Heavy Metal Detoxification: Avoid It At Your Peril
- Neuronal uptake and via axonal transport to the spinal chord (sympathetic neurons) or brainstem (parasympathetic) – from here back to the brain.
- Venous uptake and via the portal vein back to the liver
- Lymphatic uptake and via the thoracic duct to the subclavian vein
- Uptake by bowel bacteria and tissues of the intestinal tract
- mercury, lead, cadmium, iron, manganese, and aluminum (are the most common).Common Sources: metallic mercury vapor escapes from dental amalgam fillings (they contain about 50% mercury, the rest is zinc, silver copper, tin and trace metals). Cadmium: car fumes, cigarette smoke, pigment in oil paint Lead: outgassing from-paint, residues in the earth and food chain from the time when lead was used in gasoline, contaminated drinking water Aluminum: cookware, drinking water
- such as tetanus toxin, botulinum toxin (Botox), ascarid (from intestinal parasites), unspecified toxins from streptococci, staphylococci, Lyme disease, chlamydia, tuberculosis, fungal toxins and toxins produced by viruses. Biotoxins are minute molecules (200-1000 kilodaltons) containing nitrogen and sulfur. They belong to a group of chemical messengers which microorganisms use to control the host's immune system, host behavior, and the host´s eating habits.
- such as dioxin, formaldehyde, insecticides, wood preservatives, PCBs etc.
- aspartame (diet sweeteners), MSG, many spices, food colorings, fluoride, methyl, and propylparaben, etc.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Some metals are extremely toxic, even in the most minute dose, whereas others have very low toxicity, even in high doses. However, dependent on the dose, all metals can become toxic to the body. Iron can cause severe oxidative damage, copper may compromise liver function and visual acuity, selenium and arsenic have been known to be used to murder people and so on.
- Most metals serve a functional role in the body. For example, selenium is needed in the enzyme that restores oxidized glutathione back to its functional form with reduced glutathione. Another important function of selenium is its role as a powerful antioxidant in preventing cancer.
- Some metals have a narrow physiological range. That means the difference between a therapeutic dose and toxic overdose is very small. Selenium is an example of this. Magnesium, on the other hand, has a wide physiological range and thus is more difficult to overdose.
- Some metals have no physiological function. Mercury, lead, aluminum are in this group. Even the smallest amounts have negative physiological effects.
- Biochemical individuality: some people may react more or less than others to the presence of heavy metals in the tissues. Some people may develop a severe chronic illness after exposure to a few molecules of mercury, whereas others may be more resistant to it. Genetic deficiencies in the enzymes responsible for the formation of the metallothioneins and glutathione production and reduction are examples.
A recent study (JAMA, April 2, 2003;289(13):1667-1674) revealed the following: It is estimated that nearly 60,000 children each year are born at risk for neurological problems due to methylmercury exposure in the womb. One in 12 U.S. women of childbearing age has potentially hazardous levels of mercury in their blood as a result of consuming fish, according to government scientists.
The National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families published in May 2003, that the following fish are lowest in methylmercury :
- Catfish (farmed)
- Blue Crab (mid-Atlantic)
- Fish Sticks
- Fish Sticks
- Flounder (summer)
- Trout (farmed)
- Wild Alaskan
GI problems: candida, food allergy, leaky gut syndrome, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease
- Genetics – Several genes are involved in coding for the production of inherent detox mechanisms. Example: ApoE being the major repair protein in neuronal damage and responsible for removing mercury from the intracellular environment. There are 4 different subtypes, one of them making the individual prone to accumulating Hg: (Danik, M. and Poirier, J. Apolipoprotein E and lipid mobilization in neuronal membrane remodeling and its relevance to Alzheimer's disease. In: Brain Lipids and Disorders in Biological Psychiatry, edited by Skinner, E.R.Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2002, p.53-66). Also well known and studied are the individual genetic differences in glutathione availability. Several companies in the Integrative Medicine Field are offering genetic testing today. So far zmy clinical results were not impressive when I based my detox program on genetic testing only.
- Prior illnesses (i.e. kidney infections, hepatitis, tonsillitis etc.)
- Surgical operations (scars often restrict the detoxifying abilities of whole body sections, such as the tonsillectomy scar with its effect on the superior cervical ganglion - restricting lymph drainage and blood flow from the entire cranium)
- Medication or ´recreational´ drug use (overwhelming the innate detox mechanisms)
- Emotional trauma, especially in early childhood. This issue is huge and almost never appropriately addressed
- Social status (poor people may still drink contaminated water)
- High carbohydrate intake combined with protein malnutrition (especially in vegetarians)
- Use of homeopathic mercury (may redistribute Hg into deeper tissues)
- Food allergies (may block the kidneys, colon etc.)
- The patient's electromagnetic environment (mobile phone use, home close to power lines etc. Omura showed that heavy metals in the brain act as micro antennae concentrating damaging electro smog in the brain
- Compromise of head/neck lymphatic drainage (sinusitis, tonsillectomy scars, poor dental occlusion)
- Number of dental amalgam fillings over the patient's life-time, number of the patients mothers amalgam fillings
- Proteins provide the important precursors to the endogenous metal detox and shuttle agents, such as coeruloplasmin, metallothioneine, glutathione and others. The branched-chain amino acids in cow and goat whey have valuable independent detox effects. Amino acid supplements, especially with a concentrate of branched chain amino acids are valuable.
- Metals attach themselves only in places that are programmed for attachment of metal ions. Mineral deficiency provides the opportunity for toxic metals to attach themselves to vacant binding sites. A healthy mineral base is a prerequisite for all metal detox attempts (selenium, zinc, manganese, germanium, molybdenum etc.). Substituting minerals can detoxify the body by itself. Just as important are electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), which help to transport toxic waste across the extracellular space towards the lymphatic and venous vessels.
- Lipids (made from fatty acids) make up 60-80 % of the central nervous system and need to be constantly replenished. Deficiency makes the nervous system vulnerable to the fat soluble metals, such as metallic mercury constantly escaping as odorless and invisible vapor from the dental amalgam fillings.
- Without enough fluid intake the kidneys may become contaminated with metals. The basal membranes swell up and the kidneys can no longer efficiently filtrate toxins. Adding a balanced electrolyte solution in small amounts to water helps to restore intra-and extracellular fluid balance
- DMSA: Developed in China in the late 50s. Action via sulfhydryl group. Needs to be given every 4 hours around the clock to prevent redistribution of Hg and lead into the CNS. Approved for use in lead toxicity. Causes major brain fog, memory problems during detox, depression and in children sometimes seizure disorders due to redistribution of metals. Indiscriminate use in the US. Common dose: 50-100 mg q4h – 3 days on, 11 days off for 3-12 months
- DMPS: developed in Russia as further development of BAL. Available both injectable and oral. The oral form is the most effective oral chelator commercially available. 1 tabl TID. Common dosage: 3 days on, 11 days off. The injectable form can be used to mobilize Hg and lead from hard to reach places, such as the autonomic ganglia, joints and trigger points. The IV injection works primarily on the endothelium (several hundred square meters) and the kidneys. Common dosage: 3 mg/kg body weight once/month. The IV form should never be used unless the patient is „covered“ with intestinal binding agents such as chlorella, cholestyramine, apple pectin or chitosan.
- Desferal: good subcutaneous detox agent for aluminum and iron. More severe possible anaphylactic reactions then with other common detox agents. Research by Canadian-German researcher Kruck showed good results with AD patients. Dosage: 1 vial/week s.c – 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off.
- Ca EDTA: most information available at www.gordonresearch.com. Given as 1 minute push 5-10 ml once/week. Originally developed to remove s calcium deposits, recently found to also be effective for mercury and other metals including aluminum. Side effects are so far underreported and can be serious – mostly due to redistribution. The more conventional use of sodium EDTA over a 2 hr period was used to increase nitric oxide in the arteries causing vasodilation and increased perfusion of diseased heart muscle.
- Intravenous Vitamin C: Recent book by Tom Levy, MD. Detoxes mercury, lead and aluminum mostly over the colon which is desirable. I use 37.5 gms with 500 ml distilled water and 10 ml ca gluconate over 1 hr. Can be used daily. Once a week is common, especially during amalgam removal. Irritating to veins. Causes hypoglycemia. No serious side effects. Safe to use for most dentists. Oral vitamin C works less effectively. Must be given to bowel tolerance.
- Antiviral (especially effective against the cytomegaly virus from the herpes family)
- Toxin binding (mucopolysaccharide membrane) all known toxic metals, environmental toxins such as dioxin and others
- Repairs and activates the body's detoxification functions:
- Dramatically increases reduced glutathione
- Sporopollein is as effective as cholestyramine in binding neurotoxins and more effective in binding toxic metals then any other natural substance found.
- Various peptides restore coeruloplasmin and metallothioneine,
- Lipids (12.4%) alpha-and gamma-linoleic acid help to balance the increased intake of fish oil during our detox program and are necessary for a multitude of functions, including formation of ther peroxisomes.
- Methyl-coblolamine is food for the nervous system, restores damaged neurons and has its own detoxifying effect.
- Chlorella growth factor helps the body detoxify itself in a yet not understood profound way. It appears that over millions of years chlorella has developed specific detoxifying proteins and peptides for every existing toxic metal.
- The porphyrins in chlorophyll have their own strong metal binding effect. Chlorophyll also activates the PPAR-receptor on the nucleus of the cell which is responsible for the transcription of DNA and coding the formation of the peroxisomes (see fish oil), opening of the cell wall (unknown mechanism) which is necessary for all detox procedures, normalizes insulin resistance and much more. Medical drugs that activate the PPAR receptor (such as pioglitazone) have been effective in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer.
- Super nutrient: 50-60% amino acid content, ideal nutrient for vegetarians, methylcobalamin - the most easily absorbed and utilized form of B12, B6, minerals, chlorophyll, beta carotene etc.
- Immune system strengthening
- Restores bowel flora
- Digestive aid (bulking agent)
- Alkalinizing agent (important for patients with malignancies)
2. Treatment of latent microorganisms and parasites
3. Treatment of unresolved psycho-emotional issues
Heavy metal detoxification can be an elegant smooth experience or rollercoaster ride. The problems that occur can always be resolved with the use of autonomic response testing (ART). Without the use of ART and addressing the psychological issues (with APN), embarking on a heavy metal detox program can be unsatisfying, incomplete, sometimes dangerous and may not lead to resolution of the underlying medical condition. We recommend that each patient undergoing a metal detox program stays under the supervision of an experienced and qualified practitioner. There are many more ways to approach metal detox. However, many roads I have witnessed also did not lead to complete resolution of the underlying problem and are shortsighted. The practitioner should avoid short term interventions for long term issues and should not underestimate the depth and magnitude of the underlying problem.
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