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.
Revised 9 Jan – sorry I had to take out the full reply as I did not have permission to publish it
For more information on Bravo Probiotic: http://www.bravoprobiotic.com/
I came across two recent pieces of research which showed that macrophages could encourage the growth of cancer cells.
They made me question the safety of GcMAF yoghurt which stimulates the production of macrophages.
So, is GcMAF yoghurt safe?
What are macrophages?
Macrophages are white blood cells that are part of the body’s defense system. Their role is to engulf and then digest cellular debris and pathogens, and to stimulate lymphocytes and other immune cells to respond to the pathogens.
But it seems as if macrophages can swing both ways.
Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs)
Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) are found in close proximity to or within tumours.
The function of TAMs is controversial as there is evidence that they can be pro-tumour as well as anti-tumour.
As GcMAF yoghurt (also known as Maf314 or Bravo Probiotic) stimulates the production of macrophages in the body, it made me think its safety. After all, I didn’t want to be taking something that could be encouraging cancer cells to flourish.
I raised this concern with Peter Trayhurn, and he very kindly passed my query onto Prof. Ruggiero. To my pleasure and surprise, this very busy professor who has a very busy international schedule and research commitments, replied very promptly.
[Thank you, Prof Ruggiero – your reply is much appreciated. You are helping to save the lives cancer patients.]
Summary of Prof Ruggiero’s reply regarding tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) and GcMAF
Here’s why GcMAF is safe:
- Macrophages can behave in two different ways – via the M1 phenotype or the M2 phenotype.
- The M1 phenotype is known as the killer phenotype and is pro-inflammatory, but is also anti-cancer
- The M2 phenotype causes cancer to grow and proliferate.
- Strategies aim at enhancing M1-like tumour-fighting activity of TAMs by shifting macrophages toward M1 phenotype.
Stimulated macrophages activate the Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) signalling pathway. This occurs with classical M1 polarizing factors such as IFN or LPS as well as with GcMAF. All these pathways converge to the VDREs through a cross-talk with the transcriptional factors NF-κB and STAT1.
- VDR has three binding sites; one for vitamin D3; one for the GalNAc moiety of GcMAF, and one for a fatty acid (oleic acid in this case). VDR can be activated by vitamin D3 alone, but its activation and its specificity of effects (that is which genes are regulated downward) are greatly modified when all three binding sites are occupied
- The shift towards towards the M1 phenotype of TAMs can occur with GcMAF alone, but it is greatly enhanced when the GcMAF molecule is complexed with vitamin D3 and oleic acid
- Supra-molecular complexes of GcMA/oleic acid have a biological potency 200 fold higher than that of “old” GcMAF in saline (Fig. 1). This extreme potency is due to two factors: the synergistic activation of the VDR and the bioavailability of the complexes.
This shifts macrophages toward the M1 phenotype that is required for their anti-cancer actions.