Greenberg Oral Chelation Study-page 11
pre-existing kidney damage or marginal kidney
function. Furthermore, they seldom provide information regarding
multiple toxic metal poisoning. The use of such challenges
seems unwarranted in view of the high incidence of adverse
reactions, the lack of correlation of urinary levels before
and after challenge with actual total body stores, and the
availability of hair analysis which is totally safe and
provides information regarding total toxic metal burden.
Redistribution of stores of toxic metal can produce or exacerbate
all the symptoms of metal poisoning as well as precipitate
immune suppression or severe allergic reactions as a result
of using an aggressive synthetic chelator and these are
particularly likely to occur with DMSA and DPMS in patients
with amalgam fillings. EDTA is also contraindicated in patients
with amalgams or a history of mercury exposure, as it forms
a neurotoxic complex with mercury which interferes with
the polymerization of tubulin in the nervous system preventing
repair of neurons.(14) More recently, a number of papers
have appeared discussing the ability of food supplement/herbal
chelators to remove toxic metals without the adverse side
effects of the synthetic chelators.
In their excellent book on the hidden dangers of dental care, Uninformed Consent, Hal Huggins, DDS and Thomas Levy, MD make the following observation: "Heavy metal chelators almost always overaccelerate the detoxification of the post-TDR patient. DMSA, DMPS, and EDTA can all do this. DMPS is consistently the greatest offender here. Immune declines and clinical illness can result for weeks and sometimes even months after only one injection of DMPS."(15)
Chronic Vs. Acute Metal Toxicity
Chronic metal poisoning (CMP) differs from acute metal poisoning in several ways. An ACUTE exposure to Toxic Metals can be fatal in high doses, requiring rapid intervention with a potent chelator such as EDTA, DMSA or DMPS to prevent permanent damage to vital organs. If antioxidant defenses and trace minerals are not depleted, the patient may respond well. However, because drugs and chemicals also damage mitochondrial function, use of synthetic chelating agents in such patients can result in severe and prolonged adverse reactions.
As I discovered by my own personal experience and in my patients, the majority of metal poisoning occurs insidiously over many years of un-realized CHRONIC exposure to toxic metals. This is associated with mitochondrial damage, reduced ATP synthesis, oxidative stress from excessive free radical production, depletion of trace minerals, impairment of antioxidant defenses and of chemical detoxification mechanisms (associated with multiple chemical sensitivities) resulting in multiple health problems. CMP also produces accumulation of large amounts of toxic metals in bones and other tissues that are continuously released as normal tissue turnover occurs. Thus, after a course of EDTA chelation for lead, lead levels can return to 70% of their pre-chelation levels within weeks. This requires daily administration of a safe, effective chelating regimen over a period of many months. Intermittent chelation ranging from a few times a week to once a month with synthetic chelating agent is very unlikely to produce a good outcome in such circumstances. One of the most frequently overlooked problems in CMP concerns the fact that many persons have toxic levels of two or more metals.
Multiple toxic metals in CMP lowers the toxic threshold for each of the metals involved, so that some persons may become ill or symptomatic at what appears to be relatively minor exposures. This situation requires broad-spectrum chelation or multiple natural chelating agents. Hair analysis is essential to detect the presence of multiple toxic metals and to follow the course of chelation. It is invaluable in detecting abnormalities of trace minerals that are common in CMP and should be performed whenever metal poisoning is suspected.
Toxic metals inside the brain have a markedly extended half-life (over 30 years) requiring non-toxic lipid soluble chelators. Their presence in the brain does not reveal itself in blood and urine tests and frequently, not even in hair analysis, but must be inferred by the existence of central nervous system symptoms such as impaired memory, depression, impaired cognitive functioning, etc.
Another common problem frequently overlooked is hypothyroidism. Mercury is known to directly suppress thyroid function and can also interfere with the conversion of T4, an inactive thyroid hormone to T3, a much more active thyroid hormone which occurs in the liver. Depletion of glutathione and selenium can also affect this conversion resulting in hypothyroidism with the appearance of normal blood tests. The problem of hypothyroidism must be addressed or attempts to detoxify the body will prove difficult or ineffective since metabolic rate is a critical factor for detoxification. Sluggish thyroid function definitely renders the body vulnerable to a host of ailments ranging from arthritis, cancer, and diabetes to heart disease. One of the simplest and most effective screening tests for hypothyroidism, developed by Dr. Broda Barnes, a pioneer in the field of thyroid disease, consists of taking one's axillary temperature before arising from bed in the morning. A temperature of 97.8 or less suggests hypothyroidism.
Chronic Metal Poisioning Treatment
Treatment of CMP requires use of natural broad spectrum, water and lipid soluble chelators that can be used on a daily basis, antioxidant protection, avoidance of synthetic chemicals (cause severe, prolonged adverse reactions manifested by profound fatigue, immune and CNS dysfunction), replacement of trace minerals and broad spectrum monitoring. (Hair analysis most cost effective). The presence of oxidative stress and depletion of antioxidant defenses such as glutathione, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and taurine necessitate a high quality diet with adequate protein and fresh produce as well as appropriate antioxidant supplements.