Marty Ross MD on Lumbrokinase in chronic Lyme and associated diseases.
Lumbrokinase is a group of enzymes extracted from earth worms. It is well studied in China where it is shown to break apart fibrin proteins in blood clotting disorders. I use lumbrokinase in my practice to break apart biofilms and to decrease hypercoagulation.
Biofilms are layers of slime where various forms of the Lyme germ live. The slime is made up of sugary mucopolysacharides, Lyme germs in various forms, fibrin protein to hold the biofilm together, and other substances. They occur when the germ is placed under stress. This can occur when antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials are used to treat Lyme. Biofilms can cause treatment resistance, failure, or relapse (see Finished?) because they can block antibiotics and they serve as a resevoir for the germ to re-emerge when antibiotics are stopped. In theory Lumbrokinase decreases (and may even eliminate) biofilms by breaking apart the fibrin protein that holds the slime matrix together.
I also use Lumbrokinase because it decreases sticky blood (hypercoaguable blood which clots more easily.) In many chronic infections sticky blood can occur. In sticky blood small blood clot deposits which include the protein fibrin occur on the lining of blood vessels. This can decrease or even block blood flow through small blood vessels. When this occurs the tissues become starved of oxygen leading to crampy muscle pain. This situation also blocks antibiotics and antimicrobial herbs from reaching the tissues where Lyme and the co-infections live.
Method of Action
In theory Lumbrokinase decreases (and may even eliminate) biofilms by breaking apart the fibrin protein that holds the slime matrix together. There are no scientific studies in Lyme that prove this occurs. However my own clinical observation is that the addtion improves treatment dramatically in many and can cause die-off reactions as the antibiotics kill germs released from the biofilm.
As a fibrinolytic enzyme, Lumbrokinase also decreases and may eliminate sticky blood because it breaks down fibrin protein in the blood clot deposits that can form on blood vessel wall in people with sticky blood. There is good scientific research from China which shows that Lumbrokinase works in hypercoaguable states.
Lumbrokinase is extracted from earthworms. There are two pharmaceutical grade sources for this product in the United States. One of these is Allergy Research which we carry in our store. Other products that include Lumbrokinase are not extracts. They in fact are often ground up earth worms and may not be effective or even harmful.
For biofilms and sticky blood take 1 20mg pill 2 to 3 times a day. Do not have medicine, supplements or food 1 hour before through 1 hour after taking Lumbrokinase. Use caution when starting because sometimes die-off Herxheimer reactions can occur. In these reactions the immune system makes more inflammation chemicals called cytokines that can cause many of the Lyme disease symptoms to worsen.
Stop Lumbrokinase 1 week before any surgeries. It should not be used in a person with a bleeding disorder or who has intestinal bleeding or stomach ulcers. It can be taken with aspirin and ibuprofen or advil. It can also be taken with coumadin and heparin blood thinners without added risk of bleeding. It should not be taken with the drug Plavix.
These recommendations are for informational purposes only. Consult a licensed physician or health care practitioner to discuss these guidelines if you have any health problems and you require a medical diagnosis, medical advice or treatment. A physician most-qualified to treat chronic Lyme Disease and to provide advice regarding these guidelines is one that practices integrative medicine. An integrative medicine physician is either a licensed naturopathic physician (ND or NMD) who has prescriptive authority or an MD or DO who uses prescriptive medicines, supplements, and holistic approaches. If you are unable to find such a physician to guide your care then the next best option is to have a licensed ND or NMD and a prescribing DO or MD as a team.
Statements regarding various supplements and products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Specific products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.