Interview with Professor Marco Ruggiero on MAF 314

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We have been working on vitamin D and its receptor (vitamin D receptor, VDR) for many years, identifying the VDR gene profiles associated with a number of physiological and pathological conditions. Vitamin D, VDR and vitamin D binding protein are called “vitamin D axis”. (You can find our papers here.) Therefore, when Prof. Yamamoto in 2009 published his paper claiming that GcMAF [Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor] eradicated HIV without antiretroviral therapy (ART), it was only natural for us to direct our attention to GcMAF because it belongs to the vitamin D axis in that GcMAF derives from vitamin D binding protein, also known as Gc-protein.

In addition to the basic science interest, we were also attracted by the possibility to demonstrate in the laboratory that the famous words of Prof. Montagnier—“…you will get rid of the virus in a few week if you have a good immune system”—were true. Not that we doubted his words, but we knew that his words were based upon his clinical observations and not on actual experiments performed in the laboratory. The rationale is simple: if GcMAF administration eradicates HIV infection as published by Prof. Yamamoto, since GcMAF is not an antiretroviral and it should do no harm to the virus, this demonstrates that an empowered immune system is able to eliminate HIV and prevent AIDS. This would in turn demonstrate that immunodeficiency is the cause of chronic HIV infection and not vice-versa. In addition, this approach, often referred to as “immunotherapy”, would shift the focus from the fight against the virus to the effort to re-establish, or empower, an immune system made deficient by a number of different causes, probably different for each individual.

I often use the following example from my previous experience in lung cancer research. Even though many lung cancer patients are heavy smokers, lung cancer occurs also in non-smokers. Imagine you are an oncologist dealing with lung cancer patients. It makes no sense and it is criminal to abstain from using available anti-cancer therapeutic strategies (surgery, radio- or chemotherapy) and instead have all the lung cancer patients attend courses or counseling to stop smoking. This is what happens with AIDS; instead of focusing on the real disease, immunodeficiency, they try to fight the virus that putatively causes it, paying the high price of severe side effects, among which is drug-induced immunodeficiency, while at the same time ignoring the immune system without trying to reinforce it.

Because of these considerations, we thought that immunotherapy with GcMAF would be a good object of study. There was also another consideration. AIDS diagnosis and the decision to initiate ART are based on CD4 cell count. Therefore, we reasoned, if we are able to keep them high, HIV+ people, in addition to staying healthy, will avoid prescription of ART and will not be classified as having AIDS.

We had just recently read a very interesting article by Reid et al. (quoted in our IAS2011 presentation) where he demonstrated that a probiotic yogurt was able to rise CD4 to an extent comparable to that of ART, obviously without side effects and practically at no cost. In fact, it was produced by local women in low-income communities in Tanzania. In other words, locally-produced probiotic yogurt produced the same effects of ART. Or, if you prefer, AIDS in Africa can be defeated at no cost and with no side effects.

Reid et al. did not provide a molecular mechanism underlying the observed effects on CD4 cell count. We thought that bacteria contained in their probiotic yogurt could have converted some Gc-protein that is present in low concentration in milk into active GcMAF. Thus, administration of Reid’s probiotic yogurt might have mimicked Yamamoto’s administration of GcMAF.

Based on these premises, we then studied a way to have certain strains of bacteria convert high concentration of Gc-protein into GcMAF and we developed MAF 3 14. This was not easy at all and the number 314 indicates the number of different combinations/experiments we had to perform before obtaining the right conditions. This is definitely not something that you could perform in your home kitchen! Then, we thought that it could have been cooler to call it 3 14 mimicking the p number.

We also took advantage of the deep knowledge of human anatomy and histology of Prof. Stefania Pacini who is professor of human anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Firenze. In fact, she let us know that there was no need to inject MAF 3 14 (an impossible task) if we wished to stimulate the immune system. The existence of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) that comprises macrophages is now widely recognized and activated macrophages can re-circulate between mucosas, blood, tissues, and back to mucosas. At this point the only remaining obstacle was the acid environment of the stomach that could have digested the GcMAF presented in MAF 3 14. This problem also was solved by Prof. Pacini’s knowledge of human anatomy. In fact, in the Waldeyer’s tonsilar ring there is an abundance of macrophages that can be directly stimulated by the GcMAF present in MAF 3 14. Not only that, we developed a way to have most MAF 3 14 pass intact the gastric environment and arrive intact (for the most part) in the lower intestine where the gut microbiota (now conceived as a virtual organ) exerts its actions.

In fact, MAF 3 14 is not only a GcMAF-enriched yogurt. Based on Reid’s publications and successes, MAF 3 14 was developed to re-establish a healthy gut microbiota, very similar to that of newborn mammals. A sort of reset of the gut microbiota. Again, this achievement was not easy. Please consider that we had to do more than two experiments a day in a fully equipped and well funded laboratory. We often worked 14 hours a day with a team of about 10 researchers; you can see some of them in the home page of www.marcoruggiero.org. Prof. Pacini is the third from the left, standing.

At that point, we began experimenting on ourselves as true scientists of the old days used to do. (I wonder how many advocates of ART have experienced those drugs on themselves.) You can see the results of this “trial” in IAS2011. Immediately thereafter, we gave MAF 3 14 to a couple of friends with different pathologic conditions and we are now monitoring their situation. By the way, MAF 3 14 has a good taste and people who tried it found it good. We are collecting a series of unexpected positive side-effects that we believe are due to the lucky combination of immune stimulation and re-establishment of a healthy gut microbiota. Many of these effects are just sensations difficult to quantify in scientific terms, but they are nevertheless very welcomed by those experiencing them.

I conclude, for the moment, letting you know that we are about to move to the U.S. to perform a larger scale trial. I cannot give at the moment more details about this. If everything works as we hope and believe, MAF 3 14 should be available for consumption in the coming weeks.—Prof. Marco Ruggiero

Professor Marco Ruggiero and his research team at the University of Florence developed the probiotic substance MAF 314 in the past several years. MAF 314 was initially seen as a potential adjunct therapy for HIV and certain cancers. More recently it has been used in ME/CFS with some success. There are anecdotal indications that MAF 314 regulates gut ecology and attacks viruses through the natural production of GcMAF. MAF 314 is known to produce an abundance of GcMAF. MAF 314 is taken at a prescribed dosage once a day.

Several small pilot studies have been done by Dr. Paul Cheney (working in collaboration with Professor Ruggiero) and Professor Ruggiero himself. Dr. Cheney presented his one-month study of MAF 314 at the 2011 IAMECFS conference in Ottawa. Professor Ruggiero presented additional information in Padua a month later. There have been no additional published studies of MAF 314 since then.

In answer to a question in Ottawa about MAF 314, Dr. Cheney answered, "It works." For the past year, Dr. Cheney has used MAF 314 in his practice with selected patients. He is a true champion of this therapy. He follows his selected patients closely with various tests, including Nagalase and 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D. Dr. Cheney has far and away the most clinical experience with MAF 314 and his continuing contributions in refining this treatment are available to his patients, as well as to subscribers to his research website. It is recommended that both MAF 314 and GcMAF be used under a doctor's supervision.

Dr. Derek Enlander in NYC has made his own version of a MAF-like substance called MAF 878. Anecdotal reports are that MAF 878 has a positive effect on patients with very few side effects.

MAF 314 was developed as an alternative to injectable GcMAF. Injectable GcMAF, as developed by Professor Nobuto Yamamoto, is seen as an adjunct therapy for HIV and various cancers. Small trials by Professor Yamamoto have not been expanded upon by others for unknown reasons. More recently injectable or chemical GcMAF has been used in patients with ME/CFS, primarily by Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, Dr. Paul Cheney and Dr. Derek Enlander. Dr. Enlander has indicated publicly that GcMAF is the best therapy for ME/CFS in the last ten years. Improvement has also been seen in these patient groups. There is a fine presentation by Dr. De Meirleir on GcMAF from a conference at Mt. Sinai ME/CFS center in late 2011. It can be viewed here.

I have written about MAF 314 in another post. It is my experience and the experience of others that MAF 314 strengthens the immune system - in unknown ways. Patients report feeling stronger on MAF 314 and MAF 878. The mechanism might be as simple as MAF operating as a super probiotic and stabilizing and improving the gut ecology. It seems to take some months before positive benefits are felt. It is unclear whether MAF 314 raises NK cell function, but that would certainly be an important benchmark for ME/CFS patients. This certainly might be a worthwhile study: Does GcMAF and MAF 314 have effects on NK cell functionality (LU 30)?

We in the ME/CFS community welcome this informative video interview of Professor Ruggiero and appreciate his research work in ME/CFS. His work in this field has continued with MAF 314 and expanded with significant research in other areas of ME/CFS. I will write about this soon.

This video interview with Professor Ruggiero was made by Peter Cairns in Professor Ruggiero's office in Florence earlier this year.

15 comments:

  1. my NK cell function rose to normal levels afetr 3 - 4 months of injectible GcMAF. it was once 2 but rose to 65 on last testing. i started to feel unwell recently and am awaiting new NK cell function results.

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  2. My Natural Killer Cell Function test results improved a great deal after being on GcMAF + Nexavir for 1 year.

    Pre-Gcmaf
    May 2009: Quest Labs NK Cell Function LU30 test results: 25 (ref range 8-170).
    March 2011: VIP labs NK Cell Function LU30 test results: 17 (ref range 8-170).

    Post-Gcmaf
    April 2012: after 1 yr of gcmaf + nexavir, Quest NKCF LU30: 48 (ref range 8-170).

    Reply
  3. Fascinating! And what a lovely man.

    I'm about to start on MAF 878 from Dr Enlander and this video contained some really interesting information that I didn't know.

    Thanks for covering this, Chris - and thanks to Prof. Ruggiero!

    Reply
  4. I'm a huge fan of MAF314. Obtained some from another patient.

    After 25 years of acute onset ME and very little response to drugs (apart from some immune modulators and anti-virals only) the MAF314 was a delight.

    As Prof R reports here the effect on my throat and neck glands was dramatic. Started at the end of the first week and continued off and on for a month in a less severe way.

    Then after 2-3 months I was stronger and more able to physically function than before. PEM was better. I could walk more and get outside my home more. The effects were also very good on my stomach.

    No drug has ever had this immediate and very good effect on me. Decades of trying new things left me with low expectations. Even my nails grew back on the MAF314 which is a pretty good placebo effect (...)

    Sadly, the good effects wore off a couple of months after I ran out. I'll need to learn how to make some now. Money is the problem for me.

    Thank you Chris for this interview. Thank you Professor Ruggiero.

    As a long term ME patient (from an 80's epidemic) I'm very grateful that MAF314 has been made available to us.

    Reply
    Replies
    1. AnonymousAugust 15, 2012 9:42 PM.. i may be able to help, please email me at: linda_lowther@yahoo.ca
      thanks!

  5. There's hardly a way this gcmaf adverse side effect for small minority of me/cfs patients will not seem inconseqental, perhaps even shallow, given the serious illnesses this treatment helps, but does anyone have any idea why gcmaf causes hairloss in this small minority?
    For me, this occurred while injecting gcmaf and later while using maf878.

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  6. "Small trials by Professor Yamamoto have not been expanded upon by others for unknown reasons." Not quite - we have 3,000 people trialling GcMAF through around 100 doctors.

    Our GcMAF was kindly tested by Professor Ruggiero, without whom we could not have got started.

    It took Professor Ruggiero and his team of 10 professors, doctors and scientists with their excellent laboratory 314 attempts to make MAF314.

    Our scientists attempted it in our laboratory; and we can confirm that unless you get it from Prof Ruggiero's team, you haven't a hope. So make sure you get the genuine MAF314 article.

    David. 0044 752 844 1672

    Reply
  7. Hi, all.

    Thanks for posting this, Chris, and thanks to those who responded.

    I am very happy to read the two comments posted by the two "Anonymous" people that indicate that their NK cell function improved after GcMAF treatment. I'm happy for them, but also happy because I think it gives some insight into what's going on when ME/CFS is treated with GcMAF.

    For background, as some of you may know, I am the proponent of the GD-MCB hypothesis for ME/CFS (Glutathione Depletion-Methylation Cycle Block). As part of this hypothesis, I suggested in 2007 that the low NK cell function in ME/CFS, associated with low perforin, is caused by glutathione depletion in the NK cells, and that it acts at the stage of protein synthesis. If this is true, one would expect to see elevated gene expression of the perforin gene, while the level of the perforin protein itself would be low. Recent work by the Bond University group in Australia has confirmed this.

    So again, if this is true, and the GcMAF treatment raises the NK cell function, it must mean that this treatment has caused the glutathione level in these cells to rise.

    How would that happen? I suggest that the GcMAF treatment, by activating the macrophages, has knocked down the populations of intracellular pathogens, including viruses, which are known to produce nagalase, which in turn has been found to decrease after GcMAF treatment. A decrease in pathogen population would be expected to lower the inflammatory response of the immune system against the pathogens. A major component of this inflammation is the production of reactive oxygen species by cells of the immune system, raising oxidative stress and placing a demand on glutathione as the basis of the antioxidant system. So a lowering of the inflammation should allow glutathione to rise, at least to some degree.

    All of this seems consistent with what would be expected if the GD-MCB hypothesis is indeed valid. Hence, my happiness!

    Best regards,

    Rich

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  8. Interesting article and comments. I'm coming at this from the glutathione side of treatment. I've been having glutathione IVs since last fall and also changed up my diet to include many different types of probiotics. I've seen quite a bit of improvement but I haven't been sure if it was the diet+IVs or just the fact that I'm in year two of the illness when they is typically an upswing in functionality (according to Dr. Bell). It would be interesting to see what would happen if I had access to GcMAF or the super probiotics as well.

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  9. Can anyone tell me how a patient or a doctor in southwest USA can get specific information on MAF 314 or 878?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  10. How do any of us obtain access to MAF314/878 treatment?

    Reply
    Replies
    1. You can purchase MAF 878 on ebay.com

    2. About MAF 314 you can contact here:

      Vienna
      Tel.: 01 / 40 666 00 - 15
      FAX: 01 / 40 666 00 - 14
      Mobil: 0664 / 28 29 909
      info@santos-koenig.at

  11. I posted that my NK cell function rose to 65 following 3 months of GcMAF. I neglected to mention that I was also on Tenofovir - an HIV drug I began taking when the XMRV story came out. I didn't think the Tenofovir was important but I stopped it...and a month later, declined all the way again, despite continuing GcMAF. new and more aggressive symptoms have emerged. my bloodwork showed deficient 25-D, deficient iron, lower Cd4 count, high B cells, low kidney function, and NK cell function has dropped to 6. I have resumed Tenofovir.

    Reply
  12. Hi,

    I am HIV positive taking no antiretrovial drugs. I have been taking MAF 314 since June and i saw my NK cells raising from 300 to 411, just in a month!

    Reply