Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dr. Joseph Brewer and Mycotoxins, an update

Dr. Joseph Brewer of Kansas City was one of the physicians who did not attend the recent IACFS/ME conference. Dr. Brewer is an infectious disease doctor who has been working with AIDS, Lyme and ME/CFS patients for a very long time. Over the years he has become interested in various treatments for ME/CFS - and has been open to thinking about associated subjects such as Mitochondrial impairment (or down regulation) or Mycotoxin involvement - to describe two of his recent interests.

About two years ago now, Dr. Brewer stumbled upon Mycotoxins and their potential involvement in ME/CFS. Dr. Brewer and his associates, Dr. Thrasher and Dr. Hooper, published their first paper on Mycotoxins and ME/CFS in April 2013. It can be view here. In this study, Dr. Brewer reveals finding 93% (104 of 112) of his patients positive for one of three mycotoxins (there are hundreds of mycotoxins) through a test at Real Time Labs in Carrollton TX. 55 controls yielded no positives.

The Real Time Labs test is a urine sample for Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin and Trichothecenes (MT). (Real time labs will soon have a blood test for gliotoxin, a mycotoxin associated with Aspergillus.) The initial test costs about $700 and appears to be partially reimbursable. On Dr. Brewer's initial study Ochratoxin A showed up the most, although a good number of patients had more than one and some had "the trifecta" - of all three. Dr. Brewer feels that mycotoxins are not good for patients to have in their bodies -  and that they represent a major factor in their ME/CFS illness.

Dr. Brewer reports that these mycotoxins impair mitochondria function and interfere with cell membranes. Loss of mitochondrial function can cause detoxification problems with other toxins. Poor detoxification might have something to do with clinical response.

Dr. Brewer's previous experience with mold or mycotoxins was non-existent. He is an infectious disease doctor who looks for bugs and tries to kill them. In no way can Dr. Brewer be described as a "mold doctor".

In December 2013, Dr. Brewer, Thrasher and Hooper published a second paper on Mycotoxins and their connection to chronic illness - "Chronic Illness Associated with Mold and Mycotoxins - Is Naso-Sinus Fungal Biofilm the culprit?" In this study they laid out their case based on examination of existing literature, citing case studies.

Faced with this high percentage of his patients with potential mycotoxin involvement, Dr. Brewer was both surprised and perplexed. He began treating some of his patients with heavy duty anti-fungal infusions. In time, again through researching the literature, Dr. Brewer concluded that the most likely reservoir for the mycotoxins was the sinuses. This involved a bit of guesswork. It is Dr. Brewer's thesis that these mycotoxins get into the body and colonize in the sinus. Once colonized and protected by a biofilm, the body cannot get at them and they just stay there forever. It is his belief that they have to be rooted out. He finds in his patients that the exposure can be from the distant past, up to 20 years ago. From Dr. Brewer's point of view, focusing on the sinuses in no way excludes other reservoirs harboring the mycotoxins - the gut, stomach and lung.

Dr. Brewer began treating his patients with nasal Ampho B - and he started getting results. Dr. Brewer works with a nasal drug delivery company called ASL pharmacy. They have a nasal delivery system called Nasa-touch which atomizes the medicinals. In time Dr. Brewer added another nasal drug to bust up biofilms that he believes are harboring the mycotoxins. This is nasal EDTA in combination with surfactant, an ingredient in Johnson's Baby Shampoo.

Two side effects of this treatment are noted. One is that the Ampho B can cause nasal irritation and even mild nosebleeds in a few cases. The second is that the treatment often causes a strong herx reaction as the mycotoxins are exposed and the drug kills them. In both situations, Dr. Brewer moderates or cuts back the treatment and all cases have been manageable.

Dr. Brewer has been surprised, astonished really, by the results of treatment. In his first 100 patients treated, 70% showed improvement, including six whose symptoms completely resolved, including all symptoms of their larger illness.

With treatment, the successful patient's urine Ochratoxin A will go down to zero in a matter of some months. The Trichothecenes (MT) takes longer but it too will diminish with treatment.

Three quarters of the patients treated had preexisitng sympotms of sinus problems. One quarter did not. Both segments showed equal improvement.

Dr Brewer has continued testing and treating more patients. He has now tested 350 patients, 325 of whom are positive for one or more mycotoxins. More Trichothecenes (MT) have been showing up recently in his patient population. He is now treating up to 200 patients and I believe another paper will be coming out soon. Dr. Brewer reports that those patients who have fully resolved and ended treatment tend to relapse and have to go back on treatment.

Dr. Brewer's absence at the recent IACFS/ME meeting has already been noted. How could this happen? How could the emergence of a target for treatment not be acknowledged at this conference? This is all the more unusual in that Dr. Brewer published his first paper a year ago and then gave an exciting presentation at the Lyme conference in October 2013. In this situation, there seems to be a target, a treatment that is relatively benign - and Dr. Brewer is getting results. Doesn't this warrant more attention? Wouldn't it be interesting to find out what is happening here?

Of course, in spite of this, there was quite a lot of discussion of the subject of Mycoyoxins in the hallways of the IACFS/ME conference.

Regarding mycotoxins and ME/CFS we have to ask some questions. The most obvious one concerns the validity of the testing at Real Time labs. At the moment this seems the only lab that does mycotoxin testing. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker has not been overly excited with this test, or with the idea of nasal colonized mycotoxins. If it isn't mycotoxins that are being knocked out, what is the activity of Dr. Brewer's treatment? A 70% response rate of over 100 patients is impressive. Dr. Brewer himself says that he has never seen such success with a single treatment.

Meanwhile other physicians are beginning to test their patients. A West Coast physicians group has tested over 100 ME/CFS patients for mycotoxins at Real Time labs - and are getting the same high positive results. Preliminary reports on Dr. Cheney's testing of his patients also indicates a high positive response, especially for Trichothecenes. Even Dr. Ian Lipkin indicated that mycotoxins were dangerous, and warranted looking at in ME/CFS. Other physicians, Dr. Chia, and Dr. Enlander, are aware of Dr. Brewer's work and have been encouraged to test their patients.


  1. Hi. I've been sick for years (previously very healthy) with something in this world of CFS, tick-infections, parasites, mold and mycotoxins. Have no idea which is the prime engine of how sick I am, have tried so many things and still sick.

    I've been doing the things described above--definitely have fungal (biofilm) issues, and had positive results on all 3 mycotoxins in Realtime lab tests. One thing I haven't been able to find is relative results for these that other people might have. That is, I had certain levels of all three, and I know those levels aren't good, but have no idea how high those are relative to others'.

    I do the ampho b with that little machine, as well as lots of charcoal and clay (and glutathione and other things). I had a follow-up realtime labs test, and the mycotoxin levels were down about 40% from the original test. Though, I never know if spot testing tells you much about the actual picture.

    I think I'm slightly less bad neurologically, but so far (about 5 months in) I haven't had any real notable results, which has been frustrating.

    If anyone else has had the RT labs testing and would be interested in sharing their results—or if anyone knows of a forum or other place where people might have their own results—I'd be interested to exchange info.

    Thanks for your blog.

    1. I've had the testing and agree that I can't find others' results posted anywhere. Mine are on my blog at the bottom of the tests page: ElizabethMilo[dot]com. I would be interested in yours, you could email me at akaemilo[at]Gmail[dot]com.

      Chris, thank you so much for this post. I'm going to repost it, hope that's ok.

    2. It sounds like you have quite a few other issues going on. That could explain in part why you're not noticing as much improvement yet. Dr. Irene Grant also uses this protocol and says that for some it may take a year or more before seeing benefit. Lastly, are you taking supplements that may be helping to create biofilms? Some minerals and other supplements help build biofilms.

    3. You might try posting to the phoenix rising forum and asking others if they are willing to share results:

    4. Iv had the same tests as you and am willing to share my results I also emailed a dr who's treated many patients with this illness and she told me my results showed very high levels of these toxins so it might give you sum ideas if we compair results also if you read the paper by dr brewer it tells you the levels of toxins they found in the patients email me at

  2. Consegrua, I'm kind of puzzled by your question: "If it isn't mycotoxins that are being knocked out, what is the activity of Dr. Brewer's treatment?

    Who says it isn't mycotoxins? If their numbers are clearly going down during treatment, doesn't that suggest it is treating these mycotoxins?

    And also, there are other labs that do mycotoxin testing similar to RealTime Labs. American Medical Labs is another one, among several.

    I find this to be very inspiring, and so good to hear that other doctors are also intrigued. Except of course Shoemaker, who naturally would be skeptical of any treatment that isn't the same as his own.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Shoemaker have his license revoked?

    1. Naturally he'd be skeptical. He's a skeptical guy!
      Still, at least he's not recommending ballroom dancing....

  3. Re: “Zero of 50 controls tested positive.”

    This doesn’t seem to relate to any published reference. In Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 1465-1475; doi:10.3390/ijms10041465 Brewer and others, selected 55 patients (health status unstated) who were deemed not to have had toxic mold exposure (method unexplained) as a ‘control’ group. All 55 tested positive for mycotoxins, however Brewer et al arbitrarily set the results of these ‘non exposed’ controls as the base line between clinical and non clinical significance. There are some obvious problems with this approach, most particularly there is no means to associate a test result and a disease process. Most mycotoxin exposure comes in food, the US sets the safe level of aflotoxin contamination for human consumption at 50 parts per billion – which is 50 times higher than Brewer et al consider clinically significant. A source of 1 part per billion in urine might feasibly be considered to come from dietary sources. The difference between Brewer’s controls (negatives) and the deemed positives can be explained in numerous ways and the association between a positive test and ill health need be no more than coincidence.

  4. Great summary Chris. Will re-post this on HC.


  5. Such good news! I'm curious what the "nasal EDTA in combination with surfactant" is. Is it combined with the Ampho B in the NasaTouch system or is it separate? Is it commercially available? What is it called if someone asks their doctor for it?

  6. Basically this is a biofilm buster. This is the protocol:
    1. Atomized "Chelating PX” contains EDTA and Polysorban X in the morning
    2. Amphotericin B in the evening

    These medications are provided by ASL Pharmacy The company will be very helpful to your doctor if he want to prescribe this.

  7. Chris or anyone here I wonder if you could explain exactly how you use these medications? Do you use saline in the atomizer as well ? How much of the medicine do you use? Do any of you have fungal balls in your sinuses?

  8. I don't have any fungal balls. If your doctor does this protocol ASL pharmacy will provide dosing information. You don't add saline. Each dose is prepared in a twist off vial. It comes with very complete instructions. They are very professional.

  9. how can I go about being tested for mycotoxins? I know there was mold in a home I used to rent. Is there any recourse which can take place? I'm seriously concerned it could be true me. For now I try to take things which stimulate my system so that I can get out of bed.

  10. You can get tested through RealTime Labs.
    You would need to ask a lawyer if you have any recourse. If you don't know one, you can get a referral from the bar association in the state you live.

  11. Does anyone know how to reach Dr. Brewer and if he's available for consultations?

  12. Complaint Review: RealTime Labs TX Real Time Labs, Dr. Dennis Hooper, Dr. Joseph Brewer, Dr Jack Thrasher, Mycotoxin test A "REAL TIME" MOLD LAB and MOLD DR. RIPPOFFS Carrollton TexasI am sick from mold at my work. I found REAlTIME labs name on a blog saying they did testing for mold, it turns out it's mycotoxins they test for. I called them they and referred me to a mold Doctor who they said orders their tests all of the  time. Dr. Joseph Brewer in Kansas City MO. I went to Dr. Brewer.  DR. Brewer referred me to Dr. Jack Thrasher in CA  who is supposed to be an expert in mold law cases. I spoke to Dr. Thrasher he told me several times i must have my tests done with Dr. Dennis Hooper at realtime labs, I assured him that's who referred me to Dr. Brewer, who  referred me to him and I was getting my tests done with Realtime labs, no problem. After two months after seeing Dr. Brewer I felt no better and was just as sick as ever. I started to do more research of who this trio really is, I found out from several other blogs that they are  all friends and refer to each other to make money. Then I found this article by the Los Angeles Times  about real time labs and Dr Dennis Hooper, how can Brewer and thrasher even send me or anyone to this lab. See what the Los Angeles Times says about our friends friend Dr. Hooper. I googled "Medical Crimes Dr. Dennis Hooper" people died because of his bad lab work now he's playing with my life, and taking helpless peoples money. I am on a mission to let all mold victims worldwide know about these SCAMMERS. PLEASE we need real help and not scams. Why would Dr. Brewer and Dr. Thrasher refer these people to anyone? MONEY! thats why!!!

  13. What's the name of the West coast physicians group doing the mycotoxins testing? I'm no where near Kansas City.

    1. I believe it is Gordon Medical Associates in Santa Rosa, CA. I see a doctor there (Dr Nathan) who has been in close contact with Brewer and has been running the RealTime tests with all his patients, including me.

      For the record, I have not tested positive for the mycotoxins, but have responded to natural antifungal treatments (noni, chlorella, bentonite clay, garlic) in ways that parallel typical mold cleansing. I also recommend the book by K and L Billings on mold, if you think it likely you have mold symptoms.

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  15. I live in Canada, near the state of Maine. I am wondering where I can find the closest ND to treat me using the Brewer Protocol. I cleaned up black mold a couple years ago. After a year of body aches and chronic fatigue, I realized how dangerous it was to clean up the mold, and it is my strong belief that it caused my health problems. Help!! I do not know If I can be treated in Canada, but I DO know I have insurance coverage for NDs in the States. Any suggestions for a place close to Maine?

  16. Canada has a far better medical system than the USA doctors here don't do anything for you except take guesses ,no Dr Nathan in Santa Rosa CA there great but pricey if you're poor like me your just screwed