The top 10-detox agents
Which oral supplements are the best for detoxification?
By Phil Micans, MS, PharmB
Please note that I am going to dispense with the usual pleasantries, this is because this article jumps straight into the types of oral supplements that have been shown to be effective in reducing all kinds of toxins from the body.
You will discover which agents chelate heavy metals (like mercury, lead and arsenic) and which agents remove the plastics and flame retardants from inside us etc. However, due to a lack of space, this article doesn’t cover the reasons why one would want to remove such things, or what kinds of problems these toxins can cause, or indeed where they come from. But interested persons can read all of that in the complete and extended article at this link:
The following on is my top-10 list of the best oral supplements that can be used regularly to chelate and detox. The list is shown alphabetically for convenience.
Allicin is found in garlic; it is the substance that gives it its distinctive odour. Apart from being a very potent natural antibiotic, (so much so that researchers from the University of East London have successfully treated MRSA with it), allicin is also known to be able to chelate heavy metals, especially lead and mercury.
Studies have shown that the foetal excretions of mercury can increase by as much as 400% when allicin is being taken regularly. (15)
Note: Allicin is contained within Beyond Chelation Improved® (BCI).
This plant extract was discovered to be a powerful malaria treatment thousands of years ago by Chinese herbalists, although it is only in the last century that has seen artemisinin used in ‘Western medicine’. Not only does artemisinin treat the global killer Malaria, (as successfully as any anti-malaria drug according to the UN), but recent studies are also showing its medicinal efficacy stretching out to cancer.
The extract is obtained from the plant artemesia annua L, (or sweet wormwood). Wormwood is an ancient anti-parasitic remedy, even in medieval times it was known to rid the body of worms and flukes.
Artemisinin itself has a very rare molecular structure because it has two oxygen atoms linked together by what’s known as an ‘endoperoxide bridge’. Its composition means it reacts with molecules with high-iron content, such as the malaria parasites and cancerous tumours. Upon contact with high-iron content cells it forms free radicals that are toxic to the integrity of the invaders.
Artemisinin is such a useful malaria treatment/ preventative the Vietnamese army takes it with them into their jungles!
Di-indolylmethane (DIM) is the active constituent found inside Brassica vegetables such as cabbages, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli etc. DIM is a potent re-balancer of the estrogen/ testosterone ratio because it aids the excretion of potentially ‘dangerous’ estrogens, particularly the form known as estradiol. This is important because pseudo-estrogens are getting into the environment from plastics, pesticides and drugs like the contraceptive pill. The WHO recognises these toxins in the environment and refers to them as ‘endocrine disruptors,’ in other words they detrimentally alter the ratio of hormones.
It has already been noted that many fish and other mammalian species have changed sex and had there are many problems due to the presence of these estrogen type substances; many leading physicians are advocating that these estrogens may be responsible for many cancers, in particular cervical, breast and prostate types.
DIM has the potential to both reduce and rebalance estrogen ratios in the body; it therefore stands as an important natural substance for detox supplementation.
Note: DIM can be found in DIM-Pro2™ and ACF228® capsules.
EDTA stands for ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid, it is a synthetic amino-acid related to vinegar and once inside the body it binds to heavy metals.
EDTA is the most commonly used agent in a detox clinic and it is often administered as an intravenous drip, which means up to an hour is required for it all to pass into the blood. However EDTA can also be used orally and due to that ease of use, more regularly too. When used orally, EDTA is considered to be approximately 10% as effective as an IV; nonetheless oral EDTA still has a viable action. For example, a report by the Los Alamos Research Laboratory in New Mexico (16) showed that EDTA taken orally excreted 5 to 10 times more lead out of children than placebo alone. This has also been confirmed by the Australian Industrial Hygiene Division (17). In addition, EDTA has also been shown to remove cadmium, aluminium, iron, nickel and mercury. (18, 19, 20, 21)
One of the principal roles of EDTA has been to remove calcium plagues from arteries, thereby improving blood flow, reducing arterial stiffness and lessening the ‘load’ on the heart itself. Note that it is important to only use the calcium version of EDTA orally (and not the sodium version) and whilst there is some evidence that EDTA does take out some good minerals (zinc for example), the amounts are small and can easily be compensated by taking a multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement at the same time.
Furthermore, EDTA can be used in a number of ways other than IV and orally. For example, it can be placed as a powder into a bath to help cleanse the skin.
Note: Calcium EDTA can be found in Beyond Chelation Improved® (BCI) capsules, Beyond Fiber® powder and Beyond Clean-2® bath salts.
The role of fiber cannot be overlooked in the detoxification process. This is because whilst other substances help to bind and shift toxins from the membranes they are residing in, many toxins once ‘released’ then find their way to the gut. Once they have arrived in the gut some of these toxins may simply accumulate there causing other problems, or some can even be reabsorbed- especially if there is inadequate fiber. But good fiber will excrete toxins by passing them quickly out of the body. This is a primary action of fiber- to remove toxins from the digestive tract.
Excellent fiber sources include the husks of brown rice and the Jerusalem artichoke and are found in the Beyond Fiber® powder, (which is also a source of additional EDTA). Other foods such as legumes (beans, peas and lentils), as well as wheat bran, prunes and acai, raspberries and blackberries are also good sources of fiber.
L-ascorbic acid is the active part of vitamin C and it has probably had more published studies conducted on it than any other substance. It was studied in detail by the late, twice Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling. (22, 23, 24, 25) He stated that vitamin C has the widest range of uses within the body, yet unfortunately it remains the one vitamin that the body cannot store- therefore it is always in demand from the diet, which is sadly lacking in the majority of individuals. (By the way, you can quickly and cheaply check your own vitamin C levels daily by using the Vita-C® urine sticks).
Dr. Thomas Levy‘s book; ‘Vitamin C, infectious diseases and toxins,’ (26) has many studies listed in it that have shown ascorbic acid to have numerous detox abilities in humans. To give you some idea, ascorbic acid has been shown to reduce pesticides, carbon monoxide, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, aluminium, chlorine and fluoride levels in the body.
An excellent form of L-ascorbic acid can be found in Bio-En’R-Gy® powder which is simply mixed into water and drunk. Its unique formula has been shown to be highly bioavailable- introducing levels of vitamin C inside the cell that can usually only be performed by injections.
Malic acid is a vital component in the energy-producing Krebs cycle and has many important roles in the body, including the maintenance of the acid balance, as well as the removal of undesirable metals; in particular it is noted to remove lead, aluminium and strontium.
A good source of malic acid is from apples, which may be one of the reasons why grandma always said; “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Malic acid can be found in Beyond Chelation Improved® (BCI).
Selenium is a potent antioxidant found in soil, plants and fish. The better ‘meats’ (in terms of selenium quantities) are beef and turkey and the better ‘plants’ (in the same way) are Brazil nuts, oatmeal and rice; whole eggs are also a good source. (27)
Selenium assists the body to use vitamin E and it has an important role in enzyme and protein synthesis. This rare trace element binds itself to mercury and essentially deactivates it. This is because once mercury is bound to the selenium it becomes a new molecule that the body cannot absorb. Now, whilst selenium by-itself doesn’t remove mercury from the body, the fact that it can effectively silence its action is an important factor. A good way to think about selenium is to understand that it acts like a mercury magnet. Recently it has been shown that is that it is the mercury that seeks out and attaches itself to the selenium.
Studies on soil conditions have shown ever declining amounts of trace minerals since 1946. But it is selenium that is one of the ‘hardest hit’ down in some cases by as much as 50%, (even comparing organic then to organic now). Such situations make a strong case for the need to add selenium supplements for one’s own ‘health insurance.’
Selenium can be found in MZS™, ACF228® capsules and Selenium-Pro™ liquid.
The antibiotic qualities of silver have been known for many years, even the Egyptians and Romans were aware that it could prevent the growth of fungi and clear up molds fast. In more recent times, the cowboys placed silver Dollars into their water barrels to keep it fresh; today quality water filters in swimming pools, even toothbrushes and clothes contain silver ions to prevent and destroy infections.
It is because silver has such universal killing power with more than 650 different organisms (including anthrax) known to be destroyed by silver. Compare that to a typical antibiotic which may destroy no more than 10-20. It is also clear that for (an unknown reason) microbes appear to be unable to adapt to silver, thus it does not have the much spoken about problem of antibiotic resistance.
Silver should only be used in a colloidal, mild-silver protein form, ideally in the hundreds of parts per million to be efficacious. The early use of large doses of silver salts- which led to side effects such as argyria, (greying of the skin) are a thing of the past- providing a properly manufactured colloidal mild silver protein product is used- such as the ACS200® spray.
ACS200® can be used by spraying into the mouth, nose and ears and is excellent for infections in those areas, or as a precaution to meeting lots of strangers or boarding a plane etc. ACS200® can also be swallowed and allowed to enter the stomach and as such makes a good choice as a mouthwash. Furthermore, it can be applied directly onto the skin and nails to deal with various infections associated with wounds and yeasts.
Zeolite is perhaps the ‘new kid on the block’- that is if you can call waiting 300 million years for it to develop- new! What I mean is that zeolite is a crystal formed from volcanic ash, but in terms of using it for chelation that purpose is relatively new.
What’s interesting about zeolite is that due to its honeycomb shape, it has many ‘arms’ to reach out and grab heavy metals and what’s more it doesn’t appear to grab ‘healthy’ minerals like zinc, instead passing them by and leaving them in-situ.
Zeolite has a fast action; users often report on the darker color of their urine within an hour or so of ingesting zeolite, an obvious sign that toxins have been shifted. Zeolite has been described as being a good chelator for aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and tin from the blood and soft tissues, but may not be as effective for extracting deeper deposited toxins.
Zeolite can be found in the ACZ Zeolite® spray and also in the ZeoGold Enhanced® capsules, (these also have added hydrogen). Note: zeolite is also included in the EDTA Beyond Clean-2® bath salts.
Synergy, efficacy and quality
I appreciate that the selection above is rather a long list; naturally it can be tailored to suit the individual’s needs, or even rotated, so that at different times different toxins are being targeted etc. In my experience, some of the best all round products for this purpose have been developed by Dr. Garry Gordon. For example, inside his Beyond Chelation Improved® (BCI) are 30-sachets each containing 10 pills; they consist of 4 multi-vitamins/ minerals, 1 Omega 3 fish oil capsule, 1 Omega 6 primrose oil capsule, 1 phosphatidylserine and gingko biloba capsule and 3 of the chelating capsules, (which have a combination of allicin, EDTA, malic acid etc.), when combined with the Bio E’R-Gy C® and Beyond Fiber® it becomes synergistic and highly efficacious. I use it regularly myself because it’s convenient and cost effective, especially for such a comprehensively broad detox program.
I fully appreciate how difficult it can be in the supplement marketplace to ponder the differences and rationales behind a good product, versus an average product, especially since that decision ultimately takes knowledge of the ingredients, their dosages, their sources and even the integrity of the company itself. Dr. Gordon’s own ‘beyond’ range of products are one such example of those from the high-end. Safe in the knowledge that they are designed and formulated by a world expert in chelation, when one also realises that Dr. Gordon relies upon them for his own family’s health, then one recognises that they are something special.
I’ve never believed in the supplement horse-power race. What I mean is, one supplier boosting that their product has more of X and Y in it than their competitor. Usually there is a case to be made that enough to do the job is the right amount. At the end of the day, as far as effective detox supplements are concerned, it is their synergy, their efficacy and their quality that separates the best from the rest.
Many supplements are built down to a price, only a few are designed up to a standard. When you eventually find a Mercedes, then you understand why you paid more and why you will never want to go back to a Hyundai!
Making your diet and lifestyle changes and incorporating quality, synergistic supplements, can make significant changes in just weeks to your energy levels, your well-being and your quality of life. The gradual release of heavy metals and toxins will reduce your ‘body burdens’. The net result will be an improved immune system, resulting in dramatically fewer instances of ‘feeling under the weather.’
In addition, the longer term evidence suggests that there will also be a reduction in the likelihood of the development of numerous so-called age related disease and disorders, including reduced risk of dementias, cardiovascular disease and even cancers.
Chelation and detox is an excellent example of preventative/ antiaging medicine at its best and one that anyone can introduce to their health program, no matter their current age or condition.
Naturally, if you know what toxins are affecting you- because you have been tested, then that is the best position to be in. Armed with such information you can use this list to pin-point/ target shoot, rather than adopt a shotgun approach. However, there is no harm in incorporating all of the above into a regular regime, thereby ensuring that toxins never get the upper hand on your immunity, strength and stamina.
- ‘Detox with oral chelation, protecting yourself from lead, mercury and other environmental toxins’ by Garry Gordon, M.D., published by Smart Publications
- ‘Our toxic world, a wake-up call’ by Doris J. Rapp, M.D., published by the Environmental Medical Research Foundation.
- ‘The chelation way’ by Dr. Morton Walker, published by Avery.
- ‘Vitamin C, infectious diseases and toxins’ by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., published by Xlibris.
- ‘Toxic metal syndromes, how metal poisonings can affect your brain’ by Dr. Richard Casdorph, published by Avery.
- Great teeth for life by Brian Halvorsen BDS, published by iUniverse.
- Texas study links mercury from power plants to rising rates of autism in children. Autism Research Review International, Vol. 19, No 1, 2005
- Redwood L “Mercury and autism, the growing crisis of mercury in children’s vaccines” Vitamin Research News, May 2001 (5), 5.
- American Academy of Paediatrics “Autism Alarm” March 2004.
- Eugene D. Weinberg, Indiana University, USA www.gordonresearch.com/articles_iron/the_role_iron_cancer_infections.com
- Schaumberg DA, Mendes F, Balarum M, Dana MR, Sparrow D, Hu H “Accumulated lead exposure and risk of age related cataract in men” JAMA 2004, 292; 2750-2754
- Menke A, Muntner P, Batmanu, et al “Blood lead below 0.48 uMol/L and mortality among US adults” Circulation 114; 1388-1394
- Casdorph HR “EDTA chelation therapy, efficacy in arteriosclerotic heart disease” Journal of holistic medicine 1981; 3 (1) 53Blumer W, Crunton EM “Ninety percent reduction in cancer mortality after chelation therapy with EDTA” Journal of Advanced Medicine 1989; 2; 183
- The correlation between EDTA Chelation Therapy and improvement in cardiovascular function: A Meta-Analysis, and EDTA Chelation Treatment for vascular disease: A Meta-Analysis using unpublished data, both by L.T. Chappell and J.P. Stahl, were published in the Journal of Advancement in Medicine in 1993 and 1994.
- Hancke, C. and Flytlie, K, Benefits of EDTA Chelation Therapy in Arteriosclerosis: A retrospective study of 470 patients, Journal of Advancement in Medicine, 1993, 6:3, 161-171. Olszewer E, Carter JP.
- EDTA chelation therapy in chronic degenerative disease. Med Hypotheses. 1988; 27:41-49. Olszewer E, Sabbag FC, Carter JP. A pilot double-blind study of sodium-magnesium EDTA in peripheral vascular disease. J Natl Med Assoc. 1990; 82:173-174.
- Hancke C, Flytie K. Benefits of EDTA chelation therapy on arteriosclerosis. J Adv Med. 1993; 6:161-172.
- Search www.pubmed.com for “EDTA chelation” produces 922 results as of July 2009
- Gordon, MD, G. “Detox with oral chelation” published by Smart Publications
- Los Alamos Research Lab findings reported in the Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, April 1954, No 4, pp 566-570.
- Australian Industrial Hygiene Division findings reported in the AMA Archives of Industrial Health, Vol 13, 1956, pp 489-97.
- Blaurock-Busch E “Metals and health” The original internist, December 2001; 8-13
- Sinatra S “the Sinatra health report” August 2002
- Pauling, L. Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu (W.H. Freeman and Company)
- Cameron E. and Pauling, L. Cancer and Vitamin C: A Discussion of the Nature, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment of Cancer With Special Reference to the Value of Vitamin C (Camino Books)
- Pauling, L. How to Live Longer and Feel Better (Avon Books)
- Pauling L. Practicing medicine without a license? The story of the Linus Pauling therapies for heart disease. (Lulu Publications)
- Thomas Levy “vitamin C, infectious diseases and toxins” also available in paperback as “curing the incurable, vitamin C, infectious diseases and toxins.”
- US Office of Dietary supplements: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp#h2