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Andrew Cutler and Alpha Lipoic Acid

JanisB

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Sorry Aquarius girl for making a statement "most people get benefits" based on heresay rather than personal experience. Just what people who've followed Cutler's discussion group say.
Janis
 

aquariusgirl

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Ala

sorry.. think i was nitpicking.. It makes sense that it would help as an antioxidant.. I thought you were speaking with respect to its role as a chelator.

And even if you were, you could be right, I just can't deal with all the conflicting opinions on the value of ALA as a chelator....So frustrating.
 

dannybex

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Hi Klutzo

Hi Janis -
Just a quickie to tell you that I have severe (stage IV) Lyme Disease and have been taking ALA for years...see my post above. I don't know if it's damaged me or not, but I am still alive after 24 years with untreated Lyme, and I am still walking, even exercising a little. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT doing well at all and don't expect to live more than another year or two, but compared to the people I know who've had it this long and are getting proper treatment, ie. antibiotics, I am doing as well or better.

- - - - - - - - - - --

Hi Dannybex -
Thank you, I will look at the link you gave me. I already had documented brain damage before I started taking ALA, both from a head trauma and my Lyme Disease, so I sure don't need more.
The Doctor's Data hair test was the one I had and all metals were low. All metals were low in my 3 day chelation challenge test as well, except zirconium (the one in deodorant).
This will put me in a bind, as it is very hard to find a well made multivitamin these days that does not have ALA in it. I use the brand that has won the award for having the best multis on the market (NSI) and have been very happy with them. OH well, gotta keep learning!

klutzo

P.S. Oh dear! Just read a few things at that link. It seems he thinks chlorella is evil too and I've taken lots of it for years. I love the stuff, almost as much as I love spirulina, and take them in my whey protein shakes, combined in a powder called Greens First. Since I'm incurable now anyway, I'm not sure I'm going to make such major changes on the word of one person, but I will read some more and stay open minded. I'm just trying to stay functional as long as possible so as not to be a burden to my husband.
Hi Klutzo,

We're all learning, that's for sure. And keep in mind that there are many doctors that disagree w/Cutler. He's definitely very outspoken and opinionated...but I think one could equate some of that with his passion for trying to help people based on his extensive studying of heavy metal poisoning. ???

He doesn't like chlorella, but Dr. Klinghardt does! :) You can find posts where Cutler's quite critical of Dr. K regarding some of his chelation methods (especially DMPS). It should be pointed out however that Klinghardt claims to have treated over "900 successful cases".

Having said all that, even Dr. Klinghardt stresses how important it is to have one's amalgam fillings removed in order to heal from lyme. I know it can be very expensive...I'm about 8 years overdue for a lot of dental work simply because I haven't been able to pay for it. But...it's something to strive towards in any way we can. (I'm going to win the lotto tomorrow.)

Seriously, I cannot put myself in your shoes since I'm sure life is quite difficult, but I hope you'll give yourself more credit for the degree of 'wellness' you have achieved and maintained, esp after being sick for so long. You may just live for another 20 years...and may just start recovering, slowly but surely, despite the diagnosis. I hope that doesn't sound patronizing...I just think it's important to try (as hard as it can be) to concentrate on the positives...and remember how powerful the mind-body connection can be.

And I say that as a recovering pessimist! :)

Take care,

Dan

d.
 

JanisB

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ALA and other chelators

I've been chelating orally for a very long time, even though I had only 2 amalgam fillings which I had removed (alas, not the safe way) in the mid 1990's when I first relapsed.

There are many ways to chelate, and many opinions about which is best, but in the end, what helps you and doesn't hurt you in the process is the best.:) Sometimes one can determine this through trial and error. Other times a doctor who knows your case. Sometimes testing.

Since I was very sick (and extremely sensitive to every little thing), I started slowly with nutrition and then worked up to stronger things. If I felt headaches, woozy, dizzy, or palpitations, I cut down my dose.

Here's a list of all the things I've done in order, some overlapping
  1. minerals - working with ARL hair analysis lab in Arizona - theory: you can't release toxic metals until you have the healthy minerals to replace them
  2. Adrenal support - when metabolism is low, fewer metals can be detoxed
  3. A pea product for mineral detox sold by Biotics; I forgot the name
  4. Poly-MVA, an overpriced ALA with Pd made for cancer, but it really improved my energy for a while and then I plateaued
  5. transdermal ALA - didn't make any difference so I stayed with the PolyMVA
  6. EDTA - (in a combination product with herbs) made me feel lousy and I stopped
  7. Modifilan (brown seaweed) mostly minerals that bind loose metals in the gut, nutritive, as seaweeds are eaten as food
  8. Chlorella -actually started on this before the minerals when Gabriel Cousens had me on a raw vegan diet as a source for protein. Later I got the stuff raised in test tubes to be non-toxic that Patricia Kane's group sells
  9. NDF and NDF Plus (by Bioray) - amazingly after all I'd done, I felt a few drops of this stuff in my brain!
  10. ALA and r-ALA - but I took it for its effect on the mitochondria, and didn't know anything about Cutler's protocol
  11. EDTA baths - very nice; make the water feel soft

Also have done infrared sauna and regular sauna. Did lots of ionic minerals through Kane's protocol, and did lots of cell ready minerals from Eniva when I started with Vibe in 2005. All these minerals, esp the Vibe, gave me improved energy and I think I slowly released many of the toxic metals as the healthy ones were abundantly available.

Next week my Doctor is having me do a DMPS challenge test. I'm a little nervous, but I think I can handle it now. My hair and urinary metal tests are not showing any problems anymore, so it will be interesting to see if the drug actually pushes some things out of deep tissue storage.

So for those who are confused, my advice is, choose something that you feel won't hurt you. Try it and if you can tolerate it, keep with it for awhile, gradually building up your dose. Don't do the risky stuff until you are strong enough to tolerate a set back.

Hope I didn't go on too long.:eek:

Janis
 

klutzo

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Hi Danny,
Thanks very much for your opinions.

It took me years of experimenting to find the excellent multivitamin and mineral product I use now, and since the line it is part of just won an award as the best multis on the market, I don't think I will quit it on the basis of one opinion about ALA. So many others have positive opinions of ALA. My only quarrel with Dr. Klinghardt is that I would have to rob a bank to afford his protocol.

What I think I am going to do is try the 2 special formula sublingual B12s that Freddd recommends, since it is not expensive, and I have all the symptoms of Pernicious Anemia. Even though my blood tests are OK, my mom had PA, and it can take as long as six years to show up in the blood. I think this is more likely the cause of my cognitive degeneration than taking ALA, but of course, I could be wrong.

In fact, I probably am wrong, speaking logically. All my cognitive and personality issues started at menopause, and for the brief time I took HRT,they all went away, so female hormones may have more to do with this than either ALA or B12. It's too bad, because I can't tolerate the heart risks, the weight gain, or the recurrence of migraines that goes along with taking enough estrogen to do any good.

Also, there is the fact that Lyme disease alone can cause cognitive problems and even Alzheimer's. (There was a small, but very scary study done about Lyme and AZD that I try not to think about). The mechanism behind this could have something to do with the way the pathogen in Lyme reduces hormone levels, or with a B12 methylation defect, but it could not possibly be due to taking too much ALA, since it happens to Lyme patients who don't take any supps. at all.

Sigh. It's all so overwhelming sometimes. I try to stay positive, but my adrenals are shot, so it's hard....being positive takes energy. :)

Thanks again,
klutzo
 

JanisB

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In fact, I probably am wrong, speaking logically. All my cognitive and personality issues started at menopause, and for the brief time I took HRT,they all went away, so female hormones may have more to do with this than either ALA or B12. It's too bad, because I can't tolerate the heart risks, the weight gain, or the recurrence of migraines that goes along with taking enough estrogen to do any good.

klutzo
Hi Klutzo,
Have you looked into taking more progesterone, DHEA, and hydrocortisone or cortical extract to support your estrogen production? The adrenals make it after menopause, and "all roads lead to estrogen" in that every other hormone can be converted to E. The body gives priority to stress hormones over sex hormones, but once you build up the adrenals, you'll make enough estrogen. I learned this in my training and found it to be true for everyone who was able to restore the health of their adrenals.
JanisB
 
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There are many ways to chelate, and many opinions about which is best, but in the end, what helps you and doesn't hurt you in the process is the best.:) Sometimes one can determine this through trial and error. Other times a doctor who knows your case. Sometimes testing.


Janis
+1. This goes with anything else.

I did quite a good amount of research on chelation and found that what works for you is best. General precautions is that never go big or go fast or both. That's how you get messed up. It's a shame that everyone is on the same side of chelating metals and helping others and yet among chelating groups there is such an adamant attitude that a certain chelation protocol is best. Medicine is full of egos.
Andy Cutler - my impression is that he's a smart man but he's a chemist not a physician. He has a very strong online personality and feels that it's his way or the highway. he also doesn't take to kindly to being proven wrong or constructive criticism and people like this in general are those who get tied to their work so much it becomes their "child". They become blind to the fact that what has helped them or their experiences may not be the same for others.

I also noticed that many people who have made the Cutler's works their religion (not all) have not done their research but only read what is fed to them via Andy. Andy is still a strong presence in online forums and groups and everyone asks him questions as if he is the beholder, and i'm still baffled that I see these threads titled "Andy help! Genetics testing results!" or the like, as if he is qualified to answer these questions. And the fact that he answers is a silent assumption of responsibility on his part. (That kind of annoyed me esp since he makes some pretty big claims when it comes to other things not related to mercury in which he really has no expertise).
also, i bought and own his book and found that it is all his word yet there are no references or citations. Only an appendix in the back that is not cited or foot noted throughout his work. When I looked into the actual studies and sources where he got information and his concepts behind the Cutler protocol, it wasn't convincing enough for me. I wanted to see studies or sources where he learned things like a) Is ALA able to chelate metals? If so which ones? b) How good of a chelator is ALA? c) Which amounts of ALA and how often? d) How does ALA compare to DMSA or DMPS? E) Why does one need to have complete amalgam removal before chelating? (The only evidence the group offers is personal recounts which I think is important but not the say all, as i know plenty of doctors and patients who have taken ALA high doses with amalgams as well as other chelation therapy. I was interested in finding studies or his sources on the fact that using a chelating agent would increase the RATE at which mercury is coming out of the amalgams, because if the rate is constant, there really is no logical concern it seems, whether you are chelating or not.)

The studies and sources I COULD find ranged to support different points of views. A study doing chelation recently showed that DMPS was the best chelator of mercury, and glutathione being higher than ALA. Andy says its different because the study did not use low dosing of ALA constantly but he has no proof. And if ALA is such a strong chelator, then high doses should still be shown to be effective in the study..?
Don't get me wrong, I do think that ALA being a double thiol can chelate metals but Cutler has yet to show proof or reasoning behind why he thinks that low doses of ALA work better or (is the best according to him). A whole lot of the protocol is trusting his expertise and the man, and not his work and you can definitely tell that this is where the chemist in him comes to play, not a medical practitioner.

Just to add, I have nothing against him personally and feel that his protocol helps many. Just as other protocols do as well. The problem I have with him is when he comes out and says that his method is the best and shoots down everyone else including Dr. Buttar's protocol which I personally think is great. I personally know people who have chelated with amalgams in just fine until they could come up with the money for removal. I personally know people who take high doses of ALA as well as other doctors who prescribe ALA with no ill effect, and my doctor recovered something like 67/75 autistic children using DMPS and not ALA/DMSA combo (including his own son) so there are definitely holes in the Cutler theory.

since this is an Andy Cutler thread, I feel that people need to hear this and it may help others in not blocking their mentality into thinking it is the only way. What works for you, works best.
 

Lotus97

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I did quite a good amount of research on chelation and found that what works for you is best. General precautions is that never go big or go fast or both. That's how you get messed up. It's a shame that everyone is on the same side of chelating metals and helping others and yet among chelating groups there is such an adamant attitude that a certain chelation protocol is best. Medicine is full of egos.

Andy Cutler - my impression is that he's a smart man but he's a chemist not a physician. He has a very strong online personality and feels that it's his way or the highway. he also doesn't take to kindly to being proven wrong or constructive criticism and people like this in general are those who get tied to their work so much it becomes their "child". They become blind to the fact that what has helped them or their experiences may not be the same for others.

Just to add, I have nothing against him personally and feel that his protocol helps many. Just as other protocols do as well. The problem I have with him is when he comes out and says that his method is the best and shoots down everyone else including Dr. Buttar's protocol which I personally think is great. I personally know people who have chelated with amalgams in just fine until they could come up with the money for removal. I personally know people who take high doses of ALA as well as other doctors who prescribe ALA with no ill effect, and my doctor recovered something like 67/75 autistic children using DMPS and not ALA/DMSA combo (including his own son) so there are definitely holes in the Cutler theory.

since this is an Andy Cutler thread, I feel that people need to hear this and it may help others in not blocking their mentality into thinking it is the only way. What works for you, works best.
I'm glad I read this post. I was looking into Cutler's protocol recently and after reading some information a got sort of an uncomfortable feeling. I'm not an expert in any way, but I do know that everyone is different and each responds to differently to treatment. For example, I hear from many people who have been helped by chiropractors, but my recent experience with one was unpleasant even though I believe that the person who worked on me was completely qualified and made no mistakes. Now it looks like I have to search longer and deeper for the answers I'm looking for.
 
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Powertool I appreciate your post - but must disagree in general about your view that a "physician" has knowledge more pertinent to chelation than a "chemist" It is in fact the biochemistry that one knows that IMHO applies to chelation. Allopathic doctors do not have a monopoly on knowledge. PT's learn much more anatomy that an allopathic doctor, and a pharmacist or a PHD chemist learns much more biochemistry than a doctor. This is not to say that just because someone has more degrees in an area of expertise that their conclusions are more correct.

I do not discount your assertion that other protocols may work better for some people . All I want to say is that I find the Cutler protocol to be very conservative (do no harm) and would certainly feel more comfortable guiding someone to it as a starting point than any of the others that I have seen.
 

snowathlete

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so...did anyone try ALA yet?
I'm due to have two amalgams out so i am looking into what to take to help remove any that i absorb in the process.

Should i take ALA? I dont know.
DMSA? Again, i dont know.

I hear different things in different cases/places. But i know i have to do something as i can see that im going to get exposed to more of this stuff when i have the work done. So frustrating not know what to believe.

At the moment i am leaning toward taking low doses of ALA regularly along with Vit C, charcoal and fibre. But who knows?
 

Jenny

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so...did anyone try ALA yet?
I'm due to have two amalgams out so i am looking into what to take to help remove any that i absorb in the process.

Should i take ALA? I dont know.
DMSA? Again, i dont know.

I hear different things in different cases/places. But i know i have to do something as i can see that im going to get exposed to more of this stuff when i have the work done. So frustrating not know what to believe.

At the moment i am leaning toward taking low doses of ALA regularly along with Vit C, charcoal and fibre. But who knows?
I've just finished about 50 rounds of ALA (Cutler protocol) and occasional DMSA over a period of about 18 months. Had all my 18 amalgams out 3 years ago. No change in any symptoms immediately after amalgams were out, or since.

Jenny
 

*GG*

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How about some Chlorella also? I did a lot of Vitamin C, before and after, only had a dental dam used also.

GG
 

snowathlete

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Do you think it was worth it Jenny?

Chlorela is something I'm looking at but I don't know yet what it is supposed to do as I read it can't bind to mercury.
 

Lotus97

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Do you think it was worth it Jenny?

Chlorela is something I'm looking at but I don't know yet what it is supposed to do as I read it can't bind to mercury.
Chlorella seems to be quite controversial in terms of mercury toxicity. I haven't decided whether I want to try it again or not. Aside from mercury, there are a few pros and cons about chlorella. One positive is that it is extremely high in chlorophyll although I don't know specifically why chlorophyll is supposed to be healthy. However, about 30% of the population have a bad reaction to chlorella and can't tolerate so I would recommend starting with maybe half a capsule until you know you can tolerate it. Also, there is some concern about whether or not chlorella is contaminated. Some people say not to take any algae including chlorella and spirulina (also high in chlorophyll, but chlorella is higher). Also, I've read it must have a cracked/broken cell wall, but I don't remember why.
 

*GG*

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Interesting. I didn't know that Chlorella was controversial in terms of removing mercury toxicity. My Dr has had me on and off of Cholestryamine with chlorella for a few years now. I am not as toxic as I used to be.

GG
 

Jenny

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Do you think it was worth it Jenny?

Chlorela is something I'm looking at but I don't know yet what it is supposed to do as I read it can't bind to mercury.
Hi snow - well it didn't work, so in that sense it wasn't worth it. But it seemed to be worth trying and there was some sort of evidence base, albeit anecdotal.

If I hadn't tried it it would always have been in the back of my mind as possibly an answer.

ALA is cheap, so I didn't waste much money. It was difficult waking every 3 hours in the night, but I did most of the rounds during periods when I wasn't sleeping well so tended to be awake anyway!

Jenny
 

snowathlete

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From what i have read, there seems to be agreement that ALA does work to move mercury, including that in the brain. There doesnt seem to be much disagreement on that, so i figure it is worth trying. I dont think i am massively toxic anyway, so i dont plan to take a high dose. Waking every three hours will not be easy, but i dont think it will be too bad as i tend to wake in the night for brief periods anyway.
 

Lotus97

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I'm not sure if it's already been mentioned in this thread, but it seems most people are talking about ALA for mercury toxicity in it's role as a chelator. ALA is also used to boost glutathione production which most people agree is good for mercury toxicity. In addition, cysteine levels can become elevated with mercury toxicity (which is why taking NAC might be a bad idea for those with a high mercury burden), but there is some evidence that suggests that raising glutathione levels can lower cysteine levels.

I'm also taking ALA because I read that if you're taking carnitine or acetyl l carnitine you can do damage to your body if you're not also supplementing with ALA. I mention this because I know a lot of people here are taking carnitine which can also boost glutathione.

One other thing. Taking ALA can lower biotin so you should probably supplement with extra biotin if you're taking ALA.
 

Lotus97

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ALA, Glutathione & Mercury

Hi,

I have experimented with taking small doses of R Lipoic Acid, which, I believe, is the more potent form of ALA. I did take it every few hours in low dose. This was a pain though as it comes in high dose capsules and I had to divide them and remember to take them. I haven't done it for a while.

Following are excerpts from a very interesting article on ALA, Glutathione and other agents' ability to mobilize mercury and move it--either out of the body or to someplace worse--like the brain! This seems to be an area where you need to do your homework and observe caution.

Mercury Toxicity and Antioxidants: Part I: Role of Glutathione and alpha-Lipoic Acid in the Treatment of Mercury Toxicity
Lyn Patrick, ND

Alternative Medicine Review ◆ Volume 7, Number 6 ◆ 2002


First, glutathione, binding with methylmercury, forms a complex that prevents mercury from binding to cellular proteins and causing damage to both enzymes and tissue.30...Second, glutathione-mercury complexes
have been found in the liver, kidney, and brain, and appear to be the primary form in which mercury is transported and eliminated from the body.24
*************
The fact that free ALA crosses the bloodbrain barrier is significant because the brain readily accumulates lead and mercury, where these metals are stored intracellularly in glial tissue.36,45
**************
Levels of released inorganic mercury remained at a 300-700 percent elevation, even three hours after dosing with ALA.
***************
There was disconcerting evidence from this study, however, that ALA may also alter the tissue distribution of mercury and other heavy metals. Although levels of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in the kidney dropped significantly, levels of inorganic mercury also increased significantly in the brain, lung, heart, and liver tissue. Methylmercury levels had also increased in the brain, intestine and muscle of the rats given ALA.
Wait, so any attempts to increase Glutathione will mobilize mercury? Does that mean we shouldn't take Vitamin C, Selenium, and/or Molybdenum also since they boost Glututhione. We shouldn't do Methylation either since that raises Glutathione? I know this a gross oversimplification and I have heard that with some people Methylation isn't effective until after they do chelation. I have also heard of people having problems attempting to raise Glutathione and I'm not even sure they had problems with mercury. I've also heard that people have problems if they increase Glutathione too much too quickly, but are ok if they do it more slowly. There are a lot of different opinions about mercury detoxification, but for some reason recently I feel like I've been bombarded mostly by pro-Cutler information. I'd really like to hear some other viewpoints. I've tried to keep this post as factual as possible and not emotional, but I don't think I'm going to edit this any more.