Therapeutic probe

Related article: Vitamin D metabolite calculator

Used in the context of the Marshall Protocol (MP), a therapeutic probeA brief trial of the Marshall Protocol to see if it will generate an immunopathological response. The "gold standard" for testing whether a patient is a good candidate for the MP. refers to a brief trial of the MP, in which patients take regular doses of olmesartan (Benicar)Medication taken regularly by patients on the Marshall Protocol for its ability to activate the Vitamin D Receptor. with pulsed, low doses of antibiotics and restrict consumption of vitamin D. The presence of a positive treatment response is taken as an indication that a patient is sick with Th1 diseaseAny of the chronic inflammatory diseases caused by bacterial pathogens. and that the MP is a treatment option for that disease. Although there are other factors and variables, which can strongly suggest the presence of Th1 disease, the therapeutic probe is currently the best method for determining if the MP may be suitable for a patient.

In the context of the therapeutic probe, there are at least three responses or types of responses which indicate that continued treatment with the MP is warranted:

Symptoms which wax and wane in tandem with the every-other-day administration of antibiotics are an especially strong indication of Th1 disease.

It is expected that the way a patient responds to the MP will change over time.


Four to eight weeks is typically enough time to know if the therapeutic probe will show that a patient's immune system is responding to Olmesartan. In the interests of safety, members who commence a therapeutic probe should be presumed to have Th1 disease and should take all the precautions that anyone starting the treatment might take.

The therapeutic probe consists of three elements:

  • Restriction of vitamin D – Limit consumption of foods and supplements which contain vitamin D. Restrict skin and eye exposure to light. The level of 25-hydroxyvitamin-DThe vitamin D metabolite widely (and erroneously) considered best indicator of vitamin D "deficiency." Inactivates the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of vitamin D3 in the liver. in the bloodstream should be below 20ng/ml before initiating the therapeutic probe. If higher levels are present, please seek suggestions from the community at the MP websites. Note that discontinuing vitamin D may cause a patient to temporarily feel more symptomatic due to a withdrawal effect.
  • Regular doses of olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar) – Take 40mg of Benicar every six hours. If the response to treatment is especially strong, the patient and may need four hourly dosing for palliation. When Benicar is first taken, the body may rebalance hormones. This symptom often diminishes after a few days, but a period longer than two weeks may be required with some individuals. Members who decide to remain on Olmesartan because of an immunopathology response may need to quickly buy or borrow a pair of NoIRSpecial sunglasses worn by Marshall Protocol patients to block light. glasses, which block all infrared light, something most sunglasses do not.
  • Only if necessary to elicit a response, add pulsed low doses of minocycline - Begin with 25mg every other day and ramp by 25mg increments up to a maximum of 100mg every other day.

Absence of a response in healthy people

In healthy people, the therapeutic probe will have a minimal effect, if any. Benicar is more commonly used as a hypotensive medication, and it is a mild one at that, typically reducing blood pressure by 12mm Hg. Minocycline is widely prescribed as an anti-acne medication and generally has few side effects in those without preexisting Th1 disease.

Challenge of diagnosis

Related article: Th1 Spectrum Disorder

As any clinician who treats chronic disease will probably agree, it is often very difficult to diagnose chronic illness with absolute certainty. While chronic diseases share a single underlying pathology, there is yet to be a test, which measures a patient's general pathogenic bacterial load.

The vitamin D metabolites may offer one indication of disease. Patients sick with Th1 disease often have a low 25-DThe vitamin D metabolite widely (and erroneously) considered best indicator of vitamin D "deficiency." Inactivates the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of vitamin D3 in the liver. coupled with a high 1,25-DPrimary biologically active vitamin D hormone. Activates the vitamin D nuclear receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of 25-D. Also known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcitirol.. However, this is not always the case. A variety of factors could skew these results. A patient could be consuming high levels of 25-D or the D metabolites test could be mishandled, which is more common than one might initially suppose.

The practice of treating a disease in order to diagnose it may seem counterintuitive, but it is actually quite common in medicine. If someone has pain in his big toe but blood tests are inconclusive, the doctor may have the patient take a medication for gout. If the pain goes away, the patient is presumed to have gout and the medication is continued to prevent future episodes. When a patient who complains of symptoms suggestive of a bladder infection is given an antibiotic without preliminary urinalysis and culture, that antibiotic acts as a therapeutic probe. If the bladder symptoms are relieved, the patient is said to have had cystitis caused by bacteria susceptible to that antibiotic.

The time-honored therapeutic probe is the most effective “acid test” for Th1 diseasesThe chronic inflammatory diseases caused by bacterial pathogens.. Any other diagnostic tool will have both false positives and false negatives. If the patient starts the MP, and experiences immunopathology for themselves, then not only is it confirmation that the problem was/is occult bacteria, but also proof positive to the patient that they are on the correct track. That is why we tend to suggest the MP even when the D data is uncertain.

Your physician makes a risk-benefit analysis - evaluating the risk of the ARB and antibiotics (effectively zero to healthy individuals) with the degree of disability you are experiencing from your illness, and his or her expectation of whether the illness will get worse or better if left alone.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Other versions of the therapeutic probe

Patients whose physicians are unwilling or reluctant to prescribe the medications necessary for a therapeutic probe can try a “mini-probe,” one without Benicar or antibiotics. A mini-probe involves avoiding all sources of vitamin D including sun exposure. A change in symptom severity can strongly suggest a Th1 disease process at work.

Note that patients whose physicians are ultimately unwilling to prescribe the MP can request a list of other physicians in their area.

25-D and other confounding variables

Patients whose level of the vitamin D metabolite, 25-D is above a certain threshold, 25ng/mL, may not be able to kill pathogenic bacteria even with the help of antibiotics. For this reason, patients may want to measure 25-D prior to the start of the therapeutic probe as a potential confounding factor.

Patients taking corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants may find their immune response to be muted. Typically, any patient with a condition for which corticosteroidsA first-line treatment for a number of diseases. Corticosteroids work by slowing the innate immune response. This provides some patients with temporary symptom palliation but exacerbates the disease over the long-term by allowing chronic pathogens to proliferate. are prescribed is an ideal candidate for the MP.


Notes and comments

* Instructions: wd surely need to be closer to Phase 1 guidelines, esp. that Benicar shd come before mino, shd be taken alone for a wk or more, & that each dose of mino shd be taken for at least a week. However, this makes the probe longer than 2 wks. Does a probe need to get up to 100mg mino?

Do we need to include a warning that even D restriction may have severe effects that need modulating by gradual weaning? — Julia 2009/01/06 04:19

home/starting/therapeutic_probe.txt · Last modified: 03.18.2017 by sallieq
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