||Meridian Institute News
RESEARCHING THE SPIRIT-MIND-BODY CONNECTION
For over five years researchers at Meridian Institute
have been looking into the connection between pH (acid/alkaline) balance
and viral infection - a link noted by Edgar Cayce in several of his psychic
readings. With the recent epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome
(SARS) and continued concerns about common conditions such as colds and
flu, our interest in this field has expanded to explore basic science and
clinical projects to test the Cayce hypothesis. Here is an overview
of what we have found so far and where we are headed. Some simple
preventive measures will also be discussed.
Viruses are extremely small parasitic life forms,
the smallest living things on Earth. In essence, a virus is a minuscule
pocket of protein that contains genetic material.
Although viruses can remain dormant outside a living
body, they only become active when in contact with live tissue. Once a
virus infects a cell by penetrating the cell membrane, it can either lay
dormant (lysogenic infection) or begin reproducing itself (lytic infection
- the more common pattern). When a cell becomes full of virus, it
bursts releasing the virus to infect other host cells.
A wide variety of diseases are caused by viruses
including the common cold, flu, warts, measles, hepatitis, herpes, smallpox,
and AIDS. SARS is just the latest in a long list of viral parasites.
Unlike bacteria that can usually be effectively treated
with antibiotics, viral infections are often unresponsive to modern medical
treatment. If the virus causing a disease has been discovered, a
serum may be developed to provide inoculation against that specific virus.
The most common approach to virus protection is to avoid contamination
by infected individuals.
Viral pH Dependency
Laboratory experiments (in vitro) have confirmed
that many viruses require a mildly acidic environment to attack host cells.
At Meridian Institute we are interested in determining exactly how this
physiological fact manifests within the human body (in vivo). Understanding
the role of pH balance in viral infections may provide preventive and therapeutic
breakthroughs for dealing with epidemics including the recent outbreak
To appreciate the relevance of pH for viral infection,
let's first review some facts about acid/alkaline balance. The acid/alkaline
continuum ranges from 0-14 with 7 as neutral. The lower end of the scale
(below 7) is acid and above 7 is alkaline.
Acid/alkaline balance is extremely important to normal
physiology. For example, the blood will maintain a slightly alkaline range
of 7.35 to 7.45. Extended pH imbalances of any kind are not well tolerated
by the body. The management of the pH factor is so important that the body's
primary regulatory systems (especially breathing, circulation, and eliminations)
closely regulate acid-alkaline balance in every cell and system.
Certain viruses (including the rhinoviruses and coronaviruses
that are most often responsible for the common cold and influenza viruses
that produce flu) infect host cells by fusion with cellular membranes at
low pH. Thus they are classified as "pH-dependent viruses."
Drugs that increase intracellular pH (alkalinity
within the cell) have been shown to decrease infectivity of pH-dependent
viruses. Since such drugs can provoke negative side effects, the
obvious question is whether more natural techniques can produce the same
Possible Relevance to SARS
The World Health Organization has concluded that
SARS is produced by a new virulent strain of coronavirus. Specific research
on the possible pH dependency of the SARS virus has not yet been done.
It is well known that coronavirus infectivity is exquisitely sensitive
to pH. For example, the MHV-A59 strain of coronavirus is quite stable
at pH 6.0 (acidic) but becomes rapidly and irreversibly inactivated by
brief treatment at pH 8.0 (alkaline). Human coronavirus strain 229E
is maximally infective at pH 6.0. Infection of cells by murine coronavirus
A59 at pH 6.0 (acidic) rather than pH 7.0 (neutral) yields a tenfold increase
in the infectivity of the virus.
If the strain of coronavirus responsible for SARS
shares the pH characteristics of these other coronaviruses that are pH-dependent,
this could be a valuable clue to effective prevention and treatment strategies
for this frightening epidemic. Perhaps keeping a balanced or slightly alkaline
pH environment for the body's tissues can provide viral protection or enhanced
healing for SARS and common viral agents that cause respiratory infections.
Edgar Cayce's Recommendations
Edgar Cayce affirmed the importance of pH balance
with regard to common viruses that cause colds and flu. Cayce repeatedly
insisted that such infectious agents do not thrive in an alkaline environment.
When asked how to prevent colds, Cayce replied, "by keeping the body alkaline.
Only in acids do colds attack the body." (3248-1)
Cayce recommended using litmus paper to test the
pH of urine and saliva as an indication of the pH balance of the body.
We now have more precise means for monitoring pH in the form of pH paper
and digital pH meters.
As a practical preventive measure, Cayce's suggestions
for alkalizing the body emphasized eating an abundance of fresh fruits
and vegetables, especially salads: "... if an alkalinity
is maintained in the system - especially with lettuce, carrots and celery,
these in the blood supply will maintain such a condition as to immunize
a person." (480-19) Consuming citrus fruit and juices was also
a common alkalizing suggestion in the readings that addressed concerns
about cold and flu infections.
Meridian Institute Research
We reported a preliminary study on dietary effects
of urine pH in January 1999 (Vol 3 No 1). The study was done to test Edgar
Cayce's recommendations for testing urine as a marker for systemic pH balance.
Our conclusion was that following Cayce dietary recommendations of eating
primarily alkaline-producing foods (such as fruits and vegetables) does
indeed tend to alkalize the urine.
We have contacted leading researchers in the field
of rhinovirus infection studies to make them aware of the possible role
of acid/alkaline balance and seek feedback on how to do scientific studies
to test the Cayce hypothesis in vivo - with human subjects. If it
turns out that SARS is produced by a pH-dependent coronavirus, we will
certainly make sure that the clinical researchers who do in vivo studies
of viral infections are made aware of this potentially important factor.
Rhinovirus infection studies are done at several
leading universities, usually to test the effectiveness of drugs that may
help to prevent or relieve the symptoms of colds. Small amounts of
solution containing rhinovirus are dropped into the noses of subjects to
intentionally infect them under controlled conditions. Interestingly,
about five to fifteen percent of subjects do not get colds even when the
virus is carefully placed onto the nasal mucosa. Could it be that
the pH of the resistant subject's nasal mucosa is alkaline (or neutral),
preventing the rhinovirus from infecting the cells inside of the nose?
There have been several published studies on nasal
mucosal pH with varying results. Some researchers have concluded
that the pH of nasal secretions vary with sleep, rest, ingestion of food,
emotional states, and menstrual cycles. Other scientists, using different
technology, have failed to confirm these results. Clearly much work
needs to be done in this area to establish consistent outcomes.
We have tested equipment from two of the leading
companies that sell devices that can measure nasal pH and have learned
that there is significant variability in the instruments, apart from the
complexities of measuring pH in different people and within the same person
The picture on page 1 shows a pH sensitive microelectrode
that we are currently using to measure nasal mucosa pH. The device
was developed for insertion through the nose and down into the esophagus
in acid reflux patients. Since the system is already FDA approved
for measuring pH in humans by insertion via the nasal cavity, it is ideally
suited for our purposes. This particular model seems to be more sensitive
and accurate than one we tested from another leading supplier of this type
So far we have done a series of nasal mucosa pH measurements
on two individuals. One of the notable outcomes from our preliminary
efforts in this area is that psychological stress can have profound effects
on nasal mucosa pH, causing a major drop (acidification) in pH. We will
be doing more work with nasal mucosal pH with additional subjects to determine
the possible relevance of this measure with regard to upper respiratory
viral infection. We are also hoping to be able to do a collaborative
study with established researchers who regularly conduct in vivo studies
involving intentional infection with rhinovirus (the "common cold") to
explore the possible connection between life-style factors (such as diet)
and the infectivity of pH-dependent viruses.
MYSTERIOUS CANCER SERUM
A couple of Edgar Cayce's readings describe a hypothetical
treatment technique that involves using part of the rabbit leg to create
a serum for treating cancer. It is not clear that this particular technique
was ever actually used. The generally accepted explanation of this concept
is that it somehow involves utilizing the tendon of the rabbit.
Tom Stonebraker, a veterinarian from Kentucky (Edgar
Cayce's home state), has provided a fascinating explanation of Cayce's
recommendation. Dr. Stonebraker believes that an uncommon parasite
is the key to understanding Cayce's suggestion. Here is an excerpt
from a Cayce reading that discusses the development of a cancer serum based
on this concept:
... a serum made from that as is called the "wolve" in the beef or
the hare, at this season, and injections made ... For this region of system
this would be materially aided, or checked - or NICCOLITE, as this becomes..
(Q) How can this be made?
(A) This should be drawn off - that is, the wolve, see? - PUNCTURED
by an hypodermic, see? This drawn off and then a culture made into the
flesh of the same animal from which it's drawn, whether beef or hare. Then
the culture applied to the HUMAN body, see? or blood drawn and a culture
made FOR the human body and then applied to the body. There must necessarily
be experimentations, with the proper heat, the proper precautions taken
as to the character of cell as is destroyed in the culture made, and in
the activity of the animal as well as human when being used; but for this
character of the condition this would be MOST effective in at least fifty
percent of such ills. (2457-4, BREAST CANCER)
Another reading (4444-2, SKIN CANCER) also describes
this technique, mentioning a "parasite" that infects rabbits and the production
of "niccolite" as a therapeutic agent. Cayce stated that niccolite
is "Oxygen, Nitrogen, and action on the force of putrified matter in the
Here are Dr. Stonebraker's insights:
"I believe you can easily confirm "wolf or wolve"
is a common name referring to an unusual parasite often found in the rabbit
and bovine (beef) but also seen to a lesser degree in all warm blooded
animals. Specifically, wolf (wolve) refers to the larval (maggot)
stage of the cuterebra fly. The small cuterebra fly is unique in
"1. It lays only one egg as opposed to large numbers.
"2. It lays its egg on the skin of a live host animal
as opposed to decaying matter.
"3. The hatching larva has the ability to penetrate
the unbroken skin.
"4. Just under the skin the larva lives, grows, and
matures while maintaining a small open air hole to the surface.
"5. The larva stimulates a much stronger inflammatory
reaction from the host compared to most parasites resulting in much local
infiltration of tissues, subsequent swelling, and draining from the air
hole on the surface. All signs of the body's defense mechanism go
in high gear protecting by attacking not only the intruder, but the surrounding
tissues which may be supporting the invader.
"Despite this local war, the host leads an otherwise
normal life until the larva is killed or expelled or leaves of it's own
volition (or is surgically removed) and the host seems no worse for wear,
maybe even better from the challenge.
"My take on this revolves around stimulating immune
response to abnormal cells that try to take on a life of their own (cancer).
Edgar Cayce was once again way ahead of his time by proposing a vaccine-like
approach to treating cancer utilizing an obscure parasite."
We thank Dr. Stonebraker for sharing his thoughts
on this fascinating topic. Does anyone else have ideas about Cayce's mysterious