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Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue

The first time I read about Methylene Blue, I was not sure that what I was learning about was “natural.”

Only in the sense that the name reads like a pool chemical, more than a bioactive substance. Although, it is s blue dye, so I can see why I, and others, might mistake this for something you shouldn't put in your body

Now, I know (and want you to know) that methylene blue is something that some people may benefit from. Recent research as well as clinical use shows that this substance could help to benefit all kinds of people.

Here’s How Methylene Blue Could Work

Taking a blue dye, just because it’s natural, doesn’t seem like a good idea I’m sure you’d agree.

However, methylene blue is believed to improve cellular and mitochondrial function and decrease the production of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.

There are also studies that indicate it may inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO), nitric oxide (NO) synthase, and guanylate cyclase, which are also helpful at boosting health.

But, let’s get into what you may want to take methylene blue for, or at least what doctors like myself are recommending it be used for.

1 - Can Help With Septic Shock

Septic shock isn't incredibly common, but it is incredibly dangerous. Especially 

Methylene blue can help deal with septic shock by helping to elevate dangerously low blood pressure.

Specifically Methylene blue has shown potential in restoring blood pressure and heart function. While some believe it can prevent hypotension independently, it appears most effective as a supplement to other treatments for septic shock.

I should mention that even though there is strong evidence supporting its effectiveness is substantial, the FDA has not approved methylene blue for this use, and further clinical trials are ongoing.

2- Has Antimicrobial Properties

Another thing to know about methylene blue is it’s not “new.”

In fact it was first utilized in1891 for treating malaria, something most of the under-developed word still deals with,  and is deemed both safe and effective for its treatment.

Now, more recent research is exploring its use alongside other antiparasitic drugs to prevent resistance.

Methylene blue, activated through photodynamic therapy (which is where certain wavelengths of light are applied to a localized area)  is effective against some deadly bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as een help to “turn off” viruses such as hepatitis-C and HIV-1.

It is also used in resistant cases of plaque psoriasis.

There’s also evidence to show it may serve as an antifungal agent, potentially inhibiting candida by disrupting mitochondrial function.

3 - Could Boost Brain Health:

One exciting about methylene blue is how it could benefit brain health.

Studies, like the one published in RSNA Journals indicate it  may enhance performance in memory tasks.

In this small,  clinical trial,  twenty-six adults were given low doses (0.5 – 4.0 mg/kg) of methylene blue (MB) to observe brain activity.

The low dose administration was shown to have increased functional MR imaging activity during sustained attention and short-term memory tasks, and it also enhanced memory retrieval.

When comparing people who took methylene blue (MB) with those who didn't, the ones who took MB had more brain activity when remembering things in different parts of the brain. Also, people who took MB were 7% better at remembering things correctly.

In studies with pieces of rat brains, using high amounts of MB stopped certain brain signals from working.

It may also prevent the brain from aging rapidly.

Scientists have been looking into whether methylene blue could help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

They think it might help by stopping harmful proteins known as tau proteins and amyloid plaque from building up in the brain. Researchers are also starting to see if MB can help with other brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, but they haven’t found strong proof that it works for these diseases yet.

That being said, it may even affect how the brain reacts to fear, specifically, phobias.

In a study on claustrophobic adults, participants were randomly assigned either methylene blue (260 mg) or a placebo after undergoing extinction trials in an enclosed space.

The results suggested that methylene blue could enhance memory and fear extinction retention following successful exposure sessions. However, its effectiveness for other phobias remains to be determined through additional clinical trials.

4 - May Ease Depression:

Lab studies indicate that methylene blue acts as a potent monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), particularly inhibiting MAO-A more than MAO-B.

What does that mean, exactly?

Well it can lead to

  1. Mood Improvement: By keeping neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine active longer, it can improve mood and help treat depression and anxiety.
  2. Reduction of Mental Health Symptoms: MAO-A inhibitors can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  3. Enhanced Cognitive Function: They can improve mental clarity and cognitive functioning due to higher levels of key neurotransmitters.
  4. Potential Neuroprotective Effects: There is some evidence suggesting they might protect neurons from damage.

 

WARNING: In this instance combining methylene blue with antidepressants could be dangerous due to the risk of serotonin toxicity, especially at doses exceeding 5 mg/kg. The antidepressant potential of methylene blue requires further investigation through clinical trials. So, do not take it for depression unless you’re working with a physician.

5- Could Help Prevent Advanced Skin Aging

Since methylene blue has antioxidant properties, there are some signs it could help you keep your skin more youthful, for longer.

Researchers discovered it helped build stronger skin and kept skin cells alive longer compared to other similar treatments.

When they used methylene blue on skin cells, it positively changed the levels of elastin and collagen, which are crucial for healthy skin.

However, these results have only been seen in lab tests on skin cells. We still need to test it on animals and humans to see if using methylene blue on our skin or taking it as medicine will have the same benefits.

Interesting Stuff, Eh?

While methylene blue may initially come off as an unusual and chemical-like substance, its potential benefits are both fascinating. It has some pretty wide-ranging benefits, including aiding in critical health conditions such as septic shock and demonstrating antimicrobial properties, to potentially enhancing brain health and addressing mental health issues, and even offering anti-aging effects for the skin,

However, I do think it’s  crucial to proceed with caution, especially if you’re on medications like SSRIs and more.  So, with that being said, I’d say if you’re interested in using  methylene blue you should consult with your healthcare professional to maximize potential benefits while mitigating risks.

 

 

Talk soon,

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