Dr. Burt Berkson on Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
Dr. Hotze is joined by his special guest Dr. Burton Berkson of The Integrative Medical Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is the author of best-selling book, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough. Discover the amazing health benefits of alpha lipoic acid for your liver, diabetes, and more.D
*To contact Dr. Burt Berkson, please visit DrBerkson.com.
5:02: And he said he was studying alpha lipoic acid as a wonder drug for the reverse diabetes, adult onset diabetes, mellitus, and diabetic complications. But when they give it to people with diabetes, they seem to regenerate their livers.
5:23: I injected them at this big hospital with the lipoic acid. Within two weeks, they regrew their livers, and I was amazed.
8:00: …we published two papers on 79 people who had end-stage liver disease, and we gave them nothing but intravenous for lipoic acid. Within a short time, within one month, 75 out of 79 regenerated their livers.
9:19: Well, lipoic acid is a natural molecule. Every cell of your body produces it. And it’s very small amounts. And what it does, it turns your food to energy. It’s a key to getting energy from your food, into mitochondrion, the energy factory of the cell.
10:52: It’s a stimulator of good mitochondrial function. And that makes cells very healthy, and they regenerate. And at the same time, this poisons cancer cells.
12:46: God has given your body amazing restorative powers if you will put the right natural molecules back in your body, either the molecules or the hormones you used to make in adequate amounts but have declined.
14:05: I published a paper sometime back in a peer reviewed journal, about three people with early cirrhosis and hepatitis C, that we completely reversed with my triple antioxidant therapy, which is lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium.
15:31: …we put them on a lipoic acid IV twice a week, and low dose naltrexone at bedtime, and he started feeling better. And 10 years later, the PET scans show no sign of metastatic pancreatic cancer.
20:25: …if you take it orally, you get a lot of it into the liver and this stimulates good liver regeneration. It interferes with the free radical process. It neutralizes the poisons that we come in contact with. It’s just an amazing substance.
Stacey Bandfield: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield, here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Today, we have a wonderful expert on the show today, Dr. Berkson, and he’s going to educate us on alpha lipoic acid. Dr. Hotze.
Dr. Hotze: Thank you so much, Stacey. And thank you for joining us on my Wellness…
Dr. Berkson: It’s my pleasure.
Dr. Hotze: Thank you so much, Burt. And thank each one of you listeners for joining us here today, because I believe that you do need a doctor and a staff of professionals who can coach you onto a path of health and wellness naturally, so as you mature, you have energy and vitality and enthusiasm about life. That’s what it’s all about, as you age, you want to feel alive and well. No sense of being part of the walking wounded or having one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave. We want you to be energetic and alive.
Today, we’re going to visit with Dr. Burt Berkson. Dr. Berkson went to Roosevelt University. He ended up getting a PhD in biology from the University of Illinois. Then he earned his medical degree, did internal medicine residency at Chase Western, and did pathology for two years at Mount Sinai. He is now in practice in New Mexico. Where is it, Las Cruces?
Dr. Berkson: Las Cruces, yes.
Dr. Hotze: Las Cruces, New Mexico. And he’s been in practice there, when, since 1997? When did you start there?
Dr. Berkson: ’96.
Dr. Hotze: 1996.
Dr. Berkson: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: And Dr. Berkson has, I’m especially interested in his work in alpha lipoic acid. My colleague, Dr. David Sheridan, introduced me to Dr. Berkson, and I’ve heard Dr. Berkson speak at the Pan American Allergy Society. And I heard about his wonderful story of healing people with chronic end-stage liver failure using alpha lipoic acid.
So Dr. Berkson, you were trained very conventionally like I was. And what happened to you when you were at Chase Western that caused you to change your thinking, and it turned you onto alpha lipoic acid?
Dr. Berkson: Well, in Cleveland in 1977, there were a lot of cases of people eating poisonous mushrooms, Amanita verna, Amanita virosa, and these mushrooms destroy the liver, and people almost always die from eating these mushrooms. One bite will kill a man, and people were dying one after another.
Dr. Hotze: First, let me ask you a question.
Dr. Berkson: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: Burt, why in the world would anybody go out and eat a mushroom?
Dr. Berkson: Well, many of the people in the Cleveland area are Eastern European, have Eastern European backgrounds.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
Dr. Berkson: And they collect mushrooms and eat them. So there was a whole rash of these deaths and no one knew what to do. And liver transplant surgery was just beginning at that time. They didn’t have enough livers for them. And one day my wife knew a pediatrician, and she told the pediatrician that I knew… I was on my colleges, the study of fungi. This is what my PhD is in. And I might know some ways of reversing this horrible death from eating poisonous mushrooms, the destruction of the liver. So the pediatrician wrote an article in the Cleveland newspaper and said, Dr. Berkson might know how to reverse this. I was a resident at the hospital at that time, and I guess the chiefs thought I was contacting the newspapers saying I knew more than they did.
So all of these people with horrible liver disease were put on my service, and I was told, “They’re going to die on your service, see how you feel.” Well, I knew Dr. Fred Bartter, who was Chief of the National Institutes of Health. And I called him up and I asked him, “Is there anything in the world that you know of that’ll regenerate a liver?” And he said he was studying alpha lipoic acid as a wonder drug for the reverse diabetes, adult onset diabetes, mellitus, and diabetic complications. But when they give it to people with diabetes, they seem to regenerate their livers.
So he sent me two cases, and the first two people who came in, I injected them at this big hospital with the lipoic acid. Within two weeks, they regrew their livers, and I was amazed. And the chiefs, some of the chiefs had told me I could get in big trouble for this because I was using a drug that was another formulary, and the formulary committee would not meet for a month, and I just had to get it from NIH and use it. Then Dr. Bartter came out to Cleveland with a group of doctors from National Institutes of Health to examine the patients and set up a conference on organ regeneration, and they asked me to be the lead speaker, rather than any of the chiefs. And that created quite a problem. And it’s gotten worse, kept getting worse from that point.
Dr. Hotze: And? So you had…
Dr. Berkson: And then…
Dr. Hotze: First, you had success with these patients that would have died that were an end-stage liver failure waiting for a liver transplant, and you injected, IM, or intravenously, the alpha-lipoic acid?
Dr. Berkson: Intravenous. Four times a day in the hospitals.
Dr. Hotze: Right. And they literally regenerated their liver. Now, it’s hard to…the proof’s in the pudding.
Dr. Berkson: Exactly.
Dr. Hotze: I mean, it seems like if I were a doctor and another doctor told me something that could be done that would completely regenerate the liver and restore the health and save the life of my patient, I’d want to know about it, and I’d try it and see if it worked.
Dr. Berkson: I know. You know Julian Whitaker?
Dr. Hotze: Yes.
Dr. Berkson: Well, Julian Whitaker wrote the forward to my book, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough. And he said, “When I was young, I thought if something new came along that was really effective for many diseases, it would become standard of care within a short time.” He said, “Now that I’ve been practicing for 35 years, I realize that most doctors would rather have their patients die than do something different.”
Dr. Hotze: Isn’t that the truth?
Stacey Bandfield: That’s a sad commentary. Hmm.
Dr. Hotze: Okay. So…
Dr. Berkson: Let me add this.
Dr. Hotze: Go ahead.
Dr. Berkson: Dr. Bartter and I were invited to Germany to be visiting scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg. We presented our information there, and we published two papers on 79 people who had end-stage liver disease, and we gave them nothing but intravenous for lipoic acid. Within a short time, within one month, 75 out of 79 regenerated their livers. And it was published. No interest in America. When I got back to Cleveland, I was told, I really shouldn’t talk about this anymore because it might hurt the liver transplant business.
Dr. Hotze: Now folks, did you hear that? There’s a whole lot more money in liver transplants, which is a multi $100,000 of money procedure, than it is to give something natural, like alpha-lipoic acid, and regenerate the liver. And that’s a sad commentary on the medical industrial complex, where they would prefer to keep people sick and on drugs all their life, or perform some kind of surgery, which could be prevented simply by using something as natural as alpha lipoic acid. So tell us a little about alpha lipoic acid. Where do you derive it? What is it?
Dr. Berkson: Well. Yes, go on.
Dr. Hotze: What does it do? How does it regenerate the liver?
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Dr. Berkson: Well, lipoic acid is a natural molecule. Every cell of your body produces it. And it’s very small amounts. And what it does, it turns your food to energy. It’s a key to getting energy from your food, into mitochondrion, the energy factory of the cell.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
What does Alpha Lipoic Acid do in your body?
Dr. Berkson: And without it, without lipoic acid, we’d all be dead. So it does many things, it’s a free radical scavenger. It’s an antioxidant recycler, when vitamin C vitamin D is all used up, lipoic acid makes it useful again. It causes glutathione to be prevalent in the body, which is the greatest intracellular antioxidant. It stimulates organ regeneration because it’s so effective. It’s a heavy metal chelator. It restores T cell function. It enhances insulin sensitivity. In parts of Russia, when somebody has a myocardial infarction, a heart attack or a stroke, they give them intravenous lipoic acid, and it reverses the ischaemia–reperfusion injury. And people could go home very soon afterwards. But once more, it’s the rate-limiting factor for the production of energy from your food. It’s a stimulator of good mitochondrial function. And that makes cells very healthy, and they regenerate. And at the same time, this poisons cancer cells.
Dr. Hotze: Now, folks, I want you to understand this. Every cell in your body has power plants has generators that produce electrical energy. If you remember your biology back in high school, it’s called the mitochondria. All good health is based upon good energy production within the mitochondria. And there are a number of factors that play into that: hormone replenishment, thyroid’s very important. It’s like the spark plug for the mitochondria. Your vitamins are very important, and nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, but magnesium is very important. And other key minerals and vitamins are very important for allowing the mitochondria to produce electrical energy that drives all the biochemical processes in your body and makes the organs function. And alpha lipoic is a key ingredient to that energy production.
So if you’re unhealthy, you want to increase your energy within the cell, the energy production. As we become toxic from all the toxic substances we inhale, drink, breathe, slather on our body, metals in the environment, all the petrochemicals, high-sugar diets that cause inflammation, all these things down regulate your power plants, your generators. So you don’t produce much energy, and you have symptoms. You go to the doctor and they offer you drugs, or they offer you a liver transplant, or something else, when a simple, simple way to treat this is to provide the body what it needs to heal itself.
God has given your body amazing restorative powers if you will put the right natural molecules back in your body, either the molecules or the hormones you used to make in adequate amounts but have declined. Or those other special nutrients, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, iodine, alpha lipoic acid. All these things have tremendous power in helping you detoxify your body and enabling your cells to produce the energy needed to restore, to regenerate, and to revitalize, and that’s what alpha lipoic acid does. Now at your center out of New Mexico, and the name of your center is what, doctor?
Dr. Berkson: The Integrative Medical Center of New Mexico.
Dr. Hotze: The Integrative Medical Center in New Mexico. And tell me, what type of patients do you treat there? What are the problems that people come to your center in Las Cruces to solve?
Dr. Berkson: Well, people have been coming from all over the world. We started out by doing, doing lipoic acid therapy for chronic liver disease, hepatitis C. I published a paper sometime back in a peer reviewed journal, about three people with early cirrhosis and hepatitis C, that we completely reversed with my triple antioxidant therapy, which is lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium. Selenium, Dr. Will Taylor from, he was at the University of Georgia, found that if the selenium levels that are at a certain level, the hepatitis C virus has trouble replicating. So we demonstrated that these three people who were very sick with hepatitis C, within six months had a normal liver function.
We treated hepatitis C, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, all of the chronic liver problems. And then we got into diabetes, the reversal of diabetic neuropathies. Lipoic acid, within three weeks, usually will reverse a neuropathy.
Alpha Lipoic Acid for Pancreatic Cancer
And then a man came in, oh several years ago, with metastatic pancreatic cancer. And his oncologist told him that there was no hope, he should go to you should go to hospice. And we put them on a lipoic acid IV twice a week, and low dose naltrexone at bedtime, and he started feeling better. And 10 years later, the PET scans show no sign of metastatic pancreatic cancer. And I published that. Yes.
Dr. Hotze: Yes. By the way folks, pancreatic cancer is a death sentence. I don’t know a soul that has gone through chemotherapy that ever survived pancreatic cancer, and I know several people that have died of it. And so Dr. Berkson had a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer which is a death sentence. There’s no way in current medical practice that anybody lives with that. And yet using alpha lipoic acid, you were able to not only reverse, but cure him, and he’s had no relapse at all in 15 years.
Now, this is remarkable folks. And it would seem to me… and I’m learning a lot right now, we do alpha lipoic acid here. We haven’t promoted it as much as we should have. And Dr. Sheridan has encouraged me to do that, so we do use it. But I think this is something that we need to really focus more highly on, and informing, through marketing, people that have these chronic problems like chronic cirrhosis, chronic liver disease, and people that have diabetic neuropathies, and diabetes. Even people that have end-stage cancer, particularly cancer of the pancreas. These are things that we need to be promoting that we offer that we can do that. Because we have alpha lipoic acid here and we have it because we followed Dr. Berkson, his recommendations. Now, Dr. Berkson, do you use any other vitamins and minerals? Do you use vitamin C at all? High dose vitamin C for anything?
Dr. Berkson: Yes. Lately we’ve been using intravenous, for cancer at least, we’ve been using intravenous vitamin C in the morning, and it gets all used up. And then we send people out to lunch, and then they get IV lipoic acid in the afternoon, which recycles the vitamin C and makes it useful again. Cancer cells are anaerobic in most cases.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
Dr. Berkson: They survive without oxygen. Lipoic acid forces these cancer cells to live aerobically by a mitochondrial type of metabolism. And when this happens, they tend to commit suicide and die. You know, our treatments, I don’t think cures cancer, but in many cases it causes tumors and metastasis to disappear. As long as they do the treatments, many people seem to do very well.
Right after this publication with this man with the metastatic pancreatic cancer, metastasis to the liver, I published another paper with three more people with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Within six months the PET scans showed no cancer.
Dr. Hotze: Yes. This is remarkable. Now, what about oral alpha lipoic acid for the individual that wants to maintain good liver function? Maybe the liver enzymes are up a little bit. Maybe they drank a little too much. They got some alcoholic there. Maybe they drink too much alcohol and their liver’s overworked, and you don’t have the vitamins and minerals you need, so it’s stressing the liver. What about the average person and the petrochemicals that we have in the environment, and drugs that we come in contact with? All these things have to be detoxified folks, by your liver. Tell me about, is there a recommendation you would have for the average individual? Is it beneficial for them to take any alpha lipoic acid, and if so, what type?
Dr. Berkson: Well, lipoic acid, when you swallow it, it’s almost all absorbed immediately. You could smell it in the urine within 15 minutes after you swallow it. The lipoic acid goes right from the digestive track through the portal vein directly into the liver, a little bit into the bloodstream. If you get it intravenously, tremendous amounts go into the bloodstream and get into the heart, the lungs, the liver, the pancreas, the brain, everything. But if you take it orally, you get a lot of it into the liver and this stimulates good liver regeneration. It interferes with the free radical process. It neutralizes the poisons that we come in contact with. It’s just an amazing substance.
For 23 years, I was the FDA principal investigator for lipoic acid as a prescription drug. And no drug company was interested in this. When I bring up this information to various vice presidents of drug companies, they say, “If we give it for cancer, it’ll also interfere with our business of drugs for diabetes and liver disease. This is a terrible drug.” So eventually, it was drafted as a prescription drug and classified as a nutraceutical. But one interesting thing, I just found out not too long ago, that a drug company has taken alpha lipoic acid and taken that molecule and twisted it a little bit, and added another molecule to it, so they could get it patented, and they’re using it for pancreatic cancer now.
Dr. Hotze: Isn’t that amazing, and probably charging an arm and a leg for that, I would imagine.
Dr. Berkson: I’m sure it would.
Dr. Hotze: Well, Dr. Berkson what type of alpha lipoic acid do you recommend? Because I know, people are going to hear this program go, “I’m going to go get some alpha lipoic acid.” Tell us what kind you recommend.
Dr. Berkson: Well, the prescription drug in Europe is still the R plus S form, the natural plus the synthetic form. And that’s what I use because that’s what has been researched in Europe and the United States for many, many years. There are hundreds of publications on this. There’s also the pure R form, which is probably theoretically better, but since the prescription drug in Europe is the R plus S, that’s what we use for IV therapy.
Dr. Hotze: What about oral therapy? I mean, if we’re taking it. We carry alpha lipoic acid here at the Hotze Health &Wellness Center at the Hotze Vitamins Store.
Dr. Berkson: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: So we have been told that the best type to use, through Dr. Sheridan, was the European brand. That’s what you use. Is that what you still recommend?
Dr. Berkson: Yes, I recommend it. That’s what I take orally.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
Dr. Berkson: The R plus S.
Dr. Hotze: Right. And that’s what we offer here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, and we prescribe this routinely to our guests because we know that it’s going to be beneficial, not only for liver function, but throughout the entire body, it’s going to provide benefit at the mitochondrial energy production level. It also regenerates vitamin C and vitamin E, which you need as antioxidants. It also regenerates glutathione, which is a great detoxifier and antioxidant that your body needs. So alpha lipoic can play a significant role in helping you obtain and maintain health and wellness naturally. And compared to everything, any other pharmaceutical drug, all these sell in a pittance of what a pharmaceutical drug does, and all the pharmaceutical drugs do is poison your body and poison your mitochondria.
So, Dr. Berkson, I just want to congratulate you on being an innovator. I want to congratulate you on going down a path less traveled. I want to congratulate you on breaking away from the herd, and in the face of all kinds of adversity and derision by conventional doctors, that you decided to cut a path that was different. And in doing that, you’ve literally helped and saved the lives of thousands of individuals. And we count it a privilege that you took time to join us and share with us your expertise and your experience about alpha lipoic acid.
Dr. Berkson: Thank you so much, Steve.
Stacey Bandfield: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: It’s my pleasure.
Stacey Bandfield: Dr. Berkson, I was just going to ask how people can find you. Do you have a website if they wanted to find out more information about you?
Dr. Berkson: Yes. It’s drberkson.com.
Dr. Hotze: And that’s spelled B-E-R-K-S-O-N. Dr. Burt Berkson. Dr. Berkson, is that just, is it D_O_C_T_O_R, or just D R Berkson?
Dr. Berkson: Just D R Berkson.
Dr. Hotze: Drberkson.com.
Dr. Berkson: Also, if you go to Google or PubMed, and you just type in Berkson, B like Burton, M like Martin, you’ll see tremendous amounts of information on PubMed. You can find out many of my publications on Google Scholar. You could see several of my books and many of my publications in medicine and in biological sciences.
Dr. Hotze: Are your books available on Amazon?
Dr. Berkson: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: Is The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough on Amazon?
Dr. Berkson: Yes. And also Syndrome X, the metabolic syndrome, was the first metabolic syndrome book.
Dr. Hotze: Well Dr. Berkson, you’ve cut a very broad path, and I’m hoping that those that listened to you today will be encouraged that if you have any of these chronic problems, or if you want to simply get yourself on a path to health and wellness naturally, that you will add to your nutritional regimen, alpha lipoic acid. By the way, how many milligrams should they take a day of alpha lipoic acid R/S?
Dr. Berkson: Well, I think a normal adult can take 300 milligrams twice a day with food, but they should always take a B-complex vitamin with it. Because B complex vitamins, especially thiamine, and biotin, and riboflavin, are depleted during this metabolic process.
Dr. Hotze: So there you have it.
Stacey Bandfield: Good information.
Dr. Hotze: There you have it from the expert.
Stacey Bandfield: That’s right. And like Dr. Hotze mentioned earlier, we do offer alpha lipoic acid and B complex actually, at Hotze Vitamins. You can go to hotzevitamins.com. That’s H-O-T-Z-E vitamins.com. And as always, if you want to have a conversation with us, you want to find out more about how you can get your life back, you can call us at (281) 698-8698.
Dr. Hotze: We also offer alpha lipoic acid intravenous therapies.
Stacey Bandfield: Yes.
Dr. Hotze: … as well here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. So for those of you that have serious health problems related to liver disease, even heart disease, diabetes, diabetic neuropathies, that’s where you’re tingling and you get numbness in your extremities from nerve damage, we offer the alpha lipoic acid here. So you might give us a call.
Stacey Bandfield: Absolutely. And again, that number is (281) 698-8698. And again, thank you for joining us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.