Okay to supplement l-arginine with mycoplasma?

Dear Stephen,
I read an article on the Rain-Tree website about supplementing l-arginine with mycoplasma, saying: “[s]upplementing back the depleted amino acids has been reported to be helpful in some recovering from these infections. These include L-cysteine, L-tyrosine, L-glutamine, L-carnitine, and malic acid. Remember, however, that mycoplasmas thrive on arginine! Avoid L-arginine supplements and multi-amino acid formulas containing L-arginine, as well as foods rich in arginine to avoid feeding the mycoplasmas. The richest food sources of arginine (to avoid) are nuts and seeds, including the oils derived from seeds and nuts which should be eliminated or drastically reduced in the diet.” Under these circumstances, is the use of L-arginine when treating mycoplasma still okay? Also, would it be okay to take milk thistle, which is a seed?

Stephen’s response:
Here is the skinny on mycoplasmas and arginine: many mycoplasmas take arginine from the body to grow. THINK ABOUT IT: many mycoplasmas take arginine from the body to grow. WE, their human hosts, NEED arginine to be healthy. The mycoplasmas are going to get arginine no matter what. In fact what they do is scavenge if from your body’s tissues. That depletes your body of that substance and believe me, it is a crucial substance that you really do need. Some websites share horror stories About FEEDING the mycoplasmas if you take L-arginine. No matter what they will get it one way or another, so it matters not, for them, if you take a supplement or not. However FOR YOU, it is rather crucial to keep your arginine levels high since it is essential to your healthy functioning. Further, a number of mycoplasmas are actually sensitive to arginine, it can reduce their numbers in the body. So no matter what, you should be taking an L-arginine supplement or else eating foods high in arginine. Several score peer reviewed journal papers have noted that the only way to resolve cellular problems in infected mycoplasma cells is TO REPLACE THE ARGININE. So, yes, take the arginine. And the milk thistle is good to take as well.
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posted on March 24, 2013 in bacterial infections, Uncategorized

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  • Victor

    April 8, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I totally disagree. I got infected with mycoplasma pneumonia after supplementing with high doses of arginine. The symptoms started after 3-4 weeks on arginine and that’s the incubation time for mycoplasma pneumonia. I never had any serious infections before i started supplementing with this amino acid. After i got infected i couldn’t eat foods high in arginine, it just made me feel even worse.

    Arginine is a precursor to Nitric Oxide. Viral and bacterial infections are thought to raise Nitric Oxide levels in the body. Nitric Oxide plays a vital role in normal physiological function. However, in addition to being an antioxidant, it is also a free radical and can have serious unwanted negative effects when levels are abnormally high If you have a serious infection, your body produces too much Nitric Oxide, and when it reacts with Superoxide in the body it will form the extremely harmful chemical, Peroxynitrite, which is highly toxic. So believe me, if you are infected with mycoplasma, your nitric oxide levels are already too high, causing inflammatory damage in your body. Supplementing with arginine will only add fuel to the fire.

    It took me 4 years to recover completely from this infection.
    My advice, STAY AWAY from arginine supplements

    • cj

      June 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a clearinghouse of information at our fingertips that explained why everyone is different & which types of people would be compatible with which herbs & supplements?!?

      Unfortunately, there isn’t & blanket statements & one-size fits all advice are not very helpful. Many people have to figure certain things out for themselves, although there may be clues here & there if we go looking for information.

      Even Stephen warns that Arginine rich foods & supplements are not for everyone.

      I’ve also read various other sources that talk about how these things should be avoided by people prone to cold sores/herpes virus outbreaks & perhaps by other people, too, such as those with autoimmune issues, morning stiffness & high CRP levels (C-reactive protein) – tree nuts, peanuts, chocolate. certain types of hummus or miso, cottage cheese, ricotta, whey, poultry, seafood, gelatin, buckwheat… many of the things that are usually considered helpful for people with Lyme & Company.

      We all need to decide for ourselves what is right for ourselves, but I appreciate hearing about the experience of others.

      My experience: I am one of those long-time Lymies who has benefited from Arginine. However, there was a time before I knew about it. Typically, my symptoms have recurred in the Springtime, triggered by who knows what. One Spring awhile back, I was feeling rather weak, fatigued & lethargic. I asked myself if there was anything that I was doing differently that might be contributing to this condition. I realized that I had not eaten any nuts or seeds for several months because they were expensive & I was trying to cut back on my food budget. I decided to try an experiment & add them back into my diet. Bingo! It only took 2 weeks to feel better.

      Now, several Spring seasons later, I’ve been having a serious relapse with Bartonella symptoms predominating. Not only have I restocked my pantry this year with foods that seem to promote my own recovery, I have taken Stephen’s newly published recommendations to heart & I am doing a full Bartonella protocol, including supplements. So far, I’m feeling much better, not fully recovered, yet, but hoping to kick it for good this time!

      Thank you!

      • Judy

        September 24, 2014 at 5:24 am

        You may want to also look into spring allergies. My Dr. feels since they lower the immune system the Lyme & Company comes back at time of year.

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