The Yogic Benefits of Ghee

Ghee_Lamp_8401_BLOGHomemade ghee candle. Image by Kyra Xavia

In conjunction with the publication of Yoga Scene, April 2015, which includes my article about the ‘Yogic Benefits of Ghee,’ I’ve put together this post to provide information about how to make your own ghee at home, as well as some clips which explain various techniques that enhance wellbeing using ghee.

Not only is ghee an effective digestive aid, it lubricates joints, softens tendons, and nourishes the skin, also making your skin and hair shiny and healthy. Ghee enhances the memory too, and calms a scattered and agitated mind.

Ghee has been around for thousands of years and it’s one of the most healing and nourishing substances on Earth.

The following clip demonstrates how easy it is to apply abhyanga (self massage) using ghee to nourish skin, brighten the complexion, and calm the nervous system.

To make ghee candles

The Benefits of Ghee

Ghee_8241_BLOGHomemade ghee made from raw, cultured, organic butter. Image by Kyra Xavia

In conjunction with the publication of my article titled ‘Glorious ghee’ in the May / June, 2015 issue of Organic NZ Magazine, I’ve put together this post with clips that explain the many benefits of ghee, as well as instructions on how to make your own at home. If you’re curious about the special energetic qualities of this medicinal food in regards to Ayurveda medicine and how it can enhance your Yoga and meditation practice, please check out another post here.

The following short clip discusses why ghee is different to butter.

Ghee also contains an important vitamin called K2. The following clip explains more but I would recommend including homemade ghee instead of taking a supplement.

To make ghee at home yourself, follow the simple method shown in the following youtube clip.
Always use unsalted, cultured, certified organic, pasture raised butter.

The Crucial Role of Whales

It’s becoming clear that whales do far more than scientists ever imagined and their crucial role is only now being understood in a wider context.

Before their numbers were reduced, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

Quite simply, whales can help change the climate.

If humanity ensured the return of the great whales by protecting them and their environment, they could undo some of the damage done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.

Credits:
Editor: Steve Agnos
Producer: Chris Agnos
Narration: George Monbiot

For more from George Monbiot, visit monbiot.com/ and for more on rewilding check out George Monbiot’s book Feral: rewilding the land, the sea and human life.

Music Credits:
Cylinder 2 – Chris Zabriskie
Dramatic Film Strings (Cinematic Movie Soundtrack) – Ramazan Yuksel

Film Credits:
The majority of footage found in this film was generously donated courtesy of Peter Schneider of underwatercam.tv.

Academic Sources:
Stephen Nicol et al, 2010. Southern Ocean iron fertilization by baleen whales and Antarctic krill. Fish and Fisheries, vol 11, pp 203–209.
Kakani Katija and John O. Dabiri, 2009. A viscosity-enhanced mechanism for biogenic ocean mixing. Nature, Vol. 460, pp 624-627. doi:10.1038/nature08207
Joe Roman and James J. McCarthy, 2010) The Whale Pump: Marine Mammals Enhance Primary Productivity in a Coastal Basin. PLoS ONE vol 5 no 10, pp 1-8. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0013255
Daniel G. Boyce, Marlon R. Lewis and Boris Worm, 2010. Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature, Vol. 466, pp591-596. doi:10.1038/nature09268
Steve Nichol, 12th July 2011. Vital Giants: why living seas need whales. New Scientist, No.2820. http://www.newscientist.com/article/m…
Trish J. Lavery et al, 2010. Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B. Vol 277, pp 3527-3531.doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0863
James A. Estes, et al, 2011. Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth. Science, Vol 333, pp 301-306. doi: 10.1126/science.1205106

 

That Unique Smell of Rainfall on Earth Finally Explained

Scientists may have discovered how that distinct smell of rain on earth (known as petrichor) occurs.

Using high-speed cameras, MIT researchers observed that when a raindrop hits a surface, it traps tiny air bubbles at the point of contact.
The bubbles then shoot upward, ultimately bursting from the drop in a fizz of aerosols.

Interestingly, the study showed that not all surfaces and not all rainfall intensities are conducive to generating aerosols.
Heavy rains, for example, are not ideal for aerosol production, nor is rain falling on sand.

“Until now, people didn’t know that aerosols could be generated from raindrops on soil,” explains Youngsoo Joung, a coauthor of the study. “This finding should be a good reference for future work, illuminating microbes and chemicals existing inside soil and other natural materials, and how they can be delivered in the environment, and possibly to humans.”

We may finally have a scientific explanation as to why walking in the forest after a spring rain is so energising and uplifting. (You’re experiencing natural aromatherapy along with a perfect dose of beneficial bacteria.)
Once again the vital relationship between beneficial soil bacteria to human health is coming to the fore, suggesting there may be even more reason to spend time close to nature.

Organic Skincare

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This post has been created in conjunction with the publication of my article about organic skincare in the January / February 2015 issue of Organic NZ magazine.

Natural and organic skincare is experiencing a global boom as consumers wake up to the fact that conventional products contain a plethora of harmful ingredients. With so many new products coming onto the market and many brands jumping on the greenwashing bandwagon, how can consumers know what brands to trust? Well for starters, there are some important distinctions between natural and organic.

The word ‘natural’ has been so misused as a selling point by the advertising industry that it means very little. For an entertaining look at the greenwashing that goes on in the advertising and packaging of ‘natural’ products, watch this clip. Although it focuses on food, the same misleading approach can also apply to personal care products.

CERTIFIED NATURAL

Certified natural products are definitely a healthier option than conventional products, but they are not certified organic.

To create a recognised standard for products made with natural ingredients, the German certifying agency BDIH was established in 2001.

European-based Natrue followed suit in 2007 with three different certifications:
1) natural,
2) natural with an organic portion,
3) certified organic
All have the same logo (see below) but a different subheading, so if you’re wanting a certified organic product registered with Natrue, read labels carefully. To learn more about Natrue standards visit  www.natrue.org.

NATRUE_LOGO

CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Certified organic products must meet standards that surpass natural certification. Today, organic certification is the best guarantee consumers have that skincare products are safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable. Organic manufacturers, producers and processors are subject to rigorous inspections by third-party inspectors, and only products that meet the highest standard (containing more than 95% certified organic ingredients) will be free from harsh synthetic surfactants, artificial fragrances, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, GMOs, nanoparticles, and plastic microbeads.

But there are two different tiers within most certified organic standards –
1 – Products with a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients and,
2 – Products made with a minimum of 70% certified organic ingredients.

But matters can get complicated for consumers because not all organic standards are the same and labelling requirements differ.

For more information about different organic certifiers and their standards please click here.

New Zealand has two main organic certifiers:
AsureQuality doesn’t have a separate health and beauty standard, but as long as skincare brands meet their organic production standards (for farming and food) they can gain certification.

AssureQuality Organic Logo

BioGro developed their health and beauty standards as recently as June 2013. BioGro also adopted Natrue certification under license.

Both certifiers have two tiers for organic health and beauty products.

95%+    Products with a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients are identified by the words ‘certified organic’ and the certifier’s logo on the front of products (displaying the actual percentage is voluntary).

70%+    Products ‘made with organic ingredients’ contain a minimum of 70% certified organic ingredients. Products must display the percentage of certified organic ingredients alongside the certifier’s logo. With this category, BioGro doesn’t allow its logo on the front, while AsureQuality allows its logo on the front of packaging along with the words ‘certified organic’.

NOTE: Water, minerals, salts and preservatives cannot be included as organic ingredients in the 95%+ or the 70%+ (but may be in the remaining portion of up to 5% or up to 30%).

RECOMMENDED BRANDS

The following five brands are those I use myself and feel confident recommending. Plantae and Viola are made here in New Zealand. Mukti is produced in Australia. Mukti and Viola package their products in glass, with Mukti using biophotonic glass, which protects, preserves and energises the products naturally. Dr Hauschka, Plantae and Weleda apply anthroposophical principles in the harvesting of ingredients and the manufacturing of their products. 

Dr Hauschka
Mukti
Plantae
Viola
Weleda

 

The Benefits of Fermented Foods

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In conjunction with the publication of my article in Organic NZ magazine (September / October issue, 2014), I’ve put this post together explaining why fermented or cultured food in our diet plays such a crucial role to well-being, especially in regards to the human microbiome. (Due space restrictions in the magazine, the references for the article are posted here.)

References
1 – E Clair et al. Effects of Roundup and glyphosate on three food microorganisms: Geotrichum candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. Curr Microbiol. May 2012 64(5).
2 – M. Frémont et al. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing reveals alterations of intestinal microbiota in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Anaerobe. Aug 2013.
3 – A.K Adiloğlu, et al. The effect of kefir consumption on human immune system: a cytokine study. Mikrobiyoloji Bulteni 2013, 47(2).
4 – Z.B Guzel-Setdim et al. Review: functional properties of kefir. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Mar 2011 51(3).
5 – H. Szaefer et al. Modulation of CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 expression by cabbage juices and indoles in human breast cell lines. Nutr Cancer Aug 2012 64(6) .
6 – B.E. Licznerska et al, Modulation of CYP19 expression by cabbage juices and their active components: indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethene in human breast epithelial cell. Eur J Nutr. Aug 2013 52(5).
7 – K.Y. Park et al. Health benefits of kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables) as a probiotic food. J Med Food. Jan 2014 17(1).

Drinking_Kefir_6116_Web                                                                           Photo: Kyra Xavia, www.kyraxavia.com

It’s now widely accepted that a modern lifestyle and diet can negatively impact the diverse community of microorganisms responsible for health (the human microbiome), but restoring and maintaining bacterial balance can be as simple and enjoyable as consuming fermented foods that you can make at home. It’s also more cost effective for supporting digestive health long-term than purchasing probiotic supplements.

For further reading and recipes see the end of this post.

The following clips explain how health depends upon the human microbiome.


Click here to watch a great interview that discusses the breakthroughs in understanding the importance of the human microbiome.

For further reading and recipes to make your own cultured foods
• Missing Microbes. Martin J. Blaser (2014)
• An Epidemic of Absence. Moises Velasquez-Manoff (2013)
• Fermented Foods, vol. 1: Fermented Vegetables, vol. 2: Milk Kefir, vol. 3: Water Kefir. Meghan Grande (2014)
• Fermented Foods for Health. Deirdre Rawlings (2013)
• Real Food Fermentation. Alex Lewin (2012)
• Wild Fermentation and The Art Of Fermentation. Sandor Ellix Katz (2011, 2012)
• Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. Michael Pollan (2010)
• Nourishing Traditions. Sally Fallon and Mary Enig (1999)

The Benefits of Raw Milk

ONZ_July_August14_FC
In conjunction with the publication of my article in Organic NZ Magazine July / August 2014, I’ve created this post about the many benefits of drinking raw organic milk from pasture raised cows.

Below are a series of informative slips about the health properties raw milk, the benefits of organic farming , the history of pasteurisation, food safety and more.

Not only is raw milk more nutritious, satisfying and healthy than processed milk, it is also safer, because it contains a wide range of  naturally occurring substances that help destroy pathogens. To learn more check out this great post by Cheeseslave titled  ‘Top 10 reasons to Drink Raw Milk.’

To read the enlightening e-book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price  click here

Pasteurisation significantly reduces the nutritive value of milk to the degree that is no longer a healthy food. In fact the consumption of pasteurised milk burdens the body. Despite claims by dairy manufacturers and some dieticians, in no way can processed milk compare to raw.

Milk in its natural state is a complete food containing every known vitamin and mineral needed for health. It also contains all the enzymes, lactic acid and beneficial bacteria needed to digest it, all of which are heat sensitive. Various other immune enhancing factors such as fatty acids, cholesterol and whey proteins etc are also effected by processing.

The following nutrients are either damaged, destroyed or reduced in pasteurised, homogenised milk.
Butterfat
Omega 3s
Vitamin C
B-9 (folate) – the binding protein needed for folate absorption is destroyed
B6
B12
Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Calcium – becomes difficult to absorb
Iodine
Iron – absorption prevented due to the destruction of lactoferrin
Beneficial bacteria lactobacillus acidopholous and bifidus bacteria – destroyed by heat and their destruction means the uptake of minerals and various vitamins is impaired
Lactase – the enzyme needed for lactose digestion is destroyed by heat
Beta-lactoglobulin – a protein needed for the uptake of Vit A is destroyed by heat

Please check out the following links for more information
www.eatwild.com
www.raw-milk-facts.com
www.realmilk.com
www.westonaprice.org
www.betacasein.org
NZ Alliance for Raw Milk: www.facebook.com/nz.arm

Finally, to source raw milk  ask around or contact your closest Weston A Price Foundation chapter.

Wildpure Organic Honey

ONZ_May_June14_FINALCover-page-001

In conjunction with the publication of my article about Wildpure in Organic NZ magazine, I’ve posted information and links related to organic honey and the importance of pollination.

I can also say with a glee that Wildpure’s wild thyme honey is the most exquisite honey I have ever tasted. (Words do not describe how special it is.)

Wildpure is one of those rare and inspiring businesses with real heart and ethics, which is reflected in the purity and quality of their products.

While interviewing Reece Adamson, I learned how important it is to support the health of honeybee colonies, and how everyone can help, simply by filling gardens, window boxes, urban rooftops, and farmland with bee friendly plants. This will ensure adequate sources of nectar and pollen for honeybees to feed upon, which in turn strengthens their immunity.
Here’s a helpful planting guide suited for the New Zealand landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reece Adamson from Wildpure, with his daughter Briar. Photograph by Kyra Xavia

After reading about Wildpure in Organic NZ magazine you may also be curious about their pollen and where to buy their honey.

To try Wildpure pollen visit Little Bird Unbakery in Auckland.
Taste Nature the Organic Shop in Dunedin provide their customers with bulk organic Wild thyme honey from Wildpure.
Reece is happy to sell 20 kg buckets of their honey to other organic retailers in New Zealand. To contact him by phone (03) 449 2036 or email reece@wildpure.co.nz
To purchase Wildpure Honey as packaged by J. Friend and Co as seen in the photograph below, click here.

Pollination is vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film “Wings of Life,” inspired by the vanishing of one of nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee.

The following trailer is for an important documentary called Queen of the Sun, about the decline of the honeybee due to industrial monoculture farming, the wide spread use of pesticides and herbicides, and a lack of adequate pollen and nectar sources.

Why Getting Your Hands Dirty is Good for Health

Vol 73 No 2 Mar_Apr14.indd

In conjunction with the publication of my article in Organic NZ magazine March/April, 2014 issue, this post explores the health benefits of gardening and getting your hands in the soil.

Exposure to a wide range of bacteria is crucial to the healthy development and function of the human immune system.

It turns out that the microbes present in soil provide immune boosting properties, as well as important anti-depressant effects upon the brain, making playing outside and gardening am important activity for children and adults alike.

Here is a fascinating podcast interview by Wendy Myers with Moises Valasquez-Manoff, who explains the link between exposure to a diverse range of microbes in a natural environment and human health.

For further reading
An Epidemic of Absence – A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases by Moises Velasquez-Manoff
Richard Louv. 2011. The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder.
Richard. Louv. 2005. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

Michael Pollan has written a wonderful article about the intriguing world of microbes and their importance to humans for the New York Times. Read it by clicking here.

To learn more about increasing your exposure to friendly bacteria (other than gardening), please listen to this radio interview about the many health benefits of fermented food by Sandor Katz.

Mercury Toxicity and Systemic Elimination Agents

Here is a scientific paper published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (March 2001) by Dr. Joeseph Mercola and Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, about the harmful effects of mercury exposure from mercury dental amalgam fillings and various eliminative agents that can be used to help the body remove mercury. Today the paper is just as relevant as it was 13 years ago.
____________

Abstract
This paper reviews the published evidence supporting amalgam toxicity and describes practical and effective clinical techniques that facilitate mercury elimination. A literature review is provided which documents effective mercury elimination strategies to reduce mercury toxicity syndromes.

Considering the weight of evidence supporting mercury toxicity, it would seem prudent to select alternate dental restoration materials and consider effective mercury elimination strategies if mercury toxicity is present.

Mercury Exposure And Toxicity Is A Prevalent And Significant Public Health Threat.

Chronic mercury exposure from occupational, environmental, dental amalgam, and contaminated food exposure is a significant threat to public health.1

Those with amalgam fillings exceed all occupational exposure allowances of mercury exposure of all European and North American countries. Adults with four or more amalgams run a significant risk from the amalgam, while in children as few as two amalgams will contribute to health problems.2 In most children, the largest source of mercury is that received from immunizations 3 4 5 6 or that transferred to them in utero from their mother.7 8

Dental Amalgams Are A Major Source Of Mercury Toxicity

A single dental amalgam filling with a surface area of only 0.4 sq.cm is estimated to release as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day primarily through mechanical wear and evaporation.1 9 10 11

The average individual has eight amalgam fillings and could absorb up to 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgams. These levels are consistent with reports of 60 micrograms of mercury per day collected in human feces.12 By way of contrast, estimates of the daily absorption of all forms of mercury from fish and seafood is 2.3 micrograms and from all other foods, air and water is 0.3 micrograms per day. 13 Currently, Germany, Sweden and Denmark severely restrict the use of amalgams.1

A “silver” filling, or dental amalgam, is not a true alloy. Amalgams are made up of 50% mercury. The amalgam also consists of 35% silver, 9% tin, 6% copper and a trace of zinc.6 More than 100 million mercury fillings are placed each year in the U.S. as over 90% of dentists use them for restoring posterior teeth.14

The mercury vapor from the amalgams is lipid soluble and passes readily through cell membranes and across the blood brain barrier. 15 The vapor serves as the primary route of mercury from amalgams into the body. It is clear that amalgam mercury transfers to human tissues, accumulates with time, and presents a potential health threat. The mercury escapes continuously during the entire life of the filling primarily in the form of vapor, ions but also abraded particles.16 17 Chewing, brushing, and the intake of hot fluids stimulates this release.18 19 20

Statements made by dental authorities which claim that the amount of mercury exposure encountered by patients from dental amalgams is too small to be harmful, are contradicted by the literature.21

Animal studies show that radioactively labeled mercury released from ideally placed amalgam fillings appear quickly in the kidneys22, brain and wall of the intestines.23 The fact that mercury amalgam fillings are banned in some European countries is strong evidence of the clinical toxicity of this material.

Any metal tooth restoration placed in the mouth will also produce electrogalvanic effects. When dissimilar metals are placed in the oral cavity they exert a battery-like effect because of the electroconductivity of the saliva. The electrical current causes metal ions go into solution at a much higher rate, thereby increasing the exposure to mercury vapor and mercury ions manyfold. Gold placed in the vicinity of an amalgam restoration produces a 10-fold increase in the release of mercury.24

Mercury’s Long Half-Life In The Central Nervous System
Mercury in the central nervous system (CNS) causes psychological, neurological, and immunological problems in humans.25 26 27 Mercury bonds very firmly to structures in the CNS through its affinity for sulfhydryl-groups on amino acids. Other studies have shown that mercury is taken up in the periphery by all nerve endings and rapidly transported inside the axon of the nerves (axonal transport) to the spinal cord and brainstem.28 29 30 Unless actively removed, mercury has an extremely long half-life of somewhere between 15 and 30 years in the CNS.1 31

Mercury Toxicity Symptoms
The overt clinical effects resulting from toxic exposure to mercury have been clearly described.32 33 The scientific literature shows that amalgam fillings have been associated with a variety of problems such as Alzheimer’s Disease,34 35 autoimmunity,36 37 38 kidney dysfunction,39 infertility,40 41 42 polycystic ovary syndrome, 43 neurotransmitter imbalances,44 food allergies,45 multiple sclerosis,46 thyroid problems,47 and an impaired immune system.48

Patients with many amalgam fillings will also have an increase in the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.49 Subclinical neuropsychological and motor control effects were also observed in dentists who had documented high mercury exposure levels.50 51 Amalgam use may also be related to fatigue, poor memory and certain psychological disorders.52

There has been a recent epidemic of autism in the US53 54 and many investigators believe that this may be partially related to the increased exposure infants have had to mercury through the preservative thimerosal that was included in nearly all vaccines until recently.55

The nervous system is more sensitive to mercury toxicity than any other organ in the body. Mercury has recently been documented to be associated with arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies as hair analysis showed mercury levels to be 20,000 higher in those with these cardiac abnormalities.56 Mercury exposure has also been associated with other neurological problems such as tremors,57 insomnia, polyneuropathy, paresthesias, emotional lability, irritability, personality changes, headaches, weakness, blurred vision, dysarthria, slowed mental response and unsteady gait.1 58 59

Systemic Mercury Elimination
There are a number of agents that have been demonstrated to have clinical utility in facilitating the removal of mercury with someone who has demonstrated clinical signs and symptoms of mercury toxicity. The urine and feces are the main excretory pathways of metallic and inorganic mercury in humans.1 60

The most important part of systemic elimination is to remove the source of mercury.

For most this involves amalgam removal. Individuals should seek a dentist who is specially trained in this area as improperly removed amalgam may result in unnecessarily high exposure to mercury.61 The following is a summary of the most effective agents that have been documented in the peer-reviewed literature.

DMPS
DMPS (Sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate) is an acid-molecule with two free sulfhydryl groups that forms complexes with heavy metals such as zinc, copper, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, silver, and tin. DMPS was developed in the 1950s in the former Soviet Union and has been used to effectively treat metal intoxication since the 1960s there.62 It is a water-soluble complexing agent.

Because it had potential use as an antidote for the chemical warfare agent, Lewisite, it was not available outside of the Soviet Union until 1978, at which time Heyl, a small pharmaceutical company in Berlin, Germany started to produce it. It has an abundance of international research data and an excellent safety record in removing mercury from the body63 and has been used safely in Europe as Dimaval for many years.64 65 66 67

DMPS is registered in Germany with the BGA (their FDA) for the treatment of mercury poisoning but is still an investigational drug in the United States.68

The best and only brand of DMPS that should be used is Heyl from Germany. Great care should also be exercised in making certain the DMPS is compounded properly from the pharmacist. If the DMPS contacts metal during it will be oxidized, so the compounding pharmacist must use nonmetal needles must be used in preparing the product.

DMPS Can Be Used To Eliminate Mercury Systemically
The use of DMPS to treat mercury toxicity is well established and accepted. 69 70 71 DMPS has clearly demonstrated elimination effects on the connective tissue.72 73 The DMPS dose is 3-5 mg /kg of body weight once a month which is injected slowly intravenously over five minutes. DMPS-stimulated excretion of all heavy metals reaches a maximum 2-3 hours after infusion and decreases thereafter to return to baseline levels after 8 hours.74

DMPS Safety
DMPS is not mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic.75 Ideally intravenous DMPS should never be used in patients that still have amalgam fillings in place, although investigators have done this as diagnostically, as a one-time dose, without complications.76 DMPS appears in the saliva and may mobilize significant amounts of mercury from the surface of the fillings and precipitate seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, or severe fatigue.

One should use DMPS with great caution and NEVER use it in patients with amalgam fillings. Ideally DMPS should be administered after 25 grams of ascorbic acid administered intravenously. This will minimize any potential toxicity from the DMPS.

Even though DMPS has a high affinity for mercury, the highest affinity appears to be for copper and zinc77 and supplementation needs to be used to not avoid depleting these beneficial minerals. Zinc is particularly important when undergoing mercury chelation.78 DMPS is administered over a five-minute period since hypotensive effects are possible when given intravenously as a bolus.79 80 Other possible side effects include allergic reactions and skin rashes.

DMSA
DMSA (meso-2, 3-dimercaptosucccinic acid) is another mercury chelating agent. It is the only chelating agent other than cilantro and d-penicillamine81 that penetrates brain cells. DMSA removes mercury both via the kidneys and via the bile.82 The sulfhydryl groups in both DMPS and DMSA bind very tightly to mercury.

DMSA has three distinct disadvantages relative to DMPS.
First, DMPS appears to remain in the body for a longer time than DMSA.83

Secondly, DMPS acts more quickly than DMSA, probably because its distribution is both intracellular and extracellular.84

Thirdly, preparations of DMPS are available for intravenous or intramuscular use, while DMSA is available only in oral form.85 Since succinic acid is used in the citric acid cycle inside the cell, DMSA has been suspected for displacing mercury towards the inside of the cell86 after binding mercury somewhere on its way from the intestine to the succinic acid deficient cell.

We propose therefore that DMSA be used late in the mercury elimination process, after the connective tissue mercury load has been reduced with DMPS. The standard dose of DMSA is 5-10 mg/kg twice a day for two weeks. The DMSA is then stopped for two weeks and then the cycle is repeated.

Chlorella
Algae and other aquatic plants possess the capacity to take up toxic trace metals from their environment, resulting in an internal concentration greater than those of the surrounding waters.87 This property has been exploited as a means for treating industrial effluent containing metals before they are discharged, and to recover the bioavailable fraction of the metal.88

Chlorella has been shown to develop resistance to cadmium contaminated waters by synthesizing metal-binding proteins.89 A book written for the mining industry, Biosorption of Heavy Metals,90 details how miners use these organisms to increase the yield of precious metals in old mines. The mucopolysaccharides in chlorella’s cell wall absorb rather large amounts of toxic metals similar to an ion exchange resin.

Chlorella also enhances mobilization of mercury compartmentalized in non-neurologic structures such as the gut wall, 91 muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, and bone.

High doses of chlorella have been found to be very effective in Germany for mercury elimination. 92

Chlorella is an important part of the systemic mercury elimination program, as approximately 90% of the mercury is eliminated through the stool. Using large doses of chlorella facilitates fecal mercury excretion. After the intestinal mercury burden is lowered, mercury will more readily migrate into the intestine from other body tissues from where chlorella will effectively remove it.

Chlorella is not tolerated by about one-third of people due to gastrointestinal distress. Chitosan can be effectively used as an alternative in these individuals. Chitosan makes up most of the hull of insects shellfish and also bind metals like mercury from the lumen of the intestines.93 94 9

Cilantro
Omura determined that cilantro could mobilize mercury and other toxic metals rapidly from the CNS.96 97

Cilantro mobilizes mercury, aluminum, lead and tin stored in the brain and in the spinal cord and moves it into the connective tissues. The mobilized mercury appears to be either excreted via the stool, the urine, or translocated into more peripheral tissues.

The mechanism of action is unknown. Cilantro alone often does not remove mercury from the body; it often only displaces the metals form intracellularly or from deeper body stores to more superficial structures, from where it can be easier removed with the previously described agents. The use of cilantro with DMSA or DMPS has produced an increase in motor nerve function. 98

Potentiating Agents
Adequate sulfur stores are necessary to facilitate mercury’s binding to sulfhydryl groups.

Many individual’s sulfur stores are greatly depleted which impairs sulfur containing chelating or complexing agents, such as DMPS or DMSA, effectiveness as they are metabolized and utilized as a source of sulfur. Sulfur containing natural substances, like garlic99 100 and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) may also serve as an effective agent to supply organic sulfur for detoxification.101 Fresh garlic is preferred as it has many other recently documented benefits.102 103 104 The garlic is consumed just below the threshold of social unacceptability, which is typically 1-2 cloves per day.

Antioxidants
Vitamin E doses of 400 I.U per day have been shown to have a protective effect when the brain is exposed to methyl-mercury.68 105 Selenium, 200-400 mcg daily,106 107 108 109 is a particularly important trace mineral in mercury elimination and should be used for most patients.

Selenium facilitates the function of glutathione, which is also important in mercury detoxification.110 111 112 Some clinicians find repetitive high dose intravenous glutathione useful, especially in neurologically compromised patients.

There is a suggestion in a rat model that lipoic acid may also be useful,113 but some clinicians are concerned about the potential of lipoic acid to bring mercury into the brain early in the stages of chelation, similar to DMSA and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which has also been used in mercury chelation.114 Doses larger than 50-100 mg per day should be used with caution.

Vitamin C is also a helpful supplement for mercury elimination as it will tend to mobilize mercury from intracellular stores.115 116 117 118 119 120

Some clinicians will use it intravenously in doses of 25-100 grams IV in preference to DMPS and DMSA.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a major carbohydrate component of the extracellular matrix and can be found in the skin, joints, eyes and most other organs and tissues.121 HA is utilized in many chemotherapy protocols as a potentiating agent.122 HA is also being utilized for many novel applications in medicine.123 124 Personal experience has shown that the addition of 2 ml with the DMPS tends to improve the excretion of mercury by two to four fold with virtually no toxicity.

Conclusion
We have described the significant toxicities associated with mercury amalgams and treatment agents that both authors have used successfully over the past two decades to eliminate mercury and resolve many chronic health complaints. Considering the weight of evidence supporting amalgam toxicity it would seem prudent to select alternative dental restoration materials.

Joseph Mercola, DO.
Medical Director
Natural Health Center

Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Director
American Academy of Neural Therapy

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