Mobilizing Mercury by Boosting Enzymes and Transport Proteins
Now that your glutathione levels are up, you can work on building up the other parts of your glutathione system — specifically, enzymes and transport proteins. Your natural production of these factors can be augmented with superfoods.
Plants contain thousands of natural chemicals (phytochemicals) that help your body to work properly, including production of enzymes and antioxidants. One group of phytochemicals is the polyphenol group, which actually helps activate health-promoting genes.3 Polyphenols are abundant in a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Sulfur-based phytonutrients are particularly important in supporting your glutathione system, since glutathione is a sulfur-based molecule. Therefore, you should consume vegetables from the cruciferous family (cabbage, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, radishes, wasabi, etc.), which are rich in sulfur. Fermenting these vegetables is the most nutritious way to consume them.
Garlic is especially powerful, but it’s the oil of the garlic that supports detoxification, not the allicin (which is the compound known for its antimicrobial effect). And you want the smelly kind of garlic — deodorized garlic is useless for detox! Either eat the garlic raw (yes, you have to chew it up), or purchase a garlic oil supplement. Some of the other compounds recommended by Dr. Shade include:
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) extract: An Ayurvedic fruit used extensively in Tibetan medicine, called the “King of Herbs;” it has potent effects on your glutathione system and on expression of other intracellular antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD)
Sodium R-lipoic Acid : The most bioavailable and active form of alpha-lipoic acid; also good for increasing insulin sensitivity and treating type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and mitochondrial dysfunction
Lumbrokinase : a enzyme derived from earthworms.
Pine Bark Extract : One of the most potent polyphenolic antioxidants; has been found to prolong the activity of vitamin C in your body; good as an adjunct to vitamins C, E and lipoic acid. Your approach with these agents should be to gradually titrate the dose upward to a high therapeutic level, then back it down. It’s best to “pulse” the treatments because your body can’t sustain upregulation for very long. You will be more productive with shorter bursts at an appropriately stout therapeutic dose. This means taking the treatments for a few days, followed by a few days off. Dr. Shade suggests cycling your treatments on the schedule of five days on, two days off (to start), working up to 10 days on, four days off. He instructs, never go more than 10 days on when upregulating your detoxification system.
Ideally, this should be done with the assistance of a healthcare professional trained in heavy metal detoxification who can help you decide on an optimal dose and schedule. If you begin to feel worse, you may be titrating up too quickly.
Capturing and Eliminating Mercury with Intestinal Binders
You do NOT want to mobilize mercury without making sure it has an escape route out of your body!
Once the mercury is in your intestine, you need something to bind it and pull it away from your intestinal wall, and for this we use something called an intestinal binder. Intestinal binders help carry the mobilized toxins out, which prevents them from building up in your bloodstream where they can end up making you sicker.
Binders prevent you from absorbing or reabsorbing the toxic agent, but they also help prevent intestinal inflammation. If your intestine becomes inflamed, the traffic stops because the transport proteins are shut off. That causes toxins to back up into your liver and kidneys, and blood. Removing mercury from your gut will also help prevent dysbiosis, which is at the root of a mind-blowing array of health problems.
There are several types of intestinal binders, but only a couple of them work well for grabbing mercury. Dr. Shade’s favorite binder is thiol resin, because it’s the most specific to heavy metals (mercury, lead and arsenic) and produces high rates of excretion. Thiol resins have a powerful attraction for mercury.
Another good binder for heavy metals is chlorella. Dr. Shade suggests working up to 50 to 70 tablets per day, which is a lot of chlorella. Please work up to that level gradually. Other binders you’ll hear about are clay/zeolites, and pectin. For mercury, these bind very weakly, and you would have to take enormous quantities for many years to see any benefit so I don’t recommend them.
If you haven’t yet had your amalgams removed, you may find rinsing with a binding agent helpful. Chlorella, activated charcoal, or N-acetyl cysteine can be prepared as a mouthwash where it binds to the mercury coating your oral epithelium. Levels of mercury can be very high in this rinse — make sure you don’t swallow it.
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride believes that one of the most potent detoxifiers of mercury and heavy metals are beneficial bacteria. Their cell membranes tend to bind very effectively to the metals and they are typically excreted in the stool. One of the best ways to provide your body with this resource is with fermented vegetables.
Serrapeptase is an enzyme produced by serratia bacteria living on silkworms. With this enzyme the worms melt a hole out of the cocoon. Unlike other enzymes in the field of biology, Serrapeptase dissolves ‘dead’ tissue like or e.g. not both silk and apparently also fibrinoid layers in the arteries which chemically could be compared to silk.
A special problem in today’s civilized society is occluding processes in the carotid arteries of the neck. Very often we see patients where surgeons were reluctant to operate or to apply drill or laser technology such occluded carotids. The reason for this is the potential risk that off coming debris will be pushed into the smaller cerebral vessels.
We have, therefore started to apply Serrapeptase in cases of severe narrowings of the carotid arteries. Mostly in patients showing severe symptoms due to the narrowing, including amaurosis fugax (intermittent blindness). The therapeutic results are excellent, certainly lifesaving. It is, however, mandatory that the therapy be conducted for a very long time. Even after month 18, after the onset of the therapy, the patients are improving.
I have also found Serrapeptase to be an extraordinary substance for safety removing fibrous blockages from coronary arteries, particularly the carotid arteries found in the neck, which supply blood brain. Serrapeptase is a natural enzyme produced by serratia bacteria living in silkworms. Once the silkworm has completed its transformation into a moth, it uses this substance to “melt” a hole in its cocoon, so that it can escape.
Other Factors to Consider Adding to Your Regimen
In addition to a healthful diet as discussed earlier, the following supplements and other measures will enhance and support your body’s detoxification ability:
|A good whole food multivitamin that includes the full spectrum of B vitamins||A good mineral supplement (consider Thorne Citramins II, citrated minerals without copper or iron)||Fermented foods and probiotics|
|Astaxanthin, to protect your cell membranes from free radical damage||Cilantro||Vitamin C, a powerful detox agent|
|Plenty of fresh, purewater daily||Flax seeds (ground) to keep intestines moving||Regular exercise|
|Infrared sauna||Address your emotional issues (I recommendEFT)||Address malocclusions and cranial trauma|
About food combining
There are several food combining systems out there, some more complex than others; but I have found that a few basic rules can make a considerable difference in a person’s health.
I suggest eating fruit on an empty stomach (such as first thing in the morning), and then eating protein and/or complex carbohydrates 30-45 minutes later to balance the blood sugar.
I stress the need for protein at breakfast and lunch. It is ideal to make lunch the largest meal of the day and eat lighter at dinner. I encourage only plant proteins at dinner.
Animal protein is better consumed with low starch leafy green vegetables and should not be combined with carbohydrates. This allows the food to get easily digested and absorbed into the cells.
If foods are not properly combined, they can sit in the stomach, rotting and fermenting for hours. For example, the stomach needs to secrete acid when consuming animal protein to break it down. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, need an alkaline environment for digestion. Mixing the two food groups causes the resulting acid and alkaline components to create a neutral pH, preventing the food from being digested properly. Unfortunately, this is the typical American diet for three meals a day. This is just one of the reasons so many are overweight, but undernourished. Our cells are starving for nutrients, but the food we eat often cannot be digested and absorbed properly. Fruits should be eaten alone because they break down in the stomach in 20-30 minutes whereas other foods take at least 2-3 hours. If fruit is not eaten alone, it starts to ferment the food mixture, which then cannot break down properly.
A few simple ways to decrease the body’s acidity and create a more alkaline pH are to add fresh lemon juice to drinking water or to mix 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of raw organic honey and warm water, 1-3 times a day. Vinegar makes people feel better if they generally suffer from a lack of hydrochloric stomach acid. However, if they have too much stomach acid, they will get acid reflux from the vinegar and honey; a pinch of baking soda on the tongue can instantly neutralize the effect.
In TCM we work to change the diet and lifestyle first, and then focus on herbs and acupuncture. In centuries past, diet and lifestyle changes may have been enough to establish optimal health. In today’s toxic world almost everyone needs herbal detoxification. The most basic herbal formulae to detox the body include plants that address the liver/gallbladder and others that address blood/lymphs and skin. These herbs are found in most health food stores.
Cleansing Chemical Toxicity
The most popular liver detox herb is milk thistle seed, which I combine with bupleurum, chrysanthemum, coptis, cornus, cypress, dandelion root,dong quai, fennel seed, ginger, green citrus peel, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), jujube, lobelia, licorice root, moutan root bark, Oregon grape root, peppermint, phellodendron bark, rhemannia, scutellaria, Turkey rhubarb, turmeric, white peony root, wild yam rhizome, and uncariae ramulus.
I recommend at least 2-4 oz. of room temperature kombucha tea a day. Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from the kombucha “mushroom,” a symbiotic culture of yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms. The culture is placed into a jar with an organic green tea and raw sugar mixture, along with a starter of kombucha tea from the previous batch.
The kombucha culture uses the sweet tea as food. During the fermentation process it makes many nutritional compounds such as amino acids, antibiotic substances, glucon acid, glucuronic acid, lactic acid and vitamins. This tea has been found to help detoxify toxic chemical residues from liver tissue and from the body.
For more severe cases I will add in homeopathic remedies for liver/gallbladder detox, such as Hepeel by BHI/HEEL or GUNA Liver. Both of these preparations feature a combination of various homeopathic remedies to be taken sublingually.
If clients have gallbladder pain, or are known to have gallstones, I start them onLi Dan Pian. This Chinese formula begins to soften and dissolve stones in the liver and gallbladder. I use Mayway’s Plum Flower brand which contains scutellaria, aucklandia, lysimachia, lonicera, artemesia capillaris, bupleurum, isatis leaf, and rhubarb.
Skin, Blood, Lymph & Cellular Cleansers
If I have a client with any skin problems, lymph issues, or abnormal cell growth like dysplasia, cysts, or tumors, I will add in remedies to detox the blood, lymphatics and skin. The most popular herb for this is red clover blossoms, which I combine with black walnut hulls, burdock root, calendula flowers, chaparral, cleavers, chrysanthemum flowers, dandelion root, echinacea, elder flowers, forsythia fruit, gentian root, goldenseal root, gotu kola, honeysuckle flowers, licorice root, lyceum, moutan root bark, myrrh, Oregon grape root, pau d’arco, peppermint, pinellia, sarsaparilla, turmeric, white peony root, and yellow dock root.
For more severe cases I will add combination homeopathics such as Lymphomyosot by BHI/HEEL or GUNA’s Lympho, Cell and Matrix. These formulae detox the lymphatic system, cells and the matrix (space between cells) respectively.
Exercising on a trampoline or rebounder also helps in detoxifying the body at the lymphatic, cellular and matrix levels. The up and down movements provide a positive benefit to every cell in the body, helping them to eliminate waste and take in nutrients.
Epsom salt baths can be excellent for detoxing the skin, blood, and lymph. Epsom salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are easily absorbed by the skin. Magnesium regulates over 325 enzymes in the body; it increases the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to help mitochondria in the cells produce more energy; it relaxes the nerves and muscles and lowers blood pressure; it regulates electrolytes, improves blood circulation, prevents blood clots and protects the elasticity of the arteries; it reduces inflammation; it lowers the negative effects of too much adrenaline (one of our stress hormones); and it helps to produce serotonin (one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals that help us relax.)
- Sulfates help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, improve the absorption of nutrients, and reduce muscle pain and migraine headaches.
- Magnesium sulfate also helps support the efficacy of insulin in the tissues and helps to reduce high blood sugar.
I have my clients use a large container of Epsom salts in a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes. Adding essential oils to the bath can help with detoxification as well as address other health issues. Lavender oil aids in detoxifying; and it also calms the nerves, increases energy, and lifts the spirits. Chamomile is great for dry skin. Juniper, eucalyptus, and rosemary are good for muscle aches. Eucalyptus also helps with respiratory problems. I recommend about 40 drops of essential oil per bath, added after the tub is filled with water. Be sure to mix them in well.
Skin brushing can also help detoxify the skin, blood, and lymph. Skin-brushing is done with a dry vegetable bristle skin brush that you can buy at any health food store. Start with the lymph areas of the armpits; then brush the chest, head, and neck, and up the arms toward the armpit area. Next brush the lymph areas of the upper thighs, followed by the abdomen, then the feet and up the legs toward the upper thighs. The upper body is done before the lower; and brush from the extremities toward the lymph areas and the heart.
“Variations on the art of skin brushing have been known for thousands of years. Loofa sponges were used by the Japanese prior to their hot baths and skin-scrapers were used by the Greeks after physical training. Among Native Americans, the Cherokees used dried corncobs, and sand from river bottoms was the choice of the Comanches. Even animals rub themselves vigorously against rough surfaces.”
Hot and cold hydrotherapy helps detoxify the lymphatic system and is also a great natural remedy for pain relief. Cold water constricts the lymph and blood vessels, and hot water relaxes and expands them. I recommend taking a shower using 30 seconds of hot water on the lymphs or painful areas of the body, then switch to 15 seconds of cold. Go back and forth between hot and cold 4-6 times. Always start the process with hot and end with cold.
Many people have heavy metal residues in their tissues which can cause a host of chronic health issues. I use hair mineral analysis through Analytical Research Labs (ARL) to check for heavy metal toxicity, as well as to gain valuable information on mineral imbalances which can signal endocrine disorders.
There are several heavy metal cleansers and chelators available that contain a blend of natural supplements. Chelation agents bind with heavy metal deposits found in the body and help to remove them through the stool and urine. The most common chelator is EDTA—a synthetic amino acid approved by the FDA to remove lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium. However, EDTA can interfere with the absorption of important nutrients and cannot be used alone, as it can cause kidney failure when it binds with mercury.
Usually calcium is added to EDTA formulae to ensure that calcium levels do not become too low. Other common chelators include alpha-lipoic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), bentonite clay, bladderwrack, chlorella, cilantro, garlic, Irish moss (carageenan), kelp, L-arginine, L-lysine, L-methionine, N-acetyl cysteine, sodium argenate, spirulina and zeolite.
Intestinal detoxification is something most everyone can use. A healthy person should have 2-3 bowel movements a day. Ideally, one should have a separate bowel movement for each meal eaten. I encourage all of my clients to do an intestinal detox if they are having any kind of digestive problems. If they have only one bowel movement or less per day, I suggest clients start this program immediately. I have tried many brands of herbal intestinal cleansers over the years and have stayed with the American Botanical Pharmacy’s (ABP) Intestinal Formula 1 & 2 by Dr. Richard Schulze.
Most intestinal cleansing programs incorporate two different formulae—one that acts as a laxative and another that performs as a clay mask for the inside of the gastro-intestinal tract. Many laxative formulae contain only harsh cathartic herbs that can cause the intestinal peristalsis to atrophy and can cause dependency on the formula for bowel movement. One of the great things about the ABP program is that the laxative formula is designed for long term use if necessary.
ABP’s Intestinal Formula contains curacao and cape aloe leaf, senna leaves and pods, cascara sagrada aged bark, barberry root bark, ginger rhizome, garlic bulb and African bird pepper. This lower bowel tonic cleanses and strengthens the whole gastro-intestinal tract. It stimulates peristalsis and helps the colon to work better by itself over time.