Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a disease that has been continuously on the rise worldwide for many years. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (unspecific pain syndrome), as well as burnout (weakness of the adrenal cortex) and unspecific fatigue syndromes have similarities and many overlaps with MCS. Certain types of MCS are also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Today, some 85,000 environmental toxins invented in recent decades affect people every day. The awareness and the actual state of knowledge about this everyday, ubiquitous "chemical hell" are relatively low in spite of our understanding of it. The majority of people ignore these facts. They are annoying, unpleasant and interfere with our everyday wellbeing. Until the first signs of disease appear. Since far too few doctors have been trained in environmental medicine, most doctors have insufficient knowledge about environmental toxins. These doctors can only suppress symptoms of environmental diseases without identifying and treating the causes.
We all know that some people tolerate alcohol very well and some not so well. That is because of individual detoxification capacity. Men generally produce twice as much alcohol dehydrogenase to break down alcohol as women. Native Americans genetically possessed only a minimal or even no capacity for alcohol dehydrogenase, the reason why (among other things) European alcohol became the fate of the indigenous Americans.
People have very different detoxification abilities for all other poisons as well. Although each person has about 23,000 genes, sequence variants produce about ten million gene variants per gene and person. To put it plainly, this means that human beings react highly individually to their environment.
This means that genetic analyses have the potential to identify the causes of disease and improve diagnosis.
We should also take Haber's rule into account which states that the longer the exposure to a low-level pollutant lasts, the more toxic it becomes over time.
Over millions of years of evolution, our bodies have had to develop so-called Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification systems to ensure human survival. These systems, necessary for survival, are found in the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, brain and blood cells.
However, the detoxification ability of each person is highly individual. All MCS patients have a dysfunctional detoxification capacity. Due to the increasing pollutant load over the past decades, the number of people suffering from environmental illnesses is steadily increasing.
Taking the Phase 1 detoxification enzyme CYP 2D6 (cytochrome P450-2D6 metabolism) as an example, the detoxification ability of humans can be studied:
- 3 to 7% of the European population are ultra-rapid metabolizers (UM), capable of breaking down toxins very rapidly.
- 60 to 70% of the European population are extensive metabolizers (EM), capable of processing most toxins fairly well in moderate doses.
- 25 to 30% of the European population are intermediate metabolizers (IM), whose tolerance to toxins at moderate doses is noticeably reduced.
- 5 to 10% of the European population are poor metabolizers (PM), who accumulate toxins very quickly and have a high degree of intolerance even to small amounts of toxins.
People with one of these or one of the numerous other detoxification disorders face problems in today's world:
Pesticides in almost all cereal, milk, fruit, vegetable, wine, and beer products, countless flavoring agents, colorants, preservatives (the list of food additives is practically endless), artificial fertilizers, toxic body care products (body lotions, cosmetics, hair dye products, other hair styling products), surfactants as fat solvents (the nervous system consists predominantly of fats), surfactants in shampoos, dishwashing detergents, soaps, laundry detergents, toxic household cleaners, omnipresent indoor solvents (including hundreds of different polychlorinated biphenyls = PCBs), household cleaners with toxic chlorine compounds, legally required and completely useless flame retardants with toxic bromine compounds, the allegedly harmless fluorine compounds in toothpaste, road traffic toxins, industrial toxins, particulate matter, ubiquitous microplastics and plasticizers, etc.
For this purpose, phase 2 detoxification enzymes are also vitally important:
Glutathione S-transferases (GST)play a key role in the detoxification of carcinogens and numerous other toxins such as the frequently detected toxic heavy metals mercury and lead. Gene variants in the enzymes GST-M1, GST-T1, and GST-P1 lead to impaired removal of the extremely radical compounds of Phase I reactions, thereby increasing the risk of tumors, neurodegenerative diseases and various diseases associated with oxidative stress. This also leads to drugs failing to produce therapeutic effects.
There may be a complete loss of activity in GST-M1 and GST-T1, and a gene variant is known to result in altered enzyme activity in GST-P1.
Microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH)converts highly reactive epoxides from phase I into water-soluble substances and renders them excretable. Besides foreign substances such as acrylamides from potato chips, benzenes (street traffic) and aflatoxins (toxic molds), various drugs are neutralized. There are two mutations in the mEH gene which, depending on their occurrence, lead to increased or decreased mEH activity and can result in increased toxicity of epoxide-forming substances during detoxification.
Several variants in the N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) gene lead to the "slow acetylator" type in phase II. The accumulation of radical phase I metabolites can induce toxic effects as well as clinically relevant adverse drug reactions including hypersensitivity, neuropathy or leukopenia. NAT2 is formed in the liver where it triggers the detoxification of benz(a)pyrene, polycyclic aromatics, and hydrazines and is also involved in the breakdown of amino acids.
Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) hydrolyzes a multitude of nerve toxins and various organophosphorus insecticides that are still frequently used, such as parathion (E605), diazinon and the widely used chlorpyrifos, along with numerous other toxic substances. Two genetic variants in the PON1 gene are associated with reduced enzyme activity
Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) protects mitochondria from oxidative stress through free oxygen radicals. This enzyme also plays an essential role in the detoxification of dental alloys. A gene mutation is associated with diminished enzyme activity, which means that carriers of this gene mutation are at risk of damage to the mitochondria. The result is accelerated aging. These patients also have an increased risk of cardiomyopathy from iron overload, degenerative bone processes, autoimmune diseases, male infertility, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and possibly Parkinson's disease.
Clinical Significance and Therapy
First, MCS sufferers describe limited productivity. Muscle, limb, and headaches are often reported, an inexplicable vulnerability to infections, concentration and word-finding difficulties, and almost always sleep disorders.
The MCS-like diagnoses are CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), fibromyalgia (undifferentiated pain syndrome), sick building syndrome (SBS), electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMF), idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) or aerotoxic syndrome in frequent flyers. University medicine can offer no causal concept here.
Migraines, various tumors, rheumatism, Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases are also more likely to occur due to an undetected and untreated impaired detoxification capacity.
Over the past 20 years, numerous studies have increasingly confirmed that these ailments are caused by gene-environment interactions.
Through systematic detoxification treatments, we have been able to help many of those affected in very tangible ways to significantly alleviate their symptoms.
INUSpheresis® proved to be effective and helpful in many MCS cases.