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Do sauna therapy and exercise act by raising the availability of tetrahydrobiopterin? [Dr. Pall] – Source: Medical Hypotheses, Jul 8, 2009

  [ 29 votes ]   [ 3 Comments ]
By Martin L Pall, PhD • • July 8, 2009

[Note: as Dr. Pall discusses in his Tenth Paradigm website, correcting tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) depletion may be a key to downregulating the NO/ONOO- cycle, which he believes sustains ME/CFS, FM, MCS, and related illnesses.]

Sauna therapy has been used to treat a number of different diseases known or thought to have a tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) deficiency.

It has been interpreted to act in multiple chemical sensitivity by increasing chemical detoxification and excretion, but there is no evidence that this is its main mode of action.

Sauna therapy may act to increase BH4 availability via two distinct pathways.

Increased blood flow in heated surface tissues leads to increased vascular shear stress, inducing increased activity of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH-I) in those vascular tissues which will lead to increasing BH4 synthesis.

A second mechanism involves the heat shock protein Hsp90, which is induced by even modest heating of mammalian tissues.

• Sauna heating of these surface tissues may act via Hsp90, which interacts with the GTPCH-I complex and is reported to produce increased GTPCH-I activity by lowering its degradation.

• The increased consequent availability of BH4 may lead to lowered nitric oxide synthase uncoupling, such as has been reported for the eNOS enzyme.

• Increased BH4 synthesis in surface tissues of the body will produce increased circulating BH4 which will feed BH4 to other body tissues that may have been BH4 deficient.

Similar mechanisms may act in vigorous exercise due to the increased blood shear stresses and possibly also heating of the exercising tissues and heart.

There is a large and rapidly increasing number of diseases that are associated with BH4 depletion and these may be candidates for sauna therapy.

• Such diseases as hypertension, vascular endothelial dysfunction, multiple chemical sensitivity and heart failure are thought to be helped by sauna therapy

• And chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia may also be helped

• And there are others that may be good candidates for sauna therapy.

Source: Medical Hypotheses, Jul 8, 2009. PMID: 19581054, by Pall ML. The Tenth Paradigm Research Group and School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Portland, Oregon, USA. [E-mail:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Sauna Therapy for FM
Posted by: djangel47
Jul 15, 2009
Does this include the "dry heat" sauna's that are on the market? I've used them and think they are wonderful, so I would like to know if they will produce the same results.
Reply Reply

Saunas as therapy for FMS
Posted by: fnx3
Jul 16, 2009
Hi - I have FMS & have been having a sauna once per week for the past 5 years - I have a little home steam cabinet (it only cost $100 on ebay). I know for a fact that it definitely assisted in restoring the function to my right leg which was going "dead" & difficult to walk on when I first started saunas. After 30 to 40 minutes of sauna (depending on the weather!) I get straight into a bath using a "bubble mat" plus one cup of Epsom Salts - it is wonderful - like having yr own personal masseuse. I always feel so refreshed, relaxed & energized at the same time - highly recommend it.
Reply Reply

Posted by: TitansFan
Jul 21, 2009
I've never heard of tetrahydrobiopterin before. I guess it's not a very widely used word. I had my Infrared Sauna set up over a year ago and read quite a bit about them. This term was omitted from everything I read. Thanks for the info!
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