From talk given October 7, 200 to the Lupus Foundation of Northern California at Stanford University Medical Center

Robert F. Cathcart, III, M.D.

Hypothesis for the Cause and Treatment

of Various Inflammatory Diseases

    Some antigen: (the primary antigen)

  1. viruses

  2. fungi

  3. foods

  4. chemicals

  5. parasites

  6. environmentals

  7. bacteria

cause antibodies to be formed that cross-react with some organs of the body such as skin, thyroid, kidneys, joints, etc.

    This causes damage to these organs which release chemicals from the interior of the cells (secondary antigens) to which more antibodies (like ANA) are formed that cause a secondary autoimmune reaction that can perpetuate itself on its own without further exposure to the primary antigen. This is one of the reasons that early and very aggressive treatment is needed to avoid this secondary reaction.

    All of the above is triggered off by free radicals that up-regulate the above reactions. Free radicals increase the affinity of antibodies for their antigen. Free radicals causing an oxidative redox potential in the affected tissues also facilitate the binding of other components of the immune system.

    Examples of:

viruses: EBV, CMV, Herpes 6, etc.

fungi: candida, aspergillus, alternaria, etc.

chemicals: MSG, silicon (breast implants, etc.), formaldehyde, mercury, lead, cadmium, insecticides, herbicides, various glues and adhesives such as for carpets, etc.

parasites: E. histolytica, giardia, etc.

environments: cat dander, pollens, molds, etc.

bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae, etc.

foods: especially nightshades, milk products, sometimes wheat gluten, etc. Any food can rarely cause difficulty.

Some organisms will cause the "leaky bowel syndrome" which increases the absorption of antigen and decreases the absorption of nutrients that might be necessary to repair injured tissues.


To test for food sensitivities, eliminate all of foods from a certain class of foods such as nightshades (Solanaceae species) which are:

1. potato, the white potato

In some baby foods, potato starch or potato flour in some breads, doughnuts, biscuits, candies, cookies and in soups. Sweet potatoes are ok. Yams are risky.

2. tomato

husk tomato, or ground cherry tomato, cherry, yellow, and plum tomatoes, European bitter sweet, tree tomato, tomatillo, strawberry tomato.

3. green pepper

tabasco pepper, garden pepper, cayenne, cherry, red cluster, hot, bell, sweet, pimento, Chili, long and red peppers.

(Black or condiment pepper is OK because it is not a nightshade.)

4. eggplant

5. Misc., garden huckleberry, Morelle, wonderberry and sunberry, pepino, Cape gooseberry.

6. Tobacco, belladonna, atropine and scopolamine.


Or if you are testing gluten:

Avoid all foods containing gluten, which are: wheat, rye, barley, oats, and short grain rice.

List of Foods Containing Gluten


beverages and

fruit juices

Ale, beer, gin, whisky, coffee essences, instant coffee, cocoa, drinking chocolate, Horlick's malted beverages, Cocomalt, Milo, Ovaltine, Postum, tomato juice.




Baking powders, all commercial breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, crumpets, doughnuts, meringues, muffins, pancakes, pastries, waffles, bagels, breadcrumbs, breadrolls, crisp-bread, matzoth, pretzels, rusks.

Candy and


All filled chocolates, toffees, fudge, caramel, marzipan, chewing gum.


All cereals containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, buckwheat or short grain rice (the kind that sticks together when you cook it.) When buying other grains, e.g., corn, it is advisable to confirm with the manufacturers that these are uncontaminated. All patent cereals, including baby cereals, are forbidden unless guaranteed gluten-free. (Only puffed rice, rice crispies and corrnflakes are safe.) Dumplings, groats, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, canned corn, vermicelli, semolina.

Dairy products

Synthetic cream, malted milk, cheese spreads.

Desserts and


All pies, prepared mixes (unless guaranteed), blancmange powders, caramels, custard powders, instant deserts, rennet powder or tablets, mallow, lemon-pie fillings, lemon/orange curds, lemon powders, trifle.


Commercial salad dressings, mayonnaise.


Pickled fish, frozen fish, in sticks, or crumbed or caked or in fish fingers, Fish canned in sauce. Fishpaste.


All flours containing the grains of wheat, barley, rye, oats, buckwheat (kasha.)


Baby preparations, glacè fruit.


Gravy thickeners and mixes (unless guaranteed gluten-free.)

Ice cream

All cones, wafers, crumbs, powders, Health ice cream.


All commercial preparations containing fillings, e.g. sausages, stews, luncheon meats, meat patties, meat pies, meatloaf, mincemeat, frankfurters, croquettes, meat pastes. Canned meat. Cold cuts (unless guaranteed pure meat.)

Sauces and


Thickened sauces, bottled sauces, chutney, pickles, chow-chow, piccalilli, Chef sauce, anchovy sauce, ketchup, horseradish sauce.


Potato chips and French-fried potatoes (unless guaranteed gluten free.)


All canned and dried soups, all thickened soups, all cream soups, soup powders.


Celery salt, chutney, curry powder, mustard.


Fishpaste, meat spread, chocolate spread, cheese spreads, peanut butter (unless guaranteed gluten-free), sandwich spreads.


Vegetables in sauces, mayonnaise, cream. Baby preparations (unless guaranteed gluten-free.)

Vegetable mixes.

Exceptions to the above list of forbidden foods are any commercial products that are gluten-free and bear a statement to that effect on the package.

N.B. Read all labels carefully. If in doubt if gluten-free (i.e. no wheat, rye, oats, barley or buckwheat) omit item from the diet. So many processed foods are adulterated with wheat flour or monosodium glutamate which contains gluten, and can be added without declaration to salad dressings.

(Above from Kavin, H., et. al. 1969, S.A. Med. J. 43 (4) 25.1. in Hills CH. Good Food, Gluten Free. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, 1976.)

Quinoa is a grain that does not contain gluten and is available at local health food stores.

These gluten foods are particularly likely to cause the leaky bowel syndrome. This problem is present in many patients and does not always have to be diagnosed as coeliac disease.


The use of large amounts of certain nutrients (zinc, manganese, chromium, selenium, calcium, magnesium, multiple B vitamins, vitamin E, EPA and vitamin A in cod liver oil, alpha lipoic acid, etc.) compensate for inefficiency in absorption of nutrients because of the leaky bowel syndrome, for increased needs due to the necessity of repairing damaged tissues, and for the inefficiencies in metabolism of diseased tissues.

Massive doses of ascorbic acid orally and sometimes sodium ascorbate intravenously are used to neutralize free radicals. Ordinarily, in health, the electrons that neutralize free radicals are carried by free radical scavengers but actually come from the mitochondria. When the mitochondria are damaged they not only cannot supply the electrons but become the source of massive amounts of free radicals.

When we use massive doses of ascorbic acid determined by bowel tolerance to ascorbic acid in the range of 30 to 100 to 200 grams a day or use intravenous sodium ascorbate in the range of 60 to 120 grams a day, we are throwing away the ascorbate for the electrons carried. Ascorbate delivered in sufficient doses will shut down inflammatory reactions medicated by free radicals. Sufficient doses must be absorbed to force a reducing redox potential onto the affected tissues.

Robert F. Cathcart, III, M.D.

127 Second Street

Los Altos, CA 94022


650-949-5083 FAX