One thing that became clear to me in studying/reading on heavy metal toxicity and minerals is that heavy metals can and do inhibit/replace beneficial minerals in the body... for instance:
Aluminum inhibits boron and interferes with nutrient absorption among other things; pgs 136 - 137 of "Minerals for the Genetic Code". In the presence of aluminum, silicon is spent. The only thing that can ameliorate a case of aluminum toxicity is calcium, magnesium and silicon according to Olree... page 98.
This could be THE one reason why so many find absorbable Magnesium, Silicon, and/or Calcium supplementation beneficial, improving quality of life.
Consider this... aluminum is in cosmetics, particularly deodorants/antiperspirants, nearly all processed foods as additives such as food dyes, prescription and OTC medications, like Ecotrin coated asprin, aluminum sulfate is in most all municipal water supplies, air pollution, etc.
Aluminum and fluorine is THE reason distiled water is needed for dialysis; the patient would die without the distillation.
This just one example of a heavy metal, perhaps the most ubiquitous and worst... there are others that do similar:
Children who are chronically exposed to lead, even in small amounts, are more likely to develop learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and to have low IQ's. Abnormal growth and neurological development may occur in the infants of women exposed to lead during pregnancy. In adults, lead toxicity may result in kidney damage and high blood pressure. Although the use of lead paint and leaded gasoline has been discontinued in the U.S., lead toxicity continues to be a significant health problem, especially in children living in urban areas. A study of over 300 children in an urban neighborhood found that 49% of children aged 1 to 8 years had blood lead levels above current guidelines, indicating excessive lead exposure. In this study, only 59% of children ages 1-3 years and 41% of children ages 4-8 years had calcium intakes meeting the recommended levels (33). Adequate calcium intake could be protective against lead toxicity in at least two ways. Increased dietary intake of calcium is known to decrease the gastrointestinal absorption of lead. Once lead enters the body it tends to accumulate in the skeleton, where its may remain for more than 20 years. Adequate calcium intake also prevents exposure to lead mobilized from the skeleton during bone demineralization. A recent study of blood lead levels during pregnancy found that women with inadequate calcium intake during the second half of pregnancy were more likely to have elevated blood lead levels, probably related to increased bone demineralization with the release of accumulated lead into the blood (34). Lead in the blood of a pregnant woman is readily transported across the placenta resulting in fetal lead exposure at a time when the developing nervous system is highly vulnerable. Additionally, in postmenopausal women, increased calcium intake has been associated with decreased blood lead levels. Other factors known to decrease bone demineralization, including estrogen replacement therapy and physical activity, have also been inversely associated with blood lead levels (35).
It is important to have a generally healthy mineral base. The body works better with toxic metals than no metals at all. Enzymes have certain binding sites that require a metal for them to perform their function as a catalyst. When you are deficient in magnesium, sodium, zinc and other minerals, the body does not let go of the toxic metals very easily.
Selenium and zinc are particularly important trace minerals in mercury detoxification and should be used for most people.
Generally the citrate form of minerals works quite nicely unless one has a low blood phosphorous level. It is important to not take copper or iron though unless a clinician has examined a hair analysis and or blood work and recommended these minerals. Thorne Research has Citramins II which is citrated minerals without copper or iron.
My point being, that if one were to chelate heavy "metals" from a heavy metal toxic individual WITHOUT providing necessary replacement minerals through absorbable, usable forms of mineral supplementation I believe the body would shut down. These individuals with heavy metal toxicity have mutated/adapted to use the heavy metals in place of minerals to sustain life somehow...
Perhaps these "doctors" do not know that the human body uses these heavy metals in place of the minerals that should be used. Perhaps they do not know that these heavy metals can block absorption. By stripping any one of these heavy metals without replacing them with the appropriate mineral, they are surely inviting negative/catastrophic results.
All this is why, I personally believe that, adequate mineral intake is the best, most effective, and safest form of heavy metal chelation. It is also the best preventative. There is a great deal of information, including peer reviewed works that prove the case I present here.