Polly: Doctors are finding out that mercury poisoning is a big factor in many cases of autism. I just listened to a tape from a DAN! autism conference on mercury poisoning. The protocol that was suggested by one doctor (not everyone agrees) was to start with DMSA to remove the more easily mobilized mercury. This goes on for 1 to 6 months, until the mercury coming out diminishes. Once the body burden is down, you can start using lipoic acid to remove the mercury from the central nervous system and organs. The lipoic acid is used for 6 months to 2 years. After about a month of the lipoic acid, they begin to see progress in these kids. An example was given of an autistic child who had been on this protocol for one year and who improved greatly. Previously this child spent all day stimming (constant rocking or other movement). He was non-verbal. A year later he was no longer considered autistic. Now he is speaking in full sentences, but is still considered language delayed.
There are only a few autistic children who have tried this. So one cannot say what percentage it is going to help. However, everyone agrees that the earlier the chemical changes in autism can be corrected, the better the prognosis.
The schedule for administration of DMSA or lipoic acid, was every 4 hours (including getting up in the middle of the night so you don’t miss a dose£very important). You do this for three days in a row (on a weekend usually), and then you take a break of at least 4 days before starting on the chelators again. (Some doctors suggest a break of 11 days, which means the 3-day treatment campaigns are done every two weeks, usually on the weekend.) The doctor is to keep an eye on liver function, kidney function, serum creatinine, serum copper, blood counts, and plasma zinc.
Something not mentioned in the tapes — make sure your glutathione levels are adequate. Usually the limiting nutrient in glutathione production is cysteine. However, with the mercury poisoned, sometimes cysteine is elevated. Adding cysteine in this case is very counterproductive. To support glutathione levels in this case, it seems safer to add glycine or trimethyl- glycine (TMG).
MM: Polly, you didn’ t say how much lipoic acid and DMSA they are using on the children.
Polly: Please realize that this is considered a fairly new protocol. For this reason, I’m not fond of posting the numbers. However, I will tell you, so people can be sure and not use more than this. There are doctors who have used much more than the amounts that are in this protocol and have gotten their patients into trouble. When using DMSA by itself, the dose for the children was 1 milligram of DMSA for every pound of body weight taken every 4 hours. Later when using the combination of lipoic acid and DMSA, they were using a half milligram of DMSA for every pound of body weight, and a half milligram of lipoic acid for every pound of body weight, every 4 hours.
However, some judgement must be employed by the doctor and patient. Less may be appropriate. Notice that Marilyn who is an adult with MS, tried taking 50 mg of DMSA every 4 hours, and eventually could not tolerate it. Eventually, the most lipoic acid she could tolerate was 10 mg taken every 4 hours. This is less than half the DMSA and much less than half the lipoic acid than suggested by this protocol. There are adults on the Internet who have not been able to tolerate as much DMSA and lipoic acid as the given protocol suggests. The sicker you are, the more careful you have to be on the dose. The patients desperately need this therapy, but it is extremely important that every precaution is taken and good judgement is employed.
Later- Polly: I’ ve just heard that the latest consensus is to at least double the ratio of DMSA to lipoic acid in phase two of the cleansing. Also the amount of lipoic and DMSA is still under debate. (It is always best to start at the lowest possible dose and examine how the body reacts before going to a higher “ normal” dose.)
There is something called slow-release DMSA. For use by itself, it may be okay, but Dr. Amy Holmes thinks that it isn’ t the best choice when used with the lipoic acid. I’m sure many more changes are to come.
One new product that may hold some promise is called NDF or Nanocolloidal Detox Factors. It contains pulverized chlorella and other agents selected for removing heavy metals. See http://www.bioray2000.com. They claim that it causes most of the metals to be excreted via the urine, thus causing less problems for those with gut problems. Since NDF is pulverized chlorella, I would only purchase one bottle at a time and use it almost immediately to make sure it is fresh and effective. Here is one place to purchase NDF. http://www.naturalhealthconsult.com/Monographs/ndf .html
There are also products called Metal Factors, and Metal Free. There is one called MT Promoter (amino acid blend from the Pfieffer Treatment center) which is supposed to help the body transfer the metals. (Test to make sure MT is needed first.) There is also a homeopathic metal remover called PCA, which is made by Maxam labs. http://www.maxamlabs.com. PCA seems to be well liked. TTFD with methylcobalamin may turn out to be a good treatment. Treatment with a high powered magnet will also cause the excretion of heavy metals. However, we really don’ t know which of these is going to be the most effective and well tolerated for most people. Things are advancing very rapidly in this area. So one never knows where this will end up.
2009 update — Polly: Many new chelation agents have been introduced in the intervening years since this book was written. Look up Transdermal DMPS (TD-DMPS) with glutathione that Dr. Rashid Buttar has been using. Also check out a product called Waioria’s Natural Cellualr Defense. This is a form of zeolite. Modified Citrus Pectin was also not well known as a chelator at the time the books were written. Pecta-Sol is the brand that has been studied the most. There is a new chelator called OSR, developed by Boy Haley, PhD and sold only through CTI Science, Inc.
There has also been the realization that the heavy metals can be held in biofilms. These biofilms are formed around viruses and infectious agents. Breaking these biofilms down with fibrolytic enzymes can release the heavy metals, making them more easily picked up by the chelators. Examples of fibrolytic enzymes are nattokinase, serrapeptase, rechtsregulat and lumbrokinase. A combination approach is favored by some practitioners. This would be something to absorb the released mercury in the intestines, an anti-viral, an anti-fungal, a fibrolytic product, and a chelator. See the March 2009 Allergy Research Group Focus Newsletter.
Please note that many people with mercury poisoning have pyruloria — they will not have enough zinc and P5P. The heavy metals will have a difficult time coming out if zinc levels are too low. Zinc supplementation needs to be balanced with copper, molybdenum, and manganese. Zinc should be monitored, since too much or too little is hard on the body.