The “How To” of True Heavy Metal Detoxification and Chelation Using Proper Heavy Metal Chelating Agents (DMSA) and Detox Protocols
The key to properly detox heavy metals and heavy metal chelation is using a true chelator or chelating agent within its “half-life” in the body. The half-life of a substance in the body is defined as, “The time it takes for the blood plasma concentration of a substance to halve (plasma half-life) its steady-state,” or when it has lost “half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity.” In other words, the chelating agent needs to be taken often enough so that there is sufficient amounts left in the blood and body to keep the metals from recirculating and redistributing to other cells within body tissues. In the case of dimercapto succinic acid (DMSA), it needs to be taken every 4 hours, which is its half-life. Taking DMSA at its half-life keeps the chelating agent at consistent enough levels for heavy metals to move safely and effectively out of the body. To explain this more simply, keeping the true chelating agents like DMSA consistent in the body is similar to having a hepa filter in your body extracting metals versus a feather duster. A feather duster just moves it around; a hepa filter permanently removes the toxins.
This process works and it saved my life and thousands of others. It is the only protocol that is both safe and effective. With that said, there is more to true heavy metal detox than using a true heavy metal chelator and understanding its half-life. I discuss this in detail in other articles I have written on true cellular detoxification and restoration. Maintaining cell function is critical for the heavy metal detox process to work smoothly and effectively. For example, raising and maintaining INTRACELLULAR glutathione is key to not just protect the DNA, but to keep the toxins, such as heavy metals, moving out of the cells. Glutathione doesn’t do a great job of taking heavy metals completely out of the body, but it does protect the brain from circulating metals like mercury. Raising glutathione in the cell also moves heavy metals out of deeper cellular “store houses” of heavy metals that also need to be removed. Please see my 5R’s of Cellular Healing and Detox articles for more information. These articles explain the importance and process of cellular preparation and detoxification:
- R1 (Removing the Source)
- R2 (Regenerating the Cell Membrane)
- R3 (Restore Cellular Energy)
- R4 (Reducing Inflammation/Oxidative Stress)
- R5 (Reestablishing Methylation)
Before I, or any other practitioner we train, begin any heavy metal detoxification protocol, we also prepare and restore critical detoxification pathways, which include the liver, kidneys, lymphatic and intestinal systems. You must keep these down-stream detox pathways open during the detoxification process or cycle. This is another important reason why it is necessary to work with a practitioner trained in this protocol. Now that we have this foundation, let’s go deeper into how to perform true heavy metals detoxification of substances like mercury and lead.
What is a Safe Heavy Metal Detox Protocol and Detox Cycle?
We already discussed DMSA and its half-life for proper heavy metal chelation. Next, we need to discuss the length and cycling of DMSA during a protocol. For example, it is necessary to take this oral chelator for at least 4 days before you stop. Typically, if you stop AFTER 4 days, little if any metal will be left in circulation to redistribute. If you stop BEFORE 4 days, very little, if any, heavy metals will redistribute and cause unwanted symptoms. Once the heavy metals are cleared from the “shallower stores” in the body, in approximately 4 days, a resting period must begin. Two (2) things happen during this resting period in the body. One, the heavy metals residing deeper in the tissues and cells will begin to move from higher concentration areas to lower concentration areas in the body. Two, detox pathways, enzymes, antioxidants, and nutrients etc. necessary for effective and safe detoxification are allowed to reestablish in the body. We have found that a 10-day off-cycle is sufficient for these two things to occur. Once again, you can see why utilizing a doctor trained in proper heavy metal detoxification protocols is helpful and at time necessary. Otherwise, your detox can become dangerous. We train our doctors on how to support the body in both the on-cycle and off-cycle heavy metal detoxification process.
The next 4-day on cycle will re-clear the heavy metal(s), such as lead and mercury, which have moved out of the high concentration cells and tissues during the off cycle. As I stated before, raising glutathione in the cell during the 4-day on cycle helps this process and prevents any metal from crossing into the brain and moving into other cells and tissues. Also, utilizing a binding agent in the gut helps to prevent metals that make their way to the gut during detox from being reabsorbed. This is known as “auto-intoxication” and is a classic oversight of most practitioners. Please see the R1 article HERE.
How Long Does Heavy Metal Chelation and Detoxification Take?
Perhaps a great mistake of practitioners is not telling their patients the reality of the time this process takes. If a practitioner states that the metals measured on a heavy metal challenge test can be removed in a few months, you know you are in the wrong place. They may even test you afterwards and say, “Look your heavy metals are cleared,” but this far from the truth. It took 20-40 years for heavy metals to bio-accumulate in your tissues, so does it make sense to you that it will come out that quickly? Of course not! No logical person would think it would once we stop and think about it. If it all came out that quickly, you would be permanently damaged or it could even be fatal. Your body is not designed like this. True detoxification and restoration must happen daily and relatively slowly. On average it takes 2 years to remove the majority of most heavy metals like mercury from the body. However, with my high mercury levels and genetically weak heavy metal detoxification pathways, it took me 4 years. Because of my genetic weakness, I still chelate periodically to maintain stability and performance. At one point during the detox (typically after a year), we purposely start to extend the heavy metal chelation off-cycles to provide the metals more time to move out of the deeper “store houses” or deeper tissues. There is also new research for those of you who are detoxing lead that states it can take up to 10 to 15 years for periodic chelation therapy. The reason for this extended period is that lead is stored deep within the bone and during certain life changes, it is released as a result of normal bone loss and regeneration. For example, one study indicates that seniors between the ages of 65-87 with high lead levels, who are losing bone as a part of natural aging, were nearly 60% more likely to die during the 12 year study. They concluded the lead being released from the bone is increasing their rate of heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and weight gain.  In the case of lead, this amount of time and chelation sounds challenging, however, we teach our clients on this process and system and they are eventually able to do it on their own. We believe in empowering individuals by teaching them what to do and continue to do to get their own life back. This is how we are able to help individuals who have not been able to get their life back anywhere else.
Removing Heavy Metals from the Brain
After 3 months of DMSA ONLY cycling, we add a fat-soluble chelator to the protocol to expedite the metals from the brain. We call this the “brain phase” and this is where the real magic happens. Recalling what I said earlier, it is the mercury in the brain that causes the real problems and symptoms. Studies indicate heavy metals, mercury in particular, bio-accumulate over time in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which is the control center of the hormone system in the body. In Part 2 of this series, we discuss how catastrophic this is to how we function and live. The good news is to offset this damage, during the brain phase; it is typically safe and effective to support the hypothalamus and pituitary. As a warning, I have found that supporting these tissues too early may cause the release of metal before the rest of the body is cleared. This is another major mistake that poorly trained doctors make, causing their clients unwanted symptoms. Along those lines there is a timing supporting the thyroid and adrenals during detox and cellular healing. Violating the timing can cause weight gain instead of weight loss, restless sleep, fatigue, brain fog, irritability and irrational behavior.
I recall reading something that Andrew Cutler Ph.D., a great researcher who teaches a similar protocol, said…that after 6-9 months of the brain phase, some symptoms may come back but after you push through this time, your life really begins to change . In other words, finally, the dimmed lights become brighter and you can start to see life clearly again with far less symptoms. Many of you reading this article are living in the dark and you did not know how you got there because the lights dimmed slowly over time and you never noticed. Life can get better when you remove the cause. I can say for sure that after a year, I was nowhere near being done but I had my life back. How do you know when you’re done? Dr. Cutler always said, if you can go 6 months without chelation and have no symptoms. In my experience, I believe a real measure is when you can go 9 months to a year, symptom free, without oral chelation therapy. I had said earlier that typically after a year, I tell individuals to try to go longer off cycles or allow more time for the metal to come out of the deeper tissues. During these chelation breaks, many symptoms start to resurface if you are off-cycle too long. I recall going 2-3 months without chelation (a very long off-cycle) and my wife would tell me I needed to get back on DMSA as she would see the signs and symptoms before I would or wanted to admit. She was always right. Literally, with one or two pills, I would be a new person. The lights came back on! Another time after 7 month off, I thought I made it but, again, my wife told me to get back on. This time I didn’t want to hear it. I fought her on it because I just wanted to be done this time, but she was right again. The metals just come out in waves like peeling back an onion. It takes time but you will get your life back.
True Hope and NO Gimmicks
Heavy metal toxicity is one of Three (3) major sources that I see at the root of so many different health challenges, especially those who suffer with unexplainable symptoms. I believe in my heart that God allowed me to go through what I went through and have victory over it, to bring this message to the millions that are suffering with no true answers. They spend thousands on the next gimmick or product with great marketing, but with little change to their well-being. I also know that God will use your suffering for a greater purpose as well. Never give up looking for the cause because it always exists, and when you remove it, the body really does heal itself; God designed it to do so. Continue to put your hope and trust in Him and ask Him to lead you to that cause…He will not fail you nor forsake you.
- “Biological Half-Life.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 5 February 2014. Web. 10 February 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_half-life>
- Article on bone loss lead and toxicity – Khalil, Naila. “Association of blood lead concentrations with mortality in older women: a prospective cohort study.” Environmental Health. BioMed Central Ltd. 8 August 2009. Web. 10 February 2014 <http://www.ehjournal.net/content/8/1/15>
- A book on how to cure mercury poisoning – Cutler, Andy. (1999) Amalgam Illness Diagnosis and Treatment. Andrew Hall Cutler.