Quackery Exposed: The Nemechek Protocol
Overview of the Protocol and HistoryEveryone has heard of it but no one knows what it is. Here it is explained. The Nemechek Protocol was developed by Dr. Patrick Nemechek from Nemechek Consultative Medicine. He is an internal medicine doctor. He claims to be an expert in the Autonomic Nervous system. It is their belief that autistic people and people with other developmental disabilities are lacking autonomic nervous system function. He says "I can explain the underlying cause of most diseases in just 13 words: 'the failure of our brains sets into motion the failure of our bodies.'"
According to this protocol, it rehabilitates the brain by targeting the autonomic function of the brain. It is supposed to strengthen the immune system by supporting the body's ability to control inflammation.
The protocol is made up for four components:
He believes by restoring the equilateral in the body that the "symptoms" of the "disease" will be eliminated.
The Nemecheks use it for a variety of different conditions but has a focus on autism. According Nemechek, autism occurs as a bacterial overgrowth in the gut. He believes it causes systemic inflammation in the body and leads to altered immune cells in the brain.
He believes that altered immune cells lead to disordered neural pruning, which causes developmental delay and brain injury.
The protocol is a two step process.
First step aims to reblance intestinal bacteria and omega fatty acids, which allows the child's brain to begin to heal and function properly. It starts with extra virgin olive oil and introducing inulin and omega 3 fatty acid supplements into the child's daily routine. Omega 6 fatty acid, probiotics is to be eliminated.
The second step is reduce brain inflammation. It is done by a daily dose of Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids are to be eliminated.
In addition to the book that must be purchased, he offers full consultations and customized treatment plans in his office as well as Skype consultations.
If there were inflammation, like Nemechek claims, there would be a spike in white blood cells. White blood cells are always present when inflammation is. The protocol does not recommend blood testing to determine inflammation.
Omega 6 is eliminated because they believe that will restore the balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and aid in cellular repair.
Information of the supplements in the protocol:
Inulin is a starchy substance found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It works by not being digested. It allows bacteria in the gut can use it and grow. It is used for constipation, type 2 diabetes, obesity and controlling high triglycerides.
Risks: gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. These side effects are more severe at high doses of inulin (more than 30 grams).
Extra Virgin Olive oil is the oil from the olive tree fruit and and seeds. It is used to prevent heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headache. It reduces cholesterol and has anti inflammatory effects.
Risk: May cause neasua is a small number of people
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce trigicerides. There are no side effects.
Is Nemechek Reliable?His credibility was damaged in open court. In the case of Hannah Combs v. Department of Health and Human Services. This was a case of seeking entitlement under an HPV vaccine injury by Combs Mother, Jenny Howard. Nemechek was called as the only expert witness.
The court was trying to determine if he was a credible witness. He filed two expert reports. He also testified in the hearing. During the cross examination, the Respondent asked Nemechek about his expertise necessary to provide a reliable expert opinion for the case. He is an osteopath and has never held board certification in immunology, neurology, or the sub specialty of the autonomic nervous system. He also has no experience conducting research into some of the matters , such as the function of cytokines in the immune system. He was previously board certified in internal medicine but that had lapsed.
Nemechek cited numerous publication in his testimony, which he represented too deal with immune system dysfunction. When these citations were closely examined, they were mostly abstracts, articles that were pre publication but he was not a primary author. He plagiarized other peoples work that he reviewed.
He maintained that he was specially trained in the study and treatment of autonomic problems in Portugal in 2010 but could not provide any details from the course or any people or institutions responsible for the course.
Instead of providing facts, Nemechek relied on his own experience in his clinical practice and his efforts to treat problems he believes are due to autonomic dysfunction. He believes its the cause to all illness.
During the hearing he testified in, he talked about his protocol and how it supposedly reverses brain inflammation and that can reverse autonomic damage. He claimed it to be successful for Alzheimer's disease and seizure thresholds as well as autism.
Nemecheck admitted that his protocol lacks clinical support and has never been subjected to any peer reviewed publications. If you have ever been to University, you know how important that is.
After losing his credibility and being the only expert witness, the entitlement was denied.