arrow19 Comments
  1. B. Johnson
    Jun 11 - 5:16 pm

    Great article. Well written. The Holtorf Centers have been using this hormone/enzyme in the brain angle in treating ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia for some time. This article appears to agree with Holtorf that serum levels (?) of many factors are actually opposite between the two conditions. Holtorf also indicates different key areas are most active between the syndromes.

    • Cort Johnson
      Jun 11 - 7:06 pm

      I can think of two factors – both involved in the brain – which differ. I believe brain blood flows are increased in FM and substance P levels are increased in FM (but not in ME/CFS).

    • Grant nancarrow
      Jun 11 - 9:04 pm

      What treatments do Holtorf offer and how often and how effective are they?

      Is this why some people get benefit from antidepressants? Maybe it’s not so much from their antidepressant effect but more the fact that they raise BDNF.
      Maybe the two serotonin drugs from Biovista were doing similar things.
      Anyone know what has happened with these?

      It is looking more and more likely that the nervous system, the brain and the gut (the second brain) are all involved.

      We just need some guidance on how to fix it

      • Grant nancarrow
        Jun 11 - 9:07 pm

        Also is the fact that some people are seeing improvements with things that work on opiates connected to this?

      • Matthias
        Jun 12 - 2:07 am

        “It is looking more and more likely that the nervous system, the brain and the gut (the second brain) are all involved.”

        yes yes yes!

        And not viruses!

    • Aidan Walsh
      Jun 20 - 4:09 pm

      When I read about her recovery it reminds me of all I have been reading lately on Systemic Mastocytosis. At the age she got sick she fits into the category of Cutaneous Mastocytosis. I have no doubts now that cfs or whatever thousand names given to this illness is Mast Cell Activation Disorders ‘undiagnosed’ by the entire medical establishment an illness already recognized by the W.H.O. and Haematologists are what’s needed not other Doctors.

      • Aidan Walsh
        Jun 20 - 4:18 pm

        yes, diet plays a major role but knowing which foods to eat is key as everyone has different reactions to histamine foods. that is the key not drugs in systemic mastocytosis.
        numerous people recover from vfs from diet and this still does not rule out lyme disease with mastocytosis…Everyone will be different and I will bet that 9 months of I.V. did not cure patientsit was their diets that cured them possibly low histamine type foods. histamine/cytokines is Major in this monstrous illness.

  2. Cort Johnson
    Jun 11 - 7:09 pm

    Want to point out that Hip suggested in the last BDNF blog this treatment:

    The smart supplement noopept has been shown to increase BDNF as well as NGF (nerve growth factor). See here:

    It might be worth trying noopept for ME/CFS.

    Noopept is inexpensive and readily available online. Noopept doses are in the 10 mg to 40 mg range, taken sublingually. If you read some accounts online, people often anecdotally report a great cognitive boost with noopept initially, followed by a loss of effect after some days. However, the above-cited study found that BDNF was still boosted even after 28 days of taking noopept daily, so noopept would seem to have long term benefits with regards to BDNF boosting.

  3. Thia
    Jun 12 - 5:24 am

    An interesting article, but one thing occurred to me: if BDNF is increased in Fibromyalgia, and decreased in ME, what about people who have both disorders?

    • Cort Johnson
      Jun 12 - 6:40 am

      Whew! That’s a good question…I imagine there are a lot of people in that category…I wonder if there are more pure FM types (tons of pain) and pure ME/CFS patients (extreme fatigue and debility) and they are the ones who are different from each other (?????)

    • EC
      Jun 12 - 10:58 am

      I was wondering the same thing myself. At my doctor’s suggestion I recently added some turmeric powder (curcumin) to many of my foods and was pleasantly surprised that it significantly reduced my rheumatoid arthritis pain. So far I can’t tell a difference on the fibromyalgia or cfs/me but I’ll start paying closer attention to both.

  4. Zippy
    Jun 12 - 8:00 am

    Just to say that I find quite high doses of cod liver oil keeps me from being severe-it seems really important , I thought its primary job in me is to increase blood circulation. Does this noopept which I’ve never heard of before now improve sleep? Mine’s getting really bad now with all the knock on effects.

  5. tatt
    Jun 12 - 11:49 pm

    this is the first time I have seen anythung that includes get some sun in the recommendations – but I and others with ME are better in the sun.

    Although my brain doesn’t cope well with scientific articles these days my main problem is exercise intolerance, is there a reason to believe this would help with that?

    • Elaine
      Jun 19 - 5:15 pm

      Tatt –
      wouldn’t that be great?
      I, too find exercise intolerance and an inability to focus on intellectual (or scienc-y – G) reading and thought processing. I can tolerate the pain, but fatigue and not being able to “do things” either physically or mentally may drive me batty.

      funny, though – a lot of sun will affect me just like exercise does.

      cheers, y’all and best of luck for relief.

  6. tatt
    Jun 13 - 1:38 am

    although I use tumeric (curcumin) in cooking I didn’t realise that to be effective it needs to be combined with black pepper. Also it can lower blood sugar and increase bleeding so there is a miscarriage risk in pregnant women. It increases the flow of bile and that can meal problems for those with gallstones.

    Reservatrol is another supplement to be wary of if there are bleeding problems.

    Shouldn’t articles like this include some comment about potential risks and who shouldn’t try anything mentioned without medical advice?

  7. Joy Adams
    Jun 18 - 10:43 am

    Help me out here people with big brains. If BDNF is raised in FM and lower in ME/cFS does that mean one would want to avoid raising it if they were primarily FM? I would guess its a separate issue. I have fatigue and I wake up every day with flu like symptoms but I believe I am primarily more FM. I read about ME/cFS and these people can’t get out if bed where I can get out of bed but it hurts like hell and my fatigue makes it hard to motivate my body. I love this article and research because it showed some measurable difference. Thank you Cort.

  8. Andrea
    Jun 19 - 5:24 pm

    Please help? Why would pepper be needed while taking Curcumin to help it work better? What does it do to make better effects? Thanks for your help. I love this article. It brought alot of sense to my understanding of things while dealing with these illnesses and trying to find relief. Andrea

    • Eric Anderson
      Jun 21 - 5:41 am

      “Black pepper enhances bioavailability of Turmeric: One important question which must be popping in your mind right now would be why among so many spices are we talking about black pepper? The answer is really interesting too. One problem with curcumin is its low levels of bioavailability. Most of the curcumin that is ingested gets metabolized before it can get absorbed. Piperine is said to help make curcumin more bioavailable. This could be because it could inhibit certain intestinal digestive enzymes. This increases the amount of any drug or supplement that can be absorbed by the body. They also do not get degraded quickly. Hence, there are studies to test if co-administering curcumin with piperine could improve the bioavailability of the former. These studies have been conducted on humans and laboratory animals. One study found that when even 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%. The bioavailability, serum levels and levels of absorption of curcumin all improved dramatically. Thus, if one takes turmeric, most of it is unutilized unless supplemented by addons such as black pepper.”

      The article below recommends a ratio of 3 parts black pepper to 97 parts turmeric to make the turmeric more effective/absorbable. I have also read that it is important to consume the turmeric with fats/oils because it is fat soluble and this enhances absorption in the gut. I’ve been experimenting with turmeric capsules I make myself with ordinary turmeric spice. I will now add black pepper to the capsules. I think the turmeric alone is helping me, but it would be great to get a boost by using these techniques to increase its effectiveness. And maybe I can use less. I am taking 4-8 big capsules per day on the advice of some of Ken Lassesen’s articles.

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