Heavy metals, chelation, metal half life - which ones do I need to worry about? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

Venturing over from the allergies forum, since this is way OT for allergies...

I had a hair test done for my autistic two year old, and he is high in several metals - very high in antimony, moderately high in arsenic, a little high in lead, cadmium, and a few others. No mercury issues (we're doing some urine porphyrins testing to verify, but he doesn't come anywhere close to Andy Cutler's counting rules for mercury toxicity).

I'm now working out which of these metals I need to act on. We're working on getting rid of any current exposures we can, and boosting his liver detox pathways so that he can clear out "normal" everyday life exposures better. Now I'm looking at chelation.

For antimony, his highest metal, the rec is to chelate with methylation support supps (SAMe or B12/folate/TMG). My son had a very negative reaction to the methylating supps, which led me to the question - how long does that stuff stay in him if I do nothing, and WHERE does it stay.

So, I've been investigating long term storage and biological half lifes for various toxic metals (oy, the stuff parenting makes me learn!). Canadian gov't site with international (e.g. UN) affiliations, so I think pretty unbiased and conservative in its claims. I ran across this very useful site. Not exactly exciting reading, but here's what I gather (mostly focusing on section 6 - Kinetics - for each of the listed metals):

1) Lead - 95% of body load long term stored in bones. Can be dumped during infection, pg. Short term stored in red blood cells, liver, kidney, nervous tissue. Half life in tissues is 35-40 days, 20-30 years in bone.

My interpretation - biggest issue here is stopping current exposure - it will clear from all tissues except bone within a few months. Then just have decent liver detox so that what the bones dump into the body can clear. May choose chelation to avoid long term issues, but I'm guessing that wouldn't necessarily address any additional obvious symptoms, those would clear in the first few months as the body tissues empty of lead. I need to read more about this - I know lead can have brain effects, so I want to understand better. Clearing 90% of the lead out and leaving 10% in the brain would reduce overall body burden, but not necessarily the toxic impact...

2) Cadmium - 80-90% of body load is stored long term attached to metallothionen. About half stores in the liver and kidneys, and then more in the thyroid, pancreas, and salivary glands. Half life of 14-40 years.

This is big for us - lots of autistic kids are very short in metallothionen, which clears all kinds of toxic metals. So having a ton of it tied up storing cadmium for the next 20 years is not good. And having them stored in important organs seems like potential trouble. To me, this looks like a good candidate for active chelation.

3) Arsenic - cleared out of blood within 24 hours to liver, kidneys, spleen, adrenal gland. Then goes to hair, nails, skin, and bone. Seems like most is cleared out fairly quickly (days) - but I assume anything that goes to bone is slow to clear.

I need to check into this more, but it seems to clear really quickly from organs that would concern me most. So shutting down current exposures is the most important, and then supporting natural body chelation.

4) Antimony (different source) - stored in liver, spleen, heart, thyroid, bones. Half life of 16 days.

While this is DS' highest hair metal, it seems like the key again is stopping current exposures (we're well on our way with that). It looks like it clears out pretty fast after that. Kids with impaired detox probably clear slower, but still, this isn't a 20 year half life like lead and cadmium.

So, that's my research so far, and I figured I'd share and collect opinions! I need to go triangulate with what Andy Cutler says as well. The picture forming for me is that I need to look into chelating cadmium, investigate lead further. For arsenic and antimony, shut down current exposures, and the retest hair/pee in a few months and see where we are at.

Does this help anyone else pondering metals?

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#2 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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Hi mamafish... I'm with you on boosting methylation to clear antimony and arsenic while reducing exposures.

As for lead and cadmium... ugh. It appears that lead is just going to take years and years to slowly leach from the bones. As it leaches we can work to clear it from the blood, but nothing speeds up the process of removing it from the bones (except pregnancy I think).

And if you're seriously considering chelating cadmium (which is OUR highest metal, at least on paper) then that process appears to be deep and wide and will probably take care of the rest of the metals anyway.

I'm pretty leery of the chelation drugs and will very likely take a lesser route. My guess is that T and I are in this game for life, and that taking a hard fast road to getting metals out NOW is neither in our best interest, nor will it work for long term.

My two cents.

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#3 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 03:26 AM
 
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Just subbing. (seems to be my catch phrase of late)

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#4 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamafish... I'm with you on boosting methylation to clear antimony and arsenic while reducing exposures.

Ha ha ha - I'm up at 2am because of the methylating supps, sigh. They wire my kid - apparently he is an overmethylator - so methylation isn't our problem (although I think it was until recently because of low zinc). Back to sulfation/sulfoxidation being our issue, which we already knew because of the sals sensitivity. (It looks like sulfoxidation + sulfation is the last step of clearing metals after methylation).

As for lead and cadmium... ugh. It appears that lead is just going to take years and years to slowly leach from the bones. As it leaches we can work to clear it from the blood, but nothing speeds up the process of removing it from the bones (except pregnancy I think).

That's the sense I get on lead, except I'm reading some things that suggest kids store less in the bones than adults (which means they store more in places like the brain). Guessing chelation could pull more of that... I need to learn more here. Other events besides pg that pull more lead from bones - lactation (ugh), kidney disease, fractures, menopause. One other thing that concerns me here is whether I am DS' lead source (through my bones dumping). If so, then I can't get rid of the current exposure pathway.

And if you're seriously considering chelating cadmium (which is OUR highest metal, at least on paper) then that process appears to be deep and wide and will probably take care of the rest of the metals anyway.

I'm hoping the zeolite might help - DMSA scares me, and I don't know that sulfur stuff would be OK for DS anyhow, with weak sulfoxidation/sulfation. But leaving his metallothionen bound for that long to store cadmium scares me too - that could impact his ability to clear metals at least through adulthood.

I'm pretty leery of the chelation drugs and will very likely take a lesser route. My guess is that T and I are in this game for life, and that taking a hard fast road to getting metals out NOW is neither in our best interest, nor will it work for long term.

That is my gut response as well - unless I think things are affecting his brain. I think we are getting the digestive impacts somewhat under control, but I hate thinking of that stuff in his brain.

One factor for me is that DS' levels actually aren't that high for lead and cadmium - but he seems to be reacting at lower levels (e.g. he is more sensitive). Meaning (I think!), that we would have to chelate for a shorter time to clear them.


My two cents.

Appreciated as always .
And LOL, JR!

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#5 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 09:19 AM
 
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Iodine helps your body clear out heavy metals, and in fact certain metals can only be detoxed by the supplementation of iodine.

You can get a liquid iodine supplement to give ds....

BTW do you give ds any vitamins/minerals?

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#6 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 09:26 AM
 
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Here is more info that you may find helpful....

http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1352439

http://www.autism-pdd.net/testdump/test18045.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/021072.html

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#7 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Iodine helps your body clear out heavy metals, and in fact certain metals can only be detoxed by the supplementation of iodine.

You can get a liquid iodine supplement to give ds....

BTW do you give ds any vitamins/minerals?
Thanks, I will do more reading on iodine. I know seaweed can help prevent absorption of metals, but I hadn't heard of it as a chelator.

DS takes brainchild minerals and extra magnesium, milk thistle for liver support, Vit C, and folate. He gets the rest of his vites through bm (he still nurses extensively, and I'm taking very high quality vites targeted for what he needs).

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Originally Posted by ChristSavesAll View Post
Thanks! Fluoride is definitely not our issue (we don't use it and it's not in the water here), but it's scary how all this stuff can interact. The first study on DMSA chelating lead and improving autism behaviors is one of the reasons I may choose to address his lead burden, even though it's not extremely elevated. I'm guessing many kids on the spectrum are more sensitive to metals at lower levels.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#8 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Serial posting, LOL.

I've done more reading on lead, and it's officially scary now. 90-95% of adult lead goes to bones, but only about 70% of child lead. The rest goes to soft tissues, including the brain (and more lead gets across the blood brain barrier with kids). And the half life of lead in the brain is about 2 years, which is plenty to have lots of cognitive/emotional/social effects. Here's a lovely article reviewing research on lead in kids' brains....

So I'm thinking it's important to do enough chelating to at least get the lead out of soft tissues. I don't know if DMSA would pull lead from the brain though, since it doesn't cross into the brain? Cutler thinks lead doesn't get stuck in the brain, but says he doesn't have a lot of evidence. I don't really want to give a lot of DMSA just to pull lead out of bones.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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#9 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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Does this help anyone else pondering metals?
Yes, THANK YOU!

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#10 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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No, its ALA that crosses the blood brain barrier. I think it moves alot of metals. In fact I think that's why T's hair test is so high, because there was ALA in my glutathione and it was mobilizing my metals and feeding them to T through breastmilk. But its recommended to use DMSA first to mobilize the stuff in soft tissues and then start ALA to pull stuff out of the brain. Otherwise you can push the soft from the organs INTO the brain. EDTA is what western medicine uses for lead. DMSA and ALA are considered "alternative".

Its my understanding that while kelp and bladderwrack do mobilize metals, iodine supps only move fluoride, bromide and chloride.

Tell me again about brainchild minerals and how you get them into your DS?

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#11 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Chemet is DMSA, it's the brand-name version, and that's what's FDA approved for lead poisoning. It's usually not used unless blood lead levels are in the 40+ range, and my understanding is that it's only used to lower blood levels, the typical treatment doesn't consider where else the lead has settled. Using DMSA in low doses every 4 hours is an alternative dosing schedule, but the drug itself is the one typically used for severe lead toxicity.

The thing is, at least my understanding, is that ALA doesn't really mobilize lead. I got the hair test for Serena to make sure we weren't dealing with lead because at that point, I'd only planned on giving the kids ALA. Later on I found that the ALA mobilized a lot, and the DMSA helped get the kids, more particularly DS, caught up on circulating metals, so we're using both at this point.
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#12 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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I thought EDTA was the one most doctors went to for lead, as a once a month IV chelator? I'll have to go back and read again.

FWIW, when I crystal test through the list of metal moving/mopping supplements, it says that EDTA and DMSA and chlorella and glutathione are not safe for T, but zeolites and ALA and cilantro and glycine and NAC and seaweeds and sulfur foods are.

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#13 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tell me again about brainchild minerals and how you get them into your DS?
The lemon lime flavor is tasty enough he'll take it straight from a squirter, or happily mixed in with his coconut yogurt (which just has a little vanilla flavor). It would mix very easily in juice or smoothie, but it's not a taste you need to "hide". Normally I feed him coconut yogurt twice a day, and split the brainchild dose into two (instead of three like they suggest, I kept missing the third dose). We are seeing good improvement in his zinc and mag, based on symptoms, so I think they are right that their minerals are highly bioavailable even for messed up guts.

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The thing is, at least my understanding, is that ALA doesn't really mobilize lead. I got the hair test for Serena to make sure we weren't dealing with lead because at that point, I'd only planned on giving the kids ALA. Later on I found that the ALA mobilized a lot, and the DMSA helped get the kids, more particularly DS, caught up on circulating metals, so we're using both at this point.
Yeah, that's what I get from reading Onibasu this morning - Andy says use DMSA for the lead, and then wait for it to slowly come out of the brain (he believes it comes out, unlike mercury, but there's not much data/evidence to support that). ALA doesn't do lead, from what I understand.

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I thought EDTA was the one most doctors went to for lead, as a once a month IV chelator? I'll have to go back and read again.

FWIW, when I crystal test through the list of metal moving/mopping supplements, it says that EDTA and DMSA and chlorella and glutathione are not safe for T, but zeolites and ALA and cilantro and glycine and NAC and seaweeds and sulfur foods are.
I think EDTA is the chelator most used for lead by DANs, DMSA is used for acute cases of lead poisoning (but just to clean up the blood, not to get what got into the tissues).

I have zeolite up to 3 drops 3x a day now - I'm going to ramp up to 5 drops 5x a day (brainchild recs 4 drops max, but Waiora and lots of parents go to 10 drops 3x a day), and then do a pee test to see what we're pulling. Absolutely no side effects yet that I can see (good or bad), so we may be accomplishing nothing at all. It may be easier to tell once he's completely down off his methyl B12 buzz!!

I'm guessing sulfur stuff is something I need to watch with G (either sulfur foods or DMSA) - he tolerates some just fine, but neither DH or I can do too much sulfur foods, so we could probably overload him.

If I were going to try DMSA, I'd do it very low dose, two cycles a month (3 days on, 11 off). Lots of time between cycles to rebalance. And I'd do plenty of zeolite and whatever kelp/modifilan/vit C I can to mop up. And milk thistle for liver protection.

Has anyone opened a modifilan capsule to see how it tastes? Sounds like a great supp, if I could get it into DS...

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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Has anyone opened a modifilan capsule to see how it tastes? Sounds like a great supp, if I could get it into DS...
It tastes fairly green. And it thickens up liquids fairly quickly, you'd want to put it in a liquid and then get them to drink it quickly--at least if it's in a small volume of liquid.
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#16 of 16 Old 08-23-2009, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It tastes fairly green. And it thickens up liquids fairly quickly, you'd want to put it in a liquid and then get them to drink it quickly--at least if it's in a small volume of liquid.
Green's not too bad, but I don't have liquids to hide in. Could you mix it up with something like ground beef? Or can it be cooked, e.g. pancakes?

Also, are there any "mop up" things I can take that would pass to him in my bm?

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