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.
Thanks for the in depth consideration of everything.
I have a question I hope you can answer.
I have had an adverse reaction to Ciprofloxacin and would really like to have a glutathione injection as it appears to really help with brain fog and related issues.
The issue is that I'm a bit nervous of moving any mercury around as I've still got mercury amalgams. It doesn't seem a good idea to have them removed as I am in an exceptionally poor state of health.
It's a Catch-22 - either suffer really badly with ciprofloxacin toxicity, or take a chance with the glutathione iv, which has been quoted as really helping people who are so badly affected by the Cipro.
Any views would be really helpful.
(The only other alternative I've got is to try ozone therapy, but so few people here in the UK actually give it out).
Thanks so much. Please remember I am desperately trying to get over Cipro toxicity.
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.
"Remember that for Cutler, redistribution of Hg to more vulnerable parts of the body is enemy #1."
Then I guess he chooses to ignore studies that show lipoic acid does just that.
As Powertool and others have said above, his logic just DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. Glutathione does indeed help the body remove heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins. There are multiple studies out there to prove that, but Cutler has none to disprove it, except perhaps some snide comment if you don't happen to agree with him.
"As Powertool and others have said above, his logic just DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. "
It is more likely that you don't understand the chemistry.
"Glutathione does indeed help the body remove heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins. There are multiple studies out there to prove that, but Cutler has none to disprove it,"
He agrees that glutathione is involved in removing HMs and other toxins. He also encourages us to promote production of glutathione; however he does not want us to do it in a dangerous way, in a way that tends to kick up (mobilize) Hg and have it end up in some hormone receptor or other part of the body that holds onto Hg very tightly. You could end up like the mice in the Gregus study, with much less Hg in the body but more Hg in the most vulnerable areas of the body.
The following is an extreme example of redistribution. Your dining room table is dusty and needs to be cleaned. You could get a nice dust cloth and carefully clean it. Alternatively you could get from your garage your very powerful leaf blower. It will indeed remove quite a bit of the dust; however some of that dust will end up on your beautiful chandelier where it looks even worse and is much harder to remove.
"...except perhaps some snide comment if you don't happen to agree with him."
Yes, that is, or perhaps, was his personality. He clearly has mellowed over the years. Remember he was Hg toxic himself. Recall that the "Mad Hatter" had Hg poisoning and is a good example of the personality of an Hg poisoned male.
I think Cutler has mellowed over the years as he has healed. He is more often gentlemanly now, even when people disagree with him. This recent post is an example. It is in response to someone who thinks she overcame bipolar and an extremely long list of symptoms in only 6 months of Cutler Protocol chelation. Notice how gentle he is with her. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/frequent-dose-chelation/message/73447
He has not ignored any studies, this is exactly why you take ALA on a very specific schedule, done properly you get one redistribution event per round rather than the very bumpy ride of taking ALA say once per day, been there done both (e.g. once a day ALA and the AC protocol), the AC protocol works if done properly.
The only glutathione Andy is completely against is IV for good reason, if you can tolerate the precursors then do them to boost glutathione.
"he treats the body like a flask and purely a chemical reaction," powertool
Powertool, This is an excerpt from his website about his Amalgam Illness book.
"This book is the kind of book you'd expect a chemist to write - one that is mechanistic, interrelated, and views the body as a complex chemical factory to be measured and controlled by adding a bit of the right reagent over here, taking something out over there...This isn't the only way to understand things. It is just the way I knew how to explain them....
I've written this book according to a modern paradigm of medicine. ... viewing the human body as a system where biochemistry leads to metabolism which in turn becomes physiology. The new paradigm is to see illness as a slow progression from health to death rather than the sudden onset of a "disease" ...The new paradigm lets you use the best of both mainstream and alternative medicine to get well. " from noamalgam.com bottom of the page.
I think the main reason his system works so well for so many is that most doctors don't have PhDs in chemistry and were not taught about "amalgam illness" in med school. Cutler has a PhD in chemistry and has a much better feel for how mercury fouls up various chemical reactions in the body. He also has first hand experience from being sick himself from Hg. He then recommends things to try to compensate for the problems until we get the Hg chelated out.
Unfortunately we are not all the same. We have other problems in addition to Hg. We have varying amounts of other toxins that are contributing to our problems. It is so damn complex!
The issue you bring up about the sulfur amino acids (methionine, homocysteine, cysteine, glutathione, taurine, sulfate, etc) is maddeningly complex. So many of us have problems in this area.
People who have methylation problems will be affected in one way (I think too much homocysteine).
People low in Mo will lack sulfate and not tolerate wine with sulfites , etc.
People lacking in Vit C will have too much of the potentially neurotoxic cystine.
The following image will give you a feel for the relationships. http://www.nutriwest.com/articles/homovmsm.htm
Hang in there powertool. Keep learning and get better!
"The issue you bring up about the sulfur amino acids (methionine, homocysteine, cysteine, glutathione, taurine, sulfate, etc) is maddeningly complex. So many of us have problems in this area.
People who have methylation problems will be affected in one way (I think too much homocysteine)."
But Joe, these are precisely the things that Andy Cutler addresses so vaguely, and I would suggest he does so because he's not up to speed on methylation issues at all.
Instead, his dated (and possibly dangerous) advice is to take b50 complex 3-4 times a day. B-complex vitamins are often impossible for many to tolerate, and also full of SYNTHETIC "folic acid", the type of folate that the body was never meant to metabolize. It can build up in folks with methylation problems, and block the body's ability to use active folates.
He's always dismissive of methylation problems, instead telling folks to chelate (for what, years and years?) while they may become dangerously deficient in b12 and folate in the process.
It's very telling that many on the overloaded FDC yahoo group have been chelating for 5-10 years without much progress, yet Andy did it in a year?
"...Instead, his dated (and possibly dangerous) advice is to take b50 complex 3-4 times a day. B-complex vitamins are often impossible for many to tolerate, and also full of SYNTHETIC "folic acid", the type of folate that the body was never meant to metabolize. It can build up in folks with methylation problems, and block the body's ability to use active folates.
== You oversimplify his view! Many members don't tolerate something in the multi-B (ie form of niacin and B6). So try the individual Bs, including sublingual mB12 and find the offending B.
"He's always dismissive of methylation problems,"
== I don't know how you could say this.
"... instead telling folks to chelate (for what, years and years?).."
== For as long as necessary, not longer. It varies from person to person--how toxic is the person, how long has it been in them, how often do they chelate and at what doses, what other toxins or other factors are involved. It is impossible to predict! I personally know someone who was nearly bed ridden with neurological problems, etc. After 5 yrs of AC protocol he is back to work as a lawyer and I could not tell he had any problems when I had dinner with him some months ago. He says there are still a few relatively minor issues but who doesn't at around age 50.
== If a person has a genetic defect in the area of methylation, I would not expect chelation to resolve it. If the genetic defect in methylation has resulted in a heavy metal problem, then chelate.
".. while they may become dangerously deficient in b12 and folate in the process."
== Only if they do nothing rather than address them!
"It's very telling that many on the overloaded FDC yahoo group have been chelating for 5-10 years without much progress,"
== I only know of a few members who chelated 5+ yrs. Two claim to be cured and are very grateful (one is in my local circle of friends). Two others are grateful for their improvement. The large majority have experience major gains in the first year and are very grateful, including myself. The young kids often have major improvements in 6 months. http://www.healing-arts.org/children/holmes.htm#results
Also check out the Progress Reports folder in the yahoo Frequent Dose Chelation group.
"... yet Andy did it in a year?"
== That is not true. Honestly, I'm not so sure that after 10+ years he is at 100%. He was very sick. He is not a young man. No one claims that chelation will result in immortality. He also chelated with very high doses--probably a high tolerance for pain. I certainly don't tolerate chelators well. My recollection is that he had major gains after a year. Sorry I forget where he said this but it might have been in this interview with Dr Dan Pompa. Pompa took 3.5 yrs to recover. http://www.healthcentersofthefuture.com/DrCutler/
Well Joe, I respect your opinions/viewpoints, but I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree on some points.
Perhaps I did overgeneralize -- but if anyone goes to omibasu, or the FDC group and does a search -- many of the things I mention above are in fact his recommendations, especially about the b-complex vitamins. Very dated information on that subject, although yes, he does say at times that some people need to start slow and with small doses.
Problem is, that should be pointed out every time he says "take b50 3 times a day..." etc. (And again, the b50's IMHO should never be used. B-vitamins in nature do not come in equal milligram strengths for a reason.
""He's always dismissive of methylation problems,"
== I don't know how you could say this."
Well, how about this exchange from 2010:
"> > I had genetic testing showing I have a very impaired methylation cycle
No, you had an irrelevant genetic test that was used as an excuse to get you topay a lot of money for advice unrelated to what will happen if you do various things.
>> and was told that methylation would help my body remove metals among other
Further false information you probably paid a lot of money for.
> > Would so appreciate any help on this!
Stop paying people to confuse you with innacurate information. If you have
mercury, chelate properly, per pages 225-237 in Hair Test Interpretation:
Finding Hidden Toxicities, and get better."
If that isn't dismissive (and self-serving) I don't know what is. Calling methylation defects and genetic mutations "irrelevant"?
"".. while they may become dangerously deficient in b12 and folate in the process."
== Only if they do nothing rather than address them!"
Well, if some have genetic mutations in their methylation pathways, some forms of b12 and folate will make them WORSE. So some folks may need the genetic testing that Andy dismisses, in order to PROPERLY and SAFELY "address" these possible deficiencies and/or blocks. Again, FOLIC ACID, will cause massive problems in 40-50% of folks if they have some of these mutations. But this is "false" information, even though these mutations and their effects have been published in clinical studies that can be found in pubmed.
I agree with you that perhaps Andy is still not fully well or "100%", and perhaps he has never claimed to be. But his own website suggests that chelation doesn't take very long:
"So most victims have pretty serious, unpleasant health problems (like fibromyalgia or severe allergies) and they really need to make these STOP for the year or two it can take to get fully detoxed and let your body heal."
In other places on his site he says 24-36 months if severely poisoned. But it also says near the top of the site that "he wrote this book to help them get well fast."
I respect you Joe, but again, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
I've been investigating ALA & GSH for cellular repair, Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome & hormone balance. After seeing such good results i thought I'd star pricing up supplements and came across aproduct containing everything I thought I needed (Expect a B12, 6 & folic acid & TMG).
As i ordered I posted the info to a friend thatthen came back to me with ths information that it may not be such a good thing due to its action on heavy metals. I've read the gregus info on http://onibasu.com/archives/am/74605.html.
I'm sure the study contradicts itself in place, but perhaps I dont have the knowledge to understand it correctly? I'm now reallyunsure whether I want to risk this product. I am currently using clay and the liposomal B described above. So I believe I'm probably detoxing some toxins etc. I figured a clean up first migh be the way to go if i do try it rather than return it.
I emailed RNA an dthey told me it neutralises metals. I disputed the possibilyt of this and they told me to go research. How do you get to the bottom of conflicting opinions and evidence when the company wont help. So I emailed again to show I had researched and completely blank/ignored. I've written to the company I bought from and cc RNA in to it in the hope it inspires some communication. I asked that if this was the case, could they show me the clinical evidence they have. Some of me thinks its never been tested on this scae and would then think they cannot make such claims without supporting evidence.
I have been taking Vit c But know it poorly absorbed and that you can also end up wuith your body refusing to absorb it if taking often. So I'll probably try some liposonmal or transdermal Vit C as not sure oral supplementaion will keep working.
So basically I'm wondering any of those better read than me have any thoughts on this? I see there' Leskova I can look at but havent yet had a chance to search and read further.
Look forward to hearing from you folks, thanks and hope you are all getting somewhere good with your efforts to regan health.
I'm guessing you're referring to Amy Yasko's claim that those with CBS polymorphisms should avoid sulfur, sulfite, and even sulfate.
This general information has been proven to not be true. Check out the Phoenix Rising CFS/ME forums for more information. Even Yasko has changed her mind on one of the CBS genes, and Ben Lynch has found that some of them are indeed DOWNregulated, not upregulated.
If you have proof or clinical studies or references from PubMed that prove otherwise, I'd really appreciate seeing them.
Easily. Glutathion must be created inside the cells. Its not supposed to circulate. Thats when it redistributes mercury. If you are mercury toxic and want to convince yourself that glutathion can hurt, take a good dose glutathion as a rentention enema (rectally) and check yourself in the mirror afterwards. You'll look like a cancer patient and feel like it too. No citations needed. ;-I
== His concerns are more nuanced than you understand. We hear this question frequently in the Yahoo groups and have plenty of information for you on it.
"..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..."
== Notice his explanation about glutathione (GSH) in the liver vs getting mercury (Hg) across the blood brain barrier, out of the brain and TO the liver as safely as possible. http://onibasu.com/archives/am/1997.html
" ...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?
== That is nuanced in the post above. Notice that 40% or so of people with a Hg problem are sensitive to foods and supplements that have generous amounts of highly reactive SH/Thiol groups--cysteine, GSH, garlic, cilantro, chlorella, spinach, etc.
== When an inexpensive plasma cysteine test was available he strongly recommended it for those planning to use his protocol. It can make the process much smoother for some sensitive people when they reduce their intake of them. These are people who either make too much cysteine and/or can't convert it normally (more on that if requested) Now he more commonly recommends the thiol/sulfur exclusion diet. http://livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/
"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.
== Consider the Gregus study where mice treated with ALA after injection of inorganic Hg excreted more Hg than untreated mice but still ended up with *more* Hg in the brain and organs. I can't imagine the treated mice would have been healthier even though they had less Hg in them. Our goal isn't to have less Hg in us but rather to be healthy. http://onibasu.com/archives/am/74605.html
"... I'd like to actually hear from one person who says taking extra gsh made them worse
== There have been countless reports in the detox groups from people who either had a nasty reaction to taking high thiol foods or supplements, or who felt much better by avoiding them in their diet. A few were fine before chelation but started to have problems when their dose of ALA--a high thiol supplement--became sufficiently high.
"...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...
== Remember he is a consultant for doctors so he does get case reports. I suspect he exaggerates a bit at times in the groups when people can become quite injured by a harmful practice. After years in the detox groups it really seems that those who make these mistakes need years of additional detox to fix the mistake. A close friend is one. BillyM joined the FDC group a few months after I did and I followed his many posts for a few years. He is another. Thankfully both are much improved but still have more work to do. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/frequent-dose-chelation/message/64260
"I've personally talked to Boyd Haley about his OSR product ... its primary method of action was to substantially increase gsh....
== Think about *how* it results in higher GSH levels!
== One way might be to help the body to make more GSH. The other might be to introduce other antioxidants that help to spare or protect GSH from oxidation. I bet that OSR, like DMSA works by sparing GSH. For example:
Results of DMSA Treatment Study, James Adams,et al http://www.scribd.com/doc/15120628/Results-of-DMSA-Treatment-Study
Conclusions - benefits
•DMSA greatly increases excretion of lead, and some increase in excretion of tin, mercury,thallium.
•1 round of DMSA dramatically normalized glutathione levels for at least 1-2 months, and helped normalize platelet levels (marker of inflammation) for at least 4 months
•Severity of Autism Scale. Significant improvement in both groups
== Remember, Andy had a Hg problem. Intense, competitive mood is one of the symptoms. I had that bad enough that a doctor suggested I take a little Trileptal--mood stabilizer--for it after a Spect brain scan did not look so good:( However he, Dr Daniel Amen's associate, also told me that fish oil, other supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes can also help with mood.
== He was far more correct about that than I had dreamed! Some combination of more generous intake of fish oil--for brain repair--lecithin, vitamin D, lithium orotate supplements--very cool--magnesium, glutamine, and detox have been amazingly helpful in making me so much more chilled out. Today no one would think I needed a mood stabilizer. I often get compliments at work about my patience.
== Re Liposomal GSH. There is a post in the Yahoo Groups archives where AC is not so negative about it. Again some people are sensitive to foods and supplements high in thiols, so be alert for those symptoms.
== I hear that high sulfur foods and supplements feed yeast/candida. That problem is fairly common in detox groups.