised and your host resistance is not where it should be, then other things start to manifest.

Dr. Weitz:                         As a Functional Medicine practitioner, I’m fully in agreement with you that the gut is so crucial for the health of the entire body. I just saw a patient last week who first came to see me because she had seizures that were occurring every few months. She lost her driver’s license and neurologists couldn’t find anything. And then, after talking to her for a while, she had all these gut symptoms that she had just considered normal cause she had them for so long. We did a stool panel and we looked at her gut and her gut was really messed up, and we did some natural protocols to get her gut in order. And now, she’s eight months seizure free and she’s getting her driver’s license back just from fixing her gut.

Dr. Danenberg:                 And that’s amazing. What is not known by the general public is, you don’t have to have gut symptoms that have gut problems. Only 20% of people will have bloating and diarrhea and constipation and issues that are obvious. The other 80%, it’s already systemic. It’s already creating systemic inflammation and chronic in nature and disseminating to other parts of the body. And then, there are the genetic weaknesses in other systems that are breaking down, not related to the gut because of symptoms in the gut, but related to everything else that’s damaged that gut, that damages the rest of the body.

Dr. Weitz:                         Have you done genetic testing on yourself?

Dr. Danenberg:                 No, and here’s the reason why. I understand genetic testing is important for some thought processes. It may be important to give you a heads up as so, “Hey, you really need to be aware.” It’s almost like standing on the train tracks and you let the train slowly get closer to you. Eventually, you should get off those train tracks knowing what’s really coming down. But if I were to know, let’s say I had a snip here or a snip their, or whatever genetic problems I had, I cannot change my genetic code. I cannot change my snips. I cannot do anything therapeutic within reason to do that.

I do know that 80% or so of environment and lifestyle is going to either manifest the disease or not manifested the disease. That I have control over. Stress is a huge factor in health and disease and if I were to put myself under stress, more stress knowing all of these things are inherently wrong with me, and what can I do to correct them, I’m gonna really talk myself into more disease. There are some great papers that prove that placebo effects or not placebo effects, they’re real. And that’s because you have a positive attitude.

Chris Kresser, who I totally recommend. He’s brilliant. He just wrote a paper or an email that he sends to his people today and reviewed a situation where somebody who had all kinds of health issues and he was getting very, very ill. And he said, “Well, if I’m gonna die, I’m gonna be happy and stopped worrying, started eating pizza and coke or whatever it was, beer and pizza.” And he got better, and obviously beer and pizza didn’t get him better. He eliminated his stress. Chris is such a great, great writer. He brings across messages in such an easy to understand way. The point is, stress can be so much more damaging than anything else. If I had a healthy body, but was totally stressed, I wouldn’t have a healthy body.

Dr. Weitz:                         Right. You make a great point and Chris makes a great point, which is, as much as we get caught up into these health promoting practices of healthy eating and everything else, we need to do it in a way that also makes us happy. If it becomes so much of an obsession that creates more stress in our body, then now it’s becoming a negative thing.

Dr. Danenberg:                 You’re absolutely correct. Again, I think this is part of the reason why I feel so good. I’m not going to tell you I look like I’m 30 years old and an Adonis, but I gotta tell you I feel extremely well, and I’ll be 72 years old in a few weeks.

Dr. Weitz:                         How are you maintaining such a positive attitude?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Well, that’s my point. I’m not sure why I’ve maintained this except I’ve accepted it. I have a very strong spiritual sense, but I’m not religious whatsoever. But I have a spiritual sense. I believe in the soul. I believe where I am going to go.  We don’t have to get into that conversation, but it is comforting to me to know that.  And if this time around is the end for my life, I just want to make sure that the quality and the dignity are there until I drop dead. Marxism talks about something like live long, then drop dead. I mean, basically live the life you want to live and then just keel over, and not live a chronically diseased life with all kinds of ailments for 30 or 40 years and then drop dead.  That’s not the way I want it to be.  And if I have any control, it makes my stress level much, much less.  I stress, we all stress, but I have a great attitude and I do feel like I am winning battle more so than general medicine would have suggested. I’ve been told that I needed to sign up for hospice three months ago. I’ve not done that, so I’m okay. I’m good.

Dr. Weitz:                         I applaud you Al.

Dr. Danenberg:                 Thank you.

Dr. Weitz:                         How can our listeners who don’t have access to your blog get on the list and get ahold of it?

Dr. Danenberg:                 Oh, sure. Thanks. So, go to my website, which is drdanenberg.com, which is drdanenberg.com, Or go to my website, click on blogs. You can sign up for email alerts every time I write a post, which is just generally once a week. I talk about all kinds of things, but I certainly am talking about my journey. I’ve got maybe 15 or so posts as to when I was diagnosed and how I’m progressing and doing a variety of other things. So, that’s available. If there’s any comments, you can put them in and there was a contact form if you have questions, you can write a little email to me and I certainly respond to emails.

Dr. Weitz:                         Awesome. Al, thank you so much for sharing with us, and you’re a positive force in the world.

Dr. Danenberg:                  Thank you.

 

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