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Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
Author/s: Mitchell A. Fleisher
Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century,
we have all been unfortunately and undeniably exposed to an increasingly
toxic and polluted world. Among the most dangerous of these pollutants is
mercury, which is considered to be the most toxic, non-radioactive, heavy
metal. There are no metabolic functions for which mercury is known to be
required. Mercury is considered to be toxic at any concentration in the body
and can cause a very wide range of psychophysiological disturbances  (see
Mercury Exists in Different Toxic Forms
Mercury occurs in three different forms -- elemental or metallic,
inorganic and organic - each with their own unique, toxicological
characteristics and primary sources of exposure (see table 2). Metallic
mercury is insoluble in water but dissolves inorganic, lipophilic solvents
and is found in dental amalgams, thermometers, electrical switching and
pressure-sensing devices, gauges, vacuum pumps, etc. It is the only metal
that is in a liquid state at room temperature and vaporizes easily.
Elemental mercury accumulates in the brain, kidneys, lungs and fatty
tissues, where it causes cellular dysfunction and acute and chronic
inflammation. Elemental mercury is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal
(GI) tract and over 200 grams ingested by children has not resulted in
systemic poisoning. The real danger arises from exposure to mercury vapor.
Metallic mercury vapor crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it accumulates
in the central nervous system (CNS), and damages brain cells, particularly
sensory and motor neurons  (see table 3).
Elemental mercury vapor exposure may result in the following symptoms:
short- and long-term memory loss; poor concentration; intellectual decline;
irritability; fits of anger; depression; anxiety or nervousness; shyness or
timidity; loss of self-confidence; drowsiness; insomnia; bleeding gums;
loosening of teeth; excessive salivation; halitosis or foul breath; metallic
taste in the mouth; leukoplakia or white patches of the oral mucosa;
gingivitis; stomatitis; ulceration of gingiva, palate and tongue; burning
sensation in mouth and throat; alveolar (jaw) bone loss; abdominal cramps;
constipation or diarrhea; colitis; arrhythmias (bradycardia, tachycardia);
feeble and irregular pulse; alterations in blood pressure; chest pain or
pressure; persistent cough; shallow and irregular breathing; emphysema;
asthma; rhinitis; sinusitis; allergies; lymphadenopathy or swollen glands,
especially in the neck; subnormal body temperature; excessive perspiration;
cold, clammy skin, especially of the hands and feet; joint pains; peripheral
edema or swelling of limbs; muscle weakness; fatigue; wei ght loss; anorexia
or loss of appetite; anemia; hypoxia (poor oxygenation of tissues); chronic
or frequent headaches; dizziness, tinnitus or noises in ears; dim or double
vision; hearing loss; fine tremors of the hands, feet, eyelids, lips and
tongue; parasthesias or abnormal, unpleasant sensations; and, hallucinations
and manic depression in severe cases. 
Inorganic mercury occurs as mercury salts, the most famous of
which is mercurous chloride, or Calomel, used by allopathic physicians for
centuries as an agent to "puke and purge" their patients of "evil humors,"
until it was realized that they were doing far more harm than good. Although
only about 10% of inorganic mercury salts are absorbed by the GI tract, they
cause serious injury to the mucosal membranes resulting in painful
ulcerations of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines and rectum,
toxic gastroenteritis with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and bloody
diarrhea. Inorganic mercury salts also damage the kidneys leading to a
decrease (oliguria) or absence (anuria) of urine production, which results
in uremia and possible need for renal dialysis. Although inorganic mercury
salts poorly cross the blood-brain barrier, chronic exposure causes
cognitive dysfunction and behavioral abnormalities  (see table 4).
Mercury can cause Multiple Sclerosis-like Symptoms
Organic mercury compounds are converted from elemental and/or inorganic
mercury by microorganisms and human blood enzymatic reactions (see table 5).
These are volatile, highly lipid-soluble substances, which easily traverse
human tissues. The most important of the organic mercurial toxins is methyl
mercury, which is readily absorbed up to 90% by the GI tract, and
accumulates in all cells, especially in the brain, liver, kidneys, blood,
skin and hair and also in breast milk. Toxicity from chronic exposure to
methyl mercury develops gradually. Methyl mercury inhibits acetylcholine
synthesis, an essential neurotransmitter, resulting in loss of short- and
long-term memory, poor concentration, cognitive dysfunction, incoordination
and gait abnormalities, visual and auditory disturbances, i.e., blindness
and deafness, decreased and/or aberrations of the sense of taste and smell,
slurred speech, tingling and numbness of the extremities, especially of the
hands and feet, tremors of the head and limbs, weakness and f atigue; all
symptoms which are pathognomonic of multiple sclerosis. Chronic exposure to
organic mercury compounds also causes serious immune system impairment
resulting in increased susceptibility to infections and cancers. An organic
mercurial antiseptic agent, Mercurochrome, has caused death in children when
applied to large burns. Dietary organic mercury exposure, largely from
contaminated seafood, has caused toxic disasters, e.g., the Minamata, Japan,
incident in which dozens of infants were born with severe mental retardation
and absence of limbs due to their mothers consuming fish poisoned by local,
industrial waste discharges. The body only excretes about 1% dally of its
burden of organic mercury. Once chronic, toxic damage from organic mercurial
compounds has become established in the body, the prognosis for complete
recovery is poor. 
The earliest symptoms of organic mercury exposure may include:
forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and focus attention; cognitive
decline; irritability; outbursts of anger; depression; apathy and
indifference; headache; and, fatigue. Later manifestations consist of:
progressive loss of memory; emotional instability; general CNS dysfunction;
incoordination; numbness and tingling of the lips, hands and feet; muscular
weakness progressing to paralysis; dim or restricted vision; hearing loss;
speech disorders; kidney damage; immune dysfunction; and, dermatitis. 
There is growing scientific evidence that long-term exposure to dental
mercury amalgam causes Alzheimer's disease and/or senile dementia. 
Both inorganic mercury, in the form of the mercuric cation ([Hg.sup.+2]),
and methyl mercury bind to cell membrane proteins resulting in structural
and functional damage to critical receptor sites, transport channels and ion
pumps, e.g., [Na.sup.+]/[K.sup.+] ATPase, etc., that eventuate in the
disruption of normal cellular physiology and, ultimately, in cell death 
(see table 6).
Dental Amalgam Proven to be a Major Source of Mercury
Dental amalgam is comprised of approximately 46% to 56% elemental mercury
with varying amounts of silver, copper, zinc, tin and other trace metals
depending on the manufacturing source. A large dental amalgam may contain
more than 750 mg of elemental mercury. After placement of a mercury/silver
dental amalgam, there is persistent, low level release of elemental mercury
vapor into the body for many years thereafter. Scientific research has
proven that the corrosion of dental amalgams by chewing, exposure to oxygen
in breathed air, food acids and the electrolytic effect of minerals in
saliva (called "oral galvanism"), causes the continual release of elemental
mercury vapor into the body 24 hours a day and the uptake of inorganic
mercury in swallowed saliva that exceeds known standards of exposure by 10
to 100 times. Studies have shown that a single 0.4 [cm.sup.2] ocdusal
amalgam can release 15 mcg of mercury vapor per day. Human autopsy research
has validated the statistical correlation between the number of d ental
amalgam fillings and CNS mercury levels. 
US government risk assessment studies prepared by the Public Heath
Service in 1994, established standard minimum risk levels (MRLs) for acute
and chronic mercury exposure for the general population. The acute mercury
exposure MRL is 0.02 mcg per cubic meter of air which translates into an
intake of 0.4 mcg per day. The chronic mercury exposure MRL is 0.014 mcg per
cubic meter of air which translates into an intake of 0.28 mcg per day. From
conservative estimates of the daily intake of amalgam mercury vapor
determined by medical and dental experts, the USPHS has concluded that the
average daily intake of amalgam mercury vapor exceeds the established MRLs.
The USPHS has ruled that chronic exposure to mercury from dental amalgams is
not without risk to the general population (USPHS, ATSDR; Toxicological
Profile for Mercury: Update TP-93/10; page 125). Moreover, in 1991, the
World Health Organization confirmed that dental amalgam is the greatest
source of mercury Vapor in the non-industrially exposed population,
significantly exceeding that from food or air. 
Toxic Damage May Occur Before Symptoms Become Obvious
According to Dr. Michael Ziff and his research associates, a widely
respected dental authority on mercury toxicity, "...mercury is so toxic to
the human organism that there can be cell death or irreversible chemical
damage long before clinically observable symptoms appear indicating that
something is wrong. Further, you could be experiencing some of the symptoms
of mercury (poisoning) released from amalgam dental fillings, but since the
mercury exposure is so gradual and because the time between the placement of
the fillings and the onset of symptoms can vary so dramatically (from days
to years, based on your own biochemical makeup and sensitivity), it may not
be readily apparent or identifiable as being associated with dental mercury.
Under these conditions, your physician would have extreme difficulty in
relating subclinical symptoms (not readily apparent or identifiable as being
associated with a particular disease or health problem) to mercury
toxicity."" Dr. Alfred Stock, the distinguished German chemis t, also
alluded to the problem of diagnosing mercury toxicity as the primary source
of clinical symptoms in the earlier stages of systemic poisoning as long ago
as 1926. 
Studies have demonstrated that the removal of dental mercury
amalgam fillings can result in definitive and significant improvements in
overall health status. The Foundation for Toxic-Free Dentistry compiled data
on 1,569 patients from six different sources. Of particular interest in the
FTFD analysis report is the fact that 14% of patients experienced some form
of allergic symptomology and that 89% reported that their condition had
improved or was entirely eliminated after removal of their silver/mercury
dental amalgam fillings. Systemic mercury toxicity appears to have a direct
causal relationship to the development of allergic sensitivity to foods,
chemicals and other environmental factors. Extrapolating the FTFD data to
the approximately 140 million individuals with mercury dental amalgams in
the US, there would be about 19.6, million people (14%) with mercury
amalgam-related allergies, and, 89% or about 17.4 million people would
experience the amelioration or disappearance of their allergies by simply ha
ving their silver/mercury dental amalgam fillings replaced with non-mercury,
hypoallergenic composite dental fillings. [13,14]
ADA and FDA Have
Misinformed the American Public
That the American Dental Association (ADA) and the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) have been negligent in providing the public with
accurate, truthful, up-to-date information about the potential health
hazards of mercury, particularly silver/mercury dental amalgam fillings, has
already been clearly documented.  The ADA has repeatedly denied that
mercury amalgam fillings are associated with human illness, despite the
plethora of scientific data arguing very strongly to the contrary. Moreover,
the ADA has also systematically persecuted pioneering dentists, such as Hal
Huggins, DDS, who conscientiously informed their patients about the
potential health risks of chronic, dental mercury exposure. This is quite
ironic and' disturbing given the history of mercury amalgam. As reported in
the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, "When (mercury) amalgams were
introduced into the US in 1833 by two French entrepreneurs, the Orawcour
brothers, its use was denounced by a substantial number of American denti
sts. So strong was the opposition to amalgams, that the American Society of
Dental Surgeons, founded in 1840, required its members to sign pledges
promising not to use them...the common term for mercury in those years was
"quick silver." The German pronunciation for quick" is "quack." Thus, those
dentists who used mercury were called "quacks." This term has now come to
mean anyone who is an "ignorant pretender to medical skills." Despite the
efforts of a few researchers in this country and Europe to call attention to
the dangers of mercury fillings, most notably a German chemist named Dr.
Alfred Stock who published numerous articles prior to World War II, and Hal
Huggins, a Colorado dentist who has spoken out against amalgams for the last
20 years, debate about the safety of mercury fillings remained muffled until
recently. The amalgam safety debate was revived in this country initially by
a 1989 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declaration that amalgams are a
hazardous substance under the Superfund law, and, subsequently, by a
December 1990 broadcast of the TV program "60 Minutes" that presented a
devastating critique of amalgams." 
Most, revealing of the ADA's current attitude toward the
public welfare regarding amalgams is a legal brief filed with the court by
attorneys for the ADA in a recent California civil lawsuit. In this legal
case, the plaintiff claiming that he sustained injuries stemming from
exposure to mercury dental amalgams, named as defendants his treating
dentist, two amalgam manufacturers, an amalgam distributor and the American
Dental Association. The ADA attorneys' argument was as follows: "The ADA
owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous
products used by dentists. The ADA did not manufacture, design, supply or
install the mercury-containing amalgams. The ADA does not control those who
do (a blatant falsehood with regard to US dentists). The ADA's only alleged
involvement in the product was to provide information regarding its use.
Dissemination of information relating to the practice of dentistry does not
create a duty of care to protect the public from potential injury [filed in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara, Case
#718228]."  The bottom line is that the ADA does not see itself as
responsible to the American public for telling the truth about the dangers
of dental mercury amalgam.
The Medical Device Amendment to the Federal
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, signed into law in May 1976, required the FDA
to classify all medical and dental devices accepted for use in the US.
However, the Final Rule of the FDA Classification of Dental Devices
published in the Federal Register in August 1987, failed to mention and/or
to classify dental mercury amalgam as a dental device. Instead, mercury and
amalgam alloy were classified separately, as Class I and II respectively.
Curiously, neither component itself can be used as dental device, which is
not in accordance with the law as it requires each device to be safe and
effective. Moreover, The FDA's deceptive rationale for failing to classify
dental mercury amalgam as a dental device, thereby circumventing the
requirement that it be proven safe and effective for use in humans, was that
amalgam is a "reaction product" produced in the dentist's office. This is in
clear violation of the intent of the Federal law enacted by the US Congress
governing medical and dental devices. The FDA should have classified dental
mercury amalgam in Class III and demanded that amalgam manufacturers provide
proof of the safety and efficacy of the mixed amalgam dental implants. By
all reasonable ethical standards, the FDA Commissioner should place a
moratorium on the further use of mercury amalgam fillings until they are
proven to be safe and effective for implantation in humans. To date, no such
action has been taken.
The question then remains: are the ADA and the FDA the sort of public
organizations that you'd trust with information regarding mercury amalgams
with respect to the health and welfare of your family and yourself? To be
forewarned is to be forearmed. In essence then, the admonition is for
self-empowerment through careful self-education.
The choice of methods for detoxification of mercury from the
human body is dependent upon the specific form of mercury to be removed, the
target organ system and/or tissues involved and the age and state of health
of the patient.
Environmental and Dietary Precautions
Firstly, it is prudent to remove the sources of mercury contamination, if
possible. Limiting, or avoiding altogether, certain high risk foods, e.g.,
shellfish, coastal and inland freshwater fish and oceanic, bottom-dwelling
scavengers, such as flounder, skate, etc., is a good first step. Though even
deep-sea fish, such as tuna, swordfish, sea bass, shark, etc. may have
significant degrees of mercury contamination. Fish that have comparatively
lower mercury contamination include cod, halibut, pollack, mackerel,
sardines, redfish and herring. Since mercury is primarily stored in fatty
tissues, broiling the fish and discarding the juices is sensible.
Commercially-raised poultry and eggs, which are raised on fish meal, and
certain produce, especially certain tree fruit, e.g., apples, that may have
been sprayed with mercury-containing pesticides, should be eliminated from
the diet. Avoidance of industrial white sugar in candy and processed foods
is wise, since the oral bacteria promoted by these non-foods ferment sugar
into organic acids, which increase the release of mercury and other toxic,
heavy metals from amalgams. Especially avoid chewing gum since the force of
mastication stimulates release of mercury vapor from dental amalgams.[19,20]
Moreover, it is very important to drink a minimum of one-half ounce per
pound of body weight daily of fresh, non-fluoridated water to assist the
body in flushing out toxins.
Another potential source of mercury toxicity is that found in certain
medications, including allopathic, conventional drugs, i.e., mercurochrome
and vaccinations containing thimerosal (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate)
as a preservative, etc., as well as some contaminated and/or adulterated,
traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic botanical medicines.  By far, the
single most significant source of systemic mercury toxicity in the human
population, confirmed by the World Health Organization and the US Public
Health Service, is dental mercury amalgam.
Get the Mercury Out of Your Teeth!
Deamalgamation, i.e., the careful and judicious removal of dental
mercury-silver amalgams by a specially-trained, dental physician and their
replacement with hypoallergenic, non-metallic, composite, dental fillings,
is, therefore, the single, most important step that an individual possessing
mercury amalgams may take (See Table 7 to locate a specially trained
dentist). The removal of dental mercury amalgam is a step-wise process. It
involves the determination of the electroconductivity of the fillings, which
are removed from most to least electrically charged. This serves to diminish
daily, chronic sublimation of mercury into the body tissues between dental
appointments. In order to protect the patient from acute toxic exposure to
mercury vapors, a nasal mask to deliver fresh air, high speed drill with
high intensity, cold water spray, two or more high vacuum suction cannulas
to remove drill waste and vapors, frequent cleansing of the oral pockets by
the dentist's gloved finger and gauze pad and frequent rin sing of the mouth
with water should be employed. Some dentists may recommend concomitant I.V.
Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) during the deamalgamation procedure to help
chelate liberated mercury.  Your dentist may also recommend that special
laboratory testing be performed, prior to the selection of the non-mercury
composite dental fillings to be used, e.g., the Clifford Materials
Reactivity Test, etc. 
Nutriceutical Agents for Detox
Among the most important
nutrients for mercury detoxification is Glutatbione (GSH). GSH is vital in
hepatic detoxification and elimination of mercury and other fat-soluble,
toxic heavy metals, and also serves as a systemic antioxidant. Since GSH is
quite expensive, more cost-effective means by which to increase liver and
body stores of GSH is by use of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), which forms L-Cysteine,
Cystine, L-Methionine and Glutathione in the liver, all sulfur-containing
amino acids which can chelate and thereby remove mercury to some degree, and
Silymarin. Silymarin, a bioflavonoid found in Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
extract, increases synthesis of hepatic OSH by as much as 35% and is also a
potent liver detoxifier and antioxidant. MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is a
natural, dietary, sulfur compound that provides bioavailable organic sulfur
for the synthesis of sulfur-containing amino acids. MSM appears to be inert
in the body tissues, is nonallergenic and overall virtually free of
undesirable side effects. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
are essential in the synthesis of sulfur-ontaining amino acids, and must be
included in the mercury detoxification regimen. Mercury causes rapid
turnover of thiamine in the brain by converting it to thiochrome.
Interestingly, the symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency and mercury toxicity
are almost indistinguishable. Chelated mineral sources of calcium,
magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium and manganese can protect against organic
and inorganic mercury posoning. Selenium is an essential trace element,
which is vital to the activation of GSH- containing, liver detoxification
enzymes and also to the antioxidant enzyme, Glutathione peroxidase,
important in neutralizing free peroxide radicals and oxidized lipids.
Tolerance of selenium may be limited by its binding to, redistribution and
precipitation of mercury in the tissues, which may induce nausea, digestive
disturbances, vertigo, etc. For those who do not tolerate selenium, use of
Vitamin E (Tocopherols and Tocotrienols) to counteract mercury-induced,
tissue lipid peroxidation is indicated. Vitamin E works with selenium to
neutralize mercury. Zinc is important in the production of Metallothionein,
present in L-Cysteine, which detoxifies mercury. Molybdenum decreases
accumulation of mercury vapor depresses adrenal gland stores of Ascorbic
Acid (vitamin C), thus diminishing the body's response to Oxidative stress,
infections, etc. Supplemental Vitamin C, in both the water-and lipid-soluble
forms, is critical to adequate, systemic mercury detoxification. Alpha-Lipoic
Acid (ALA), or Thioctic Acid, is a potent, universal antioxidant, being both
water- and fatsoluble. It regenerates the endogenous antioxidants, Vitamin
C, Vitamin E and Glutathione, and repairs tissue damage due to oxidative
stress. Most importantly, ALA substantially increases intracellular, reduced
GSH. Prolonged use of garlic extract, containing high amounts of sulfur
allyl compounds, particularly allicin, is helpful in the gradual removal
oflow levels of mercury from the body. Microactivated algae, such as
Chlorella and Spirulina, may help detoxify organic and inorganic mercury.
Probiotics, e.g., Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteriae, are helpful in restoring
normal, friendly bowel flora, which are injured by mercury compounds, and
serve to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, including flatulence,
constipation, diarrhea, halitosis, etc. Finally, activated charcoal is
prescribed immediately before and after the deamalgamation procedure to help
adsorb and prevent enterohepatic recirculation of the liberated mercury.
(See Table 8 for recommended nutriceutical dosage regimens).
Homeopathic medicines have been
purported, by skilled practitioners since the mid-l9th century, to help
alleviate the general and local symptoms of mercury intoxification. The
clinical rubric which describes the remedies which may be useful is
"Generalities; MERCURY, abuse of" (see Table 9).  A scientific research
study, by Cazin et al. at the University of Paris School of Medicine in
1987, demonstrated that homeopathically potentized arsenic trioxide (Arsenicum
album), in varying high dilutions, can significantly stimulate the
elimination of arsenic from lab animals intentionally poisoned with this
heavy, metal toxin.  Another study, by Fisher et al. at the St.
Bartholomew's Hospital Dept. of Clinical Phannacology in London, again in
1987, revealed that homeopathically prepared lead (Plumbum metallicum) did
not cause a significant change in urinary lead excretion compared against
distilled water. The study further showed that DMPS (Dimercaptopropane
sulfonate) produced a large increase in the urinary excretion of lead.
However, no such similar research has shown homeopathically prepared mercury
(Mercurius solubills) to enhance mercury excretion from the body. The
haphazard, 'cookbook' or 'shotgun' approach of prescribing a combination of
homeopathic remedies allegedly for the purpose of mercu ry detoxification
has not been proven by clinical studies to be effective and is not
recommended. It is my very strongest recommendation, as an experienced,
homeopathic physician, to avoid any health care provider who seeks to
prescribe for you in this manner, as it may suppress, rather than cure the
symptoms, and weaken your overall vitality. I highly recommend that you
locate a homeopathic practitioner who will examine your state of health
holistically, taking all of your physical, emotional and mental symptomology
into account, and through careful case analysis, prescribe a specific,
individualized, single, homeopathic medicine that will serve to strengthen
your vitality and accelerate the detoxification process. 
Mercury Detox Using Pharmaceuticals
One of the first drugs created for the purpose of heavy metal
detoxification was Dimercaprol, also known as British Anti-Lewisite (BAL), a
dithiol compound developed as an antidote to Lewisite, an arsenical war gas,
used by Axis forces during World War II. It was found to effectively compete
with arsenicals for tissue sulfhydryl groups. After WWII, Dimercaprol was
discovered to be effective for other toxic heavy metal poisonings, however,
it can only be administered by injection, was shown to enter cells and
deactivate many enzymes and to actually cause accumulation of mercury in the
brain. Another drug that has been utilized for mercury toxicity is D-Penicillamine.
However, both of the aforementioned drugs have significant, adverse side
effects, DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-Propanesulfonic Acid) is a water-soluble
derivative of Dimercaprol that was developed to reduce the negative side
effects. Although DMPS has been used since the 1950s in Europe and Russia,
under the names Unithiol and Dimaval, it is, as yet, u napproved for
general, therapeutic usage by the FDA, and is currently undergoing
selective, clinical trials at various US medical office research sites to
determine its actual safety and efficacy. DMSA (2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid)
is an important, orally administered antidote for toxic heavy metal
poisoning. Extensive clinical research by the Chinese, Japanese and Russians
since the 1950s, has demonstrated that DMSA accelerates elimination of
mercury from the brain and effectively removes mercury from the blood, liver
and kidneys, whereas DMPS, which is generally given by the IV route, is
considerably less effective in both respects and has more adverse, side
effects. DMSA has been approved for use in the US for the treatment of lead
intoxication in children, and is marketed under the names Chemet and
Succimer. Both DMPS and DMSA are organic sulfur-containing compounds, so
that people who have sensitivity to the sulfa class of drugs should use them
with caution or not at all, depending upon the degree of the ir reactivity
and on the advice of their physicians. DMPS and DMSA will also remove
significant amounts of zinc, such that zinc supplementation is mandatory
prior to and throughout treatment with these chelating agents. Concomitant
administration of glutathione with DMSA or DMPS should be avoided, whereas
the simultaneous, supplemental use of the amino acid glycine is thought to
augment mercury excretion. Although the effective therapeutic use of
intravenous EDTA (Ethylene-Diamine-Tetraacetic Acid) has been
well-documented for many of the heavy metal toxins, especially lead, there
is evidence to suggest that it is less effective for mercury when used
alone. EDTA removes mercury from cell surfaces and from the blood, but not
from within cells, whereas DMSA is very effective in removing intracellular
mercury and lead, especially from the brain. A single study done using human
brain tissue at the University of Kentucky indicates that EDTA, after
binding with mercury ions, may possibly cause inhibition of tubulin
polymerization, a vital process in nerve cell functioning. At our current
state of knowledge, it would appear then that DMSA is the pharmaceutical
agent of choice for systemic mercury detoxification. [31-34] Various
protocols exist for the administration of DMSA. The dosage regimen
recommended in conventional medicine for mercury toxicity 10 mg per kg in
divided doses of five to ten or more cycles of three days on and fourteen
days off, may result in unnecessary adverse side effects. Another proposed
protocol is 500 mg every other day for a minimum of five weeks. If the
individual is sensitive, a suggested dose of 250 mg may be given every other
day for two to three weeks, followed by 500 mg every other day for a total
of five weeks. However, according to personal communications with Sir Arnold
Takamoto, one of the world's foremost authorities on mercury's influence on
chronic disease and cancer promotion, adequate mercury detoxification may
require as long as two to three years or more, depending on the tot al body
burden and state of health. Many experienced, chelation physicians find the
protocol described in Table 4 to be well tolerated for prolonged therapy.
(See Tables 10 and 11 regarding use of DMSA).
Measurement of Mercury in the Body
Mercury and other toxic
heavy metals are primarily measured in hair, blood cells and urine samples.
Simply put, hair analysis is a useful screening tool but does not provide
information about the actual amount of mercury in the body. Red blood cell
analysis gives somewhat more information about tissue levels, but misses
mercury bound in brain, bone and fatty tissues. By far, the most accurate,
practical, clinical measurement of the relative total body burden of mercury
is obtained through a provocative, 24-hour elemental urine analysis. In this
procedure, a dose of DMSA and glycine is taken the evening before beginning
the urine test, thereby extracting mercury and other toxic heavy metals from
their hiding places deep in the tissues, which is then collected in the
urine, thus giving a more accurate measure of total body burden. It is
advisable to discuss with your doctor which test is most appropriate for
you. A useful, medical history screening tool, called the Mercury/Toxic
Metal Sensitivity Questionnaire , was designed by Dr. Keith Sehnerty and
associates to determine whether further laboratory evaluation is indicated.
If you score "yes" in five or more of the questions, this should serve as an
'alert' warning to proceed with toxic heavy metal testing. (See Table 12 for
the Mercury Sensitivity Questionnaire) 
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Disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors 7 Patients #193/194:100-103,
(17.) Zitf S and Ziff MF et al. Dentistry Without Mercury BioProbe, Inc.
(19.) Pizzorno J and Murray M. Textbook of Natural Medicine.
(28.) Cazin JC et al. A Study of the Effect of Decimal and Centesimal
Dilutions of Arsenic on the Retention and Mobilization of Arsenic in the
Rat. Human Toxicol.; 1087: 6:31 5-310.
(29.) Fisher P. et al. the Influence of the Homoeopathic Remedy Plumbum
Metallicum on the Excretion Kinetics of Lead in Rats. Human Toxicol;
(30.) National Center for Homeopathy Directory and American Institute of
Homeopathy Directory 2000 NCH, 801 North Fairfax St., Suite 306, Alexandria,
VA 22314: 703-548-7790: fax 703-548-7792.
(31.) Klasasen CD. Heavy Metals and Heavy-Metal Antagonists: Chapter 69:
pp. 1615-1637; in Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of
Therapeutics (6th Ed); 1980.
(32.) Aposhian HV. DMSA and DMPS-Water Soluble Antidotes for Heavy Metal
Poisoning. Ann. Rev. Pharmacel. Toxicol; 23:193-215: 1983.
(33.) Pangborn JO. Mechanisms of Detoxification and Procedures for
Detoxilicafion. Doctor's Date, Inc., and Bionostics. Inc., Chicago, IL
(34.) Ziff MF. Ziff S and Hanson M. Dental Mercury Do fox. BioProbe,
(35.) Sehnert KW, Jacobson G, Sullivan K. Is Mercury Toxicity an
Autoimmune Disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients #193/194:100-103,
Estimated Average Daily Intake of
Mercury from Environmental Sources
Environmental Hg Vapor Inorganic Methyl Hg
Source ([micro].day) Hg ([micro]g/day) ([micro]g/day)
Air 0.024 0.001 0.006
Water 0 0.005 0
Fish 0 0.042 2.3
Other 0 0.29 0
Total 0.032 0.337 2.206
Dental amalgam 2.9-17.5 0 0
Adapted from Table 2-1 in Magos,
L. (1991), Mercury metabolism and
toxicology. Dental Amalgam -- A
Health Hezard? Munksgaard, Copenhagen.
Potential Side Effects of DMSA (Succimer)
Succimer Adverse Reactions (%) 
Body system/adverse reaction Children Adults
Nausea; vomiting; diarrhea: appetite; loss;
hemorrhoidal symptoms; loose stools;
metallic taste in mouth 12 20.9
Body as a whole:
Back, stomach, head, rib, flank pain;
abdominal cramps; chills; fever; flu-like
symptoms; heavy head/tired; head cold;
headache; moniliasis 5.2 15.7
Elevated AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase,
serum cholesterol 4.2 104
Drowsiness; dizziness; sensorimotor
neuropathy; sleepiness; paresthesia 1 12.7
Skin and appendages:
Papular rash; herpetic rash; rash;
mucocutaneous eruptions; pruritus 2.6 11.2
Cloudy film in eye; ears plugged;
otits media; watery eyes 1 3.7
Sore throat, rhinorrhea, nasal congestion;
cough 3.7 0.7
Decreased urination; voiding difficulty;
proteinuria increased 0 3.7
Arrhythmia 0 1.8
Increased platelet count;
intermittent eosinophilia 0.5 1.5
Kneecap pain; leg pains 0 3
Mercury/Toxic Metal Sensitivity Questionnaire
1. Have you had sore gums (gingivitis) Yes No
often over the years?
2. Have you had mental symptoms such as Yes No
3. Has severe depression been a frequent Yes No
4. Has ringing in the ears (tinnitus) Yes No
5. Have TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) Yes No
problems been a concern of yours?
6. Have you had unusual shakiness Yes No
(termors) of your hands or arms or
twitching of other muscles?
7. Do you have "brown spots" or "age Yes No
spots" under your eyes or elsewhere in
the skin of your body?
8. Have you tended to have more colds, Yes No
flu, and other examples of infectious
diseases than "normal"?
9. Have you had food allergies or Yes No
10. Have you been to many doctors for Yes No
your health problems and they have
usually said "There is nothing wrong"?
11. Do you have numbness or burning Yes No
sensations in your mouth or gums?
12. Do you have numbness or unexplained Yes No
tingling in your arms or legs?
13. Have you developed difficulty in Yes No
walking (ataxia) over the years?
14. Do you have 10 or more "silver" Yes No
15. Do you often have a "metallic" Yes No
taste in your mouth?
16. Have you ever worked as a painter Yes No
or in manufacturing/chemical or
(fungicides with methyl mercury
ingredients) or in pulp/paper mills
that used mercury?
17. Have you worked as a dentist, Yes No
hygienist, or dental assistant?
18. Have you ever had Canadida- Related Yes No
Complex (CRC) or yeast infections
(vagina, mouth or GI tract)?
19. Do you have a lot of bad breath Yes No
(halitosis) or white tongue (thrush)?
20. Have you frequently had low basal Yes No
body axillary temperature (below
97.4[degrees]F) over the years?
21. Do you have problems with Yes No
22. Do you have heart irregularities Yes No
or rapid pulse (tachycardia)?
23. Do you have unexplained arthritis Yes No
in various joints?
24. Is it common for you to have a lot Yes No
of mucus in your stools?
25. Do you have unidentifed chest pains Yes No
even after EKG's, X-ray, and heart
studies are normal?
26. Is your sleep poor do you have Yes No
27. Have you had frequent kidney Yes No
infections or do you have significant
28. Are you extremely fatigued much of Yes No
the time and never seem to have enough
29. Do you have irritability or Yes No
dramatic changes in behaviour?
30. Are you on antidepressants now or Yes No
have you been in the past?
Common complaints that the sufferer may not attribute to a
hypersensitivity to foods and/or inhalants
Nerve and Muscle Problems
2. Blurred vision
3. Unexplained hyperactivity
1. Unexplained anxiety
2. Unwarranted excitability
3. Unexplained irritability
8. Difficulty concentrating
9. Difficulty thinking
10. Mental confusion
12. Decreased reading comprehension
14. Difficulty recalling words
16. Loss of interest in work or former activities or hobbies
17. Crying spells
18. Tendency for fixed ideas; recycling or repeating of ideas
19. Antisocial behavior
20. Thoughts of suicide
Organs and Systems Problems
1. Skin: Rashes, Excessive perspiration
2. Eyes: Burning, Itching, Excessive tearing, Feeling of heaviness and
pressure within eyes
DMSA 100 mg: 1 capsule daily given ever other day (For patients 18 to 35
lbs.); 1 capsule twice daily given every other day (For patients 36 to 55
lbs.); 2 capsules in the morning and 1 capsule in the evening daily given
every other day (For patients 56 to 75 lbs.); 2 capsules twice daily given
every other day (For patients 76 to 100 lbs.); 3 capsules in the morning and
2 capsules in the evening daily given every other day (For patients over 100
This regimen is to be followed for three weeks on and one week off each
month. The duration of therapy is to be determined by your chelation
physician through sequential laboratory testing of your residual total body
burden of mercury and other toxic heavy metals.
(*.) DMSA should only be taken under the supervision of a physician
trained in Chelation Therapy
(**.) On the days that DMSA is administered, do not take any
mineral-containing supplements and avoid the concomitant use of Glutathione.
Supplementing with Glycine 500mg with each dose of DMSA may enhance its
Obtain DMSA 100 mg from VRP at 800-877-2447; use #235277 to
order at 20-25% discount.
ALL INFORMATION, DATA, AND
MATERIAL CONTAINED, PRESENTED, OR PROVIDED HERE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION
PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS REFLECTING THE KNOWLEDGE OR OPINIONS
OF THE PUBLISHER, AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED OR INTENDED AS PROVIDING MEDICAL OR
LEGAL ADVICE. THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO VACCINATE IS AN IMPORTANT AND
COMPLEX ISSUE AND SHOULD BE MADE BY YOU, AND YOU ALONE, IN CONSULTATION WITH
YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.
DISCLAIMER: All information, data, and material contained, presented, or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of the publisher, and is not to be construed or intended as providing medical or legal advice. The decision whether or not to vaccinate is an important and complex issue and should be made by you, and you alone, in consultation with your health care provider.
Copyright 2013 by Vaccination News, A Non-Profit Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This content may not be copied unless permission in writing from Sandy Gottstein has been obtained.
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