This post has nothing to do with MS. It does have to do with a nutrient that is low on average in MS patients, which can be low in many individuals, and which can manifest in many different ways. Once again, that nutrient is zinc. The manifestation of the hour is C. difficile
Two local Hamilton hospitals have now reported new C. difficile
outbreaks. One fatality to date.
Next door in Burlington, back in 06/07 Joseph Brant Hospital's outbreak killed 91 people.
I picked up on this news specifically because my mother had me watch an episode of David Suzuki's "The Nature of Things", entitled "The Autism Enigma". A bacterial culprit brought to light during this episode was Clostridium
. It rang a bell from having taken fairly recent looks at the types of bacteria which respond best to zinc treatment (that would be gram-positive bacteria, such as Clostridium
Then I flashed to the C (Clostridium) difficile
outbreak and started putting two and two together. My hypothesis is that the people who are infected with C. difficile
, are zinc deficient and therefore more susceptible to infection by bacteria and viruses.
Last night I saw a piece of news on TV which I have not yet been able to track down online. A man by the name of Keith Lewis was interviewed, and showed a picture of his girlfriend, who is one of the unfortunate patients who has been infected with C. difficile
at Hamilton General Hospital. He mentioned that the reason she was in the hospital in the first place, was for a bladder infection. He said her immune system was just destroyed (I'm not quoting verbatim but that was the gist of it). Of course I'm thinking, all this is helping confirm my suspicions.
On to the research:
Co-morbidity, not age predicts adverse outcome in clostridium difficile colitis
World Journal of Gastroenterology http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/6/198.pdf
"...Death was strongly predicted by the use of penicillin-like antibiotics plus clindamycin, in the presence of hypoalbuminemia, refractory sepsis, and cardiac disease (P=0.00005)."
So I'll look for research linking poor zinc status to antibiotics, low albumin, sepsis, and cardiac disease.
First, antibiotics. These patients must already be fighting bacterial infections of some description to be using them. I suggest that if you need antibiotics, your zinc status is likely inadequate. Zinc may not be the only player, but it is highly suspect.
A Molecular Mechanism for Bacterial Susceptibility to Zinchttp://www.plospathogens.org/article/in ... at.1002357
Zinc and infection: a reviewhttp://www.josorge.com/publications/Cit ... JL/007.pdf
Now for the hypoalbuminuria. Another zinc connection:
The effect of severe zinc deficiency on serum levels of albumin, transferrin, and prealbumin in man.http://www.ajcn.org/content/34/9/1655.short
"Concentrations of three serum transport proteins, albumin, transferrin, and prealbumin, were determined in seven patients with severe zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency was manifested not only by depressed serum zinc concentrations, but also by skin lesions typical of zinc deficiency that corrected with zinc supplementation only. Concentrations of all three serum proteins were significantly depressed in zinc-deficient patients compared to healthy controls, and levels of all three proteins improved or corrected with a short period of zinc supplementation as the sole form of therapeutic intervention.
Prealbumin levels dropped and corrected most rapidly, probably due in part to its short half-life of 2 days. This study demonstrates that zinc plays an important role in protein metabolism in man and is necessary for the maintenance of normal levels of certain transport proteins. These results support the possibility that zinc deficiency may alter tissue availability of other nutrients such as vitamin A or iron through its effect on transport proteins."
Serum zinc in critically ill adult patients with acute respiratory failurehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21827444
"...The median [IQR] serum zinc levels in non-infectious, sepsis
and septic shock patients were 5.0 [3.1-7.1], 5.1 [3.5-7.3]
and 3.8 [2.6-5.9] μmol/l, respectively, P<0.01."
5.1 umol/L. that is very, very deficient.
And finally, cardiac disease:
Serum zinc level and coronary heart disease events in patients with type 2 diabetes.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17327315
"...Our aim was to investigate whether serum zinc level predicts coronary heart disease (CHD) events in subjects with type 2 diabetes... Serum zinc values were available from 1,050 subjects... During the follow-up, 156 patients died from CHD and 254 patients had a fatal or nonfatal MI. Patients with serum zinc concentration < or = 14.1 micromol/l at baseline had a higher risk for death from CHD than patients with serum zinc level > 14.1 micromol/l (20.8 and 12.8%, respectively; P = 0.001)
... In Cox regression analyses, low serum zinc concentration was significantly associated with CHD mortality (relative risk [RR] 1.7, P = 0.002) and all CHD events (RR 1.37, P = 0.030), even after adjustment for confounding variables... In this large cohort of type 2 diabetic patients, low serum zinc level was an independent risk factor for CHD events."