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Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Musings On Heavy Metal Chelators

Effectively getting rid of heavy metals in the body is one of the most difficult challenges that sufferers of chronic illness, and Lyme disease, face.

That new products are constantly being developed to chelate heavy metals doesn't make the decision about how to treat the body for metals any easier. At the same time, the traditional chelators-ie; chlorella, cilantro, and others aren't getting rid of metals as quickly or effectively as we would like, and we need to try new approaches. Indeed, heavy metal chelation is thought by some LLMD's to take years, and in my personal experience, I have found this to be true.

All of the heavy metal chelators out there seem to have their problems. Chlorella and cilantro, for instance, are thought by some health care practitioners to be only weak chelators of metals. Still others shun substances such as DMPS or DMSA because they are inconvenient to take and/or carry side effects. What's more, the high cost of chelators is often a problem for impoverished Lyme sufferers, and I personally have been turned off by products that cost upwards of $100 per month. Is there no better way to get metals out of the body?

On the other hand, many of the supposed latest and greatest heavy metal products are simply modifications (or if we are lucky, improvements) to supplements previously in existence. They usually contain one or two principal chelators that have already proven to be somewhat effective, such as chlorella, DMSA or cilantro, along with other ingredients, that are meant to render more effective the main chelator.

The question is, which products are the best? PCA-rx is a chelator containing chlorella, glutamic acid and glutathione, along with lots of friendly flora and other miscellaneous items. The product is thought to completely encapsulate heavy metals so that they are safely carried out of the body, but can it cross the blood/brain barrier? I don't know, but I have my doubts. I took PCA-rx for a year and afterwards, still tested positive for metals in my brain, via bio-energetic and muscle testing. At over $100 per month, I would have expected to see greater results.

Zeolite is also being used to chelate metals, and products such as ACZ Nano claim to rid the body of metals by entering the body as crystal nutrient-filled "cages", which exchange nutrients for free radicals and metals, much like a magnet attracts iron. The mechanism of zeolite for binding metals sounds promising, but I have yet to find extensive data on how effective it is. And again, can zeolite cross the blood-brain barrier? Few substances seem to be able to do this in a promising manner.

Rik J Deitsch, the chairman of Waiora's Scientific Advisory Board (Waiora is a company that makes Natural Cellular Defense, a zeolite-based product for heavy metal chelation) writes on http://www.zeolitewellness.com:
"We do not know if the zeolite in the Natural Cellular Defense is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. I believe that it probably does not in the unimpaired patient, but it may in someone with neurological damage (people with neurological disorders tend to have a ‘leaky’ bbb)."

Do Lyme sufferers have neurological damage? Well, that's a no-brainer (no pun intended!). So perhaps zeolite can snatch metals from your brain if it happens to have a lot of leaks (oh my!), according to Waiora. However, another company that sells zeolite: http://www.liquid-zeolite.co.uk/zeolite-information.html, contends that their product can, in fact, cross the blood/brain barrier.

So is zeolite really effective for getting metals out of the brain?
I don't know, but if you consider that much of the body's mercury is stored in the brain, you'll want to make sure that you get a chelator that reaches this area, too.

There are some who are ridding the body of metals through bio-energetic strategies, as well. By taking the energy of mercury, for instance, and using it as a homeopathic remedy-either in the form of a traditional homeopathic nosode, or by injecting it into the body via scalar waves or through some type of bio-energetic device, it is thought that metals can be repelled and eliminated. While I believe that bio-energetic medicine can be quite effective if used properly, I have not found much data on how well it works for ridding the body of heavy metals. Supposing it were effective, it would seem to be more convenient, safer and perhaps less expensive than taking a supplement. But can energy medicine do the job of also making sure that the metals leave the body, once they are dislodged and repelled by an energetic treatment? Perhaps, if the treatment isn't "erased" by an environmental toxin, as can happen with some types of energy treatments.

Finally, the most tried-and-true method of heavy metal chelation seems to be DMSA with alpha-lipoic acid and DMPS. A. Cutler, a heavy metal expert who has spent many years studying heavy metal chelation, in his book: "Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment", advocates the aforementioned for getting rid of metals. While I was impressed by Dr. Cutler's book, I never employed the strategies he advocates because I felt that the risk of side effects from DMPS outweighed its benefits, and that DMSA, while safer, was inconvenient to use. Dr. Cutler mentioned the need for taking this substance on a strict schedule, which, if I recall, involved getting up in the middle of the night to take a dose. Not convenient if you are a typical Lyme disease insomniac.

Dr. Cutler's protocol do, however, cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes them an appealing option. Cilantro is another substance that can accomplish this, but it must be taken in conjunction with a heavy metal binder such as chlorella, since cilantro only mobilizes metals in the brain, but cannot carry them out of the body. And if you choose the latter strategy, you must know the timing and dosage and type of cilantro and chlorella to be used, which are not as easy to determine as one might think.

No doubt, heavy metal chelation is a complicated issue, and all of the substances, strategies and supplements out there which claim to rid the body of metals make it even more so, as do differing "expert" opinions. Chelation products and protocol are not created equal, so I would advise you to do a lot of reading and research before you decide upon one that will work for you. Look for real testimonials from others, and then make a decision.

As for me, the jury of my mind is still out on the best way to accomplish heavy metal chelation. I have yet to meet a person who is completely metal-free, even after performing chelation strategies for many months, which means that we need to keep working on better ways to rid the body of mercury and other damaging metals.

3 comments:

redmoon said...

"you must know the timing and dosage and type of cilantro and chlorella to be used, which are not as easy to determine as one might think"

Do you have a good link or protocol for this, then?

I will be having my amalgams replaced soon and would like to have a good protocol ready.

Thank you
:)

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Redmoon,

I was given a protocol by my Lyme practitioner to use BioPure cilantro, ten drops in tea, a half hour before BioPure chlorella (1 tsp). I don't know if these guidelines would serve for everyone, though. I would recommend starting out with a lower dose of both, however, until you know how your body will react, and working up on the dose.

I......... said...

I think that's true. I've tried the natural remedies and supplements available at Rainbow Wellbeing (www.rainbowwellbeing.com) and found them to be quite effective!