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Germanium The Missing Element
However, it was the Japanese scientist Dr. Kazuhiko Asai who first synthesized an organically bound compound, germanium sesquioxide (Ge-132), in 1967.
Asai, who worked for the Coal Research Institute was intrigued by the high concentrations of germanium in coal. Since coal is composed of fossilized plants, Asai theorized that germanium must be present in plants. He discovered that the highest concentrations of germanium were found in those plants used for medicinal purposes including ginseng, shittake mushrooms, aloe vera, comfrey and garlic. Shelf fungus, a substance highly regarded by the Russians for centuries in the treatment against cancer, had the highest levels. An analysis of the healing waters of Lourdes, France also revealed significant quantities of germanium.
Dr. Asai experimented with germanium for over 30 years, using the nutritional supplement on patients with a variety of diseases. He believed germanium was a miracle cure for many minor ailments as well as some serious illnesses. He also saw its effectiveness in protecting healthy people from becoming ill. According to Dr. Asai, "Ge-132 restores health to those afflicted with disease and sustains health in those who are healthy."
Another Japanese researcher experimented with ginseng, treating half of the plants with germanium. The ginseng which did not receive germanium grew normally. Those plants stimulated with germanium showed improved growth.
One of the more spectacular demonstrations illustrated germanium's ability to increase rices' resistance to cold temperatures. When researchers lowered the greenhouse temperature, the rice which was not treated with germanium shriveled up and died. The germanium treated plants continued to thrive.
Germanium's regenerative effects on a plant's immune system have been duplicated in animal and human studies. In the 1985 September/October issue of Anticancer Research, test animals who were inoculated with cancer cells and then treated with germanium showed an increase in the body's defense mechanisms.
Germanium's Energizing Qualities
How does germanium produce such widespread benefits? The key is that germanium works on the body’s most basic level - the cellular level. The cumulative evidence suggest that germanium enhances the cell’s ability to generate energy by raising the cell’s oxygen supply.
At the 1987 meeting of the Orthomolecular Medical Society, researchers told the symposium that organic germanium appears to work by increasing tissue oxygenation. The Townsend Letter For Doctors, says, "Its oxygenation phenomenon allows greater organism function with reduced oxygen intake. It creates an oxygen economy with extremely fast-acting effects. Those with Raynaud's syndrome, for example, will feel warmth in the affected fingers and toes one-half hour after taking germanium. Healthy people will feel the warmth in a couple of minutes.1'
Why is oxygen so important to cell metabolism? Well, we all know that oxygen is essential for our cells to grow and function properly. Some scientists have christened oxygen “Vitamin O” because our body needs oxygen for proper nutrition. In order to release the stored chemical energy in any food, for instance, the substance must be combined with oxygen. This process is known as oxidation.
Without oxygen, our cells and tissues begin to die within a few minutes. When a person suffers a stroke, brain cells are destroyed because a deposit of fatty substances along the lining of the arteries restricts oxygen flow. People who suffer a stroke may lose their ability to speak, write or read because some of the areas responsible for those functions have incurred brain tissue damage.
In fact, deficiencies in your tissues' oxygen storage may be the cause of most degenerative illnesses. According to Dr. Rinehardt many diseases are characterized by hypoxia, an inadequate supply f oxygen to the cells and tissues.
"Many diseases can be looked upon as a chemical imbalance in the body, an imbalance of electrons and protons. With germanium, you have a compound that can get to these sites and begin to modify and reestablish homeostatis, a healthy biochemical balance in the cells. Many researchers believe germanium helps the cell metabolize oxygen more efficiently, which would account for its energizing effects."
In fact, germanium's ability to increase tissue oxygenation may explain why it offers such valuable and measurable effects on maintaining healthy cells and organs.
Germanium's Maintains Health
In a well-known medical text, Pathologic Basis of Disease, S. L. Robbins and R. S. Cotran describe cellular injury as "any adverse influence which deranges the cell's ability to maintain a steady, normal or adaptive homeostatis."
Imagine that an emergency keeps you up all night and leaves you tired and emotionally drained the next day. Losing valuable sleep creates a physiological imbalance in most of us. Similarly, a cell whose homeostatis is disrupted will be more susceptible to disease and less able to fend off the harmful effects of pollutants.
Fortunately, germanium helps each cell and organ maintain homeostatis, a healthy chemical balance within your body. When your body is in balance, it is better able to withstand physical, emotional and environmental stresses. According to Dr. Kidd, germanium normalizes many physiological functions such as lowering high blood pressure in humans and rats. It also restores deviant blood characteristics to their normal range including pH, glucose, the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and chlorides, triglycerides, cholesterol, uric acid, hemoglobin and leucocytes (white blood cells).
Dr. Asai has also found germanium beneficial in arresting osteoporosis by restoring a normal calcium balance. During a 12-month study, he demonstrated that the compound prevented bone volume decrease often associated with aging.
Dr. Jeff Anderson, a practitioner from Corte Madera, California, also discovered that germanium's ability to normalize the metabolism corrected a number of chronic health problems in one of his patients. One 40-year-old man who had experienced a two year bout with fatigue, depression and irritability, noticed that his energy improved and his depression vanished after he took germanium which Dr. Anderson prescribed.
All of these clinical studies illustrate germanium's role as an adaptogen, a nontoxic substance which normalizes body functions indirectly. Adaptogens, such as Vitamins C and E and Coenzyme QlO, also enhance your capacity to cope with stress, particularly the potentially damaging effects of pollutants. Dr. Asai reported astonishing success when he treated cases of heavy metal poisoning (mercury and cadmium), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) poisoning and carbon monoxide asphyxiation with germanium. Some scientists believe germanium's chemical structure may help the nutritional supplement bind or chelate (grab) toxic sub-stances and remove them.
Germanium and Heart Disease
Two of the major causes of heart disease in this country are hypertension or high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis, clogged arteries. One hundred million people alone suffer from elevated blood pressure which places undue strain on the heart and its vessels. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they suffer from this "silent killer" and risk a sudden death heart attack or stroke. Due to its ability to normalize metabolic functions, germanium appeared to lower blood pressure in several Japanese experiments.
At the Japan Experimental Medical Research Institute in Tokyo, test animals with normal blood pressure showed no change when researchers administered organic germanium . However, lab animals with high blood pressure returned to normal levels after seven to 10 days of germanium use.
Arteriosclerosis also affects thousands of people. Again, most individuals are unaware that their arteries are gradually constricting as cholesterol builds up on the walls. Preliminary results suggest that germanium may be as beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels as it is in regulating high blood pressure.
In an examination of 30 surgery patients, Dr. Asai found that all test subjects had elevated cholesterol and triglycerides prior to receiving germanium. After four weeks of treatment, he observed a definite decrease in cholesterol which he attributed to the germanium. The average drop was from 360 mg to 260 mg. Many doctors are urging their patients to reduce their cholesterol below 250 mg.
Dr. Anderson was treating a patient who suffered from severe coronary artery disease. Cholesterol lowering medication and a low cholesterol diet had failed to bring his serum cholesterol level below 435. Without a change in diet or medication, but with a daily dose of germanium, his level dropped to 234 mg.
Germanium Boosts the
Do you have difficulty warding off colds and flu? Do you succumb to most of the bugs that make the rounds of your office or your child's school? If your immune system is depressed, taking germanium may be one way to help your body defend itself. Researchers Dr. Kidd and Dr. Summerfield believe that germanium's ability to stimulate the body's natural defense mechanisms makes it an ideal candidate for combating viruses, funguses and bacteria especially candida albicans, a yeast infection.
Dr. Anderson obtained excellent results in using germanium on a 53-year-old patient who had been suffering from recurrent diverticulitis, an inflamed colon, for five years. Despite treatment with antibiotics, the patient still experienced fevers, night sweats, headaches and fatigue. Within 10 days of receiving 500 mg per day of germanium, the patient experienced a complete regression of his symptoms.
What is even more astonishing, is that germanium does not directly kill viruses and bacteria. Some researchers believe that germanium plays an active role in returning the body's defenses to normal so the body can fight off the invading germs. This is the prime reason why the International AIDS Treatment Conference approved germanium's use for clinical testing on AIDS patients.
Why do these scientists think that germanium positively effects the immune system? First, you need to understand how viruses, the most difficult infections to treat, spread through the body. A virus is a cleverly disguised enemy which invades your cells and uses the cell's own reproductive processes to clone itself. To destroy this enemy, your body mounts an attack using its warrior cells. These T and B lymphocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells devour foreign cells and defend the body against viruses and cancer. However, none of these cells can function properly if the person is deficient in interferon, a protein which blocks viruses from infecting cells.
Germanium appears to significantly enhance the body's production of interferon. At the annual meeting of the Japan Cancer Association II in 1979, proceedings showed that germanium was a significant interferon-inducing agent. Studies published in the 1984 Journals of Interferon Research 4 confirmed these results.
In animal experiments, germanium has reduced the harmful effects of influenza. At the Germanium Research Institute, Dr. Asai demonstrated that germanium substantially prolonged the life expectancy of mice injected with influenza virus. In the control group, all the mice who were not given germanium died by day 14. In the groups treated with 100 mg of Ge-132, 60 percent of the animals survived to day 20.
Dr. Rinehardt has found that germanium's anti-viral powers have been particularly potent in one patient, against the Epstein Barr virus, a very debilitating infection related to herpes, which, like herpes, has no known cure.
"When this 34-year-old patient first came to us, she had been sick 11 years," observed Rinehardt. "In that time she had consulted numerous doctors, but had found no relief for the chronic fatigue she felt which made it difficult for her to work. By the time she saw us she was distraught and quite depressed. We helped her in various ways, but clearly when she started taking the germanium, that made a big difference in her energy level and her outlook on life. Subsequently, she was able to go back to work and now has a full-time job as a public relations manager."
Germanium and Cancer
Not surprisingly, many cancer patients are immuno-deficient. Preliminary research suggests that germanium appears to exhibit an ability to help normalize the body's defenses in cancer patients.
A report by Fuijio Suzuki and Richard Pollard in The Journal of Interferon Research (]984) states that, studies in immuno suppressed animals and patients with malignancies (cancer) or rheumatoid arthritis, suggest that Ge- 132 restores the normal function of T cells, B lymphocytes and anti-body forming cells."
In a report given at the International Symposium at Osaka in July of 1981, Japanese doctors observed that Ge- 132 normalized activity in immune cells such as T lymphocytes and NK cells and increased interferon production in seven cancer patients. The doctors concluded that Ge-132 had increased the patient's resistance in both malignancies and rheumatic disorders. According to this study, one patient's abdomen cancer disappeared after 16 months of Ge132 treatment and intermittent therapy with a chemotherapy agent. Another patient's post operative condition was controlled well on Ge-I 32 alone.
A member of researchers including Otto Warburg, a Nobel prize winner, believe the prime cause of cancer is oxygen deprivation in the cell. While aerobic (oxygen-using) cells exhibit regular controlled growth patterns, anaerobic (oxygen-deprived) cells show abnormal growth.
According to a Dutch researcher, Dr. Schuitemaker, "It (germanium) is involved as a catalyst in the supply of oxygen to oxygen poor tissue, such as cancerous growths. . . It lessens the per oxidation of fatty acids, thus establishing the role of germanium in free radical pathology." Free radicals are highly reactive molecules which reduce the cell's oxygen supply. When free radicals abound, tissue injury and disease states such as cancer can occur.
Germanium and Aging
As we grow older, we accumulate more free radicals. Dr. Lars Ernster of the University of Stockholm confirms that free radical formation results in serious membrane damage and is responsible for age granules in aging cells.
Our body's natural defense system also declines with years. Again, germanium may be able to normalize our failing immune system. Some scientists believe that the body's ability to preserve our immune system is critical in preventing premature aging and extending the quantity and quality of our lives. The International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology reported that germanium has helped the restoration of impaired immune responses in aging lab animals.
Some exciting reports have suggested that germanium may act as a painkiller. In a clinical report on germanium's effect on rheumatoid arthritis at the Osaka International Symposium in 1981, "clinical improvement of joint pains and morning stiffness by Ge-132 were observed in 14 out of 17 patients." Older people are more apt to notice germanium invigorating powers. “It has been my experience that the people who notice germanium energetic effects most are the middle aged to the elderly," says Dr. Rinehardt. “This is even more noticeable in sedentary older people." Many of us, as we age, experience a decline in our energy. Germanium may help us to retain our youthful vigor and physical zest for life.
The Safety of Germanium Supplements
Organic germanium appears to be remarkably safe. Researchers at major Japanese medical universities performed numerous tests for toxicity, many according to the strict "Guidelines for Manufacturers" developed by the Welfare Ministry of Japan. The results confirmed that Ge-I 32 was highly safe, even at dosages as high as 10 grams per day. The nutritional substance has practically no toxicity and no influence on reproductive functions.
In fact, no trace of germanium can be found in the body after 20 to 30 hours. Therefore it cannot accumulate in the tissue. The only reported side effects from germanium are minor skin irritations confirmed in two to three percent of Dr. Asai's patients. Dr. Rinehardt observed that a few patients who are very immuno-deficient, may experience slight afternoon fevers. Rather than being a cause for alarm, he believes these very low grade temperatures indicate that the germanium is stimulating the patient's compromised immune system. Inorganic germanium compounds, however, can have toxic effects. Make sure that you purchase the organic form called germanium sesquioxide (Ge-132).
Even in substances high in germanium such as garlic, ginseng and aloe, the amount of Ge-132 is extremely small. For this reason, germanium supplements may be more costly than some nutritional compounds, but naturally synthesized germanium sesquioxide is your best source of this vital element.
Although germanium is new to this country, initial clinical trials here have been promising. Teamed with oxygen germanium hones our natural defenses, helping the body protect itself. The many illnesses successfully treated by germanium is so long that it invites skepticism unless one realizes that, by restoring oxygen to the cells, germanium works at a fundamental level common to all disease processes. Therefore germanium sesquioxide (Ge- 132) can be considered a versatile sustainer of human health and a dramatic enhancer of natural immunity.
The information contained in this booklet was prepared from
sources which are believed to be accurate and reliable. However, the opinions
expressed herein by the author(s) do not necessarily represent the opinions or
views of the publisher. READERS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO SEEK THE ADVICE AND
ASSISTANCE OF THEIR PERSONAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL(S) BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH
ANY CHANGES IN ANY HEALTH CARE PROGRAM.
Some Key References
Optimal, 1163 Chess Drive, Suite F, Foster City, CA 94404
Asai, Germanium Research Institute, "Ge-132: Outline," Tokyo,
Asai, Kazuhiko, Ph.D.; Norihiro, Kakimoto, Pharmacist; and
Saito, Michael T., M.D., Ph.D.; 1976 International Medical Convention of
Surgeons, "Germanium Research of Surgical Patients."
Fuijio, Suzuki, R. R. Bruthiewicz and R. B. Pollard, "Ability
of Sera From Mice Treated with Ge-132, an Organic Germanium Compound, To Inhibit
Experimental Murine Ascites Tumours. BR.. Journal Cancer 52:
Fuijio Suzuki and Richard B. Pollard, "Prevention of
Suppressed Interferon Gamma Production in Thermally Injured Mice by Goodman,
Sandra, "Therapeutic Effects of Organic Germanium." Medical Hypothesis 26:207,
Hisashi, Aso, Fuijio, Suzuki, Ct. al., "Introduction of
Interferon and Activation of NK Cells and Macrophages in Mice by Oral
Ad-ministration of Ge-132, an Organic Germanium Compound." Microbiology
Immunology, Volume 29 (1), 65-74, 1985.
Isao Sato, Bao Ding Yuan, Toshio Nishimura and Nobuo Tanaka,
"Inhibition of Tumor Growth and Metastasis in Association with modification of
Immune Response by Novel Organic Germanium Compounds," Journal of Biological
Response Modifiers 4:159-168.1985.
Kamen, Betty, Ph.D., Germanium-A New Approach to Immunity,
Nutrition Encounter, Inc., Larkspur, CA 1987
Kidd, Parris M., "Germanium-I 32 (Ge-I 32): Homeostatic
Normalizer and Immunostimulant. A Review of its Preventive Efficacy.
International Clinical Nutrition Review 7:11, 1987.
Miller, Dana and Stephen A. Levine, Ph.D., "Doctors Report on
Germanium Benefits, Let's Live Magazine, December 1987.
Mitsugu, Hachisu, HirokoTakahashi, Takemi Doeda and Yashuham
Sekizawa, "Analgesic Effect of Novel Organogermanium
Compound, Ce-132." Journal of Pharm. Dyn. 6:814-820; 1983.
Nobuko Kumano and Yushi Nakai, et. al., "Inhibition of Lewis Lung Carcinoma with the Organogermanium Compound
Ge-I32." Current Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy. Proceedings
of the 12th International Congress of Chemotherapy. July 19-24, 1981.
“Organic Germanium” American Institute for Biosocial Research,
Life Sciences Divsion, Botanical Medial Series, Number 7, 1987.
Schuitemaker, Dr. G. E., “Germanium: A Mineral of Great Promise”, Orthomolocular, Number 3, 1987
Walker, Morton, D.P.M., “Germanium Oxygenation/Immune Enhancing Effects Sparkjs Excitement” Townsend Letter for Doctors. #528611.
Y. Mizushima, Y. Shoji and K. Kaneko, :”Restoration of
Impaired Immunoresponse by Germanium in Mice, “International Archives of Allergy
and Applied Immunology, 63: 338-339. 1980.
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