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Andrew Cutler and Alpha Lipoic Acid

Sushi

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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.
No, I don't believe that raising glutathione through methylation therapy is dangerous--rather the opposite--it should help to remove heavy metals from the body. Taking glutathione IV or in significant doses other ways has brought on too much detox reaction in some though. I could never take glutathione directly.

Some with a significant burden of heavy metals had too many reactions to methylation therapy (due to the detoxing effect) and had to stop and deal with heavy metals first.

Working with methylation raises glutathione very, very slowly and hopefully your body will be able to handle the detox reaction though many of us had to use binders and other aids like FIR.

Best wishes,
Sushi
 

Lotus97

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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.
I was wondering if anyone knows much about Dr. Buttar's protocol for mercury detoxification. Based on a quick Google search here seems to be a controversy surrounding him that makes me wary, but I don't know all the details so I don't want to post anything here which would potentially slander him. Before I delve any deeper into his protocol I would like to get others' opinions if they know anything about his methods.
 

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.
I have another question about Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione. If I still have my amalgams, would Alpha Lipoic Acid or other chelators mixed in water mobilize mercury when they came in contact with my amalgams while drinking the mixture or would it be ok if the mixture is diluted? Should I just stick with capsules and tablets? Also, would glutathione in a sublingual cause mercury problems since it's mixed in with my saliva and would be in constant contact with my amalgams? Is an oral dose (capsules/tablets) better?
 

Sushi

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I have another question about Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione. If I still have my amalgams, would Alpha Lipoic Acid or other chelators mixed in water mobilize mercury when they came in contact with my amalgams while drinking the mixture or would it be ok if the mixture is diluted? Should I just stick with capsules and tablets? Also, would glutathione in a sublingual cause mercury problems since it's mixed in with my saliva and would be in constant contact with my amalgams? Is an oral dose (capsules/tablets) better?
This has been discussed a lot (whether any form of chelation is safe while you have amalgams) and I don't think anyone really knows. Lots of opinions have been expressed. You could search it on google using Phoenix Rising in the subject line.

Best,
Sushi
 

Johnmac

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From my understanding, Lyn Patrick's concerns are real, and the redistribution of mercury to sensitive parts of the body can occur with alpha lipoic acid. Thus it is part of the Cutler Protocol to not use ALA in the three months after amalgam removal, but to remove mercury from the extracellular spaces and bloodstream with DMPS or DMSA in that period. Then once the "concentration gradient" (I think it's called) is stacked so that there is less mercury in the body than in the brain, you can add the one chelator that can enter the brain (ALA); and which incidentally can also leave the brain, mercury ion on tow.

Seems to have worked for me, as I have my cognition back after two years on Cutler.

Interestingly, the biggest roadblock in the two years was the sensitivity to thiol/sulphur foods which chelation (i.e. liberated mercury) unleashed. This made me sick as a parrot for half a year. The thing that fixed it (overnight) was the 'simplified protocol' of the blessed Rich von K, which I discovered here.

John



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.
 
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i may as well comment on this old thread. i spent over 2 years, 100+ rounds, on the cutler protocol. i also consulted with him and was a member of the yahoo group.

i seemed like a good candidate. i had many mercury symptoms (lots of overlap with CFS) i also had maybe 12-14 amalgam fillings, got flu shots, all vaccines on the schedule before they started removing mercury.

i strictly followed his basic protocol. you start slow and low. early on i increased the ALA too fast from around 12mg to 24mg. this put me on my back for 3 days. i took this as proof positive i had an Hg issue.

as the months passed by i had my normal ups and downs. i remained optimistic. at times i was sure the treatment was working. but after 12-18 months i had to admit it was not working. i really wanted it to work. it made so much sense to me.

i do think it works for some people. but i think the failures are not as visible. they don't hang around the forum. they leave as i did.

the trouble with cutler is the trouble with a lot of communities, doctors, and medical approaches. they really believe in what they are doing. they are good people. but they get so hyper focused on their approach that their judgement is skewed. if all you have is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail.

at this point i've given maybe 6 approaches a shot. each trial was between 6-24 months. none of the doctors/experts ever said...."hey maybe this isn't your issue" or "maybe this approach isn't working for you". they all really believe it will work if i do it longer or adjust something again. recently i tried an orthomolecular approach. after 6 months on the program all my blood numbers (the ones they track) got worse! to this they said "you need to take more of our supplements"

i think it's important to know about this bias.

cutler is probably worth looking into if you've had Hg exposure. if you noticed your symptoms days or even months after dental work or a vaccine with Hg (flu multis still have Hg i believe), eat lots of fish, live near a coal power plant etc. it's cheap. it's somewhat easy.
 

Hip

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Cutler's chelation protocol triggered my ME CFS.
Did you follow the requirement to re-dose the chelators according to their half-life, which is around 3 hours, even during the night while sleeping (setting an alarm clock to take the chelators during the night)?

Cutler said that if you do not re-dose in this way, the heavy metals carried by the chelators get dumped in the body tissues, and people then become a lot worse.

Also, did you catch any viral infections while chelating, as these might trigger ME/CFS.
 
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Cutler's chelation protocol triggered my ME CFS. I kept chelating despite feeling worse because I thought I was in the "dump" phase and needed to push through. Before Cutler I ran half marathons, now I'm bedridden.
Thank you for your input, and sorry about your present situation. I think it's important people hear both sides of these treatments instead of thinking one thing is a cure all.

if all you have is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail.
True, and also very much my own experience of doctors. Important to not rule anything out.
 
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Did you follow the requirement to re-dose the chelators according to their half-life, which is around 3 hours, ME/CFS.
i certainly did. i read both of his books....kept logs of all my rounds. but the thing is i don't think you can assume that ALA will have a 3 hour half life in everyone. in fact there are people on the group that did much better with 2 hour intervals. again, i don't doubt the success stories. i just think it can be dangerous if you exhault any treatment. you can start to operate on faith instead of your actual experience. i know i did this culter. thankfully, i don't think i did permanent damage. however i did waste 2 years of my life going down the wrong road.
 
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Did you follow the requirement to re-dose the chelators according to their half-life, which is around 3 hours, even during the night while sleeping (setting an alarm clock to take the chelators during the night)?

Cutler said that if you do not re-dose in this way, the heavy metals carried by the chelators get dumped in the body tissues, and people then become a lot worse.

Also, did you catch any viral infections while chelating, as these might trigger ME/CFS.
Followed instructions to the dot. Had blind faith in Cutler that's why I pursued even when my body screamed no. I started with DMSA and switched to ALA three months after amalgam removal. Started with a 12.5mg ALA round but it made me very tired. Kept reducing to 250mcg ALA, with long breaks in between but every round was worse. I had no viral infections.
 

Hip

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I would like to write about my experience in Cutler's FB group but I don't have the strength to face the backlash.
I can't imagine there will be much backlash on this forum at least. It's known that heavy metal chelation can make people worse rather than better. Cutler's protocol based on chelator half-lives may reduce the risk, but moving heavy metals around the body by chelators is never going to be risk-free.

Did you have a heavy metal hair test, by the way? If so, which heavy metals where present in high amounts?
 
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Did you have a heavy metal hair test, by the way? If so, which heavy metals where present in high amounts?
andy wrote a book on interpreting hair tests. it's not as straight forward as you might think. obviously if tons of Hg is being excreted in hair that's a problem. that person is getting too much Hg in their body. but it doesn't mean they are sick. some people, according to the theory, excrete Hg very well. so they eat 3 tuna sandwiches a day but they get rid of it. the people that really get into trouble are the ones (according to theory) that don't excrete well. these people might have very little Hg in the hair but a ton of "body burden". so how do you see this? according to andy it's about deranged mineral transport. when you get that test there are maybe 40 minerals measured. some toxic some not. but if they are all over the place that's bad. that's the gist of it. there are key ratio between minerals, reference ranges, and certain suspicious patterns. read the book for that.

for me i was borderline. the group thought i was positive. but according to my analysis using andys book i was more borderline.

i did 2 hair tests. one before chelation and one after 2 years of chelation. the first one put me in the red (bad, 2 standard deviations from normal) for cadmium. that was a real head scratcher because i couldn't figure out where that would come from. andy's book has long lists of environmental sources for Hg and other metals. i didn't have any of the cadium risks. in the second test cadmium didn't even register. this also did not make sense to me. unless you think the chelation was incredibly affective. cadmium is supposed to be hard to chelate.

my second test was improved by several measures. total toxic metals went from about the 80th percentile down to the 30th percentile roughly. all of my non toxic metals stayed within plus or minus 2 standard deviations. i had 2 metals in the red to start (3 standard deviations).

yet i felt no better and here i am 3 years latter with the same issues but worse. boo.
 
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Did you have a heavy metal hair test, by the way? If so, which heavy metals where present in high amounts?
Many thanks for your interest Hip. I did the Doctor's Data test before starting the chelation. No heavy metals in high amount but I did meet Andy's rule indicating deranged transport of minerals. I'm certain I have mercury in my brain because three times I accidentally took a huge amount of ALA (it was in a fat burner tablet) when my mouth was still full of amalgam fillings and I almost collapsed. I had amalgam for 20 years and last 2 years I actually felt a metallic taste due to a contact between a gold and an amalgam filling. Removal was also not done very safely.

Dr. Naviaux believes that "life experiences and exposures to environmental chemicals and biotoxins come together with genes to create a
“perfect storm” that causes ME/CFS. Even after recovery, this perfect storm leaves a mark—a metabolic and epigenetic memory that changes how the network of chemicals in the blood is regulated and how it responds to future exposures."

I wonder if this is the reason why I could not even take 3 mcg of ALA (diluted in oil). The last time I tried it was a year ago. Now I don't know if I should try ALA again, try a different chelator or stay away from chelation forever. I wish I could do sauna but I can't tolerate any heat at all.
 

bertiedog

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Cutler's chelation protocol triggered my ME CFS. I kept chelating despite feeling worse because I thought I was in the "dump" phase and needed to push through. Before Cutler I ran half marathons, now I'm bedridden.
It also made me worse during the rounds probably because my adrenals were so weak but I continued for about 20 months being really careful to dose every 4 hours day and night over 3 days. I remember getting very severe migraines with the ALA and they were worse when I added in on occasions DMSA possibly because they are both so high in sulphur and I have SNPs that affect how I metabolise those.

It actually took 5 years for my levels to drop back to being within range but I got there in the end and I am glad I got rid of all 13 large amalgams. It was the first thing that I did on my ME journey and I did think it would cure me at the time way back in 2001/2002. It was also thanks to Andy that I learned about the part the adrenals/thyroid played in the illness so I am grateful he pointed me in the right direction as unbeknown to me at the time this was a huge problem for me and it has turned out I am a carrier of 2 copies for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and I was also severely hypothyroid and needed medication.

I got his book from my local library and learned a huge amount from him but it was very complicated to understand all the implications at the time. I am very grateful to him and to the Yahoo group he ran where I learned so much and I am sad to hear that he died fairly recently.

Pam
 

pemone

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as the months passed by i had my normal ups and downs. i remained optimistic. at times i was sure the treatment was working. but after 12-18 months i had to admit it was not working. i really wanted it to work. it made so much sense to me.
...
the trouble with cutler is the trouble with a lot of communities, doctors, and medical approaches. they really believe in what they are doing. they are good people. but they get so hyper focused on their approach that their judgement is skewed. if all you have is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail.
The problem with most of these chelation protocols is they have no published research behind them. I asked Cutler why he would not at least get his protocol tested in animals, and his response was always "what I am doing is obvious biochemistry". While he had a great insight - and a very testable hypothesis - he was also incredibly arrogant. He felt his ideas were beyond testing, I guess.

When I look at the literature on ALA and chelation, it is scary. Most of the studies show ALA making mercury contamination in the brain worse, not better. Cutler would reply they are not respecting the ALA half-life and the studies are not using the chelator correctly. That's fine, so test it and prove your point as correct in at least a few dozen animals? Why should human beings be the guinea pigs for this untested idea?

The Cutler community - and the larger chelation community - is a genuine nut house. In Cutler's FB group, I saw an admin say that no one could even question a person's heavy metal diagnosis, because this would "just confuse them". Whenever you put up links to studies in that group, usually the thread is closed and a comment is made that "Andy already did all this work for us and looked at those studies". So it really is a cult, in nearly every sense of the word cult.

I also took ALA - as an antioxidant and before I understood its properties as a chelator - and it completely messed up my brain, and I still after six years have not completely cleared those symptoms. So ALA does some very powerful things moving heavy metals around, and it is not something you take casually.
 
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The Cutler community - and the larger chelation community - is a genuine nut house. In Cutler's FB group, I saw an admin say that no one could even question a person's heavy metal diagnosis, because this would "just confuse them".
Just returned from the eye doctor..."Get Chelated" was his advice.

This is the second eye doctor to tell me..."Get Chelated".

****

Just starting to research the topic...(My husband indicated I had FAILED to listen to his same advice, Get Chelated_.

It makes me really nervous........I had better check all this out, thanks for posting.