Multiple Myeloma progression caused by pathogens?

Multiple Myeloma progression caused by pathogens?

Infection, whether by two gram-negative bacteria, Klebsiella and Streptococcus, or by other pathogens such as Epstein Barr and Herpes viruses appears to be important in both causing and driving progression in Multiple Myeloma, along with the possible loss of butyrate producing bacteria.


Klebsiella, Streptococcus and nitrogen-recycling in the gut microbiome

Changes to the gut microbiome, particularly increases in nitrogen-recycling bacteria, can promote the aggression of Multiple Myeloma (1). Specifically, much higher levels of Klebsiella and Streptococcus were found in people with Multiple Myeloma over the healthy controls. MM patients actually had a higher diversity in their microbiomes. 

Researchers see the nitrogen issue as a two way process. During MM progression, tumour cells promote urea nitrogen, which accumulates in the body and gut and this increases the size of the colonies of those two bacteria. But by performing Fecal Microbiome Transplants on mice with MM, researchers showed that Klebsiella pneumoniae actually also promoted MM progression via its synthesis of glutamine. MM progression relies on the abilities of these two bacteria to recycle nitrogen. Mice fed on a glutamine-deficient diet showed a slowed MM progression. Glutamine is an amino acid found in protein, and especially animal protein.

The regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines by bacteria was also noted. MM cells rely on Interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factors.

What can you do to restrict Klebsiella and Streptococcus?

Klebsiella is a gram-negative bacterium, part of the Enterobacteriaceae family and not surprisingly exhibits similar characteristics to E coli. The bacteria are found in water and sewage, and in humans are common in the intestines and stools. Their presence in other areas, however, can cause problems (e.g. pneumonia, UTIs, meningitis, sepsis). Most common problems stem from K. pneumoniae.  Research shows their presence in Hospitals, not just in stools but in the throat and on the hands. They can be easily passed. Klebsiella does become resistant to antibiotics and is hard to treat because it forms protective biofilms around colonies, inhibiting immune attack.  

Apart from restricting glutamine and meat consumption, other diet changes might help. The favourite food of Klebsiella is primarily starch and secondarily sucrose and lactose, so you might cut these from your diet too. Klebsiella and its infections can be treated with Neem, coriander, clove, pomegranate husk tincture, and bee propolis. 

Streptococcus can cause a diverse variety of infections (e.g. strep throats, UTIs, sepsis, styes, vaginal bacteriosis, sinus congestion and pain). Streptococcus and its infections can be simply treated with onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, thyme and oregano.

Loss of Short-chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)

The study also noted that the microbiome in the MM patients contained lowered levels of SCFA-producing gut bacteria. For example, there are three groups of bacteria with 60 to 90 members in each group that each produce what some gut experts call 'super-molecules' - butyrate, propionate and acetate. These molecules play significant roles in human health. Butyrate (2) is know to heal the gut wall; it is anti-inflammatory, attacks cancer cells, crosses the blood brain barrier, helps colonise other helpful bacteria and it has an important role in regulating the immune system (3). Butyrate appears at lowered levels in MM patients, and this may be a crucial factor in why Interleukin and other inflammatory immune system markers are higher. The addition of Clostridium butyricum in the research, reduced Multiple Myeloma progression.

The presence of both bacteria and SCFA-producers will show up on a GI microbiome test.

Is infection the real cause of Multiple Myeloma?

There is a slight twist to the above, as there is research suggesting that maybe the increased immunoglobulin levels causing MM occur in order to TARGET infections! This seems the case in B-cell lymphoma too. 

Pathogens like EBV, HCV, cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, varicella zoster virus (VZV), H. pylori, Toxoplasma gondii, and Borrelia burgdorferi have all been linked with MM. 

There is an extensive review (4) by a long list of researchers from France, Mexico and Canada on whether the monoclonal immunoglobulin produced by patients diagnosed with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), or those with multiple myeloma (MM) targets infectious pathogens. Differences occur in the microbiomes of the two groups. Purified immunoglobulin from 23.4% of patients specifically recognized at least one pathogen. EBV was the most frequent target (15.6%), with five other common pathogens herpes virus simplex-1 (2.9%), varicella zoster virus (1.6%), cytomegalovirus (0.8%), hepatitis C virus (1.2%), and H. pylori (1.2%). 

Butyrate can be used as a supplement.

Pau d’arco and olive leaf extract can be very useful for some viruses.

A gut rebuild seems an essential need for all Multiple Myeloma patients.

Go to: How to rebuild your gut with Chris Woollams





  1. Alterations of gut microbiome accelerate multiple myeloma progression by increasing the relative abundances of nitrogen-recycling bacteria; Microbiome 2020 May 28; Xingxing Jian et al;

  2. Butyrate significantly improves your health -

  3. The Immunomodulatory functions of Butyrate; J Inflamm Res; 2021 14, 6025-6041; M. T. Siddiqui, Cleveland Clinic;

  4. JCI Insight 2017 Oct 5; 2(19); Adrian Bosseboeuf et al -



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