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High Dose Vitamin A Protocol [for measles virus]

[The first portion of this page was written by Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless.]

Message #1

Re the 400,000iu for two days (Mega A Rx for measles): This is reposting of Vit A Rx for those who missed it. I'm concerned that someone is giving 500,000iu in the CLO form because of the danger of Vit D toxicity. Though current fears of that are probably overestimated, I think it is unwise to give that much until we learn a lot more.

At the DAN!, (in PA) Dr. Sidney Baker spoke of a study showing that 200,000 iu of Vitamin A was not enough to ameliorate the impact of measles infection - the children needed 400,000 iu for two days (800,000 iu total). As I have said, if the rubeola IgA salivary titers are elevated (per our study), IgG levels are very elevated, the child has a history of strong reaction to MMR and/or followed by regression soon thereafter, and certainly with brain antibodies indicating autoimmune reaction, I believe there is indication they may benefit from this large dose, followed by 10,000 to 25,000 per day per age and size. Some parents are reporting benefit from even smaller doses, as I was originally suggesting 250,000 iu 1st day, then 200,000, then 150,000 etc. with maintenance at 10,000 to 25,000 (subtracting the up to 5000 in CLO, with the rest in fish oil A or vit A palmitate.)

What kind to use? Fish oil vit. A vs vit. A palmitate? Dr. Pangborn has given me the following information - "Per the Merck Index, the palmitate form of all-trans or retinol is the preponderant ester in fish liver oils (cod, shark). But I do not like synthetic vit A palmitate unless one has to use pharmacologic doses such as Sid (Baker) is describing. ------ Synthetic palmitate can be a problem in allergically sensitive individuals. ----- Natural fish oil includes all-trans-retinol, -ci-retinol, and probably some very similar molecules. There's no guarantee that a synthetic palmitate will have these. -----I'm wary of synthetics, but again, for >200,000 iu doses one may have to use what's practical. (This is item 10150 ("Vitamin A") in the Merck index.)

To be practical in solid or powder supplements, one finds vit A acetate. Some potency is lost in the acetate form, about 15%.

Under 5000 iu, there's no reason to test serum retinol levels. Actually, tests are not reliable anyway. The most important thing is to watch for symptoms of A overdose: headache, nausea, dry scaly skin, vertigo, blurred vision and erythema or rash. Serum calcium will be elevated, as hypervitaminosis A features hypercalcemia."

Message #2

I am getting lots of personal e-mails on this subject, so want to clarify. Vitamin A is particularly "used up" when measles virus is present, and it has been shown that in the presence of active measles virus, a 2-day mega-dosing of 400,000 iu of Vitamin A will affect the measles virus, maybe not to completely exterminate it but to create an extremely mild short-lived case in those who have already contracted the disease. 200,000 iu for 2 days was not effective. Definitive studies on all this are on the horizon. In a preliminary study of rubeola secretory IgA from saliva from volunteers from your groups, Dr. Vojdani at Immunosciences discovered 14 out of 32 kids had positive scores, 5 of them at 5+. We are in the process of a more definitive study analyzing both IgG in serum as well as secretory IgA in saliva to try and get a correlation between the two.

My current recommendations based on the evidence is that IF your child:

has high serum IgG rubeola antibodies and/or high secretory IgA antibodies (saliva),
the MBP or other neural antibodies are elevated (indication of autoimmune process),
there is a history of reaction to or regression after the MMR vaccine,
and there is ongoing gut problems,

your child may have intestinal measles, as many who have been scoped and PCR'd do (even spinal fluid has been found in a group of kids to have positive vaccine strain measles). Without the benefit of scoping and getting positive biopsy reports on the gut, many parents have given their kids high doses of Vitamin A. The protocols change, but currently is 400,000 IU for two days, followed by 10,000 to 25,000 depending upon the size and age of the child. Blood tests are unfortunately not useful, but clinical observation is very important. A scruffy rash usually around the neck, is one evidence of Vit A toxicity; headache which kids may not be able to tell us about, is another. Lethargy or excessive hyperactivity or any unusual sign should be considered a possible overdose of A. The toxicity of this is highly overstated, and though there is a history of a child getting hydrocephalus after getting 100,000, I heard that the child became normalized after being taken off the Vitamin A. There has been one death from Vit A toxicity in an adult male who ate nothing but polar bear livers. Otherwise, it is a much needed and quite safe vitamin, but it does store in the liver, so 400,000 iu should be probably a one-shot treatment, or certainly not to be repeated more than twice a year. PLEASE NOTE: These are MY recommendations and not others at this point, and there have been NO peer-reviewed studies, so please know there's a lot we don't know, and we need as much input as possible. Some parents are reporting miraculous improvements with these doses of A, but not all by any means. As far as testing, please at least get the serum IgG tests and if you can get your child to spit, the salivary IgA. I'll let you know more as I find out.

For more information written by Dr. McCandless about vitamin A, click here.

[my thanks to Dr. McCandless for allowing me to use this information on my site]

Additional signs of toxicity

In addition to those sign of toxicity indicated by Dr. McCandless above, I found the following list on another message board

Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity:
Bulging fontanelles (infants)
Bone pain or swelling
Craniotabes (infants and children)
Skin and hair changes
hair loss
cracking at corners of the mouth
Decreased appetite
Poor weight gain (infants and children)

For my kids, toxicity symptoms have included dry and itchy rash, headache, upset stomach, and cracks in the corners of the mouth. I have read a few accounts of children alternating between lethargy and hyperactivity.

[This section is my son's experience. I am not a medical doctor. Following this section is the experience of another family.]

[NOTE: Viruses are not technically "alive", so any reference I make to "viral die off" or "killing virus" is not technically correct. I have tried to use the term "eliminate the virus". Many medical professionals prefer to use the term "suppress the virus".]

Brief history: Son age 7-1/2, always has had visual stim issues, sometimes better than other times. Addressing food and supplement requirements, and chelation, made them tolerable but still there.

I gave TwinLabs Allergy A at a very high dose, altho not as high as recommended above, every day for about a month with no change, still had visual stim issues, never developed signs of toxicity.

I tried the high dose vitamin A protocol as recommended by Dr. McCandless to kill measles virus. I used TwinLabs Allergy A, and followed the protocol as indicated above, for two days, then reduced slowly over the next few days. On the 6th day, my son developed the toxicity rash. I reduced more quickly over the next few days, finally stopping for a few days to let the rash go away. Then I started it again when the rash was gone and his visuals had returned.

After a few weeks, this maintenance dose was not enough, he was developing his visuals again.


[My after-the-fact comment: It appears that what is reported about measles virus sucking vitamin A is correct. Until I did this protocol again, see below, no matter how high I went with vitamin A dosing, it would just be sucked right out of my son's body. If lower dose, the effect was gone in minutes. At higher doses, it took days. But it was still just sucked right out of his body.]

So I tried a "more aggressive approach". His rash was gone, visuals back again even at a relatively high daily maintenance dose.

So this time I gave an even higher dose of TwinLabs Allergy A, plus 10,000 IU CLO. The toxicity rash appeared on the second day. When the rash appeared, I gave him olive leaf extract [an anti-viral]. The third day, I reduced to the 25,000 IU [TwinLabs plus CLO], plus olive leaf extract. About an hour after this second dose of OLE, he had a major runny bm, ran all down his leg and all over his shoes. Nasty stuff.

No visual problems for several days, even at the "lower maintenance dose". I removed the OLE and then a few days later the TwinLabs. Now I give him about 10,000 IU CLO per day and it seems to be sufficient for him.

I sent email to Dr. McCandless "for her information and research purposes" and asked if she could give suggestions on what I might try if the visuals came back again. She gave me information for certain tests, rx and OTC items, including Lauricidin [because of the olive leaf extract success].

I had also given #3 and #4 the OLE when I was giving it to #2. When I removed it from #2, I also removed it from #3 and #4. #2 showed no problems with it removed. #3 and #4 had not shown any changes when I was giving it. However, when I removed it, #3 and #4 both exploded in major skin rashes, and #4 also had goo in her eye, which she had not had since about round 50 of chelation. So I started back the OLE for them. #3 has had a lingering skin rash, which was *almost* gone with chelation and addressing various other food and supplement issues, but was still lingering in a small amount and was much more pronounced when OLE was removed. Now it is gone. #4 new skin rash is gone now also, plus the goo is gone from her eye.

During this time, my #2 developed the vitamin A toxicity rash at the 10,000 IU per day dose, so I reduced to 5000 IU. This worked for a few weeks, then the rash appeared again. So I reduced to 2500 IU per day CLO. This is really amusing to me, that my son who had major visual stims for basically the first 7 years of his life, now has no stims and can only tolerate 2500 IU per day! In addition to the rash, my son will also be slightly hyper and begin his visual stims when he has too much vitamin A. Very strange.

The Lauricidin arrived on January 3. I had been experimenting with the OLE, and the rashes come and go depending on how much OLE I give to #3 and #4. I will drop the OLE for now and try the Lauricidin for the rash issue.

#2 now has the vitamin A toxicity rash, slight hyper, and return of visual stims with 2500 IU of CLO. Very very very very strange. I will now try the 1250 IU CLO.


My kids had problems with the Lauricidin, so I dropped it and began olive leaf extract again. This removed all the negatives of the Lauricidin, and the positives of anti-viral are increasing. After about a month, I was able to add the Lauricidin again, altho viral die off now causes yeast. For specifics on this experience, click here.

I had to entirely drop the vitamin A for my #2 son for about a month, then the visuals returned and so I added it back. After much experimenting with the dose, I determined that 1,000 IU per day is okay. Less than that, or more than that, and the visuals return.

My son's benefits from this protocol:

No more visual stims! Increased language, especially in spontaneity of use of words rather than gestures. Loss of residual echolalic speech. Increased social interaction and pretend play. My #4 received a dollhouse from Grandpa for Christmas. When we set it up here, #2 went right over to it and did NOT line up the people figures like he would have done a few years ago. He sat the people at the tables and said "man eat" [he is still at phrases only, for the most part], he put them in the beds and said "man sleep". He had so much fun that #4 had trouble getting him to let HER play with it. So I went out and bought another one, this one is a hotel. #2 put the people in the pool and said "water, slide, weeeeee". He puts them in the elevator and says "man go up, go down", they "see TV", they "sit on couch". They "sit on chair, eat on table". They even call out to each other "hey man, come here, sit on couch, see TV".

My *non-medical* observations:

My son needed a higher dose than that recommended above, plus the addition of olive leaf extract. I would not recommend giving the high dose for more than two days. After two days, reduce down to a maintenance dose. If the visuals return, your child *might* need this protocol again, or he might need OTHER anti-viral [like olive leaf extract]. Or your child might need a higher or LOWER maintenance dose. Or your child might need something else entirely [for example, yeast will cause my son's visuals to return, and for my son, viral die-off caused yeast].

During the high dose protocol, watch for signs of toxicity. These might be the rash, as my son experienced. But your child's signs might be different, for example lethargy, nausea, headache, or any of the symptoms listed above in Dr. McCandless' information. If you notice any of those symptoms, stop the high dose protocol.

Another family's experience

My daughter was 5-1/2 when we did the high dose vitamin A. She had regressed at 20 months, two weeks to the day after her second MMR shot. She lost motor skills previously acquired and began looking from the sides of her eyes. She had symptoms of poor fat digestion and other GI issues. I had held off doing the high dose vitamin A because of an active seizure disorder. She was not on any medication.

She had taken 10,000 iu of vitamin A every day for approximately 8 months when she was 4 years old. I stopped it briefly and then increased it to 20,000 iu for about 3 months. She appeared to have less stomach troubles and a more even mood with the vitamin A. I had stopped giving vitamin A prior to the high dosing. In part because I was trying to solve her anxiety issues and in part because I was readying to do the high dose.

Her health was stable in spite of the anxiety so I started her on 1000 mcg of sublingual methyl B12. She had a hyper reaction to it, I experimented but gave up by the fifth day. She had a white stool that day which is the sign of gut crisis of unknown quantity, so I stopped the B12 experiment.

I tried to bring her back to her previous stability but her health declined and the anxiety became extreme. Dana posted on the enzymes list that Olive Leaf Extract worked for anxiety so I implemented it, working up to 500 mg three times a day. This eliminated anxiety but I had increasing difficulty controlling yeast.

I ran out of OLE, she had been on 500 mg, 3 times a day dose for approx 6 weeks. 2-1/2 weeks ago later she spiked a high fever that ran for 2 days. Then developed white spots with red rings in her mouth. She ran a low grade fever, swollen tonsils and pink inside her ears. Her mood was all over the place. I noticed an increase in seizures which is normal during illness. I believe this was subclinical measles, measles without rash.

On the fourth day from the start of fever, I gave her 25,000 iu of vitamin A from halibut liver. This caused a significant improvement in mood. Seizure activity normalized but that may be because her health was improving any way, not a direct result of the vitamin A. The next day I gave her 50,000 iu of vit A and her mood stabilized. The 6th day I gave none and her mood stability disintegrated.

I gave 400,000 iu of vit A on day 7. Her mood stabilized and her eye contact became perfect, she has retained eye contact since. I gave 400,000 iu of vit A on day 8 and she had mild irritability. She has no anxiety and she is no longer taking OLE. She is still having seizures.

6 months later the benefits have not worn off yet and she can take 5,000 iu of vitamin A two days in a row before she begins to show irritability.

Seizure info:

A few days after completing the high dose vitamin A, I began trials of folinic acid and methylcobalamin sublingual tabs. The intent was to find something that would allow her to tolerate B6. I settled on 1 capsule of folinic, 800 mcg given at the same time as 2 mg of mB12. To my surprise she stopped having head drops and the amount of simple partials declined significantly. I was quite excited when I added B6, found that she now tolerated it and stopped having seizures of any type. It only takes about 24 hours without her B vitamins and a simple partial seizure will occur. She has not had a head drop since starting the B12.

[My thanks to Sandra for allowing me to use her story on my site.]

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