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Does methylating better improve the bodies ability to detox?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by anniekim, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Sorry for asking questions that wl probably sound very simple to many of the very knowledgeable people here on methylation, but here are my questions:

    1) does improving the methylation cycle improve re body's detox mechanisms?

    2) and if so does that mean improving the methylation cycle will allow the body to detox heavy metals, avoiding the need to follow any chelation treatments?

    Many thanks in advance
  2. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, anniekim.

    The answer to the first question is yes. The methylation cycle lies at the beginning of the sulfur metabolism, and controls it. Sulfur-containing substances are very important in the body's detoxication system. Many of the toxic heavy metals readily form chemical bonds with sulfur, and that enables them to be tied up and excreted from the body.

    I think the answer to the second question is often yes, but there also seem to be cases in which the levels of toxic heavy metals have become high enough to block enzymes in the methylation cycle and related pathways, and in those cases, it may be necessary to chelate them and lower their levels before the methyation cycle function can be improved significantly.

    Best regards,

    Rich
  3. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    I want to weigh in on this subject.

    After having done 9 months of methyl supplements and now 2-3 weeks of chelating, I've discovered exactly which symptoms initiated by methyl supplements involved the mobilization of heavy metals. There is a lot more going on in the way of detox than heavy metals, but the methyl donors will certainly stimulate the release of heavy metals from the tissues--this I have no doubt about as I have found I can quell symptoms with dithiol chelators. You have talked about the limiting factors to detoxification. I think this obviously comes down both to the availability of necessary cofactors, but also the degree of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress seems to significantly impede this detoxification process, so the detoxification rate itself appears to be limited not just by tolerance but by how much free radical damage you are dealing with. I presume this observation simply reflects the availability of glutathione. Too much stress on the cells requires the glutathione to be diverted to repairing that damage. In other words, when I encourage methylation by taking methylfolate/cobalamin I start to release enormous amounts of toxins whether it be aluminum, mercury, lead, arsenic, PCB's, endotoxins from bacterial overgrowth, etc. These substances when mobilized obviously cause very significant symptoms as well as oxidative stress. This oxidative stress, along with that created by secondary infections and that created by exceeding your energy envelope seems to put the brakes on this detox process. It was a more difficult pattern to identify at first, but as I have improved, it has become quite clear. At least that is my unscientific observation.

    Mercury really is the wildcard. I personally don't think that most people on this forum with heavy metal burdens are going to substantially recover without chelation or if they do it is going to take a very, very long time. Methylation supplements will contribute to this process, but at least in my case, they are not enough. Of course I now realize just how mercury toxic I am, and clearly mercury has not only contributed its share of direct free radical damage, but it obviously must play a part in mimicing enzymes and interfering with methionine synthesis. What a nasty substance it is. For me, chelation has proven efficacious, but without methylation supps I may not have ever been able to implement this therapy.

    PS Even with only limited experience chelating, I do not know why anyone would ever consider any chelation method other than low dose continuous oral. Mobilizing mercury over and over in large amounts is not a good thing.

    PPS Get those amalgams out.
  4. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    Vegas, how did you ensure taking the amalgame out without releasing more mercury into the body during the removal process (this is a common concern)? Thanks!
  5. JPV

    JPV Senior Member

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    Do you subscribe to Andrew Cutler's recommendations on chelation or are you following different therapy?
  6. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

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    Mellster, in my case I had oxygen and a rubber dam (and the air in the room was specially filtered if I remember correctly). They worked on one quadrant each week over the course of a month. 2 quadrants had one small amalgam each and the other quadrants had a couple more. Chelation started during the first week and continued about 12 weeks after the last amalgam removal.

    I still feel I have issues with heavy metals....that likely includes some mercury as it's more than 10 years since my amalgam removal and I only successfully got methylation treatment in place 11 weeks ago. I'm assuming some could build up again in that time (?) - though not from amalgams obviously.

    I'm using B12 and folates at Rich's recommended doses.
    I'm experiencing what I can best descibe as waves of detox....it's all a bit unpredictable. I'm suffering oxidative stress (in my muscles mostly, I think), and inflammation as negative side effects of getting some nasty chemically "stuff" out. I don't know exactly what that stuff is. :)

    Anne.

    Vegas, thanks for sharing your "unscientific" observation. Very helpful!
    Are you using DMSA? I'm wondering about adding in some chelators again at some point. Do you find taking your chelators eases the oxidative stress specifically?
    Anne.
  7. determined

    determined Senior Member

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    Hi Vegas.
    I am finding that I am more chemically sensitive since I have been on my diluted dose of methylation supplements. Can you give more details about the "continuous low dose oral chelation?" Were/are you chemically sensitive? Food sensitive?
  8. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    IAOMT certified dentist

    First phase: Had 3 fairly large amalgams removed, and this went extremely well. Dentist told me they all came out in 1-2 pieces. Didn't notice any adverse effect whatsoever.

    Second phase: 2-3 weeks later had the remaining 2 removed, fairly small. Quicker, easier procedure. A fair but tolerable amount of brain fog ensued..for a day or so.

    Supplemental Oxygen...no compatibility testing. approx $200/filling

    Obviously there was exposure to the vapor, but it really wasn't that big a deal. The bigger deal was three days later when my body starting dumping mercury like crazy. This was not related to the exposure during removal.
  9. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    For the most part, yes. I think there is some flexibility regarding the length of the chelation rounds, and Cutler himself acknowledges that the recommendations are conservative. Honestly, I think my experience with methylation protocols and getting the sulfation pathways working again has prepared me very well for this treatment. Not just from a physiological standpoint, but also in terms of understanding how my body detoxes and rebuilds itself, and understanding my tolerances. Knowing how far I could push myself without relapsing. I would have had no clue if I hadn't done the methylation treatment and restarted these chemical processes that were so inefficiently operating.

    If someone had told me 2 years ago that I was "toxic" and removing some fillings in my mouth would have brought about positive changes then I would have never listened to them or believed them.
  10. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    Yes, DMSA, 25mg around the clock. every 3.5 hrs is better than 4. It's easy for me to tell when the concentrations start to drop.

    As for the oxidative stress, yes this has occurred in my case as evidenced by decreases in P.E.M. from day 1. I would imagine that this, however, is fairly unusual because I had enormous amounts of mercury in my bloodstream before I started. After more than a decade of brain fog, I knew this (the unbelievable brain fog and other symptoms that came one 3 days after amalgam removal) was different from my baseline symptoms and DMSA confirmed this. (Although I did get these same metal mobilization symptoms from time to time while just on meth supplements.) Ever since this time my body just keeps dumping the stuff. It's like the past two years of dietary changes, gut modfication, liver support, methylation supplements, and all the other vitamin/mineral supplementation had primed my body to start getting rid of the metals. The amalgam removal was the last thing I needed. Pyroluria is definitely key if you have any heavy metal exposure--at least zinc and B6. Folks who get nausea from zinc or have low stomach acid should get clued into the fact that they may have pyroluria, which is in all likelihood just a symptom of heavy metal toxicity.
  11. JPV

    JPV Senior Member

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    Yeah, I tried Cutler's approach a couple of years ago and found it pretty difficult to maintain.

    So, that I understand correctly, you feel that starting methylation first enhances the chelation process?

    I've been on a methylation protocol for several months now and can definitely tell I'm detoxing due to chemical smelling perspiration. I have frequent mini crashes now and then but nothing too severe. I've been experimenting with some of Freddd's ideas on folic acid vs. metafolin in the hopes that it will help smooth things out a bit.

    Maybe it's time to try chelation again.
  12. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    Thankfully no MCS for me. Plenty of food sensitivities from intestinal permeability, although that's almost a thing of the past.

    What do you mean by "diluted dose of methylation supplements?" Are you saying that you started on tiny dosages or you cut back to very small amounts from a more "potent" dosage?

    Unfortunately, with the methylation supplements, at least from my experience, it got worse before it got better. There was that initial tease, then it worsened a bit, followed by very slow but somewhat volatile progress.
  13. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    Difficult to maintain, how so? Side effects?

    Methylation enhance chelation: I would say it is complementary. Certainly methylation supps enhance the excretion of metals via greater production of glutathione in the liver. I no doubt experienced enhanced mobilization of metals from taking the supplements. Still, there is a potential downside if you go too fast. I suppose this is similar to the effect of large dosages of supplemental glutathione, which Cheney, Cutler and many others have discussed how it mobilizes much more mercury (in those who are toxic) than can be handled. I have actually cut back on the methyl donors too slow down the detox...in this regard, these supplements may have pushed things a little faster than I could comfortably handle.

    The more important part of the methyl protocol involved what I discussed above and all the symptomatic relief it has provided: rebalancing the autonomic nervous system alone has been a huge benefit. That wired, adrenaline-filled, hypereactive to stress stuff is hard to tolerate. Just as importantly, Rich's protocol has contributed to the healing of intestinal permeability. Improvement of fatigue and a number of other symptoms allows for me to chelate and still try to maintain a semblance of a normal life.

    Ups and downs...that was my experience as well, but I never fell back too far. Sounds like you are on the right track. Months 2-4 were probably the hardest, but don't let a few really bad days mixed in get you too discouraged.

    folinic or metafolin...not much difference for me. Metafolin is more potent.

    PS, If you do have mercury toxicity, I would recommend avoiding NAC as per Cutler and Quigg's recommendations. I completely agree that this "stirs up" Hg.
  14. determined

    determined Senior Member

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    What I mean by diluted dose is that I take a very small piece of my methylfolate, I open a capsule of mB12 and remove a very small amount (1/100th of a capsule?) and I put them into a cup of water. I then ingest just one teaspoon of that and throw the rest down the drain.

    I wanted to feel comfortable with starting, since I didn't want to risk my "half-life" level of functioning. I have a long history of MCS and I'm able to work part time now, so I didn't want to give that up. I started this dose back in February and noticed a considerable bump in energy levels.

    However, after that honeymoon period of just feeling better, I began to be more chemically sensitive and apparently more food sensitive as well.

    I'm holding steady with my dose and I will see what happens. I used to take the 1 teaspoon of diluted supplements every day, but the various effects were too much, so now I'm down to 2 - 3 times a week.

    I'm at a good balance now, I think. More energy, a bit more sensitive to things, but it's tolerable.
  15. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Thanks for replies everyone, much appreciated. Vegas, when you say three days after amalgam filling removal your body started dumping like crazy and this was not due to vapour during removal process, may o ask how you know this? Did you start chelating immediately after removal and so this is what you mean by saying your body started to dump metals like crazy?

    also how did you establish that you had a high load of mercury?

    And finally just to clarify am I right that you would recommend doing the meth supps for a while before considering chelation? Thank you
  16. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    I can't fault you for your conservative approach, and I never found that forcing the reactions really did much for me. I also steadfastly believe that in a person who has had CFS/ME for a long time, they likely need to conservatively dose the combination of meth supplements until they really understand what is happening. Many can attest to the fact that you can push these reactions too aggressively and worsen your condition. I would speculate that this stems in part from mobilization of mercury and presumably which occurs at a time when there is insufficient glutathione in the liver to complete the excretion of this mercury...this probably also extends to insufficient glutathione tissue concentrations elsewhere to protect from free radical damage. Also, early on in the meth supplementation, there were clearly other parts of my biochemistry that were functioning suboptimally. The improvement was not steady or really even that predictable. It's like it sputtered on and off at first. I can only surmise that nutrient deficiencies were corrected and various components of the biochemistry start functioning more and more efficiently. Keep plugging away at it.
  17. Vegas

    Vegas Senior Member

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    Exposure vs. Dump: While this is an assumption, I think it is a safe one. First, I honestly felt better after the removal, especially the first, and I only had some mild brain fog after the second procedure. For three days I was at my baseline. Obviously there was an acute exposure since it is unavoidable, but even if my serum mercury was elevated, as would be typical, I didn't really perceive it. It didn't come on until day 3 or 4 and the effects were very dramatic. In my opinion, an acute exposure wouldn't have produced such dramatic delayed effects.

    When your body starts unloading this stuff you know. It comes in waves. The brain fog is very heavy and then subsides with greater periods of clarity. It cannot be overcome by taking Adderall, your head is not much clearer during relatively high cortisol periods. When the metals are mobilized there is very little you can do to improve your focus, mental clarity, processing speed, etc. When I had the acute onset of what I call a "mercury dump" I became very achy, especially in my shoulders, upper back, head & neck. There was a pressure sensation and headaches. I also experience numerous bm's stimulated by bile. 2-3 times a day is not my norm. Before and after a bm you get redistribution which I assume is via enterohepatic circulation. (I don't care what Cutler says & perhaps the effects are different in someone with intestinal permeability.)

    I picked up on this whole bile thing back when I tried to force methylation by taking way too many methyl donors one time clearly before sulfation was properly functioning. I became very toxic and flat out ill for a few days with a massive headache that was unresponsive to anything I tried. Finally, this stimulated a huge bile dump that flushed out the system. I've never had burning like that before, I seriously considered using my daughter's diaper cream! :)

    No I didn't take chelators immediately, but knowing what I do now, I would have started the DMSA on day three. Listening to my body has served me well. I doubt most people experience what I did, perhaps because they don't have everything in place to facilitate this release. Honestly, I don't know why this came about so abruptly and forcefully.

    How did I know: mostly by my response to DMSA, which was rapid and pronounced, but also because the onset of my severe cfs 2 years ago was marked by textbook mercury symptoms: tremors, reactive hypoglycemia, upper arm weakness, severe brain fog, decrease thyroid function, halting/stuttering speech, adrenaline surges, etc. (Yes, I understand many of these symptoms can be attributed to other causes, but these came about very suddenly. Also, I had classic Canadian/Fukuda symptoms for a very long time before this happened.) Also, there are many other subtle clues, like response to zinc & b6. I'll post the details of my DDI hair test when I get it.

    Methy supps, gut & chelation--which one first. This is the million dollar question. I think the order is going to be very individualistic, and there are lots of variables that come into play. In my view the only certainty is implementing gradual dietary changes should take place immediately; there is no reason not to do this. I would probably also start very low doses of the methyl supplements. The problem is obviously created by heavy metals which destroy your bowel flora, significantly impede methylation through multiple mechanisms and otherwise contribute to the oxidative stress picture further causing glutathione depletion. Those who are experts in mercury toxicity/chelation certainly look at mercury as the (in instances where someone has known mercury toxicity) fundamental problem. Clearly it is the fundamental problem in terms of interfering with and lowering glutathione, but they, in my view, tend to oversimplify the therapeutic options. Many of these people are not dealing with the same degree of physiological dysfunction with myriad secondary infections/illnesses. I suspect the big variable is just how impaired some of these biochemical processes get through extended illness. Sick folks can't just jump into chelation with the same results, there's more going on than just heavy metals. Nevertheless, getting the mercury out can lead to dramatic improvements in many of these problems and just a little improvement in glutathione seems to go a long way. Honestly, I don't know the answer, I go back and forth on this. I think there probably has to be some trial and error necessary. Sorry, I can't provide a more satisfying answer I'm a liberal arts major. :)
  18. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Vegas, thanks for your reply, much appreciated. I'm afraid though I am still a bit confused. If I understood you correctly you are saying that you believe your body started getting rid of mercury (am I right in understanding that when you refer to a 'mercury dump' you mean your body excreting mercury?) a few days after having your fillings removed? My confusion is how does having the amalgam fillings removed trigger your body excreting mercury? Many thAnks for your time
  19. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    Ps vegas, sorry I don't know what a bm is either? Thanks
  20. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    bm = bowel movement!! :)

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