–Why supplements are an essential part of the detoxification process
I first came across Dr. Brian Halvorsen about 10 years ago when I sought him out to remove my own dental amalgams, amalgams that had been deposited there by the school visiting dentists, people who had been encouraged to do something to everyone they saw, since they only got paid by drilling, filling and billing.
But with Dr. Halvorsen I soon discovered that he was one of the few dental practitioners in the UK who was not only interested in removing my amalgams, but also understood the need to do so and what additional requirements were necessary to continue to reduce and remove the toxins from my mouth and body.
In other words, Dr. Halvorsen was aware of the issues and wanted to do something about them. As my background is biochemistry and pharmacy and with my knowledge of what was available on the global market, (in terms of effective products and indeed some of my connections to experts in the field such as Garry Gordon, M.D.), it soon meant that we struck up both a professional relationship as well as a friendship.
Indeed, Dr. Halvorsen and I have worked together to help improve the condition and the environment for dentists and their assistants. The fact that so many people want their amalgams removed to be replaced with more aesthetically pleasing white types, (that don’t use mercury and silver), means that dentists and their staff are exposing themselves to massive amounts of mercury vapour.
You may remember the old saying “mad as a hatter” (which was a theme in the famous book Alice in wonderland). It came about because the hat makers of old used mercury in the steam to shape the hats. As a consequence of breathing it in themselves, they became senile very early. Of course those practises were halted many years ago, but take a guess at which profession is at the highest risk of Alzheimer’s disease today? Who could be regularly breathing in mercury vapours? That’s right- dentists.
There have already been lawsuits in America (1), whereby dental assistants (who often don’t even wear masks), have sued their employer as a result of their own problems, or the problems of their new-born child- relating them to the toxic environment of the dental surgery.
This is an issue that is going to have a major impact on dental practices in many countries over the coming years. Currently I would suggest that the vast majority of practices offer no advice, little protection against contamination and certainly no methods to chelate mercury for their employees.
Of course a dementia is a very serious consequence of mercury contamination, but there are many other symptoms related to smaller levels of accumulation. Note I did not use the word toxicity, as that implies a higher level of accumulation, but depending upon the amount, the individual’s hypersensitivity to it and the positioning of the mercury molecules in particular membranes- the outcome can be different for each individual.
According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, all of the symptoms listed in the following table are associated with micro-mercurism.
Joint pain & inflammation
Kidney function impariment
Loss of confidence
Muscle pain & weakness
Numb lips & feet
Poor dusk vision
People need to be aware of these facts, because after uranium and plutonium mercury is one of the most toxic molecules on this planet! That is why I am delighted that Dr. Halvorsen has written a new book, its entitled Dentally Fit - Great Teeth For Life and it is a much needed appraisal of the potential health issues associated with dentistry and our contaminated world at large.
I am sure that we all agree that avoidance and prevention is the key, but it is extremely difficult to be 100% “clean” in our modern world, in fact I would say it was impossible.
I lost my front teeth in a rugby accident and since my mid-twenties have been stuck with two metal posts in my gums. I’m aware of the heavy metal issue of these posts, but as I don’t really want to seem like an inane idiot every time I smile, I have to accept the reality and be aware of the problem.
In order to be practical I chelate and detox myself regularly; this can be a lot easier than it sounds once one has gotten into a routine.
Food and lifestyle are obviously a great place to start and should form the basis of everyone’s basic foundation of health. I think it is a great benefit for all to understand more about how food can detox us, clearly this goes beyond the taste and nutrition factors of food, details of which bombard us from our television sets. Therefore it’s a credit that Dr. Halvorsen’s book has details about the chelation properties of different foodstuffs that we can all use every day.
But as we are challenged by the continuous absorption of toxins, whether it is through dental procedures or industrial contaminants in the food chain and air, and added to the fact that organic food today is considerably depleted in terms of its nutritional qualities compared to that of 50 years ago, (and let’s not even mention the very nutritionally poor processed foods), then we realise that there is an argument to go beyond diet and lifestyle.
The evidence being amassed about the dangers of heavy metal toxicity is overwhelming. When you understand the pressures behind the scenes, you understand why the authorities are so slow to respond to things; in my opinion it’s a case of; “you will hear it from them last.”
It’s akin to the reasoning behind why a “safe” cigarette was never introduced- when it could have been. If such an action was to occur then it becomes an admission that the previous ones were dangerous and ergo opens up a rift of lawsuits.
The positioning behind metals in dentistry being safe, particularly mercury, are becoming more difficult to maintain, especially since countries like Norway are banning it on health grounds, the landslide of the change of the “official position” has begun.
You can see from Dr. Klinghardt’s list that mercury has been linked with many problems, the combination of other heavy metals, particularly lead, creates negative-synergy. In other words the detrimental effects of these metals on our systems increases when they are found in combination, thus this is not just a simple case of the physical amounts of these metals that can be found in our body’s.
Meanwhile, the population at large is suffering from an explosion of dementias, the older we become the more likely we are to be exposed to one of the forms of dementia. It could be that over the age of 80 only 1 in 7 do not have a dementia! With an ever increasing aging population, how are we going to overcome, or at least significantly reduce this problem? Long term chelation is one possible answer.
At the other end of the age-scale we have some very worrying statistics about our children. For example autism, which has been related to mercury exposure (2) and this includes from vaccines- (3). It used to affect 1 in 10,000 children in 1970 and yet it rose to 1 in 166 in the late 1990’s and it lead in March 2004 to the issuance of an “alarm” by the American Academy of Pediatrics to pediatricians across America warning that QUOTE “autism is prevalent and must be treated early.” UNQUOTE (4)
Indeed, the US Department of Education data suggests that the rates of autism between 1992 and 2002 are up 1000% in all States.
The combination of poor nutrition, changes in lifestyle and exercise, loss of family values and supporting social structures, plus the varying issues of toxicity, now account for the belief by some specialists, such as Dr. Garry Gordon (5) that by the age of six only 1 in 4 children are neurologically well developed! Read that again just in case you missed it, 1 in 4 are brain healthy, 3 out of 4 are not...
In Germany, Professor John Ionescu (5a) does some amazing work turning around the skin disorders of adults and children. At his 200-bed facility in Neukirchen (near Munich) he has proven that all skin disorders are the results of allergies and/ or toxins. Remove the source, detox the patient and the skin heals itself.
In addition, he has also shown that in children, if the skin problems are not related to allergies or toxins that the child has accumulated by them self, then it has been inherited from the mother. In fact, some have said that the single best thing a mother can do to cleanse herself is to have a baby. That’s not a pleasant thought, but the reality is that the body likes to keep itself in equilibrium, it will dump its toxins into what it perceives as new tissue, a developing baby is new tissue, so is a cancer growth. One of the reasons that cancer seems to develop and proliferate quickly could well be due to its higher content of toxins and heavy metals passed to it from other parts of the body.
While we are “thinking outside the box” how many times have you heard about an elderly person who takes a fall, breaking a major bone, (let us say the hip) and is then bed-bound in hospital? Then several weeks later, you hear the news that Aunty May is dead; she died of pneumonia in the hospital, end of story, or so most people accept. I would say that this is a relatively well known scenario.
Yet Aunty May most probably died of lead poisoning! You see the bones are major storage point of heavy metals, particularly lead. Bone cells take many years to turnover (on average 7-years, compared to months for most other cells in the body), thus bone has a problem removing toxins from itself, toxins become somewhat “trapped” in them.
So when Aunty May broke her hip, she started releasing massive amounts of those heavy metals straight into her blood (remember that the body likes to keep things in equilibrium). Lead is well known to inhibit the activity of blood cells, so once the balance is tipped then immunity begins to fail. Accordingly with a shattered immune system as well as her hip, Aunty May was then predisposed to the first nasty bug that came along (and a hospital is a good place to find them), hence she died of pneumonia and that was listed on her death certificate; yet it was lead toxicity that triggered the chain of events that lead to her demise (pun intended!)
Chelation can also make sense in another unusual way; some consider it to be the most potent anti-oxidant ever. Yet most of the supplements used for chelation are very poor free radical scavengers in themselves, so how can these two statements be true? The answer is that most free radicals are generated in the presence of heavy metals, for example iron and lead molecules in the skin react with the UV from sunlight to become vicious free radicals. The typical results of this action lead to sun damaged skin, wrinkles (so-called photo aging) and cancer. Experiments have shown (6) that reduction of metals in skin content allow individuals to sunbathe for longer without burning and reduces the risk of the appearance of sun-spots (hence cancer), plus for those with aesthetics on their mind, this also means a significantly reduced risk for the formation of wrinkles.
So the bottom line is, the less heavy metals there are in your body the lower the potential incidences of free radical generations become. Beyond this there is mounting evidence that heavy metals are behind many disease processes including arteriosclerosis, blood pressure, cardiovascular, renal, cataract and even cancers and that by lowering the quantity of heavy metals in the body that it turn this can improve the condition in question- some examples are given in the references (7, 8, 9, 10).
One of the prime uses of chelation therapy is to clear out the arteries, particularly with substances such as EDTA, (see the A-Z list below) as it helps to remove calcium plagues. This action not only improves vital blood flow capabilities but also softens the arterial wall. These actions ultimately improve the heart condition, partly by not having to make it work as hard to pump blood through hard and constricted arteries.
EDTA has been used for decades in literally hundreds of thousands of patients, primarily for the purposes of clearing out arteries and improving the cardiovascular condition. In one study of 24,000 patients 88% of them exhibited clinical improvement with EDTA therapy; another study of 2870 patients saw excellent improvement to 90% of the patients undertaking the EDTA therapy. (10, 11, 12, 13)
We’ve even the improvements to arterial condition for ourselves here at IAS; that’s because we now offer the revolutionary Bio-Clip Plus™, the “at home” arterial stiffness measurement device that anyone can use with a Microsoft XP® or Vista® based computer. We’ve seen the results of several before and after chelation programs on individuals; in each case the chelation program has made the patients’ arteries less stiff.
However, despite the fact that the average doctor has not heard about EDTA, there are stacks of published information about it in the medical journals. (14)
There are many good reasons to chelate and detox and I’ve only mentioned a few of them.
So what are these special chelating supplements? Which ones can provide that extra boost; to kick-start a detox program, to focus on a particular need, to cleanse oneself for fertility and pregnancy purposes (and I refer to men as well as women here), or simply to make sure that an insurance for a long, healthy life is available? I shall list below some of the most prominent natural supplements that can provide that assurance to back up and bolster a good diet and lifestyle.
Just before we go there, let us also remember that just because something may be in a pill or a capsule that it doesn’t make it a drug, or by consequence that we have to be “sick” to be swallowing them. Super concentrated extracts of foodstuffs are designer food supplements, or to put it another way, using natural supplements in this way makes one a scientific greengrocer!
Some of the best oral supplements that have been regularly used to chelate and detox include the following: (listed in alphabetical order for convenience):
Allicin is found in garlic; it is the substance that gives it its distinctive odour. Apart from being a very potent natural antibiotic, so much so that researchers from the University of East London have successfully treated the so-called hospital bug MRSA with it. Allicin is also known to be able to chelate heavy metals, especially lead and mercury.
Studies have shown that the foetal excretions of mercury can increase by as much as 400% when allicin is being taken regularly. (15)
Allicin can be found in Essential Daily Defense® capsules.
Di-indolylmethane (DIM) is the active constituent found inside Brassica vegetables such as cabbages, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli etc. DIM helps to improve the transferase system within the body to detox heavy metals by helping to get them excreted.
In addition, DIM it is also a potent re-balancer of the estrogen/ testosterone ratio and it is involved in the excretion of potentially dangerous estrogens, particularly the form known as estradiol. This is important because pseudo estrogens are leaking into the environment from plastics, pesticides and other drugs. The WHO recognises these toxins in the environment and refers to them as “endocrine disruptors,” in other words, changers of hormones.
It has already been noted that many fish and other mammalian species have changed sex and had many other problems due to the presence of these estrogen type substances; many leading physicians such as Garry Gordon MD and Jonathan Wright MD are advocating that these estrogens may be responsible for many cancers, in particular cervical, breast and prostate.
DIM has the potential to both reduce and balance estrogen ratios in the body and therefore stands as an important natural substance for detox supplementation.
DMSA is the abbreviation for dimercptosuccinic acid, it is also known as succinic acid. It is perhaps the most potent single oral chelator of both mercury and cadmium. In addition DMSA also shows reasonable affinity for chelating lead and arsenic.
Often DMSA is used orally prior to an intravenous chelation therapy, but unless required for acute cases, is rarely used on a permanent basis. For example, Dr. Gordon himself takes oral DMSA on a one month on, one month off basis.
DMSA can be found in Heavy Detox™ and ACF228™
EDTA stands for ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid which is a synthetic aminoacid related to vinegar. EDTA is perhaps the most universally used chelator. Once it is inside the body it binds heavy metals to itself, holding onto them tightly and then together they are excreted out, most commonly through urine.
EDTA is the chelator most commonly used in the detox clinic and it is normally administered as an intravenous (i.v.) drip, which means up to an hour is required for it all to pass into the blood. However EDTA can also be used orally (and due to that ease of use, more regularly too). When used orally EDTA is considered to be approximately 10% as effective as i.v. type, nonetheless EDTA still has a strong action. For example, a report by the Los Alamos Research Laboratory in New Mexico (16) showed that EDTA taken orally excreted 5 to 10 times more lead out of children than placebo alone. This has also been confirmed by the Australian Industrial Hygiene Division (17). Furthermore, EDTA has also been shown to remove cadmium, aluminium, iron, nickel and mercury. (18, 19, 20, 21)
As mentioned earlier (under the sub-title of why bother?), one of the principal roles of EDTA has been to remove calcium plagues from arteries, thereby improving blood flow, reducing arterial stiffness and lessening the “load” on the heart itself.
Note that it is important to only use the calcium version of EDTA (and not the sodium version) and whilst there is some evidence that EDTA does take out some good minerals (zinc for example), the amounts are small and can easily be compensated by taking a multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement regularly.
Furthermore, EDTA can be used in a number of ways other than i.v. and orally, for example it can be chewed in gums to help capture mercury in the mouth, or placed as a powder into bathtubs to help cleanse the skin.
Calcium EDTA can be found in Essential Daily Defense™ capsules, EZ Defense™ chewing gums, Beyond Fiber™ and Beyond Clean™ bath salts.
The role of fiber cannot be overlooked in the chelation and detoxification process. This because whilst other products help to bind and shift toxins from the membranes they are residing in, many once “released” can find their way to the gut.
In theory once they have arrived in the gut some of these toxins may simply accumulate causing other problems. However they can be shifted by fibre and passed out of the body, this is a primary action of fiber- to remove toxins from the digestive tract.
Excellent fiber sources include the husks of brown rice and the Jerusalem artichoke. These can be found in Beyond Fiber™ powder. In addition, the legumes (beans, peas and lentils) as well as wheat bran, prunes and acai, rasp and black-berries are also good sources of fiber.
L-ascorbic acid is the active part of vitamin C, it is important to know if the vitamin C you are taking is listed as L-ascorbic acid, because if it is listed as “just” ascorbic acid (or vitamin C) it is likely to contain both the L and D versions, this would mean that the effective dose would be half of what was listed on the label.
L-ascorbic acid has probably had more published studies conducted on it than any other substance. It was studied in depth by the late Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling. (22, 23, 24, 25) He stated that it has the widest range of uses within the body, yet unfortunately it remains the one vitamin that the body cannot store.
Dr. Thomas Levy‘s book; "Vitamin C, infectious diseases and toxins," (26) has numerous studies listed in it that have shown ascorbic acid to have chelation abilities in humans. To give you some idea, ascorbic acid has been shown to reduce pesticides, carbon monoxide, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, aluminium, chlorine and fluoride levels in the body.
An excellent form of L-ascorbic acid can be found in Bio-En’R-Gy™ powder.
Malic acid is a vital component in the energy-producing Krebs cycle but also has many other important roles in the body, including the maintenance of the acid balance as well as the removal of undesirable metals by chelation, in particular malic acid is noted for removing lead, aluminium and strontium.
A good source of malic acid is from apples, which may be one of the reasons why grandma always said that, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
Malic acid can be found in Essential Daily Defense™ capsules.
Selenium is a potent antioxidant found in soil, plants and fish, the better “meats” (in terms of selenium quantities) are beef and turkey and the better “plants” are Brazil nuts, oatmeal and rice, plus whole eggs are also a good source. (27)
Selenium assists the body to use vitamin E and has an important role in enzyme and protein synthesis.
This rare trace element binds itself to mercury and essentially deactivates it. This is because once mercury is bound to the selenium it becomes a new molecule that the body cannot absorb. Now whilst selenium by-itself doesn’t remove mercury from the body, the fact that it can effectively silence its action is an important part of the chelation process.
A good way to think about selenium is to understand that it acts like a mercury magnet. As such an alternative theory has come to light of late, and that is that it is the mercury that seeks out and attaches itself to selenium! In so doing, the mercury prevents the selenium from carrying out in protein and enzyme processes in the body.
This second theory gives an even stronger need to take additional selenium supplements to overcome mercury’s actions, particularly since poorer soil conditions for trace elements such as selenium mean that ever declining intakes are to be obtained from the diet.
Selenium can be found in Heavy Detox™, Beyond Any Multiple™, Melatonin Zn Se™ and ACF228™
Zeolite is perhaps the “new kid on the block”- that is if you can call waiting 300 million years for it to develop- new! What I mean is that Zeolite is a crystal formed from volcanic ash, but in terms of using it for chelation that purpose is relatively new.
What’s interesting about Zeolite is that due to its honeycomb shape, it has many “arms” to reach out and grab heavy metals and what’s more it doesn’t appear to grab “healthy” minerals like zinc, instead passing them by and leaving them in-situ.
Zeolite seems to have a fast action too, users often report on the darker colour of their urine within an hour or so of ingesting Zeolite, an obvious sign that toxins have been shifted.
Zeolite has been described as being a good chelator for aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and tin from the blood and soft tissues, but may not be as effective for extracting deeper deposited toxins.
The best form of Zeolite to use is in a nano-sized sublingual form. A nano molecule is very small indeed, usually expressed in terms of 1 to 100 nanometers. A “normal” molecule is expressed in terms of Daltons and generally speaking a nano molecule is so much smaller than a Dalton that it has approximately 10 times the surface area of a Dalton molecule. Thus nano molecules are considered to be more efficient in delivering a more effective dose of a product; in this case it is particularly true of Zeolite.
Zeolite can be found in ACZ Zeolite™
I appreciate that the selection above seems like quite a long list; naturally it can be tailored to suit the individual’s needs, or even rotated so that at different times different toxins are being targeted etc.
In my experience, one of the best all round chelation and nutritional products that is currently available has been developed by Dr. Garry Gordon and is called Beyond Chelation Improved™. Inside one of its daily sachets are 9 pills, consisting of 3 multi vitamins- Beyond Any Multiple™, 1 Omega 3 fish oil capsule, 1 Omega 6 primrose oil capsule, 1 phosphatidylserine and gingko biloba capsule and 3 of the chelating Essential Daily Defense™ capsules (which have a combination of allicin, EDTA, malic acid and more besides). I like it and use it myself because it’s convenient, comprehensive and cost effective.
In the course of my own business, I’ve been lucky enough not to be stuck with having to sell one particular brand or another. Coming from a research background and having a personal interest in the field, (plus wanting the best for ourselves and our families), we sought out the great researchers and practitioners, to see what they were recommending from the scientific and clinical literature. Thus we have been able to create a unique and diverse selection of supplements, simply put- the best the world has to offer.
I appreciate how difficult it is in the nutritional supplement world to ponder the differences and rationales behind a good product versus an average product, especially since that decision ultimately does take knowledge of the ingredients, their dosages, their sources and the integrity of the company itself.
Dr. Gordon’s own “beyond” range of products are one such example of those from the high-end. Safe in the knowledge that they are designed and formulated by a world expert in chelation, when one also realises that Dr. Gordon relies upon them for his own health and when one learns how to read labels, then one realises they are something special.
A dedication to finding clean, organic sources of materials is the other. I remember that Dr. Gordon told me that he changed his supplier of garlic; the original supplier had been fine, but later testing on batches showed that contaminants were somehow finding their way into the material. A trip to the supplier discovered that a major road had been built alongside the farmland and naturally it was the toxic output of the vehicles that were finding their way into the plants. Thus, the supplier was changed for a cleaner source.
This type of thing is all part of the battle to live as cleanly as possible on our polluted planet, but hopefully a good example of the dedication to the cause to be the best.
I’ve never believed that supplements are a horse-power race; do you know the sort of thing I mean? I mean, one supplier boosting that their product has more of X and Y in it than their competitor. That never happens in Pharma; there it is most often the case of enough to do the job being the right amount. At the end of the day, as far as supplements are concerned, it is their synergy, their efficacy and their quality that separates the best from the rest.
Many supplements are built down to a price, only a few are designed to a standard. When you eventually find a Mercedes range of supplements, then you understand why you may be paying a bit more for them, but why you will never want to go back to your Hyundai!
Making your diet and lifestyle changes and incorporating quality, synergistic supplements (such as those mentioned above), can make significant changes in just weeks to your energy levels, your well being and your quality of life.
In the meantime, the gradual release from your system of those heavy metals and toxins will reduce your body burdens. The net result will be an improved immune system, resulting in dramatically reduced instances of “feeling under the weather.”
In addition, the evidence suggests that there will also be a reduction in the likelihood of the development of numerous so-called age related disease and disorders, including reducing the risk of developing a dementia, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Chelation and detox is an excellent example of preventative/ antiaging medicine at its best and one that anyone can introduce to their health program, no matter their current age or condition.
Dr. Halvorsen and I know this because we have seen it time and time again in the patients who make such a commitment for a change for the better.
Now available through IAS, I hope that Dr. Halvorsen’s new book Dentally Fit will become your reference guide for a positive change in you and your family’s health.
2. Texas study links mercury from power plants to rising rates of autism in children. Autism Research Review International, Vol. 19, No 1, 2005
3. Redwood L “Mercury and autism, the growing crisis of mercury in children’s vaccines” Vitamin Research News, May 2001 (5), 5.
4. American Academy of Paediatrics “Autism Alarm” March 2004.
6. Dr. Eugene D. Weinberg, Indiana University, USA
7. Schaumberg DA, Mendes F, Balarum M, Dana MR, Sparrow D, Hu H “Accumulated lead exposure and risk of age related cataract in men” JAMA 2004, 292; 2750-2754
8. Menke A, Muntner P, Batmanu, et al “Blood lead below 0.48 uMol/L and mortality among US adults” Circulation 114; 1388-1394
9. Casdorph HR “EDTA chelation therapy, efficacy in arteriosclerotic heart disease” Journal of holistic medicine 1981; 3 (1) 53Blumer W, Crunton EM “Ninety percent reduction in cancer mortality after chelation therapy with EDTA” Journal of Advanced Medicine 1989; 2; 183
10. The correlation between EDTA Chelation Therapy and improvement in cardiovascular function: A Meta-Analysis, and EDTA Chelation Treatment for vascular disease: A Meta-Analysis using unpublished data, both by L.T. Chappell and J.P. Stahl, were published in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine in 1993 and 1994.
11. Hancke, C. and Flytlie, K, Benefits of EDTA Chelation Therapy in Arteriosclerosis: A retrospective study of 470 patients, Journal of Advancement in Medicine, 1993, 6:3, 161-171. Olszewer E, Carter JP.
12. EDTA chelation therapy in chronic degenerative disease. Med Hypotheses. 1988; 27:41-49. Olszewer E, Sabbag FC, Carter JP. A pilot double-blind study of sodium-magnesium EDTA in peripheral vascular disease. J Natl Med Assoc. 1990; 82:173-174.
19. Gordon GF “EDTA and chelation therapy, history and mechanism of action- an update” Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine, 2001; 2 (1) 36-44
20. Pouls M “Oral chelation and nutritional replacement therapy for chemical and heavy metal poisoning and cardiovascular disease” Townsend newsletter for doctors and patients, July 1999; 82-91