What is Methylene Blue (M-Blue)?
Methylene Blue (M-Blue) is a bioactive antioxidant substance that regenerates and repairs the mitochondria and helps restore their breathing function.
It is a potent nutraceutical that crosses the Blood Brain Barrier and possesses many effective applications for delaying cellular aging and enhancing key mitochondrial biochemical pathways.
Originally approved by the FDA for its treatment of methemoglobinemia, it has been used for decades for various purposes in the conventional medical system in hospitals and for various medical applications.
At Sponaugle Wellness, we use Methylene Blue both orally and intravenously to treat Lyme Disease, long-haul COVID, babesia, and anaplasma, to name a few conditions. It has been shown that Methylene blue can be used to kill parasites, help mitochondrial function and protect the brain from disease while simultaneously enhancing nerve cell signaling.
History of Methylene Blue:
Methylene Blue is a medication that has been around for a long time and has been around longer than any other pharmaceutical on the market. Methylene Blue was the first fully synthetic drug ever used in conventional medicine.
In the early 20th century, psychiatrists were using Methylene Blue in the experimental treatment of schizophrenia.
Initially, methylene blue was developed as an antimalarial by Paul Guttmann and Paul Ehrlich in 1891. It was used to prevent and treat malaria during World War II, and it still outperforms other synthetic antimalaria pharmaceuticals for treatment.
In 1891, a German physician and noble prize recipient discovered that when Methylene Blue was injected into animals in the lab, it would quickly concentrate in the brain. And had an uncanny ability to target diseased tissues in the body selectively.
Ehrlich coined the term “Magic Bullet” for this unique action displayed by Methylene Blue. A term still in use today.
Methylene Blue has since been used to treat dementia, cancer chemotherapy, malaria, methemoglobinemia, urinary tract infections, cyanide, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
What Are the Mechanisms of Action for Methylene Blue?
Your brain’s neurons rely almost entirely on mitochondrial-derived energy. Failure of mitochondrial function can affect the rest of your body, but it’s particularly detrimental to your brain. This is where Methylene Blue steps in as one of the most important anti-aging and neurological disease-preventing biological agents.
Methylene blue improves memory by increasing brain cell respiration, or how the brain cell utilizes oxygen. It increases ATP (energy) production to provide more cellular energy for better overall brain function, including cognition, mood, and memory.
By quickly crossing the blood-brain barrier, it improves mitochondrial efficiency and respiration, acts as an antioxidant, and increases brain cell life span, resulting in improved memory and mood.
Methylene Blue has been shown to protect the brain from the disease at low doses by acting as an electron-donor to the mitochondria, which increases ATP production. ATP is the currency of life and the energy that powers humans.
If our production of ATP declines, physical and mental performance declines. Even healthy individuals can benefit from a boost in ATP production. Methylene blue can also increase the amount of NAD+ produced by the mitochondria.
Methylene Blue inhibits monoamine oxidase and acetylcholinesterase activity which increases levels of catecholamines and acetylcholine. And boosts serotonin and norepinephrine, affecting anxiety, depression, and memory.
Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain:
Studies show dramatic increases in cellular oxygen consumption and glucose uptake when using Methylene Blue. MB increases CMRO2 (cerebral metabolic rate) through increased activity in the mitochondrial electron transport chain.
Methylene Blue functions as an alternative electron carrier in the electron transport chain in mitochondria. It accepts electrons from NADH and transfers them to cytochrome c.
Cytochrome complex (cytochrome c) is a component of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. Playing a role in apoptosis and as an antioxidant.
Methylene Blue also stimulates glucose metabolism. Taken together, increases in CMRO2 and glucose uptake mean that MB elevates oxygen consumption which helps glucose increase ATP production.
Increases in ATP production provide more cellular energy for better overall brain function, including cognition, mood, and memory.
Methylene Blue assists brain cell respiration by increasing oxygen. And donating electrons to the electron transport chain within mitochondria. This same process creates ATP within mitochondria from the food you eat.
So MB contributes to this energy-production process in place of the nutrients you get from your food. Increasing cellular energy positively affects mood and memory.
Methylene Blue is a potent antioxidant. Reactive oxygen species are produced inside mitochondria. The first free radical that is formed inside a cell is superoxide. MB will bind to superoxide and reduce it to water. It stops the oxidative cascade at its very beginning. Before it gets a chance to do damage.
Improves Memory & Cognitive Function
Methylene Blue improves memory by increasing brain cell respiration, or how the brain cell utilizes oxygen. It increases ATP production to provide more cellular energy for better overall brain function, including cognition, mood, and memory.
Methylene Blue As An Antioxidant
Methylene Blue is a metabolic enhancer and an antioxidant. Methylene Blue binds to superoxide and reduces it to water. It stops the oxidative cascade at its very beginning before it gets a chance to do damage.
Methylene Blue As A Sirtuin Activator
One of the major purposes of anti-aging is sirtuin activation. Sirtuin activation is now seen as a major way to increase healthspan. In clinical trials, we see that Methylene Blue treatment can help activate sirtuins. In one trial, Methylene Blue increased the NAD(+)/NADH ratio in hepatocytes and up-regulated SIRT1, thereby decreasing PGC-1α acetylation.
In addition, hepatic mitochondrial DNA contents and oxygen consumption rates were enhanced. Methylene Bluetreatment also notably activated AMPK, CPT-1, and PPARα: the AMPK activation relied on SIRT1. Some researchers believe it can also directly improve cellular and mitochondrial function and decrease the production of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.
Methylene Blue also helps with dementia and has a host of other benefits in addition to dementia help. It is also being studied for its potential to inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO), nitric oxide (NO) synthase, and guanylate cyclase.
Methylene Blue boosts acetylcholine.
Research shows that Methylene Blue is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with a preference for muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Meaning MB prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine and makes more available in your brain.[vii]
Methylene Blue is an antidepressant
Methylene Blue is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). It inhibits MAO-A more than MAO-B, but inhibits both at large doses.[viii]
One study in 1987 showed that 15 mg per day of Methylene Blue was a potent antidepressant in those with severe depression.[ix]
Another study with 31 Bipolar Disorder patients compared 300 mg per day of Methylene Blue with 15 mg per day. The patients were also on lithium treatment. The study showed that the 300 mg dose of Methylene Blue was a “useful addition to lithium in the long-term treatment of manic-depressive psychosis”. And patients were significantly less depressed.[x]
Methylene Blue resists Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are associated with a buildup of the protein Tau. Clinical trials show that Methylene Blue inhibits Tau formation. And is under consideration as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Methylene Blue has an inhibitory action on the cGMP pathway and affects other molecular events closely related to the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Methylene Blue boosts neuron resistance to forming amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. And helps repair impairments in mitochondrial function and cellular metabolism.
Research also shows that cholinergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic systems all play important roles in the development of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders. Methylene Blue provides beneficial effects in mediating these pathways.
This is particularly significant because most existing treatments for Alzheimer’s can only prevent the disease before it is diagnosed. But Methylene Blue shows promise in delaying the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia after it is diagnosed.
Methylene Blue Uses in Conventional Medicine
Many doctors who know about this powerful medication that’s been a gold standard for over 100 years refer to it as a “rescue magic bullet.”
In emergency medicine, it is used in the following ways:
- To treat shock and anaphylaxis
- As a neuroprotective agent
- To treat drug overdose
- To treat chemical poisoning (such as carbon monoxide or cyanide poisoning)
- Bon monoxide or cyanide poisoning)
Additional study revealed that Methylene Blue could be helpful in a host of conditions:
- It can help prevent cardiac angina and arrhythmia by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase.
- It improves hypotension (low blood pressure) associated with various clinical states.
- It can significantly improve circulation in liver cirrhosis and severe hepatopulmonary syndrome.
- In septic shock, MB causes short-term but reliable blood pressure and cardiac function improvement.
- MB kills a contagious, antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that can cause dangerous infections in superficial or deep excisional wounds.
- When exposed to light, Methylene Blue can help hepatitis-C and HIV-1 patients by deactivating the nucleic acid that viruses require to produce new viruses.
- It can help in treatment-resistant plaque psoriasis.
Health scientists have become intrigued by the relationship between methylene blue and Alzheimer’s. It’s been demonstrated that MB can decrease the formation of the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms. And it can help Alzheimer’s patients by promoting the repair of impaired mitochondrial function and cellular metabolism.
New research suggests that MB induces cancer cell death by generating cellular oxidative stress – in plain English, it delivers a whacking great dose of oxygen to the cells, creating a cellular environment that’s inhospitable to the cancer cells. This discovery has led to ongoing studies of MB for cancer treatment.
Good news – methylene blue is generally safe for intravenous infusion. However, MB is contraindicated for patients with severe renal insufficiency and is relatively contraindicated in G6PD-deficiency, an inherited, easily controlled condition that causes the spontaneous destruction of red blood cells.
Methylene Blue Medical Disclaimer
A medical physician must clear all patients for medical clearance regarding a G6PD deficiency and a live or kidney disorder. Pregnant women or those who are lactating are also discouraged from treating with methylene blue.