Urine Challenge Test and Chelation Therapy
One of the ways we recommend that all patients improve their health status is to be tested for heavy metals and then, if they are found to have a significant load, to undergo Chelation therapy. The recommended way to be tested for heavy metals is through a urine challenge test. This type of test is necessary for several reasons. It is superior in determining your body’s toxic load. If you had severe heavy metal poisoning- in fact you could be on your death bed- and your your blood was tested for heavy metals, chances are it would be normal. How can that be? Heavy metals do not stay in your blood but are absorbed into bone, fat tissue, and neurological tissue—especially the eye. The key to measuring the heavy metals is to force them into the blood and urine and then measure the levels. This is done by a challenging agent which makes the metals that are stored in fat tissue and bone more soluble and then this solution moves into the blood and urine. This is the way it works: a chelating agent is given, and then urine samples are collected and analyzed to measure the amount of heavy metals. Common chelating agents used are EDTA and DMSA. A measured amount is given either orally or intravenously depending on the weight, age, health, and heavy metal to be studied. Urine is then collected over 6 to 24 hours. This specimen is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. This gives a much better indication of stored metals than does a blood test for the reasons explained above. A person who has significant levels of toxic metals should seriously consider undergoing Chelation therapy. Chelation therapy is the removal of heavy metals through the urine and feces, once they have been chelated out of the tissues and into the waste stream. The technique is done by introducing chelating agents, or chemical compounds that bind to the metals and help remove them. In the body, the chelating agent reacts with metal ions such as lead, mercury, calcium, iron and aluminum and combines (i.e. bonds) with the ions, forming a more chemically stable compound. The human body cannot break down this non-soluble compound easily, and it can be excreted, removing the metal along with it, through both the urinary and excretory systems.
Methods of Chelation
Chelation can be done orally, by taking the chelating agents found in food, or in pill form. Or it can be done through IV injection of the chelating agents. It can also be done topically through the use of creams that contain chelating agents, and it can even be done rectally. This therapy is also used for individuals with blocked blood vessels in order to clear them without surgery or stents or drugs.
Chelation, whether oral, topical, rectal or IV, should be done under the supervision of a trained medical professional who can determine the amount of chelating agent you need, the effectiveness of your treatment, and the duration of treatment necessary
Foods as oral chelating agents
The first step to prevent the accumulation of heavy metals, and, for some, the way to eliminate them, is through diet. We have already discussed the importance of eating organic food that has not been exposed to toxic chemicals. But there is another step related to diet. There are many foods that are good chelating agents of heavy metals. “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food,” said Hippocrates, and deliberately including chelating foods into your diet is one way of making food your medicine.
One of these potent medicinal foods is cilantro(or Chinese Parsley) Dr David Williams published in his newsletter, Alternatives ((Vol. 7, No. 12) June, 1998), that using cilantro to detoxify the body is the most interesting item to come down the pike in years! Cilantro has been found to chelate (remove) heavy metals like mercury, aluminum, and lead from the body. In fact, it is believed to cross the blood-brain barrier and actually remove said metals from the brain. It may be one of the most effective agents in doing this.
Cilantro is a member of the carrot family and is botanically-known as Coriandrum sativum. The plant and leaves are called cilantro, while the seeds (used as a spice) are called coriander. The plant is often referred to as Mexican parsley, or Chinese parsley. The leaves, which resemble flat-leaf parsley, are used for seasoning in Mexican and Asian dishes. Some people have a very strong aversion to the flavor and will object to even the smallest amount in a dish.Those who enjoy this herb agree that the flavor is definitely strong and pungent. Cilantro is sold fresh, by the bunch, in the produce section of most markets. Dried cilantro is pretty much worthless since the flavor and aroma are lost in the drying process. Some people have a very strong aversion to the cilantro flavor, but this can be overcome. One way to overcome it is by making pesto from the herb and using it on pasta, bread, or with eggs.
Dr. Yoshiaki Omura, Director of Medical Research of the Heart Disease Research Foundation, observed that subjects had higher than normal levels of mercury in their urine after consuming Vietnamese soup, which has large amounts of cilantro This is a good sign; for if you have higher levels in your urine that means mercury is being removed from your body. He followed up on this accidental finding and discovered that giving cilantro to patients with mercury poisoning for several weeks successfully eliminated the toxin from the body.
I am lucky to have a beautiful Vietnamese wife who frequently makes a delicious soup with a lot of cilantro. In fact a large section of our garden is dedicated to cilantro which we pick daily for soup, eggs, and salads. If you want to make this soup.
Another way to enjoy cilantro is to put it on salads or make a cilantro pesto using olive oil and either walnuts or Brazilian nuts in the pesto because both are a good source of magnesium and zinc. Consider having a few pots of cilantro on your windowsill so you will always have a fresh supply!
I met a wonderful organic chief in Naples Florida; his name is Sal Montezinos, and we are collaborating on a Cookbook to Cure Eye Disease. Will have these and other recipes to help you on your journey to wellness and clear vision in this special book. We expect the book to be completed summer of 2012. Until then we will be giving you teaser recipes!
Pectin is another food component that is good medicine. Phyllis Balch, in her book, Prescription for Natural Healing, reports that pectin is good for diabetics, removes toxins and heavy metals, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risk of gallstones. Pectin is found in apples, bananas, the rinds of citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, and grapefruit), carrots, beets, cabbage, and okra. If you juice these foods, then you will probably get some of the pectin in the pulp, and then the pulp can be made into muffins. Otherwise there are several pectin supplements available.
Chlorella is a mild chelator. You can find it in green algae. Chlorella has a 3-layered cell wall that contains cellulose microfibrils, which aids in heavy metal detoxification. You can obtain this all important nutrient in the form of supplements and in drinks from juice bars or simply make one yourself using widely available chlorella powder.
Methionine is a natural occurring chelating agent that supplies sulfur in the body. It helps in heavy metal detoxification by increasing the production of cysteine and lecithin for the liver and protecting your kidney. It is found in sesame seeds and other plant seeds in abundance. Fresh garlic is a good source of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) which increases the production of cysteine and glutathaione which are both powerful antioxidants that lessen the effects of heavy metals. If you find it hard to eat garlic because of the pungent smell, you can use garlic supplements in capsules.
Milk Thistle is a plant whose botanical name is silymarin. It helps your liver detoxify and, in the process, eliminate heavy metals. Milk thistle also protects the membranes of red blood cells.
I used to think that oral chelation had little value. Studies have shown that less than 10% of oral agents are absorbed into the body to help remove heavy metals. This is in comparison to a 100% absorption in IV therapy and 20% via rectal administration. (EDITOR: I don’t like this anecdote esp when you advise chelating under a doctor’s supervision) I asked him if he was concerned about mercury in his fish. The oral agents will combine the heavy metals found in most food and prevent them form entering the body. They are probably the best way to prevent additional toxins from entering the body. (EDITOR: how much to take; how often? Is this safe for all??)Remember the rain barrel analogy. When you have disease, your rain barrel is filled with toxins. You need to do everything you can to prevent more toxins from entering your body. There are many oral chelating agents on the market but you should take them under a doctor’s supervision. Be aware that all chelating agents will remove both toxic and essential minerals. So if you are taking oral agents, it is essential to take supplemental minerals. The good thing is that the chelating agents have a much higher affinity or attraction to the larger more toxic minerals than the smaller essential minerals. But is still important to monitor your minerals while undergoing chelation treatment. This is one reason why I highly suggest patients receiving chelation continue receiving the Myers Cocktail, a fortified IV vitamin mixture. You can also consume Brazil Nuts which contain one the highest amount of zinc, selenium, and magnesium fouond in a food. This seems like a perfect food for helping the body recover minerals during the chelation process.
The application of a skin lotion can reverse years of aging changes in the eyes caused by heavy metal exposure! Dr. Robert Rowen, in his newsletter Second Opinion, has recently reported on skin lotion called TD-DMPS that is able to remove heavy metals from the body. Your skin is rich in nerves, which transport the DMPS backward into the central nervous system and into your brain and eyes. This treatment was developed by Dr Detrich Klinghard, a well known alternative doctor, who treats autistic children who have heavy metal poisoning. He researched a technique of administering chelating agents without the invasive intravenous route. This method combines a chelating agent DMPS and glutathione which acts a s carrier to transport the DMPS through the skin into the neurological tissues. This method eliminates the intravenous treatment and there is some evidence that it is far more effective (THAN WHAT) in the removal of heavy metals.
This is certainly a method to consider if you have difficulty with IV therapy or live a great distance to a chelation center.
Rectal chelation is another option for the removal of heavy metals. About 20% of EDTA is absorbed into the highly permeable rectal mucosa tissue when using this technique. It can be a very effective option when IV therapy is not available or when patients are looking for a more economical method of chelation delivery. The drawback is that many patients will develop loose stools using this method, and, just like oral or topical methods, a consistent replacement of essential minerals must be undertaken. All these methods can also remove essential minerals. This is why it is important that you take a good mineral supplement while undergoing chelation. One advantage of IV chelation is that most chelators doctors end the IV treatment with a mineral boost to help you keep a healthy level of minerals.
IV Chelation is superior to oral, topical and rectal chelation in its effectiveness. When you perform IV chelation, 100% of the chelating agent will enter your body and supply you with the maximum dose to target the heavy metals that are locked into your bone, fat and neurological tissues. I also like IV chelation since most chelating doctors will give trace minerals at the end of the IV chelating treatment. This will greatly lesson the chance of developing mineral deficiencies. You can find a practitioner of Chelation through the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (www.acam.org) This organization of MDs and other professionals is committed to the use of Chelation therapy, and one of their members can assist you with the proper testing and treatment.