WELCOME to those with RA, who share a similar life of chronic pain and few suitable answers not only within the current medical establishment—but especially so in most alternative approaches.
We have had some great success treating Ankylosing Spondylitis using the information provided by Professor Ebringer and his student-patients. One of the issues that Professor Ebringer and his colleagues had to address was that of a firm diagnosis in the early stages of AS; it is sometimes very similar to early RA.
Professor Ebringer suggested that RA, like AS, might also be due to molecular mimicry
, if perhaps to a different pathogen. As his group studied this proposition, they soon discovered that RA was caused by the germ Proteus mirabilis
. But this is an observation (if substantiated throughout many years of subsequent testing), and such observations do not always so easily reduce to practical application.
There has however, already been some useful advances in elimination of RA symptoms using the pioneering work of Dr. Thomas MacPherson Brown
and the Road Back Foundation has championed the use of antibiotics in the treatment of RA through endorsing like-minded physicians for persons seeking this type of treatment.
Although these are competing theories in general, the basic linkage between disease and some infection does somewhat strengthen the position of each, and only time will tell which is the egg and which is the chicken.
Personally, I believe that once one type of bacterium has established its own environment, many others are likely to join the party, so making the host less appealing to these unwanted guests should be the basic goal of treatment.
I regret that I do not have any success stories to publish at this time, but they can only be written by people with RA; my own advice is not very useful in this regard, and I leave it up to those patients to test the theories for themselves.
We want to be clear—the Proteus infections were not found by conventional methods and a person with RA might not be identified as having a Proteus infection; these are “occult” infections. Ebringer’s methods do not find the germ directly, but rather one key response to the germ—the immunoglobulin (IgG-Pm) responsible for the disease process.
Professor Ebringer has suggested that RA might be subsequent to a urinary tract infection by Proteus mirabilis that is not so easily identified. And familiarity with this specific germ has suggested that it is a difficult one to eliminate. Combination therapy including some lifestyle changes might be useful. For example because this germ has a mechanism of flagella that grasp surfaces, it is possible that drinking juices with certain types of sugars make things more slippery for them.
His suggestion is to average about one ounce hourly of cranberry or concord grape juices and also to increase Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs); the fish oil in the “Oslo Diet” for example is useful. Others with RA have reported some benefit from taking borage seed oil (GLA; a specific type of EFA).
Also, foods high in AA (Arachidonic Acid and precursors) may add to the inflammatory process and perhaps should be limited but not eliminated—egg yolks, red meats, and shellfish.
Professor Ebringer does not have any more specific food limitations in RA as he does for AS (elimination of starches), but these should be considered in the light of Dr. Mercola, who is against most grain-based diets in treating RA, so his three stages of dieting might be helpful for those starting out and wishing to have some control over their own disease.
I have been told by several people that a Proteus infection requires Cipro (ciprofloxacin) at higher than normal dosages to knock out, and I can only suggest to people that they enquire about this through a Road Back Foundation or other suitable physician.
In the hopes of providing help for those with RA, perhaps this will be another starting point in a journey back to regain and reclaim the health they need to add more joy back into their lives, as so many of us with AS have also been helped.
Here are links to several downloadable (Adobe Acrobat format) technical papers that might be useful:Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by Proteus : the molecular mimicry theory and Karl PopperRheumatoid arthritis patients have eleva...oteus microbes.Cytotoxicity Responses to Peptide Antigens in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to Proteus—the evidence.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease triggered by Proteus urinary tract infection.Antibodies to Klebsiella, Proteus, and H...toid Arthritis.
Some Alternative Medicine Ideas:
The understanding that there are over one hundred bowel flora, and at least 20 of these have already been identified to cause various forms of arthritis. The treatment of choice, NSAIDs, can cause bowel lesions, allowing various bacteria greater access to our immune and circulatory systems. ‘Polyarthritis’ is a general consequence of this LGS (leaky gut syndrome) and while NSAIDs make this worse, so too can antibiotic therapy; LGS can be caused by Candida albicans overgrowth, also, and this is a common consequence of antibiotic therapy (Zampieron, et al “Arthritis: An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide.”).
A balance in treatments, must therefore be achieved and this, along with positive lifestyle modifications, must be evaluated real-time in vivo, by the patients themselves.
[Excerpt]The Edgar Cayce Remedies
by William A. McGarey, M.D. Bantam Books July, 1983
[general description and basic diagnostic guidelines]Let us take the case of a sixty-eight year old man whom I have cared for over a long period of time. He was first seen nearly ten years ago with a semirigid spine due to advanced hypertrophic arthritis. He could rotate his head right and left perhaps only five degrees either way, and his entire spine was limited drastically in all directions of movement. For one solid year, his wife used an electrically driven massager on his upper spine and neck just ten minutes each night before he went to bed. This was every single night without a miss. At that point he had rotation of the head up to thirty degrees in each direction and could even look around over his shoulder to see if there was a car approaching from the rear. His spine was much looser, and he was encouraged. Today, he has full rotation of his head, having continued on a modified program. He did alter his diet from the first, and he always had a positive attitude about his recovery. Since the body can absorb calcium, the function of severely calcified vertebrae can indeed be restored. All this did not happen because of the local effects derived from the daily massage by his wife. There was nevertheless a considerable influence on the organs of assimilation—the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, etc—because of the neurological activity induced by the massage to the sympathetic ganglia in the upper dorsal area of the spine. So help comes in many ways!
Diet for the arthritis patient assumes a major role as he starts a program of therapy recommended by the readings. It always seemed that the diet should be of a laxative nature. Over and over, Cayce advised that celery, lettuce, carrots, and watercress be used frequently together with gelatin as a salad. This, he said, would enhance the values found in all these vegetables and in the gelatin itself, and would be beneficial to the body. Fos some individuals, figs and dates were suggested to provide the laxative effect, and vegetable juices were found to be especially helpful. Cooked beets and carrots and vegetables of all kinds, in large measure were always in order, while one meal of green raw vegetables at noon was frequently suggested.
Fish, fowl, and lamb were seen as the primary source of meat: And no fried foods were to be permitted. It is questionable whether any person with arthritis should ever use much salt (sodium chloride type). Starches and sweets together should also be avoided, and this means no cakes and pastries. Honey or corn syrup or buckwheat cakes or corn bread or the like would be all right, but not together with white bread. Apparently, the white flour that is used in cakes, pastries, and bread, when combined with sweets yields detrimental effects. The diet should be well balanced but contain no starchy foods. Green leafy vegetables are always excellent and they should be used in preference to the pod or bulbar type. Wild game is also excellent food for the arthritic. A frequent dietary theme from the readings is to increase raw vegetables, decrease meats, allow no carbonated drinks, alcohol, or stimulants, and avoid fats: Alkalinity produced from such a diet seems to be the goal.
[massage oil formulae]
[use of Atomidine (internal iodine) cycles]
People who correspond with us, however, rarely follow just that prescribed course of treatment. One woman, who was a long time arthritis sufferer wrote that she was not taking any medications for her arthritis even though she had been afflicted with it for ten years. This is her story:
I recently started drinking olive oil. I took approximately six tablespoons a day (during the day) for two weeks, then I took one tablespoon a day for two weeks. The pain in every joint was gone. I stopped this procedure, feeling maybe the arthritis may have been arrested as some cases do.
After three weeks, the pain started to return. I knew it must be the olive oil, so I started taking three tablespoons a day for one week. Then, discontinuing dosage. After two weeks, the pain was only slight but returning. I took only three tablespoons just one day a week. All I take now is three tablespoons for one day and it lasts one week and no pain for this period.
This kind of therapy was never suggested in the readings, and it appears that the woman was, in fact, just holding down the symptoms, but not really reversing the root causes. However, two more stories about oils and their usefulness in arthritis bear telling.
In reading Jess Stearn’s Edgar Cayce, I noted with much interest his references to arthritis and the use of pure peanut oil. As a rheumatoid arthritic, I have found it to be of great benefit to my condition. After using peanut oil as a massaging oil for several years, I have to agree with Cayce’s belief that it not only lubricates but heals as well. I am sure that, had I known about the oil in this use I would have been spared much misery. Why isn’t the use of peanut oil to reduce joint inflammation and pain in arthritis better known? Does the medical profession spurn it as a home remedy?
And from California:
Mother had arthritis so bad she was committed to the hospital. She was there for two weeks and released with no apparent help. The arthritis was centered in her fingers which were doubled back in her palms—she didn’t think she would be able to open up her fingers again. Father brought her home and started a treatment of hot castor oil—rubbing her hands, arms, and shoulders and legs three times a day. Within a period of three or four months her condition improved to the extent she could walk, use her arms, and her hands straightened out and today she is completely cured. She was seventy-six years old when she was at her worst and is now eighty-one.
UPDATE: August/September, 2013
REGRET I do not have the time to visit this forum, and my focus is really AS; about all I can handle is the main forum and NSD, but I wanted to provide the members here the latest information from Professor Ebringer. He has written a book on RA and provided a primary diet. I know many people have used the NSD/LSD with some success as a basic anti-inflammatory regimen and Dr. Mercola touts elimination of grains as best regimen for battling our common nemesis of inflammation.
Here are some chapters for example from Ebringer's book:
CHAPTERS of “Rheumatoid arthritis and Proteus”.
By Alan Ebringer B.Sc, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath.
Professor of Immunology, King’s College London and Hon.
Consultant Rheumatologist, Middlesex Hospital.
Publisher: Springer London Ltd. October 2011.
ISBN number: 9780857299499.
(1) Scope and distribution of the RA problem.
(2) History of the attempts to find the cause of RA.
(3) HLA-DR1/4 and antibodies to Proteus in London.
(4) Antibodies to Proteus in Irish patients with RA.
(5) Antibodies to Proteus in RA patients from Bermuda and
Hertfordshire in England.
(6) Antibodies to Proteus in RA patients from Brest and
Toulouse in France.
(7) Dutch patients with RA have antibodies to Proteus.
(8) Anti-Proteus antibodies in Norwegian patients with RA
following a lactovegetarian diet.
(9) Antibodies to Proteus in RA patients from Spain, Norway
(10) Antibodies to Proteus in RA patients from Southern Japan.
(11) Urine cultures and correlation.
(12) Molecular similarity between the “Shared epitope” of RA
(13) The “Shared epitope”, Proteus haemolysin, type XI collagen
(14) Gram-negative bacteria possess sequences which resemble
the “shared epitope” but only Proteus infect RA patients.
(15) Immune responses to Proteus in RA patients from Finland and
(16) Molecular similarity between the RA associated motif
EQKRAA and structurally related sequences of Proteus.
(17) RA sera are cytotoxic to cells bearing HLA and
collagen susceptibility sequences.
(18) The Scientific Method of Sir Karl Popper
(19) RA and “Popper sequences”.
Here is the basic RA diet:
Rheumatology Research Clinic: Professor Alan Ebringer.
Department of Rheumatology, The Middlesex Hospital, UCH School of Medicine
and Infection & Immunity Group, Department of Life Sciences,King’s College,London,UK
THE LONDON “RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS” DIET.
High fluid/ High fruit juice diet for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
It is thought that in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a high fluid intake and a diet containing a large proportion of vegetables, fruits and fruit juices can be beneficial and lead in some cases to remissions or at least to a reduction in dosage of drugs, thereby reducing to some extent undesirable side-effects.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered to be a form of “reactive arthritis” following an infection of the upper urinary tract by the microbe Proteus mirabilis. Specific anti-Proteus antibodies have now been reported from 14 different countries: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Finland, India, Japan, Taiwan, Bermuda, USA and Canada. A urinary tract infection readily explains why RA is commoner in women.
Over 90% of RA patients possess HLA-DR1/DR4 antigens whilst these are present in only 35% of the general population. The Proteus microbe has molecules which resemble HLA-DR1/DR4 and this is the reason why RA patients generally belong to the HLA-DR1/DR4 group.
Furthermore another molecule Proteus urease shows molecular mimicry with type XI collagen which is found in hyaline cartilage, a component of the small joints of the hands and feet. This could explain why RA affects predominantly the small joints of the hands and feet.
One simple way of reducing urinary tract infections is to have a high fluid intake: 2 litres (=4 pints) of fluids (tea, coffee, lemonade, water, soft drinks of any type) per day.
A further way of reducing urinary tract infections is to have a high intake of vegetables, fruits and containing substances such as cranberry juice, plum juice and other similar fruit drinks. The fructose blocks the binding of Proteus to the ureters.
Patients should continue with their normal medication but these dietary measures may lead to a reduction in the dosage of drugs and therefore reduction of side-effects.
1. Ebringer et al., Antibodies to Proteus in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1985;ii:305-307.
2. Ebringer et al., Rheumatoid arthritis: proposal for the use of anti-microbial therapy in early cases. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 2003;32: 2-11.
I will soon make these available in downloadable form, but for now wanted to post them where they might do the greatest good.
Please note also, that if You want to find rheumatologists willing to use antibiotic therapy, the Road Back Foundation has listings of recommended physicians, but they do not publish this; information provided by contacting them directly and letting them know Your specific location.