Mercury is poisonous. However, mercury’s effects are very often misunderstood because the havoc it causes can masquerade under a variety of different names, including autism, chronic fatigue and multiple sclerosis. Mercury can affect practically every system in the body, producing a staggering array of symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to full-blown psychosis; from asthma and allergies to autoimmune disorders; from scrambled hormones to neurological disease.1 There are literally hundreds of other symptoms of mercury poisoning.
Different people experience different mercury toxicity symptoms, depending on their individual biochemistry, but many people carry around a mercury burden that is more than their body can manage. Although symptoms may come and go, mercury-related illness typically is progressive. A person might start off with anxiety and depression, treat the anxiety and feel better for a while, and then go on to develop hypothyroidism, allergies and asthma. Other common heavy metals like lead, arsenic and antimony have similar properties and display similar patterns of symptom variation from person to person.
SOURCES OF MERCURY EXPOSURE
Mercury’s use has been so widespread that people can get exposed to it without even knowing an exposure has happened. For example, if mercury gets splashed around somewhere and does not get cleaned up properly, it can keep on poisoning the surrounding area for decades. An unwitting person may never know that they inhaled a toxic dose of mercury vapor.
The biggest source of mercury exposure for the general public is amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight. Amalgam fillings leach mercury vapor into the body, where it then accumulates. Another route of exposure is through flu shots and some other vaccines, which are loaded with highly toxic ethylmercury in the preservative thimerosal. However, even people who have never had a thimerosal-containing vaccine or an amalgam filling in their life can still be mercury-toxic. This is because they might have been exposed to mercury long ago in a school chemistry lab or on the job, or they may move into a house previously inhabited by a kid who liked to smash fluorescent light tubes in the basement. An exposure that happened decades ago could be causing a whole slew of current symptoms that a doctor is unlikely to be able to explain. Plenty of people have been chronically ill their whole lives, never having figured out what was really the matter.
A HIDDEN EXPLANATION
Dentistry and medicine are the most common sources of mercury exposure, but doctors rarely want to look into mercury poisoning, nor does medical school teach them how. Given that modern doctors have about fifteen minutes to meet with each patient, when faced with a perplexing case, most doctors will not take the time to ask why the person is developing ever more disease conditions and will not even consider the prospect of mercury toxicity. Instead, doctors pile diagnosis upon diagnosis, when a single diagnosis—mercury poisoning—might account for everything.
Some doctors may be aware of the symptoms of acute mercury poisoning from an industrial accident or the like. However, this is distinct from the chronic poisoning that ensues from having amalgam fillings that are constantly off-gassing, enjoying a predilection for sushi and tuna fish sandwiches and topping these off with a yearly flu shot. This kind of toxicity starts off slowly and builds on itself. Moreover, because mercury poisoning can cause personality changes, anxiety and depression, it can be mistaken for a psychological problem, with the accompanying odd illnesses characterized as “somatization disorders.”
Admittedly, even when doctors do think to check for it, mercury poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. Nonetheless, anyone with a chronic disease for which nobody knows the cause should at least consider mercury poisoning as a possibility. Mercury poisoning is curable, whereas most chronic diseases are not. It makes no sense to suffer and doom oneself to taking a lot of pharmaceutical drugs with terrible side effects, when detoxing may be the solution to getting better.
It is possible to remove heavy metals from the body through a process called chelation. (The word “chelation” comes from the Greek word for “claw.”) Chelation is a well understood principle for any chemist, who knows that mercury is particularly attracted to thiols or sulfur found in every cell in the body. A true chelator for mercury has two thiol groups per molecule, which are spaced the appropriate distance to fit around the mercury ion. When one of these chelator molecules comes along, it attaches to the mercury ion, forming a bond that is strong enough to rip the mercury away from wherever it is lodged.
Although the chelator molecule flowing along in the bloodstream with its mercury payload is destined to be excreted, it unfortunately does not have a perfect grip, and after a while it starts to lose its hold. When this happens, the mercury will zip off and reattach itself to some other attractive, sulfur-y location. This redistribution of mercury can cause new damage.
The potential for mercury redistribution highlights the importance of differentiating between harmful and beneficial chelation protocols. A harmful chelation protocol is one that causes preferential redistribution of mercury from less sensitive to more sensitive locations in the body. To put it simply, mercury in the brain, liver, thyroid, adrenal glands and immune system cells will cause more serious damage because these organs and systems are sensitive. Mercury in muscles, bones, ligaments, lungs, skin or fat will be less harmful because these are not sensitive tissues. In the process of moving mercury out, we do not want to inadvertently move any of it into the sensitive tissues, which will make us sicker, not better—even if the total body burden of mercury falls. We do not want to let the mercury take any detours on the way out. This is why it is so important to identify the right protocol, follow the rules and chelate on a proper schedule.
THE CUTLER PROTOCOL
Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD, PE (who passed away suddenly in July 2017) developed a chelation protocol that keeps most of the harmful redistribution from happening. It does this by dosing the chelators on their half-life. What this means is that every time a chelator molecule drops its mercury burden, there is another dose right behind it, ready to pick up the mercury and carry it a little farther on its road to eventual excretion.
The Cutler protocol may use any of three different chelators: ALA (alpha lipoic acid), DMPS (2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid) and DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid). ALA removes mercury, arsenic and antimony; DMPS removes mercury and arsenic; and DMSA removes mercury, cadmium, antimony, arsenic and lead. ALA is the most important chelator because it is fat-soluble and can enter cells and cross the blood-brain barrier. ALA is available over-the-counter and is found in many products, and for most people, it will be the only chelator they will need to use. However, it is essential to use ALA carefully because it can wreak tremendous havoc with improper chelation.
The Cutler protocol is designed to keep the levels of chelator in the blood stable. To this end, ALA gets dosed every three hours or less, DMSA every four hours or less and DMPS every eight hours or less. In practical terms, this requires setting alarm clock reminders to take the chelator on schedule, night and day. The Cutler protocol also measures chelation in “rounds.” A minimum round is three days plus the intervening two nights, or about sixty-four hours. After a round, the person takes a break and starts all over again the following week, keeping this cycle up until they are well again. This process can take several months to several years.
SUPPORTING THE BODY DURING CHELATION
Mobilizing and excreting mercury and/or other heavy metals exposes the body to a great deal of stress. While following the Cutler protocol, it can be helpful to supplement with vitamins C and E as well as zinc and magnesium. People who are chelating also need to be on a Weston A. Price-style diet, at a minimum, to feel decent. This is because mercury impairs metabolism; consequently, many components of the Standard American Diet (SAD) become indigestible to mercury sufferers, even if other people who are not suffering mercury toxicity may be able to tolerate a SAD fairly well.
The good news is that the body will return to health as soon as it can, as long as we recognize the need to remove toxins and feed ourselves nourishing food. While chelating, it is also important to handle symptoms so as not to be miserable, whether through diet, supplements or medications. However, symptom management strategies are not a cure. If our symptoms come racing back as soon as we stop these interventions, we have not cured anything.
HOW ANDY CUTLER CAME UP WITH HIS PROTOCOL
Andy Cutler was a research scientist with a doctorate in chemistry from Princeton. He learned about mercury poisoning the same way I did—by getting poisoned. Like many of us, he got sick from his amalgam fillings. Andy spent a long time searching for the root cause of his various problems. Finally, the local “witch doctor” took the risk of telling him that he had mercury poisoning. I say “took the risk” because mercury toxicity is an issue that is embroiled in political controversy. Dentists have been implanting the stuff in people’s mouths for generations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine schedule is riddled with it, too.
Being familiar with kinetics, or the way chemicals move around and react with each other, Andy realized that the treatment the doctor suggested didn’t make any sense. He became a self-taught expert on pharmacokinetics and chelation, figured out what the appropriate protocol should be and used it to recover his health. Afterwards, he spent a lot of time talking to people with mercury problems, and many of them tried his approach. When most of them did quite well, he wrote his first book, Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment.2 in order to get everything he had learned “out of his head.” He said he never expected the book to sell, but it did and has saved many thousands of people’s lives, health and sanity.
As mentioned, the most important chelator in the Cutler protocol is ALA. How Andy learned about its properties is an interesting story. While he was doing his graduate work in chemistry at Princeton, he had a student job working in the chemistry library. He was in demand helping people with a very difficult index of chemical papers, and he got rather good at using the index. Because of this, Andy was able to discover a paper on chelating mercury in rats, written in Russian.3 Andy had studied Russian for one year and was able to sound out the words to a friend who spoke Polish. Between them, they managed to decipher the article. This article, and his graduate work in kinetics, put him on the right track for understanding the chelating properties and pharmacokinetics of ALA.
Some people are genetically more susceptible to being poisoned by mercury than others. One person might be laid low by two amalgam fillings whereas their neighbor with a mouth full of them may be perfectly fine. Other people can be more susceptible to mercury for acquired reasons—things that happened to them that aren’t genetic. In my case, I had hepatitis, which made my liver unable to get rid of mercury as well as other people. I also had dental adventures that injured me even though many other people have had similar dental experiences without mishap.
My father was in the Foreign Service, and as a child I lived all over the world and got many vaccinations. Later, in my reckless youth, I traveled a lot, hitchhiking overland from Europe to India, back and forth three times. In the process, I wound up getting several different kinds of hepatitis, but as a young woman I recovered well and continued enjoying my life.
In the 1980s, when I returned from living in India for twelve years, my father took me to his dentist to have my teeth evaluated. After this dentist x-rayed my mouth and told me that I needed to get all my fillings redone, I let the dentist drill out eight mercury amalgam fillings and replace them with new amalgam fillings. The dentist used no precautions whatsoever, and it never occurred to me that this could be a problem.
Some period of time after the dental episode, I had a nervous breakdown. I became so emotional that I pretty much cried all day. It came on suddenly, as though I had caught a virus. Unfortunately, I didn’t put two and two together. Meanwhile, my brother thought that I was using drugs. The acute symptoms eventually calmed down, but from then on I dealt constantly with anxiety and depression and other odd symptoms. I went through weepy periods where I could be reduced to tears by a sentimental ad on television. I was so brain-fogged and distracted that I felt as though I was going to rear-end people on the road. I often couldn’t remember which way to turn when I got out of a parking lot. I couldn’t read non-fiction anymore because I couldn’t retain any information. I had no libido. I couldn’t lose weight and keep it off. I was waking up every three hours all night to pee. I was tired all the time.
At one point, an MD got me on Prozac, and I guess that helped, but I subsequently became a big patron of alternative doctors. I did liver flushes and ten-day cleansing fasts with colonics. I spent thousands of dollars on supplements. I did acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I corresponded by fax with a clinic in Mexico. With each intervention, I would get better for a while but it never would stick.
When I developed breast cancer, it scared me so much that I went to a very expensive chiropractor. This practitioner diagnosed chronic mercury poisoning. I was terribly excited to find an explanation for all my weird bad health. The chiropractor told me not to worry about my dental amalgams and just to take DMSA twice a day. I spent another two weeks sobbing all day until I had the sense to stop taking the DMSA. I later learned that I had been detoxing based on very bad advice.
I rooted around on the internet and finally found my way to Andy’s protocol. After a marathon session with a holistic dentist and a few false starts, I got going on the process of recovering my health. Unsurprisingly, Andrew Cutler is my hero. He spelled out what I had to do when the medical profession was clueless about how to help me. He is a hero for a lot of other people like me, too.
Andy didn’t think in black-and-white terms about mainstream medicine. He never said that mainstream medicine is hogwash or that all drugs are bad and only natural remedies are virtuous and good. I don’t subscribe to this simplistic way of thinking either. I accumulated mercury in my body because I had hepatitis C. Although I skated along for decades, ultimately, the hepatitis started to make me very sick. Recently, I was able to cure the hepatitis with a pharmaceutical drug, but if I hadn’t chelated, I would still have all the neurological symptoms the mercury was causing. I needed both alternative and mainstream medicine to completely recover.
HOW TO TEST FOR MERCURY
On top of the fact that the mercury poisoning symptom picture is so chaotic and confusing, it is extremely difficult to test for mercury. It only shows up in the blood within the first three months of an acute exposure. Urine and stool are equally uninformative. This is a problem if you suspect that you may be toxic but are faced with thousands of dollars of dental work. You can’t chelate until all your amalgam fillings are removed.
If you have no mercury fillings, you can easily determine whether you have a mercury problem by doing trial chelation rounds. Any reaction to the chelators, good or bad, means that there is something to chelate.
Although there are no really good tests, a hair test can often be informative. A toxic person’s hair test will usually show very low mercury because the body is holding on to it, and this can be confusing to practitioners. Andy’s book, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities,4 explains how to analyze a hair test for deranged mineral transport, which shows up in the patterns of the essential elements. Only mercury causes deranged mineral transport.
A NOTE ABOUT LEAD
Lead poisoning has been in the news, particularly since the mass poisoning that occurred in Flint, Michigan. The consensus, according to the media and the medical community, is that the children in Flint have been irreparably harmed and are doomed to have lower IQs, impulse and anger control issues and all kinds of learning disabilities for the rest of their lives. However, like mercury, lead poisoning is treatable. With appropriate chelation, these toxic children and adults can recover and live normal lives.
The chelation protocol for lead is a bit different from the protocol for mercury. This is because the body stores lead in the bones, and it comes out gradually as room is made for it in the blood. The treatment is to chelate the lead out of the blood, wait for it to fill up with lead again, and then chelate some more. The agent used for this is DMSA. The process can take several years, but that surely beats the alternative of a ruined life.
When Andy died on July 29th, 2017, everybody who knew him was devastated. He was a brilliant and intelligent scientist and a very witty and generous person. He spent hours of his time online and on the phone answering people’s questions. At first, I was dismayed that he had died with so much knowledge still in his head, but I later comforted myself with the knowledge that he trained and counseled many people. His knowledge is in many, many people’s heads now.
Andy was particularly kind and helpful to parents with injured children. I miss him sorely when our support groups get questions about genetic or seizure disorders. Andy was very knowledgeable and could always suggest something. He was also good at telling parents what pitfalls to avoid in the medical system.
When the public learned that Andy had died, there was an outpouring of comments from parents. I found one post particularly poignant. A mother said her son had asked her why she was crying, and she answered, “Because the man who made you better died.” The son replied, “Don’t worry mom, he’s in heaven and you have the recipe.” So blessings on you, Andy! And thank you for leaving us the recipe.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: TRESSIE
My son started with an Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) score of over one hundred and thirty, and now he scores a big fat zero. (Total ATEC scores range from zero to one hundred and eighty, with the high end being the most severe.) By any definition, my son is fully recovered. No more special diets, no more yeast, no more diagnosis, no more IEP (individualized education program), no sensory issues, no tantrums. He is now in a regular classroom. He listens. In our community, when I tell people I have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they guess it is my youngest and not my middle boy, because the youngest is spoiled and my ASD kiddo is so smart and witty they don’t guess it is him. We did over two hundred rounds of Andy Cutler’s protocol, which is a chelation protocol, but there is more to it. There are other compatible things that Andy talks about and recommends to help with function while waiting for the metals to clear. We did those things—diet, supplements, yeast treatments, parasite cleanses. After a year of horrible experiences with high-dose oral chelation in the beginning, we did not do any traditional therapies or any biomedical interventions that were not compatible or recommended by Andy. With my ASD son, we saw a positive effect from the first round of Cutler protocol chelation.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: SARAH
My son was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism a couple of months before he hit age three. He did some early intervention therapy and almost a whole school year at his developmental preschool, with little change. In fact, he seemed to be getting even further behind his peers. When we first discovered Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol, we were hopeful but also very skeptical. We started my son’s first round of chelation the day after school let out for the summer. Although (looking back at my notes) I was noticing changes even within the first day, I brushed it off at the time as coincidence and figured I must be “reaching.” Surely it couldn’t be working that quickly. By my son’s second round, he started saying stuff he had never said before. This was when I realized there might be something to this protocol. By the third round, he started interacting with the neighborhood kids, and he suddenly was formulating questions! “Want this” turned into “Can I have this?” By round five, he suddenly developed an imagination out of nowhere. Previously, he would sit and fixate on a toy for hours while rocking back and forth on the floor. He also would spin wheels and stare at the wheels turning. He preferred to be alone. One day, I heard him yell in the other room, “Moooooom! Where are you?” That alone amazed me, but when I rounded the corner to see what he wanted, I realized he was playing with his toy mom, and her toy kid was talking to her in his play. By round eleven, he was playing with his sisters, not just next to them, and the “Wh” questions started. “Where is daddy?” ”What is that?”
When I had first discovered the hope of biomedical intervention, I told a friend that I would be happy if I could just get my son to a point where he could ask a question—and here I was, eleven weeks in, and my ultimate goal had already been met. We just finished round twenty-eight. My son is a different kid. We can now go to restaurants. That is amazing, considering that six months ago my husband and I had agreed that was probably not in the cards for us ever again because our son would completely melt down with sensory overload. Now, I don’t have to pull the car over every five minutes to pull my son’s pant legs back down (because when they hit higher than his ankle it would completely freak him out).
He’s answering open-ended questions now. It takes him some time to process them, but I can ask him what he wants for Christmas and he will say “I want presents, mommy.” He’s making huge cognitive gains, can follow directions and sleeps! He used to wake at three in the morning and wandered the house aimlessly every night. Now, if he wakes, it’s typically to go to the bathroom, grab one of us to lie with him (which he wouldn’t do before) and then fall right back asleep. His teachers are commenting that he’s excelling. Oh, and he tells me he loves me. I could go on and on. My son’s expressive language is just a couple points outside of the average for his age now. If he were to be evaluated now, I believe he would probably fall more into the high-functioning category. We still have years to go, but considering we are only six months in and have a brand-new happy kid, I’d say we are on the road to recovery.
THINGS TO NEVER EVER DO
The Andy Cutler protocol takes into consideration mercury’s tendency to redistribute from harmless places in the body to the brain and sensitive organs. In contrast, less well-thought-out detox methods can redistribute mercury indiscriminately. Thus, it is important to completely stay away from other commonly cited chelation vehicles and strategies, such as taking chelators off their half-life; using cilantro, EDTA or chlorella; using ALA for anything other than chelating; or using anything other than vitamin C intravenously.
DO NOT TAKE CHELATORS OFF THEIR HALF-LIFE: Taking a few hundred milligrams of DMSA twice a day, every eight hours or every other day, will make someone sicker than they already are. It mobilizes way more mercury than the body can possibly excrete and causes too much redistribution.
AVOID CILANTRO: From the horror stories we hear from people who tried to detox with cilantro, we think that it is an actual fat-soluble chelator that crosses the blood-brain barrier, similar to ALA. Nobody knows the active ingredient in cilantro, nobody knows its half-life and there are no standardized doses, so it is almost impossible to use properly. Although it is indeed “perfectly natural,” so are botulism, strychnine and hemlock. Some of the worst stories of regression we hear come from people who juiced cilantro or made cilantro smoothies or salads.
AVOID EDTA: EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is not a clinically useful chelator for mercury. Although it increases the amount of mercury that shows up in the urine, it does not chelate mercury from sensitive organs nor clear it from the body. Using EDTA will actually make someone get worse by moving mercury out of harmless locations into the brain, liver and hormone-producing glands. EDTA does chelate lead very effectively, and it can also be used to clear minerals out of clogged arteries. It is unwise to use EDTA until after removing all amalgam fillings and doing several years of chelating with ALA.
AVOID CHLORELLA: A true chelator has two thiol groups that latch onto the mercury ion securely enough to get it moving along out of the body. Chlorella contains various molecules that have only one thiol group, so it picks up the mercury and flings it around indiscriminately. In nature, chlorella can absorb heavy metals—and is often contaminated with them—absorbing them from the inorganic environment, which has few thiols, not from other living things, which have plenty. In a living body, chlorella does not absorb heavy metals but causes their redistribution.
DO NOT USE ALA FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN CHELATING: Chemicals do not care what we think or what the most important doctor in the world tells them to do. Chemicals act entirely according to the laws of nature. Many practitioners prescribe ALA because it is a powerful antioxidant. A common recommendation we have heard is six hundred milligrams a day to treat diabetes. Apparently ALA is effective for that, but it is also a chelator, and over time, if someone has any mercury in their body, the ALA regimen will concentrate mercury into their brain and other sensitive organs. In short, ALA acts as both an antioxidant and a chelator at the same time. Practitioners and patients will not realize that the neurological issues that slowly develop are due to the misuse of ALA. No matter what the practitioner’s intent in prescribing ALA—whether as an antioxidant, for liver protection or to treat diabetic neuropathy—the ALA also will chelate any available mercury. Because it is not being given on a proper schedule, the result will be to gradually concentrate mercury into the brain and other sensitive organs.
DO NOT USE ANYTHING INTRAVENOUSLY EXCEPT VITAMIN C: Many (and even most) practitioners who treat heavy metals want to do intravenous (IV) chelation. However, an IV of a chelator is a hazardous proposition because it will mobilize a huge amount of mercury, the bulk of which will be redistributed. Glutathione is another IV never to do. A glutathione IV will mobilize mercury without getting any of it out of the body, causing a huge “redistribution event.” It is common for people to become mentally ill and develop bipolar disorder as well as many other problems after these IV glutathione interventions. At best, they provide only temporary symptom relief, and they don’t remove any toxic metals from where they are doing damage. The most dangerous aspect about glutathione IVs is that people often have several good experiences with them first, so they ignore the warnings and keep on going until the bad one hits.
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: LINDA
I have been chelating off and on since 2005 and so far, I have reversed multiple sclerosis (MS) and ulcerative colitis, two conditions that are supposedly impossible to reverse. There are signs that my adrenal fatigue is getting better. Not sure about the hypothyroidism. In 1991, I had my first MS attack. The attacks were numbness, weakness, balance problems and difficulty walking. During the first attack, my legs felt like huge pieces of wood. I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2000. I started the MS diet soon after that. Everyone was telling me that amalgam fillings were completely safe, but then I saw a doctor in 2004 who told me I had mercury poisoning and put that in my chart. This motivated me to remove my amalgams despite the exorbitant cost. I started chelation the next year. My MS diagnosis was reversed in 2008 by the same neurologist who gave me the original diagnosis. MRI lesions were either gone or reduced in size. I had a normal neurological exam and no MS symptoms at that point. Every time I had seen this neurologist from 1991 to 2007, I had MS symptoms and an abnormal neurological exam. The neurologist even got mad at me and told me not to come back because “MS isn’t curable.”
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: PAOLA
My adrenal fatigue was my number one issue: debilitating, crushing, all-exhausting, zombifying, brain-numbing, life-juice-sucking fatigue. This is the reason why I started chelating, and now after one hundred thirty rounds, it is now as good as gone. It flares up now and then when I’m on round for a few hours, or when I increase the dosage. Most of the time, I feel like there is nothing holding me back any more. Whatever I want to do, I just get up and do it. What a concept! Other things that have improved immensely are motivation and procrastination. I’m active all the time. Whatever needs to be done gets done. My low blood sugar issues, which started with chelation, have now disappeared. They used to make me wake up in the middle of the night, and I had to eat to be able to fall back asleep. Sometimes at one, two or five in the morning, every single night! It was the most frustrating thing ever. This has completely resolved. I now eat just two times a day, like I used to years ago. My voracious, insatiable appetite has normalized. And my eyebrows have grown back! I wish I had taken before-and-after pictures, but I never expected that to happen! Migraines during “that time of the month” also are better. Before, I used to be knocked out cold for three days straight. Movement would cause an unbearable hammering in my temples. Now, the migraines are changing into headaches instead of hammers. The intensity is down by around 40 percent and the headaches are down to one day per month instead of three. There is still room for improvement, but things are sooo much better. Nausea is also better. My dietary problems are resolving. My thiol sensitivity has improved. I can now eat FODMAPs (like avocados, apricots and peaches) without a problem. A fantastic transformation has taken place. Im forever grateful to Andy Cutler and the peeps in the Andy Cutler group on Facebook. I wouldn’t have done it without them! [Note: The group is now called Andy Cutler Chelation: Safe Mercury and Heavy Metal Detox.]
CUTLER PROTOCOL TESTIMONIAL: KAREN
In 1999, at age thirty-six, I was suffering from anxiety and depression. It’s likely I suffered from anxiety my whole life without recognizing it. Being anorexic as a teen, I also had endocrine issues almost my entire life. In 2001, I started seeking alternative medicine, primarily for amenorrhea and poor brain function. In 2005, not having found any solutions and having read testimonies of people with cognitive issues that improved after having their amalgams removed, I thought I might as well try that myself. I had nothing to lose. I had my amalgam fillings removed by a dentist who practices safe amalgam removal. However, the chelation and detox protocol that my holistic doctor prescribed subsequent to the removal did me much harm. Rather than moving mercury out of my body, it mobilized it, moving even more of it into my brain. I did almost everything that Andy Cutler says not to do: intravenous DMPS and glutathione, EDTA, chlorella and cilantro. In 2011, my mental health worsened dramatically. It began with negative and obsessive thoughts. My sleep completely deteriorated. I would fall asleep but wake a few hours later feeling panicked and unable to sleep. Intense anxiety, regret, panic and obsessive thoughts plagued me twenty-four-seven. The magnitude of regret and panic over inconsequential decisions was unfathomable. I had extreme self-hatred and guilt and cursed at myself. I screamed at God to please stop torturing me and to take my life. I was on the verge of insanity.
At a friend’s urging, I began Andy Cutler’s chelation protocol in August 2013, with three milligrams ALA. For the first two years, progress was slow and up and down. Shortly after the two-year mark, I began experiencing relief, for which I am extremely grateful. Friends see a night-and-day difference in me, and I feel completely different. Prior to starting Cutler’s protocol, I had been following a Weston Price diet (since 2000); I began Bee Wilder’s anti-candida diet in 2010; I saw two homeopathic doctors, a specialized psychiatrist and two cognitive behavioral therapists; and I did one year of nutritional balancing. It was not until I started following Andy Cutler’s protocol with proper supplements that I finally started getting better.
2. Cutler AH. Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment. Sammamish, WA; 1999.
3. Leskova GE. [Protective effect of lipoic acid amide in experimental mercurialism.] [Article in Russian] Gig Tr Prof Zabol 1979;6: 27-30.
4. Cutler AH. Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities. Sammamish, WA; 2004.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2018.🖨️ Print post
Chelation can save a life or reduce what was already very toxic. But you can’t guarantee that toxic metals can be chelated. Chelation only happens in the blood so you have to ensure that the toxins are already in the blood in first place before it can be anywhere as effective. So you’re playing deck on cards. Sulfur containing amino acids and vitamin C are as good as chelators, as well as some phytochemicals in some vegetables. These do a better and even safer job than any chelating agent.
Andy would not have agreed with that. Alpha lipoic acid is a fat soluble chelator and crosses lipid barriers. That is why it is so dangerous to use improperly.
Tom Ubl says
ALCAR crosses the BBB
Yes, but it’s not a chelator. It will just concentrate heavy metals in fatty tissues such as the brain.
ALA is not your typical chelator. It is taken up by cells converted to dihydrolipoic acid which then attaches to metals inside the cell and escorts them out. By this mechanism, it also crosses the blood-brain barrier. When it is taken according to its half-life it removes metals like mercury from the brain.
ALA chelates inside and outside of cells, organs and crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is a long process but the only way to fully recover so worth the time and effort. It must be taken every three hours or less for 63 hours minimum followed by a minimum of 72 hour rest period.
Did you even read the article above?
Tom Ubl says
Please cite a list of sulfur aminos that would be used. ALA crosses the blood brain, but I am not sure if it contains a sulfur molecule.
Where can I find Andy’s protocol without reading a text book? (My brain can’t deal – just simple protocol. ) thanks if you can help!
I have the protocol clearly outlined on my website http://www.maybeitsmercury.com. In both French and English.
I’m surprised there is no discussion about chemtrails as one of the things being mass-sprayed on us is mercury.
Mercury poisoning affected my ability to focus throughout my school years, so academic potential was never released.
I eventually found dentists who took out the amalgam (during the 80’s and 90’s this was so difficult) but though chelation was never mentioned, I did find immediate benefits.
The whole experience has left me extremely socially maladjusted to put it mildly.
I now have a phobia of dentistry, when I am in the dentist’s chair I am overcome with the desire to physically struggle with the dentist, while howling with pain. This causes patients in the waiting room undue mental discomfort and makes me acutely embarrassed.
So my teeth, weak from childhood gradually fell out over 40 years. 4 out of the original 32 remain.
The astonishing thing about all this is I am an active, happy 67 year old with a great relationship and many friends and interests, chiefly music.
As good food, rest and mental hygiene have gradually improved my blood chemistry my health is fantastic.
Gone is the chronic fatigue which was the bane of so much of my years. I almost never come down with illnesses and have managed my own health for decades without needing to bother the medical profession, after a childhood battling with chronic sinusitis, headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, anxiety and depression, leading to 2 suicide attempts before the age of 16, running away from my family at 14, being locked in reform school, asylums and jails, homeless and diagnosed as schizophrenic.
I remember reading about Weston Price back in the early 80’s, when I had toothache that lasted weeks and in fits of crazy pain would fantasise about cutting my teeth out of my mouth with a pocket knife.
I am so grateful to the dentists who have had the courage to face this plague of poison, and those good folks like Andrew Cutler who research how to transition back into normal cognition after years of mental/spiritual/physical disturbances.
I don’t want dentures, I don’t want implants. I woukd be interested in stem cell teeth regrowth or even tooth transplants which I heard are mostly rejected after 20 years!
I suspect business interests and powerful lobbies are restricting access to treatments which would result in reduced cash flow to practitioners, as well as reducing discomfort for patients.
I still fantasise about being able to crunch nuts though. Living on soft food can be limiting, but i’ll take this limit over the constant misery of feeling myself going crazy and no-one knowing why!!
Maybe one day there will be a technology to replace adult teeth, and maybe I could afford it, and maybe I can find a dentist who understands dentist phobia and would give me a general anesthetic so I don’t punch his lights out! I hear they exist in London, but cost an arm and a leg.
A toothless appearance is shocking, and I feel others’ embarrassment acutely, but you sure find out who your real friends are. My old pretty smile covered too much sometimes.
These days a senile grin is the best I can do until salvation comes in some form or other.
Michael, I am glad you feel well after all of that.
Gayle Hardine says
Yes, it is good to hear that for all we go through from bad medical care that someone can have a silver lining. It gives me some hope. I am very happy for you that things are much better now.
Susan Wallen says
Andy Cutler’s books referenced in Rebecca Lee’s article are in short supply. Amazon has 17 copies of Amalgam Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment starting at $246.72. For the book Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities, Amazon is selling 8 copies, starting at $510.00. What he learned is precious, indeed.
Elizabeth Gramt says
You can find a copy of Amalgam Illness in our library if you’re in LA.
Also, I wonder what Andy would feel if I looked to see the little of I have of the book he was going to publish but never did – I reviewed it and I did send it back to him, but a small part of it I probably have on my older desktop.
Andy’s book “Amalgam Illness” is available once again at http://www.noamalgam .com. “Hair Test Interpretation” will be available again very soon. These books are now being professionally printed and cost $90. The old ones that Andy photocopied and stapled together himself are no longer available. I rather treasure mine.
The crazy prices on Amazon are some kind of wierd book speculation and have nothing to do with any of us.
The new book, which I cowrote with Andy, is in its final stages. I hope it will come out in August or soon after. It will be called “The Mercury Detoxification Manual,”and will be a kind of mercury detox for dummies.
Is the new, professionally printed book identical in content to the original stapled book? Are there updates? (typos or info?)
I wold love to get a new copy, and save my stapled copy from being marked up.
I am looking forward to The Mercury Detoxification Manual when it is ready!!
Sumit Bhattacharya says
Hi, I have found that wapf diet alone has reduced 100 percent of my symptoms, but I could not live without wapf diet even for 1 meal, but before wapf , I did had amalgam in two of my teeth and still having them but that did not cause any problem but I tried ayurveda with heavy metal for two years and that has given me permanent dry mouth, repeated tiny bleeding from chest hair follicles, as well as repeated scars on my scalp.
My question is that in ur case aswell it might be that finding write wapf protocol must have helped you more than acc protocol.
Bethanne Elion says
the books can be purchased through noamalgam.com at a reasonable price.
You can get the book on noamalgam.com.
Sad to hear of Andy’s books being sold at high prices in booksellers. The best place to get it is still from his website http://www.noamalgam.com
What do you think of the Advanced TRS chelation method? So many people are having amazing results.
From what I can figure out TRS is zeolites. Zeolites don’t chelate anything. Maybe they are having some effect somewhere, somehow on symptoms, but they are not moving any metals.
TRS is sold via Multi Level Marketing, which makes people’s claims about it highly suspect. There’s a huge incentive to sell the product through positive testimonials.
mira lire says
Thank you! I had just found a TRS video, looked @ some of the posts on its fb page, & was getting excited about it. Now I’m more suspect …
I used the Cutler method with my son, who was dx’ed with high-functioning ASD at age 6. We began at age 11. In the first three months he began making eye contact, interacting socially at an incredibly higher level, showing empathy, and expressing emotional self-awareness. Now, after 175 rounds, he has lost all his autistic symptoms. God bless Andy Cutler!
do you have a copy of the exact protocol you followed? Considering this for our boys, but very overwhelmed by all the information
Hi. What do I get a copy of your new book when it comes out?
My testimonial above has been reprinted with my permission.
Unfortunately, it shows only a brief period in my chelation journey. Shortly afterwards my health detariorated again.
Most recently, around 3 months ago, after having completed 250+ rounds and having chelated for over 4 years and having reached dosages of up to 400 mg of ALA, I came down with a mystery illness. I thought I would die. I visited the ER twice. My Dad thought I would die. During that time I had many symptoms which are ascribed to mercury: dizziness, weakness, fine motor skills problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, tics, and many others. And this although I must have been, according to Andrew Cutler, essentially mercury free.
I started looking for solutions and answers which I found only by disregarding what Andy was saying.
It turns out he was wrong about many things.
I believe his protocol works and it should be performed the way it was designed. But the whole diagnostic part is deeply flawed. ALA does more than chelate mercury and other toxic metals. Consequently, a reaction to ALA can mean other things as well, things which Andy said were “nonsense”. I had to find out that it is the other way around: everything Andy was saying on that topic was nonsense.
I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Can you clarify what you think is wrong with the protocol?
Wow, I hope your health situation has improved! Can you please elaborate a bit more? You left your story kind of open ended. What do think is nonsense about what Andy researched about ALA and what else are you referring to that it does that Andy didn’t say? I have a sick family member who is looking into this and we’d really like to be armed with as much info as possible before he begins anything that might harm him or make him feel even worse!
I find your comments rather vague, Paola. You need to be more specific about what ALA does that Andy got wrong.
Have you tested for Lyme Disease and its coinfections? I read somewhere and I bet it was Andy who said it, that mercury kills Lyme; therefore, someone with Lyme should first get rid of Lyme. Mercury stored in brain doesn’t allow Lyme in there. When we remove mercury, Lyme had an open way in there and that can be the cause of our symptoms to come back or even get worse. Unfortunately Lyme is really good in mimicking other diseases including heavy metal poisoning. I’ve had Lyme for over four years. I am positive that I have mercury poisoning as well but have no intention of taking care of it till I’m sure Lyme is gone. But I got my sons hair tested and now they’re on chelating therapy. I’m watching them and learning as this is ahead for me.
Sylvia, knowing you have mercury poisoning, may I ask what protocol you follow for Lymes? The ones I’ve looked at call for detoxing… How do you detox without disturbing the mercury?
My question for everyone (and what maybe Paola is referring to…): doesn’t SO much chelation (250+ rounds…holy sh$!) also sap the body of all beneficial metals, like iron, magnesium, selenium?? The ALA doesn’t distinguish between mercury and iron, does it? And if this is the case, it would seem like so much chelation would wreak havoc. If there were a way to JUST pull out hg, pb, etc, that would be wonderful.
Nan Fray says
Really Paola….You do need to explain in detail…When making statments like that…There are alot of people who are sick and using Andy’s protocol…This is very disheartening to read this.
Dianna Drake says
Paola, yes it’s confusing.
We used Jarrow’s sustained ALA overnight to give us some leeway in half-life. The current recommendation overnight is every 3-4 hrs since metabolism slows down then. We sometimes didn’t wake up on time and did it every 5-6 hours.
Believe it or not, that worked, as I suspect that is still shorter than the half-life of Jarrow’s sustained formulation. I know this isn’t accepted practice, but I wanted to share what worked for us after 45 rounds, as the 3-4 hrs overnight tempo is a big roadblock.
We plan to restart again after taking a quarter off. It made a huge difference for our now 7-yr old autistic son. This was after 2.5 yrs trying the Yasko protocol. She’s great methylation expert but she unfortunately recommends EDTA and friends for chelation.
We do not recommend using sustained release ALA for getting out of the nighttime dose. This is because ALA is absorbed at a specific location in the gut, so the sustained release stuff will eventually move past that point and not get absorbed anymore.
You are lucky if it is working for you, but it might really hurt some other child.
I have done 16 rounds of ALA, I started with 25mg in February 2018 and then 50mg (several pauses due to exhaustion/as late to bed – since “always”).
In 2010 doctors, incl Dr Klinghardt who I met briefly, said I had Hg in the brain (had various chemical poisonings since age 2). Born in 1947, now 71, still very active. In 1949 I drank a bottle of marker ink with nigrosine, aniline, dye, benzene) something similar at age 5. Meningitis at 14. Formaldehyde poisoning at age 44. 4 months of iv drips at cancer clinic in Mexico. Leaky gut/Leaky brain.
Last week I started HUMAWORM HERBAL CLEANSE for PARASITES. Ok that I STOPPED ALA? Thought of follow with colon, liver, candida etc.
I had 2 fecal transplants by summer 2017, but no donor to continue as needed. Felt no improvement in the brain (inflammation in the cerebellum/coordination issues ++). Other improvements yes.
My hair-test, sent via Joann: from one of the best interpreters: “16 essential elements with NONE above the 50th percentile, an extreme Rule 1 test. Saves figuring out Rules 3 and 4. Something like 99.9% likely to be mercury toxic”.
HUMACLEANSE for the COLON: contains psyllium, senna, and cascara sagrada. Hopefully the 3 are not not too hash for my intestins. No dr to help me here. Just wanted to make sure if ok to put on hold the ALA, or when I could start again and do it on the side.
I look forward to the new and simplified book very soon.Thanks.
Steve B says
There are several forms of ALA being sold… and I don’t see mention of any of them.
Is R-ALA better? It is said to be the active form, which seems better..
There is also S-ALA, and RS-ALA.
Can you please enlighten me on which form seems best?
Rebecca Lee says
The ALA you want is RS-ALA, It is usually just called alpha lipoic acid. Andy reported that R-ALA made people sick.
Ted Hu says
Maybe r form is too permeable.
Literature suggests key effect of ala is boosting intracellular glutathione by order magnitude. That is required for proper cell differentiation and proliferation and of course repair.
Why did r form make people sick and how so?
Alan Downey says
I am 65 now and have a new lease on life. I found Andy’s protocol in early 2015. I had to get my amalgams out so I started chelating in Aug of that year. I had all the symptoms of alzheimer’s. I was getting lost. I was unable to follow instructions. When I needed a bathroom it was very very urgent. I was physically weak having to sit down twice to do my dishes. My mental state was pretty insane. I had no control over what would happen when I experienced stress. I had been like this for over 3 years. I had a doc who could find no disease for a cause.
I have kept going to the doc and he has helped me implement the protocol when he could. He uses tests and the record of my recovery is very clear when the tests are graphed. He has 3 years before chelation and 3 years of chelation. I am almost normal now. I have a good memory and the energy to do hard exercise. It is easy to do things and I can follow instructions again. The difference for me is miraculous. I started losing my intellect in 1988 and experienced a slow downhill since then till now. I had extensive amalgam work done that year.
Andy is my hero. I am forever grateful to recover from hell.
Paul Gordon says
Alan I’m so glad you did recover, I’m French and I live in Thailand, I want to start the Andy protocol but here in Thailand it’s not easy find medication…all testimony give me hope…
@Paul Gordon. All meds can be ordered online and shipped to Thailand. All the chelators can be bought from livingsupplements.com and shipped to Thailand. You can also order almost any supplement from iherb.com as long as you keep each order value under 1500 baht.
This is perhaps a little late.. but you also can have a compounding pharmacy in BKK make for you. My wife’s functional medicine doc at Bangkok Pattaya hospital ordered them for her chelation. If you happen to be in this area, check with the anti aging doc at the hospital. She is well schooled and more a naturalpath than alopath.
still kicking says
If it helps anyone, I had chronic shingles for 30 years, twice per month. Nothing helped, no drugs, no doctors, nothing stopped it. Pain of hundreds of shingles outbreaks is unbelievable. Then a crown fell out with mercury attached. I noticed I felt much better, so I had all mercury fillings removed, including crowns which often hide mercury under them. Chronic shingles is gone now.
So I have a message to dentists (and doctors who say “there is nothing wrong with mercury fillings so I won’t give you my permission needed for dentist to remove them”), FU, burn in hell, I wasted 30 years on your quack medicine. You bastards essentially wasted my whole life… couldn’t work, or basically do anything, No jobs, no money, no wife, no kids, no girlfriends, I have nothing. FU. You MDs have no business “practicing” with your practice on anyone. To dentists, I say, the reason dentists have the highest suicide rate of all professions is due to mercury, and I think you dumb a__es deserve what you get. Mercury disables the immune system causing roughly 50% of all human diseases, and you, dentists, are the primary cause. When you kill yourselves, you are saving innocent lives, our lives. FYI… US Healthcare system is NO. 3 cause of death in USA due to “mistakes”, and they admit its true. They know nothing about health or care, they are emergency medicine only, and should be used ONLY during life threatening emergencies like car accidents, etc. It should be illegal for doctors to treat health problems, or anything other than emergencies. Quacks.
Mike Menkes says
Shingles appears to be caused by mercury toxicity so any shingles treatments other than mercury detoxification are inappropriate at best.
Pin Dee says
Would you be able to share any info on the shingles-mercury connection. I am having a discussion with someone about shingles and the CP vaccine and would like more info on the mercury aspect.
Susanne Bergstrom says
It sounds like most ppl here are doing this protocol on their own without medical guidance, except andrew cutler’s god rest his soul. Where does one obtain the DMSA? I can’t find it on the internet.
I swallowed an amalgam 4 yrs ago and shortly after diagnosed with Parkinsons. This is my only hope or surgery, which has its complications….I have lost everything but my daughter to this mercury poisoning. Any sand advice would be appreciated
Join the ACC Facebook group. Supplements may be purchase at living supplements.com.
Hi, I am looking for help with lead chelation, not mercury. I have no fillings at all, but I know I had a lead exposure. Is there a best resource for lead issues? And, is there a list of practitioners somewhere (preferably an MD) who know Cutler’s protocols and about lead chelation?
Thanks so much!!
The protocol for lead chelation is outlined in Andy’s last book, “The Mercury Detoxification Manual” which you can buy from my website http://www.maybeitsmercury.com.
Hi Ellen. this is perhaps very late; a friend just sent me the link to this page. About the lead, MH, (stands for Master Herbalist) on Curezone, worked in a lead factory for some years, and should have been dead by all accounts, with the amount in his system. Went on to learn from Dr. christopher, and makes and sells a lot of herbal products. does nit ship to Canada or I wouod have tried some of his wares. He might be a wealth of good info for you. He raised one or two of his kids completely drug free, and they are VERY healthy.
I have a number of amalgams, and not being able to afford to have them removed, have instead spent some years on doing everything else within my means to improve my health, most notably, liver flushing, juice “feasting” and water fasting. Also, OMAD. I feel better the less I eat, and it just came to me that some of that may have to do with (not) chewing.
These things, and remineralizing with something called the Moreless drink have had such a good effects I had honestly almost forgotten or put aside the whole mercury amalagam issue until now, until it arose — in relation to questions about the current vaccine. All the best to you.
I live near a mine and have exposure to other metals as well as mercury. I am working with someone who said I would get even sicker if I chelated now. He has me eating only fatty meat because of mental health issues and taking supplements because he said I need the mercury to reduce slowly by binding with the fat in the meat. I was just in the ER from extreme constapation. I react to everything including some of the supplements. Has anyone used this protocol when they have also been exposed to other metals? Not sure what to do!
Christina Dreher says
Is it okay to follow Andy’s protocol if you have a fatty liver? What dosages would be used? I weigh 185lbs? Thanks for advice
Thank you so much for this article. It has verified everything that I believe is happening to me. But nobody believes me including drs, friends and family. They all think that I’m crazy. I actually started to cry when I read about the redistribution process. This happened to me last year when I went on a cilantro/chlorella detox program. And then I tanked so badly. I am going to try the ALA scheduled protocol. What a relief to know this info. Thank you thank you.
Dave NJ says
I have read in several places the recommendation not to do IV chelation until after all mercury amalgam fillings are removed. This seems to be the conventional wisdom, but I have yet to read an explanation. A chelator in the blood does not reach the fillings in the teeth unless somehow it gets into the saliva. Can anyone explain? Is there any proof that chelation with mercury fillings is bad or is this (like many things on the web) a warning that is passed along from one individual to the next with no supporting evidence. Thanks.
Excellent question, Dave. Andy Cutler addresses it in this radio interview, starting after the 19 minute mark:
The link referenced below didn’t come through, so here’s what to look for:
Wise Traditions podcast #48 Detox mercury safely w/ Dr. Andy Cutler
Bob Armstrong says
Interested in the comment “You can’t chelate until all your amalgam fillings are removed.”
What is this based upon? Does the chelation agent get inside the teeth or in the saliva? Is this statement supported by experiments?
Just wondering. It is repeated all over but I’ve never seen any real evidence to support it.
Dave Smith says
You breath in the mercury vapour from amalgam.
Does this protocol help with Aluminium chelation as well? Kia Ora.
A. J, says
I am currently reading Rebecca R. Lee and Andy Cutler’s book The Mercury Detoxification Manual. It’s a very good book in general as well as specifically for people with all sorts of “metal” issues. You can get all of the books on her webside http://www.maybeitsmercury.com. I had all of my amalgams removed in Aug./Sept. 2018. Shortly after, I started having a major rash issue, first on my face (took 3 months to clear up) and now on the rest of my body. I thought it was a reaction from the dental anesthetics. Now, I believe it’s from the amalgams and I’ve started chelating with ALA/DMSA from Living Supplements.com who happens to be in Africa. I have been having good help with this chelation and I’m definitely going to continue.
This rash has been outrageously uncomfortable at any time of the day or night. I, personally, refuse to chase a chemical reaction with an MD prescribed medication. I don’t see the logic in that type of thinking/reasoning. Also my eyes have been wonky for the last couple of years as well.
I am very comfortable with following Andy Cutler’s protocol and from what I can tell it is well supported all around. But you will choose what works best for YOU.
Good Luck, Do read the book I mentioned because it will open up your eyes on all sorts of things you need to be educated on (and it’s $40 as opposed to $100 and more for the others). I did get all of the books plus one for dealing with children with autism. I am a teacher for students with numerous severe handicapping conditions including Autism, many different syndromes and disorders similar to MS, Lupus and Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) disorder (neuromuscular disorder similar to MS).
I do lots of research prior to doing any type of drug regiment other than and as well as holistic. I am very sensitive to any medications because I don’t take them. I’ve found the Andy Cutler Protocol to be very positive for me.
I wish you and everyone else the best health.
P.S. I did do some chelation prior to having my amalgams removed. I’m thinking that this is why my skin reacted so angrily after the amalgams were removed. It’s been a solid 7-8 months of this rash which has been extremely uncomfortable at times. I’m generally very healthy but you wouldn’t think so if you looked at my skin. My hair and nails grow like a weed but my skin has been atrocious and painful for such an extended length of time. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But the chelation has been helping and I look forward to each round. Healing goes from the head to the tail (cephalocaudal) and that is exactly how my rash has gone. Best of luck to all of y’all!
Rebecca, would you explain the protocol for lead that you mentioned in this article? Or refer me to more information somewhere on that?
Ron L says
Hi, I was curious about a few discrepancies that I don’t understand about ACC protocol. The first is on your page Maybeitsmercury. The protocol says to start with 12.5 mg of “one of these chelators” Then you only mention DMSA or DMPS. A few sentences later, you write “After 3 months, you can start ALA”. Confusing! Andy says ALA is the primary chelator and the others are optional. Please clarify!!
The second confusion lies with the ALA concentrations. Andy says to start with a low concentration of ALA and increase it if you don’t feel any significant bad side effects. The rationale is to keep enough ALA in the tissues to keep scavenging any Hg pulled out of the organs as the half-life of ALA is used up. Andy mentions that most people taking ALA are chelating without knowing it, but they are not taking it enough through the day to keep scavenging the Hg. My question is: if people are taking 100-600mg once or twice daily, even with a half-life of 3 hours, wouldn’t there be plenty of ALA remaining to keep pulling out Hg to be excreted?
As a side note, I have been taking 400-600mg ALA for years before I read about the protocol. I’ve never had any significant tiredness or acute symptoms that I could attribute to mercury or heavy metals (my hair analyses don’t show heavy metal issues at all).
Noelle Foster says
Thank you for your amazing article, and for your courage and persistence. Due to various causes, all members of my family (including the children) are showing mercury and lead and this is showing up in my daughter as sensory processing disorder. I want to chelate her, but I’m not sure where to find information on how to does for children. Do you have any recommendation on where to find this information?
Vivian Woodruff says
There is a Facebook group called ACC for Parents. There is also a book called Fight Autism and Win. It can be purchased at fightautismandwin.com
Thank god for Andy Cutler.
He profoundly changed my life for the better.
What a wonderful man!
Thank you Andy Cutler
Hi. I have strong symptoms of metal toxicity for many years – I think this was the gadolinium metal from a mri dye scan on my organs 20 years ago. I had very bad health ever since. I please enquire has anyone used Andys protocol of alpha lipoic acid to detox gadolinium ? does his protocol indicate what substance to take to detox gadolinium?
Many thanks for any reply – Mark
I think that people can get by with quite a lot of mercury in their bodies until some event comes along that tips them over into being very, very sick. This event may not have any mercury involved, like a gadolinium infusion, or a course of fluuoroquinalones or an MMR vaccine. So the best treatment for your gadolinium problem is probably chelation for mercury.
Shirley Jacobson says
Wish I could find a practitioner that could help me with Cutler Protocol. I live in central Oregon.
Rebecca Lee says
You can hire me. http://www.maybeitsmercury.com
My family and I used Andy Cutler’s protocol for 3 years…we ended up with our kidneys getting overloaded. At my worst on his program I was getting up every 5 minutes to urinate through the night. It was exhausting and I became terrible weak. I noticed good results at the beginning, but by the end of 3 years it was making things worse. So I had to quite.
Arla Pieper says
Hey Kathleen…I hope you have found the answer by now…Dec 25, 2021…but I want you to know you are on the right track…stopping the Andy Cutler protocol is the right thing to do…It does not work for anyone…people in the Facebook support group for Andy Cutler are often angry and will not listen to other ways…So the other way, that does work is join the Facebook specialty group called Mercury Chelation…moderated by Nina Marie and Aron…get into a group buy with others in that group….buy a supplement called OSR…Oxidative Stress Relief…created by Dr. Boyd Haley in the late 80’s…history of it…sold at Walgreens…WalMart until 2010…the US. Govt took it off the shelf…now you can only buy OSR online…go to the Mercury Chelation group to get started buying it…OSR will remove many heavy metals: Mercury, Gadolinium from the MRI shots, Cadium, Lead…others…It really works! I am using it for Mercury and Gado…nothing at all like ACC…or Andy Cutler program at all….go find it!!
Renee K says
WOW. Thank you so much for this article and to all of those people that have shared their stories. I am so grateful I have come across this.
I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and I am about to have my 3 mercury fillings removed next week. I have been researching this for years, and have spoken to many holistic practitioners, so I am very relieved and excited. I have had various symptoms over the years – low thyroid function, shingles, altered hormones/menstrual cycles, anxiety/fatigue/depression symptoms, hair loss etc. I am a Physio so my energy to help people was severely impacted. It is much better now but I really have to be careful. I have had a hair test done last month (high mercury, lead, arsenic and silver), and I am still waiting for my blood plasma mercury test results.
My main concern right now is that we want to start trying to have a baby by the end of the year so I am really nervous about how long the chelation process may take. I am 35 years old, really healthy otherwise, therefore I don’t want to wait much longer to get pregnant.
Has anyone been in this position before? Do I wait or start now?? I would appreciate any insight or advice!
Does anyone in this group live in Auckland? I would love to meet up!
You must wait a year and a half after doing any dental work or chelating before getting pregnant. there is chapter about it in The Detox Manual.
Sally Oh says
We have used a zeolite detox spray for over 2 years that has been amazing for us. We tried Andy’s protocol back in 2007 but I was too sick to continue. The zeolite spray has changed my life!!! There is a podcast with Hilda called “The Fibro Lady” and she talks about a zeolite spray that she used (different from mine) that changed her life. As a health coach, detox is super important, especially these days. We live in a toxic soup!!!
zeolite spray. That is resonating with me as something very good for the current times, and to share with family members. Anything further you would like to share about that would be appreciated. i will listen to the podcast.
Hello can anyone direct me on where I can find a treatment plan for my 15 mo autistic son who tested positive for heavy metals on a home test. Thank you
Edward Dean says
Did you find the help you needed? Thanks
Was googling Andy cutler (AC) protocol and found this site. My son with ASD also lost this diagnosis a while ago, many thanks to AC / his protocol (DMSA and then ALA by half life) when young. He is very social, smart and thoughtful with an amazing memory. Was considering the protocol for myself just to detox.
Uh, I hate to break this to everyone. But Alpha lipoic acid is not the ideal agent to treat mercury toxicity. That agent is selenomethionine. Mercury exhibits its toxicity in two fashions.
Mercury binds to the body’s selenium with an extremely strong bond. The selenium becomes useless. The mercuric selenide will be mobilized out of the body. The selenium is removed and no longer can do its job
The loss of brain selenium is very bad.
Mercury also binds the zinc sites in the body’s proteins. The bond is also extremely strong. But the metal “poisons” the protein so that they cannot do their jobs. Mercury affects the immune system in this fashion.
Since mercury and selenium interact this way and the body will preferentially put selenium into the brain, selenium supplementation is the ideal treatment for mercury toxicity. Taken as selenomethionine.
Selenomethionine has selenium in place of sulfur. It behaves in the body exactly the same way as does regular methionine. It is a safe storehouse of selenium. When the body needs the selenium, it replaces the selenium with sulfur and uses the selenium. The maximal dose can be up to 5,000 mg per day. It will cause a big increase in selenium levels in the blood. And corrupt medical examiners who have no idea of what they are doing can attribute the cause of death to the selenium. Even when there are many other heavy metals in a person that are actually responsible for the death. But it can be overcome.
Selenium taken this way is very safe. It is very effective at getting the mercury out of a person. It is even far safer than ALA. I know this. I treated my late wife with selenomethionine for mercury toxicity. The brain toxicity cleared up nearly immediately. That was after treating her with ALA and watching her confusion just get worse and worse. She died of many other heavy metals. Including extremely high tin levels, very high gadolinium and cadmium levels and high levels of antimony, and bismuth.
Nothing against Dr. Cutler. His mechanisms for working on mercury toxicity aren’t any longer state of the art. He came from an older era where sulfur was the main agent. Today, selenium given as selenomethionine works far better. It does not cause mercury to redistribute to the brain either.
Can someone just post the actual protocol without asking for money? Full Cutler Protocol should only be a few paragraphs long at most. The Cutler book is being sold online for 50-300 bucks, which is a lot for someone who has been sick and unable to work for many years (absolutely criminal to charge so much from sick and struggling people for information that can be typed out in a paragraph).
Note that Andy said you should not introduce ALA too early in the protocol.
Always start with DMSA and do this for several months or more, depending on toxicity load.
“DMSA doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier to any clinical degree and only chelates extracellular mercury. DMSA has a half-life of four hours. DMSA is used early in treatment to lower the blood/body levels before adding ALA, due to ALA’s ability to go into and out of the brain. For this reason ALA should NOT be added too early.”