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Alabama Lifestyle Medicine - Dr. Noah Gudel, D.O.

Methylene Blue Blog Article

I had heard about methylene blue (hereafter “MB”) for some time, but had never dug into it much, until after reading Mark Sloan’s book on the cancer industry. I noted that he had another book on MB so, impressed by how well-referenced his cancer book was, I ordered it. What an amazing substance both to learn about and to add to my healthcare arsenal!


Discovered in 1876, MB was first used as a treatment for malaria, but more recently has been used both as a denim dye and a fish tank antiseptic. In healthcare settings it is used as a reversal agent, allowing the red blood cells to release their oxygen to the tissues, when inhibited by such toxins as cyanide or carbon monoxide. It is also well-known in Emergency Rooms everywhere (where it gets frequent use) for its ability to stain floors blue. Surgeons use it both to identify tissue, and to tattoo certain anatomical landmarks so they can be permanently identified, such as biopsy sites.1

What it does

Methylene blue is a powerful intramitochondrial antioxidant,2 which has been shown to inhibit nitric oxide.3 Nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit cytochrome-c oxidase,4 inducing carcinogenesis, tumor growth and metastases.5,6 Inhibition of nitric oxide has been shown to provide a striking survival benefit in several types of cancer.7,8

What makes MB particularly interesting as it selectively targets cells with abnormal metabolism9 and exhibits increased uptake in abnormal tissues.10 MB may permanently cause cancer cells to revert back to normal cells.11

Be careful with ANY supplement

One caveat to MB use is that supplements, in general, have been found to be contaminated; Ayurvedic supplements, in particular, have been shown to be contaminated with heavy metals.12  At low doses, the presence of contaminants may not be of great concern, but at higher doses, non-specific effects due to accumulation of various toxic and bioactive substances are possible. Industrial-grade and chemical-grade MB sold as a dye or stain can consist of more than 8% or 11% of various contaminants, and these substances have been used in studies, potentially producing misleading dose responses and toxic effects.13,14

Personal experience

Before I was cognizant of the contamination issues, I had ordered a bottle from Mark Sloan’s website, EndAllDiseaseNow.com, and within hours I noticed that I just felt sort of…sharper. I was much more productive throughout the day, more “on task” and had no afternoon energy slump. The best way to state how I felt was as if I’d had 4 cups of coffee, with none of the unpleasant side effects of jitteriness or racing heart! And the next morning, I did not take it for whatever reason, yet the effect seemed to persist. I have since learned that the half-life of MB is 24 hours, so at that point I still had half of it left in my system, which is why the effect is so long-lasting.


Yes, the compounded tablets are expensive when compared to the cheaper liquid supplements, however, one way to justify the cost is to tabulate the potential cost of even one spill of the liquid supplement: new shoes, new clothes, and potentially new paint to cabinets, new counters, and new wood floors. By that calculation, the compounded version is inexpensive!

As with every medication or supplement, discuss this with your physician, as there are certain groups who should avoid this, particularly those who have a condition called G6PD, those that take medications for depression, and – as always – those who are pregnant or nursing.


  1. Zografos GN, Stathopoulou A, Mitropapas G, et al. Preoperative imaging and localization of small sized insulinoma with EUS-guided fine needle tattooing: a case report. Hormones (Athens). 2005 Apr-Jun;4(2):111-6.
  2. Xue H, Thaivalappil A, Cao K. The Potentials of Methylene Blue as an Anti-Aging Drug. Cells. 2021 Dec 1;10(12):3379.
  3. Kalambokis G, Economou M, Fotopoulos A, Bokharhii JA, Christos P, Paraskevi K, Konstantinos P, Katsaraki A, Tsianos EV. Effects of nitric oxide inhibition by methylene blue in cirrhotic patients with ascites. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Oct;50(10):1771-7.
  4. Brunori M. Nitric oxide, cytochrome-c oxidase and myoglobin. Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Jan;26(1):21-3.
  5. Gallo O, Masini E, Morbidelli L, et al. Role of nitric oxide in angiogenesis and tumor progression in head and neck cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998 Apr 15;90(8):587-96.
  6. de Oliveira GA, Cheng RYS, Ridnour LA, Basudhar D, Somasundaram V, McVicar DW, Monteiro HP, Wink DA. Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in the Carcinogenesis of Gastrointestinal Cancers. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2017 Jun 20;26(18):1059-1077.
  7. Pershing NL, Yang CFJ, Xu M, Counter CM. Treatment with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME provides a survival advantage in a mouse model of Kras mutation-positive, non-small cell lung cancer. Oncotarget. 2016;7(27):42385-42392.
  8. Lampson BL, Kendall SD, Ancrile BB, et al. Targeting eNOS in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Res. 2012;72(17):4472-4482.
  9. Barron ES. The catalytic effect of methylene blue on the oxygen consumption of tumors and normal tissues. J Exp Med. 1930; 52(3): 447-456.
  10. Winer JH, Choi HS, Gibbs-Strauss SL, et al. Intraoperative localization of insulinoma and normal pancreas using invisible near-infrared fluorescent light. Ann Surg Onc. 2010; 17(4):1094-1100.
  11. Barron ES. The catalytic effect of methylene blue on the oxygen consumption of tumors and normal tissues. J Exp Med. 1930; 52(3): 447-456.
  12. Saper RB, Kales SN, Paquin J, et al. Heavy metal content of ayurvedic herbal medicine products. JAMA. 2004;292(23):2868-2873. doi:10.1001/jama.292.23.2868
  13. Atamna H, Nguyen A, Schultz C, Boyle K, Newberry J, Kato H, et al. Methylene blue delays cellular senescence and enhances key mitochondrial biochemical pathways. FASEB J. 2008;22:703–712.
  14. Auerbach SS, Bristol DW, Peckham JC, Travlos GS, Hebert CD, Chhabra RS. Toxicity and carcinogenicity studies of methylene blue trihydrate in F344N rats and B6C3F1 mice. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2010;48:169–177.