Hi.  I have just passed my kidney transplant's 2 year anniversary.  I had two rejections at first, which I was fortunate to overcome.   I lost my kidneys from systemic lupus,  a severe autoimmune condition, and it took 8 years on dialysis to the point I could hardly function before I finally got my cadaver kidney.  

After my transplant, at first, I had a hard time gaining weight, and I had GI issues from the meds.  Adding protein smoothies to my diet was a good solution for me and helped with both problems.  I cannot tolerate whey products/protein powder, and soy is just plain bad for you, so I chose brown rice protein powder back then for my smoothies.  I also have to eat gluten-free, so I was used to using brown rice alternatives.  

I recently ran out of the brown rice protein, and decided to use HEMP protein powder.  I chose one high in protein, as opposed to some which have a lot of fiber content and not so much of the protein.   I have used it a few times so far.  

Then, today, someone posted on FaceBook about how wonderful HEMP protein is for the immunity - how the high levels of certain proteins and amino acids increase T-Cell/White cell production and antibodies, bolstering the immune system.  I immediately became alarmed, knowing that is the LAST thing a transplant and/or Lupus patient needs in their diet.  I had not been able to find anything to do with transplants and HEMP online, so I figured it was alright to use when I bought it.  I checked for medication interactions, all of that.  

I also found out from reading the article below, that HEMP protein is really  high in the amino acid arginine (also found in high levels in things such as nuts or chocolate), which can cause outbreaks of herpes or shingles, etc.  I try to avoid this amino acid since I get frequent shingles outbreaks due to my transplant meds allowing the virus to break out.  Shingles is just another form of herpes virus.  There is also the one that causes cold sores, and the type that causes genital herpes.   Any stress or high arginine diet can trigger it for me, and it's awful, with the way it comes on, miserably bad headache for days, GI symptoms, dizzines, feeling really ill, etc.   The blisters are also quite painful and can keep me up at night, even if I only have one. 

Anyway, just wanted to warn you all of that.  I don't feel that doctors are always up on these things and there really isn't a lot of warning out there for us, either.   There have not been any official studies into the effects on people with transplant or autoimmunity, they are just going on what is known about these proteins and amino acids and their effect on the body.

Here is the link to the full article so you can read the details, and maybe share it with your doctor or others who may have transplants or autoimmune issues.  I think that elderly people should be warned about the high arginine foods, too, as they seem to be more vulnerable to shingles - along with people like AIDS patients, etc.


Auto-Immune Conditions

  • Hempseed protein is comprised of up to 65 percent globulin edistin, which is required by the human body for making serum globulin, albumin and immune system chemicals such as antibodies and gamma globulin. While this nutrition is beneficial for the majority of the population, victims of autoimmune conditions may find hempseed products are too stimulating on the immune system. There has been no research yet on hempseed products and autoimmune conditions, however it is known that the combination of essential fatty acids and amino acids in hempseed increases white blood cells in animals and humans. Readers suffering from autoimmune conditions or who are taking immuno-supressive drugs should use hempseed protein with caution.

Read more: The Drawbacks of Hemp Protein Powder | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7574277_drawbacks-hemp-protein-powder.html...

Tags: AIDS, acids, amino, arthritis, autoimmune, contraindications, diet, disease, hemp, herpes, More…immunostimulants, lupus, powders, protein, rejection, shingles, transplant

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And in addition, avoid Echinacea, Alfalfa, Astragalus, Golden Seal, and other supplements that stimulate the immune system as far as white cells and antibodies go.   

This is very good advice Roxeal. I make it a strict rule to have a script from the tx doc for everything that goes into my mouth besides food & water -- including OTC drugs and supplements.

Gee, those cannabis brownies I ate during hep C treatment were a real life saver or at least great muscle relaxer for me.

I guess it all has to do with how well we're doing, how many meds we're on, etc.

Like everything, one size, one rule, does not fit all :)

No, it has to do with the immune system - cannabis is a different substance than hemp

Thank you so much for sharing. It's good to be kept aware of this kind of information.

Hi Roxeal, Thank you for posting this information. I only take what the doctors say I can take, I even ask about over the counter med too before I take them. I am not  very knowledgeable about supplements, so I do not take them, however I know many others do.

Well, hemp is actually a food, and not considered a supplement, so people might not even think to ask a doctor.   Doctors are also known to be behind on a lot of supplements and nutrition products, also, their thing is drugs, so I figured it would be good to post it here.  You are right, it is good to listen to the doctor, if you have a condition that threatens your life.  In many other instances, I have found that the doctors were extremely limited in what they could do to help me and I was greatly able to help myself (and others) through nutritional medicine.  This does take knowledge of your disease or illness, research, and always being open with your doctor about additional supplements or treatments you are using.  They know that people do this nowadays and if they are a good doctor, they will ask about additional things you are taking or using.  I don't recommend people with chronic diseases use supplementation without a lot of assistance, though, because that is where you get into trouble, especially if you are on meds already, can really be dangerous.  It just requires balance, and a lot of knowledge.  I have taken over 20 years to gain that knowledge, but with the hemp products, here we are with something new and even I, with all my experience, was caught off guard by just a food product. 

Hi Roxeal

Very interesting information that you share.   I was drinking hemp milk for 6 years on a daily basis after my second transplant and having a hemp protein shake every now and then.  I believe the hemp milk was ok for me but something was not right with the protein powder. I know how to muscle test for foods and drug interactions and was picking up some interaction with the hemp protein so I totally stopped all hemp drinks and powders. 


I felt that the high iron in the protein was the culprit.  You mention the high arginine profile which is true but all foods contain lyseine and L-arginine. It is all about balance. When you have a virus outbreak it is best to try and have more lyseine rich foods.


Like ONO said it is not a one size fits all.  It has been my experience if you eat healthy (I am also a big fan of gluten free) you will be healthier.


Sounds like you really know your body. 

While lyseine is found in many, if not all, foods, the amount can vary considerably. Many vegetarians are commonly deficient in lyseine and methionine and need to ensure that they choose foods with proper amounts of these essential amino acids.

You are correct that increasing lyseine can prevent and heal herpes breakouts. Lyseine actually works by supressing arginine metabolism. During a break out, supplemental lysine may be needed in addition to agrinine reduction. 

Did you read about arsenic in rice?




This include organic brown rice too.  This STINKS!



Found this great website and thought of you.



They tell me I may be in rejection again, so I wish I'd known about this sooner, not sure if it contributed to it or not


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