MED: LEF Update 2001.01.12

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 23:27:49 MST

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New lupus discovery

University of California, San Francisco researchers have recently
discovered that a single defect in a protein causes a severe auto-immune
disease that resembles lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can
have a range of debilitating consequences and can be potentially fatal. It
has been believed that lupus is a result of an accumulation of a number of
genetic defects, however this research, published in the December 22 2000
issue of the journal Cell, found strong evidence that a single mutation
can cause the disease and that the mutation is a dominant rather than
recessive trait, in which a single copy of the gene from one parent is all
that is required for the disease to manifest, making it highly more likely
to do so. Previously identified genetic causes of autoimmune disease have
mostly been recessive. What is called lupus may be a collection of a
number of different diseases with a common pathway, according to the
authors' views.

The researchers found that a defect in the transmembrane receptor protein
on the surface of immune cells, which is central to nearly all immune
cells in humans and mice, can lead to the symptoms associated with lupus,
which include arthritis, kidney failure and inflammation of the heart and
lungs. This protein normally receives signals from outside the cell,
leading to intracellular responses. Acting on the results of previous
research, the scientists mutated mice to differ from their parents by only
one amino acid that would result in the defect in the protein. As
expected, the mutated mice exhibited all of the symptoms of lupus. The
researchers now hope discover this mutation in human lupus patients.

Arthur Weiss, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and
UCSF professor of medicine and senior author of the study commented,
"Lupus is a devastating disease that affects one in every 2,000 people in
the U.S. - and attacks nine females for every male. But while researchers
have studied the disease intensively, the cause - or causes -- have proven
difficult to pin down. It may well be that at least part of the answer to
the puzzle lies with a very small change in a signaling protein that
underlies many different cell functions."

The discovery of the defective protein will provide a target for research
on drugs to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases.


Lupus is an autoimmune, inflammatory disease with multiple acute and
chronic manifestations. In its most common and serious form, systemic
lupus erythematosus (SLE), it is a potentially fatal dysfunction of the
autoimmune system. Instead of defending against invading viruses and
bacteria, the body's multitude of immune agents mistakenly identify our
own tissues as the enemy and attack the organs, blood, skin, joints, and
gastrointestinal tract. In its most life-threatening form, SLE produces
kidney, brain, heart, and lung inflammation. Even in milder forms, this
inflammatory process leads to arthralgia (joint pain), fever, fatigue,
mood changes, and other symptoms that may become disabling.

It should be noted that there are two other common forms of this disease,
discoid lupus erythematosis (DLE), a less serious form primarily causing
disc-shaped skin lesions, and drug induced lupus erythematosis (DILE),
which is transient and subsides when the causal agent is withdrawn. A
further discussion of DILE will be provided later in this protocol.

People living with chronic illnesses have nutritional requirements well
beyond those of the general public. The disease process places excessive
demands on the entire system while interfering with the ability of the
body to assimilate basic nutrients. It is hardly possible to nourish a
chronically ill person with the best of diets. Add the fact that SLE
patients frequently have gastric distress and variable appetites, and the
nutritional task becomes even more daunting. An early study by Cook and
Reading (1985) demonstrated the beneficial effects of nutritional
supplementation of SLE patients. It is essential for those with lupus to
take a regimen of a high-potency, easily assimilated, vitamin-mineral
product such as Life Extension Mix. Avoid the commercial one-a-day
formulations. Despite the public's fascination with finding a single magic
pill, it takes a number of nutrients to produce improved health, and that
cannot be combined into one tablet.

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the body's immune responses being
directed against its own tissues, resulting in inflammation and
destruction. A wide range of degenerative diseases are caused as a result.
Immune dysfunction can cause immune responsive cells to attack the linings
of the joints, resulting in rheumatoid arthritis, or prompt defectively
functioning immune cells to attack the insulin-producing islet cells of
the pancreas, resulting in insulin-dependent diabetes.

Supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish, flax, or
perilla oils-along with borage oil, evening primrose oil, or black currant
seed oil, which contain the essential omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linoleic
acid (GLA)-can alleviate many symptoms of autoimmune disease through their
anti-inflammatory activity.

One protocol used with a great deal of success involves daily
supplementation with 4 capsules a day of a concentrated fish oil
encapsulated supplement called Mega EPA, along with 5 capsules a day of a
borage oil preparation called Mega GLA. These two oils provide the
essential fatty acids that have been shown to favorably modulate immune
function and help correct autoimmune disease. For those who don't like
fish oil supplements, flax or perilla oils can be substituted.

Life Extension Mix Capsules

Life Extension Mix is an antioxidant formula that affords a considerable
degree of protection against free radicals. In addition, Life Extension
Mix includes nutrients that: enhance methylation (an essential process
that declines during aging); inhibit glycosylation (a significant cause of
aging damage); suppress apolipoprotein serum levels (a cause of
atherosclerosis); suppress homocysteine serum levels ( a cause of
cardiovascular disease); suppress mitochondrial oxidative stress (a cause
of premature aging); protect against thrombosis (abnormal blood clotting
inside arteries); maintain microcapillary perfusion; and protect against
DNA mutations that lead to certain cancers.

Mega EPA capsules

Mega EPA Capsules are a convenient way to take EPA and DHA in a
concentrated form. EPA and DHA can be helpful against arthritis, reduce
abnormal blood clotting inside blood vessels, reduce triglyceride levels,
and reduce many forms of chronic inflammation. The fatty free acid form of
omega-3 rich fish oils in this product represents a technological
breakthrough in marine lipid research providing for maximum efficient
absorption of EPA and DHA. Each capsule contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic
acid) 400 mg, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 300 mg, vitamin E (natural, mixed
tocopherols) 2 IU, vitamin C 2 mg.


Don't forget - Super Sale ends January 31. Order now and receive 10% off
all product purchases. (Offer does not apply to some overseas customers.)
Members take the 25% in addition to the 10% Super Sale saviggs. For a
list of all products offered by Life Extension, go to


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discussion! The Life Extension Forums function similar to Internet
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If you have any questions or comments about this issue or back issues of
Life Extension Update, email me at

For longer life,

Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
Life Extension Foundation

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