I think gray hair is a zinc issue. Mine really started to turn gray when I became hypothyroid because I didn't have enough zinc for my thyroid to function properly. This type of issue runs in families--my mom turned gray early too, and she has copper/zinc issues just like me, and for the same underlying reason, the mercury in our fillings.
Coolgirl--it KILLS me that they don't have huge warnings on ALA. I'm using it now to chelate mercury and if you have a mercury issue, it'll knock you on your a$$! It's strong stuff, and it doesn't have a huge warning on the label. I'm shocked.
I'm sorry you had such a bad time with it--how are you doing now? I'm supping a lot of zinc, both for my deficiency and for dealing with chelating.
Martha, do you have fillings? I have health problems from the mercury in my fillings, and both my kids are affected. I probably got a fair amount of mercury from _my_ mom, because she's affected by this stuff as well, but it was when my fillings went in that more obvious issues (like environmental allergies and anxiety) started, and then it kept going for 20 years and now I'm here. My son tends toward sensory issues--not enough for a diagnosis, but I started us all on supps when he was 14mos old when I realized what was going on with my health.
Stress is somewhat involved in that our bodies use more nutrients when we're stressed, and in general zinc is hard to get enough of dietarily, but mercury specifically throws off zinc. I've been supplementing my kids for 20 mos now, and they're still both low (looking at them symptomatically).
eta--just realized I wasn't very clear. Copper and zinc are antagonists. If you eat a lot of one, you'll reduce absorption of the other. There are a lot of dietary sources of copper, and fewer of zinc, and processing foods reduces zinc a lot more than copper. And phytic acid in grains reduces zinc absorption as well (and I don't think it affects copper). That's why I started this post with zinc.