What exactly does amalgam chelation mean?
To understand what amalgam chelation means, it is helpful to first understand the general meaning of chelation. In its simplest definition, chelation refers to the ability of a chemical compound to grab on to a metal and bind to the metal in such a way that the metal atom is held in the approximate center of the chemical compound. The bond between the metal and the neighboring atoms, usually sulfur, is relatively strong because the metal is attached to at least two of the nearby sulfur atoms, which have a strong affinity for heavy metals.
The parts of the chemical compound that surround the metal somewhat resemble a claw that is holding onto an object. The Greek word “chele”, for the great claw of crustaceans (like lobsters or crabs) is used for this caliper, or claw like appearance of the chemical compound’s three dimensional structure. Hence the name ‘chelation’ is used to describe the functional nature of this unique type of chemical structure.
What are some general examples of chelation besides amalgam chelation?
Chelation occurs frequently in nature. For example, plants pick up available minerals from the soil, and bind them to the amino acids of proteins, creating chelated minerals in the process. Chelated minerals are easily absorbed and utilized by humans. It’s the most efficient and effective way for minerals to get into our body.
To illustrate, if you eat meat or green vegetables which contain iron, the iron which has been released by the digestive process from the food in which it was bound, has to be chelated with amino acids so that it can be carried through the intestinal mucous membranes into the bloodstream. It is then carried to the bone marrow where it is made part of the hemoglobin molecule. Hemoglobin has a molecular structure with a chelated iron atom at the center. Perhaps by intelligent design, chlorophyll in plants is virtually identical to hemoglobin, except that it has chelated magnesium, instead of iron, at the center of each molecule.
Chelation occurs in medicine and is used commercially. Chemical chelating agents were first devolped for use in medicine as a result of the poison gas utilized in World War I. The first widely employed chelating agent, British Anti-Lewisite or BAL, was created as an antidote to Lewisite, the arsenic-based poison gas used during World War I. A common synthetic chelator, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) was first developed to remove lead adsorbed by sailors while painting navy ships. EDTA is still frequently employed in medicine to remove lead in cases of chronic or acute lead poisoning. Holistic physicians treat heart disease by removing plaque in arteries with EDTA. Chelating substances like EDTA can be found as preservative ingredients in many commercial products and foods.
Why is amalgam chelation really a medical issue?
Chelation therapy is the medical use of chelating substances to detoxify the body of poisonous metal agents such as mercury, arsenic, and lead by converting them to a chemical form that can be excreted from the body, preferably without further interaction. With a special test called a Urine Mercury Challenge, doctors can also use chelation to measure how much of each toxic metal is in the body. However, this test is not as safe as a urinary porphyrin profile lab test, which is discussed in the Amalgam Poisoning page on this website.
Typically, substances used for chelation contain one or more sulfur atoms, which attach and readily hold onto heavy metal atoms like mercury, lead and arsenic. Chelation therapy with drugs is a form of serious medical treatment, and cannot be legally performed by a dentist. The reality is that chelation therapy is frequently accompanied by some degree of side effects because interaction with the body usually occurs. This interaction may be an undesirable side effect of the chelating drug itself, or it may be caused by the chelated toxins passing through the liver, kidneys or skin as the chelating substance facilitates elimination of the poison. When this happens it is often called a toxic cleanse. Various combinations of these interactions may occur.
Chelating agents tend to be fairly non selective, and they will bind and remove essential minerals as readily as toxic heavy metals. To prevent the loss of essential minerals, medically supervised chelation must include replacing these minerals as they are being removed. Otherwise, undesirable symptoms may occur if essential minerals removed during chelation therapy are not adequately replaced. Only a properly trained and licensed medical practitioner should be performing chelation therapy with chelating drugs.
Why do we need amalgam chelation?
Mercury can come from many sources, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat, and the thimerosal preservative in some vaccines, but the scientific evidence clearly points to mercury amalgam dental fillings as the major contributor of mercury in the body. Approximately 80% of the odorless, tasteless and invisible mercury vapor released from dental fillings is inhaled through the lungs and into the blood stream, where it is then transferred and deposited into fat tissue, including the brain and the fatty sheath around nerves. Some mercury goes directly to the brain by being carried along the olfactory nerve. This is the nerve which goes from the nose to the brain, so we can detect odors.
The toxic effects of mercury are in some cases partially or wholly reversible, either through specific therapy or through natural elimination of the metal. This is most likely to occur after exposure to mercury has been stopped. Prolonged exposure to mercury from dental fillings can do irreversible damage, particularly in fetuses, infants, and young children. The purpose of amalgam chelation or amalgam detox is to reverse, minimize, or prevent this damage.
If you are a woman who is pregnant, or intends to have children, please talk to a holistic doctor about the best timing for chelation treatments and removing any mercury dental fillings. You can find holistic doctors by going to the websites of the International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM) or the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM).
Mercury from any source is a highly toxic reproductive poison, meaning it can seriously interfere with a normal pregnancy. Worse yet, mercury will selectively accumulate in a fetus in higher concentrations than in the mother. This means, if you succeed in becoming pregnant, mercury will poison your fetus more than it poisons you.
Tell me about amalgam chelation
Amalgam chelation, sometimes called amalgam detoxification, usually refers to the use of specific chelating drugs or agents by a doctor to remove toxic mercury from the body. The common denominator for all these chelating agents is that they contain sulfur, which readily binds to mercury. These chelating agents are synthetic drugs, either DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid), which is usually administered orally, or DMPS (2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid), which is injected into a vein. DMSA is less toxic, so it produces fewer side effect than DMPS and it is generally the first choice for most doctors. Natural chelating agents, such as ALA (alpha lipoic acid) may also be used. Sometimes cocktail combinations of chelating substances are employed, depending on the experience and preference of the person administering the chelation treatment.
None of the currently used chelating agents are able to remove all the accumulated body load of mercury. Sometimes the chelating drug drops the ball, so to speak, and the mercury atom is released back into bloodstream, or the kidney or liver, poisoning cells until it is transported to fatty tissue where it is stored again.
Mercury is especially difficult to remove from the brain, where the mercury is often trapped by what is called the blood-brain barrier. This barrier functions as a protective wall around the brain to prevent toxic substances and germs from entering the brain. Mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings initially has no electrical charge on each mercury atom. In this state, when mercury first enters the blood stream, it has the uniquely toxic ability to easily pass through the blood brain barrier into the brain. Because mercury atoms in the body are relatively unstable in an uncharged state, each mercury atom in the brain soon becomes charged, by changing the number of electrons in its atomic structure. Once this happens, it is unable to escape in the reverse direction. The result is that currently used chelating drugs don’t readily get into the brain and the mercury that is already in the brain remains trapped there.
Some holistic doctors ask dentists to remove all the mercury fillings before starting chelation treatments. This is because they believe if amalgams are still present, chelating drugs may pick up some of the mercury from the dental fillings and deposit it in the body, instead of removing it. Obviously, with so many limits to being fully effective, chelation detox treatments for removing mercury from dental fillings is in serious need of improvement.
What can we expect in the future for amalgam chelation?
Mercury exposure always was and still is a serious matter. Sadly, the American Dental Association has demonstrated little concern. The American Dental Association, which represents dentists and the dental profession, has effectively denied that there is any toxic release of mercury from mercury containing dental fillings. As a direct consequence, chronic mercury poisoning from dental fillings of virtually everyone, especially pregnant women and children, has gone largely unnoticed for decades.
Fortunately, this is changing, in spite of the fact that mercury vapor is an invisible poison. Like radiation, it can’t be seen, tasted or smelled, making it very easy to deny the presence of mercury vapor. There is a growing public awareness of the dangers of mercury, and its continued use in dentistry. This has led to a realization that removing mercury amalgam fillings, followed by chelation treatment to detoxify and remove the body burden of mercury, is critical for long term health.
Regrettably, there has been little effort to research and develop safer chelating drugs, most likely because the need for them is still being denied by the American Dental Association, and pharmaceutical companies see little profit to be made, compared to the expense of developing them. Newer and better chelating drugs are urgently needed. The drugs currently used were really created to deal with the chemical and gas warfare that started during World War I. Mercury in dental fillings was not a concern then, because very few people, other than dentists and the manufacturers of dental amalgam filling material, were aware that dental fillings contained mercury. Many people still don’t realize it.
Is there any way to do amalgam chelation without the use of drugs?
Actually, the human body is quite capable of removing mercury without any assistance. We all have amino acids, which are linked together to make the proteins in our body. Some of these amino acids contain sulfur atoms. Normally these amino acids with sulfur are utilized to form enzymes to drive the metabolic reactions which enable us to remain alive and functioning. These same amino acids with sulfur atoms are also used as chelators, to bind and remove mercury or other heavy metals. Unfortunately, this reduces the number of sulfur containing enzymes we need to remain functionally healthy in a world with constant toxic exposure.
If we lived in a toxic free ideal world, we would still have enough enzymes to thrive, because the only heavy metals we would be exposed to would be those that occur naturally in the environment – a form of background toxic noise. In our real time toxic overloaded world, this built in natural mechanism to deal with heavy metals often becomes so burdened and weakened by the poisonous effect of multiple toxins, especially mercury from dental fillings, that it can cease to function, or just function poorly. That is when we start to develop symptoms of disease from toxic overload. So what can be done?
Regardless of your state of health, you may need a combination of medical, dental, and nutritional support, especially if you suspect you are mercury poisoned. Following are some suggestions:
Remove and replace the mercury fillings in your teeth. This is best accomplished by an accredited dentist who is a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). The IAOMT has a find a dentist search feature. Ask the dentist how he or she will protect you from mercury vapors when the fillings are being removed. The IAOMT has an excellent protocol on their website for doing this correctly.
Go to a holistic doctor for chelation and monitoring of your body’s mercury levels, called body burden. You can find a holistic physician on your own by contacting the International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM) or the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). If you do not already use a holistic physician who is trained in the removal of heavy metals, both organizations have a link on their home page to help you find one.
Use the best nutritional support available for your already weakened immune system. Excellent nutritional support can also help remove heavy metals, although more slowly than can be achieved with medically supervised chelation. The biggest advantage of superior nutritional support is that it is much safer than chelation with drugs. Even if you choose to use drug monitored chelation, effective nutritional support is essential, because people seem to cope with chelation drugs better when they are on a metabolic footing that is nutritionally supported.