21st Century Science & Technology

The Cochran Regimen
A Biochemical Approach for Treating Degenerative Diseases of Aging

by Marjorie Mazel Hecht

(Full text of article from Summer 2001 21st Century)

The Biochemical Formula

Cardiovascular Disease Clinical Study

The Biochemical Formula

The Future

Timothy Cochran
Biochemist Timothy Cochran: A passion for stopping degenerative disease.

What if you could provide the human body with the biochemicals amino acids, enzymes, and so on which are critical for optimal cell functioning, but which naturally decline 2 percent per year, after the age of 20, as the body ages? Could you then prolong healthy human life, and slow down or even stop the process of degenerative diseases? This is the question that fascinated biochemist Timothy Cochran as an 18-year-old student, sitting in a college biology class about the cell. Although the teacher and his fellow students laughed at the idea, Cochran pursued it with passion, making it his mission in life.

Many years later, established as a therapeutic biochemist, he succeeded in developing what is called the Cochran Regimen, a patented mixture of 76 essential amino acids, enzymes, hormones, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids, to keep cells optimally functional. It is the product of nearly 30 years of his research work, which he has supported with his own funds from a family business. A few years ago, he set up a nonprofit research foundation (the Cochran Foundation of Medical Research1) to further his research.

Clinical trials over the past five years, with cardiovascular and Parkinson's patients, have shown positive and often remarkable results. The Cochran Regimen relieves many symptoms of Parkinson's (especially with those who are not in an advanced stage of the disease), and has enabled some people to leave their wheelchairs, to walk without difficulty, to take care of their basic needs (such as using the toilet or getting dressed without assistance), and to have less severe tremors. Although patients at an earlier stage of the disease had considerable relief of symptoms, some improvement was seen even in those people in later stages of the disease.

For heart patients, the Cochran Regimen lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, pulse rate, and blood sugar and improves cardiac output and energy levels. It enables patients to progressively lower the doses of the prescribed drugs they are taking, many of which have known detrimental side effects. Almost all the patients in the cardiovascular clinical trial showed improvement (93 percent), and some showed considerable improvement. (See box and table.)

More recent treatment of patients with various ailments, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), have shown that the Cochran Regimen relieves symptoms. The effect on ALS in one recent case is remarkable; the patient's symptoms abated, and he was able to work normally. No other treatment has been available for this killer disease.

The Cochran Regimen is relatively inexpensive and simple to use. It is not toxic. It comes in powdered form, which is mixed with water or juice and ingested three times a day, before meals. It requires a doctor's prescription, and is adjusted to the biochemical needs of each patient, based on information from blood tests and case histories. The formulation is prepared and supplied by an FDA-approved pharmaceutical laboratory in central California.

As Cochran stresses, this is not "alternative" medicine; it is just "good science."

For an objective observer, looking at the results of the clinical trials and individual cases so far, the question is, why aren't there more and larger trials going on with cardiovascular and Parkinson's patients? Why isn't there major funding to test the efficacy of the Cochran Regimen with a host of degenerative diseases, including cancers? Why aren't we funding pilot projects to see if the use of this regimen should be routine for all aging human beings, to prevent the onset of degenerative diseases? Why don't we have a Manhattan Project approach for basic research to extend healthy human life?

Elderly on a park bench
Stuart Lewis/EIRNS
Although the average lifespan has increased, there is little basic research into the degenerative diseases of aging.

The Biochemical Formula
Cochran's attack on the problem of degenerative diseases and aging starts with very traditional molecular biological assumptions. He looked at the body's cells, how they function, and what they optimally need. As he put it: "All of your cells have a language, linguistic structure, and command system. All cells obey the laws of physics and chemistry. The only language that they know and understand is one of hormones, amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids. If you give them biochemically what they require and are asking for, the cells respond in a positive fashion, as they were designed to do."

Cochran looked at all major cell groups, and what was required to keep them functioning, rebuilding and repairing themselves when necessary, and the "command" formats that control the cycles for tissue regeneration. Then he set about to return to the body the natural substances that are designed to give and receive those commands.

"Cells talk," Cochran says. "Think of your cells as you would a hungry child. If a child is hungry, you don't give him a dirt clod. . . . If your body is screaming for help, and you don't understand the language it is speaking, the result will be only physical degeneration and, eventually, death."

Many of the biochemicals in Cochran's formulation have been well studied individually, and their effects on some diseases are known. For example, co-enzyme Q-10, melatonin, and DHEA have been found to have some partial effects on cardiovascular disease. But, Cochran points out, there have been "no concerted efforts to combine various biochemical compounds as a regimen, and to observe the effects when given in a therapeutic dose that aims to match the levels of early adulthood."

It is important to understand, Cochran stresses, that the natural compounds have to be administered in the proper quantities. It's not simply a case of throwing in one of this for the heart, two of that for the liver, and so on. He has devised specific ratios of the compounds to ensure that they work together to improve the cells of the body as a whole.

The first goal of the treatment, according to Cochran, is to activate dormant neurons, so that they can begin "communicating" again. Next, the objective is to re-activate the damaged neuron tracks, by fostering sprouting and growth of the neurons, so that they can spread out and connect with other neurons, bypassing the damaged areas of the neuron track and thus restoring normal functioning.

The key, Cochran says, is to get back into the body those particular biochemicals that will properly interface with the cellular membranes and gain transport to the neural cells, and, at the same time, to get other biochemicals to the right cellular place for repair work. He has studied the intricacies of the workings of each biochemical in such detail, that he refers to them as his "friends and buddies," as he explains what each component can and cannot do.

Cochran chose to begin the therapeutic application of his theory to cardiovascular disease, because it is so prevalent as a disease of aging—up to 60 million people in the United States, he estimates, have some form of cardiovascular disease—hypertension or elevated pulse, for example. He enjoys working in cardiology, he says, because it involves a host of different physiological systems, and the benchmark physiology is well known.

He was encouraged to take on Parkinson's Disease by a Columbia University-trained neurologist from India, who saw the data for a cardiology patient from Stanford University Hospital who had been treated with the Cochran Regimen. The neurologist, who heads the largest neurology hospital in Asia, then convinced Cochran to apply his Regimen to Parkinson's. The first Parkinson's patient Cochran treated was a pharmacologist who had early-stage Parkinson's and who had retired to India from a career at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Initially, Cochran tackled the problem of Parkinson's by studying the biomarkers for the disease, and evaluating what particular biochemicals might affect these biomarkers. For example, he was the first to see the association of Parkinson's with injury to the respiration mechanism in the mitochondria of neural cells, and he tried using coenzyme Q-10 and taurine to help overcome this. He also noticed a reduced level of glutathion in Parkinson's neural cells, and was the first to try glutathion-building nutrients, such as lipoic acid, as a remedy.

Another of his ideas was to increase the amount of taurine, which influences the movement of calcium ions in the brain, and helps stabilize the neural cell membranes. By increasing taurine levels over those normally produced by the liver, he hypothesized, two other amino acids, methionine and cysteine, would be freed up for better use in other biochemical pathways.

About 50 percent of the Parkinson's patients treated with the Cochran Regimen show dramatic improvement, and another 25 percent show moderate improvement, while the remaining 25 percent show little or no improvement. Cochran is continuing to work on the Parkinson's problem, trying to determine why patients with the same level of symptoms have such different responses to the Regimen, some recovering substantially, and others partially or not at all.

Selected results of Cardiovascular trial

Cardiovascular Disease Clinical Study
In a clinical trial, conducted in 1997-1998 in India, there were 23 cardiovascular patients, 21 male and 2 female, with a mean age of 64.5. The patients took no medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, and so on during the trial, only the Cochran Regimen.

Here are some of the results (see table):

Pulse rate. Pulse decreased promptly and then stabilized.

Blood pressure. Blood pressure fell quickly, going from an average of 154/104 to an average of 128/88 after one month, and an average of 111/79 after three months.

Cholesterol. There was an average 17 percent reduction in cholesterol.

Quality of life. After six months, only one patient was nonresponsive, while the average patient went from "a severely restricted life to one in which normal activities are now possible with minimum fatigue."

This study was undertaken by U.S.-trained physicians, who worked in India, after they saw the results of a "pilot patient" at Stanford University Hospital. This patient, who had been near death, showed dramatic improvement after taking the Cochran Regimen. The patient had been treated for heart disease for 10 years at the Stanford hospital.

The Biochemical Formula
In shorthand, Cochran's biochemistry formula is:

Cochran's formula

Here is how Cochran describes the formulation:

(1) The first ingredient is hormones, (H). When processed and secreted into the body fluids by a hormone production cell or groups of cells, hormones exercise massive physiological control, activating a wide range of physiological processes. Cochran aimed to keep the hormone level at that which it is when the body is at its biological prime.

(2) The second ingredient is amino acids (A). These are doubled. The formula includes both the essential and non-essential amino acids, which the body requires for proper synthesis of proteins in cells.

(3) The third ingredient is enzymes (E). These are enhanced three times, in order to offset the degeneration that naturally comes with age. Inside the cell, enzymes initiate and increase the rate of required biochemical reactions.

(4) The fourth ingredient is mineral ions (M), naturally occurring inorganic chemical compounds, which are required for proper cellular operations. These maintain a state of dynamic equilibrium, not only at the molecular and cellular levels, but for the entire physiological mechanism.

(5) The fifth ingredient is the essential fatty acids.

(6) DNA – RNAr refers to the regulation and control of the transcription and translation processes in the production of new and improved cellular protein. According to Cochran, even aged cells retain their blueprint for functioning, but they no longer are being given the "instructions or resources to perform the required task of normal cellular function."

(7) The point of the Regimen is to lead to a situation where the above ingredients, and the reactivated DNA/RNA functioning, enable tissue regeneration. By allowing the rebuilding and repair cycles to continue, along with protection of the cellular structure, the cells can follow the same patterns of functioning that they did when the body was 23 years old.

By biochemically invoking the "laws" of the body's cellular functioning, Cochran reasons, not only do you reach the "control cycles for tissue regeneration," but also you destroy "the biochemical deterioration state or medium that allows the disease to exist and grow." Thus, you "take away the medium that the disease must have to exist, and by doing so, you therefore destroy the disease's ability to survive."

The Future
The next step, according to Cochran, is to test the formulation in much wider clinical trials, with a variety of patients, which would provide a broader basis on which to assess when the Cochran Regimen works best, and perhaps gain some insight into exactly why it has been successful. But this requires large-scale clinical trials, and large-scale clinical trials require major funding, which right now, is not there.

Cochran's foundation has had some funding offers, but with strings attached that were unacceptable. And so, he is continuing to use his own funds to pursue the research. He recalls the words of one of his professors: " ‘If those are your ideas and you have the money to prove it, then that's fine, but you aren't going to get that kind of grant money from somebody else to prove it.' " "So," he says, "I put my money where my thoughts were."

Besides, he says, sometimes grant money can limit your research, and "we wanted to have the intellectual freedom to be able to pursue whatever lead comes up."

The word, however, is getting out on how the Cochran Regimen has helped many individuals with a variety of incurable diseases, and some major institutions are beginning to take notice. A cardiovascular study with 100 to 200 patients in southern California is in the works.

Cochran also works regularly with hospitals in California and physicians around the country. His outlook for the future is a philosophical one: "The Cochran Regimen is more effective, nontoxic, and relatively cheap, and it is an idea whose time will come," he says, "and the sooner the better for millions of people whose lives could be improved."

How has the medical community responded? In some individual cases, with enthusiasm. William Regelson, M.D., for example, a professor emeritus at the Medical College of Virginia, who specializes in aging (and who alerted this writer to Cochran's work), sees the regimen as having great promise and the medical community as being too narrow-minded to understand something new. Richard Passwater, Ph.D., a researcher who works on nutrition, has investigated and publicized the Cochran Regimen in his monthly newsletter, urging cardiovascular and Parkinson's patients to have their physicians enroll them in the regimen.

Again Cochran takes a philosophical approach. He has seen the amazement of many physicians when their supposedly incurably ill patients improve, and yet, he says, those same physicians remain unwilling to expand the use of the treatment to other patients. "They just don't want to rock the professional boat," he says. "Medicine is a self-serving business. And, many physicians don't want to understand that biochemicals instead of costly drugs can be a solution."

Ultimately, however, Cochran is certain that the proven success of his treatment will prevail, and that someday, its use in fighting and curing degenerative diseases, including ordinary aging, will be commonplace.

1. The Cochran Foundation of Medical Research, specializing in cardiovascular and neurological diseases, is a 501 (3)C nonprofit foundation, P.O. Box 9060 Cedarpines Park, Calif. 92322. Phone: (909) 338-7012; Fax: (909) 338-4010; e mail: Cochran-Foundation@worldnet.att.net. 
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