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Low Dose Enzyme Activated Immunotherapy - LDA


Many illnesses have been related to hypersensitivity to various compounds - animal, vegetable and mineral, even our own body parts.

These illnesses include "allergies" commonly called seasonal because they tend to show up in the spring and the fall, when trees, flowers and weeds send out their pollens - symptoms like runny nose, plugged up head, sometimes cough or even asthma.

These illnesses also may include a wide variety of symptoms not commonly associated with "allergies" - things like abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea (or constipation), brain fog, hives.

They may also include so-called autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

In the 1960s a British physician named Leonard McEwen developed an extremely low dose form of immunotherapy which he called EPD - Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization. His early work was published in the British Medical Journal.[1] With this form of allergy treatment, it is possible to retrain the immune system and desensitize it to a wide variety of substances - foods, chemicals, pollens, molds - which may have caused a wide variety of symptoms over the years.

In the 1990s Dr. William Shrader brought this form of therapy to the United States. He published a paper summarizing the data collected from multiple centers on over 10,000 patients treated for a wide variety of conditions with EPD. Nevertheless, since the allergens were imported from Dr. McEwen's laboratory in England, the importation of the antigens was forbidden by the Federal Drug Administration, until an Investigational New Drug (IND) application was completed. And, since none of the physicians, even if they pooled their resources, was able to generate the several million dollars required to take the antigens through the Investigational New Drug (IND) process, EPD treatment was effectively halted.

Because the EPD treatment was so successful for so many conditions, Dr. Shrader made some modifications and developed a process which works equally well, which he termed "Low Dose Enzyme Activated Therapy" or LDA. This therapy is now available by prescription through the College Pharmacy, and is administered in a physician's office.

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we have used provocation-neutralization immunotherapy for many years. We found it an excellent way to both test and treat, when dealing with specific substances to which a patient is allergic - much more accurate and safer than standard immunotherapy "allergy shots". However, when a patient seems to react to everything tested, the process becomes unwieldy and time consuming.

LDA – Low dose enzyme activated immunotherapy - is a safe way to treat, for people who are sensitive to everything. Testing is not required, the doses of all the substances are low enough to activate the T cells without causing a massive histamine release. The amount of substance in the injections is measured in parts per trillion or even quadrillion (100-6 to 100-7 - known in homeopathy as a 6C or 7C dilution). The enzyme stimulates the production of T regulator cells which then can turn off the T helper cells whose mis-identification of normal substances in the body is causing the allergic reactions. EPD employs a physiological dose of β-glucuronidase. The normal plasma concentration of the enzyme is 15-90 Sigma units/ml. The dose contained in a 0.05 ml. intradermal injection of EPD is 20 Sigma units.

Enzyme potentiated desensitization appears to down-regulate both the Th1 (delayed hypersensitivity) and Th2 (immediate hypersensitivity) immune system responses to allergen. Its effect appears to be on the T regulatory cells which modulate all the immune responses of the body.

Because the T cells have such a long half life (60-90 days), injections are given only every 2 months for the first 6-8 treatments. It takes about 3 weeks for T regulatory cells to be produced in any significant numbers, thus symptom relief may be seen as early as 3 weeks after the first injection. As the number of regulatory T cells increases, the frequency of injection can decrease. Eventually injections may be given only once a year, or even every 2-3 years, if symptoms begin to return. About 60% of people respond to the first treatment, and their relief may last for up to 5 weeks. Most patients will respond within the first three treatments (with the exception of chemically sensitive patients, who may take up to six treatments before they see significant benefit).

Treatment is given for foods, inhalant allergies (spring and fall pollens), molds and chemicals. Patients treated for chemicals may worsen temporarily for the first two or three treatments. Treatment is also given for chronic Lyme disease symptoms. Ty Vincent, MD has devised an antigen for treatment of the excessive immune response to chronic Lyme disease. The antigen contains the proteins of several species of Borrelia burgdorferi, as well as various species of Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. We have found this therapy remarkably effective for those who treatment has pretty much eradicated the infectious organism, but who are still experiencing significant symptoms of fatigue, pain, brain fog, etc.

Advantages of LDA treatment:

  • No testing required
  • Generally less expensive than conventional allergy treatment
  • Infrequent treatments (every 6 weeks at the most, often decreasing to every 6 months or once a year)

Disadvantages of LDA treatment:

  • May require some experimentation to find the “right” dose – sometimes we have to dilute the antigen so that reactivity is not excessive.
  • Considered “experimental” and not covered by insurance payments
  • No specific therapy for any one specific allergen (e.g. histamine)
  • May not work as well as you hope it will (this occurs seldom, but as with any therapy, nothing works 100% of the time)

Call us at 480-240-2600 to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss whether LDA is an appropriate treatment for your condition.

[1] McEwen L. Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD) - A promising low-dose method of immunotherapy. Downloaded from‎.