Effectiveness of Chelation Agent
Popular Prescription Chelation Agents
EDTA - approved by the FDA for lead removal, DMSA mercury and lead, DMPS - used for mercury and lead but does not have FDA approval.
* DMSA and DMPS are not recommended in persons with amalgam fillings.
**EDTA forms neurotoxic complex with mercury not recommended in persons with amalgams or history of mercury exposure.
Non Prescription Chelation Agents
The Case For Safe and Effective Chelation
Multiple clinical studies have shown individual non-FDA regulated food and herbal supplement ingredients have been found to be extremely effective in removing multiple toxic metals. Below is a list of the individual ingredients in the current METAL FLUSH (DGB1D) formula, along with a brief functional summary
A few chelation agents such as Science Formulas Inc.s METAL FLUSH offer various combinations of the above and other supportive ingredients in a single formula. Clinical study data demonstrating the formulas effectiveness should be obtained prior to purchase. Reduction of body burden as revealed by hair analysis before and after chelation is the best evidence of efficacy. Studies demonstrating increased levels of toxic metals being excreted in urine, or stools provide only an imprecise indication of excretion, but does not provide information regarding remaining toxic metal burden.
References to Scientific reviews of Ingredients proposed
Listed under each Formula Ingredient below is the mechanism and supporting reference.
Vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopherol
succinate): Antioxidant, supports thyroid
Chang, L.W , Gilbert,M and Sprecher,J: Modification of methylmercury neurotoxicity by vitamin E, Environ.Res. 1978;17:356-366
Selenium (as sodium selenite):
Enhances chemical detoxification, reduces toxicity of metals,
necessary for conversion of T4 to T3 for normal thyroid function.
Selenium is an important constituent of glutathione peroxidase, which breaks down toxic peroxides and free radicals. It has been shown to significantly reduce heavy metal toxicity. Yoneda S, Suzuki KT Detoxification of mercury by selenium by binding of equimolar Hg-Se complex to a specific plasma protein. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1997;143(2):274-280 Johansson E: Selenium and its protection against the effects of mercury and silver. J Trace Elements 1991;5:273-274Gailer J; George GN; Pickering IJ, et al. Structural Basis of the Antagonism between Inorganic Mercury and Selenium in Mammals. Chem Res Toxicol 2000 Nov 20;13(11):1135-1142
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid):
Promotes excretion of toxic metals, essential antioxidant,
supports thyroid function
Vitamin C is known to enhance the excretion of toxic metals in the gut and to protect against free radical damage Hill, CH. Interactions of vitamin C with lead and mercury. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1980;355:262-6 Yamini B, Sleight SD. Effects of ascorbic acid deficiency on methyl mercury dicyandiamide toxicosis in guinea pigs J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 1984 Jul;5(4-5):139-50 Zorn NE, Smith JT A relationship between vitamin B12, folic acid, ascorbic acid, and mercury uptake and methylation. Life Sci 1990;47(2):167-73 Iyengar GV; Nair PP. Global outlook on nutrition and the environment: meeting the challenges of the next millennium. Sci Total Environ 2000 Apr 17;249(1-3):331-46.
Zinc (as zinc citrate): Stimulates metallothionine, reduces toxicity of metals
Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry 7 (2):94-106 1978Flora SJ, Tandon SK: Beneficial effects of zinc supplementation during chelation treatment of lead intoxication in rats, Toxicology, 1990 Nov; 64(2):129-39
Magnesium (as magnesium aspartate):
Aids in chelation, replaces lost or chelated magnesium, protects
against free radical damage
Assists in removing lead and other toxic metals. Reduces free radical damage from radiation and toxic substances.
1) Chugh SN, Kolley T, Kakkar R, Chugh K, Sharma A., A critical evaluation of anti-peroxidant effect of intravenous magnesium in acute aluminum phosphide poisoning. 2) 235: Soldatovic D, Vujanovic D, Matovic V, Plamenac Z. Compared effects of high oral Mg supplements and of EDTA chelating agent on chronic lead intoxication in rabbits. Magnes Res. 1997 Jun;10(2):127-33. PMID: 9368233, 3) 321: Soldatovic D, Matovic V, Vujanovic D.
Prophylactic effect of high magnesium intake in rabbits exposed to prolonged lead intoxication. Magnes Res. 1993 Jun;6(2):145-8. PMID: 8274359
Binds intracellular toxic metals, quenches free radicals and
raises glutathione levels.
Alpha lipoic acid is a sulfur-containing co-factor for many essential biochemical reactions with potent antioxident properties. It is lipid and water soluble and can penetrate the blood brain barrier. This helps to remove toxic metals from the CNS. Ziegler C, et al: Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials, Experimental & Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 1999;107(7):421-30.Ziegler C, et al: Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials, Experimental & Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 1999;107(7):421-30.Gregus Z, et al: Effect of lipoic acid on biliary excretion of glutathione and metals, Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology 1992 May;114(1):88-96.
Enhances biliary excretion, protects CNS , retina, and white
Taurine is a conditionally essential sulfur containing amino acid found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products that appears to function as a neuromodulator and protective antioxidant in the CNS, where it is present in large amounts. Taurine levels are reduced in patients with lead poisoning. Taurine also protects the kidneys and retina from free radical damage by toxic metals and also protects the liver, heart, lungs and neutrophiles. Taurine has also been shown to enhance the secretion of toxic metals in bile. Chesney, R.W. et al: Role of taurine in infant nutrition, Adv Exp Med Biol 1998 442: 463-76. Stapleton PP et al: Host Defense a role for the amino acid taurine? J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1998 Jan-Feb;22(1):42-8.
Schuller-Levis GB, Park E: Taurine- new implications for an old amino acid. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Sep 26;226(2):195-202.
Redmond HP et al. Immunonutrition the role of taurine. Nutrition 1998 Jul-Aug; 14(7-8):599-604
Kontny E et al:The mechanism of taurine choramine inhibition of cytokine production by rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes; Arthritis Rheum 2000 Oct,43(10):169-77.
Traps toxic metals in the GI tract. Acts as an ion exchange
Chlorella is a species of unicellular fresh water algae that has been shown to possess detoxifying properties enabling it to assist or support the human detoxification system. Chlorella algae contain phytochemicals that support Phase I and Phase II detoxification reactions while the cell walls function as an ion exchange resin to absorb and retain toxic metals which can then be excreted. Chlorella can be used as a significant source of nutrients including vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and minerals. They possess no toxicity and 20 grams or more can be ingested daily without any adverse effect. H.B.Xue, W.Stumm, L.Sigg: The binding of Heavy Metals to Algal Surfaces, Water Res 1988;22, 917Carr HP, et al. Characterization of the cadmium-binding capacity of Chlorella vulgaris. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1998;60(3): 433-440M.Kraft: Bindungsverhalten von Arsen, Cadmium, Chrom, Quecksilber, Nickel und Blei an schwerverdauliche Lebensmittel und Lebensmittelkomponenten in kuenstlichem Magen-Darm-Saft. PhD Thesis. Institut fuer Hygiene, Sozial-und umweltmedizin der Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, Germany, (1998)Ahner, AB, Kong KS, Morell MM, Phytochelatin production in marine algea: An interspecies comparison. Limnol Oceanograph 1995;40: 649-657Northcote DH et al, 1958 The chemical composition and structure of the cell wall of Chlorella pyrenoidosa. .Biochem J 70:391-97.
Travieso RO et al. 1999Heavy Metal Removal by microalgae. Bull. Environ.Contam.Toxicol.62:144-151.
Cilantro (aerial parts) (from
10:1 extract): Mobilizes toxic metals from
the central nervous system and other tissues
Cilantro is a vegetable in the parsley family shown by Omura and others to be an effective chelator of CNS toxic metals. Its active component is a mercaptan that can penetrate the blood brain barrier. Omura Y, Beckman SL Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995;20(3-4): 195-229Omura Y, Shimotsuura Y, Fukuoka A, Fukuoka H, Nomoto T. Significant mercury deposits in internal organs following the removal of dental amalgam, & development of pre-cancer on the gingiva and the sides of the tongue and their represented organs as a result of inadvertent exposure to strong curing light (used to solidify synthetic dental filling material) & effective treatment: a clinical case report, along with organ representation areas for each tooth. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1996 ;21(2): 133-16098 Ewan KB, Pamphlett R Increased inorganic mercury in spinal motor neurons following chelating agents. Neurotoxicology 1996;17(2):343-349
Enhances permeability of cell membranes and reduces inflammation
Methyl sulfonyl methane or MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur containing molecule found in fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. It is present in the body and humans excrete from 4-11 mg. daily in urine. Research suggests that it is required for the body to preserve normal function and structure. Its toxicity is about equal to water. Food processing destroys the MSM normally present in food. MSM aids in detoxifying metals by contributing sulfur to methionine and cysteine as well as peptides and proteins and is eventually incorporated into connective tissue. It is also believed to enhance detoxification by increasing the permeability of cell walls. Recommended dosage for continuous use is 3000-6000 mg/day. When starting MSM some individuals may experience transient diarrhea, headache, skin rash, or fatigue associated with the release of toxins. Jacob, Stanley W, M.D., Lawrence, Ronald M, M.D., PhD, Zucker, Martin The Miracle of MSM, The Natural Solution for Pain New York: Berkley Books 1999
Restores and preserves gastro-intestinal function, enhances
hair excretion, glutathione precursor Glutamine is utilized
as a source of energy and for nucleotide synthesis in all
rapidly dividing cells. Hair follicles depend on it for energy
production so that it assists the hair follicle in excreting
toxic metals and the lining of the intestine in resisting
the effects of toxic metals. It also is involved in the detoxification
of ammonia, which reduces ATP production and thus ammonia
interferes with detoxification reactions that depend on adequate
supplies of ATP.
Toxic metal poisoning frequently interferes with the regulation of glucose levels in the body, increasing susceptibility to hypoglycemia. Glutamine can prevent hypoglycemia since it is easily converted in glucose. Glutamine is a substrate for glutathione, which plays a major role in the bodys antioxidant and detoxification defenses. Both glutamine and glutathione are reduced in lead toxicity.Williams R. et al; Metabolism of freshly isolated human hair follicles capable of hair elongation: a glutaminolytic aerobic glucolytic tissue; J Invest Dermatol. 1993 June; 100(6):834-40
Fox AD et al; Effect of a glutamine-supplemented enteral diet on methotrexate induced enterocolitis. J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1988 Jul-Aug, 12(4):325-31
Cao Y et al ;Glutamine enhances gut glutathione production; J Parenter Enteral Nutr.1998 Jul-Aug; 22(4):224-7
Wessner B, et al; Effect of single and combined supply of glutamine, glycine, n- acetylcysteine and R,S alpha lipoic acid on glutathione content of myelomonocytic cells. Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;22(6):515-22.
Binds toxic metals, raises glutathione levels and acts as
Yim CY, et al: Use of N-acetylcysteine to increase intracellular glutathione during induction of antitumor responses by IL-2, Journal of Immunology, 1994 Jan 15; 152(12):5796-805.Meyer A, Buhl R, Magnussen H: The effect of oral N-acetylcysteine on lung glutathione levels in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, European Respiratory Journal, 1994 Mar; 7(3):431-6