Rich Van Konynenburg / In Memoriam

I am very sorry to let you know that Rich Van Konynenburg, PhD, died quietly early Tuesday morning. His wife contacted our doctor’s group to let people know, and asked that the information be passed on to those who might need to know. He appears to have suffered a heart attack.

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.

Rich Van Konynenburg’s formal education was in engineering and the applied physical sciences. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of California–Davis in 1974. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for two years, and worked for the University of California at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 30 years, doing research and development in nuclear materials and technology. He has studied Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) for the past 16 years. In 2007, he proposed a hypothesis for the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of CFS, called the “Glutathione Depletion-”Methylation Cycle Block” hypothesis. Based on this hypothesis, he has been encouraging the application of methylation cycle treatment (originally developed to treat autism), to the treatment of ME/CFS. This type of treatment was found in a clinical study with Neil Nathan, M.D., to provide significant benefit to about two-thirds of the patients who participated, and its use is growing in the ME/CFS community internationally. In 2009, Rich proposed a link between Lyme disease and ME/CFS involving oxidative stress and the depletion of glutathione.

What Is the Methylation Protocol

Rich will be greatly missed by the many patients to whom he gave hope through his attention at a time when few were giving attention to research into these areas. Not only did he come up with his theory, but he spent time in conversation with the patients, answering questions, thinking deeply about problems, and speaking worldwide to professionals, encouraging them to use a protocol that was simple, safe, and for many, of great help.Our hearts go out to his family.


  1. Yes he was an amazing Man. Full of love, healing, and compassion. I have faith in all the limitless possibilities when we leave the earth. I truly believe Rich will continue his work in a new way with the energy force so much more powerful than we can know.

  2. May he rest in peace. I had the opportunity to be someone he helped along the way. He was an amazing man.

  3. Such a loss – our hearts go out to his wife and family. Thank you for writing such a lovely article and sharing the links to his work.

  4. Hi Rod, WordPress has been having some problems, and we had a bit of trouble getting the links and pictures stable, but they should be working now. If anyone still has trouble, let me know.

  5. The “methylation protocol” links do not appear to be working.

  6. Thank you, Sally. As others have mentioned, Rich was out there every day supporting people. What a kind and humble man.

  7. Flo, I know it would be important to Rich to know that his work continued. We are fortunate that he was so free with sharing what he believed, leaving a legacy for patients to make use of.

  8. Thank you for your careful tribute to Rich. Through the links you have provided, Rich can continue to help people–which is what he did so very, very well.