MICOM

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Sundance Nachez Mineral Water is said to be a "complex mineral solution" that can benefit health by raising cellular oxygen levels. It is marketed as MICOM in China, South Korea and Mexico, and as O2 MYGA III in other countries. It is said to have been discovered in 1998 by "bobby r. simpson"&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8 Bobby R. Simpson, Ph.D., a molecular biologist who manufactured and marketed it from his Web site. This product is known at MICOM I.I.I.I. in China, South Korea and Mexico, and as O2 MYGA III in other countries.

It is (or was) also distributed by Somamed Internacional S.A. De C.V. (formerly Reyan Internacionale S.A. De C.V.), of El Paso, Texas, whose founder and president, Reynaldo Maldonado, described himself as "a scientist and inventor, with a solid background in electrical therapy." In 2001, the company's Web site stated:

  • Maldonado is "known for his inventions and 31 years of research in health and healing."
  • Scientists know that the primary reasons that cancers grow and spread are: the semi-anaerobic (low oxygen) environment which allows them to flourish; and, the inability of the immune system to identify and eliminate the cancer cells before they begin to reproduce. Let's look at these reasons. With regard to oxygen level scientists know that the amount of oxygen in body cells varies, depending on health and physical condition. For example, healthy athletes have cellular oxygen levels of 9.2-9.8 ppm (parts per million). The average individual has cellular oxygen levels of 7.2-7.8 ppm, whereas a person suffering from illness or disease may have a level of only 5-7 ppm.
  • Scientists also know that raising cellular oxygen levels to 10 ppm or higher, and maintaining that level for 15 hours, would create an environment that would be lethal to many diseases, including cancer.
  • Damaged cells frequently become encapsulated in a membrane which isolates them from the immune system. The membrane limits the supply of oxygen creating a semi-anaerobic (low oxygen) environment, in which these cancerous cells thrive, reproducing even more rapidly.
  • MICOM can raise cellular oxygen levels to 14-15 ppm, and to maintain that level for 24 hours.
  • MICOM can find and bond with a number of [free] radical ions and other deleterious substances, which would be flushed out of the body through the kidneys.
  • MICOM can "tag" the cancer cells so they would be recognized and eliminated by the immune system.
  • Produce high cellular oxygen levels, reducing the amount of oxygen that would normally have to be delivered by the blood, lowering the demand on the heart and lungs, and thus greatly reducing stress on patients with advanced cancer.

The above notions are false. Here are the facts:

  • The oxygen that cells use is delivered to them through the bloodstream. Blood oxygen levels are maintained within a narrow range, and the body's supply of oxygen is obtained through breathing and would not be doubled by taking a mineral concoction.
  • The notion that cancer is related to low-oxygen levels was discredited many years ago. Cancer cells do not use oxygen any differently from normal cells [1]. So even if cellular oxygen levels were low and could be doubled, there is no reason to believe that this would help the patient.
  • The normal immune system does not recognize cancer cells. So the idea that a mineral product can inspire it to scavenge and destroy cancer cells is nonsense. So is the idea that cancer cells are protected from the immune system by a membrane that limits their oxygen supply.

In April 2001, the listed cost was $375 to $500 for a supply for intravenous use, $875 for six 16-ounce bottles for 14 weeks of follow-up treatment, and $29.95 per 16-ounce bottle for "preventative" use. According to an e-mail message I received from a prospective patient, the rights to MICOM were sold to Biopulse International, which operates several Mexican clinics. However, I have found no indication of this on the Somamed or Biopulse Web sites.

Meaningless Reports

Although a disclaimer on the Web site's home page stated that MICOM is not "intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease," the site also claims:

Since its recent introduction MICOM has been administered to numerous individuals in eight countries. Language and cultural differences prevent acquisition of information on many of the users; but based on the information that has been supplied the following statements can be made. There appear to be only two outcomes for cancer victims who received MICOM: either their cancer went into remission, by ceasing to grow, shrinking in size, or disappearing entirely; OR, the victim's organs were already too seriously damaged by the cancer or by previous treatments, and they died of organ failure. In no case did the cancer continue to grow.

In an apparent effort to support it therapeutic claims, the site provides brief "observations" of 16 patients treated with MICOM. None of the descriptions provides enough detail to reach an understanding of the patient's disease or progress. Some of the patients received standard cancer treatment, which means that it would be difficult or possible to separate any effect of the MICOM from that of the standard treatment. Few of the descriptions include measurable data, and none followed the patient's progress long enough to determine whether their cancer was actually reduced or eliminated. In some cases, improvement was declared after only a few days.

In December 2000, after reading what I had written about MICOM, Maldonado invited me to telephone him so he could arrange "a full presentation with some very impressive results that you can verify." I replied by asking for a list of MICOM's ingredients and various documents that support his claims of effectiveness. Although he promised to send them, I have received nothing.

Complications Reported

On August 8, 2000, in Kelso, Washington, 52-year-old Edward Steward died following MICOM administration by Joyce E. Brown, R.N, a nurse whose license had expired 16 months previously. According to press reports:

  • Sreward, who had liver cancer, had traveled from Louisiana to get Brown's treatment.
  • Brown ran an at-home business called Nature's Friend, and sold vitamins and herbal remedies in addition to administering MICOM.
  • One of Brown's former patients had a severe reaction to the medication and spent several days on a respirator [3].

Brown's nursing license was summarily suspended in April 2001 [4] and revoked in August on grounds that she had (a) practiced while her license was expired; (b) practiced without supervision of a licensed physician, and (b) administered an unapproved drug to cancer patients. In February 2002, a jury convicted her of second-degree manslaughter. Victor Herbert, M.D., J.D., who testified for the prosecution, stated that the man's death was caused by high levels of potassium in the MICOM that stopped his heart. Steward's daughter has filed a $5 million wrongful death suit against Brown in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

After the conviction was announced, I was unable to locate Web sites for Somamed Internacional or Reyan Internacionale. In June 2002, Brown was sentenced to three months in jail and five years on probation, during which she must refrain from any medical or nursing procedures and may not operate the business known as "Nature's Friend."

Reference

  1. Green S. [oxygen.html Oxygenation therapy: Unproven treatments for cancer and AIDS]. Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 2(1):6-12, 1998.
  2. Maldonado R. Email to Stephen Barrett, M.D., July 22, 2000.
  3. Sunde S. Cancer 'cure' ended in death: Kelso case a reminder to be cautious with alternative treatments. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 14, 2001.
  4. State issues immediate license suspension to Kelso nurse accused of using unapproved alternative cancer medication; one patient dies. Washington State Department of Health News release, April 13, 2001.