One of the most gratifying experiences I have had during my medical career was visiting Dr. Len McEwen in London in the 1990’s at his office on Wimpole Street (next to famous Harley Street and the Royal Society of Medicine). Dr. McEwen, an immunologist and allergist and a brilliant clinician, has helped countless patients with complex medical problems. Most importantly he was the originator of a form of allergy treatment called enzyme potential desensitization, or EPD.
Today, the American version of EPD is LDA, or low dose antigen therapy. I have used LDA with my patients for the past 20 and have seen it dramatically help problems from food allergy, hay fever and asthma to colitis, IBS, arthritis, fatigue, migraine headaches, eczema, ADD and even autoimmune disorders. What these conditions have in common are immune and allergic aspects contributing to the cause of the illness.
The reason I call LDA a medical breakthrough is both its effectiveness for so many conditions and the way it works in the body. LDA uniquely builds tolerance in the immune system by targeting what are called T reg cells. Through the use of beta glucuronidase, (a lymphokine which is normally found throughout the body), the T reg cells are instructed to become tolerant to the antigens (extracts of food, pollens etc. that one can react to) in the LDA. The antigens are extremely dilute and include over 100 foods, molds, pollens, dust mites, environmental chemicals and gut bacteria (which have been associated with auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens, lupus and ulcerative colitis).
Compared to other allergy treatments, LDA can be more precise at targeting the T reg cells to train the body not to react to substances, which in reality cause no harm. Through a series of doses given every 2 months, LDA instructs immune memory cells to stop producing inflammatory molecules leading to recovery from a multitude of symptoms. Though this can take many months to accomplish, a study we did on EPD in the early 2000’s with over 10,000 patients showed significant improvement in over 80% of patients. There is no other form of allergy treatment that has this level of success with so many diverse conditions.
Thank you Dr. McEwen for introducing us to this valuable therapy.