Vitamin MePA Testimonials
Gigi began taking Dr. Aardsma's Vitamin MePA Dietary Supplement as one of the first of a small number of pilot-study volunteers. Gigi has battled multiple debilitating health issues for decades, including a serious automobile accident, heart failure, and diabetes. She was 59 years old when she entered the study.
Gigi is the mother-in-law of Dr. Aardsma's daughter, Rebekah. Rebekah was instrumental in helping Gigi become involved as a pilot-study participant, and has been providing reports on Gigi's progress from time to time.
Rebekah's reports are presented in chronological order first, followed by a more recent, comprehensive testimonial by Gigi.
September 25, 2017
October 2, 2017
Rebekah: Today is the big 3 week mark for Gigi taking the vitamin. I've been waiting for this week very
impatiently as this is when several others started noticing changes. It's
possible nothing could change this week of course, but I'm hoping to see
sleep changes and blood sugar changes. She has diabetes, so I'm thinking
those numbers might change here this week. Who knows. Yesterday she got
some very low (good!) numbers, but that could be a fluke. We will see!
October 3, 2017
Rebekah: Nothing major with Gigi.
She is reporting that several chronic skin problems seem to be
resolving. She also says she feels less brain fog, which she has talked
about a lot since I've known her. So that's interesting. Nothing with
sleep or diabetes yet.
I replied the same day:
Rebekah: Gigi has now been on MePA for just over four weeks. Here is a more detailed report. There have been 4 things she has noticed.
- A skin yeast infection around her waist has cleared up. She has had this for some time and has used a special lotion for it in the past.
- She has reported that the dark age spots on her forearms have lightened considerably.
- Her sleep pattern SEEMS to have changed, although whether this is due to MePA or not is confusing to me. A traditional night sleep goes like this, according to the Fitbit information: "During the night, you progress through a series of sleep stages from light sleep to deep sleep, back to light sleep and into REM sleep. Then, the cycle repeats." Gigi has never had textbook sleep patterns (my guess is due to medications and how interrupted her sleep is) but she definitely followed this pattern more closely in the early days of taking MePA. Now her typical pattern is spending the first half of the night alternating between deep sleep and light sleep (with no REM) and then the second half of the night alternating between REM sleep and light sleep (with no deep sleep). She doesn't have this pattern every night but it is certainly frequent. This is very confusing to me and I have no idea what this means :)
- Gigi has reported that she has felt more "awake" during the day. She has often complained of feeling like her brain never fully "wakes up". She also calls this "brain fog". She says she feels like that is not as severe as it has been in the past.
There has been no change in blood pressure or blood sugar readings as of yet. I am graphing her "times awake" during the night, and "% of time awake" during the night, hoping to see a change in that at some point. I'll let you know if I do.
Gigi read Tom's [prostate cancer] testimonial today and is requesting to be moved to 2 micrograms of MePA a day. Let me know your thoughts on this. Also any thoughts on her sleep patterns would be interesting to hear but I know you are very busy so no pressure.
October 4, 2017
Gerald: I don't give permission on this, I only inform the volunteer so they can make an informed decision for themselves.
We would like to fill a person's body reservoir up quickly, then use a barely saturated replacement dose. So far, we don't know what the body reservoir size is and we don't know what the replacement dose should be. These questions are the main thing we are hammering away at day after day in the lab. We think an appropriate replacement dose is probably within a factor of 10 of 2 micrograms per day. We will know whenever we can finally measure low concentrations of MePA accurately in human urine.
Meanwhile, Dr. Aardsma's Vitamin MePA Dietary Supplement dispenses 2 micrograms per drop. So that is the normal dose at present, and that is the dose Gigi is currently getting. The theory is that the bigger the dose you take, the faster your body will reach saturation level and the quicker you will heal. We think 2 micrograms per day is probably adequate because I was taking just 1 microgram per day when my CIDP began to let up after 3-1/2 weeks.
Theory also says that overdosing with MePA is not likely to be a problem; the nature of the molecule says that excess MePA should simply flush out of the body in the urine. Underdosing is what is known to be a problem. I can see why a person might want to go to two drops per day (4 micrograms per day) to try to speed things up, especially someone up against the sort of deadline Tom was up against. Whether it helps at all is not known.
Mom and I have personally tested the vitamin at higher doses, to see whether we would encounter any bad side effects, and have found it to have no bad side effects at these higher doses. So two drops per day can be regarded as previously tested (by Tom now as well) and found to be safe, as expected. I personally would not venture higher than that unless I had really urgent need.
Let me know whatever Gigi decides so I can keep a record of her dose versus time.
Observations 1, 2, and 4 harmonize with others' similar observations.
I have no data to compare to Gigi regarding sleep patterns, so there is not much I can say. I should have some helpful data to compare to in a month or two. Meanwhile, it is nice to know something unusual seems to be going on, "nice" in the sense that we are probably about to learn something new and potentially helpful.
I replied the same day:
Rebekah: Thank you for responding so quickly. Gigi was anxious for an answer.
She is up against a similar situation to Tom; she has an echocardiogram coming up in early November. This test is done every year. Her test last year was not good and they indicated that moving towards a heart transplant would be necessary if she saw much further decline. She is quite concerned about this test in November and I expect that she will be moving to a dose of 4 micrograms of MePA per day. But currently she is still thinking about that and hasn't decided.
I did want to tell you that she had a minor surgery on her hand about two weeks ago. She had her stitches out today and asked her doctor about how the incision looked. The doctor was very impressed and said it had healed "fantastic". Gigi is very happy about this because with diabetes and poor heart function, healing has been notoriously difficult for her the last few years. She is pretty excited today.
October 9, 2017
Gerald: It appears that vitamin MePA definitely aides healing; Gigi's testimonial here upgrades this from a "very probably" based on my experience and Tom's experience.
November 8, 2017
Rebekah: I wanted to let you know that Gigi decided to move to 4 micrograms of MePA and started doing so on October 4th.
Gigi has been taking MePA for five weeks today. Her sleep graphs are starting to show some good trends.
I am very excited to start to see some changes in these graphs. I basically stalk Gigi every day waiting for her to wake up and download her information :) I'm hopeful that these good trends continue for her. I'll keep you posted.
Later that day
Rebekah: Gigi gets her heart test
results back today. This is her yearly
heart check that determines her future health plan. Should know the status by 4:00 p.m. or so.
basically three options as I understand it. One is that her heart has
gotten worse, which would be bad news as she doesn't have much more
"worse" she can do before it's very serious. Second option is that it
has improved, which is extremely unlikely according to the doctors.
Third option is that it has stayed the same, which would be good news.
Hoping for good news!!
Still later that day:
Rebekah: Gigi just got back
from the doctor.
Good news is that her
heart is relatively unchanged from last year EXCEPT for one thing.
The heart has four
chambers, and if your heart weakens one of the things that happens is
the chambers of your heart enlarge to try and cope.
Last year, Gigi had three
out of four heart chambers enlarged. The nurse practitioner at the time
told her straight up that there was no reversing this process.
Well, this year the
doctor looked at that information and said that she only has TWO
enlarged chambers, and the third one looks totally normal!!!!!
He looked at it and said "hmmm".
November 15, 2017
Rebekah: Just chatted a bit more with Gigi and got some further information.
First, her pancreas enzymes have been tested three times. The test is called a lipase test. Normal range is 73-393 U/L. Her three test numbers are as follows:
- 3/28/16 - 285
- 4/14/16 - 490
- 11/6/17 - 694
A bit more background on Gigi's heart. She had an enlarged heart before she got her pacemaker put in. The heart chambers were beating out of sync with each other, causing the heart to be very ineffective. This stressed the heart and caused the enlarged heart chambers. After the pacemaker, this started to heal with time.
Then, she had ventricular fibrillation episodes last spring. The doctors told her this was very damaging to her heart. In a test a few months after this heart event, she had two enlarged chambers, and last December, she had three. This enlargement of the heart is not due to stress, but due to actual damage to heart tissue. This is what she was told was irreversible.
Now here's something very interesting. Enlargement of heart chambers happens in a particular way. It starts in one corner and works around counterclockwise to all the other chambers as decline happens.
With Gigi's test, they were not able to get a good image of all four chambers of the heart. One chamber wasn't clear enough to see what was happening. This chamber was one of the ones that has been enlarged in the past. Now the chamber they told her is no longer enlarged is in the middle of the three chambers that were enlarged last year. So it is possible, if healing happens in the opposite way that decline happens, that her OTHER enlarged chamber is also back to normal! Of course this is just a guess and since they didn't have a good image of it, who can say.
In any case, exciting. Now we wait for another year :)
December 10, 2017
Rebekah: Another thing about Gigi
that's been interesting is she has gotten out to do some yard work this
fall. She has always talked about doing this during the time I have
known her but very very rarely, if ever, gets around to actually doing
it. She has gotten out twice this fall to tend to her flowers and such.
Rebekah: Some exciting MePA news
from Gigi today!
She mentioned to me that
she noticed she was needing less sleep than in the past. I decided to
try to find a graph for that on the Fitbit App, which I did.
It shows that she
is slowly, month by month, needing less and less sleep. This is pretty amazing
considering that when I first knew Gigi she was needing 10+ hours of
sleep just to get by and now she is well under 9 hours.
Overall I am just amazed
at how Gigi is doing. I spent several weeks with her everyday before
Christmas last year as I was helping her organize her Christmas
decorations. I remember her fatigue and low energy. There is
really no comparison to this year; she is doing worlds better.
This year she has
finished caring for her outdoor flower beds for the first time in
fifteen years (!!!) and has been able to keep up with the house so much
The changes have been
slow and hardly noticable but because I have such clear memories of how
she was this time a year ago, the comparison stands out to me.
Her quality of life is so incredibly improved. What a blessing.
by Gigi Eschbach, February 20, 2018
It all began in my mid twenties. For years, my health mysteriously continuously declined, with no answers from the multitude of doctors and specialists to whom I was sent. In 2004, at age 46, I was finally sent to a specialist who immediately knew with what I was dealing. I had Lyme Disease which had been slowly ramping up for many, many years before it was able to eventually overtake my immune system, bringing me, literally, to the brink of death. In its wake, I was left a very disrupted immune system, an endocrine system that no longer produced some vital hormones or the precursor chemistry to create some of them, cognitive issues and a heart with a damaged septum that delays sending electrical signals to the left side of my heart, creating Left Bundle Branch Block. I was treated with antibiotics for 7 years, and the Lyme Disease went into remission.
However, I was still diabetic, hypothyroid, and having issues with my adrenal glands that caused hyperplasia and the inability to convert testosterone into estrogen, among other things. The Left Bundle Branch Block (causing the two sides of my heart to beat out of sync with each other) slowly caused my heart to fail.
In November 2013, my doctors began to continuously monitor and medically treat my heart, when it was found that my heart's Ejection Fraction (EF) had declined to around 10-15%. The range for normal EF is between 60-70%. Three months later, in February 2014, when my heart's EF was alarmingly found to be at 5%, a Bi-Valve Pacemaker with a defibrillator was surgically implanted. After that, it took 2 years, to February 2016, before my heart's EF came back up to the low end of the normal range, to 50%. Then, two months later, in April of 2016 I had 2 V-Fibs [ventricular fibrillation: a life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbance] within 24 hours. The second one would have taken me permanently, if not for the defibrillator in my heart bringing me back.
After this incident, my heart's EF declined over the next 8 months (by December 2016) to 30%, back down solidly into heart failure range. The Heart Failure Specialist told me that my heart was quite damaged from the V-Fibs and would not recover and improve. They tested my heart chamber pressures, fearing I needed an
immediate evaluation for a heart transplant. Miraculously, my heart pressures were acceptable. So the plan then was to wait and see how long my heart could hold up before it declined enough to warrant a transplant. I was to continue to take my prescribed meds and come in every 2–3 months. The fatigue was overwhelming. I was continually exhausted, even though I was now sleeping anywhere from 10 to 16 hrs most nights. And, it only seemed to be getting worse.
Enter Vitamin MePA
In August of 2017, I found out about MePA. I was told a limited number of volunteers were sought for help in quantifying the effects of this recently discovered and 2 year tested substance. My first thought was, "I am in such bad shape, what do I have to lose?" There did not seem to be any discernible negative side-effects. I went
into this with no expectations, except perhaps to be able to provide some data.
I bought a Fitbit Charge 2 so that I could track my problematic sleep and see if there would be any quantifiable changes. Sleep duration and it's quality seemed to be affected, in a positive way, for anyone who had taken MePA thus far. Also, I thought if I had positive results, the Fitbit might be able to give Dr. Aardsma some quantifiable information as to what the MePA was actually affecting. In setting the Fitbit up, the default parameter for optimum sleep hours was set at 8. I reset it to 10 hours per night, knowing that that was the minimum I had slept for the last 1 1/2 years.
About 1 1/2 months after starting MePA, I began to notice a change, for the better, in my sleep quality and duration. I felt much more rested and was rarely sleeping more than 9 hours. So I reset my Fitbit's sleep goal to 9 hours. By the end of November, another 1 1/2 months later, I was rarely sleeping more than 8 hours. So,
once again, I reset my Fitbit's sleep goal, this time to 8 hours. All this time, I was feeling much more rested and had so much more energy during the day. I thought, "Surely my ejection fraction (EF) has improved!"
The Echo from the previous year had shown that my heart was definitely following the path toward total heart failure. My left ventricle was significantly enlarged as was my left atrium. The right atrium was moderately enlarged. All that was left was to wait for my right ventricle to enlarge, and then it would be time for a heart transplant. I repeatedly asked of my Cardiologists, over the next few months, if the heart enlargement could backtrack. Each time I was told no, too much damage. Their plan was to see how long they could hold me at this point and keep me stable. In mid November 2017, another Echo-Cardiogram was performed to check the condition
of my heart and it's current EF. The results were surprising and tantalizing.
First of all, the left ventricle was still significantly enlarged. However, the left atrium was only mildly enlarged!? That meant the heart failure was indeed backtracking and my heart was healing. The right side of my heart was difficult to visualize this time, so no information was known about my right atrium. But, it would be safe to assume that it also was decreased in size based on the progression/regression of heart failure. The most surprising result of all, based on my decreased need for sleep and my surging energy, was that my heart's ejection fraction was still the same as the previous year! It made no logical or medical sense! I can only
attribute it all to MePA. At my Cardiologist appointment in December, my protocol was switched from keeping me stable for as long as possible before a heart transplant, to putting me on some new meds that should help to heal my heart further and hopefully move me further away from the heart transplant route.
At the same time as all of this, I have been having issues with my pancreas. Over the last several years, I have been having pain in the area of my pancreas, digestive issues (mainly Non-Celiacs Gluten Sensitivity) and trouble keeping blood sugars in the proper range. My lipase levels (an indicator of pancreatic health) have
also been steadily increasing, which is not a good thing. When the lipase was last checked in November of 2017, it was almost 2x the upper healthy limit. A CT Scan was done to rule out a cancerous growth, chronic pancreatitis or some other form of blockage or abnormality. It all came back clear. A few weeks before the CT Scan, I began to realize that the troubling and ever-present pain in my pancreatic region, both in my front and in my back, was subsiding greatly. This made no sense, considering that my lipase levels were increasing, which causes pain. The only difference during that time was taking MePA.
In December 2017, my sleep duration was nearing the 7 hour mark. I was feeling confident I would be resetting my Fitbit parameter again. However, in January 2018, I came down with the nasty flu going around (even though I had gotten a flu shot). It has taken over a month to get through it. It caused my sleep duration to
go back to 10 hours, on average. However, I have been told by several Drs. that it is amazing I have not ended up in the hospital, as compromised as my health is. Again, I attribute that to MePA. And, now that I am recovering, my sleep duration is heading toward fewer hours once again.
Another thing that may be related to the overall improvement of sleep, or perhaps just MePA, is clarity of mind. Lyme disease infiltrated my brain and caused major brain fog, hindering both the ability to remember (long and short term) and the ability to process just about anything. As I was treated for Lyme, the fog lifted and most
functions became possible again, but nowhere near the level they were before Lyme. Heart failure also takes a toll on brain function, as the amount of oxygen reaching the brain is reduced. Since taking MePA, I feel my mental acuity has increased greatly. This is counter-intuitive to the aging process we know, where mental acuity usually experiences a decline as we age.
Another area affected, to note, is skin. I am very fair complected. The only place that I have had freckles is on the top of my forearms. Over the past few years, these freckles have been seeming to expand, creating large, pale, reddish-brown patches that nearly covered both forearms. It was quite noticeable and concerning. In
November 2017, after taking MePA for 2 1/2 months, I began to notice a marked reduction in size, coverage and color, and they continue to reduce. Around the same time, I began noticing that the areas under my eyes were not so dark and sunken in. It looks like little deposits are forming there creating a "plumping" effect.
- I have experienced no perceivable negative side effects.
- The perceivable positive side effects are numerous:
Things that do not seem to be affected, at this point:
- My sleep duration and quality have greatly improved, giving me a big boost in energy
and more hours awake.
- My heart condition has stayed stable and enlargement has mildly decreased.
- Pancreatic pain has drastically reduced.
- My mental acuity is increasing.
- My skin seems to be experiencing some healing and rejuvenation.
- I have a much more positive outlook, because of improved health.
- Mild Adrenal Hyperplasia
- Non Celiacs Gluten Sensitivity
- Left Bundle Branch Block.
While most of my observations and conjectures cannot be empirically proven, I can find no other explanation for the improvements and healing that I have experienced. My hope is that this testimony, added to a growing body of evidence that MePA can and does have a positive impact on health and healing, can help to move research forward. I cannot be more grateful to God and Dr. Aardsma for MePA.
November 1, 2018 Update
by Gigi Eschbach
This last Spring, I got a nasty respiratory virus which was going around. Ultimately, it turned into bacterial bronchitis. I struggled for 3 months with it all. It took 3 rounds of antibiotics to get rid of it.
A few weeks later, I had an episode of A-Tach [atrial tachycardia: a type of abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia] and almost passed out. Adjustments were made to some meds.
At the end of July, I came down with another respiratory virus and, once again, it became bronchitis. I was finally better by the second week of September.
On September 19, 2018, I was jolted awake, dazed and confused. It turned out that I had had another V-Fib episode. My lower right ventricle was racing at 348 beats per mimute. Once again my defibrillator had saved my life. I have now been put back on the dangerous med, Amiodarone (https://www.verywellhealth.com/amiodarone-uniquely-effective-but-uniquely-toxic-1745228 ), to try to stop any more V-Fibs from occurring. The previous time I had to be on it after V-Fibs, in April 2016, it affected my eyes, lungs and kidneys. They had to take me off of it after 4 months. The damage remains to this day.
The Cardiologist's and my concern was that, with all these health events, my heart would be failing further. Yet somehow, at odds with what my Cardiologists have been telling me, my heart seems to be trying to heal itself.
A right and left heart catheterization was done. My coronary arteries, veins and chambers, chamber pressures and pulmonary arteries were thoroughly checked. There were no blockages or issues with my heart's and lungs' plumbing! My cardiologist said this is the best possible outcome. V-Fibs brought on by blockages cause the most damage.
An echo-cardiogram was done to see if there was further damage and where my ejection fraction stands. The two V-Fibs I had in April 2016 had so damaged my heart that my ejection fraction continued to decline over the next 6 months back down to a 25% from a low-normal of 50% that I had finally achieved that March. It subsequently remained at 25% and I was told repeatedly that, because of the damage, it wouldn't get any better. Yet, despite all these health events, my Ejection Fraction has gone from 25%, for the last two years, to 35--39% currently!
A year ago, my left ventricle was severely enlarged, my left atrium was moderately enlarged, my right atrium was mildly enlarged and my right ventricle was normal. The path of complete heart failure starts with the left ventricle enlarging and working on enlarging each chamber to try and keep itself going until it reaches the right ventricle and enlarges it. It's all downhill after that. The goal was to try to keep me at 25% for as long as possible with meds and try to keep my right ventricle from enlarging. There was no hope of my heart getting any better. However, at present, my right ventricle is still normal, my right atrium is no longer enlarged, my left atrium is slightly enlarged and my left ventricle is only mildly enlarged!!! The enlargement is reversing!
In addition, they could detect no additional damage from this latest V-Fib!!! I could hardly wrap my mind around all the good news! They, too, were excited and amazed at the results. They could offer no explanation. I have one---prayer! I also believe that the MePA I have been taking for over a year is having an effect!
The not so great news was that they were not able to find a typical cause for my latest V-Fib. I will be seeing my Electrophysiologist on November 8th. He will be deciding which of 3 ways to go. First consideration is a heart ablation. They would go in and play with my pacemaker to cause a V-Fib, if they can, and find where in the heart it originates. If they can find the spot, they would then do an ablation to neutralize it. It's a long and risky procedure and would require, at least, a week's hospital stay. Next is taking me off Amiodarone and put me on a similar med that isn't so dangerous, but that will require at least a 3 day stay in the hospital to acclimate me to it. The least traumatic is another med that they would add, enhancing the ability to try and prevent further V-Fibs. Until then I am pretty safe, being on Amiodarone.
Another issue that I believe is being affected by MePA is my Diabetes. For about 2 months (since about my 1 year anniversary of taking MePA) I have been having random drops in my blood sugars, multiple times in a week. This has never been an issue for me, for the 13 years I have been a diabetic, except for a short period of time, several years ago, when I had cut out all carbs from my diet. That leveled out fairly quickly. However, this is ongoing, with no recognizable precipitators, and in the presence of carbs in my current diet. I even met with my Endocrinologist to try and figure out the cause. She could offer no explanation. So, she stepped down my insulin doses. I am coming to suspect that MePA may be the cause. If so, that is good news! It must be doing some healing. It is unheard of to back down on insulin dosages this far into diabetes, unless cutting out most carbs, which I have not been doing currently. The trend is usually that larger dosages of insulin are required over time.
I look forward to being able to report more progress in the years ahead, and I am confident there will be more progress to report! After reading Joey Contreras, Sr.'s testimonial, where he found his optimum dosage to be 4 drops/day, I am considering increasing my dose from 2 drops to 4 drops (8 micrograms MePA) per day to see if it will accelerate healing in several areas.