Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed. They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions by people who are using GcMAF.
Update 8 May 2014: Bravo Probiotics (the maker of GcMAF yoghurt) now have a new EasyKit that contains powdered colostrum – it signficantly cuts the time needed to make the yoghurt and also the cost of the yoghurt as liquid colostrum is very expensive.
Updated 22 March with new, cheaper source of liquid colostrum in the UK
Updated 16 March 2014 with information on yoghurt makers, and links to more recent posts on Bravo Probiotic
Updated 20 Feb 2014: Please note that there is a difference between the propagating process for Maf 314 and Bravo Probiotic. For Bravo: Compound 1 must be cultured afresh each time from the powder and not from the yoghurt. Compound 1 contains GcMAF. Compound 2 can have a life-cycle of up to 8 weeks. Therefore it is necessary to buy the Bravo Probiotic culture if you want to do this properly, you can’t rely on a culture that is a year old (like I have). I highly-recommend buying a culture from Bravo – that way, you know that the GcMAF and probiotics are active.
Updated 26 January 2014 with more photos about the ideal vs the actual real-life process of making GcMAF yoghurt, and observations from the Fulda Integrative Conference 2013.
And there are 3 videos on how to make Bravo Probiotic, check out: http://www.bravoprobiotic.com/index.php/storage-of-products/9-sezione1/6-2-how-to-prepare-bravo-probiotic
I’ve blogged previously about GcMAF, a protein in our immune system.
GcMAF stands for glycoprotein macrophage activating factor.
GcMAF activates macrophages (white blood cells that eat cancer cells). However, viruses and malignant cells like cancer send out an enzyme called Nagalase that blocks production of GcMAF.
It is possible to supplement the missing GcMAF in the body by using an injectable form of GcMAF. It is not cheap though, costing approximately Euro500 per month.
However, GcMAF is now available as a yoghurt, called Maf314, the 314 representing the algorithm of the attempts it took to arrive at the final recipe. It is also known commercially as Bravo Probiotic. It is cheaper than the injectable form of GcMAF, but still expensive at Euro550 for 3 months’ supply.
So what can I say? I am one of the luckiest persons on earth because I’ve been given a GcMAF culture, by a wonderful friend I met at Hallwang, Peter Trayhurn.
Peter has been using Maf314 as part of his treatment protocol, with great success. I am so pleased because I need to add more tools to my anti-cancer toolkit.
(Maf314 is the precursor to Bravo Probiotics which contains the same GcMAF proteins)
The process is more complicated than making standard yoghurt.
Here is my summary:
There are two compounds (Compound 1 and Compound 2) that have to be cultured separately with different timings, specific temperatures and volumes, and swapped from room temperature to fridge. It takes 48 hours to make. All utensils have to be nearly aseptic. Colostrum is also a component in the yoghurt. There is a limited shelf-life to the compounds and the yoghurt and it has to be made afresh every 4-5 days (2 weeks for Bravo Probiotic)
Please note: Compound 1 and Compound 2 are in the form of a powder – that is the source of most yoghurts. The powders are added to milk and the fermentation process enables the bacteria in the powder to multiply and create the yoghurt.
Compound 1 and Compound 2 powder + milk + heat/fermentation process = yoghurt
You can imagine that I was on tenterhooks when it came to my first attempt at making MAF314. Peter talked me through the process, I read the instructions 3 times and wrote out my own cheat sheet. It paid off. My first attempt at MAF314 worked, despite my nervousness. The photo at the top of the post is of my first MAF314.
Watch this video interview with Prof. Marco Ruggiero, the creator of GcMAF and MAF314:
And listen to a talk given by Prof. Ruggiero on GcMAF at work, Bravo Probiotic and the myths of fermented dairy and cancer:
(Please note: The opinions expressed in this talk are academic considerations only and they are not intended to represent medical advice to anyone. If you need medical advice, please refer to your caring health professional.)
WHERE TO BUY
GcMAF and Bravo Probiotic can be purchased from:
Here is a free book on GcMAF:
Read about Peter’s experiences with GcMAF and MAF314 on his blog, and other posts about his healing journey:
Lessons learned in making Maf314 and Bravo Probiotic
The ideal vs the actual process
– I included this section so that people won’t be intimidated by the process. Despite the instructions in the manual which call for aseptic conditions, mine are far from the ideal!
– I attended Prof. Ruggiero’s talk at the Fulda Integrative Conference 2013 and he talked about the production of Maf314 at home.
As you know, the beauty of Maf314 is that it is designed to be made not in the laboratory, but in the humble kitchen.
This is the type of kitchen he strongly hoped people used for Maf314 production. Pristine … germ-free, laboratory-like conditions.
Here is my version:
This section covers the Day 1 stages of preparing the yoghurt
Stage 0 – Cleaning the utensils
The instruction manual is strict on hygiene and advises that you keep one set of utensils only for the preparation of the yoghurt. I don’t have that luxury. Before I make the yoghurt, I do, however, wash all utensils and pour boiling water as a final rinse to kill all competing bacteria so that only the MAF 314 bacteria are allowed to colonise the milk. I then dry all the utensils per the instructions – I think this is to prevent contamination by air-borne bacteria on a wet surface
Stage 1 – Pre-heat the yoghurt maker and glass jars
The first stage is to pre-heat the yoghurt maker with the glass jars. I’ve often wondered whether this is so that the glass jars are at warmed to the proper yoghurt-making temperature before the Compound 1 is poured into them. The instructions say to pre-heat 2 hours beforehand. As I don’t always have 2 hours lead-in time, I use a shortcut to warm-up the glass jars – I pour boiling water into them and swirl it around before drying them. This ensures that the jars are hot when I put them into the yoghurt maker. By the time I’ve gone through Stage 2, the jars have cooled down, but are still warm enough.
Stage 2 – Boiling the milk and cooling the milk
I use a non-homogenised, organic milk. [Always always watch the milk while it’s boiling – 9 times out of 10 I’ve left the kitchen or been distracted and the milk has chosen that very second to boil over!!!]. An expert behind Bravo Probiotic has said that milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows is the best.
– The milk has boiled and I separate it into two containers (one for Compound 1 and one for Compound 2). Yes, I know the manual doesn’t say to separate it into two containers, but I find the milk cools faster this way, when there are smaller quantities.
– I leave the milk to cool on the patio. Yes – who knows what germs land in the milk, but it’s the fastest way to cool the milk, especially in the winter.
– Here’s the milk, cooled, with Compound 1 added to it, and ready to be poured into the little pre-heated jars of the yoghurt maker. No matter what sort of jug I use, there is always spillage, hence the funnel, in an attempt to stop spills.
Stage 3 – Cooking the yoghurt
– Et voila! Compound 1 cooking away …
And the finished product – apparently the excess water is incorrect and means it’s been cooked too long.
And here is Compound 2, after 12 hours in the airing cupboard (I used the airing cupboard in winter because it needs at least 26 deg room temperature to set).
– it gets easier with each subsequent culture. The first few attempts I was paranoid about timings and instructions. I’m more relaxed now.
– so as you can see, it’s not as stringent a process as the manual threatens.
I know that Peter has made Maf314 in a hotel room – he tells the hotel to boil the milk [sometimes homogenised and long-life, not even organic/non-homogenised!] for him and then proceeds from there, using an ingenious mix of thermos flasks and hotel cutlery(!). It is probably not the aseptic conditions that Ruggiero envisaged, but it is the best we can do.
Musical Maf314 – like musical chairs, only more runny
– Musical Maf314: here is a summary of the process for all those of you who have read the instructions and are thinking WTF!?:
STAGE 1: Pre-heat little jars in yoghurt maker at start of process. Boil 2 litres of non-homogenised milk. Separate into two containers. Let one container cool to 40-42 deg C. Stir Compound 1 into this, and pour into little glass jars in yoghurt maker. Leave to cook for 9 hours with lids off. Let other container cool to 26-30 deg C. Stir Compound 2 into this. Cover Compound 2 loosely with foil and leave at room temperature for 12 hours (in the winter, if the room temp is less than 26 deg, leave container in warm room, e.g. airing cupboard).
STAGE 2: Place little jars of Compound 1 in fridge with lids on. Leave for 12 hours. Leave Compound 2 for another 12 hours (24 hours max) at room temperature.
STAGE 3: At end of 24 hours, swap Compound 2 and Compound 1 in the fridge. Compound 2 should be covered (e.g. with cling film). Keep aside two jars of Compound 1 for the next culture. Mix colostrum into Compound 1 which now sits outside at room temperature, with lids off, covered loosely with foil. After 12 hours, keep aside some Compound 2 for the next culture. The remaining Compound 1 and 2 can be mixed to form Maf314. Add in Compound 3 (if you have it – it is a probiotic powder).
How much Maf314/Bravo Probiotic do you get?
– the recipe makes a double batch of Maf314, i.e. enough for two people (approx. 14 x 50ml jars) for a week. If you want to make less, than use less milk. However, make sure that you end up with equal proportions of Compound 1 and 2 in the mixture.
What yoghurt maker?
– I use a Severin yoghurt maker (which is German), and comes already supplied with seven little 50ml yoghurt jars.
– Buy a spare set of those 50ml jars, or the version that comes with 14 jars. Each batch of yoghurt makes enough for 1 person for 2 weeks. Or 1 person for 1 week if you take two doses per day. These jars are not leak-proof so you may prefer to get spice jars from Ikea (see below).
– I’ve found an even better yoghurt maker – the Shef yoghurt maker. It comes with a digital timer, so you don’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to switch it off. It is also cheaper than the Severin yoghurt maker.
[The links above are affiliate links to Amazon, but so far these are the best price for yoghurt makers/jars I’ve found – if I find anything cheaper, I’ll change the links]
These yoghurt jars are not leak-proof. If you want jars that will safely transport your yoghurt, I recommend IKEA’s RAJTAN spice jars – they are awesome and are used by the GcMAF clinic in Switzerland:
Where to get the best value liquid colostrum – Bestvital colostrum
– You can use either liquid colostrum or powdered (freeze-dried) colostrum. The amount to use depends on the protein content – if it is 5g/125ml bottle, you need to use the whole bottle. I used to buy my liquid colostrum from Holvita UK which is cold filtered and that cost £23 per bottle (£21 for 10+ bottles). I begged them for a better discount (as I was going through a bottle a week), but never got a reply. So I kept hunting around for a cheaper source.
My recommendation now is for Bestvital colostrum – it comes from Germany, but it is much cheaper than Holvita. One bottle of Bestvital costs £17.95. 12 bottles costs £169.95 – this is a real bargain, and it’s organic and cold-filtered, so I’m sorry Holvita, but your sub-standard customer service has just lost you an endorsement.
It is also possible to use fresh raw colostrum if you’re lucky enough to know a friendly dairy. In the US, use Kirkman colostrum. GcMAF.eu also sells liquid colostrum, but it costs Euro26 per bottle.
How to cool down the milk faster
– It takes a surprisingly long time to cool the milk down to 42 degrees, up to an hour. I separate the milk into two containers to speed up the process. The best way of cooling the milk is to leave it outside, covered with some tea towels. I leave the milk out on the patio to cool which helps. Watch out for creatures of the night flying into the milk though! I’ve had moths decide that Maf314 is just what they need for a nightcap!
– milk in Pyrex takes longer to cool than milk in metal containers – it is to do with conductivity of heat through metal.
Consistency of Compound 1 and Compound 2
– Compound 1 is more runny than Compound 2, which is like a thick set custard (like bean curd jelly). Compound 1 sometimes ends up with a thin layer of water in the yoghurt maker, and apparently it’s because it’s been left in too long.
– Compound 1 takes 9 hours to “cook” in the yoghurt maker. Ruggiero is adamant on this point – no longer than 9 hours. So don’t start the process too late in the night (e.g. 7pm), otherwise you’ll have to set the alarm to wake up at 4am in the morning. And even if you don’t, your subconscious will end up waking you up every 15 minutes until 4am! Or get a digital yoghurt maker.
Making GcMAF in the winter
– Think of the yoghurt as having been born in a Mediterranean climate (after all, its father is Italian!). In the winter, if your kitchen is cold (i.e. ambient temperature is less than 26 degrees), then Compound 2 should be cultured in a warm room. I discovered this when my Compound 2 didn’t set after 24 hours, and I had a minor panic thinking the culture had died. Out of desperation, I placed the runny Compound 2 in the airing cupboard (where the hot water tank was) and 12 hours later when I got home, it had set. Phew!
Diary of Maf314 yoghurt making:
12 September 2013 – just made my third batch of Maf314 today. The culture really is quite forgiving of any of my shortcomings. It tastes like kefir. I take it in the morning with a probiotic, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, fishoil, mushroom powders and Vitamin C. The only thing I haven’t got is Probiotic 3 which is part of the kit if you purchase it from an authorised Maf314 vendor. [9 November 2013 – I’ve found out that Maf314 is better absorbed with olive oil. I’ve started taking it after a main meal like lunch, because I find it difficult to eat a cold yoghurt for breakfast. It is also recommended to eat the yoghurt after a fibre-rich meal.]
I’m beginning to wonder if maybe the GcMAF is in Probiotic 3, and that the rest of the cultures (Compounds 1 and 2) are just a vector for the Probiotic 3. [Update 6 March 2014 – no, the GcMAF is in Compound 1]
Maybe the whole elaborate culturing process (which takes 2 days) is made more complicated than it needs to be as part of a marketing strategy? After all, if a process is complicated, a certain level of mystique starts building around it. That’s just my conjecture.
7 October 2013 – argh, made a mistake in the culturing process and added colostrum to the portion of Compound 1 that should have been kept aside for the subsequent culture. I e-mailed the person who sold the GcMAF yoghurt to Peter, but never got a reply. So I re-cultured Compound 1 and it seems to have worked. It really is a very robust culture and forgiving of my lapses.
26 October 2013 – quelle disastre – I forgot to put aside some starter Compound 2 for the next culture. I’m not sure what was going through my mind, except that I was doing it without referring to the instructions, so my over-confidence caused this error.
Unfortunately no one else has a viable Compound 2 in the UK that I know of, and Peter is in Australia. And I don’t have Euro550 to buy a Bravo probiotic culture at the moment (unless David Noakes is reading this and feeling generous and would like to send me a culture!). So I’m going to try an experiment – I’m going to culture one of my GcMAF yoghurts (the mix of Compound 1 and 2) and see whether it yields something that is related to Compound 2. Even if the resulting culture has some minimal Compound 2 in it, that’s better than nothing. What an expensive mistake! I’m gutted!
25 December 2013 – Why Maf314 is like owning a bonsai plant.
I once owned a bonsai plant. I can’t even remember what sort of bonsai it was. Only that it required constant attention. Because it had a very dense root-structure in a shallow pot, it needed frequent watering to make sure it didn’t dry out. The branches needed to be pruned to remind the tree it was supposed to be a dwarf. The leaves had to be plucked off when they got too large to remind the tree it was only meant to grow miniature leaves. I couldn’t even go on holiday without leaving detailed instructions on its care. I’ve seen bonsai plants with elaborate watering systems attached to them. I no longer own a bonsai plant.
Today is Christmas Day and there was no let up in the Maf314 yoghurt-making factory. That’s because the Maf314 compounds have a shelf-life of about 5 days. So they have to be re-cultured every 5 days. I could have left it a bit longer, but there have been incidents of people doing just that and their compounds going off and not taking. At Euro550 for a 3-month supply, that’s not a chance I can afford to take.
16 March 2014 – thanks to the generosity of friends and family who donated to my cancer-fighting fund, I have now bought 3-months’ supply of Bravo Probiotic – I will be posting more on this later.