I've been reading posts here for months and have also read Andy Cutler's book on Amalgam illness and I've learned a lot.
One thing I don't understand, however, is why he's so against supplemental glutathione? The only thing I really gathered from his book was that oral supplemtation of GSH wasn't effective, but since there are now liposomal forms and suppositories (which would, theoretically, be more effective in getting absorbed properly), I don't understand why he's so against it.
In one post on the Yahoo group, he said that about half the people who get GSH IV's actually get much worse, which doesn't make sense to me since GSH is the body's chief way of eliminating toxins.
Could someone explain why extra GSH would be bad? I'm getting my fillings out over the next 2 weeks and want to have all my supplies ready for chelation...
His reasoning is that glutathione is not a "true" chelator but only a redistributor of mercury because it doesn't have a double thiol bond. Therefore, glutathione and NAC and pretty much all other sulfur compounds are to be eliminated due to the fact that they'll pick up mercury and leave it somewhere else in the body instead of having a strong "true" bond that will bring it out of the body.
That being said, I don't buy it. People forget that Andy is just another researcher and he speaks the part of a chemist. Chemistry isn't everything in medicine. There are people that do well and actually REQUIRE glutathione. People who lack GSTP1 and have genetic mutations that produce less or less effective glutathione. These people have their natural and most potent antioxidant depleted. Some people are not lacking GSTP1 such as myself, and I seem to have ample amounts of glutathione. For people like myself, maybe i could have an adverse reaction to too much of it but I've had a glutathione IV push and didn't really feel all that much better or worse.
Oral glutathione is apparently largely ineffective in being absorbed into the body's bloodstream, but liposomal and IV will work great. Even sublingual may work well. However, people do feel well and a difference from taking oral glutathione so it's hard to say. It is very good for the GI tract so the benefits maybe from helping the GI tract and the entire immune system from oxidation.
You can also take NAC or ALA as precursors to boost your glutathione levels but be aware that ALA can cause chelation.
The thing I don't get about andy is when he makes statements like "half the people who take it get worse". Where is he getting these numbers?? From his yahoo groups? I'm sorry but he's not a medical practitioner. A researcher may know things very well in terms of specifics but they lack clinical experience and patient evaluations, just like doctors with lots of clinical experience lack the time to do their own specific research most of the time. I have his book and he does have a big list of sources at the back but there are so many claims throughout the book telling doctors what they should or should not do that go uncited. I don't know where this information is coming from. I would take those statistics with a grain of salt. He does make very good points and is right about many things and as far as I'm concerned, he's on the same SIDE as everyone else, including the DAN doctors and their methods which he hates because it's all working to the same goal. But he isn't right about everything.
Vitamin D boosts glutathione substantially, and many people are vitamin D deficient. That is the supplement to take. Taking vitamin D supplements will also boost naturaal killer cell activity, so candida problems while chelating may be decreased. I guess 5,000 IU a day is a good vitamin D dosage to take, however if you rarely get much sunlight, a daily dosage of 10,000 IU may be okay. Some decide to have their vitamin D blood levels monitored. When monitored if the vitamin D levels are very low, sometimes very large doses of vitamin D are prescribed.
I agree with everything you said PT, but just wanted to mention that maybe the answer to the question is that he's made a living off of promoting ALA...and especially his protocol, based on what...some 'counting rules' that he came up with(?)...both with his overpriced books, and especially his sky-high fees for consulting.
He needs to show some concrete proof, i.e., at the very least, independantly documented case studies, to back up his many claims, especially the vague statistical ones you mention PT.
He says you should take precursors and allow your body to make more glutathione(NAC), not take glutathione. He has seen many reports of people getting much worse from it. Glutathione does not chelate mercury which is why it is something not usually discussed or even really relevant to mercury toxicity. Antioxidants including ALA will increase glutathione levels.
Your message doesn't make sense -- if glutathione doesn't help rid the body of mercury in any way, then why would you go to the trouble of taking gsh precursors and why would you care if ala increases gsh?
That's one of the contradictions in Andy's work that's never made sense to me either -- he implies it's a good thing to increase gsh, then puts the kabash on actually taking gsh because it might make you worse -- which is it?
Since gsh is one of the body's primary means of ridding itself of toxins, it seems to only make sense that increasing gsh would help people who are trying to detox from a variety of substances. I'd like to actually hear from one person who says taking extra gsh made them worse -- I never really know whether Andy's just saying things to shore up his opinion or whether he's actually SEEN people get worse from taking gsh -- sometimes I think he does that.
I've personally talked to Boyd Haley about his OSR product (which, as you may know, was pulled from the market by the FDA) and its primary method of action was to substantially increase gsh. He has many studies showing actual results, unlike Andy's many "proclamations" about what will or won't make you better/worse...I'm not trying to say that Andy's way off base -- I think his basic protocol is well thought out and researched -- but he gets very defensive at times when anyone questions a particular recommendation of his or dares to ask whether some other options would work -- he flatly denies anything except his protocol will work, which reeks of over-inflated ego to me and makes it harder to believe him, regardless of whether he may actually be right.
So again, I ask -- have you heard of a single case of someone taking gsh or precursors getting worse from it?
I agree with you for the most part. But I do know that some people can't tolerate GSH, especially among autistic children. It's unknown why. But I won't ever believe the statistics that Andy throws out. He has no citations for them. He states that 50% of people can't do GSH. I dont understand where he gets this number...from his personal observation of internet posters on the yahoo board? And MOST of his stuff in his book is uncited. It just isn't. I mean his general theory of frequent and low dose chelation is backed up with some of his citations but he goes on and has an entire appendix about how various supplements do what, and how they affect certain things. Like if you have this, take 500mg of taurine. But if you get this, take Glycine. And he treats the body like a flask and purely a chemical reaction, which is why most of his supplemental advice hasn't worked for me.
Also, no one including him has answered my question when I asked why if NAC is considered a chelator by a few people and a few studies, does he allow it for the "precursor" of glutathione. And why isn't GSH directly allowed but the precursors are allowed if the end results is to make more glutathione in the first place.
This is an area where Cutler and Haley disagree; however they both agree that glutathione is very important in the liver for detox.
Remember that for Cutler, redistribution of Hg to more vulnerable parts of the body is enemy #1. The danger of redistribution was made very powerfully by Haley at end of this long presentation on Hg, Alzheimers, Autism, etc. http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/7383821
Haley points out that there is a particular hormone receptor related to the body's stress response system (ACTH, FSH, cAMP, Adenylate cyclase, etc) that holds onto Hg about as well as anything can. I don't know how Hg ever gets pulled off of it.
Cutler does not want people to try to use glutathione (and Cysteine) as chelators, (esp with large infrequent doses that kick up Hg) but certainly recognizes that they have an important role to play in the body.
When we take things that have one SH group (mercury magnet) such as cysteine (precursor to glutathione), it will drag Hg around a bit but is likely to loose its grip on it. There is a danger of redistribution.
(beware of using ALA with Amalgam still present! It will likely move more Hg into your brain and give you headaches, and over the long term, anxiety, tremor, etc. cf double blind study by Gregus, et al)
Cutler seems to think that a good number of Hg toxic folks are low in sulfur (thiols) and a good number of them are high in sulfur. The later don't tolerate sulfur foods.
He seems to indicate that those who are low sulfur can take precursors such as glycine and glutamine, maybe NAC. I'm not low sulfur so I've not studied the details of his view.
Remember that Cutler has been working as a consultant for doctors on specific cases for over ten years plus he gets feedback on cases in the Yahoo chelation and austism groups--10,000+ members and 2500+ posts per month! Furthermore he went through Hg poisoning himself.
I've learned much from Haley, Cutler and others but no one is a medical God! After 15 yrs of brain fog, exhaustion, and strange bone density problems, I'm finally getting better after 1 yr of Cutler Protocol. I wish Haley all the best in getting his OSR approved. Millions of people will have their lives transformed if it gets approved; however until then, Cutler's method has been shown to be safe and effective.