Revealing the science behind effective natural treatments.

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Got Shingles? Add on Multiple Sclerosis for a Devastating Effect….

herpes zoster

People who get shingles are more likely to also develop multiple sclerosis, according to a study in Taiwan.

Many people do not realize it, but a case of shingles (herpes zoster) actually increases the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and reported on by the Reuter’s news agency, showed that “people who developed shingles had four times the risk of being diagnosed with MS within the following year, relative to people who had never experienced shingles.” (1)

“MS occurs when the protective coating around nerve fibers begins to break down – slowing the brain’s communication to the rest of the body. Symptoms include fatigue and problems with balance and muscle coordination, as well as memory loss and trouble with logical thinking in some people.” (1)

Results of the study, which took place in Taiwan, showed that “of 1,262,200 sampled patients, 29 from the study group and 24 from the control group had MS during the 1-year follow-up period. After adjusting for monthly income and geographic region, the hazard of MS was 3.96 times greater for the study group than controls.” (2)

Dr. Jiunn-Horng Kang wrote that “About 2.5 million people have MS worldwide, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. Most experience their first symptoms between the ages of 15 and 50. Shingles occurs most commonly in the elderly, but is not uncommon in younger people.” Dr. Kang was one of the study authors, and works at the Taipei Medical University Hospital.

In Dr. Kang’s study, “approximately 100,000 people with shingles were younger than 45. Reviewing a database from the insurer that covers 98 percent of Taiwan’s population, the researchers found more than 300,000 people with shingles. They compared them to nearly 950,000 others with similar characteristics, who didn’t have the disease.
Over the course of a year, fewer than one in 10,000 in the group with shingles developed MS – three times as many as in the group without shingles.” (1)


It’s important to note that Dr. Kang’s study did not show that shingles actually causes MS. However, Dr. Kang said that “there are ‘several potential mechanisms’ that could explain why the two diseases are linked … for instance, shingles is associated with disruptions to the immune system, which in turn might trigger MS.” (1)

This suggests the need for effective treatments that target the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes shingles. Team

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Shingles Rates Are Going Up (And What You Can Do About It)

shingles rates

The number of individuals who end up developing shingles is increasing.

An article published on April 14, 2014 on said that all across America, Herpes Zoster rates “have increased by 39% from 1992 to 2010 among adults older than 65 years of age.” (1) This data comes from a recent CDC study, using Medicare data from 1992 to 2010.

Some scientists believe that the increase in herpes zoster is associated with the widespread vaccination of children against the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox.

However, a growing body of evidence shows that this is unlikely. Another theory says “that exposure to varicella disease may boost a person’s immunity to VZV and reduce the risk for VZV reactivation as zoster. Some studies have shown reduced risk for zoster in adults who are exposed to varicella, but other studies have not shown this effect.” (1)

Regardless of the reason for the increase, Dr. Hales, one of the authors of the article mentioned above, wrote that “we do know that many cases of zoster could be prevented by the zoster vaccine. CDC recommends that adults aged 60 years or older receive 1 dose of zoster vaccine to help prevent the disease and its potentially debilitating complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia (1).”

“Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) (latent) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.” (2)

herpes zoster prevention

Are there treatments that target the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)?

Yes there is.

Zostavax is a vaccine that may reduce the risk of developing a shingles outbreak, and decrease the long-term pain from post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). In adults vaccinated at age 60 years or older, however, protection from the vaccine decreases within the first 5 years after vaccination.

There are also antiviral drugs, such as Zovirax or Valtrex. However, these medications, when effective, only work to shorten the time of the shingles outbreak. They are ineffective against the latent VZV virus.

Gene-Eden-VIR and Novirin are natural remedies designed to help the immune system target latent herpes viruses, including the VZV. A recent clinical study tested the effect of the Novirin and Gene-Eden-VIR formula on viral infections, including an infection with herpes viruses.

VZV is a member of the herpes family of viruses.

Novirin shares the same formula as Gene-Eden-VIR. The difference between the two is that Novirin has higher quality, more expensive ingredients. The Novirin/Gene-Eden-VIR formula was tested in two post-marketing clinical studies published in September 2013 and March 2014, respectively, in the peer reviewed medical journal Pharmacy & Pharmacology. However, Novirin contains higher quality, more expensive ingredients. These ingredients were selected to fight latent viruses even more effectively than Gene-Eden-VIR.

“Because of the increase in the shingles rate, we recommend that people talk to their doctors about Novirin or Gene-Eden-VIR, the most effective natural antiviral products on the market.” – The Team

Interested individuals can view the two published studies on the Novirin and Gene-Eden-VIR formula here, and


(1) Herpes Zoster Rates Are Increasing, but Why? Published on April 14, 2014.

(2) CDC – Shingles (Herpes Zoster). Last Updated January 10, 2011.

(3) Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013.

(4) Eden-VIR Decreased Physical and Mental Fatigue in a Post Marketing Clinical Study That Followed FDA Guidelines; Results Support Microcompetition Theory. Published in March 2014.

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Can Therapy Exorcise Shingles Caused Depression?

symptoms of depression

Did you know? Symptoms of depression may be caused by viral infection.

So shingles is linked to major depression. Who knew?

According to WebMD, there is actually a laundry list of reasons for major depression including:

Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.

Certain medications. Some drugs, such as Accutane (used to treat acne), the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, can increase your risk of depression.

Conflict. Depression in someone who has the biological vulnerability to develop depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.

Death or a loss. Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, may increase the risk of depression.

Genetics. A family history of depression may increase the risk. It’s thought that depression is a complex trait that may be inherited across generations, although the genetics of psychiatric disorders are not as simple or straightforward as in purely genetic diseases such as Huntington’s chorea or cystic fibrosis.

Major events. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring.

Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can lead to depression.

Serious illnesses. Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness.

Substance abuse. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.

Now science has added the virus that causes shingles to the list.

“Those with herpes zoster (HZ) had a higher incidence of developing major depression,” according to a study published on May 7, 2014 in Psychosomatic Medicine (2).”
“Previous studies have shown that herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia were associated with anxiety, depression, and insomnia (2).” This study followed patients from the year 2000 through 2010.

The same study found that “those with herpes zoster had a higher incidence of developing major depression… (and the virus was) … an independent risk factor for major depression (2).”

virus and depression

Another study reported that “in the United States, the incidence of HZ exceeds 1% per year in persons ≥60 years of age; more than a million new cases occur each year; and one-third of the population is expected to suffer HZ during their lifetime – numbers destined to increase with the increasing age of the population.” (3).

In other words, as the population ages, the number of patients with herpes zoster will increase, and the numbers of those with major depression may also increase.

WebMD notes that the pain associated with Shingles can also lead to depression. “Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common complication of shingles. It lasts for at least 30 days and may continue for months or years. This pain may make it difficult for the person to eat, sleep, and do daily activities. It may also lead to depression.” (4).

“After you get chickenpox the virus remains inactive…in certain nerves in the body. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves after many years. The reason the virus suddenly becomes active again is not clear. Often only one attack occurs. Shingles can develop in any age group. You are more likely to develop the condition if: you are older than 60, you had chickenpox before age 1, and your immune system is weakened by medications or disease.” (5).

“We recommend that anyone concerned about developing shingles, or depression due to the presence of the VZV, talk to their doctor about antiviral treatments against the varicella zoster virus.” – TargetShingles Team

Two natural antiviral supplements on the market today, which were shown to be effective against herpes viruses (of which VZV is a member) are Gene-Eden-VIR and Novirin.

Novirin shares the same formula as Gene-Eden-VIR. The difference between the two is that Novirin has higher quality, more expensive ingredients.

The Novirin/Gene-Eden-VIR formula was tested in two post-marketing clinical studies published in September 2013 and March 2014, respectively, in the peer reviewed medical journal Pharmacy & Pharmacology. (6)

Interested individuals can view the two published studies here, and


(1) Risk of depressive disorder among patients with herpes zoster: a nationwide population-based prospective study. Published on May 7, 2014.

(2) Varicella zoster virus-specific immune responses to a herpes zoster vaccine in elderly recipients with major depression and the impact of antidepressant medications. Published in April 2013.

(3) WebMD – Shingles Health Center. Last updated on December 18, 2012.

(4) MedlinePlus – Shingles. Last updated on June 6, 2013.

(5) Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013.

(6) Eden-VIR Decreased Physical and Mental Fatigue in a Post Marketing Clinical Study That Followed FDA Guidelines; Results Support Microcompetition Theory. Published in March 2014.

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Memory Loss or Paralysis: How Shingles Could Result in a Stroke

stroke symptoms

Did you know? A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” usually happens when an artery to the brain becomes blocked or ruptures.

Most people don’t realize it, but strokes aren’t always caused by a blocked artery. No, in fact, research now shows that the cause of stroke may be traced all the way back to a virus. In the research we’ll be discussing below, the virus in question is the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which causes both chickenpox and shingles.

A study published in May 2014, in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that in general, there is “an increased stroke rate within 6 months following zoster.” (1) A more targeted review of the medical literature published in the journal Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy, on May 12, 2014, found that people with shingles in the eye had a 4.5 fold increase in the risk of stroke. (2) This is significant since “Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) represents approximately 10 to 25 percent of all cases of herpes zoster.” (3)

Interestingly, Dr. Sinead M. Langana wrote that “The low antiviral prescribing rate needs to be improved; our data suggest that antiviral therapy may lead to a reduced stroke risk following zoster.” Dr. Langana is from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.

stroke victims

This image is taken from an article published on Mail Online. (A U.K based online magazine.)

What does this mean?

Clearly, doctors should take into account the risk of stroke faced by shingles patients, and should take care to implement an antiviral regimen as soon as a diagnosis is made. Individuals who have experienced a shingles outbreak should educated themselves about the varicella zoster virus and what they can do to reduce their risk of stroke.

For example, did you know that VZV enters into a dormant (latent) state after the immune system defeats its initial active phase (chickenpox)?

The virus is never entirely killed off by the immune system because the virus retreats, and hides away deep in the body’s nerves. While there, it behaves as if it is asleep…or as if it is a criminal, conducting clandestine operations where the immune system police cannot detect it. While dormant (or latent) the virus never stops making proteins or replicating entirely. It merely slows down these processes to an almost undetectable level. While in this state, it bides its time, and from its location in the nerves, it can reactivate whenever the immune system declines in efficiency.

We believe that when an individual understands this, he or she will want to learn how to help the immune system target latent viruses.

Is there a way to do this?

Yes there is.

Another study, published in the peer reviewed journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy, in an advance edition on antiviral drugs, found that a product called Gene-Eden-VIR reduced symptoms associated with herpes viruses (the varicella zoster virus is a member of the herpes family). (4) Authors wrote that “individuals infected with a latent virus … reported a safe decrease in their symptoms following treatment with Gene-Eden-VIR.” (4) The study authors also wrote that, “We observed a statistically significant decrease in the severity, duration, and frequency of symptoms.” (4) In addition, this natural antiviral was recently proven to reduce mental and physical fatigue in another post-marketing clinical study that followed FDA guidelines.

But if stroke may be the end result of shingles, especially when the condition affects the eye, you may ask:

“How do shingles in the eye develop in the first place?”

The answer is that “Like many viruses, the herpes simplex 1 and varicella-zoster viruses are present in most adults. The viruses in the herpes family usually live around the nerve fibers in humans without ever causing a problem. Occasionally, the viruses will start to multiply, or they will move from one area of the body to another, and that is when herpetic disease breaks out. This often happens when the immune system of the body is weakened by some other health problem.” (See WebMD, last reviewed on May 21, 2012) (5)

People with shingles in the eye usually have very painful symptoms, which include “pain in and around only one eye, redness, rash, or sores on the eyelids and around the eyes, especially on the forehead. Sometimes the rash breaks out on the tip of the nose, (and there can be) redness of the eye, swelling and cloudiness of the cornea. (5)

“A reactivation of VZV and an outbreak of shingles can be bad enough without having to worry about the possibility of stroke. That’s why we recommend helping the immune system to target the latent varicella zoster virus.”

- The Team


(1) Sinéad M. Langana, Caroline Minassiana, Liam Smeeth, and Sara L. Thomas “Risk of Stroke Following Herpes Zoster: A Self-Controlled Case-Series Study.” Published in May 2014.

(2) Grose C1, Adams HP. Reassessing the link between herpes zoster ophthalmicus and stroke. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 May;12(5):527-30.

(3) Shaikh S1, Ta CN. “Evaluation and management of herpes zoster ophthalmicus.” Am Fam Physician. 2002 Nov 1;66(9):1723-30.

(4) Polansky H, Itzkovitz E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2013, 4, 1-8

(5) WebMD – Genital Herpes Health Center – Herpes and the Eye

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Facial Paralysis Can be Caused by Shingles

eye herpes

Did you know? Shingles can affect the eye and cause loss of vision.

Although older people usually suffer from shingles, the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) can actually infect people of all ages. Research shows that when the immune system is damaged, the virus can attack the eye. This condition is called herpes zoster opthalmicus (HZO).

In up to 31% of those with HZO, the virus causes paralysis in muscles outside of the eye.

Dr. Chaker and colleagues wrote in a recent study that, “HZO may cause extraocular muscle palsies of the third, fourth, and sixth cranial nerves in 7-31% of patients … the extraocular muscle palsies (muscular paralysis) usually appear 2-4 weeks after the rash, but sometimes occurs simultaneously with the rash or more than 4 weeks later.” (See the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice. from April, 2014)(1) Dr. Chaker and colleagues are part of the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis at the University of El Manar in Tunisia.

Allow us to point out that Herpes Zoster (HZ), commonly called shingles, is a distinctive syndrome caused by reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV). This reactivation happens whenever immunity to VZV declines as a result of aging or immunosuppression (a damaged immune system).

Herpes Zoster can happen at any age, yet it “commonly affects the elderly population.” (See Mayo Clinic Proceedings, from March 2009)(2) When the immune system is damaged, a latent virus, such as VZV, can increase in number, causing shingles, and resulting diseases.

The CDC notes that “Nearly 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Anyone who has had chickenpox or received chickenpox vaccine in the past may develop shingles.” (See CDC, last updated May 1, 2014)(3)

In addition to muscular paralysis, herpes zoster can also cause the following conditions in the eye: “conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of the eye, and the inner surface of the eyelids), keratitis (inflammation of the eye’s cornea), episcleritis (inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that lies between the conjunctiva and the connective tissue layer that forms the white of the eye), scleritis (a serious inflammatory disease that affects the white outer coating of the eye), uveitis (inflammation of the uvea), secondary glaucoma (a condition characterized by fluid pressure in the eye that can lead to blindness), cataract (a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to a decrease in vision), and retinal necrosis (an aggressive, necrotizing inflammation of the eye’s retina).” (1)

shingles paralysis

Herpes zoster opthalmicus (HZO) can cause paralysis of the facial muscles.

Are there effective treatments against the VZV?

WebMD says that, “several antiviral medicines-acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir-are available to treat shingles. These medicines will help shorten the length and severity of the illness. But to be effective, they must be started as soon as possible after the rash appears. Thus, people who have or think they might have shingles should call their healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Analgesics (pain medicine) may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching.” (See WebMD, last updated May 1, 2014)(4)

Allow us to remind everyone that there are also two safe and effective natural VZV remedies designed to help the immune system target the latent virus. These remedies are Novirin and Gene-Eden-VIR. The formula of these products was tested in two separate post-marketing clinical studies, which found that the formula was antiviral, and that it reduced symptoms caused by herpes viruses. (See Pharmacology & Pharmacy, August 2013)(5)


(1) Chaker N, Bouladi M, Chebil A, Jemmeli M, Mghaieth F, El Matri L. Herpes zoster ophthalmicus associated with abducens palsy. J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2014 Apr;5(2):180-2.

(2) Priya Sampathkumar, MD, Lisa A. Drage, MD, and David P. Martin, MD, PhD Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and Postherpetic Neuralgia. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. March 2009.

(3) CDC – Shingles (Herpes Zoster). Last updated May 1, 2014.

(4) WebMD – Shingles Health Center – Topic Overview. Last updated December 18, 2012.

(5) Polansky H, Itzkovitz E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2013, 4, 1-8

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Shingles and CFS: One Virus May Explain Both Conditions


A shingles rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and that clears up within 2 to 4 weeks.

Doctors have long suspected that those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), may be infected with a virus. The problem has always been obtaining sufficient evidence to back this hypothesis.

Now, however, at least one study found that individuals who experience a shingles (herpes zoster) outbreak are almost twice as likely to develop Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). (1)

“Infection of the peripheral ganglia causes at least some cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), with a neurotropic herpesvirus, particularly varicella-zoster virus (VZV).” (See Medical Hypotheses, from 2009) (2)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder accompanied by unexplained, persistent fatigue (tired and weak all the time), in which several factors contribute to the development of the disease, such as latent viral infections.

Man with CFS

Dr. JS Shapiro wrote in the study quoted above that “virtually all CFS symptoms could be produced by an infection of the peripheral ganglia, with infection of the autonomic ganglia causing fatigue, postural hypotension, and sleep disturbances, and infection of the sensory ganglia causing sensory symptoms such as chronic pain.” (2) Dr. Shapiro is from the University of Michigan.

What he means, is that when the latent VZV infects the nerves, individuals can experience long term loss of memory or concentration, feeling unrefreshed after sleep, muscle pain, headaches, multi-joint pain without redness or swelling, and a frequent sore throat.

By itself, this doesn’t suggest that the virus, which causes shingles, also causes CFS.

However, Dr. Shapiro continued, writing that “infections of the peripheral ganglia are known to cause long-term nerve dysfunction, which would help explain the chronic course of CFS. Herpesviruses have long been suspected as the cause of CFS; this theory has recently been supported by studies showing that administering antiherpes agents causes substantial improvement in some CFS patients.” (2)

As we are sure you know, “Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) (latent) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.” (See the CDC’s website last updated on January 10, 2011) (3).

Apparently, according to the findings of these new studies, the latent varicella zoster virus may also be the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

If you would like to learn more about latent viruses and the chronic conditions and diseases that they can cause, we suggest that you visit the website of the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease.

-The Team

Click to learn more about latent viruses like VZV.



(1) Tsai SY1, Yang TY, Chen HJ, Chen CS, Lin WM, Shen WC, Kuo CN, Kao CH. Increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome following herpes zoster: a population-based study. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Sep;33(9):1653-9.

(2) Shapiro JS. Does varicella-zoster virus infection of the peripheral ganglia cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Med Hypotheses. 2009 Nov;73(5):728-34.

(3) – Shingles (Herpes Zoster) – Signs & Symptoms

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Did you know that about half of all shingles cases occur in men and women 60 years old or older?

Welcome to In these pages, you’ll discover a wealth of science backed information.

On this site, we’ll be covering the findings of various scientific and medical studies on the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). As we do, we’ll translate the academic language that’s normally used, into everyday language that you’ll be able to understand.

Why are we doing this?

Well, because almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in their lifetime and because there are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in this country, we believe that it is important for the average person in America and elsewhere to understand just how dangerous the Varicella Zoster Virus is.

We explain how the virus can actually cause disease, even when in a latent (some would say “sleeping”) state.

To the side, you’ll see our postings categorized and archived for your convenience. We invite you to browse around, read some of the articles, and then to contact us with thoughts or questions.

Yours in health,

-The team.

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