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Dr. Rich Van Konynenburg   arrow

Dr. Van Konynenburg was a generous man who spent much of his free time thinking of how to help patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and other possibly related illness.

Though he was not a medical professional, he had a curious and methodic mind, which he put to use to come up with ideas that would be of help to others. Rich believed it is possible that a methylation block, causing glutathione depletion was an important trigger in causing symptoms in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and he developed the Simple Methylation Protocol as an over the counter treatment for patients to experiment with.

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A physicist by training, Rich Van Konynenburg received a Ph.D. from the University of California Davis in 1974 and then worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Nuclear Laboratory for 30 years. He began studying ME/CFS about 15 years ago, and formally proposed a biochemical model of stress-induced glutathione depletion in the disorder in 2004.

Rich’s theory proposed that glutathione, the master anti-oxidant in the body and a key player in the cellular energy production system, was depleted in the cells of ME/CFS patients, and he believed this leads to many of the dysfunctions found in ME/CFS.

Even as Rich published his work he began readjusting it to take into account recent information implicating the methylation process in glutathione depletion and disease. After much research and attending numerous conferences and seminars Rich came to believe that a methylation block was at work in both ME/CFS and autism, two disorders he became convinced had similar underlying causes.

These papers by Rich Van Konynenburg examine ways to enhance glutathione, detoxification and energy production in ME/CFS.


  • Glutathione and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) (2004) – Rich Von Konynenburg’s original paper in describes why he believes glutathione depletion plays a central role in ME/CFS; largely superseded by the Methylation Blockade Theory paper below.
  • Lipid Replacement Therapy In this post Rich discusses the intersection between oxidative stress, the mitochondria and lipids in CFS and a possibly a new way of increasing energy production in ME/CFS
  • The Glutathione / Methylation Blockades in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) – A paper presented at the 2007 IACFS/ME Conference
  • Methylation Cycle Blockade Theory History and Underpinnings – How the Hypothesis came about, what it is, why the Yasko-Autism connection fits, and why he believes it pertains to ME/CFS (7/07)
  • A Simpler Explanation of the Glutathione/Methylation Blockade Theory (12/08) – Rich provides a step by step simpler explanation of his theory
  • Glutathione/Methylation Powerpoint Presentation – Download Rich’s powerpoint presentation to the 2008 Orthomolecular Health Medicine Society on Glutathione, Methylation and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Is There A Link Between CFS and Lyme Disease? – Rich proposes that susceptible Lyme disease patients may down with methylation cycle blockades which lead them to have chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) as well. This condition must be remedied before they can recover.


  • Augmenting Glutathione Levels in CFS – The most extensive resource on the net of the many different ways used to boost the levels of this master antioxidant in the body. This has been superseded by Rich’s Methylation Cycle Treatment Plan – see below.
  • Treating Glutathione Depletion-Methylation Blockades in CFS – A ‘Simple Guide’ to enhancing the glutathione/methylation cycles from Rich Van Konynenburg (Jan 2007) – Rich updated this in July- see below.
  • Methylation Cycle Blockade Treatment Plan – A July 2007 update to Rich Von Konynenburg’s Glutathione/Methylation Treatment Plan
  • New! The Methylation Treatment Study – presented at the IACFS/ME Conference in Reno in March, 2009. In partnership with Neil Nathan, MD., Rich Van Konynenburg presents the results of the first treatment trial of the Methylation Treatment plan.



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